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Time to Study Philippians -Week Six-


Greetings to the ladies of our Philippians study!

Welcome to Week Six~

This study and the following two weeks of lessons will be a condensed version of Mining God’s Word – How To Study the Bible; Foundation Series by Bethlehem College and Seminary Press. I highly recommend that you purchase your own workbook at www(dot)bethlehemcollegeandseminary(dot)org - it would be a great tool for you to have!

“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Ps. 30:11-12

Ladies, we only have a few weeks left of our study. I will be taking the week of Thanksgiving off (Nov. 22-26), so our last study will be the first week in December.

Our homework from last week:

Even though I asked you to write a few paraphrases throughout Philippians 2:12-18, I will combine all the paraphrases together for one final paraphrase of 2:12-18. Here is my example:

My beloved brothers, because of the excellent example of humility we have in Christ Jesus, and even though I am not with you now, I want you to continue to obey what you have previously been taught. Do this because you know that God is working in you, and it is for his good pleasure to do so. Do not whine and gripe about your circumstances like the non-believers do, but be different from them - set apart. They live in darkness not knowing Christ, but you do know Christ. Therefore, you are like bright lights shining into their sinful and darkened world. Do not waver in what I have taught you and what you know is true. Your faithfulness is important to me. Even if I should be killed for your salvation, knowing that you have remained firm in the truth of Christ Jesus would give me cause to rejoice.  So don’t lose heart, but rejoice with me.

Main point of Phil. 2:12-18 

Paul exhorts the Philippians to imitate Christ and live according to the Gospel Paul has taught them. To work out their salvation because God is working in them, even in the midst of their sufferings.

I presume your paraphrase will have parts that are similar to mine and part that are slightly different. That’s all right. Paraphrasing will be like that according to each author.

This week’s lesson:

We will be working with our concordances, and doing a few word studies.
Word studies are valuable tools for those studying their Bibles. They allow us to follow and clarify ideas, theology, and locate OT and NT teachings. However, there are also problems that arise when doing word studies. I am going to talk about three specific problems that you need to watch out for.

1)    Be careful when looking up words, that you do not assume the individual roots of a word combine together for a more accurate definition. Here’s an example: Butterfly. There are two words here, Butter and Fly. Now, we know what a butterfly is, and it is not butter that flies. So combining the meaning of the two root words, does not give us the correct meaning of the word they create together. 

2)    Be careful when looking up words that you do not assume that the meaning of a word is always the same, or close to the same, in each instance it is used. 

3)    Also note that the meaning of a word in a specific context may not be a sum of all its parts; a culmination of everywhere else it is used. Context is important.

With these few warnings to remember, let us begin to look up words in our concordance.

We will begin with the word Antichrist. First, what do you think “antichrist” means?
I would like you to look up 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, and 2 John 1:7 and write down what you observe about this word, the context it has been written in, and then summarize what you learned from the verses we looked up. Do this now, and then come back to class, and I will write down what I discovered.

1 John 2:18 – there are many antichrist, and more to come – that’s how the people in John’s time knew they were in the last hour. Contextually, we see that the antichrists were part of the church community, but left the fellowship of the believers. The Christians thought they (the antichrists) were saved also, but if they had been, they would not have ‘gone out’ from the believers, but they did, proving that they (the antichrists) never really belonged to Christ.

1 John 2:22 – the liar is the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ; he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3 – every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is the spirit of the antichrist; the antichrist is already in the world.

2 John 1:7 – many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Christ in the flesh. That one is the antichrist.

Summary about the antichrist: They (more than one) were in the world at the time of John’s writing. They were the sign of the appearance of the last days. They deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and they deny the Father and the Son. They teach opposite the truth (they left the company of believers).

Is this what you thought “antichrist” meant? Did you happen to notice that only John wrote about the Antichrist?

Let’s look up one more: Last Days
Here are the scripture verses for you to look up, record, and summarize your observations:
Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; and 2 Peter 3:3.

My observations:

Acts 2:17 - Peter (at Pentecost) quotes from Joel 2:28-32 about the signs of coming of the Last Days; God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. The signs of the Last Days were happening in Acts 2:17.

2 Timothy 3:1- in the Last Days there will be difficult times. People will be filled with sin (see the list in vs. 2-6).

Hebrews 1:2 –Last Days was a current time in the writer’s life (“these last days”).

2 Peter 3:3 – reminding the readers of what the prophets of old had predicted about the Last Days. The Scoffers will doubt and try to persuade others to doubt as well.

What did the prophets of old tell? They (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea to list a few) talked of the sinful Israelite nation who turned away from their God. Therefore, God brought judgment down on them, being taken captive and other nations’ kings ruling over them (Assyria, Babylon, Persia). Now, in the NT, we have the last days of the same unbelieving nation. The Jews (Israel) did not believe that Jesus was the foretold Messiah. Therefore, God was showing them that their Jewish nation as they knew it, was at an end – the last days. God would destroy their temple (Matt. 24:1-2, read farther for context), which did happen in 70 AD, because His Son was the last sacrifice ever needed. The thing that made them Jewish - their worship, their sacrificial system, their works - meant nothing now that Jesus has come in the flesh. Remember what Paul said in Phil. 3:5-10?

Summary of Last Days:
The time between Jesus death and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD were the Last Days – the Last Days were happening while the author’s were alive.

Homework for this week:

Day 1) Let’s concentrate on Philippians 2:19-30, but pay particular attention to “Fellow Worker” in v. 25. Find each phrase “Fellow Worker(s)” in your concordance. Make a column (not very wide) down the left-hand side of your homework page. In this column, record all the Biblical references to the term “Fellow Worker(s)”, each reference on a separate line.

Day 2) Read the passages in Scripture for each of the references in the first half of your “Fellow Worker(s)” listing. Try to answer these questions while you’re reading: Is the Fellow Worker and man or a woman? Is this phrase referencing a particular job within the church? Are there other words that always appear in conjunction with the term “Fellow Worker”? What is the context that this phrase appears? Record your answers to these questions in the right-hand margin next to that particular Scripture verse.

Day 3) Repeat yesterday’s instructions with the second half of your concordance list of “Fellow Workers”.

Day 4) Write down what you think the term “Fellow Worker(s)” means, or was used for, in the NT. Re-read Phil. 2:25. Does your new knowledge of Fellow Workers increase your understanding of the text?

Day 5) Write down what you think is the main point of Phil. 2:19-30.

And we’re finished with this week! The last two weeks of class we will cover more of the text than in the previous lessons, so that we can get through the entire book of Philippians before ending our class.

Ladies, may you be filled with more than knowledge, but with wisdom that can only come from our Father in heaven, as you read and study the Scriptures. Becky, once again THANK YOU for allowing me the time and the space on your blog to post our study.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow,

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