Questions for Personal Reflection and Group Discussion
Read Philippians 2:1-11:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (ESV)
- Paul was in prison as he wrote this, yet amazingly in this letter he constantly refers to his joy. Paul describes here what would complete his joy. What gives you joy?
- Paul urged the Philippian church to be “of the same mind” in verse 2. What does it mean to “have one mind” as a church? What does it NOT mean?
- How do we as Christians avoid getting caught up in the cultural division in our country?
- What mindset does Paul describe here? How do we develop this mindset?
- Humility was not considered a positive character quality until Jesus came. What was it about Jesus that totally changed the world’s view of humility?
- Jesus let go of some things. What are some things that Jesus willingly let go of in obedience to his Father? What does it mean for you personally that he did this?
- Jesus took on some things. In verses 7-8, Paul describes how Jesus actively chose to take on some things. What did he take on, and what was it like for him to take these things on? Take a few moments to express your gratitude to him for what he took on for your sake.
- Jesus received some things. Verses 9-11 describe what Jesus received as a result of his humble obedience to his Father. How can this impact your daily life and encourage you?
- If you’re willing, give an example from your life when you failed to embody the gospel.
- What are some practical ways we can live out Jesus’s example of “counting others more significant than myself” and “looking not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others”?
- What did you sense God saying to you through this message?