Christ is our example. Paul writes the words of a first century *hymn.
Bible reference: Philippians 2:1-11
A word list at the end of each Bible *study explains words that have a star (*) by them. These are more difficult words.
This* study includes some of the most important words about Christ in the whole Bible. They remind us who Christ is. And they remind us of what Christ did. Many writers think that *verses 5-11 were a *hymn.
We see a person’s words and actions. We decide if the person’s actions and words are good. When *people’s actions are good, they become important. So we should do good things for them. This is how we think.
Christ did many good things. He did nothing that was bad. But they put only bad people on a cross when he was on earth. Only bad *people died like this. This happened to Christ. And he allowed it to happen. Paul explains why Christ allowed this to happen. Also he writes about the results of what Christ did.
Questions to ask
2:1 ~ ‘You are *united with Christ’. What can be the results of this? Which of these results do you think is the most important?
2:2 ~ What does Paul say will make him completely happy?
2:3-4 ~ From these words, what should we do?
And what should we not do?
2:5 ~ Why should we live like this?
2:6 ~ Christ ‘did not demand that he should continue to be important like that’. When Paul writes ‘like that’, what does he mean?
2:7 ~ Although he was important, Christ did something very surprising. What was this?
Why did he need to do it? Was he God, or man? Or both? (He became hungry and tired. He could be very happy, or weep. These are actions that *people do. But Jesus also did many *miraculous things.)
2:8 ~ There are two more surprises in these words. What are they?
2:9 ~ Why did God let these things happen to Christ? What has God done for Christ now?
2:10 ~ What must everyone do finally?
2:11 ~ What must everyone say finally? (‘Lord’ was a name for someone like a king, who had power.)
Something to do
Think about the reasons for what you do. (We need to do some things. We want to do other things. What other reasons can you suggest?)
Why do we find it so hard to think about what other people need? How can we become better at this?
Think about Christ’s example. See also Luke 22:39‐46. Was it easy for Christ to obey? How might his example change what you do this week?
Words to explain
hymn ~ a song of praise to God
miraculous ~ great and special
people ~ men and women
remind ~ tell again
study ~ words that tell us more about something
united ~ held together
verse ~ (here) a small separate part of each chapter
See the other studies in this series: Explore Paul’s letter to the Philippians