Paul warns about false teachers
Bible reference: Philippians 3:1-11
A word list at the end of each Bible *study explains words that have a star (*) by them. These are more difficult words.
Paul wants the Christians at Philippi to believe in Christ. He does not want them to believe in wrong things. So he tells them about two dangers.
First, he tells them about wrong teachers. These teachers say that Christians must keep the *Jewish rules. The *Jews would *circumcise men and boys to show that they were God’s people. But now Christ has come. The Christians in Philippi are God’s *people because Christ died for them.
To follow on from this, Paul *reminds the Christians at Philippi about something important. Nothing we do can make us right with God. Paul uses his life as an example.
Questions to ask
3:1 ~ What should make the Christians at Philippi happy?
3:2 ~ What do the wrong teachers say?
3:3 ~ ‘We do not need to have marks on our bodies.’ Why not? We are God’s people. How can we know this?
3:4-5 ~ Paul had done everything that a good *Jew could do. This was before he became a Christian. What examples does he write about?
3:6 ~ In Paul’s life, what was the result of all these things? And what was the result for the first Christians?
3:7 ~ What does Paul say about the *Jewish rules? Why does he say this?
3:8 ~ What is important to Paul now?
3:9 ~ What can rules never do for us?
3:10 ~ What does Paul want in life now? (4 things)
3:11 ~ What does Paul hope for after this life?
Something to do
Rules can never make us right with God. What ‘rules’ are still part of our lives as Christians? (Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18. If you have time, read some of Jesus’ examples.)
Are there Christian ‘rules’ today that we do not really need?
What one thing might I do to know Christ better?
Words to explain
circumcise ~ to cut the skin from the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part.
Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham’s family. Abraham was the first leader of the Jews
Jewish ~ belonging to a person who is born from Abraham’s family. Abraham was the first leader of the Jews
people ~ men or women
remind ~ tell again
study ~ words that help us to learn more about something
See the other studies in this series: Explore Paul’s letter to the Philippians