B i b l e   S t u d y




Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.



January 20, 2019


SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:12-21


KEY VERSE: But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel. (Philippians 1:12)


INTRODUCTION: The meaning we search for so long enters not through a particular church, but through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul is a classic example of a person who found that personal relationship with his Lord. (1) He abounded in Christian experience; (2) he had love toward others; (3) he was bold for Christ; and (4) he rejoiced in all situations.




A. Paul was in prison. (Philippians 1:12)


(Philippians 1:12) But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.


1. When the believers in Philippi heard that Paul was in prison in the city of Rome, they sent a message to him by their pastor, Epaphroditus.


2. The message probably went something like this: “Oh, poor brother Paul, we feel so sorry for you. Now your great missionary journeys are curtailed; you are in prison, and the gospel is not going out!”


3. Paul responded, “Look, I want you to know that the gospel is going out, and the things that have happened to me have not curtailed but have actually furthered the gospel.”


4. Now Paul will make clear what he means by this.


B. Paul was an example. (Philippians 1:13)


(Philippians 1:13) So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.


During his arrest in Rome, Paul furthered the Gospel by witnessing to his guards. Eventually the Gospel spread through the entire palace guard of Caesar and to others to the extent that the people of Rome were talking about the Lord Jesus Christ.


Not only did Paul’s imprisonment enable him to reach into Caesar’s household with the gospel, but it also accomplished something else:


C. Paul was an encouragement. (Philippians 1:14)


(Philippians 1:14) And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.


A second favorable outcome of his imprisonment was that other Christians were thereby encouraged to be more fearless in testifying for the Lord Jesus. Persecution often has the effect of transforming quiet and bashful believers into courageous witnesses.


D. Paul was rejoicing. (Philippians 1:15-17)


1. He rejoiced because Christ was communicated. (Philippians 1:15)


(Philippians 1:15) Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will.


But the motive in some hearts was jealousy and rivalry. They preached Christ out of envy and contentiousness.


2. He rejoiced because Christ was made known. (Philippians 1:16)


(Philippians 1:16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds.


INSIGHT: The jealous preachers thought that by doing this they might make Paul’s imprisonment more bitter. Their message was good, but their temper was bad. It is sad to think that Christian service can be carried on in the energy of the flesh, motivated by greed, strife, pride, and envy.


This teaches us the necessity for watching our motives when we serve the Lord. We must not do it for self-display, for the advancement of a religious sect, or for the defeat of other Christians. This is a good example of the necessity for our love to be exercised in knowledge and discernment.


3. He rejoiced because Christ was proclaimed. (Philippians 1:17)


(Philippians 1:17) But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.


Others were preaching the gospel out of pure and sincere love, knowing that Paul was determined to defend the gospel. There was nothing selfish, sectarian, or cruel in their service. They knew very well that Paul had been committed to prison because of his bold stand for the gospel. So they determined to carry on the work while he was confined.


II. PAUL HAD JOY AND HOPE IN CHRIST. (Philippians 1:18-21)


A. The Apostle’s desire (Philippians 1:18-20).


1. Paul said to preach Christ (Philippians 1:18).


(Philippians 1:18) What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.


Paul rejoiced because the message of Christ was spreading. That was what mattered.


2. Paul said to pray (Philippians 1:19).


(Philippians 1:19) For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,


“Through your prayer.” The Bible makes it clear that God hears and answers the prayers of His people. We need to ask God’s people to pray for us. Paul says that through their prayers he hopes to be set free.


“Through … the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” The only way you and I can get that supply that we need is through prayer.


3. Paul said to live right (Philippians 1:20).


(Philippians 1:20) According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.


Paul said he did not want to be ashamed of his witness while in this life, and he did not want to be ashamed when he came into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle John mentions the fact that when Christ comes to take His church with Him, it is possible for believers to be ashamed at His appearing (see 1 John 2:28). We need to bear that in mind. All Christians ought to be concerned about living for Christ.


B. The Apostle’s testimony (Philippians 1:21).


(Philippians 1:21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


This is the philosophy of Christian living: To live is Christ; to die is gain. Dr. William L. Pettingill used to say that gain is always more of the same thing. If to live is Christ, then to die would be more of Christ. It means to go and be with Christ.


INSIGHT: I am convinced that the most important thing in my life as a Christian is to have the reality of Jesus Christ in my life. This is not too popular today. People would rather talk about being dedicated, wanting to serve Him, or doing this and that. But the most important thing is to have fellowship with Christ so that your joy might be full. Then we will have a powerful Christian witness.


by Rubel Shelley


Tennessee Titans [football] center Kevin Long, who played under Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State University, said his college coach inspired the team with parables. Long recounted a favorite story:


[Bowden] was playing college baseball, and he had never hit a home run. Finally he hit one down the right-field line, into the corner. He rounds first and looks to the third base coach. He turned at second, was halfway to third and the coach was still waving him on. He got to home, he hit the plate. He had his first home run, he was so excited and everybody was slapping him five. Then the pitcher took the ball, threw to the first baseman, and the umpire called him out.


[Coach Bowden] said, "If you don't take care of first base, it doesn't matter what you do. If you don't honor the Lord first, it doesn't matter what else you do." -- The Tennessean by Rubel Shelley


INSIGHT: If we would read Philippians 1:22-26, this is what we would find:


·        The Apostle Paul had a dilemma.


1. Paul did not know about the future.


Paul didn’t know about his future, just as you and I don’t know about our future. We don’t know what any single day will bring forth.


2. Paul did not know which direction to go.


Paul says he was torn between wanting to go to be with the Lord, which is the better of the two, or to stay with the Philippian believers because they needed him.


·        The Apostle Paul had a responsibility.


It was necessary and indispensable for Paul to continue abiding in the flesh. Paul’s eagerness to be a channel of blessing to the Philippians outweighs his desire for personal gain. He wants to finish the work God gave him to do (2 Tim. 4:6–8).


Paul is practical. He still has work to do. These people needed his ministry. Paul wanted to get out of prison and go to be with them again.


INSIGHT: People who are always saying, “Oh, if the Lord would only come,” should get busy. This is the only place where we can do any work that is going to count for eternity.


This is the stage on which you and I play our part. I want to stay as long as possible, and I want to keep preaching and teaching the Bible, the Word of God, as long as the Lord lets me have opportunity to do so.


Living Or Just Alive?
by M.R. De Haan, M.D.


1. What matters is not how long you live, but how well you live. (Some people live for 85 years and do very little.)


Others live only a relatively few years, but they fill that time with service to God and others, and their influence lives on.


2. Many people are concerned only with prolonging their stay here on this earth, and so they strive to add years to their lives.


Every year we spend billions of dollars for medicines, vitamins, and special diets to stay alive. And yet we forget that it is not the quantity of life but the quality of life and what we accomplish for the Lord that makes life meaningful. Only when we devote our lives to our Creator (Ecclesiastes 12:1&13-14) do our days on earth count for eternity.


3. Today, let's seek to fill the hours with service, worship, and work for the Master.


If this is our last day (and who knows, it may be), rather than wasting it in dreaming of a long life, let it be occupied with producing abundant fruit and being a blessing. Instead of just drifting aimlessly through our allotted hours and days, let us truly live.


4. Yes, the only life that's worthwhile (be it long or short) is the one spent in service for the Lord and in bringing blessing to others.


 -- Adapted from M.R. De Haan, M.D., Our Daily Bread, April 25, 2001


CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our Bible study today?


·        We learned that the Apostle Paul faced his imprisonment with courage and creativity.


·        We learned that because of the Lord Jesus,…


1. …a situation that could have resulted in Paul being depressed and benefiting no one


2. …resulted in an event that produced much fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ.


·        We learned that this is what the Lord Jesus wants to do in OUR LIVES.


1. As believers, we need to see every day and every difficulty through His perspective.


2. The world is in the hands of its master designer, who creates each day full of new possibilities and potential to serve our Lord.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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