Maybe you’ve already realized that Philippians is filled with what we might call “coffee-cup verses”—passages of Scripture that have so stirred the hearts and minds of believers over the years that we’ve thrown them on coffee cups, T-shirts, and bumper stickers. As a quick survey, we see in Philippians 1 that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (v. 21). In chapter 2 we get the famous proclamation of Jesus’s sacrificial and humble self-emptying, learning that this humility makes Him worthy of all honor and glory but led Him to lay all of that aside to exalt God in service to sinners. In the third chapter, Paul says that he counts all things—even good things—as rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. And finally, in the fourth chapter, we find the epic and well-known declaration, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (v. 13).

Clearly, Paul has a lot to teach us about life—by which I mean he has a lot to teach us about Jesus.

If you read any of Paul’s other letters, you will always find him saying, “Do this, don’t do that, stop this, start doing that, quit going there, now act like this, get right, act right, be right.” He grounds these commands in the finished work of Christ in the gospel, but they’re still there. Paul apparently feels that these other churches have a lot of work to do. But Philippians is different. Paul gives the Philippians some instructions, sure, and he appears to address some issues needing correction, but he does so implicitly. Overall, the letter to the Philippians is colored with favor. It may be, then, that this letter is the best New Testament picture we have of what a maturing church looks like and what maturing people do.

Matt Chandler and Jared C. Wilson, To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2013), 9–11.


We have just released a new Bible Study based on the book: To Live Is Christ (A Study of Philippians), by Matt Chandler

These lessons are available on Amazon, as we as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.

Lessons Include:

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #1
Odd Beginnings
Philippians 1.1 – 5

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #2
The Worthy Life
Philippians 1.6 – 30

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #3
The One God Exalts
Philippians 2.1 – 18

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #4
What the Humble Seek
Philippians 2.19 – 30

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #5
The Passionate Pursuit
Philippians 3.1 – 11

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #6
Owned
Philippians 3.12

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #7
Never Satisfied
Philippians 3.13 – 16

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #8
Centering the Gospel
Philippians 3.17 – 21

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #9
Rejoice
Philippians 3.1; 4.4

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #10
No Worries
Philippians 4.6 – 7

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #11
Christ Is All / I Can Do All Things
Philippians 4.13

To Live Is Christ, Lesson #12
True Contentment
Philippians 4.11

Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.

These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.

Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.