The Apostle’s Affection
7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Deep Sheet: Sermon Study Questions
1. Why is it significant that Paul’s affection toward the Philippians is the result of a resolved mindset? And why is this necessary to produce real, biblical fellowship?
2. What language does Paul use to express the depth of his affection and how does this illustrate his “gushing Christology?”
3. In what ways do you have this level of affection for other Christians? As you reflect, is Paul’s affection for the Philippians convicting? How?
4. How does Paul and the Philippians’ relationship put them engaged in the gospel together? For us, what is the effect of gospel engagement on our relationships?
5. In his prayer, why does Paul link knowledge and discernment with love? What happens when love is not rightly tethered in this way?
6. How does the close of Paul’s prayer illustrate that both our horizontal (to one another) and vertical (to God) relationships are ultimately for God’s glory?
References: Phil. 2:12-13; 2:5; 3:19; 4:2; 4:10; Acts 1:18; Phil. 1:29-30; Rom. 10:2.