Philippians 1: Life of Purpose

I’m a Christian, and sometimes a teacher/preacher.

This sermon is part of a series (that I’m co-teaching, so I’m picking up in the middle of the first chapter).

Here’s a recap of the first half of the chapter, previously covered by my co-teacher:Happy

  • The Philippians are a source of joy for Paul
  • They (and we) are partners in the gospel
  • Paul’s chains have advanced the gospel
  • Motives vary, but the gospel is pure


To help avoid confusion, here are some common misconceptions about who the Philippians were:


Knowing is half the battle.

  • Philippians: People from Philippi
  • Fill-Uppians: Gas Pumpers
  • Filipinos: Philippine Islanders
  • Phillip II: King of Spain (1500S)
  • Fat Lippians: Inept Boxers
  • Flippians: Acrobats
  • Fallopians: Ovary Tubes

Life of Purpose

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Phil 1:19-20)

  • Status: Chained, Doomed
  • Goals: Courage, Christ Exalted
  • Resources: Your Prayers, God’s Provision, Spirit of Jesus Christ
  • Results: Continued Rejoicing, Paul’s Deliverance, Life or Death

Life = Christ

Paul has two paths ahead of him, and they’re both good.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. (Phil 1:21-24)

See if you can fill in the rest of these song titles about questions and decisions.

Okay, I guess maybe the Baha Men don’t really fit here…

  • The Clash: Should I Stay or ___?
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful: Did You Ever Have to ___?
  • Whitney Houston: How Will I ___?
  • Joan Osborne: What If God ___?
  • The Baha Men: Who Let the ___?

Worthy of the Gospel

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Phil 1:25-27)

  • Life and Death: Gal 2:20, Rom 8:38, 2 Cor 5:8, Col 2:12
  • Worthy: 2 Cor 7:4, Gal 6:4, Eph 4:1, 2 Tim 4:7

One Spirit

Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. (Phil 1:27-30)

Finish these famous quotes about unity.Unity

  • Aesop: United we stand, ___
  • Dumas: One for all, and ___
  • Donne: No man is an ___
  • Franklin: If we do not hang together, ___
  • Lincoln: A house divided against itself ___
  • Jesus: They shall know you are my disciples by ___

Here are some more references about what the Bible says about unity, courage, and perseverance.

  • Unity: Acts 4:32, 1 Cor 1:10, 1 Cor 16:13, Eph 4:3, 1 Peter 3:8
  • Courage: Matt 10:28, Luke 22:32, Heb 13:6, 2 Tim 1:7, Acts 5:29
  • Perseverance: Rev 2:10, Matt 5:11, 1 Thes 2:2, 2 Thes 1:5, 1 Peter 3:17


  • What can we do with “sufficient courage to exalt Christ?”
  • How can we “conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel?”
  • How can we “stand firm in the one Spirit?”


You can download the PowerPoint slides here.

Continued in Philippians 2.