Answers for Philippians Chapter 4

About These Answers

Questions and Answers

1. Read verse one. Exactly how are the Philippians to stand and what is the “therefore” there for?

The first verse refers back to the last chapter where Paul tells them in

- verses 18 and 19 about the enemies of the cross

- verses 20 and 21 about their citizenship in heaven and the Lord’s return

The therefore is there because we are not of this world and we should stand firm in the truth of our citizenship and the hope of our salvation

2. Paul describes a situation in verses 2 and 3.

  • What is the problem? - Euodia and Syntyche do not agree with each other
  • What solution is proposed? - Paul wants loyal yokefellow to help them
  • How is the church motivated to solve the problem? - The women are described as having worked with Paul, Clement, and others to further the cause of the gospel, and their names are in the book of life.

3. What does it mean to have one’s name written in the Book of Life? (See Rev 20:11-15 and 21:9-27)?

Revelation 20:15 tells us that if one's name is written in the book of life, he will not be thrown into the lake of fire

Revelation 21:27 explains that only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will enter heaven.

Questions and Answers

Look at the table below. The word “joy” occurs six times in the Book of Philippians and the word “rejoice” eight times. From looking at each occurrence given below, what are three things the Philippians told to do with joy, and what 4 causes are the Philippians given to rejoice or be joyful?

Chap & Vs

Scripture from Book of Philippians

1, 4

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy

1, 18

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice

1, 25

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

1, 26

so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me

2, 2

then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose

2, 17

But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you

2, 18

So you too should be glad and rejoice with me

2, 29

Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him

3, 1

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you

4, 1

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

4, 4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

4, 10

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it

There are 3 things we are to do joyfully:

  • Pray (1:4)
  • Be like-minded, have the same love, be one in spirit and purpose (2:2)
  • Welcome other believers (2:29)

There are 4 causes for rejoicing:

  • Christ is preached (1:18)
  • The faith of others (1:25, 4:1)
  • Christ Jesus (1:26, 3:1, 4:4, 4:10)
  • The sacrifice and service coming from the faith of others (2:17-18)

Questions and Answers

1. Paul exhorts the Philippians to think on seven things in verse eight shown below. What about you? What can you or could you think about? Fill in the table below.

  • True
  • Noble
  • Right
  • Pure
  • Admirable
  • Excellent
  • Praiseworthy
  • The Word of God, the faithfulness of God
  • How I can better serve in Christian ministry
  • How I can be a better witness for Christ 
  • The innocence of children, beauty of God’s creation
  • The service of missionaries 
  • How I can teach the Bible Better
  • New believers who are born again

2. Do you think Paul experienced God’s peace that surpasses all understanding that he speaks about in verse7? Why or why not?

According to Acts Chapter 16, Paul and Silas were singing in jail at midnight in stocks after being severely flogged. To do so Paul had to have the peace that passes all understanding.

3. What peace do Christians enjoy that unbelievers do not?

- Peace between God and man

- Inner peace because they know where they came from, why they are here and where they are going

Questions and Answers

1. What are some things that the Philippians (and we fellow Christians today) should and should not do that will give them the peace of God in the verses below?

  • Verse 4 - Always rejoice in the Lord
  • Verse 5 - Let your gentleness be evident to all
  • Verse 6 - Do not be anxious about anything; and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God
  • Verse 8 - Think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy
  • Verse 9 - Put into practice whatever you have learned or received or heard from Paul, or seen in Paul

2. Paul says in verse 12 that he has learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. What is that secret?

To do the will of God and focus on the spiritual and not the physical matters and therefore not to be concerned with a lack of physical or material needs

Questions and Answers

1. How does not being content with our situation work against us and against our relationship with God?


Paul says he learned to be content in any situation, whether he was in need or had plenty. When we focus on ourselves and take the focus off the spiritual truths and what is important to God we often become discontent and lack contentment.

2. Read the following passages of Scripture:

  • I Cor 4:9-13
  • II Cor 6:3-10
  • II Cor 11:21-28

How did they help Paul learn the secret he mentions in verse 12?


As many have learned when we really get in trouble, the first and sometimes the only thing we can do is to pray to God for relief and resolution.

Paul was in this situation so often he had to be content as he was focused on the will of the Father and His mission. Paul learned to put the circumstances of life, especially difficult ones, in perspective. He was focused on the eternal rewards and reality of the Christian life.

This must be the same thing our missionaries in hostile environments do to balance their hardships with the joy of serving God the Almighty. It most certainly was the example that Jesus Christ offered us and that we should follow. 

Questions and Answers

Put yourself in the Philippian church.  Assume you were involved in the establishment of the church when Paul first arrived some time ago.  

And now, at some later time, this letter sent from Paul in a Roman jail was just read to you (all four chapters) for the first time. How does the letter:


Excite or motivate you?

  •  Chapter 1, verses 12-14 - the gospel is advanced, brothers are more encouraged to speak more courageously and fearlessly
  • Chapter 1, verses 18-19 - the Philippian's prayers and the help of Jesus Christ Paul was delivered from his terrible circumstances
  • Chapter 4, verse 7 - the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard the Philippian's hearts and minds in Christ Jesus

Embarrass you?

  • Chapter 2, verses 29-30 - Epaphroditus almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help the Philippians could not give Paul

Challenge you?

  • Chapter 1, verses 29-30 - Paul states that it has been granted to the Philippians on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since they were going through the same struggle they saw Paul had, and now heard that he still has
  • Chapter 2, verses 2-4 - Paul tells the Philippians to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than themselves and that each of them should look not only for their own interests, but also to the interests of others
  • Chapter 2, verse 14 - Paul tells the Philippians to do everything without complaining or arguing
  • Chapter 4, verse 8 - Paul challenges the Philippians to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy

Make you look forward to the future?

  • Chapter 2, verses 9-11 - Paul explains perhaps the greatest moment in history - Therefore God exalted him (Jesus Christ) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Chapter 2, verses 23-25 - Paul explains that he hoped to send Timothy to them soon and was confident that he himself would also come, and that he would send Epaphroditus back to them
  • Chapter 3, verses 20-21 - Paul explains to the Philippians who we really are, that are our citizenship is in heaven, and that we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body

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