lesson
1

Bible Class
Discussion Guide
by Edward Thomason

SERVANTS AND SAINTS            Philippians 1:1-2

warm up
 
What comes to mind when you hear the word: SERVANT?
[  ] a slave forced into subjection
[  ] a waiter, a maid or butler - an indentured servant
[  ] a person of humility, unselfish, who willingly makes  sacrifices
[  ] a person who puts others ahead of self
[  ] other 
What comes to mind when you hear the word: SAINT?
[  ] stained glass windows and cathedrals
[  ] dead Christians
[  ] someone of a higher moral righteousness than most
[  ] a martyr
[  ] someone who is set apart to a new life in Christ
[  ] other
wise up
I. Are you a servant of Christ?

   1. Why do you think that Paul did not stress his apostleship when he wrote to the Philippians? 

   2. Why do you think that Paul chose to refer to himself as a servant? What attitude was Paul trying to model before the congregation? 

   3. Look ahead to Philippians 2:3-8 and note that Jesus also had a servant's heart.  There are at least three qualities of a servant listed in this text. They are: (Vs. 3) humility, (Vs. 4) unselfishness, (Vs. 8) humble obedience. Discuss why these are important qualities for a servant.

   4. What quality of a servant did Paul say that Timothy "naturally" possessed. (See Philippians 2:19-22.) Can a servant's heart become natural for each of us? 

   5. Later in Philippians 2:25-30, Paul mentioned the service of Ephaproditus. Note how sacrificial he was in verse 30.  Do you agree that all Christians should have a servant's heart? Of all the attitudes and actions mentioned in the above passages, which do you think is the most difficult. What are some other attitudes that a servant should possess? 

 

 

II. Are you a saint in Christ?

   1. Which seems easier to you: (a) To be a servant? (b) To be a saint? Why? Many people have a misunderstanding of the word "saint." Were the saints to whom Paul wrote living or dead?  Were they perfect? Can one then be living and not perfect yet be a saint? They can because the term "saint" actually means: "set apart."  Set apart from the world for service to God.

   2. Is everyone who is a Christian also a saint in Christ? Does the life and conduct of all Christians consistently reflect the descriptive term "saint" (one set apart for God)? Why or why not? What can we do to prevent inconsistency?

III. Does your heart desire grace and peace for others?

   1. In verse 2, Paul mentions the two words: "Grace and peace." Do you think verse two is just a polite greeting from Paul or was he expressing a blessing he wished for them? Who is the source of grace and peace? Should we wish and desire grace and peace in the lives of others? 

   2. Discuss how God's grace and peace can make a difference in our homes, and other relationships. If it can make a difference, shouldn't we petition God in prayer for these things often? Some have noted that God's hand (his grace) comes before peace. Discuss why this is true in our lives today? 

   3. Does our grace toward others at home, work, church, etc., come before peace? If we want peace in our world, shouldn't we be gracious toward others? Discuss ways of doing this as servants. If we want lasting peace in our world, shouldn't we share God's grace? Discuss ways of doing this as saints.

wrap up
1. How do we go about living up to the term servant and saint in our everyday lives? Do our fellow Christians today think of us as servants and saints? If not, what can we do to change this? What can we do to serve with saintliness?

2. Perhaps something as simple as our desire for others to know God's grace and peace is a reflection of the kind of saintly servant's heart we possess. For whom will you seek and petition God's blessings of grace and peace this week?

Assignment

  Please read Philippians 1:3-8 for next week   copyright 2001