JesusWalk® Publications

Philippians: Discipleship Lessons
Exposition and Bible Study in 9 lessons

A 138-page book by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson


Book front cover | back cover

Philippians is Paul's epistle of joy and passion.

For an epistle of only 104 verses, four brief chapters, Paul's Letter to the Philippians is amazingly profound. At one level, it is a poignant epistle from a jailed apostle to a beloved supporting church. At another, it contains an exhilarating hymn of Christ's humility and exaltation, and offers a glimpse into Paul's intense passion to know Christ.

From the standpoint of material to develop discipleship, Philippians is rich. Paul:

  • Models how to bear suffering without self-pity,
  • Describes the immediacy of Christ's presence at death,
  • Offers one of the most important Christological passages in the Bible,
  • Urges us to live holy lives to shine like stars in a dark world,
  • Presses us towards the goal of fulfilling God's call in our lives,
  • Teaches us how to rejoice, how to pray, how to find peace, and
  • Explains why we can trust God to meet our every need with abundance.

Philippians is inspiring, warming, challenging, encouraging. It's an upbeat letter, full of joy and rejoicing. But the lessons of faith and discipleship it teaches are not just "feel-goods." They are deep, enduring perspectives on how to face problems, stress, and struggle -- and grow through them, rather than wilting under the pressure. Philippians is powerful stuff!

This volume explores Philippians in nine lessons. Thought-provoking discussion questions make it a useful tool for personal enrichment, small groups, and classes. Extensive footnotes assist teachers and preachers with background research for sermon preparation.

Here's the basic table of contents:

Preface 3
Table of Contents 4
Abbreviations and References 9
Introduction to Philippians 11
1. Approve What Is Excellent (1:1-11) 20
2. Struggles that Advance the Gospel (1:12-30) 30
3. He Emptied Himself (2:1-11) 44
4. God Is at Work in You (2:12-18) 60
5. Christian Character: Timothy and Epaphroditus (2:19-30) 69
6. That I May Know Him (3:1-11) 79
7. Pressing Toward the Goal (3:12-4:1) 92
8. Rejoice in the Lord Always (4:1-9) 104
9. A Partnership in Giving and Receiving (4:10-23) 115
Appendix 1. The Nicene Creed 126
Appendix 2: Participant Handouts for Classes and Groups 127
Appendix 3. Other Philippians Resources 137

"Questions that are really deep help to evaluate our own motives, strengths, weaknesses, etc." -- Aigul Akhmetova, Bible study leader

"Philippians is a great starter study because of the length and content.  Material is easy to follow and allows the reader much food for thought." -- Audrey Gonia

"The questions are a wonderful for Bible study leaders to use for small groups. I intend to use them overseas the hope of sharing some of these studies with locals there." --  Catherine Steveley

"Philippians provides a clear picture of Paul the spiritual warrior, who 'lost all things' so he may know Christ, trust Christ, live Christ, die Christ, and be found in Christ." -- Donald G. Crosson, Methodist Bible study leader

 "Very insightful, with questions that lead to applying the scriptures to my life experiences."
 -- Jaye Reisinger

 "Lessons helped me a lot to learn and prepare to teach for my friends in Christ." -- Joshua Tran

"Our small group appreciated cross-references of Greek words to other parts of the Bible, which helped deepen our understanding of the Bible as a whole. -- Julie De Haan, Bible study leader

"The sense of joy that permeated the letter came through for me during the study. I enjoyed Dr. Wilson's style with the easy-to-follow notes and questions that helped me dig into the material." -- Marvin Youden -- Salvation Army

"My husband and I teach the adult Sunday school class at our church and we have gotten a wonderful response from those attending our class using the Philippians study, a excellent resource." -- Rebecca Coleman, Church of God (Anderson)

"Very informative without being overwhelming. Simple breakdown of the passages. In-depth look at the original meaning in Greek to help get a handle on the message." -- Rosemary Brown, New Zealand, Bible study leader

"Helps the reader to know what it is to live a joyful life totally depending on the Lord for the strength and power that is needed to live a Christian life." --  Shirley Herbert, class teacher, Baptist

"Thoughtfulness and clarity." -- Susan Sabin, Baptist, UK

"Excellent throughout" --  Terry, Bible study leader, Pacific islander

"Brilliant exposition of the Word from one who indeed knows the Word." -- Val  Appanna, South Africa

"While some study books move quickly into our own perceptions, this study spent time in the setting and meaning of the text in order to better inform us in our lives today.  A quality, cost-effective Bible study." -- Lutheran pastor

You can purchase this 138-page book either as an e-book or a printed book.


  Philippians: Discipleship Lessons, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, JesusWalk Bible Study SeriesPaperback format, $12.95, must be ordered through Amazon.com and other online booksellers. You may also ask your local bookstore to order it. The paperback book has 138 pages and is 7.5" x 9.25". ISBN 978-0-9847340-4-7 or 098473404X). Available about February 6, 2012.

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Copyright © 1985-2016, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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