How to Study Philippians (NASB)
Familiarize yourself with the message of Philippians by marking every reference to the author in one color and to the recipients in another. Look for the verses in chapters 1 and 4 that tell where Paul is as he writes.
To understand the historical setting of Philippians, read Acts 15:35-17:1, which records Paul's first visit to Philippi. After his third missionary journey, Paul went to Jerusalem, where he was arrested. From there Paul was taken by a Roman guard to Caesarea, the Mediterranean seaport where the Roman consult often went to escape the heat and confines of Jerusalem. After remaining a prisoner in Caesarea for over two years, Paul, who as a Roman citizen had appealed to Caesar, was sent to Rome, where he lived under house arrest. Read Acts 28:14-31 and note how long Paul remained a prisoner at Rome. How does this compare with where Paul was when he wrote Philippians?
As you read Philippians chapter by chapter, do the following:
Using the Observations Chart, record your insights about the author and the recipients of Philippians.
In a distinctive way, mark in the text each key word (and its synonyms and pronouns) This will help you discover the themes (main subjects) of each chapter and of the book itself. Watch for other key words that are not listed but are used within each chapter.
Make a list in you notebook of everything you learn from marking your key words.
List each of the instructions Paul gives to the Philippians saints on the chart Paul's Instructions to the Philippians. As you list these instructions, evaluate your life in the light of each one.
On the Structure of Philippians:
Fill in the theme for the book and each chapter.
Under "Segment Division" record what you see to be Paul's example in each chapter. Remember, in Philippians 3:17 Paul tells his readers to follow his example.
In the next column under "Segment Divisions" write down what each chapter says about who or what Jesus Christ is in relation to the believer.
For another segment division, record a command to believers that correlates with the theme of each chapter.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in Philippians
Humility of Christ - Christ came into the world to serve and sacrifice Himself for humankind (2:5-8; Ps 22:6; 69:9; Is 50:6; 53:3, 7;Zech 9:9; Matt 11:29; 13:55; Luke 2:4-7, 51; 9:58; John 5:41; 13:14, 15: Rom 15:3: 2 Cor 8:8; Heb 2:16; 4:15; 5:7).
Submission to Christ - believers should pursue Christlikeness (1:21; 3:7-14; Gen 43:14; Judg 10:15; 1Sam 3:18; 2 Sam 15:26; Job 2:10; Ps 37:7; 46:10; Matt 6:10; Acts 7:59; Heb 12:6; 2Pet 1:14).
Christ's provision for believers - God supplies the needs of His children (4:13, 19; Neh 9:19; Ps 146:7-9; Matt 9:36; John 7:37; 2 Cor 9:12; 12:9, 10; Heb 4:16).