Philippians 1:15-21: Small Group Discussion Guide

### Bible Reading

1. Philippians 1:15-21 (ESV)
"Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

2. Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

3. Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

### Observation Questions

1. In Philippians 1:15-16, what are the different motives mentioned for preaching Christ? How does Paul respond to these differing motives?
2. According to Philippians 1:21, what does Paul mean when he says, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"?
3. How does the description of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 contrast with the motives of envy and rivalry mentioned in Philippians 1?

### Interpretation Questions

1. Considering Paul's response to those preaching Christ from envy and rivalry, what can we learn about handling situations where others' motives might be questionable?
2. What does it practically look like to live with the mindset that "to live is Christ" in our everyday lives?
3. How does the fruit of the Spirit influence a believer's response to societal vices like envy, as mentioned in the context of Philippians?

### Application Questions

1. Reflect on a recent situation where you encountered questionable motives in others. How can you apply Paul's example of focusing on Christ being proclaimed to handle similar future situations?
2. Choose one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit to focus on this week. What specific action will you take to cultivate it in your daily interactions?
3. Identify a personal challenge or area of your life where you struggle to live out "to live is Christ." What is one step you can take this week to align this area more closely with Christ's example?
4. Think of a person in your community who often faces criticism or rivalry. How can you support or encourage this person this week in a way that reflects the love and peace of the Spirit?
5. Envy can often distract us from our spiritual goals. Identify one area where envy is affecting your spiritual life and commit to a specific action to combat it this week.

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