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Philippians

Lesson 3: Who Do You Think You Are?


Lessons in this series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Overview
Lesson Index

Lesson Workbook (PDF) Click here
Activity/Quiz - Lasting Influence Click here


LESSON OBJECTIVES

Goals

1. To realize a sense of identity as a member of the body of Christ
2. To motivate students to forsake themselves according to the example of Jesus
3. To make joy and humility allies rather than enemies, in the students' minds

Topics

Availability, Body of Christ, Feelings, Influence, Joy, Humility, Serving

Scripture Memorization

Philippians 2:12-13

Memory Review
Students should be memorizing on their own. If they struggle with last weeks verse(s), go back with them and help them at least get the short one down. Use this time to review what they have memorized thus far, and to encourage everyone to take the time to memorize this week’s verse(s).


OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)


GROUP BUILDING (10 minutes)

Lasting Influence (Activity/Quiz) Click here
(These quizes can also be found in the Lesson Workbook.)

 Quiz 1

1. Name the last 3 World Series champions.

2. Name the 3 wealthiest people in the world.

3. Name 3 people who have won the Pulitzer
   or Nobel Peace prize.

4. Name the last 3 Miss America pageant
    winners.

5. Name the last 3 movies that won an Oscar
    for best picture.

 

Quiz 2

1. Name 3 people who have helped you
    through a tough time.

2. Name 3 people who have inspired you 
    with their lives.

3. Name 3 people who have made you feel 
    special.

4. Name 3 people who taught you something
    worthwhile.

5. Name 3 people with whom you can share 
    your secrets.


GETTING STARTED (5 minutes)

(Use the questions below to get students thinking about their future and goals in life. Help them to understand how being obedient to Christ will chart a particular course that will define who they are.)

1. What do you want to do once you graduate high school?
2. What is your greatest life goal? 
3. Picture your life in 20 years. What would you like it to look like?
      •  Career 
      •  Family
      •  Social status
      •  Spiritual Maturity


DIGGING IN (30 minutes)

Today, we are going to talk about something that is hard to talk about. We’re going to try and figure out who exactly it is that we are. In chapter 2 of Philippians, that we will be studying today, Paul encourages us to be like Jesus. He points out that Jesus, like some of the people you named earlier, was outstanding because he took time to care. In humility, he showed obedience to God for our sakes

Read Philippians 2:1-11

Discussion Questions
1. What is the most humbling thing Jesus did that is mentioned in verses 5-11? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
2. Do you think it was difficult for Jesus to do those things? (The cross was not easy for Jesus, neither was coming to earth in the first place. It was not his nature. Jesus possessed humility as a man that dwarfs any other act of humility. Humility is not an easy thing to possess.)
3. When Jesus demonstrated humility, what happened as a result? (God exalted Him.)
4. Why do you think Paul brings up Jesus here? Does it seem like an interruption to his train of thought? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
5. How do you make sense out of verses 1-4 and verses 5-11? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)

Read Philippians 2:12-18
What’s the therefore there for? The “therefore” in verse 12 is there for a reason. Paul is using Christ’s behavior as an example of our behavior. It’s a transitional phrase, or connecting word, used often by Paul as he builds a case for a particular theological idea. So, we need to remember Jesus as we discuss these verses.

Lesson in Greek

The verb for “work out” in Greek is a middle verb. This means that it is not active, like “I hit the ball,” or passive, “the ball hit me in the face.” It’s somewhere in between, something done by someone/something to someone/something.

With a vague understanding of a middle verb, can you reconcile the two verses together any easier? Who is working?


Discussion Questions       
1. What does it mean to "work out your salvation"? (The answer is outlined by Paul in the text: don't complain, be blameless and pure, shine your faith, sacrifice yourselves for the Kingdom's work, etc.)
2. Why do you think verse 12 asks us to work out our salvation when verse 13 states that God works in us? (Humility is our action and God’s reaction. He can’t work out much if we aren’t working, too. But our work is the act of letting God do His thing and giving Him complete control of our lives.)
3. Why do you think Paul uses the words “fear and trembling” to describe this whole process? (Humility is hard. It means giving up what you want or desire for what someone else wants or desires. Verse 13 plainly points out that it is God’s Will and purposes that we should seek. That’s no easy task. Is it any wonder Paul’s next verse warns us not to complain?)
4. What is the ultimate goal in verses 14 through 18? What does Paul want us to become? (Right living that inspires others--"shining like stars.")
5. Verse 18 seems to indicate that despite the sacrifice of humility and servitude, joy is the result. How can humility result in joy? (Meant to stimulate discussion.)
6. What do you know about drink offerings? What is Paul getting at? (Drink offerings were when something was poured out on the altar as a sacrifice to God. Paul means that we should pour ourselves out to God.)
7. How is Paul’s idea here like the pouring out of Jesus’ life described in verses 5-11? (It is a humbling, sacrificial thing. It will not be easy, but it will result in our being exalted by the Father in the end.)


   

Workbook Activity (10 minutes)

Most Embarrassing Moments (Activity)

Start by sharing an embarrassing story that happened to you. Everyone has at least one. If not, you can use the story below.

"The summer after third grade, I played summer league baseball. Back then, everybody had to rotate positions to make it fair, so although I was a (fairly) decent ball player, I found myself in the outfield. It was there, in left field that one of the most humiliating things ever happened to me.

"It was a long inning. Before the inning had even begun, I had to go to the bathroom. But I wasn’t up to bat any time soon, and I didn’t want to have to sit out the inning, so I decided to tough out the inning and then go afterwards. The problem came as the inning continued to drag on. We weren’t too good that year, and the other team just continued to hit. I know they batted around at least once, and the inning took every bit of a half an hour. All along, there I stood, out in left field, about to wet myself.

"I held it in as long as I could. But the inning kept going. Mercifully, no balls were hit to me, but as I stood out there in left field, I realized I had no options. I couldn’t call timeout. I couldn’t turn around and just do my business. But one other things became certain—I could not wait. I wiggled, I swayed, I crossed my legs. And then, right in my pants, standing there in left field, the other team scoring run after run after run, I went number one all down my legs."
by Titus Benton


Then have the class break up into groups of 4 or 5, and have them discuss the following questions with the other group members.

• What’s the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to you?
• When that humiliating thing happened, how did you feel?
• Was joy anywhere near you when that happened?
• How then can joy and humility co-exist?
• Does James 4:10 offer any comfort? Explain.


Humility always precedes glorification. While a humble act does not often evoke joy in our lives, glorification certainly does. However, joy should not come from our glory, but from God’s. You are a part of the body of Christ. As a part of His great family, your identity is decided. You are not meant to live for yourself, but for the glory of God. In humility, He will be glorified and in that, we can find joy.


MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)

It’s time to make this real to us. To close this lesson, I urge you to make a commitment as a group to do something that demonstrates humility. It’s great to talk about it, but I believe that God calls us to humble ourselves and allow Him to do His thing. I want us to do something together that is humbling to us, but reveals God’s glory. That means we don’t take credit. That means that we don’t seek honor. That means that we lower ourselves, become actively passive, and let God work out His Will and Purpose. What could we do?

Below is a list of ideas. Let’s pick one as a group and commit to doing it in the next month. (If you have a very large group of students, you may want to divide up and have each smaller group pick an act of service to perform.)

List of humble acts
• Pick up trash along the road
• Go to a children’s hospital and visit patients that you don’t know. Take them a small gift.
• Offer to help the janitorial staff at church with their weekly duties.
• Go as a group to feed homeless people or in a soup kitchen.
• Go to a nursing home and visit the residents
• Think of your own unique idea and get busy


CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)

Pray with your students to adopt a spirit of humility and that each of them allows God to work through their lives.

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