Paul ties a few loose ends in this section of the letter: a summons of reconciliation for Euodia and Syntyche, a call to rejoice and pray, and an exhortation to think on noble things. A little reflection on each of these points will prove to be insightful.
b. Questions for discussion
1. Women are among Paul’s early co-laborers in Philippi as seen in Euodia and Syntyche (even though they are fighting). Also keep in mind that Lydia was the first convert in Macedonia. This fact should not surprise us, since Macedonian woman were known to be strong. It behooves the church to allow woman to labor in the church with their gifts. How can we do this?
2. There is another call to rejoice in 4:4. What is Paul’s basis? Under what circumstances does Paul rejoice and call the Philippians to do so?
3. One thing that the Philippians may have been lacking is peace. If you reexamine their historical context, many things were going awry. They were poor, facing opposition, fighting amongst themselves, and their leader was in prison. How can they gain peace in this context? What does it mean that the peace of God transcends understanding? And why does Paul exhort thanksgiving?
4. In 4:8-9, there is an injunction to think and do. The outcome, Paul says, will be peace. Is Paul saying that thinking on noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy things and doing these things will bring peace? Does this require a step of faith? Finally, how do people usually go about gaining peace and is it any better?Tags: Bible study, christianity, history, Paul, Philippians, Theology