The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon from February 11, “The Fruit of Christian Hedonism” (Phil 1:21–26). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups, family devotions, or for personal reflection. Link to PDF.
Main Idea: Love is the overflow of joy and satisfaction in God that gladly meets the needs of other people.
I. Paul’s Singular Manifesto (Phil 1:21)
II. Paul’s Personal Dilemma (Phil 1:22–23)
III. Paul’s Christ-Exalting Conclusion (Phil 1:24–26)
- How does Galatians 2:20 help us get a peek into what Paul means by “to live is Christ (Phil 1:21)? (Theologically and Practically)
- In Galatians 2:20 Paul says, “the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” Describe what this “living by faith” really looks like by looking up Heb 11:1, Heb 11:25–26, and Heb 12:1–2.
- What is faith?
- How does faith influence my daily decisions?
- Does faith appear to be an instrument of our intellect or our affections? Explain.
- List as many ways as you can in which “dying is gain” and dying is not
- How does 1 Cor 13:1–4 help us fully grasp his motivations and affections in Phil 1:21?
- So, if Christian hedonism is a passionate pursuit of satisfaction and joy in God; AND death is the doorway into ultimate satisfaction and joy because we will be with Jesus Christ— why does Paul spend three verses (Phil 1:22–24) waffling between life and death?
- Why do you think that Paul explicitly mentions their “progress and joy in the faith” (Phil 1:25), instead of just their progress in the faith?
- Describe a time (event and emotions) when you received help from someone who felt forced to help you or helped you in a self-serving (not sacrificial) way. How did it make you feel?
- Describe a time (event and emotions) when you received help from someone that just wanted to love and serve you? How did it make you feel?
- If “love is the overflow of joy and satisfaction in God that gladly meets the needs of other people” (see also 1 John 1:1–3); AND if “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)?
- What are we really saying when we propagate or participate in gossip, back-biting, and conflict (passive-aggressive / aggressive)?
- How should we respond to gossip, back-biting, and conflict?
- How can we better cultivate this glad-hearted and sacrificial service both individually and corporately?
- What does a “healthy church” really look like?
- In light of the past 4 sermons (Phil 1:12–26), what does a “mature Christian” really look like?
- What do they do?
- What do they say?
- How would you describe their personal demeanor?
- What are their priorities in life?
 John Piper, Desiring God. (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2003), 118.