"Bishop Lightfoot observes: “The Epistle to the Philippians is not only the noblest reflection of Paul's personal character and spiritual illumination, his large sympathies, his womanly tenderness, his delicate courtesy, his frank independence, his entire devotion to the Master's service - but as a monument of the power of the Gospel it yields in importance to none of the apostolic writings.... To all ages of the Church - to our own especially - this epistle reads a great lesson. While we are expending our strength on theological definitions or ecclesiastical rules, it recalls us from these distractions to the very heart and center of the Gospel - the life of Christ and the life in Christ. Here is the meeting-point of all our differences, the healing of all our feuds, the true life alike of individuals and sects and churches; here doctrine and practice are wedded together; for here is the 'creed of creeds' involved in and arising out of the 'work of works.'” Vincent’s Word Studies commentary
Written by Paul from Rome when he was in prison. Approx 62AD
Philipi was the place with the jail and the praise service earthquake which set Paul and Silas free. Acts 16
- Paul and Timothy - I love this. Timothy has risen through the ranks and now stands shoulder to shoulder with Paul - this is what mentoring is supposed to look like.
- Servants of Christ - they are that. Timothy was not an apostle.
- To all the saints at Philipi - the Capitol city of Macedonia - Paul always worked from influence outward to change a region.
- “The church in Philippi was founded by Paul some eleven years before this letter, on his second missionary journey (Act 16:11-40). This was the first church established on the continent of Europe.”Guzik
- To the overseers and deacons - he honors the structure of the church which must have been well established.
- Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
- This greeting is so common. So regular
- Grace - a word including all those blessings that are applicable to Christians in common; denoting an ardent wish that all the mercies and favors of God for time and eternity, blended under the general name grace, may be conferred on them.
- Peace - the state of freedom from war. As war conveys the idea of discord and numberless calamities and dangers, so peace is the opposite, and conveys the idea of concord, safety, and prosperity. Thus, to wish one peace was the same as to wish him all safety and prosperity
- I thank my God in every remembrance of you
- wouldn’t it be nice if i felt that way about everybody I have ministered to!
- This is the one church that Paul does not rebuke in scripture.
- 4always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,
- again his affection for the people of this church is obvious
- prayer with joy - Paul often refers to praying for the churches that he planted. Father teach me to pray for them as Paul did.
- 5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
- “participation” is "koinonia" or fellowship
- The Gospel creates community
- the community the Gospel created at Phillipi made Paul joyful. He loved the work of God among the people of this city
- From the first until now - it began but it is not yet completed - see following verse
- 6[For I am] confident of this very thing, that He who began a goodwork in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
- confident - fully and firmly persuaded or convinced - “the language of a man who has not doubt on the subject” Barnes
- this church that Paul did not rebuke - Christ had not finished His work in them - He was working, and he will be faithful to complete it
- God BEGAN the work in us - he is the originator and he is the worker.
- God is working in us. He has not stopped working and he will continue until it reaches its end.
- There is an end. "The Image of the Son of God” That’s the end!
- “There shall be nothing lacking on God’s part to support you; and to make you wise, holy and happy; and bring you at last to his kingdom and glory” Clarke