Book of Philippians

From Journey the Word

Paul addresses this letter to the church at Philippi, that is the Philippian people, with help from Timothy around 62-63 A.D. This was a letter of thanks for their gift that was brought to him by Epaphroditus, as well as updating the people on his present circumstances. It was also a letter of encouragement for the believers to continue for the Lord in unity and peace, communing with one another. Paul showed his appreciation for the congregation.

This letter begins with a deep thankfulness to the church followed by an update on the circumstances that Paul stated" He had thought the gospel was not being furthered as well, because of imprisonment, but he found that he should not be ashamed, nonetheless. Christ was going to be magnified no matter what, and that he gets the glory - whether life or death. Paul states in 1:21, 'To live is Christ, and to die is gain." Paul had said at one time that if he lives, he can continue to spread the gospel. If he dies, he'll still have victory, because of spending time with God in eternity.

Next, he talks about the humility that believers should obtain, and to look to Christ's humility as an example. God exalted Christ, because of Christ's humbling death on the cross and then resurrection, to be the name above every name. Then, the believers are instructed to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling - the fear and trembling being born of a reverence and awe of God. Then, Paul instructs them that he is sending Timothy, which he was comfortable to do, so that he will care for them. Timothy was considered like-minded to Paul. Paul had hoped to come unto them also (But could not because of being imprisoned). He also sends Epaphroditus to them so he can care for them.

Now, in chapter 3, Paul addresses a few things common to fleshly desires. He first warns about "dogs...evildoers" - which were probably false apostles, prophets, or teachers aimed at gaining fortune out of false teachings and prophecies. Then, Paul speaks of counting all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. He claims to seek righteousness by faith, instead of by law.

Next, he warns again about false teachers, which Paul frequently has done in his writings. False teachers, Paul warns, are enemies of the cross of Christ Jesus. After dealing with false teachers, Paul instructs the believers to rejoice in the Lord at all times, as well as to pray and give thanks for all things. Soon, Paul talks about what it means to be content in whatsoever state he is in. He states a declaration, "l can do all things through Christ which strengthened me' (4:13). He begins to say farewell before telling them that God shall supply all of their need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Paul ends the letter with his normal farewell.

It is interesting that Paul mentions he was very thankful for the church. Normally, Paul has many warnings for churches; however, the church at Philippi seemed like a disciplined church that loved Paul's teachings. It is also interesting that Paul mentions what it means to him to be content in all things. This could apply to people's lives in contemporary times, because economic conditions are struggling and people will have fluctuating circumstances that they need to rise above. The only way to truly arise beyond your circumstances is to become content with where God has you right now. Through this, Jesus will perfect His work in you and establish love in your heart.