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Philippians Overview PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Kibble   
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:26

Philippi was a Roman colony in Greek Macedonia which had been populated with military veterans by the Emperor Octavian. As described in Acts 16, the apostle Paul had founded a church there probably around 12 years before writing this letter. At the time of writing, he was likely under house arrest in Rome (as described in Acts 28).


Paul's letter to the Philippians is warm, encouraging and affectionate. We see no evidence of the problems undermining churches such as those in Corinth or Galatia. He wants to encourage his friends in Philippi to 'live out their lives as citizens of a heavenly colony' just as they were living as citizens of an earthly colony.


He expresses his appreciation of their great times together in their 'partnership in the gospel' and of their financial support. He reminds them of God's faithful work in their lives to conform them to the image of his Son and that, whatever their earthly circumstances, their real home is in heaven. He exhorts them to be united 'in one spirit'  for the sake of the gospel and to finish well. He particularly exhorts them to rejoice.


And why in particular should they rejoice? Because the most important thing that Paul and his audience have in common is their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Various forms of the name of Christ occur 51 times in the 104 verses of Philippians. Paul's relationship with Jesus is the reason that he's in prison, and Paul sees the advantages both of living and dying. If he lives, he can labour fruitfully for the gospel, particularly in helping them grow as Christians. If he dies, he can be with Jesus, his Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ is Paul's motivation, his example, his security and his certain hope. He is central to all that Paul thinks or does.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 August 2018 07:11