One of the most passionate letters written by the apostle Paul, Philippians is filled with joy and hope. A window to Paul’s own bosom, the book of Philippians is likely to have been written around 62 A.D. while the apostle was imprisoned in Rome.
Named after Phillip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, Phillippi was strategically located on the Egnatian Way, a major road that connected Rome to the Empire’s eastern provinces.
In this epistle Paul begins with a salutation to the saints, overseers and deacons of the Phillippian church.
“1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.” (Philippians 1:1)
Here Paul addresses the members of the Philippians church as well as its “episkopos”, Greek for superintendent, and “diakonos” which translates to deacon, or teacher.
In contrast to other letters in this salutation Paul established himself and Timothy as servants of the Lord rather than an authoritative figure.
“2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:2)
Paul confers the usual apostolic benediction which is also found in his other letters. The apostle then gives thanks for his audience, the Christians and leaders of the Phillippian church.
Paul mentions the Philippians are in his prayers not only because of the relationship between them and Christ but also based on the fact that the Holy Spirit was working within each one as part of God’s perfect plan.
“3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6)
Joy filled in prayer for the Phillippian church even though imprisoned in Rome, Paul is thankful for those involved in spreading the gospel to further the kingdom of God.
Paul compliments the Philippians church as one that shared in suffering and in grace. It is unlikely Paul let his imprisonment keep him from preaching the word of God and sharing the magnificence of Jesus Christ.
He also praises the Philippians for defending the gospel as he indicates it is right for him to do so, possibly forecasting his trial where he would undoubtedly face charges related to his faith in Jesus Christ.
“7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.” (Philippians 1:7)
By “affection” Paul then describes his love for the Philippians as tender yet deep and merciful from the Greek “splagchnon”.
“8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:8)
Paul then prays for the Philippians, that their love, wisdom and knowledge would continue to grow according to the ways of the Lord. The apostle prays that his readers would be equipped with the power of discernment, that which enables someone to see what is hidden, to separate truth from deceit.
“9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Here the fruit of righteousness are the countless rewards that await those who believe and live in Christ as servants of the king of kings.
Through holy living and abiding by the word of God the righteous are promised rewards that stretch beyond heaven. Believers and leaders of God’s church should therefore prepare ourselves according to the word as we await the second coming of the Lord. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre