The Book of Philippians

Introduction

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

The church at Philippi was established on Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:6-40). The city was not on Paul’s original itinerary, but God made sure the apostle ended up there. The Holy Spirit prevented Paul from going to Asia and Bithynia (16:6-7), and then the vision of the Macedonian man redirected him toward Philippi (16:9-12).

Most scholars agree that Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians while he was a prisoner in Rome, several years after he had established the church (Philippians 1:7,13-24, 17). It is part of a group of letters called The Prison Epistles. Primarily, he wrote the letter to thank the Philippians for a monetary gift they had sent with Epaphroditus (4:18). But the letter is much more than a thank-you note. Paul used the letter to encourage and edify the Philippians in many ways.

In spite of Paul’s circumstances, this letter is full of joy. Confidence in God’s purpose, a commitment to God’s plan, and the certainty of God’s provision both on earth and in heaven enabled Paul to “rejoice in the Lord always” (4:4). He wanted to share that recipe for joy with his dear friends in Philippi.

We hope that our study of Philippians will help you focus on your blessings and maintain the joy of your salvation regardless of your circumstances too.

 

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