Paul’s letter to the Philippians

Introduction

Written by the Apostle Paul, this letter sent greetings and gratitude to the church in Philippi. Paul visited there on his third missionary journey and several people accepted Christ including Lydia and the Philippian jailer.

Paul wrote this letter from prison, but the exact location of his confinement is uncertain. The Philippian churches sent funds to support him, thus his thanks for their faith and their generosity. Scholars have dated the letter to 61 or 62 A.D.

The theme of Philippians is “living the Christian life.” Throughout the letter, Paul takes the opportunity to encourage and direct the believers in correct behavior. Rivalries and quarrels had occurred, and Paul pleaded with them to act in the way Christ would have. Jealousy, personal ambition and quarreling were not acceptable in the body of Christ.

As we read through this short letter together, take time each day to read the passage, look for key words and phrases and journal yourself.

Philippians 1:1 indicates that Paul and Timothy were together. In his opening Paul refers to himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. His readers were called saints in Christ. The word “saint” did not mean sinless, rather Paul considered them “set apart” for Christ through their faith. He also mentioned overseers and deacons. These were the leaders of the churches who were shepherding the flock in Philippi and caring for the needs found in the church.

Paul continues with his usual opening of “grace and peace.” The order of these words is significant. Before we can have true peace, we must accept the grace of God given through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May God’s grace and peace be evident in your walk with the Lord as we study this book together.

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