- Philippians 1:1-5
- The Apostle Paul is the author of the book of
Philippians. As in my other commentaries, whenever I say “Paul says” or a
statement like that, it I am not reducing the divine origin of Scripture, it
is only for the sake of brevity I use those phrases. The Scriptures were
given by inspiration of God in the original writings and preserved by God
for subsequent generations. What we have in the King James Bible is the
preserved Word of God.
- The church at Philippi was founded at the beginning
of the second missionary journey of Paul. He was accompanied by Silas and
Timothy later joined them in Lystra. It is estimated that they came to
Philippi in the year of 49/50 A.D. The church at Philippi was not a rich
church yet they had grasped the true meaning of giving. The city of Philippi
was originally called “Krenides” and was conquered in 360 B.C. by Philip II
of Macedonia when he renamed it “Philippi.” It was made part of the Roman
Empire in 167 B.C. The Epistle to the Philippians was written by Paul from a
Roman Jail cell. The overriding theme of Philippians is Joy. His
imprisonment had given many of the believers great confidence. The Epistle
to the Philippians contains much personal warmth and love between Paul and
the church. The date of the Epistle is between 60-62 A.D. The word “Epistle”
in the Greek carries the meaning of “letter or written message.”
- Phil 1:1 (KJB)
- Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the
saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and
- Servants - Slaves or Bondmen
- Bishops - Overseers or one who superintends
- Deacons - Servant or attendant
- Paul begins his epistle by first declaring that he and Timothy are also
servants of Jesus Christ. He never placed himself above any of those
Christians he wrote to because he knew the meaning of true humility. He also
makes no distinctions between the congregants and the church leaders. The
terms Bishops and Deacons are in the plural so it is possible that there may
have been several congregations in Philippi. The Bishops were the chief
elders of the congregation, that is why they are considered overseers.
- Phil 1:2 (KJB)
- Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from
the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Grace is the bestowing of something completely undeserved such as
salvation and stemming from that grace is the peace that passes all
- Peace in the middle of turmoil.
- Peace in the middle of tragedy.
- The word peace comes from the Greek word “Eirene” which means a
cessation of hostilities. There was a theological discipline called “Irenic
Theology” which attempted to bring harmony among Christianity and thus do
away with all the factions. This theological thought was the forerunner of
today’s ecumenical movement.
- Our Father - One cannot have the Father unless they have the Son - 1
John 2:23; 1 John 5:12 - Notice the term "our Father." This term is speaking
of the limited Fatherhood of all the believers He has chosen for salvation
and is not speaking of the universal fatherhood of God in either creation or
- Phil 1:3 (KJB)
- I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
- Remembrance - Recollection or mention
- Paul always had a joy in praying for all those he had the privilege to
minister to. Here he thanks God for their testimony every time they are
mentioned or come to mind. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had such a good
testimony that those who thought about us would be thanking God for us?
Knowing your own testimony, how do you think others view you?
- Phil 1:4 (KJB)
- Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request
- Prayer and Request (same word in Greek) - Supplication or petition
- Paul had much joy praying for his fellow Christians. Joy is a fruit of
the Spirit given to believers on the day of salvation.
Gal 5:22 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Joy is not something which changes because it is a
permanent gift in Christ. What changes like the wind is “happiness” because
one moment we could be happy and the next we could be sad. In Christianity,
even in sadness we can have a joy under girding us. It is joy that propels
us to go on in our Christian walk, even in the midst of hardship. Many of
the martyrs went to their deaths singing and that was out of the joy of God
given to them.
- Phil 1:5 (KJB)
- For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
- Fellowship - Communion, partnership, or association
- Paul had thanked God that the Philippians were very continual in their
ministry to him. It would have been around ten years between Paul’s first
visit and the present time. They just didn’t send him a donation and then
forget about him. They had continually ministered to Paul for the entire
time and he thanks God for their faithfulness in partnering with Paul in
ministry. (1 John 1:3 KJV) That which we
have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship
with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his
Son Jesus Christ. This happens when we have true
fellowship which comes through true salvation. True fellowship causes us to
look beyond ourselves and at the ministry of others as the Philippians did.
If more Christians would support missions without interruption, they could
get much more accomplished without having to come off the field and raise
funds. At present, we need a stronger commitment to missions and we must be
like the Philippians who saw Paul’s cause and supported him continually.