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 deacons:
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 understanding.
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 salvation.
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 with joy,
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.