Bible Materials

0 - Introduction to Philippians

by Sarah Barry   03/09/2009  

Philippi was a Roman colony and a leading city in Macedonia. A main highway to Rome passed through the center of town. There were few Jews there, and no synagogue. Acts 16:11-40 describes how Paul pioneered the church in Philippi. He preached to some women by the riverside, and Lydia was converted. This event marked the entrance of the gospel into Europe. It changed the course of world history. The Philippian Christians were active in their support of Paul, and this letter is a missionary letter, thanking them for their support, and reporting on his work. At the time of writing, Paul was under house arrest in Rome. Even though he writes from prison, he is full of joy and thanksgiving. This letter has been called the "Epistle of Joy." Let's learn Paul's secret of joy in all circumstances.

Outline of the Contents

1:1-11 -- Greetings, thanksgiving, and prayer

1:12-30 -- Paul's chains advance the gospel

2:1-18 -- Have the same attitude as Jesus

2:19-30 -- Timothy and Epaphroditus

3:1-4:1 -- The greatness of knowing Jesus

4:2-9 -- Exhortation to rejoice and pray

4:10-23 -- Thanksgiving for gifts and final greetings

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