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 Philippians Introduction

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Male Number of posts : 218
Age : 67
Location : Northern Arizona
Registration date : 2009-01-12

PostSubject: Philippians Introduction   Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:37 am

Philippians Introduction:

We will now begin the study of the Epistle to the Philippians which Paul wrote to them. There are several opinions of the time this was written, but most agree it was written somewhere about 60 A.D. Paul was imprisoned by the Romans when he wrote this letter.

The city of Philippi was established by and named after, Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. After Octavian defeated Mark Antony's army at Actium in 31 B.C., Philippi was designated as a military colony with special privileges of citizenship. This may account for the terminology used in 1:27 (politeuesthe, "to conduct oneself as a citizen") and 3:20 (politeuma, "citizenship"). Proud of their citizenship, its inhabitants called themselves "Romans" (Acts 16:21). The official language was Latin, but the daily tongue was Greek. According to Acts 16:12 Philippi was the "chief city of that part of Macedonia." Its importance lay not least in its being a crossroads lying on one of the main routes between Asia and Europe.

We will find many different things about this church at Philippi and the one in Corinth. In fact, the first church meetings here, were held in Lydia's home. Actually, Lydia and her family were the first converts to Christianity here. We will find that Paul had been instructed directly from God to go to this area, because they needed help.
There was no synagogue in this area, and the women were praying out at the river bank where they washed. They were there on the Sabbath, and Paul went there and brought them the good news of the gospel.
It seemed Lydia was very prominent in the work here in Philippi. The first man that was brought into the church here was the Philippian jailor and his family.

This city was said to be a Roman city in Greece. This made this church a Gentile church. There was not the problem with the Jews here, because they were not prominent in worship here. Both Latin and Greek were spoken here. This was a poor church, but one that gave generously to help Paul. This was the only church that Paul would take help from.

In this church we see ministry of the women more prominent than in the other churches. Paul, on one occasion, tells the church people to cooperate with the women that had ministered with him.

The planting of this church on his second missionary journey, was Paul's first act on European soil. The history of his mission there is recorded in Acts 16:12-40. His sojourn was brief but long enough for him to fall victim to abuse and punishment. The power of his ministry was demonstrated in the deliverance of a demon possessed girl, in the conversion of Lydia and her household, and in the salvation of the jailer and his family.

To this small nucleus others were later added: Epaphroditus (2:25-30), Euodias and Syntyche (4:2), Clement, an unnamed friend, and other "fellow laborers" (4:3). Judging from these names the church seems to have been mostly Gentile. The assembly was organized and under the oversight of its leaders, the bishops and deacons of 1:1. The congregation at Philippi quickly became the dearest of all of the apostle's children in the faith. While Paul's relationship with some fellowships (e.g. the Corinthians and the Galatians) was at times strained, his relationship with the Philippians was apparently never marred by misunderstandings or distrust.

"From the first day until now" (1:5) they had shared his interests, made his suffering their own, and participated with him in his ministry. Twice they had sent him money at Thessalonica (4:16), once at Corinth (2 Cor. 11:9), and now again at Rome (4:18). Their love for him (1:9) was reciprocated in full measure (1:7-Cool. In the epistle he addresses them three times as "beloved" and calls them "brethren ... longed for, " and "my joy and crown" (4:1). They are on the whole, in good spiritual health. Their only flaw is an apparent lack of complete harmony among some of their members. Hence, Paul often summons them to unite (1:27; 2:1-4; 4:2-3). And a potential danger lies in their enemies, thus occasioning the caution of 3:1 - 4:1. Despite being under persecution (1:28) and experiencing suffering (1:29-30), they are doing well.

The basic theme of the epistle is joy. This idea of rejoicing is found 16 times, appearing in noun forms (1:4, 25; 2:2, 29; 4:1) and verb forms (1:18, twice; 2:17, twice; 2:18 twice; 2:28; 3:1; 4:4, twice; 4:10). There is ample basis for this theme throughout the letter. There is joy in suffering, for though it God accomplishes good (1:12-14). There is joy in the sacrificial giving of oneself (2:17-18) and of one's goods (4:18) to meet the needs of others and to do God's will, thus following Jesus' example (2:4-11). There is joy in knowing Christ and experiencing His resurrection power (3:8-10). There is joy when harmony prevails among the brethren (2:4; 4:2-5). And there is joy over the adequacy of Christ (4:13, 19), which produces contentment for every circumstance of life.
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