I love this book but to be honest that was a lot for one read. I think Philippians is one of those books that should be studied, not read. Lots of old Testament References. This is the first time the word Joy is used and it is used in 4 contexts.
- Chapter 1 Joy of Living (even if suffering)
- Chapter 2 Joy of Serving
- Chapter 3 Joy of Fellowship
- Chapter 4 Joy of Reward
Some of my favorite verses are in this book. I won’t bore you with any of them. But to know that Paul has been stoned (by rocks, not like in the 60′s), beat, left for dead at the gates, mocked, plotted against, shipwrecked, and put in prison and says basically I would rather be in Heaven with Jesus but WHILE I am here on earth I will continue to run the race and live for Christ.
There is not a scripture I would not love to discuss so if you have one throw it in comments! (I don’t care if you read this 6 weeks behind schedule) Paul is a deep writer and sometimes it is hard to also figure out what exaclty he might be saying sometimes. So throw those out too.
(By the way, was that not the BEST opening to a book!!)
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (I think of all my new friends from this blog)
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippi was a Roman Colony, once called Krenides but the name was changed by Philip, the King of Macedonia (Alexander the Great’s Father). The town was occupied by Italian settlers following Octavian’s great battles (first against Brutus and Cassius, then against his former ally Antony). Philippi was a very wealthy town and very modern in the sense that woman held high status in the community (Penny just said amen!)
Philippi was the first Church established in Europe by Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke. Philippi being a Medical center of the world, Luke stayed behind (it may have been his hometown, but he was also a physician). Luke was the author of the book of Luke as well as Acts. He was the Pastor of the church in Philippi for about 6 years.
Paul never charged money for his mission work, instead he made his money in his trade (tent making) however he did occasionally take gifts or offerings. The messenger, Epaphroditus, arrived with a gift of money and almost lost his life doing it. Paul was deeply touched and Paul wanted to send a letter back (when Epaphroditus recovered) that no more gifts were necessary.
Paul writes a beautiful letter about Joy. The letter is to ALL believers called ’saints’. Paul writes this letter in chains and scholars say under heavy bad treatment in Prison. Paul would rather be in Heaven with the Lord but while he is here on earth he will live for Christ.