Philippians 1:1-26 (NIV)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons[a]:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 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.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
New International Version (NIV)
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[a] striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to youon behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
Philippians is a short of four chapters. This Church was established about 10 years earlier during Paul’s second missionary journey and had been supportive of his work. (Acts 16:1-40) The city of Philippi, is located in north eastern Greece (Macedonia).
The city was already ancient by the time Paul arrived there around 49 CE (Acts 16:11-40). In fact, its beginnings go back to the fourth century BCE when it was occupied by the Thracians. In 356 BCE, however, Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, took over the city and named it after himself. He eventually established it as a military stronghold in order to protect the lands he had already acquired and the nearby gold mines which yielded him yearly a thousand talents. It was also important as a land route across Asia.
In 168 BC Philippi became part of the Roman empire when the latter defeated the Persians at the battle of Pydna and Macedonia was divided into four districts, Philippi belonging to the first.
Paul’s immediate reason to write to the Church at Philippi was to thank them for the gift they had sent him.
• Stand united in Christ Phil. 1:27-2:2
• Imitate Christ Phil. 2:3-11
• Be examples of Peace Phil. 2:14-18
• Resolves differences in love Phil. 4:2-3
• Rejoice in the Lord always Phil. 4:4-7
He reminds them to imitate Christ and serve others. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we should focus on Christ then we will learn unity, joy, harmony, peace.
This letter stands out as one of the most personal that Paul wrote. It is joyful in nature and doesn’t harshly rebuke the congregation. Paul shows his immense gratitude to the church by thanking them for their generous gifts. Our secret to joy is to follow and live Jesus’ example and to serve others around us.
In writing his letter from a place of exceptional suffering, Paul actually reflects that cultural background… with one crucial difference: he offers joy from that place. (Reference From: http://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/08/letters-to-the-church-philippians/ )