Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Philippians 1:1-2 – “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Following Paul’s greetings to the church at Philippi, He shares with them his personal desires for the church members (saints) and leaders (bishops & deacons). In verse 2, we can see the first of his desires is for them to be given “grace” and “peace” from the Father and Jesus.
As most of us know, the idea of “grace” simply means to “give something that is beneficial to those who do not deserve the benefit”. The idea of “peace” implies harmony, quietness, and rest.
WOW! What a perfect combination to wish upon others…
1. When we have grace from the Lord shown to us this opens the door for us to be recipients of the graces of His salvation…. conviction, repentance, faith, spiritual life, forgiveness, adoption, indwelling of the Spirit, and our future inheritance in with Him in glory (to name just a few).
Once saved, His graces continue to flow towards us in the form of His enabling graces as we seek to serve Him with our lives: the bearing of spiritual fruits; the use of our natural talents; and the exercise of other abilities as we serve Him.
2. These wonderful graces are only made more enjoyable when we have the grace of peace. This would involve the possession of peace and quietness between God and ourselves, knowing we are forgiven of our sins and fulfilling His will for our lives.
Then another aspect of peace in the life of believers would also involve being at peace with other men. It would include being at peace with our spiritual family members, enjoying spiritual unity as we put Christ first in our lives, working towards the same goals of glorifying and honoring Him with our lives. Another aspect of this peace involves the saints being at peace with the lost around them, when possible, in the absence of persecution, hatred, and rejection.
Paul, out of love for the members of the church at Philippi, wrote this epistle to them. To begin his letter, he expresses his desire for grace and peace to be given to his spiritual brethren. In doing so, Paul is giving us a wonderful guideline to follow in our relations with our Lord, members of the family of God, and the lost around us.
Concerning our relationship with the Lord, we are to make certain we are at peace with Him. This can only come through His gracious intervention in our lives which leads us to the ultimate grace of salvation from our sins and eternal peace with Him. The need for this type of self-examination, to be certain that we are in the faith is proclaimed by Peter as well when he tells us …
2Pe 1:10 KJV – “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
Concerning our relationship with other men, we can use Paul desires to help us to understand our need, through the gracious intervention of the Lord, to work for peace and harmony between ourselves and others whenever possible.
1Pe 3:11 KJV – “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”
This would include doing everything in our power to show Christ’s self-sacrificial love to those around us. By aiding others in need, by seeking to share Christ with them with our words, actions, lifestyle, by befriending those who are friendless and loving those who are unlovable, we will be doing all that is in our power to work peace between ourselves and those around us.
May we all seek to learn for the wishes of the Apostle Paul and live them out in our lives as we seek to serve our Lord!
Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?
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