INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
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
Php 3:1 – “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”
Paul now begins the remaining part of his teaching to the church at Philippi…
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.
“Finally” (the remaining portion), my spiritual relatives, find calmness and happiness in the Lord.
What a very important teaching for us all… to be content in Christ alone. In other words, all Christians have a great need to find joy in Christ, no matter what the circumstance or condition in which they may find themselves.
Php 4:11 – “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.”
Teaching the need for Christ-based contentment affects both the teacher and the students.
It affects the teacher, in this case Paul, because it shows he is not being lazy nor is he lacking in his teachings to the people. It proves his love for them, the proactive nature of much of his teaching, and his diligence is caring for the saints of Philippi.
It affects the students who hear this teaching, by giving to them instruction that does not fail to provide for their security. When we learn to be calm and happy in the Lord during great trials of our faith, we find peace in the midst of the storm and joy in the midst of sorrow. We are like a ship that is securely docked to the harbor of Christ as the storm rages. Without this contentment in our lives we are more like ships being tossed to and fro with fear and sorrow ruling the day.
This principle was displayed by Christ as He drew his disciples attention to Himself, and in doing so, gave them peace in the midst of the storm (Matt 14:22-32).
The need to find calmness and happiness in the Lord no matter what our lives may hold for us is one of the great keys to successful Christian service. It opens the doorway to encouragement in the midst of discouraging times, joy in the midst of the sorrows of life, and peace when the storm rages.
May we all keep our eyes upon Christ, and Christ alone, and draw from His presence peace and joy as we enter each new day. May we seek to be consistent servants no matter what the day may hold for us.
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