We will start our 6 week study of Philippians beginning this Wednesday night. As always, we will have a time of fellowship from 6:30-7:00 with our study following afterwards.
Here is a brief description of the Book of Philippians with links for further study.
The joy of the Christian experience is the dominant theme running through the book of Philippians. The words “joy” and “rejoice” are used 16 times in the epistle. The Apostle Paul wrote the letter to express his gratitude and affection for the Philippian church, his strongest supporters in ministry. Scholars agree that Paul drafted the epistle during his two years of house arrest in Rome.
Paul had established the church in Philippi approximately 10 years prior, during his second missionary journey recorded in Acts 16. His tender love for the believers in Philippi is apparent in this most personal of Paul’s writings.
The church had sent gifts to Paul while he was in chains. These gifts were delivered by Epaphroditus, a leader in the Philippian church who ended up assisting Paul with ministry in Rome. At some point while serving with Paul, Epaphroditus became dangerously sick and nearly died. After his recovery, Paul sent Epaphroditus back to Philippi carrying with him the letter to the Philippian church.
Besides expressing thanks to the believers in Philippi for their gifts and support, Paul took the opportunity to encourage the church concerning practical matters such as humility and unity. The apostle warned them about “Judiazers” (Jewish legalists) and gave instructions on how to live a joyous Christian life.
In chapter 1, Paul sees Christ as his life (“For to me to live is Christ,” 1:21). In chapter 2, Christ is the model of true humility (“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” 2:5) Chapter 3 presents Him as the One “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (3:21). In chapter 4, He is the source of Paul’s power over circumstances (“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” 4:13).
In the pages of Philippians, Paul conveys a powerful message about the secret of contentment. Although he had faced severe hardships, poverty, beatings, illness, and even his current imprisonment, in every circumstance Paul had learned to be content. The source of his joyous contentment was rooted in knowing Jesus Christ.
THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS A brief history, overview, and outline of Philippians. Believersweb.org