Philippians – Epistle of Paul



photo by Hari Ratan

Philippians, also known as the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, is the 11th book of the New Testament. Philippi was a city located in eastern Macedonia and was an important Grecian center of Christianity during the early Christian period. Paul visited the city of Philippi the first time during his 2nd missionary journey that lasted from 49 AD to 51 AD. His visit marked the first congregation held in Europe.

It is quite clear that Paul wrote this letter while he was in prison. Although there have been some speculation as to where he was imprisoned, i.e. in Ephesus or in Caesarea, most scholars agree that it was composed during Paul’s stay in Rome during 61 AD. Paul was in house arrest at this time, and for two years he was not allowed outside his own rented place but could preach gospel to anyone who visited him.

The main reason of writing the text of Epistle of Paul to the Philippians was to show his gratitude to the Philippians for their gifts that they had sent to him on learning about his arrest in Rome. While bound in chains Paul received gifts from the church at Philippi. They were delivered by Epaphroditus who later on became an assistant of Paul. At one point, Epaphroditus grew very sick and almost died.  When his health improved, Paul sent him with his letter back to Philippi to deliver to the Philippian church. However, Paul not only rests by sending his thanks; he also uses this opportunity to fulfill many of his other goals. He reported on the circumstances he was living in at the current moment. Paul also encouraged the Philippians to be strong in face of opposition and rejoice in spite of adverse circumstances. He asked them to develop humility and unity and commend Epaphroditus and Timothy to Philippian church. Finally, he also warned the Philippians against antinomians or libertines and Judaizers or legalists among them.

The Epistle to the Philippians is a small book consisting of only four chapters. In the first chapter, Paul speaks of his sufferings and says that it was through his imprisonment that the Kingdom of God was increased. He consciously believed that his predicament is for the greater good of the gospels. The Christians are supposed to dedicate their lives to the service for Christ Jesus. In return of living a life like this, a Christian should only expect suffering. The two things that are granted by the God to a believer is a firm belief in Him and suffering. Suffering is considered essential in order to understand the plight of what Christ went through himself.

Paul says that whoever believes in Christ becomes united with Christ’s mind. In a theological discourse about humanity of Jesus, Paul explains that Jesus came down from the glorified realms of heaven to become an ordinary man so that He can rescue and redeem mankind, thus restoring man’s relationship with God. In chapter 3, Paul further illustrates the joys of being a Christian and commends the church to propagate the teachings of the Gospels. He further said that he has lost everything to gain Christ and in front of Him all else is mere rubbish. Paul also states the necessity for a believer to be grounded in prayers and thanksgiving, and to firmly believe that God will take care of all of man’s needs.  Receive bible quotes from the epistle of Philippians.

Philippians – Epistle of Paul Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4