Philippians
Chapter 1
Verses 1-11
Philippians 1

Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at
Philippi, with the elders and deacons: 2) Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father,
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3) I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4) always in my every prayer for all of
you making request with joy, 5) for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6) being confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in you will perform
it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7) even as it is good for me to think this of all of you, because
I have you in my heart; since both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the
gospel, you all are partakers of my grace. 8) For God is my witness, how greatly I long after
you all in the bosom of Jesus Christ.

9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all
judgment; 10) that you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and
without offence till the day of Christ; 11) being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which
are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Paul, along with Timothy send this letter to Philippi.  Although Paul is an apostle of Jesus
Christ, he does not use this title when writing this letter.  He places himself on the same level
as the young evangelist.  It is a wonderful lesson in humility and meekness.  It is also a lesson
on the equality that exists among those who were inspired of God, as well as among brethren.  
There was a difference in authority and position, but no difference before God as some want to
make between clergy and laity.  Such a distinction was unknown in the New Testament.

The letter is addressed to the saints in Philippi.  All Christians are saints, or they are not
Christians.  The word means "one who is holy."  It is a reference to the conduct of the disciples,
as well as to their election (being set apart for the service of God).
 [See our discussion of the
Names of the church.]

Along with the saints, the letter is addressed to the elders and deacons of the church.  Every
church should have elders (more than one).  They are also known as pastors, bishops,
overseers, presbyters, shepherds -- depending on the verse and the version being used.
[See
our discussion of the Organization of the church.]

The greeting, or salutation, was for the grace and peace from above to be theirs.  Grace is the
unmerited favor, the gift, God has given to us through the blood sacrifice of His Son on the
cross which grants to us the hope of eternal life in heaven.  The peace that passes all
understanding is the result of the knowledge and acceptance of His loving grace.  Paul will go
on to discuss this further in chapter 4.

God is the heavenly Father of all who have put on Christ.  It is a picture of one who cares for
and cares about his children.

Jesus is both Lord and Christ -- both Master and Messiah.  Christ is Greek for "anointed one,"
as Messiah is Hebrew for "anointed one."

Paul's memories of Philippi, and especially of the brethren there were very pleasant.  With joy,
he remembered them in his prayers asking they would be faithful until Jesus came again.  The
fellowship, the support, which they had provided for Paul, from the beginning of their walk as
Christians until now, brought joy to Paul's heart.  They had shown their love for Paul, and
endeared themselves to him, since they had been with him, whether in bonds or free, both
defending and confirming the gospel.  Because they were partners with him in what he did,
they were also partners with him in the grace he received.

Notice, Paul both defended and extended the gospel: and the saints at Philippi supported him
in both.  It is necessary to defend the gospel, and to support those who do.  It is also necessary
to extend the gospel, and to support those who do.  It is sad to see those who are willing to
defend the gospel, but unwilling to extend it.  As it is equally sad to see those who are willing to
extend the gospel, but unwilling to defend it.  Philippi becomes an example of the support that
should be given to all preachers of the gospel, whether they are extending or defending the
gospel.  It is sad to see the way that preachers have to beg for Christians and churches to
support the spread and defense of the gospel.  

God knew the love that Paul had for the Philippians.  He loved them as brethren in Christ who
had the same love for the gospel and for Christ as he did.

Paul prayed that the Philippians might grow in love: gaining more knowledge and better
judgment to know what they might approve of in all sincerity without stumbling.  Their love was
to be for God, for Christ and for the truth.  Their love would spur them to gain in knowledge.  
Their knowledge of the gospel (of the revealed word of God, as we have it in the New
Testament) would give them the wisdom to know what was right and what was wrong.  This
would allow them, in good conscience, to approve the right things, without making mistakes, or
stumbling.

The same is true for us.  We must love the truth.  We must gain in knowledge, so that we can
make sure that we approve of the correct things, and not stumble.

With the growth in knowledge and wisdom, the brethren at Philippi could be preserved till
Jesus comes again, or the day of judgment.  They would be preserved by the “fruits of
righteousness” that instruction in the gospel would bring.  It would allow them to be fruitful in
the works of God, keeping them in the grace of God.  These good works would be their light,
giving glory to God through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world.  A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid.  
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light
to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
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