Summary: A books survey message of Philippians

A Joyful Reminder

Philippians Survey

October 18, 1998

Morning Service


I. Dr. Victor Frankl

A. Imprisoned by the Nazis because he was a Jew: The nazi killed his wife, his children and his parents, Nazis stripped him of his clothes and cut off his wedding band

B. Frankl’s Response: “You can take away my wife. You can take away my children. You can strip me of my clothes and my freedom but there is one thing that no person can ever take away from me - and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!”

II. Another wronged prisoner

A. Paul and his work: In the midst of social and religious problems the early church grew rapidly, it spread across most of the know world because of the efforts of Paul the apostle, he had planted and founded many churches at least six, among these churches was Philippi

B. Paul and his prison stay: Paul was kept from his ministry to these churches because he was arrested and charged by the Jews, he had appealed to Ceasar on the charges and was now serving a house arrest in Rome awaiting the final decision of Ceasar, It was during this time that he wrote his letter to the Philippian church

Read Philippians 1:1-2


I. Author

A. The main writer is Paul

1. Paul the apostle: Founder of the Philippian church - Acts 16

2. Paul is presently in prison - Phil. 1:12-14

a. Paul is under house arrest in Rome

b. Paul is serving his first imprisonment in Rome - Acts 28:30

B. The secondary writer is Timothy

1. Timothy does no actual writing but is with Paul at the time the letter was written.

2. Timothy was a traveling companion of Paul during the Philippian church foundation - The people know Timothy well and it is proper for Paul to mention him here in the salutaion.

3. Timothy will be traveling to Philippi in the near future to continue paul’s work there during his under house arrest

II. The Recipients of the Letter

A. The saints in Philippi

1. Paul is writing to the leaders of the Philippian church - They would read the letter before the rest of the church would be able to do so.

2. Paul also writes this letter for the whole church - All of the Christians there in Philippi

B. Who were the saints specifically

1. Acts 16: Lydia - Merchant of colored cloth, Demon possesed slave girl, Roman prison guard

2. Philippian Epistle: Epaphroditus - Delivers the letter to Philippi from Paul and may have been a key leader in the church, Euodia and Syntyche: These two women were at the heart of key controversy in the Philippian church, Clement - Mentioned nowhere else in the NT but worked with Paul in Philippi - ancient tradition states that this was the name of the Philippian jailer, Unnamed yokefellow: This may be the whole church but is likely one of the main leaders of the church

III. Purpose of the Letter

A. Paul writes to remind the people of the true source of joy

1. The Philippian church was undergoing intense persecution and some significant internal strife

2. Paul wants the church to remain focused on their task and on Christ

3. This is beyong any doubt the major and primary theme of the letter and it pours through each of the chapters

B. Report on Epaphroditus

1. The Philippian church had heard of Epaphroditus becoming ill and was concerned about him

2. Paul takes the opportunity to praise Epaphroditus for his service and commends him to the church as he returns

C. Respond to Epaphroditus’ report of the church

1. Epaphroditus has shared with Paul the situation of the church in the midst of persecution - Possibly a great sense of discouragement and frustration in the church

2. Epaphroditus also shares about the problems in the church - Paul gives no doctrinal correction to the Philippians but does give some practical corrections to the church

D. Thank the church for their gift

1. The Philippian church had sent aid to Paul during his house arrest

2. They had also sent Epaphroditus to Paul to help meet Paul’s needs and assist in administration of his ministry

3. The Philippian church had supported Paul in the past and he thanks them for their previous support


What is Paul’s overall message to the Philippian church?

I. Joy in Living

A. Life itself is a reason to rejoice

1. Life is a gift from God: We must see life not as mundane existence but rather as a holy opportunity to live for God

2. Live each moment as if it were precious - because it is

B. Nothing in life can steal our joy

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