Summary: For a church to be a successful church, we must understand the importance of being "Partners In Christ".
Philippians was written by Paul somewhere believed to be AD 61/2. He was in prison at the time either in Ephesus or Rome. The Philippian church had heard of his imprisonment and sent Epaphroditus, who may have actually been their pastor, to bring a financial gift to him to help him during this time of imprisonment.
Philippians is a small church whose beginning is described back in Acts 16. Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke had begun a trip to start new churches as well as strengthen others and as they began to move into an area of Asia they were blocked. We don’t know how but we are told that nothing was working.
One night in a vision, Paul saw a man pleading for his team to come to Macedonia and help them. His team immediately set sail and arrived at Philippi.
Acts 16 will tell you the story of some of the church’s first members. One being Lydia who was a business woman selling expensive cloth. Another was the jailor who had charge of Paul and Silas after being thrown in prison on false charges. In prison, rather than focusing on their problems, Paul and Silas began to sing and praise God.
God in hearing their prayers brought an earthquake that opened the doors of the jail and broke the chains on their feet and arms. Instead of running Paul and Silas remained along with other prisoners. The jailer was so moved by God working in their lives that he asked for salvation.
So with this small group along with others a new church was birthed. Paul, now in another jail at another time and after receiving their gift now sends Epaphroditus back to them with this letter of joy to the church.
Throughout the book, there are many challenges given to the church but all throughout Philippians we see one central theme and that being “living the Christian life”. In this thank you note, he uses the occasion to send along some instructions on Christian unity.
The work begun at Philippi is a special work for it is a God work. Paul is encouraging the new believers to STAND FAST. Be on guard. Any place God is at work is also a place where Satan gives his most attention.
Satan doesn’t need to go after the life of a dead church. He doesn’t need to give attention to any church that is just going through the motions. But when the people come together and strive to make a difference, you can bet he will do all he can to bring division. We will even see this in this letter and Paul is encouraging the new believers to remain focused.
We must do the same. Do you believe God is at work here at New Horizons? I do. And the more we do to love God and each other, the more Satan will do to stop that work. We must remain focused. Paul exhorts the church to “stand fast, be of the same mind, rejoice in the Lord always, but also to pray and remain close to God.”
II. CHAPTER 1:1-11
A. THE GREETING (1-3)
Philip. 1:1-2 (NKJV) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
1. Paul and Timothy are described as BOND SERVANTS of Jesus Christ. What does it mean to be a servant of Christ?