Summary: The Apostle Paul from house in Rome writes a beautiful letter of joy to the Saints at Philippi who are his joy and crown from a heart of joy which comes from knowing and loving God whole-heartedly!
Cornerstone Church July 12, 2015
“Philippians: The Backstory”
Do you remember the days when individuals wrote letters or postcards?
The era before the late 1980’s when computers became more mainstream and America Online launched: “You’ve Got Mail!”
Does anyone still write letters today?
* Back in the day long distance phone calls were extremely expensive. If you go back even further people had party lines where several homes shared the same phone line!
* Instead people would write one another letters.
Letters reflected expressions from the heart written to those they loved!
* People wrote to tell others how their family was doing and share news.
* Parents wrote to college students and hoped their children would write back to let them know how they were doing.
* Individuals in the military wrote home and hoped others would write them!
* Persons dating or engaged wrote love letters to one another!
I know it was a great medium for me when I was dating Janet. She worked days and I worked nights. Cell phones were not yet invented. So I would write her a letter or note at lunch or before work started and drop it off at her house on the windshield of her car at 4:30AM when I got off work.
Now everything is different!
* People tweet sentences!
* Individual’s text endlessly with phases such as:
o BTW: By The Way!
o G2R: Got To Run!
o IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
o POS: Parents Over Shoulder
o PRW: Parents Are Watching
o LOL: Laugh Out Loud
o ZZZ: Tired or Bored!
I can give you my cell number and you can text me ZZZ after the message!
* We have become so skilled at talking, texting and tweeting while driving that we can no longer drive and so Google and others are working on creating cars that drive themselves.
* We say so much in fragmented sound bites we miss the weight or magnitude of what God has written in His Word to us!
The Apostle Paul wrote an intensely personal letter to the Saints in Philippi (his friends and co-laborers in the work of Christ).
Philippians is deeply personal to many Christians now!
* The Book of Philippians is packed with what one called, “Coffee Cup Verses!”
* You know, like the quotes on a Starbucks Cup!
…He who began a good work in you will
perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
…My God will supply all your needs according
to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
SETTING AND CONTEXT:
Paul is writing this letter to the Philippians from prison in Rome.
* The time is approximately AD 61.
* This is Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome where he was under a form of “house arrest” for two years.
* I say Rome because of the internal evidence within the book:
Guarded / chained to a Praetorian Guard
Phil. 1:13 NASB so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole Praetorian Guard and to everyone else,
Paul reaching Caesar’s household with the gospel (Nero’s family)
Phil. 4:22 NASB All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.
Paul is guarded by soldiers and chained to a soldier.
Paul is allowed to receive visitors.
Paul is free to proclaim the Gospel.
Phil. 1:12-13 NASB Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,
Paul does not know if his case will lead to his release or his death.
Phil. 1:20 NASB according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
During his imprisonment Paul writes: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.
He is eventually released and during ministry trips writes: I Timothy and Titus
Paul is again arrested and writes his final book 2 Timothy and is executed.
As we investigate together the Book of Philippians we will discover these truths!
* We will catch Paul’s heart for planting churches and reaching people with the gospel!