The Philippians lived in the city of Philippi, which is a city near Neapolis in Macedonia and were mainly Gentiles like the Colossians.
Paul and Timothy are writing together here, just like Paul and Timothy wrote to the Colossians together.
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Paul tells the Philippians that he is very confident in their sincere repentance and diligence to attain to the salvation of the gospel, and that he is sure that they will succeed and overcome and endure till the end.
1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Paul calls the faithful and zealous for God fellow partakers of the same grace [the calling and salvation of Christ] as he himself and assures them of how deeply he longs to be with them. Together they long to be with each other [Paul and the Philippians], for they are both full of the same Spirit of Christ and the same deep mutual passionate love for God and the whole Word of God.
1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
Paul prays for them that their love of God and the keeping of the whole Word of God, which defines godly love; will abound all the greater and bear fruit in the increase of knowledge, understanding and the sound judgment of God. I also pray that the same blessings will be poured out on the faithful and diligent of God.
1:10 That ye may approve [that you may accept and grow in spiritual things that are acceptable to God] things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence [that you may be without sin or any offense against God, in the day of our judgment] till the day of Christ.
Paul is hopeful that their love may abound and that their good works of faith should abound and that they should excel and be sincere, without any sin or offense against God, and be well pleasing to God always.
1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
The whole Word of God is righteousness, it defines God who is righteousness; and our duty is to internalize and be filled with the very nature of God, which is the passionate keeping of the whole Word of God.
1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
Paul is encouraging the Philippians by telling them that because of the charges against him and his imprisonment, the fame of the whole matter has been spread abroad.
Everyone in the palace and the people throughout the land are hearing of his situation and are hearing the Gospel, so that his imprisonment is actually working to further the spreading of the Gospel amongst all the people. Paul’s imprisonment and courage are also inspiring others to take a stand
1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Some preach Christ for personal reasons, while others preach the truth in sincerity and true godly love. Paul set us an example that he did not care who preached the truth; as long as the truth was preached!
1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Paul says that he lives and dies for Christ and to remain diligent in so doing will be his salvation in Christ.
The same is true of us: Our salvation rests in being diligent to live and die for God the Father as Christ did, and in living and dying for Christ who set that example for us, that we should do likewise; presenting our wholehearted service as a fitting, pleasant and acceptable burnt offering to God the Father the Almighty!
Let us be bold for God to learn and to live by every Word of God and to be well studied and grounded in sound doctrine, and that we are able to explain and teach the truth of God to all who ask us, as Paul was and did.
1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Paul longs with all his heart for his life to end and for his election to be with God the Father to be sure, yet he knows that he is needed for the preaching of the Gospel of salvation that others may also be with and become like Christ.
1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain [because of the resurrection to be with Christ]. 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Paul lived to please God, as Jesus lived to please God.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Paul’s joy in life was to serve and please God, and to teach the things of God and encourage to a zeal for God and spiritual salvation. Paul encourages the Philippians and us today; to stand fast in wholehearted unity with God and the whole Word of God,
1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith [which includes the works of faith] of the gospel;
Fear [exalt] no man but question every word of men by the Word of God. Exalt God and fear only to displease Almighty God.
Many leaders and elders today think that they should be exalted and that the brethren should be blindly followed without question whatever they say. They regard our questioning of them by the scriptures, to be an apostasy from God; which is thinking of themselves as above the Word of God. Do not be afraid of them, for in setting themselves up above the Word of God they have become the adversaries of God and the deceivers of the people of God.
1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, [to question the word’s of men by the Word of God and to cleave to God’s Word alone, safeguards our salvation] but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Jesus warned that many false teachers would seek to deceive the Ekklesia. Matthew 24:4 is a warning to the disciples of Christ, not to the world which has always been deceived! The Gospels and Epistles are full of warnings to the brethren to beware, for many deceivers shall enter the assemblies to lead them astray!
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Every one who believes Christ and has the works of faith, which is to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal and refuses to follow the deceivers will be persecuted.
Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 1:30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Paul admonishes the Philippians to be like-minded together; each being of one mind with God the Father and with Jesus Christ, so that in godliness they will all be like-minded with each other. He calls on all of the brotherhood to work together each one esteeming the others above himself. Yes, that means that the elders and leaders should also have the same godly humility and esteem the brethren.
2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind [humility] let each esteem other better than themselves.
Let each one be helpful to others and not be solely focused on himself alone.
2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
We are to be of one mind with Christ who was of one mind with God the Father.
2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Jesus Christ was a part of the God family and gave up his God-hood to be made flesh and was obedient to God the Father to the very death in the flesh.
2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Because of his life of obedience and his death in obedience to God the Father, Jesus Christ was resurrected to spirit and exalted over all powers [except the Father himself].
2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore if we follow the example of Christ and are like-minded with him to love and obey God the Father in all things; the Father will also raise us up in a resurrection to eternal life as a spirit, just as he raised up Jesus to become the first of many like-minded brethren.
2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed [God the Father], not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Each person who has been personally and individually called to Christ, called to sincerely repent of sin, and then resolves and commits to sin no more, and has the sacrifice of Christ applied to himself in God’s mercy: Must work out his own salvation by faith in God’s Word and with the works of faith which is Abrahamic and Christ-like obedience to live by every Word of God the Father with passionate dedicated zeal (Mat 4:4).
If we are God’s and have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in us; then we will be doing the works and will and pleasure of God the Father.
2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do not complain that a godly life is hard, and avoid the sin of departing from a zeal to keep the whole Word of God to ease your life. Rather understand that God’s ways are easy and that it is the pressures from Satan to bring you back under his yoke that make God’s ways SEEM hard when they are not.
Remember the murmurings against God by Israel in the wilderness. Physical Israel did not understand and blamed God for their trials and sought to go back into the bondage of Egypt instead of properly blaming the Adversary for their trials and crying out to God for deliverance.
Today spiritual Israel also tends to blame God for their trials and instead of seeking deliverance from their Mighty One they seek to alleviate those trials by going their own ways back into the bondage of compromise and sin, which evil will bring strong correction from the Eternal.
When Satan and his influence are banished and all are faithfully obeying God, life will be a paradise of peace, harmony and joy!
2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
If we are zealous for our Great God to learn and to live by every Word of God in passionate zeal, we shall be a Shining Light of example in a wicked world.
Those organizations who do their best to appear inoffensive and mainstream, seem completely ignorant of the fact that they appear as just another mainstream organization to those who see them.
To please God and to be a light of godly example; we must stand out in godliness, not blend in to the ignorance of worldliness.
They, by following the foolishness of their own thoughts and doing the opposite of what God requires, think that they have found a recipe for success when they have fallen away towards their own destruction
2:16 Holding forth the word of life [we like the Philippians are to follow and stand on God’s Word]; that I may rejoice [when you are resurrected to spirit] in the day of Christ, that I have not run [preached or taught the whole Word of God in vain, but that they have profited by the admonition to obey God] in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Paul rejoices as many others have done, in the sacrifices they have made for their love of God and God’s people
2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 2:18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
Paul will soon send Timothy who is like-minded with Paul in his love for the Philippians, to give them more news and instruction and then to report back to Paul the news from Philippi.
2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
Paul laments that so many seek only their own advantage and do not seek to live by every Word of God; which is a common sin in the spiritual Ekklesia today.
2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
Paul gives his approval of Timothy.
2:22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 2:23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
Paul wants to come himself but will first send those who can come immediately.
2:24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Epaphroditus was sent to Paul from Philippi to bring gifts to Paul, and after his sickness Epaphroditus was sent back to Philippi to encourage the brethren there.
2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
Paul was very careful to include Epaphroditus in his letter to encourage them of Philippi, and mentions to them that Epaphroditus had nearly died for the work of the gospel.
2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
Paul writes the same warnings to them and to us, that he repeatedly writes for our benefit throughout his epistles.
3:2 Beware of dogs [wolves (Mat 7:15), false shepherds], beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Watch out for unclean, unholy, idols of men, wolves in sheep’s clothing; who, though clever words deceive us away from any zeal for God to follow themselves, in order to devour us like vicious dogs, as Isaiah warned would be the case of the spiritual leaders and elders in the last days.
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs [bad sheep dogs, foolish shepherds], they cannot bark [give warning]; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber [spiritually asleep]. 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs [bad selfish shepherd dogs, ravaging the flock instead of shepherding it] which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
The faithful called out are circumcised in heart; we are diligent for God and prove the words of men by the whole Word of God, trusting and having full confidence in God.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the [spiritual] circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Paul then provides the credentials of his physical heritage and remarks that they are as nothing and were given up by Paul for Jesus Christ and the spiritual New Covenant of faith and the works of faith, which is full Christ-like obedience to God the Father in letter and in spirit.
3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
The things that were to Paul’s advantage in the flesh; he cast aside as insignificant to embrace the gospel of salvation through sincere repentance, the rejection of all sin, the application of the sacrifice of Christ and diligently living by every Word of God.
Believing and full of faith in the sinless life of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God and his resurrection to spirit by God the Father; and full of faith that God the Father will also raise up all those who love him and passionately keep his Word, as Jesus Christ kept God the Father’s Word for our example.
3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Righteousness does not come by the law, for all have sinned and no amount of future law keeping can atone for PAST sin! ONLY the sacrifice of Christ, which is only applied to the sincerely repentant who STOP sinning, can atone for PAST sin!
It is by our faith and the works of faith in the promises of God that we can STOP sinning and be reconciled to God the Father; and it is only by internalizing the whole Word of God [through studying and keeping it] that we may become holy as God is holy and righteous as God is righteous!
We must believe God and sincerely repent of sin to obey the Word of God, that we may truly know God. Only when we have destroyed the old sinful man, and become a new person in God; through believing and living by every Word of God, can we be in the resurrection to spirit.
3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
We must not think that we have attained to godliness, but we are to continually grow in faith and knowledge striving to root out all sin and striving to grow into the holiness and perfection of God the Father as defined by the Word and Will of God.
3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
We must also continually seek out growth in our understanding of the Word of God, and not reject the truth as most of the Ekklesia do today.
3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
3:15 Let us therefore, as many as [desire to be] be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
If we are sincerely in error and desiring to be corrected, God’s Spirit will lead us into all truth, if we follow it and diligently study all things to live by every Word of God.
Let us be like-minded to live by this rule: that we will be faithful to live by every Word of God and to God alone; and will follow men ONLY as they faithfully follow the whole Word of God; rejecting, taking note of and avoiding all deceitful men.
3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
For very many false teachers have crept into [of which we have had many warnings from the scriptures] today’s Ekklesia, leading people astray from their zeal for God into a zeal for idols of men.
3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross [enemies of the salvation of God by refusing to live by every Word of God] of Christ: 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
3:20 For our conversation [our conduct should be of heaven and according to every Word of God] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
If we are diligent to faithfully destroy the old sinful person and to become a new person in Christ now; then in that day we shall be changed to a glorious spiritual being in the resurrection to spirit.
3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Paul concludes his letter to the Philippians by admonishing them to be of one mind with Christ, who is of one mind with God the Father.
Brethren, all this talk and desire to be united organizationally is a deceit and distraction from the unity with God the Father and Jesus Christ that we were called to. It is time for us to wake up to the fact that we are called to be united with and to become like Jesus Christ and God the Father!
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
You see that even Paul was helped by female laborers in the Gospel. Paul tells us to rejoice in the whole Word of God; which is the Gospel which defines the nature of God and reveals the way to salvation from sin to eternal life.
4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Be valiantly zealous for the whole Word of God, and be moderate in the things of the flesh.
4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Do not be full of cares and concerns for worldly things, only make your needs known to God our Father who provides for our spiritual growth and salvation. Be passionate to follow our Mighty Deliverer to learn and to zealously live by every Word of God, to please God our Father and to be at peace with God always.
4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Cause our minds to dwell on positive things and to meditate day and night on the Word of God; and avoid dwelling on negative, sinful, and evil things.
4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Be ye doers of the Word; for if we marry the works of faith to our faith [belief], then we shall be one in unity with God and God will be one with us.
4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me [Paul’s preaching], do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Paul now rejoices having realized that they had neglected him in the past because of lack of opportunity, and are now helping him.
Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful [concerned], but ye lacked opportunity.
Paul has learned to be content with what he has and not to burn with desire for physical things; placing all physical things aside for joy to preach the gospel of salvation to all people.
4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed [I have learned] both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul thanks the Philippians who had evidently communicated with him when they had learned of his need.
4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
It was often the Philippians only, which sent to Paul for his needs in many places.
4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Paul delights in the gifts that the Philippians have sent him, but delights even more that they are full of love and care for him and for what he has preached to them.
4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Paul then prays that God will supply all of their needs, as they have supplied his needs; and Paul glorifies God the Father.
4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul salutes every person who is in Christ, who are full of faithful Christ-like service to God the Father.
4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
The letter to the Philippians written from Rome includes greetings from all the saints at Rome to all the saints at Philippi; and indicates that there were saints even in the household of the emperor himself!
4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
4:23 The grace [May the mercy of Christ be poured out on all the sincerely repentant who are passionate to live by every Word of God!] of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.