Paul planted the church in Philippi about A.D. 50, on his second missionary journey. Their love for Paul was reciprocated often in full measure, and they were considered by him to be his beloved brethren. The Philippian assembly was in good spiritual health, and their only flaw is a lack of complete harmony among some of their members. Hence, Paul often summons them to unite and cautions them of the potential danger of their enemies.

Paul wrote this epistle to offer sincere thanks to his beloved converts for their gifts and support to him when he was in prison in Rome, and to relieve some of their anxiety when Epaphroditus (one of their own congregation) fell deathly ill as he was ministering to Paul. The resulting distress among the congregation at word of Epaphroditus’ illness, created an added burden for Paul. As a result, Paul writes this epistle thanking them for their gifts, and sends Epaphroditus home prematurely in order that all three parties may be relieved of unnecessary anxiety for each other. Epaphroditus arrived back in Philippi with Paul’s letter of thanks in hand, and the congregation at Philippi had both their beloved brother and a letter from Paul, encouraging them to be joyful in their spirits.

Philippians 1

1:1-2 Salutation
1:3-11 Thanksgiving and prayer
1:12-26 To me to live is Christ
1:27-30 Exhortation to steadfastness

Philippians 2

2:1-11 Christ’s
humiliation and exaltation
2:12-18 Shining as lights in the world
2:19-30 Timothy and Epaphroditus

Philippians 3

3:1-21 Pressing toward the mark

Philippians 4

4:1-7 Rejoice in the Lord
4:8-9 Think on these things
4:10-20 Appreciation for the gift
4:21-23 Greetings and benediction