Chapter 1

"Paul's Concern and Confidence for the Philippians."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by

Paul first visited the city of Philippi about A.D. 52-53, as is recorded in Acts 16, and we read in Acts 16:23 he was beaten and whipped in public, and then thrown in stocks in prison. While in prison that night, there was a great earthquake, and the prison the prison doors and bars were laid open, however Paul and Silas never escaped. It was through their witnessing to the jailer, that he became saved.

The city of Philippi, a Roman colony, was situated about eight miles inland from its port Neapolis, the modern city of Kavalla. The fact that Philippi was not a commercial center explains why there were so few Jews residing in Philippi. This city no longer exists today, although a Turkish hamlet near to the site bears the ancient name in a similar form. There were not many churches in Philippi when Paul was there, and it wasn't considered religious a place. This is why the people of Philippi were not that well grounded in the traditions of men from Jerusalem, as else where. Therefore it was easier to teach the people the new way.

Paul was very proud of them, as they were consistent in their beliefs. They did not flip-flop as did the church at Galatia. This letter was written after many years of teaching, and much persecution, and this may be the reason for much of Paul's gentleness. This church at Philippi was special to Paul. We will see in this letter that Paul doesn't come down on them as he did in other churches. Paul was in a Roman prison when he wrote this letter, and Luke was probably the scribe taking down Paul's words.

Where "grace" is the golden thread that winds through the book of Ephesians, "joy" is the golden thread underlining the words written in this book of Philippians. So note the tenderness that Paul has for the Philippian believers.

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:"

"Timotheus" is the Greek form of the English name "Timothy".

Philippians 1:2 "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ."

This is Paul's opening address.

Philippians 1:3 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,"

Paul is saying, every time your name comes up, I thank God for all of you.

Philippians 1:4 "Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,"

Paul gets his joy from their progress in maturing as Christians, and the fruit of their witnessing to others.

Philippians 1:5 "For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;"

The first day of the gospel was about eleven years prior to this writing, and is recorded in Acts 16. This is one church that did not allow outside doctrine to creep in and replace the Word of God. There were few Kenites (who said they were Jews but did lie) in this town, and the maturing of the people and spreading of the gospel went real good. This was not the case with the Corinthians, and Galatians and many of the other churches.

Philippians 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 is telling them, that he is confident in them and he knew that each time they start a work for Jesus Christ, they would continue to see it to completion.

Philippians 1:7 "Even as it is meet for me to think this of you 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 is writing this letter from prison in Rome, and while Paul is sitting in prison, the thoughts of the people in Philippi and the continuing in their gospel work warms his heart. Paul receives much joy in hearing how the Philippians are on fire in their preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most Christians today think that when one is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ they are preaching salvation. However when Paul compliments someone for their preaching, he is drawing attention to the deeper truths that are being taught to bring someone to maturity in Christ.

In the Church at Phillipi was not concerned with numbers and dragging many into their group, but when a soul was saved, it became important to them to ground the new convert in the meat of God's Word. The Christians here knew the entire plan of God. They knew who the Kenites were and how to watch out of their subtle entry of their traditions. These Christians knew what they believed and were grounded in Scripture to where the mere speaking of a new preacher would not change their minds.

These Christians were stable, and they could stand the attacks of Satan, and this world. In our generation we need to be grounded just as much as these Philippian Christians in order to withstand the attacks that the Kenites and shortly Satan and his fallen angels will bring upon us during his reign as the Antichrist. Keep in mind that Philippi was a rural area, and away from the larger commercial areas where the Kenites like to subject their traditions on Christians, and they were able to concentrate their minds on the whole Word of God. Even in the book of Isaiah the warning is there, warning the people to be on guard when they come together to live in concentrated areas.

Isaiah 5:8 "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth."

Any time you live in a city that is overcrowded, your are going to get on each others nerves and there will be trouble.

Paul was overjoyed at the Philippian Christians and the maturity that they had reached in their spiritual lives. That deepness have caused many to come to know Christ and also mature in the Word of God.

Philippians 1:8 "For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ:"

God is my witness to my feeling of joy for you. It is really obvious that Paul is touched in his feelings for them over their spiritual growth. Paul longs to be there with these people again, however there is no record that he ever returned to Philippi for another visit, but we do know that he was there on two occasions.

Philippians 1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;"

"Knowledge" here is in reference to the entire Word of God, whereas "judgment" is "insight" which can also be "discernment". With the knowledge of the Word of God and the insight or discernment, you will have the ability to spot a false teacher and preacher instantly. God gives that gift of discernment, and it comes when you have the knowledge of God's Word, and the direction by the Holy Spirit. That discernment comes only when you have the deeper truths of God's Word in your mind.

There should be no surprises in our life time, for God has told us of all the major events that would come in the international sense. That is why we should be concentrating on the Minor Prophets today, for they are dealing with our generation, and the things that are coming up before our eyes. God gave that insight to the Old Testament prophets, as well as throughout all the Scriptures. Once you have gone through all the Word, that is the time to start again, for there are always new areas of discernment that will be shown you by the Spirit of God. It seems that the more you understand, the more the tendency is to read over the other truths.

However, what is more important from the beginning is that you understand God's plan and how it relates to each of the three ages; the one that was, this one, and the one that is coming. By understand the ages you come to understand why the events will happen that way they did, and why things that are going on today are going on as they are. This is what gives you insight into tomorrows events, and grounds you so that you will not be bounced around in every wind of doctrine that comes up.

Philippians 1:10 "That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;"

Paul is saying that through that love of knowledge, as was given in verse nine, you can tell a sincere brother, from a false brother and know who to throw out of your midst. This is called discernment. "Approve" as used here, is to test the things, the words and actions of those claiming to be your brother in Christ to see if he or she be of Christ. It even goes deeper then just testing, but is going into the taking subjects of the Word of God, and rightly dividing those subjects to keep those subjects in true perspective.

When you know the deeper meanings of God's Word and someone comes along to add to it, or to change it in any manner you know that he is a false teacher. With your knowledge of the Word, the Holy Spirit will give you the discernment to know the lies the moment that you hear them. Eternal wisdom comes from the love of knowledge, which gives you the discernment in knowing whether something is true or false. When you love the Word you desire to get into it more often, and to gain more knowledge. Learn to test what men say, whether you should accept those words or reject them.

Philippians 1:11 "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God."

Everything that is right, just and upright comes from Jesus Christ, Who is the Word. It is to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ that He saw fit to come to earth and suffer and die for our sins. To make himself even lower then the angels, to show us the path of righteousness as given to us in the Scriptures.

Philippians 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."

Paul is in prison here and in the past Paul was beaten to the edge of live, and taken the whip many times. He was shipwrecked, and stoned to be left for dead and now he is telling the Philippian Christians that it all came to pass for the better and furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:13 "So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;"

Paul is speaking both of his bonds while in prison, and his bonds in Christ. Paul was in prison for having taught Christ. Paul's going to prison was not for doing a crime, but for doing the work of God, and this trial before the Roman Emperor gave Paul the opportunity to write the letter that we are now reading. Even today, People are still being saved and growing in the Word of God, because of Paul's bonds. Through Paul came much of the entire New Testament which makes our understanding of the Old Testament come to reality in our lives also. Every place that he went and things that he did, as well as what happened to him, was done to further the Word of God.

Philippians 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."

When others see Paul teaching the Word in prison and in bonds, and they then get the courage to speak, and preach the Word of God. Even in prison, Paul was allowed to preach, and give out the Word. God had so arranged this chosen vessel of His, to provide Paul with all the credentials needed for the job that was expected of him.

We see this in that fact of Paul's education, and God placing him in midst of the top Kenite religious leaders in Jerusalem before his conversion. Paul was one of the top authorities in the law, and he could apply the letter of the law even beyond most of the Jewish leaders. God prepared Paul for the job He had for him, so when the time came of Paul's conversion, all the events would fall in place as they did. The things were all natural, in that Paul didn't have to buy his way to the top: he was a Roman citizen by birth, he was educated both in Rome and Jerusalem because of his parents. Because of his wisdom and knowledge, we can see how God had prearranged all the events that would happen to him so that everything fell in place.

Acts 9:15 "But the Lord said unto him, "Go thy way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:"

To know a man like Paul, would make other Christians much bolder in their witnessing for Jesus Christ, in the spreading of the gospel of Christ. Just as God arranged the events of Paul's life, He will also do the same in your life, for nothing happens by accident when you are one of God's elect.

Philippians 1:15 "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:"

There were some preachers and teachers that saw Paul's success and they began to mock the teaching and preaching of Paul. They tried to draw people away from Paul because he had done well in Philippi. The strife was not against Christ, but against Paul. Have you seen two ministries trying to draw members away from each other. You can usually tell this type of ministry, because they start calling themselves after the man in charge of their group, rather then after Christ.

They call themselves the [name of the man - ministries]. Paul did not preach Paul, but he preached Christ and Christ only. There are groups that would attack you by name if you taught only the Word of God, without bringing in their traditions. This gets back to verse ten, can you tell the difference when Word of God it is taught, from when someone has added to it? do you have discernment?

Philippians 1:16 "The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:"

They did this with contention trying to make my physical chains more tight upon me, Paul is saying. They are trying to stir Paul up to the point of shaking him. These false preachers are asking the Philippian Christians, "why are listening to that jail bird Paul," Paul in turn is reminding them why he is in jail in the first place. He was there because of his bonds in Christ. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, through repentance, you then become a prisoner in love also, for your faith in Christ. You are bound and determined to do the work of God.

Philippians 1:17 "But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel."

They know that I am going to fight for the right to preach and teach the gospel of Christ. That is exactly what we do even to this day, to fight for the right to teach and learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. It is our desire to study all of the Word of God.

Philippians 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 is saying, What can we say about this then? What difference does it matter what happens to me as long as the love and good news of Christ goes forth. Whether I am in prison or free the only thing that matters is that God, through Christ has loved each of us and sent His Son so that we can have eternal life. That is what we rejoice over, that the Word of God go forth.

Philippians 1:19 "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through you prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,"

The Spirit of Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit. Paul says here that the supply or moving of the Holy Spirit will bring us together through your prayers.

Philippians 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 is counting on their prayers, and he is not going to be disgraced by anyone, but with all boldness he is going to continue to preach the cross of Christ. Paul's trial was coming up before the Emperor in Rome, and it did not matter whether he lived or died by what is said at the trial, the only thing that mattered is that Christ shall be magnified through him.

Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

If I live I am going to teach Christ and produce fruit, and if they sentence me to death then I am with Christ and that is gain.

Philippians 1:22 "But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not."

But if I must go on in this flesh body, and if I sit down and meditate on the difference between the two, I don't know which I would rather do. Keep in mind that Paul had lived a pretty rough life. He was killed once [in reference to his trip to the third heaven after being stoned], beaten, stoned, whipped, shipwrecked, manhandled by a mob, throne in prison many times, along with all the scorn that he took. The reference to Paul being killed if from II Corinthians 12:1-4;

II Corinthians 12:1 "It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord." Paul is telling us of a vision he once had, and the revelation that God gave in during that vision.

II Corinthians 12:2 "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven." Paul is the man he is referring to here in the third person.

II Corinthians 12:3 "And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)"

II Corinthians 12:4 "Who that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."

Paul had a taste of what the third heaven was like, where our Lord and Savior is, and this is why we can see his indifference to both life or death. While in the body, Paul knew the need to preach the gospel to lost souls, and when it was over he knew where the soul would go instantly. It is obvious to me that Paul's love for his people far outweighed his thoughts of personal gain of welfare and comfort. What ever happened to Paul, that vision of going to the third heaven gave him insight for much of his writings.

Philippians 1:23 "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:"

Philippians 1:24 "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."

When the thought of the choice between the two come to my mind, it is a greater desire for me to stay on in the flesh that I can be of more assistance to you. One of the reasons that Paul had a desire to be of service in Philippi, was the fact that these dear Christians had not sunk into the traditions of Jerusalem, and that they were open and hungry for the knowledge and wisdom of God's Word.

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."

Rather then looking forward to the day that he could be with Christ, Paul is looking forward to a time when he could be with the Philippians and help in the development of their faith in Christ and His Word.

Philippians 1:26 "That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

Here again we can see the closeness that they have had with Paul, and their appreciation of having heard the word of God.

Philippians 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 of the gospel;"

Paul is telling them to behave as good citizens in the kingdom of God. Keep your citizenship in good shape, and let your conversation be of the gospel of Christ, whether I am with you or not. There would not be as much contention in Christianity if people would allow God's Word to speak, and that is the only thing that would be taught in the churches. We know that this is not so in the churches today, and that is why there is so much strife in the Christian community today. Most churches have gotten away from the Word of God, and teach there own traditions of men.

If the Word was taught going into the Hebrew and Greek for the true meanings of the Words and meanings, people would know what is truth from God, from the lies of the traditions of men. If the people knew the emotions of God, they would be more sensitive to Him, and try to please Him. If this would be possible then we would have churches of one mind and one Spirit, the Holy Spirit..

Philippians 1:28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God."

This Word will strengthen you and feed you whereby you will never be terrified by your adversaries. Remember that the adversary, Satan always has helpers. Today they are the Kenites and those that all the Kenite tradition to rule their lives and minds, and shortly those helpers of Satan will be the fallen angels that will come to earth with Satan when he comes in the role of "instead of Christ" or the Antichrist.

There were some even in Philippi that were envious of Paul's success in setting up a church and having that church grow to the strength that it became. This is why there were some that tried to pull others away from the group that Paul established. When the Philippian Christians would behave as good citizens of the kingdom of God, it would be the evidence of their salvation that they have in Christ. It should be a matter of sincerity so that it doesn't turn into self-righteousness.

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;"

That salvation that God gives to you through your faith and repentance in Jesus Christ name, is so that you will in turn witness on behalf of Christ. Anytime you are in God's work and doing it God's way, you will suffer a bit. That is your mission, and Jesus told us that we would suffer just as he had suffered for the sake of the kingdom of God.

Philippians 1:30 "Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear it be in me."

Paul is saying that I have set an example for you, and when you preach and teach the gospel of Christ, you can expect the same as I have received. I am in bonds in prison, but I am still doing the work of God. This reflexes on the fact that Christ expects you to toughen yourself up of the spiritual battle that we have in Christ.

Today, with the freedoms that we have in our land, the only suffering that you will get will be in the way that others talk down to you for trying to live as God's Word teaches. When they find out that you are a Christian they will try to test you salt, to see if your really are what you profess to be. This is not really suffering as Christ and the early church father had to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ.

When you get into trouble over the gospel of Christ, stop and think if your trouble came while preaching the gospel of Christ and planting seeds of truth for Christ, or was it over the breaking of some civil law of disobedience. There is a difference. Paul's stripes came from teaching God's Word, which went against the traditions of men that were taught in the churches of the time. Paul was not in prison for robbing banks, raping of a woman, or any acts of violence, but because he taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even while Paul was in prison the gospel of Christ was being taught by his followers.

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