We are in the Church Stream reading from the New Century Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Dear Lord Jesus – just that addressing you says the prayer. You are very dear to us. You are our Lord. And in the Name Jesus – it is you who is our Savior. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen.
Paul had just received an offering from Epaphroditus; a member of the church at Philippi. Paul was in prison in Rome we he received the gift. He had received another offering from the Church at Philippi when he was in Thessalonica years back. The Philippians were a gracious people who had rich character and great spirits. It was the first church that Paul established in Europe. This was around 51 A.D. Luke pastored this church for its first six years. It was now about 61 A.D. He had not seen the people of Philippi for 3-4 years. He missed them and was touched in heart when Epaphroditus arrived with some support for his work. After Epaphroditus had rested and been with Paul for a bit, Paul sent him back to Philippi with this beautiful letter. It is among the most encouraging writings in all of sacred literature.
1 – from the start we can see that Timothy took dictation while Paul talked. Paul is praying for them in Philippi. How would that encourage you to have the most influential Christian ever be praying for you? What a marvel. Paul is glad to have the Philippians upholding him with their partnership in giving to meet his needs. Paul is not bothered by the jail time. It gave him access to the Emperor and there were even converts in Emperor Nero’s court, praise God!. Paul was rejoicing in the jail in Philippi (Acts 16:25) and he was feeling the same while chained down in Rome. He was so in love and connected with Christ through his prayer life and ministry work that, hey, if jail and Rome killed him – what a thrill to be with Jesus. Paul wins either way/ live or die/ as far as he is concerned. He was acutely aware that the Believers in Philippi were suffering at the hands of nonbelievers. Paul encouraged them through this difficulty
2 – Paul commends and spurs them on to have the complete attitude of Jesus who was full of mercy and kindness and honor and humility that led to sacrifice. Herein is the words to the hymn, “He is Lord…every knee shall bow, every tongue confess…” This was the first song ever sung in the Christian church; The Philippian Hymn. Paul continues in counseling them to have all hope and joy and a good spirit looking to Jesus who IS calling us all together one day when he returns. Paul is eager as he spells out his plans to visit again, to send friends and resume the wonderful fellowship and teaching to this dear church.
3 – Paul was aware that some Judaizers had passed through and tried to get them to revert to old laws as if Christ were not enough. Paul doesn’t mince words in calling these false evangelists “dogs”. Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews; flawless in his observance of the Law, but that was all garbage and prattle to him now.. Christ was everything, so let’s all press to know Christ. Paul uses the illustrations of the day to declare that this faith we are all immersed in is indeed a race. It encompasses all of us body and spirit. This -the race to heaven he was talking about- Heaven was the finish line and Christ is there. Home is there. Our citizenship is there. Therefore we have a most heavenly goal as we live for Jesus.