Philippians is an ancient letter written by the Apostle Paul to a church located in the city of Philippi at around 61 AD. Paul wrote this letter while a prisoner in Rome, awaiting his trial before Emperor Nero.
In those days, Roman guards were not responsible for providing the basic needs of their prisoners, which meant prisoners relied heavily on the donations of family and friends. While we don't know the exact situation, Paul was in need, and the church in Philippi was aware of this need and, when the opportunity presented itself, took a collection and sent it to Paul. An individual, by the name of Epaphroditus, took on the task of hand-delivering this financial gift, which included close to 800 miles of travel, mostly on foot, that almost killed him. Once Paul received this gift, he responded by writing this letter to show his appreciation, express his love, give them some encouragement, and further instructions.
One of the biggest themes of this letter is "joy." Joy is a resilient gladness that can be experienced regardless of the situation we may find ourselves in. This soul-satisfying, sustainable joy can only be found in our relationship with Jesus our Lord‚ÄĒin who He is, what He's done, what He's doing, and what He's going to do.
CHAPTER 1 As the letter goes, Paul begins by first expressing his deep affection for these people and his prayer that the love they express towards him and each other would grow more and more. He wants them to understand that even though he's gone through much suffering, and is currently suffering, he has joy because God is using it to advance the gospel and inspire other believers. All in all, whether he lives or dies, Paul'