Philippians Overview

Philippians Overview

Introduction to Philippians


1.       Theme: Paul writes to the Philippians for several reasons.

1.1.       He takes the opportunity to thank the Philippians for the generous gift that Epaphroditus had brought from them (Philippians 4:10, 18 with Philippians 2:25).

1.2.       To let them know about his spiritual prosperity (effectiveness, spiritual deliverance, joy, contentment) from living the daily plan of God even though he is in the center of severe testing and suffering (Philippians 1:7-26; 2:17; 3:7-14; 4:1, 11-13, 18).

1.3.       To communicate revelation God has given him for the Philippian church and for the church at large (Philippians 1:6, 27-30; 2:3, 5, 12, 13; 3:1, 15; 4:6, 8, 19).

2.       Chapter Titles:

2.1.       Chapter 1, Paul exploits pressure.

2.2.       Chapter 2, Live out your own salvation life.

2.3.       Chapter 3, Pursue knowing Christ.

2.4.       Chapter 4, Stability, contentment, and joy.

3.       Title: Philippians. These are believers that live in the city of Philippi, a prominent city that was situated on the Via Ignatia, the highway from Italy to Asia (Philippians 1:1).

3.1.       Paul founded this geographical church, the first church founded on European soil, on his second missionary trip (Acts 16). Timothy, Silas, and Luke were with him (Acts 16:1-4, 10-12, 19; 18:5). The date was about AD 50-52. This church was composed of Gentile believers. They were very responsive to his ministry (authority and doctrine) (Acts 18:5; Philippians 1:5-8; 2:12; 4:10-16;
2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 11:8-9).

3.2.       The city was named for Philip of Macedon in the fourth century BC. Philippi came under Roman rule about 167 BC. In 42 BC Octavius (who would receive the title of Augustus on January 16, 27 BC) and Antony defeated the armies of Brutus and Cassius (the assassins of Julius Caesar). This battle took place at Philippi. Philippi then became a Roman colony. The veterans of the army were settled there. The city had great loyalty to Rome. In 31 BC Octavius defeated Antony at Actium. He also settled a group of Italian settlers in Philippi.

4.       The immediate personal and political background for the letter.

4.1.       Paul had determined to go to Jerusalem even though he was aware of the Jews’ rampant religious pride and self righteousness which made them violently opposed to him and his message. He was arrested. He lost his freedom.

He was taken to Rome and imprisoned where he waited for the decision from the legal system. He was chained by the hand to a praetorian guardsman day and night. Some believers have been hostile and competitive with him. He was under great pressure, but he continued to live within the daily plan of God and so applied Bible doctrine to life. In the middle of great pressure, testing, and suffering Paul was an effective servant of Christ, was stable, content, and happy.

4.2.       Rome at this time was about to embark upon direct, intermittent antagonism toward Christianity. Burrus (prefect of the praetorian guard) and Seneca (Nero’s tutor and then political advisor and minister) had provided Nero and Rome with good government since Nero became emperor in AD 54. As time passed Nero was influenced more and more by those who agreed with his crimes. Seneca’s power grew less. When Burrus died in AD 62 (Suetonius and Dio say poisoned) Seneca lost power and retired. (In AD 65 he was forced to commit suicide.) Nero was able to act more independently. Conditions worsened. Paul wrote Philippians from Roman imprisonment during this transition period.

5.       Author: Paul (Philippians 1:1). This letter has very strong attestation of Pauline authorship. Polycarp mentioned letters written by Paul to the Philippians in his own letter to the Philippians (Philippians 3:1-2). Philippians is also listed in Marcion’s Apostolicon (Marcion was a second century heretic who took Paul as his hero. His canon listed ten Pauline epistles.) and in the Muratorian Canon (This is a fragmentary list of recognized New Testament books known at Rome about AD 200.). Church fathers and apologists quote from and allude to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

6.       Paul wrote from where and when: Rome near the end of his first Roman imprisonment about AD 62 (Philippians 1:7, 13-18, 23-26; 4:22 and Acts 28:16, 30, 31).

Philippians Chapter 1
Paul Exploits Pressure


1.       Paul and Timothy greet all the saints at Philippi (all believers in the geographical church). They make a point to greet the overseers (episkopos, also called pastor/teachers and elders, the authoritative leader teachers. There is one in each local church.) and deacons (diakonos, the official servants of the overseer and local church) (Philippians 1:1-2).

1.1.       The personal basis for Paul’s appreciation and prayer for them was their acceptance of his ministry and their reliable participation with him (Philippians 1:3-8).

1.2.       Paul asks the Father that their love will excel in true knowledge (epignosis, understood and accepted knowledge of Bible doctrine) and discernment (aisthesis, insight, perceptive ability based on learned Bible doctrine) so they will be able to make good decisions in order to be genuine and unflawed (by Satan’s plan) up to the day of Christ (Philippians 1:9-11).

2.       While Paul was under arrest in Rome his travel and on site teaching were stopped. Many believers subtly attacked him because of their selfish ambition, envy, and rivalry. They were occupied with themselves and things instead of with Christ and the plan of God. But Paul passed the tests associated with all of this by living the daily plan of God. The gospel spread, other believers grew, and Paul experienced great spiritual growth (Philippians 1:12-19).

3.       Paul reflects on his life and death. Because he is so occupied with Christ within the plan of God he has adjusted to either option (Philippians 1:19-24).

4.       Paul’s job profile, which became the profile of the pastor/teacher, was to minister so believers will advance (mature) in the Christian way of life (CWL) and from this spiritual progress gain inner happiness (Philippians 1:25-26).

5.       The Church’s job profile is to live (politeuomai) worthy of the gospel as patriotic citizens of heaven. These citizens 1) must stand firm and operate from their spiritual position of strength, 2) must actively strive together in ministry for the faith like disciplined soldiers and athletes, and 3) must maintain the winner’s confidence while under pressure instead of the loser’s fear (Philippians 1:27-30).

Philippians Chapter 2
Live Out Your Own Salvation Life

1.       God has given believers (citizens of heaven) grace spiritual blessings to support their proper relationship with Him, their King. This grace support includes 1) God’s encouragement to enable believers to advance in His plan, 2) genuine comfort so the believer can regain balance and perspective, 3) partnership with the Holy Spirit for living the plan of God, and 4) genuine affection and sensitivity to believers (Philippians 2:1).

2.       God has designed grace mental attitudes that the believer must use. These will motivate and support right thought and action among spiritual (kingdom) citizens. They include 1) think the same Bible doctrine, practice Christian (source dependent) love, 3) common or united Biblical viewpoint and therefore common application of Bible doctrine in life, 4) same accepted purpose in the plan of God as to mission, preparation, practice, and environment, 5) reject mental attitude sin motives of subjective self-seeking and arrogant delusion, 6) humility and grace orientation toward other believers, and 7) genuine interest in the spiritual welfare of others (Philippians 2:2-4).

3.       Believers must have humility (tapeinophrosun, verse 3) like Christ did. Jesus Christ’s humility caused right action and the Father then exalted Him. Humility is a mental attitude; the humble person thinks the way God does about self in relation to God and others. The humble person is oriented to authority. Christ’s humility showed what kingdom citizenship mental attitude ought to be (Philippians 2:5-11).

3.1.       He did not arrogantly show off and claim His divine rights (“did not regard,” geomai, “a thing to be grasped,” arpagmos). He placed himself under the authority and plan of God even though He was God (“form of God,” en morph theou, preincarnate Godness expressed in the Old Testament period by power, majesty, and holiness such as the burning bush, the cloud and fire, and the glory in the temple which reflected His unseen divine attributes) (Philippians 2:5-6).

3.2.       Jesus Christ emptied Himself (kenow [aorist active indicative], gave of Himself for mankind) by adding humanity to His person and accepting the limitations of humanity (form of a slave means humanness under the Father’s authority; likeness of men means similar throughout – body, soul, human spirit – except for the sin nature; appearance means outward looks) (Philippians 2:7-8).

3.3.       Jesus Christ humbled (tapeinow, [aorist active indicative]) Himself by accepting the plan of God for death on the cross. This demonstrated His humanity (right thinking about self in relation to God and others, authority orientation to God the Father and the plan of God) (Philippians 2:8).

3.4.       God the Father exalted and honored Jesus Christ as God and man. All people will honor Christ when He returns at the Second Advent (Philippians 2:9-11).

4.       Live the salvation kind of life (Christian way of life [CWL]), Philippians 2:12-18.

4.1.       Both God and the believer have a role in the Christian way of life. The believer’s role is seen by people, but God’s unseen role inside the believer is most important (Philippians 2:12-13).

4.1.1.  The believer must accept the ministry of the gifted communicator and follow his ministry (authority and doctrine). With this training he must live out (katergazomai, achieve, accomplish, produce, present middle imperative, deponent) his own day to day salvation kind of life (Philippians 2:12).

4.1.2.  God has committed Himself to energize (“who is at work,” energew [articular present participle]), each believer’s volition and action (to thelein kai to energein, [articular present active infinitive] used as direct objects of God who is at work) so that each may accomplish God’s good will (uper ths eudokais [eudokia], the execution of God’s plan for the church age believer) (Philippians 2:13).

4.2.       Do not grumble or dispute (mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue). When believers demonstrate good mental attitudes and good use of the tongue, this becomes a clear witness for God (Philippians 2:14-15).

4.3.       Maintain a continual commitment (epechw [present active participle], to have and firmly hold onto) to learned Bible doctrine. This saturation with Bible doctrine will be the basis for one’s spiritual life. The believer that lives the plan of God based upon the Bible doctrine that Paul taught will be proof at the judgment seat of Christ of the value of Paul’s ministry (Philippians 2:16).

4.4.       Rejoice like Paul does about spiritual privileges and opportunities even though they include testing and suffering (Philippians 2:17-18).

5.       Paul reports about two loyal subordinates in his ministry who are fulfilling the profile of Philippians 1:27-30 to live worthy of the gospel as patriotic citizens of heaven. They are Timothy and Epaphroditus. They live the plan of God. They serve under Paul. They accept his authority and doctrine. They specialize within their own gift and they are able to exercise delegated authority without becoming proud (Philippians 2:19-30).

5.1.       Paul planned to send Timothy to Philippi to find out about the life of the church there (Philippians 2:19-24).

5.1.1.  Timothy was right for the job because he was in agreement with Paul (“kindred spirit,” isopsuchos, of like soul, have much in common) about spiritual life, growth, and ministry (Philippians 2:19-20).

5.1.2.  The other believers around Paul at the time that are gifted for this same kind of ministry are occupied with themselves and details of life instead of Christ (Philippians 2:20-21).

5.1.3.  Timothy has developed under the training of Paul. He has learned Bible doctrine from Paul. He has served under authority. He now can take delegated authority. So Paul will send him to Philippi as his representative. Paul will soon follow if possible (Philippians 2:22-24).

5.2.       Paul sent Epaphroditus back to the Philippians so he (Epaphroditus) and the Philippians will be in the right place and continue their ministry momentum (Philippians 2:25-30).

5.2.1.  Paul considered Epaphroditus a valued team member (“brother,” adelphos, believer; “fellow worker,” sunergos, fulfilled his responsibility within the plan of God along with Paul; “fellow soldier,” sustratiwts, comrade in arms on the spiritual battlefield; “messenger,” apostolos, delegate from Philippi to Paul; “minister,” leitourgos, served Paul in the day to day details of the ministry (Philippians 2:25-26).

5.2.2.  Epaphroditus became so sick that he almost died. Paul could not heal him, but God did heal him (Doctrine: Temporary Spiritual Gifts. Paul could have healed him earlier in his ministry [Acts 28:8-9]) (Philippians 2:27).

5.2.3.  Paul commended Epaphroditus (and all men that serve like he does) and sent him back to the Philippians with the expectation of blessing and joy for the Philippians. Epaphroditus was committed to the Lord and the ministry that God gave him. He was oriented to the plan of God. He was dependable. He was humble, authority oriented, and grace oriented. The Lord and Paul used him for the spiritual benefit of others (Philippians 2:27-30).

Philippians Chapter 3
Pursue Knowing Christ

1.       Paul commands the believers to rejoice (chairw [present active imperative, second person plural], to have genuine delight, to take pleasure in, be glad, to have happiness or a good mood of the soul and human spirit) in Christ. He is God, Savior, Head, Priest, King, and Leader. Believers are in the plan of God, under the headship of Christ, with spiritual blessings. All this ought to motivate joy. To rejoice in Christ protects the individual believer from 1) preoccupation with self, 2) from preoccupation with the world system and its religion, human good, and evil, and 3) from Satan’s plan and demons (Philippians 3:1)

2.       Paul warns them to be alert to self righteous religious people. He used to be one and knows the danger (Philippians 3:2-6).

2.1.       They live outside the plan God (dogs), claim to obey God but really produce evil (evil workers), and emphasize ritual (false circumcision) (Philippians 3:2).

2.2.       Grace believers 1) value spiritual circumcision (true circumcision, baptism with the Holy Spirit), 2) serve daily through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (worship in the Spirit of God, latreuw, which is translated worship, means to serve by the carrying out of religious duties. It refers to each believer serving God by carrying out His plan and will for his or her Christian way of life [CWL]. See “serve” in Matthew 4:10, Acts 26:7, Romans 1:9), 3) take great pride in Jesus Christ (glory in, the only one worthy of boasting and glory), and 4) do not depend upon human ability to please God (no confidence in the flesh) (Philippians 3:3).

2.3.       Paul had great ability, intelligence, heritage, education, zeal, and experience, but his relationship with the resurrected Christ completely changed his values and priorities (Philippians 3:4-7).

3.       Paul therefore greatly values (his divine perspective) salvation knowledge of Christ (knowing Christ Jesus my Lord) and union with Christ or position in Christ with all the benefits (gain Christ and be found in Him). Christ’s righteousness gained all this by faith. Identification with Christ or positional truth, retroactive and current, describes the believer’s relationship and identity with Christ (Philippians 3:8-9).

4.       Along with salvation faith, union with Christ, and all the grace benefits gained by union with Christ, Paul greatly values (additional divine perspective) experientially knowing Christ, experientially participating in Christ’s kind of suffering. Furthermore, he wants to live the resurrection kind of life in the present time, and looks forward to physical resurrection in the future. Paul presses on toward them. Each believer should do the same (Philippians 3:10-16).

4.1.       Paul purposes for his day to day life (personal priorities) to know (ginwskw, [genitive articular aorist active infinitive of purpose]) 1) Christ (genuine occupation with Christ through learning and application of doctrine, especially Christology), 2) Christ’s resurrection power (God’s omnipotent, [dunamis] resurrection power that is available to every believer through union with Christ and spirituality), 3) the fellowship (koinwnia) of His sufferings (to participate in the same kind of sufferings that Christ endured and for some of the same reasons.

4.2.       He also wants (personal goal) to experience freedom from every trace of fallen Adam (control by the sin nature with its results) which Christ provided through His death (“conformed to His death,” summorphizw, to grant or invest with the same form, in the passive to take on the same form, present passive participle, attendant circumstances. Application of retroactive positional truth) so he can live like his resurrected position (plan of God, current positional truth, spirituality, spiritual maturity) and then move into physical resurrection at the right time (Philippians 3:10-11).

4.3.       Paul presses on (diwkw [present active indicative], to run, press on, persecute, run after, pursue, strive for) toward spiritual maturity and physical resurrection (strong positive volition) (Philippians 3:12).

4.4.       Paul’s divine policy is to “forget,” epilanthanw, [present middle participle, attendant circumstance] to forget, neglect, overlook, care nothing about, to press on; “the past” successes, sins, and failures, “reach forward” (epekteinomai, to stretch out, strain toward something, [present middle participle, attendant circumstances] to press on; and “press on” (diwkw, [present active indicative] to run, press on, persecute, run after, pursue, strive for; toward consistent function in the plan of God, spiritual maturity and resurrection kind of life in time, and future physical resurrection. Preoccupation with the past only distracts him from God’s grace plan. He tells all believers to do this (Philippians 3:13-15).

4.5.       Paul stresses that he and all believers need to follow (translated keep living, stoichew. It originally meant to be drawn up in a line. In Christian literature it means to be in line with, stand beside a person or thing, hold to, agree with, follow [with the dative case which is used here], present active infinitive) their present level of spiritual learning, application, and growth (act your spiritual age). They must not regress (Philippians 3:16).

5.       Believers are kingdom citizens. Their future physical resurrection to be just like Christ is certain. Because this is true Paul commands all to follow his divine perspective for the Christian Way of Life [CWL] (personal priorities; personal goal; positive volition; forget the past, reach forward, and press on; and act your spiritual age) of Philippians 3:10-16 (Philippians 3:17-21).

5.1.       There are those that accept the plan of God (this is Paul’s pattern) and those that reject the plan of God (the enemies of Christ and His work). Follow Paul’s pattern, not the enemy’s pattern (Philippians 3:17-19).

5.2.       Kingdom or heavenly citizens (politeuma, commonwealth, state) anticipate Christ’s return. At that time He will exert (energeia, working, operation, action, activity) His unlimited ability (dunamai, to be able, [genitive articular present middle infinitive] describing God’s ability to actively work) and will transform (metaschmatizw, to change the form of, to transform from one form to another form, [future active indicative]) the physical body of every believer so that each body will be exactly the same kind of body as His resurrection body. Believers will live in their resurrection bodies forever with the Lord (Philippians 3:20-21).

Philippians Chapter 4
Stability, Contentment, and Joy

1.       Paul commands the believers to stand firm in the Lord (Philippians 4:1). They are to aggressively take this position in life. “In the Lord” refers to relationship in Christ, union with Him, position in Christ. He is the source of salvation, blessings, purpose, joy, and confident hope. Paul means practice conscious faithfulness to Christ. Do not drift or be pulled away. “Stand firm:” stekw (present active imperative, second person plural), to stand firm, be steadfast.

2.       Paul commands two believers to resolve personal conflicts through thinking and applying a common Biblical viewpoint (Philippians 4:2-3).

2.1.       “To live in harmony in the Lord” means that each believer must accept the correct Bible doctrine communicated by the authoritative teacher and to hold to this as the common opinion or viewpoint, and therefore apply this truth. This is the source of genuine harmony. Paul has excluded potluck Bible study. When each believer applies the same Bible doctrine, disharmony and conflict cannot continue. “ To live in harmony:” phronew (present active infinitive), to think, form or hold an opinion, set one’s mind on, have thoughts or attitudes; to auto the same thing.

2.2.       “I ask you also to help” means that Paul has enlisted and authorized specific trusted authority in the church to ensure the proper environment for spiritual growth, application, and resolution of the conflict. This protects those involved and prevents others from being involved.

3.       Paul commands that God’s thinking (divine viewpoint) be practiced in three areas: 1) Rejoice in the Lord, 2) Demonstrate inner controlled strength, 3) Never worry, but instead pray. God’s peace will then be free to guard the heart and thoughts (Philippians 4:4-7).

3.1.       “Rejoice in the Lord at all times” is the first command. Christ is God, Savior, Head, King, and Leader of believers. Believers are related to Him in the plan of God, under the headship of Christ, with spiritual blessings. Concentration on the Lord ought to motivate joy. “Rejoice:” chairw (present active imperative), to take pleasure in, delight in.

3.2.       “Let your forbearing spirit be known” is the command for inner controlled strength and reasonableness in every situation and toward all people. God’s sovereignty and nearness in place and time make this possible. “Forbearing spirit:” epieikes, gentleness, reasonableness in action, controlled strength, moderation. “Let be known:” ginwskw (aorist passive imperative), to know, recognize.

3.3.       “Be anxious for nothing … let your requests” is the command never to worry, but instead to trust God and His word by faith-rest and to pray. If one trusts God and His word he will express that faith-rest and will pray. Faith-rest combined with “thanksgiving” and prayer “requests” express humility and authority orientation on the one hand and occupation with Christ on the other hand. “Be anxious:” merimnaw (present active imperative), to have anxiety, be unduly concerned, plus the negative, combined with “let be made known” gnworizw (present middle imperative) to make known, reveal.

3.4.       “The peace of God” is the tranquility or lack of confusion of the soul that God has, and has given to believers that make faith application of Bible doctrine in the categories of occupation with Christ, joy, inner controlled strength, and faith-rest instead of worry (Philippians 4:4-7).

3.4.1.  God’s tranquility has power (“surpasses” in NASB) over every mind (“comprehension” in NASB). Since it has power over the mind it “shall guard” the “hearts” and thoughts (“minds” in NASB). The mind is the place of all thinking. The heart is another word for mind, but heart emphasizes the center of the person and so the center of the mind and the center of thinking. Therefore thoughts come from the heart and mind. “Surpasses:” `uperechw to rise above, have power over, be better than; “comprehension” is the word for mind: nous the mind as faculty of physical and intellectual thought and perception. “Shall guard:” phrourew (future active indicative), to guard by soldiers, protect. “Hearts:” kardia center of life, mind, and thought; “minds” is the word for thoughts: noema thought, purpose, what is thought, products of the nous. “Noemata are products of the nous, thoughts or purposes. Paul would probably regard them as being contained in the kardia,” Robertson Nicol, The Expositor’s Greek Testament Volume 3.476. “The noemata reside in the issue from the kardia (compare 2 Corinthians 3:14-15); for in the Apostle’s language kardia is the seat of thought as well as of feeling,” J. B. Lightfoot, St Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, page 161.

4.       Since what you think controls your life, Paul commands thought guidelines that determine the kinds of things which believers ought to think about and therefore involve themselves in (Philippians 4:8). “Let your mind dwell:” logizomai (present middle imperative), to reckon, think about, consider, ponder.

4.1.       The six items emphasize “excellence” and “praiseworthiness.” They screen out evil. They set up a system of values and develop a capacity for life based upon God’s thinking. “Excellence:” arete virtue, highest and balanced quality measured against God’s standard. “Worthy of praise:” epainos inner value that brings outer recognition.

4.2.       The six guidelines are 1) “True,” follow revealed truth, doctrinal; 2) “Honorable,” noble and dignified, based on laws of divine establishment; 3) “right,” follow a sense of justice, fair play, and responsibility; 4) “Pure,” express the character of God instead of Satan; 5) “Lovely,” has a genuine attractiveness because it reflects God’s values; and 6) “Good repute,” genuine value, worthy of one in God’s family.

5.       Paul commands the believers to practice the will and plan of God (Bible doctrine) that he has taught (Philippians 4:9). They have “learned, received, heard, seen.” Now they must “practice,” which means the consistent and repeated faith application or obedience to what Paul taught. “Practice:” prassw (present active imperative), to do, accomplish.

6.       Paul has learned the will and plan of God (Bible doctrine) by the consistent reception, review, and practice of the Word of God so that by now he has been initiated into spiritual maturity where he supernaturally lives the Christian way of live (CWL) whether in prosperity or adversity (Philippians 4:10-13). He practiced the faith application of Bible doctrine and made the application stick.

6.1.       Paul “rejoiced” that the Philippians, who were noted for their grace thinking toward supporting him, were now able to fulfill their desire (Philippians 4:10).

6.2.       Paul “learned” through knowledge of Bible doctrine and the practice of that knowledge “to be content.” He was able to have self-sufficient competence because of his daily relationship with Christ. It was not his ability, but God’s in him (Philippians 4:11). “Content:” autarkes, self-sufficient, competence.

6.3.       Paul “learned the secret” of life in the plan of God. He gained knowledge of doctrine and practiced that doctrine so that he came to a genuine full knowledge of the plan of God. As he did so, he became an initiate into spiritual maturity. He was able to live life from God’s perspective. Neither adversity nor prosperity distracted him (Philippians 4:12). “Learned the secret:” muew (perfect passive indicative), a technical term of the mystery religions that means to become an initiate into the mysteries of the group.

6.4.       Paul, in spiritual maturity, was now able to accomplish “all things” (the general will of God for all believers [mission, preparation, practice, environment] and the specific will of God for himself [production plan, spiritual gift, glorification of Christ under every condition and around all people]). He consistently experienced God’s supernatural life “through Him who strengthens.” Paul had learned that God pours His power into the believer. Paul by faith applied this and other truths he had learned with the result that he really did live a day to day supernatural life (Philippians 4:13). “Can do:” ischuw (present active indicative), to have power, be competent, have ability. “Through Him who strengthens:” the preposition en which expresses the person that causes something to happen (God) combined with endunamow (articular present middle participle object of the preposition), to strengthen, empower, or pour power into.

7.       The Philippians have divine good production and divine support blessings because of the plan of God the Father (Philippians 4:14-19). God provided everything they needed to 1) live, 2) grow, and 3) serve Him.

7.1.       The Philippians supported Paul by grace giving from the time he first began the church in Philippi (Philippians 4:14-16). For giving to be genuine grace giving the giver must 1) be walking by the Holy Spirit, 2) be giving from a willing heart, and 3) put no requirements on the gift.

7.2.       Paul was interested in the “profit” for the Philippians that was associated with their grace giving to him, not the actual money or material gain the he received (Philippians 4:17). “Profit:” karpos, fruit, result, product, profit, gain. Fruit refers to divine good production and divine rewards from God.

7.3.       The Philippians’ grace giving was “abundant.” Paul was well supplied so he could be free to carry on his ministry. He described their gift as  1) A “fragrant aroma” (high quality, reflects faithful response to God, Paul, and Paul’s ministry); 2) An “acceptable sacrifice” (their grace ministry based upon the application of Bible doctrine he taught them); and 3) As“well-pleasing to God” (compatible with God’s grace plan; they were oriented to the plan of God) (Philippians 4:18).

7.4.       “God shall supply” everything needed for the accomplishment of His will and plan to the group of believers that responds to God’s communicator(s) as the Philippians did to Paul and his ministry. They accepted his authority and Bible teaching, and supported him by grace giving (Philippians 4:19). “Shall supply:” plerow (future active indicative), to fill up, make full.

8.       Paul closes the epistle to the Philippians with recognition of God’s greatness and states that all glory is God’s. He encloses a greeting and his desire that they experience Christ’s grace (Philippians 4:20-23). Those who served with Paul had a team relationship. “Grace” is God’s policy to freely bless mankind based upon His character and given to mankind because of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Paul wants them to experience grace day to day in their relationship with God. “Glory:” doxa, honor, splendor, magnificence. “Spirit:” is the human spirit, pneuma, the immaterial part of the believer with emphasis on relationship with God.


Doctrines Taught With This Study


The Philippians Bible class included the study of many Bible doctrines, some as categories and some as principles. Many of these are listed below to help you better understand the Book of Philippians.




Chapter 1

Doctrine: Philippi

Doctrine: Nero

Doctrine: Paul

Doctrine: Epaphroditus

Doctrine: Timothy

Doctrine: Spiritual Slavery

Doctrine: Pastor/Teacher

Doctrine: Deacon

Doctrine: Church

Doctrine: Sanctification

Doctrine: Grace

Doctrine: Prayer

Doctrine: Fellowship

Doctrine: Interest without Interference

Doctrine:  Good Works

Doctrine:  Long For

Doctrine:  Affection

Doctrine:  Plan of God

Doctrine:  Love

Doctrine:  Full Knowledge

Doctrine:  Discernment

Doctrine:  Excellence (Scale of Values)

Doctrine:  Subjectivity-Objectivity

Doctrine:  Evangelism

Doctrine:  Mental Attitude Sins

Doctrine:  Paul’s Spiritual Prosperity

Doctrine:  Death

Doctrine:  Occupation with Christ

Doctrine:  Preparation of the Believer

Doctrine:  Learn-Review-Apply

Doctrine:  Divine Guidance

Doctrine:  Pastor/Teacher Priorities

Doctrine: Congregation Priorities

Doctrine:  Kingdom Citizen Profile

Doctrine:  Kingdom Citizenship

Doctrine:  Stand Firm (Spiritual Position of Strength)

Doctrine:  Human Spirit

Doctrine:  Ministry

Doctrine:  Enemies of the Believer

Doctrine:  Suffering/Testing

Doctrine:  Faith Rest

Doctrine:  Faith


Chapter 2

Doctrine:  Spiritual Support Blessings

Doctrine:  Positional Truth

Doctrine:  Joy

Doctrine:  Love

Doctrine:  Think the Same Thing

Doctrine:  Kingdom Citizenship

Doctrine:  Mental Attitude

Doctrine:  Humility

Doctrine:  Form of God

Doctrine:  Kenosis

Doctrine:  Hypostatic Union

Doctrine:  Barrier

Doctrine:  Names of Christ

Doctrine:  Plan of God

Doctrine:  Exaltation of Christ

Doctrine:  Session

Doctrine:  Salvation

Doctrine:  Spirituality

Doctrine:  God’s Good Pleasure

Doctrine:  Mental Attitude

Doctrine:  Sins of the Tongue

Doctrine:  Relationships among Believers

Doctrine:  Sanctification

Doctrine:  Ministry

Doctrine:  Leadership

Doctrine:  Timothy

Doctrine:  Epaphroditus

Doctrine:  Kindred Soul

Doctrine:  Good Assistant

Doctrine:  Healing


Chapter 3

Doctrine:  Joy

Doctrine:  Spiritual Blessings

Doctrine:  Legalism

Doctrine:  Circumcision

Doctrine:  Spirituality

Doctrine:  Pride

Doctrine:  Plan of God

Doctrine:  Problems of Christian Way of Life

Doctrine:  Names of Christ

Doctrine:  Details of Life

Doctrine:  Imputation

Doctrine:  Excellence (Scale of Values)

Doctrine:  Christology

Doctrine:  Occupation with Christ

Doctrine:  Fear of the Lord

Doctrine:  God’s Power in the Believer

Doctrine:  Suffering/Testing

Doctrine:  Learn-Review-Apply

Doctrine:  Ministries of the Holy Spirit

Doctrine:  Spiritual Growth

Doctrine:  Enemies of the Cross

Doctrine:  Kingdom Citizenship

Doctrine:  Resurrection Body

Doctrine:  Divine Attributes


Chapter 4

Doctrine:  Stand Firm (Spiritual Position of Strength

Doctrine:  Love

Doctrine:  Joy

Doctrine:  Crowns

Doctrine:  Think the Same Thing

Doctrine:  Relationships among Believers

Doctrine:  Book of Life

Doctrine:  Prayer

Doctrine:  Faith Rest

Doctrine:  Mind

Doctrine:  Heart

Doctrine:  Excellence (Scale of Values)

Doctrine:  Details of Life

Doctrine:  Plan of God

Doctrine:  Preparation of the Believer

Doctrine:  Imitate

Doctrine:  Grace Giving

Doctrine:  Learn-Review-Apply

Doctrine:  Knowledge of the Word

Doctrine:  Faith Application

Doctrine:  Learn the Secret

Doctrine:  Spiritual Maturity

Doctrine:  God’s Power in the Believer

Doctrine:  Supernatural Life

Doctrine:  Plan of God

Doctrine:  Divine Good

Doctrine:  Spiritual Investment

Doctrine:  Needs

Doctrine:  Positional Truth

Doctrine:  Divine Attributes

Doctrine:  Glory

Doctrine:  Fellowship

Doctrine:  Grace