In our fifty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us through the book of Philippians, another of Paul's letters to the church. Referred to as "the epistle of joy," the message contained in these pages is one of long suffering and joy in the midst of Paul's time in prison. Despite his trials, we will see Paul rejoice over the church in Philippi and encourage them in unity, humility, and prayer. The key chapters to review are Philippians 1-4.
The church in Philippi might never have happened, except for a vision to Paul that called him to Macedonia (Acts 16:9). Philippians is a very personal letter from Paul to a caring and generous church for which he had a special affection. In this Letter, Paul shows his joy in spite of his imprisonment, his love for the church, his overwhelming devotion to Christ, and his concern that the Philippians will drift away from all they have been taught.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
c. 50 A.D.
Paul establishes the church at Philippi
c. 62 A.D.
Paul writes the book of Philippians from prison in Rome
Philippians has been called "the epistle of joy." The word "joy" appears five times in the letter, and "rejoice" occurs 11 times. Paul says that his main concern is that the gospel is preached, whatever happens to him. He preaches unity, humility and prayer, and he exhorts the Philippians to have joy in suffering and joy in service to Christ. He also encourages them to have the mind of Christ, the knowledge of Christ and the peace of Christ. And he reminds them that their true home is in heaven.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
Philippi – The first city in Europe where Paul established a church.
PEOPLE OF INTEREST:
Timothy – Paul's traveling companion and fellow laborer. He was a resident of Lystra, apparently, whose father was a Greek and mother a Jew.
Epaphroditus – A man sent by the church to bring Paul gifts, and to take care of his needs.
Euodias and Syntyche – Two women who had served nobly in the cause of the gospel. By the time Philippians was written, the two former friends had had falling out.
Clement – A loyal worker with Paul in the cause of the gospel. He may have been the same man as Clement of Rome, an important church leader after Paul's time.
Lydia – A wealthy Asian with no Jewish ancestry but a deep interest in religion who was deeply impressed by Paul's message and became a Christian.
Epaphroditus was a common slave name. Paul's friend may have been a freedman who had once been a slave.
There is a lot of ancient Philippi left, and it is today the most important archaeological site of eastern Macedonia.
Battle of Philippi – The most dramatic event in Philippi's history came in 42 B.C., when the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian clashed in a final, decisive battle with the forces of Cassius and Brutus, just outside the walls of the city.