Philippians Review: Chapters 1-2

1:1-8: The imprisoned Apostle affectionately writes to the Philippian saints, joyfully thanking God for His work in saving them and for their partnership in the gospel. Implications: God deserves all the credit for saving people and preparing His church for the spread of the gospel.


1:9-11: Paul prays for a love that abounds in biblical knowledge and practical insight. This kind of love leads to good decisions and righteous living.  This is how we can glorify God. Implications: Pray that we grow in smart love that causes good decisions, character and fruit to the praise of God.


1:12-18a: Paul’s imprisonment causes an advancement of the gospel. Paul rejoices in the proclamation of Christ whether from good-willed brethren or from ill-motivated and envious/ambitious self-seekers. Implications: Rejoice in the proclamation of Christ, even in tough circumstances and personal loss.


1:18b-26: Paul is sure he will rejoice in the future, because Christ will be exalted in his body whether through life (to serve God's people) or through death (to be with Christ). Implications: Christians ever rejoice in Christ’s exaltation. Life means ministry to God’s people. Death means being with Him.


1:27-30: Paul instructs the Philippians on unity. Christians stand firm together for the faith and boldly suffer for Christ. Christian courage shows persecutors that God will judge them for their injustice. Implications:  Pray for and seek unity in God’s church. Christian fortitude indicts persecutors.


2:1-5: Paul reminds the Philippians of their spiritual benefits and exhorts them to reflect the same loving and humble mindset toward one another. Implications: We must mindfully reflect God’s love, giving up self and prioritizing others. Unity means we treat one another as God treats us.


2:6-11: Paul exhorts the Philippians to imitate the example of Christ. Christ denied what was rightfully His and sacrificially humbled himself in obedience to God. God highly exalted Christ. Implications: God calls all of us to imitate Christ’s ultimate example of selfless humility.


2:12-16a: Paul commands the saved Philippians to practically pursue holy lives in humble submission to God. Implications: Christians are unlike the world: they put aside grumbling and disputing and hold fast to the gospel.


2:16b-24: Paul ties his future joy to the Philippian church’s sanctification. Paul calls on them to rejoice in his willingness to lay down his life for them.

He hopes to send Timothy, the church-lover who seeks the interests of Christ. Implications: Ministers rejoice to see the church’s sanctification. Ministry is a shared joy among God’s people: the minister in giving, the church in receiving. To love Christ is to love His church.


2:25-30: Paul also explains his caring decision to send the sacrificial Epaphroditus back to the Philippians who are distressed over his illness. Implications: Christians exhibit profound concern, care and affection for one another. Honor men who sacrifice their comforts and lives to serve the church.