PHILIPPIANS

Philippians: [Apostle] Paul’s Joy in Christ – Philippi was Paul’s pride and joy – Arms of friendship extended between Paul and the believers at Philippi that didn’t exist in the other churches – None of his other letters has such abundant expressions of tender personal dedication and benevolence as this letter – Luke seems to have been their first pastor for about five years after its establishment in Acts 16

STYLE OF WRITING: This is the most personal, informal and cordial letter Paul wrote to a church. It is a thank you letter in response to a gift they have sent to Paul while he was in Rome. The reader senses the conflicts, hope, faith, determination, high purpose, deep driving passion of a man who seeks to glorify Christ in every dimension of his life. His greatest fear is to run and be disqualified. Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians reach spiritual peaks found nowhere else in Scripture. This letter expresses joy and peace during a time of affliction and uncertain future. He hasn't received financial help from the other churches. The letter is filled with expressions of gratitude and thankfulness for their expression of love and faithfulness which he has received on several occasions. He writes his letter from the position of one who is secure in the place he occupies in the hearts of his readers. Therefore, he can share from his heart his personal convictions and his internal conflicts about the future. It is filled with joy, peace and thanksgiving. The words "joy," "rejoicing," "rejoice" are repeated many times in these short 104 verses. This is indeed written in the style of a spontaneous, loving sincere letter with general everyday moral exhortations. It is as a friend simply opens up his heart to those whom he loves. -- AUTHOR: Paul (Phil. 1:1). There is nothing in the letter, linguistic or historical, which can cause any doubt as to its authenticity. External evidence includes: Clemens Romanus, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Marcion's Apostolicons, and Muratorian Canon. -- PLACE OF WRITING: It was written from prison in the city of Rome (1:7, 13; 4:22). Paul refers to his imprisonment in 1:7, 13, 14; 2:17. According to Acts he was a prisoner at Philippi (16:23, Jerusalem (21:33), Caesarea (23:25) and Rome (28:16, 30, 31). Paul was in prison two years while at Caesarea, however no final decision in his case was ever expected there. He was in prison at Rome for two years, pending his appeal to Caesar. The whole tradition of the early Church pleads for Rome. Moreover, Phil. 1:13, the "praetorian guard" and Phil. 4:22, "Caesar's household," would indicate the imprisonment at Rome. The Praetorian Guard was a force of 9,000 men at the disposal of Caesar. The final decisions regarding his appeal and, indeed, his life would certainly decide for Rome. -- RECIPIENTS: was the Church at Philippi (Acts 16:11-40; 17:14; 19:22; 20:3-4; Phil. 2:19). Paul, Timothy, Silas and Dr. Luke were all a vital part of the founding of the Church at Philippi. *Luke seems to have been their first pastor for about five years after its establishment in Acts 16. Paul directs his letter to the "saints" at Philippi (1:1; cf. Rom. 1:7; I Cor. 1:2; II Cor. 1:1). [link]

Philippi – Ancient Macedonia, Northern Greece – (Photos)

Gangitis River: Philippi apparently had only a small number of Jewish inhabitants and no synagogue. Consequently Shabbat worship was held outside the city on the Gangitis River. Here Paul met a group of women to whom he preached the gospel. Lydia, a merchant trading purple cloth, believed Paul's message and was baptized with members of her household. Subsequently Paul went and lived at her home. -- Excavations: Archaeological work has revealed a large and well-preserved forum, a theater, the alleged jail of Paul and several Byzantine churches, including one of the earliest churches known in Greece. The number of churches in the city in the Byzantine period indicate Philippi's importance to Christians at this time. A series of earthquakes apparently destroyed many of the buildings and probably contributed to the city's decline. -- Philippian Jail: This traditional place of Paul and Silas's imprisonment is of dubious authenticity, but it remembers the attack on these men and their subsequent flogging and imprisonment. In the course of the night, a violent earthquake shook the prison and the jailer feared that all might have escaped. After learning that none had fled, the Philippian jailer put his faith in Christ and was baptized with his family. [link]

GODS, GOLD AND THE GLORY OF PHILIPPI – The Apostle Paul’s visit to Macedonia marked the first time he set foot on European soil (Acts 16:11) – However, this was not the first time the gospel was proclaimed in Europe (Acts 2:10) – In fact, the “Macedonian call” (Acts 16:9) seems to imply that there were already believers in Macedonia that needed help in evangelizing their province – One writer commented, “Out of Macedonia, Alexander the Great once went to conquer the Eastern world but later from Macedonia the power of the gospel went to conquer the Western world of Paul’s day” (Swift 1984:250) – Philippi played an important role in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul – He also had an effective and lasting ministry in the lives of the believers in the Lord Jesus in Philippi

Was Philippi Dr. Luke's Hometown? Some scholars have suggested that Dr. Luke's hometown was Philippi. This is a possibility. When one examines the pronouns in the book of Acts this observation is borne out. Up until chapter 16, Luke [Book of Acts] is writing about the work of Peter and Paul. When Paul, Silas and Timothy get to Alexandria Troas the pronouns change from "they/them" (Acts 16:7,8) to "us/we" (Acts 16:9,10). Dr. Luke escorts the group to Philippi (Acts 16:11,12). He is with them when they go to the place of prayer (Acts 16:13,16,17). When Paul and Silas leave Philippi, Dr. Luke stayed behind (Acts 17:1). Paul picks him up on his way to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:5,6). Luke appears to have stayed in Philippi for at least six years. More than likely it was because it was his home. After Paul cast the demon out of the slave girl, he and Silas were tried before the magistrates and accused of being Jewish, but Luke was not (Acts 16:19,20). Dr. Luke was a respected member of the community so they did not bring him before the magistrate. But also, Luke was a Gentile (cf. Col. 4:11,14), so the accusation of being Jewish would not have applied. This possibility will never know for certain unless an archaeologist uncovers an inscription in Philippi with Dr. Luke's name on it, although this is not outside the realm of possibility. A number of years ago an inscription was found in Corinth with the name of Erastus on it (Rom. 16:23; Acts 19:22; II Tim. 4:20).  [link]

EarlyChristianWritings.com: THE EPISTLE OF POLYCARP [Bishop of the Church at Smyrna] to the Church at Philippi – Polycarp born about 69 A.D. – died as a martyr in 155 A.D. at Smyrna – {Note: Church Fathers [Fathers in the Christian Faith] also known as Apostolic Fathers are the 2nd generation of Christians. The Apostles were those who had exclusively and personally witnessed (1 Corinthians 15:6) the resurrected Jesus Christ. The next generation of Christians (the 2nd generation) are those [like Polycarp the Bishop of the Church in Smyrna ] who did not see the resurrected Jesus but who learned from the Apostles themselves. Polycarp was a student of the Apostle John who had been a Disciple of Jesus Christ. The term “Church Fathers” is applied to the 2nd generation of Christians in the same way that the term “Father of the Faith” is applied to Abraham (Romans 4:11). Abraham is not the first generation of faith in God but he is the first generation to have faith as we have it. Prior to Abraham, during the days of Abraham’s father Terah (Genesis 11:26), the sons of Noah [1st global judgment of God] were still living and previous to the days of Noah the Adam of creation was still living. If a person wanted to know about the flood or the original creation before the flood of Noah they could get an eyewitness account from one of the sons of Noah, likewise the Apostles gave eyewitness accounts of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and having had an eyewitness experience with God in His resurrection, His global judgment flood or with God’s original creation the Apostles and the ancients [those who had lived previous to the days of the flood of Noah (Job 12:12)] had a slightly different faith (John 20:29) than we have. We have a faith more similar to that of the Church Fathers than to the faith of the original Apostles.}

Polycarp and the presbyters that are with him unto the Church of God which sojourneth at Philippi; mercy unto you and peace from God Almighty and Jesus Christ our Savior be multiplied. I rejoiced with you greatly in our Lord Jesus Christ, for that ye received the followers of the true Love and escorted them on their way, as befitted you--those men encircled in saintly bonds which are the diadems of them that be truly chosen of God and our Lord; and that the steadfast root of your faith which was famed from primitive times abideth until now and beareth fruit unto our Lord Jesus Christ, who endured to face even death for our sins, whom God raised, having loosed the pangs of *Hades; on whom, **though ye saw Him not [not of the origional Apostles], ye believe with joy unutterable and full of glory; unto which joy many desire to enter in; forasmuch as ye know that it is by grace ye are saved, not of works, but by the will of God through Jesus Christ. ... I exhort you all therefore to be obedient unto the word of righteousness and to practice all endurance, which also ye saw with your own eyes in the blessed Ignatius and Zosimus and Rufus, yea and in others also who came from among yourselves, as well as in *Paul himself and the rest of the Apostles; being persuaded that all these ran not in vain but in faith and righteousness, and that they are in their due place in the presence of the Lord, with whom also they suffered. For they loved not the present world, but Him that died for our sakes and was raised by God for us. Stand fast therefore in these things and follow the example of the Lord, being firm in the faith and immovable, in love of the brotherhood kindly affectioned one to another, partners with the truth, forestalling one another in the gentleness of the Lord, despising no man. ... Pray for all the saints. Pray also for kings and powers and princes and for them that persecute and hate you and for the enemies of the cross, that your fruit may be manifest among all men, that ye may be perfect in Him. Ye wrote to me, both ye yourselves and Ignatius, asking that if anyone should go to Syria he might carry thither the letters from you. And this I will do, if I get a fit opportunity, either I myself, or he whom I shall send to be ambassador on your behalf also. The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him, and others as many as we had by us, we send unto you, according as ye gave charge; the which are subjoined to this letter; from which ye will be able to gain great advantage. For they comprise faith and endurance and every kind of edification, which pertaineth unto our Lord. Moreover concerning Ignatius himself and those that were with him, if ye have any sure tidings, certify us. I write these things to you by Crescens, whom I commended to you recently and now commend unto you: for he hath walked blamelessly with us; and I believe also with you in like manner. But ye shall have his sister commended, when she shall come to you. Fare ye well in the Lord Jesus Christ in grace, ye and all yours. Amen. [link]

Early Christian Church Fathers – Published documents and letters of the Early Church Fathers

The following are early church fathers and apologists [defenders of the faith] of the first and second centuries [about 55 A.D. - 199 A.D.]. The first eight or nine documents are also known as the Apostolic Fathers. The writers known as the church fathers represent the ancient orthodox church as opposed to other elements of ancient Christianity such as Gnosticism. These are the church fathers and apologists that can be read on the Early Christian Writings web site. [link]

The Encyclical Epistle of the Church at Smyrna Concerning the Martyrdom of the Holy [Bishop] Polycarp [155 A.D] – We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp

We have written to you, brethren, as to what relates to the martyrs, and especially to the blessed Polycarp, who put an end to the persecution, having, as it were, set a seal upon it by his martyrdom. For almost all the events that happened previously [to this one], took place that the Lord might show us from above a martyrdom becoming the Gospel. For he waited to be delivered up, even as the Lord had done, that we also might become his followers, while we look not merely at what concerns ourselves but have regard also to our neighbors. For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one's self to be saved, but also all the brethren. ... But the most admirable Polycarp, when he first heard [that he was sought for], was in no measure disturbed, but resolved to continue in the city. However, in deference to the wish of many, he was persuaded to leave it. He departed, therefore, to a country house not far distant from the city. There he stayed with a few [friends], engaged in nothing else night and day than praying for all men, and for the Churches throughout the world, according to his usual custom. And while he was praying, a vision presented itself to him three days before he was taken; and, behold, the pillow under his head seemed to him on fire. Upon this, turning to those that were with him, he said to them prophetically, "I must be burnt alive." And when those who sought for him were at hand, he departed to another dwelling, whither his pursuers immediately came after him. And when they found him not, they seized upon two youths [that were there], one of whom, being subjected to torture, confessed. It was thus impossible that he should continue hid, since those that betrayed him were of his own household. The Irenarch then (whose office is the same as that of the Cleronomus), by name Herod, hastened to bring him into the stadium. [This all happened] that he might fulfil his special lot, being made a partaker of Christ, and that they who betrayed him might undergo the punishment of Judas himself. ... His pursuers then, along with horsemen, and taking the youth with them, went forth at supper-time on the day of the preparation with their usual weapons, as if going out against a robber. And being come about evening [to the place where he was], they found him lying down in the upper room of a certain little house, from which he might have escaped into another place; but he refused, saying, "The will of God be done." So when he heard that they were come, he went down and spake with them. And as those that were present marvelled at his age and constancy, some of them said. "Was so much effort made to capture such a venerable man?" Immediately then, in that very hour, he ordered that something to eat and drink should be set before them, as much indeed as they cared for, while he besought them to allow him an hour to pray without disturbance. And on their giving him leave, he stood and prayed, being full of the grace of God, so that he could not cease for two full hours, to the astonishment of them that heard him, insomuch that many began to repent that they had come forth against so godly and venerable an old man. ... Now, as Polycarp was entering into the stadium, there came to him a voice from heaven, saying, "Be strong, and show thyself a man, O Polycarp!" No one saw who it was that spoke to him; but those of our brethren who were present heard the voice. And as he was brought forward, the tumult became great when they heard that Polycarp was taken. And when he came near, the proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On his confessing that he was, [the proconsul] sought to persuade him to deny [Christ], saying, "Have respect to thy old age," and other similar things, according to their custom, [such as], "Swear by the fortune of Caesar; repent, and say, Away with the Atheists." But Polycarp, gazing with a stern countenance on all the multitude of the wicked heathen then in the stadium, and waving his hand towards them, while with groans he looked up to heaven, said, "Away with the Atheists." Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, "Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ;" Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?" And when the proconsul yet again pressed him, and said, "Swear by the fortune of Caesar," he answered, "Since thou art vainly urgent that, as thou sayest, I should swear by the fortune of Caesar, and pretendest not to know who and what I am, hear me declare with boldness, I am a Christian. And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and thou shalt hear them." The proconsul replied, "Persuade the people." But Polycarp said, "To thee I have thought it right to offer an account [of my faith]; for we are taught to give all due honour (which entails no injury upon ourselves) to the powers and authorities which are ordained of God. But as for these, I do not deem them worthy of receiving any account from me." The proconsul then said to him, "I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent." But he answered, "Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous." But again the proconsul said to him, "I will cause thee to be consumed by fire, seeing thou despisest the wild beasts, if thou wilt not repent." But Polycarp said, "Thou threatenest me with fire which burneth for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but art ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why tarriest thou? Bring forth what thou wilt." While he spoke these and many other like things, he was filled with confidence and joy, and his countenance was full of grace, so that not merely did it not fall as if troubled by the things said to him, but, on the contrary, the proconsul was astonished, and sent his herald to proclaim in the midst of the stadium thrice, "Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian." This proclamation having been made by the herald, the whole multitude both of the heathen and Jews, who dwelt at Smyrna, cried out with uncontrollable fury, and in a loud voice, "This is the teacher of Asia, the father of the Christians, and the overthrower of our gods, he who has been teaching many not to sacrifice, or to worship the gods." Speaking thus, they cried out, and besought Philip the Asiarch to let loose a lion upon Polycarp. But Philip answered that it was not lawful for him to do so, seeing the shows of wild beasts were already finished. Then it seemed good to them to cry out with one consent, that Polycarp should be burnt alive. For thus it behooved the vision which was revealed to him in regard to his pillow to be fulfilled, when, seeing it on fire as he was praying, he turned about and said prophetically to the faithful that were with him, "I must be burnt alive." When he had pronounced this amen, and so finished his prayer, those who were appointed for the purpose kindled the fire. And as the flame blazed forth in great fury, we, to whom it was given to witness it, beheld a great miracle, and have been preserved that we might report to others what then took place. For the fire, shaping itself into the form of an arch, like the sail of a ship when filled with the wind, encompassed as by a circle the body of the martyr. And he appeared within not like flesh which is burnt, but as bread that is baked, or as gold and silver glowing in a furnace. Moreover, we perceived such a sweet odour [coming from the pile], as if frankincense or some such precious spices had been smoking there. ... At length, when those wicked men perceived that his body could not be consumed by the fire, they commanded an executioner to go near and pierce him through with a dagger. And on his doing this, there came forth a dove, and a great quantity of blood, so that the fire was extinguished; and all the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. Forevery word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished. ... [link]

Polycarp [Letter] to the Philippians – Estimated Range of Dating: 110-140 A.D. – Polycarp resided in Asia Minor as Bishop of Smyrna and sent an epistle to the Philippians c. 120-140 AD – Polycarp was martyred c. 155 AD

Irenaeus mentions Polycarp in Adv. Haer., III.3.4: But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles [John and possibly Paul], and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time, a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles, that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within." And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Dost thou know me? "I do know thee, the first-born of Satan." Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself." There is also a very powerful Epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians, from which those who choose to do so, and are anxious about their salvation, can learn the character of his faith, and the preaching of the truth. Then, again, the Church in Ephesus, founded by Paul, and having John remaining among them permanently until the times of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles. ... Jerome provides the following summary in Illustrious Men 17: Polycarp disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna was chief of all Asia, where he saw and had as teachers some of the apostles and of those who had seen the Lord. He, on account of certain questions concerning the day of the Passover, went to Rome in the time of the emperor Antoninus Pius while Anicetus ruled the church in that city. There he led back to the faith many of the believers who had been deceived through the persuasion of Marcion {i.e. water baptism saves - so they were baptized later in life, after marriage, after child birth etc. - Constantine (277-337 AD.) the first Christian Emperor of Rome and his father both believed this doctrine and both were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins at the end of their life only when on their deathbeds} and Valentinus {Gnostic Heretic - i.e. a greater god [Zoe] than God exists, Jesus-God (the Jewish, Christian God) was created by an even higher god [a god with lots of names (Lucifer, Gaia, Zoe, the Source, the Light, the Almighty, Divine Creator, Serpant, Father Satan, etc.) but usually secretly referred to as Satan or Lucifer]}, and when Marcion met him by chance and said "Do you know us" he replied, "I know the firstborn of the devil." Afterwards during the reign of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus in the fourth persecution after Nero, in the presence of the proconsul holding court at Smyrna and all the people crying out against him in the Amphitheater, he was burned. He wrote a very valuable Epistle to the Philippians which is read to the present day in the meetings in Asia. [link]

BasicChristian.org: Did Jesus have a wife and child? Of course Not! – Da Vinci Code Gnostic (Jesus is only human) Cults Exposed!

Network TV, the movie "The Da Vinci Code" 'SEEK THE TRUTH' {Sony Pictures - Directed by: Ron Howard, Starring: Tom Hanks, May 2006} and now The Da Vinci Code part two "Angels & Demons" (2009) are programs that will insinuate that Jesus had a secret wife, Mary Magdalene and that the two had a child while He was here on the earth. Following is some material to consider regarding this very wrong and false topic. This is a startling topic yet it is a good opportunity for us as Christians to define Christianity to others and to point out the errors of the non-Biblical approach to defining Jesus. "Any marriage prior to the Cross would mean that Jesus was marring a sinner and really teachings of an earthly marriage of Jesus are yet another false set of teachings that are attempting to do away with the need of mankind for the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and of His Glorious Resurrection and it is an attempt to deny the special relationship that Jesus has with His Bride - The Church." [link]

Gnosticism – Hollywood’s War on God: Learn how these movies are initiating the masses into a Gnostic worldview that will culminate in a “strong delusion” as the world joins Satan & the final Antichrist in their war against God (DVD – $19.95)

Hollywood's War on God is a mind-blowing, eye-popping documentary that reveals how satanic forces are using Hollywood's most memorable movies and most popular actors to propagate an ancient lie in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Learn how these movies are initiating the masses into a Gnostic worldview that will culminate in a "strong delusion" as the world joins Satan & the final Antichrist in their war on God. Such titles include Ron Howard & Tom Hanks "The Da Vinci Code"; Keanu Reeves "The Matrix" and "Constantine"; Brad Pitt's "Fight Club"; Jim Carrey's "Truman Show"; Toby McQuire's "Pleasantville"; Arnold Swarzenegger's "Total Recall"; Johnny Depp's "From Hell"; Shawn Connery's "League of Extraordinary Gentleman"; J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter"; Harrison Ford's "Bladerunner"; Tom Cruise's "Vanilla Sky," "Eyes Wide Shut" and "Minority Report" and many others.  [link]

Philippians 1 – The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Church at Philippi a Church fellowship that had become one of his main delights and joys in the Lord — ‘Philippians 1:1-6 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the Saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops [Bible teaching Church leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers, etc.] and deacons [non-teaching servants, ushers, preparing communion, etc.]: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, *For your fellowship in the Gospel *from the first day until now; **Being confident of this very thing, *that He [God] which hath begun a good work *in you *will perform [complete] it until the day [2nd Coming] of Jesus Christ’

Philippians 1:19-30 For I know that this [Paul's humiliation at being arrested and jailed] shall turn to my salvation [wellbeing, Christian growth] through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so **now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. **For to me to live is Christ, *and to die is gain [to gain Heaven and eternity with Jesus]. But if I live [on] in the flesh, this [Christian work] is the fruit of my labour [meaning of Paul's existence]: yet what I shall choose [death and eternal life in Heaven or continued Christian work and growth] I wot not [know not - still undecided]. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart [into Heaven], and to be with [Jesus] Christ; which [being in Heaven] is far better {Paul had already experienced being in Heaven}: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel; *And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token [evidence] of perdition [lost salvation], *but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, *but also to suffer for His sake [as Jesus was rejected by the world]; Having the same [rejected by the world] conflict *which ye saw in me, and now hear to [continue to] be in me. - Paul talks about the continued conflict that remains in the Christian. The Christian desire to begin life with Jesus in Heaven and also the desire to remain here on earth to do good and to continue to grow and mature in the Christian faith. Paul also talks about the conflicting notion of suffering persecution as a Christian. If becoming a Christian means suffering and rejection then why become a Christian and why would God allow it to happen and it's because while on earth we are conformed into fellowship with Jesus and in the 1st Coming of Jesus He was rejected, persecuted and suffered.

Philippians 2 – Paul explains that though circumstances are difficult for him at the moment a knowledge of their continued Christian growth and maturity would bring a joy to Paul that would help to make his present difficulties less difficult — ‘Philippians 2:1-5 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. *Look not every man on his own things, *but every man also on the things of others. *Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus’

Philippians 2:6-18 ***[Jesus] Who, being [originally] in the form of God, thought it not robbery [taking away from God] to be equal with God [Jesus as God is equal to God]: **But made Himself of no reputation [temporarily removed His status as Gog], and took upon Him the form of a servant [became a human], and was made in the [human] likeness of men: And being found in [physical] fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God [Father] also hath highly exalted Him, *and given Him a Name which is above every name: ***That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [in Hades]; **And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation [wellbeing in Jesus, Christian growth, maturity] with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings [complaining] and disputings [arguing]: That ye may be blameless and harmless, *the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, **among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the [Gospel] Word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain [empty], neither laboured in vain. Yea, **and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of [give his life in service for] your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. - The main theme of the letter to the Philippians is Christian growth and maturity and above all Paul wants them to continue to grow and mature in their Christian faith to the point that their lives are no longer selfish and that they no longer live life for themselves temporarily here on earth but now live their life eternally for Jesus in Heaven.

Philippians 3 – Paul is serious that this physical life is an opportunity to fellowship with Jesus in His sufferings and in His persecutions and that to know and experience the suffering of Jesus is to fellowship with Jesus — ‘Philippians 3:8-11 Yea doubtless, and I count all [accomplishments] things [in this life] but loss *for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, *not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, *the righteousness which is of God by faith: ***That I may know Him [Jesus], *and the power of His resurrection, *and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; [so that] If [since] by any means I might attain unto the [Holy, eternal] resurrection of the dead.’

Philippians 3:12-21 Not as though I had already attained [eternal life], either were already perfect [completed in Jesus Christ]: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend [obtain] that [eternal life salvation] for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. *Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [eternal life]: **but this one thing I do, forgetting those [uncertain] things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those [certain Salvation] things which are before [yet future], **I press [continue] toward the mark for the prize of the [Heavenly] High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. *Let us therefore, as many as be perfect [complete in Jesus Christ], be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto [with what Christian knowledge] we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, **who mind earthly things. **For our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Jesus] *Who shall change our vile [physical] body, that [being predestined to the image of the resurrected Jesus (Romans 8:29)] it [our physical body] may be fashioned like unto His glorious [eternal, spiritual] body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. - Keep in mind that eternal life is something that is completed at the Throne, Bema Seat Judgment of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10) after our own individual death and resurrection and is not obtained specifically here on earth. - Note: The Apostle Paul was briefly in Heaven and possibly having doubts about his own ministry (Galatians 2:2) and his own standing with God [apart from the laws of Moses] the Apostle Paul appears to have witnessed in Heaven a Bema Seat Judgment take place. "2 Corinthians 12:4 How that he [Apostle Paul] was caught up into paradise [Heaven, Throne of God], *and heard unspeakable [Bema Seat Judgment] words, which it is **not **lawful [illegal] for a man to utter [repeat]." It's possible that Paul was able to witness a Bema Seat Judgment [or Judgments] and apparently all went well for the Christians and Paul realized that the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ being the finalization 'acceptance' of individual Christianity is a reward for the Christian [those in Jesus Christ] and not a condemnation.

Philippians 4 – The Apostle Paul explains that eternal life our names written in the “Book of Life” is what is at stake in Christian Fellowship — ‘Philippians 4:1-3 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, **my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord [Jesus Christ], my dearly beloved. I beseech [request] [the two Christian women] Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they [try to get along and stop causing so much strife and drama within the fellowship] be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women [Euodias, and Syntyche] which labored with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, **whose names are in the Book of Life [and if not removed (Revelation 3:5) will pass the Bema Seat Judgment of Jesus Christ].’

The Apostle Paul concludes the Bibles' Book of Philippians: Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. *Be careful for nothing; but in everything *by prayer and supplication [request to God] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And ***the peace of God, which passeth all [physical] understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ***Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, **think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. ... Philippians 4:20-23 Now **unto God [Jesus Christ] **and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household [this letter is thought to be written while Paul is under house arrest in Rome while he is guarded by Roman guards]. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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