Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Philippians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it about 62 A.D. as he anticipated his release from prison. They key personalities are the Apostle Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus, Euodia, and Syntyche. It was written to show his appreciation and love to the Philippians in a thank-you letter for their continued help and support, and also to encourage their growth.
• Chapter 1, Paul writes about his sufferings and that through his imprisonment the Kingdom was increased. “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel” (1:12). Christians are to surrender their lives in service to Christ Jesus. And what should Christians expect in this life for doing this? Suffering. Paul explains that there are two things granted by God for a believer. The first is to believe in Him and the other is to suffer, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me” (1:29-30). Jesus said, “Count the cost”... (Luke 14:25-33).
• Chapter 2, Paul explains the benefits of believers in unity with the “mind of Christ”. He teaches a theological lesson about the humanity of Jesus Christ as He laid down His glory and became a perfect human man in order to rescue and restore mankind back to a relationship with God.
• Chapter 3, Paul expounds on the joys of a Christian and encourages the church to press forward with the Gospel. He displays his testimony when he said, “I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (3:8).
• Chapter 4, Paul again mentions joy in Christ as he encourages believers to rejoice in the Lord. It is important for the believer to be well grounded in prayer and thanksgiving. To offer praise and to give God thanks for the many provisions they are blessed with, “my God shall supply all your needs” (4:19).