Philippians 1:1, 2
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi…
I. IT IS IN THE WORLD. Philippi, a city of importance as a center of trade and traffic. A Roman colony reproducing on a minute scale the institutions of the empire city.
II. IT IS NOT OR THE WORLD, BUT IS CHRIST. In him its life is hidden. Three times in these two verses are its members reminded of him. The Church is nothing except so far as it is the living body of Christ and partakes of his grace and peace.
III. IT IS CATHOLIC. We possess a particularly full account of the first preaching of the gospel at Philippi (Acts 16.). Three of its earliest converts are remarkable - Lydia, a Jewish proselyte; a Greek slave; a Roman jailor. These may be taken to represent the three leading divisions of the human family, all of which are to be embraced by the Catholic Church. Their conversion also illustrates the truth that in Christ Jesus there is no distinction of male or female, bond or free.
IV. IT TRANSFIGURES HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS INTO DIVINE. It is of the Church at Philippi that it is especially recorded that the faith was received, not merely by individuals, but by whole families (Acts 16:15, 33). The family is the Divine unit in God's natural organization of mankind. May not this fact in some measure account for the singular freedom of the Philippian Church from the grosset forms of error, and for the simplicity of its faith and love?
V. IT IS APOSTOLIC. It receives its teaching from the mouth of the apostles and is in communion with them.
VI. IT IS AN ORDERLY AND ORGANIZED COMMUNITY, WITH ITS BISHOPS AND DEACONS.
VII. IT ABIDES. Being the possessor of a life which it derives from the spiritual world, it outlasts the visible and external order of things. The city of Philippi has long since ceased to be; it is almost impossible to trace any reminiscence of its former importance. The Church of Philippi lives still in the words of this Epistle, and exercises a power and an influence which can never cease to be. - V.W.H.
Parallel VersesKJV: Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: