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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Philippians Chapter 1 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Paul
Date Penned: (61 AD)
Overview: Paul Proclaims Truth to Strengthen the Body (c 1-4)
Theme: Joy Comes from Jesus Christ Alone (c 1-4)
Message: Joy in Suffering (v 1-30)

Philippians 1 Commentary

(1:1-2) Greetings from Paul - As Paul wrote this letter, he was under house arrest in Rome. When the Philippian church had heard about Paul’s imprisonment, they had sent Epaphroditus (who may have been one their elders) to Rome to visit and encourage him. Epaphroditus had arrived with words of affection from the church, as well as a financial contribution that would help make Paul’s confinement more comfortable. Paul wanted to thank the believers for helping him during his time of need. He also wanted to tell them why he could be full of joy despite his imprisonment and upcoming trial. He wanted them to remain strong in the faith, realizing that although he was in chains for the gospel, God was still in control and the truth of the gospel remained unchanged. In this uplifting letter, Paul counseled the Philippians about humility and unity and warned them about potential problems they would face.

(1:3-11) Paul's Thanksgiving and Prayer - Following the convention of first-century letter writing, Paul extended his greeting by expressing thanksgiving and saying a prayer for the believers. Paul’s words in this section are tender and sincere; he was genuinely thankful for the Philippians’ gifts and partnership in the gospel, and he was confident that they would continue in the faith. Paul’s prayer for this church gives us an example for a prayer we can pray for our church and for believers around the world.

(1:12-19) Paul's Joy that Christ is Preached - Paul explained to the Philippians that they shouldn’t despair over his imprisonment because what had happened to him was helping to spread the gospel. Paul’s example encouraged many believers to willingly take a stand for Christ and preach the Good News regardless of the consequences. Paul himself never stopped preaching, even in his confinement. The soldiers guarding Paul heard the gospel and they learned that he was in prison not for being a criminal, but for being a Christian.

(1:20-26) Paul's Life for Christ - This was not Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome, but he didn’t know that. Awaiting trial, Paul knew that he could either be released or executed; however, he trusted Christ to work it out for his deliverance. If the verdict were to go against him, Christ would be glorified in Paul’s martyrdom. If Paul was to be released, he would welcome the opportunity to continue serving the Lord. As it turned out, Paul was released from this imprisonment but arrested again two or three years later. Only faith in Christ could sustain Paul in such adversity.

(1:27-30) Live as Citizens of Heaven - While Paul focused his letter to the Philippians on his thankfulness for their partnership and gifts to him, he also focused on problems that were brewing in the congregation. Paul encouraged the believers to be unified and to always remember that Christ is their example. We must follow Christ because of who he is and what he has done for us.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

True Joy

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the book of Philippianswith Chapter 1 and in our text we see Paul addressing the Philippians by letter from a Roman jail. In His letter he explains that true joy comes from Jesus Christ not situations or circumstances. In making application we see this truth today as many believe that finances or personal success will bring joy. How about you? Do you see that true joy comes from the Lord? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder from Paul that true joy is in Christ alone and not in any earthly situations or circumstances.


Philippians 1

Philippians 1

 1Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

 2Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 3I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

 4Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

 5For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

 6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 7Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

 8For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

 9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

 11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

 12But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

 13So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

 14And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

 15Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

 16The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

 17But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

 18What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

 19For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

 20According 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.

 21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

 22But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

 23For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

 24Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

 25And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

 26That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

 27Only 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;

 28And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

 29For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

 30Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.