Bible Study Lesson:
Philippians: Overview and Introduction
- Paul found church at Philippe on his second missionary journey. (Acts 16:11-40)
- The letter to the Philippians is like a ‘Thank You’ letter for the gift sent by the church
- Philippians sent gift to Paul through Epaphroditus (Phil 4:18) (Bible study on Spiritual Gifts)
- Epaphroditus fell very sick during his trip almost up to the point of death (Phil 2:27)
- Very personal letter, ‘I’ are used more than 100 times
- Letter was written in about 61 a.d. from Rome in prison
- It was first church in Europe.
Philippe – Overview:
- Roman colony
- Located in Macedonia, present day Northern Greece
- Leading city in Macedonia
- Church constituted mainly of gentiles
Philippians Church Background:
- Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke visited Philippe on second missionary journey around A.D. 50 (Acts 16:12)
- Other religions were not allowed in the city, so Paul and Co. used to go out of the city to preach. (Acts 16:13-15)
- Lydia was the first believer, she was a business woman.
- Paul casted out evil spirit from slave girl who had a spirit of fortune-telling (Acts 16: 16-18)
- Paul and Silas was thrown in to prison due to that.
- Jailer and his household’s conversion in the prison (Acts 16: 27-34)
- Paul, citizen of Rome, were escourted out of prison (Acts 16:39)
- Paul’s continued Influence in the Prison
- Note Phil 1:13 – Prison guards testifies about Paul
- Phil 4:22 – Caesar’s households, note that he was not a guest there, he was prisoner
Major Theme of the letter to the Philippians:
- Rejoice in Suffering
- Joy, Gospel
- Jesus Christ – used more than 25 times
- Church of Philippi was persecuted church. Phi 1:30 – “Since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”
- (Also check, The Book of Hebrew- Introduction)
- Greece – Athens was birth place of Olympics and Running was the first Olympic game. See how Paul uses this analogy to his walk with Christ (Phil 3:14)
Check out excellent resource on Introduction of Philippians – The Church that Almost wasn’t there from thebiblepost.com.
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