Phillippians Ch. 1 Basic Outline & Thoughts

(NOTE: These kind of outlines that I write are simple and basic thoughts and comments I have on the text as I go over it. These are basic commentary for the use of aiding study and me remembering my thoughts.)

“[1:1] Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
[2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

[3] I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, [4] always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, [5] because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. [6] And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. [7] It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. [8] For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. [9] And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, [10] so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, [11] filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

[12] I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, [13] so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. [14] And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

[15] Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. [16] The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. [17] The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. [18] What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I will rejoice, [19] for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, [20] as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. [21] For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [22] If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. [23] I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. [24] But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. [25] Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, [26] so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

[27] Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, [28] and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. [29] For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, [30] engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”

(Philippians 1 ESV)

1-2: Usual Pauline intro. Paul mentions himself and Timothy being bond-servants in Christ Jesus which is interesting and to be noted, for it indicates that Paul believes himself and Timothy to be greatful servants to the only true King, Christ Jesus. This emphasizes an ‘other-world’ mindset where even in Paul’s passing words his mind is shown to be on the Kingdom of Christ and it’s furthering through the only true Gospel of Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

3-5: Paul declares his thanks to God for the Philippians in all he does, because of the Philippian church’s trust in the true Gospel from the very beginning of the ministry of the Gospel that came to them and even until the current day in Paul’s writing of the letter to them.

6: Paul gives true and beautiful assurance to the church that the God who saved them will completely and utterly preserve them until the end, yea, even forever. Note how Paul admonishes them by not only thanking God for their faith and growth, which was given through the Spirit, but Paul also admonishes the Philippians directly by giving them Holy assurance of their own salvation from the Gospel of Christ.

7: Paul expresses his love and thanks for the churches he is writing to once again, this time focusing on both the church’s struggles and Paul’s own struggles in fighting for the spread of the Gospel, including his imprisonment.

8-11: Paul comments on his desire for the Phillippians to grow even more in true, Godly love, knowledge, and discernment. He desires them to grow in love because it is the very perfect love of Christ that has saved them, and so they should desire to imitate Him. Paul desires them to grow in knowledge, namely Biblical knowledge, so that they may be able to judge all things by the Holy written Word of God when any controversies come up. Paul then admonishes them to grow in discernment so that with Godly love and Biblical truth they may discern in their time what is good and excellent and Godly from what is godless, evil, and wordly in order that they may continue to love what is Holy, good and just and take joy in Christ through it and remember that these good works or fruits that come from them are only from the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to them apart from their works.

12-14: In this section, Paul claims that his imprisonment is not a barrier to the Gospel, but his imprisonment is instead advancing it! The guards were all hearing of Christ because of Paul’s imprisonment, and it also served to strengthen other believers and make them fearless of preaching the Gospel! This has been a Godly phenomenon that has reoccured throughout history; where there are Godly men that are fearless of physical suffering for the sake of the Gospel, even their suffering spreads the truth of Christ farther than would be otherwise possible. This proves that the Lord is God over all, and spreads the Gospel through the suffering of the saints and the martyrdom of fearless preachers.

15-17: Paul says that some were preaching the truth of the Gospel out of goodwill and true love and hope, but some were preaching it out of envy and rivalry with Paul’s ministry in order to hurt him.

18: Both groups, however preach the true Gospel. So then Paul rejoices that, regardless of the stupidity of some, the Gospel still reigns because the Lord alone saves. This passage proves the futility of ‘ministry-competition.’ If two different ministries are truly preaching the same Gospel and the same Biblical truth, why would they compete over numerical growth and such? The only answer is that they have sinful pride in their hearts and need to look at their lives and question from whence come their sinful desires of competition, so that they may find the root of their sin and be reminded that their only joy is in Christ, the true Shephard.

19-20: Paul declares his hope in deliverance by the Lord, and goes on to remind the Phillippians of his only true hope that, in full boldness of Christ Jesus, he will not be fully put to shame because his God is the God of all things. Because of this he declares his utmost desire to exalt Christ alone in life or in death. This idea of exalting Christ, our King, in life or in death gives us means of focusing more on the heavenliness and holiness of God, noting that we are but grateful servants to the Only King. So that anything we go through, we may have perfect boldness through the Spirit of Christ that empowers us.

21-26: Paul reiterates his former point by putting it more simply; to live is Christ, to die is gain. He then more thoroughly exposits this thought by elaborating; our ultimate hope is to be with Jesus, because He is our only treasure, only Hope, our only true Joy, our only Saviour, so then we are content with death for through it we get to be with our Treasure. However, as long as He has work for us to do on this earth in spreading His Gospel, we will continually rejoice in Him through His Spirit regardless of any struggles.

27: Paul then exhorts the Phillippians to remember to honor Christ by always trying to stand in unity for the preaching and spreading of the Gospel.

28-30: They are not to be alarmed or scared by their opponents, yea, the opponents of the Gospel; for their opposition, he says, is a sign of destruction for them. But Paul also says that the opposition against the Phillippians is also a sign of salvation, or deliverance for them from God. The point of this part of the passage is this; if someone preaches truth, godless men will oppose them. So this opposition is a proof that the truth is being preached. Paul then encourages them to suffer well, saying it was granted to them by God to believe in Christ Jesus and also to suffer for His sake. This suffering for Christ’s sake is surely a gift to believers, and Paul uses himself as an example of such; that all may know that Godly suffering is good and spreads the Gospel.

Soli Deo Gloria

-Wesley

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