Complete Study Of The Book Of Philippians


I don’t think Paul ever planted a church as more dear to him than this body of believers. Paul never intended to go to Philippi, he was trying to go up to Asia but the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let him.

He tried to go into the city but the Spirit of Jesus stopped him and then one night he was sleeping and in his dream, a man from Macedonia said to him, ‘come over and help us here,’ Acts 16:9.

Paul knew that was the Lord’s prompting and so, he and Silas crossed a body of water and to our knowledge, they were the first Christian missionaries in the continent of Europe. They reached the main city in this new region called Philippi, it was a Roman colony and it was so pagan it didn’t even have a synagogue.

Paul would usually go to a city, find a synagogue and preach there first and then preach to the people in the marketplace. Philippi didn’t even have a synagogue and so on the Sabbath, ‘he just went out to a river and he found some women praying,’ Acts 16:13.

That’s where he started, and he preached to them and there was a woman named Lydia and she and her family were baptised and were the first converts to Christ in Europe.

Paul began to walk through Philippi and a little girl started to follow him everywhere he went, possessed by a demon, she was a little slave girl. And she would shout, ‘these men are servants of the most high God and they are telling you the way of salvation,’ Acts 16:17.

Paul was so upset that he would have any credibility come from such an evil source, he turned around and rebuked the spirit and said ‘leave this little girl in the name of Jesus Christ’, Acts 16:18, and the spirit obeyed as the spirits always have to obey Jesus.

And she was delivered and then the people who owned the little slave girl got upset because their chance to make money from her was gone. And according to Acts 16:19-24, they went to the magistrates and accused Paul of treachery against Rome and they threw him in prison, but before they did they beat him severely and chained him to a wall.

You remember the story. What are Paul and Silas doing? ‘They are singing and praising God,’ Acts 16:25. There was an earthquake, the bars of the jail came open, and the chains fell off their arms and legs, Acts 16:25-29.

A jailer was about to kill himself but Paul stopped him but the jailer fell to Paul’s knees and said, ‘what must I do to be saved?’ and Paul said, ‘do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? You and your family can be saved’ and that very night he and his family were baptised, Acts 16:30-31.

This is the start of a great church, you’ve got an upper-class elite woman, you’ve possibly got a poor little Greek pagan slave girl and you’ve got a middle-class Roman jailer. And that’s the start of your church and this became one of the great churches of the New Testament that Paul was fond of because they were so generous.

And at least three different times we read in the Bible where they took up money to send to Paul and Philippians is the story of one of those times.

Paul was now in a Roman prison, he is in jail in Rome and the Philippian church finds out, so they take up some money and gave it to a man named Epaphroditus, one of their brothers and he goes to Rome to give Paul the money but that’s not all he brought!

He also brought news of a church in need of a joy transfusion. We think that Philippi was a happy church because the word ‘joy’ was found 16 times in the letter more than in any other book.

But the fact is if you read closely Paul says, ‘they ought to have joy or they need joy’. He never said, ‘they had any’, not once in Philippians, did he say, ‘they had any joy’. Paul’s got a prescription for a church needing some joy and that prescription is to discover ‘the joy of Jesus’.


Witherington, says the following concerning Philippi.

‘Located on the major Roman road known as the Via Egnatia, Philippi was “a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony”, Acts 16:12. Because of its strategic location, Philippi became a strategic location for trade despite the fact it was 13 km from Neapolis, the nearest seaport.’

‘As a Roman colony, Philippi was intended to be a miniature version of Rome. However, the Roman character of the city did not erase the previously existing Greek Hellenistic culture. As the lingua franca of the Empire, Greek was widely spoken. Many of the Greeks and Thracians in the area who were displaced by newly settled Romans remained in the area. Witherington sums it up well when he writes, “We must then talk about a Roman overlay of culture and custom on top of the indigenous Greek Hellenistic culture which still continued in various ways.’


The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the disciples in Philippi who were converted by himself, Luke, Silas and Timothy.


Most scholars believe the letter was written around AD 62, while Paul was imprisoned in Rome.


Joy in all circumstances. Philippians 1
Joy in serving. Philippians 2
Joy in faith. Philippians 3
Joy in giving. Philippians 4

To Continue To Read This Study In Its entirety, Or To Download It To Your PC, Please Click On The  Icon Below

Complete Study Of The Book Of Philippians