Millions of Christians are persecuted today for their faith. To declare one’s allegiance to Christ in some countries is to risk imprisonment and death. Some families ostracize relatives who have received Christ as Saviour. Even
As he closed his second epistle to the Corinthians, Paul responded to the doubts of some Corinthian believers as to whether he was indeed a spokesman for Christ. Paul insisted that he was an apostle
Paul’s teaching tells us important things about the church and its ministry. There are different gifts but the same Lord. The Spirit gives believers gifts to build up the church. Paul named some of these
“(1.) Formerly Crenides, “the fountain,” the capital of the” “province of Macedonia. It stood near the head of the Sea, about” “8 miles north-west of Kavalla. It is now a ruined village,” called Philibedjik. Philip of Macedonia fortified the old “Thracian town of Crenides, and called it after his own name” Philippi (B.C. 359-336). In the time of the Emperor Augustus “this city became a Roman colony, i.e., a military settlement of” “Roman soldiers, there planted for the purpose of controlling the” “district recently conquered. It was a “miniature Rome,” under” “the municipal law of Rome, and governed by military officers,” “called duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome. Having” “been providentially guided thither, here Paul and his companion” Silas preached the gospel and formed the first church in Europe. (See LYDIA.) This success stirred up the enmity of the “people, and they were “shamefully entreated” (Acts 16:9-40; 1″ Thess. 2:2). Paul and Silas at length left this city and proceeded to Amphipolis (q.v.). “(2.) When Philip the tetrarch, the son of Herod, succeeded to “the government of the northern portion of his kingdom, he” “enlarged the city of Paneas, and called it Caesarea, in honour” of the emperor. But in order to distinguish it from the Caesarea “on the sea coast, he added to it subsequently his own name, and” called it Caesarea-Philippi (q.v.).
“Was written by Paul during the two years when he was “in bonds” “in Rome (Phil. 1:7-13), probably early in the year A.D. 62 or in” the end of 61. “The Philippians had sent Epaphroditus, their messenger, with contributions to meet the necessities of the apostle; and on his return Paul sent back with him this letter. With this precious communication Epaphroditus sets out on his homeward journey. “The joy caused by his return, and the effect of this wonderful” “letter when first read in the church of Philippi, are hidden” from us. And we may almost say that with this letter the church “itself passes from our view. To-day, in silent meadows, quiet” cattle browse among the ruins which mark the site of what was “once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, the home of the” most attractive church of the apostolic age. But the name and fame and spiritual influence of that church will never pass. To myriads of men and women in every age and nation the letter “written in a dungeon at Rome, and carried along the Egnatian Way” “by an obscure Christian messenger, has been a light divine and a” “cheerful guide along the most rugged paths of life” (Professor” Beet). “The church at Philippi was the first-fruits of European “Christianity. Their attachment to the apostle was very fervent,” and so also was his affection for them. They alone of all the “churches helped him by their contributions, which he gratefully” acknowledges (Acts 20:33-35; 2 Cor. 11:7-12; 2 Thess. 3:8). The pecuniary liberality of the Philippians comes out very “conspicuously (Phil. 4:15). “This was a characteristic of the” “Macedonian missions, as 2 Cor. 8 and 9 amply and beautifully” “prove. It is remarkable that the Macedonian converts were, as a” “class, very poor (2 Cor. 8:2); and the parallel facts, their” poverty and their open-handed support of the great missionary “and his work, are deeply harmonious. At the present day the” “missionary liberality of poor Christians is, in proportion,” “really greater than that of the rich” (Moule’s Philippians,” Introd.). “The contents of this epistle give an interesting insight into the condition of the church at Rome at the time it was written. “Paul’s imprisonment, we are informed, was no hindrance to his” “preaching the gospel, but rather “turned out to the furtherance” “of the gospel.” The gospel spread very extensively among the” “Roman soldiers, with whom he was in constant contact, and the” “Christians grew into a “vast multitude.” It is plain that” Christianity was at this time making rapid advancement in Rome. “The doctrinal statements of this epistle bear a close relation to those of the Epistle to the Romans. Compare also Phil. 3:20 “with Eph. 2:12, 19, where the church is presented under the idea” of a city or commonwealth for the first time in Paul’s writings. The personal glory of Christ is also set forth in almost “parallel forms of expression in Phil. 2:5-11, compared with Eph.” “1:17-23; 2:8; and Col. 1:15-20. “This exposition of the grace” “and wonder of His personal majesty, personal self-abasement, and” “personal exaltation after it,” found in these epistles, “is, in” “a great measure, a new development in the revelations given” “through St. Paul” (Moule). Other minuter analogies in forms of” expression and of thought are also found in these epistles of the Captivity.
Definition of Philippi: “same as Philip, in the plural”
Posted by webmaster on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 @ 11:41AM