Philippians: Greeting, Background and the Big Picture.

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:25
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Paul’s Greeting to the church he founded in Philippi.

Is this a good missions slogan?
Matthew 4:9 (HCSB)
“I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”
Context and background are very important because the verse above is Satan speaking to Jesus!!!
Today we are going to lay some ground work for our study in Philippians.
Read Philippians 1:1-2
Philippians 1:1–2 NASB95
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Opening Prayer
To whom is Philippians written to? To the church in Philippi. (v.1)
Who wrote the letter to the church in Philippi? The Apostle Paul. (v.1)
When and from where did Paul write this letter? Probably around A.D. 62 during his first imprisonment in Rome.
Why did he write this letter? To encourage and thank the church that he founded for their partnership in the gospel. (Acts 16:6-40, Philippians 1:3-5)
Who is Timothy and why is he included here in Paul’s greeting? Timothy was a disciple in Lystra whom Paul brought on his second missionary journey and who helped Paul found the church in Philippi. Paul planned to send Timothy to the church soon after sending the letter to the church. (Philippians 2:19)
What is so special about the way that Paul addresses himself and Timothy? Paul refers to himself and Timothy as slaves of Christ Jesus.
A slave in Rome was not a title of honor. “A slave had no rights or privileges, and all personal interests and ambitions had to be repressed. Everything related to the master.” (48, Melick, NAC) (Philippians 2:20)
So Paul was identifying Timothy’s high commitment to Christ and characterizing its humble nature. He was also characterizing his own ministry to the Lord as one of a slave to his master.
Let us first look at how Paul came to end up at Philippi.
Acts 16:6–13 NASB95
6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11 So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled.

Main Point: Actively try to share the Gospel.

Paul and his companions on his second missionary journey were forbidden by the Holy Spirit from entering into Asia in order to speak the word.
Then The Spirit of Jesus kept them from going to Bithynia.
Paul recieved a vision of a Macedonia man appealing him to “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After seeing the vision Paul and his team sought immediately to go to Macedonia, believing that is where God had called them to preach the Gospel.
So they sailed from Troas to Neapolis (which is about 10 miles from Philippi) from which they walked to Philippi.
Philippi Profile:
Leading city of the district of Macedonia.
Was once the capital of Greece under Alexander the Great and named after his father Philip.
A strategically positioned city, 10 miles from the coastal city of Neapolis. Rich in resources.
A Roman Colony:
After Roman conquest of Macedonia, Philippi fell from prominence.
After the Battle of Philippi where Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius, Octavian made Philippi a Roman Colony.
Veterans of the war retired and settled there, essentially reviving the city.
Citizen of the City were given the same rights as citizens of Italy.
Little Rome.
Philippi was about 800 miles from Rome.
The Via Egnatia was its main street.
The Via Egnatia was Romes main road running East to West.
Predominately Gentile
Few Jews lived in Philippi.
There was no synagogue (synagogue required 10 Jewish men who were heads of their households) for Paul to go to, instead he went to the riverside where they were guessing would be a place of prayer.

#1 Share Jesus intentionally through conversations.

Let’s look at what Paul does once he arrives at Philippi.
Acts 16:14–15 (NASB95)
14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
Acts 16:40 NASB95
40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
Paul is actively looking for people to share Jesus with.
Paul intentionally begins a conversation about Jesus.
God opens Lydia’s heart to the gospel message.
Who was Lydia?
From Thyatira - Was a significant center for wool trade.
She was a seller of purple fabrics.
Purple was not something easily come by so Lydia was more than likely has some level of wealth.
She was a worshiper of God. Though not a follower of Jesus.
She became a Jesus follower after listening to Paul.
As did her household.
More than likely her home is where the church in Philippi met.
Often times I am looking to complete my task, and not intentionally looking to engage with someone about Jesus.

#2 Share Jesus intentionally by doing deeds in Jesus name.

Acts 16:16–24 NASB95
16 It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20 and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21 and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.” 22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; 24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Paul Identified through whom he was doing this deed, casting out the spirit.
Good deeds are not enough, they must be identified with Christ if they are going to bear witness of Christ.
Who was the slave girl?
Native of Philippi.
She was employed to use her divination to bring a prophet for her masters.
Most likely poor.
She followed Paul and his companions around the city.
Her message was true yet potentially confusing.
Those who heard her, may have thought she was saying the Paul’s God was the greatest of many gods.
We do not know whether or not this girl became a follower of Jesus.
The result was she could no longer bring a profit for her masters, so they had Paul and Silas beaten with Rods and thrown in jail.
Homeless man in OKC who I gave my jacket to - No idea what that deed in Jesus name produced in him or those who witnessed.

#3 Share Jesus intentionally through the example of your life.

Acts 16:25–34 NASB95
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God.
The prisoners were listening.
After the earthquake they had the opportunity to escape, however they chose to remain as a testimony to the jailer.
They influenced the other prisoners to remain in their cells as well.
There actions saved the jailers life, and provided the opportunity for the jailer and his household to experience salvation.
Who was the jailer?
Roman, probably middle class.
Overwhelmed with gratitude.
Took them to his home and washed their wounds.
Fed them and rejoiced.
For me choosing a life style that abstains from drinking alcohol has created numerous opportunities to share Jesus with people.
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Student Ministry
Acts 16:35–40 NASB95
35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, “Release those men.” 36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.” 38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city. 40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
The magistrates told the jailer to release Paul and Silas.
Paul told the Jailer that they needed to come and release them since they beat them pubically with out a trial, something you don’t do to Roman Citizens.
They were rightly afraid, they pleaded with them to leave the city.
Paul and Silas left the prison and went to Lydia’s home encouraged the new church there and left.
Before we get to our application portion let’s look at some themes that we will encounter as we dive deeper into Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi.

The Big Picture of Philippians:

As we make our way through the book of Philippians keep these main themes in your mind:
Believers are called into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.
Gospel advancement will cost us, but Jesus is worth it.
Joy in Christ.
Glorifying Christ is the central purpose of a Christians life.
God is faithful.
The whole church is important.
Maintain unity in the Spirit.
Gospel Partnership
Generous giving


Who has supported your personal ministry that you can reach out and thank and encourage today?
Maybe it was a Sunday school teacher who used to encourage you, or a fellow church member who supported a mission trip you went on.
Maybe it was someone who encouraged you to serve somewhere in the church, or you prayed for you as you shared the gospel with someone.
Who will you intentionally share Jesus with in a conversation with this week?
Do you have an neighbor, friend, family member, co-worker that needs Jesus.
Maybe a waiter or waitress, or the person checking you out at the store.
Who can you do something for in the name of Jesus this week?
What is something you can do in Jesus’ name?
Yard work, sit and visit with them, write a letter, buy them a meal…etc.
Can you think of doing something beyond giving someone money (Not that it is bad, the Philippians gave Paul financial support), but try to make it more personal.
How can you be an example this week of a life transformed by the gospel?
Are there things you do around people that you need to stop doing?
Bad language/jokes
Are there things you should be doing around people.
Introducing Jesus into more conversations.
Praying with people in the moment.
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