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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson One

THANKFUL FOR THE BRETHREN            Page 3
Introduction (Cont'd.)

** What was the purpose of Paul writing to his beloved Philippians?

There were actually several purposes:

1. In response to their loving gifts. (4:17)
2. To return their brother - Epaphroditus (2:28)
3. To encourage them to rejoice! (1:4, 1:18, 2:18, 3:1, 4:4)
4. To instruct them to live out a Christ honoring lifestyle - joyfully!

V. 1 ** Alright then, let's look at our text. We notice of course that Paul, being the author, mentions himself at the opening of this letter, but who else does he mention and why?

Timothy - a child in the faith that Paul held in the highest regard. cf. Philippians 2:19-22

** How does Paul describe himself and Timothy?

They were "bond-servants" doulos lit. a voluntary, willing slave of Jesus Christ!

** To which two groups is Paul now writing.

1. All the saints "in Christ" at Philippi
2. The overseers (episkopos) and deacons (diakonos)
Note: The terms bishop, overseer, elder (presbuteros), and pastor/shepherd (poimen) are all used interchangeably in the New Testament to describe the same men.
cf. Acts 20:17,28, Titus 1:5-9, 1Peter 5:1-2

** Why do you suppose he included the spiritual leaders?

They need his God-breathed instruction and heartfelt encouragement also! cf. 2Peter 1:21

V. 2 ** What greeting does Paul use for the Philippians?

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". Sound familiar?
Romans, 1 and 2Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philemon and 2Thessalonians all begin this way.

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