The historical record of how the Lord used the apostle Paul to start the church at Philippi during his second missionary journey is found in Acts 16.  This epistle of 4 chapters, 104 verses, and 2,183 words was written around 62 AD when Paul was a prisoner in Rome.

Philippians is a very practical book.  Like most churches today, the church at Philippi was having trouble keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:1-6; Phil 1:27; 2:1-3, 14-15; 4:2).  The worthy walk of our high calling is a lowly walk of service.

In the second chapter Paul gives four great examples of sacrificial service in this epistle:

  1. Christ (Phil 2:1-11)

  2. Paul (Phil 2:12-18)

  3. Timothy (Phil 2:19-24)

  4. Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25-30)      

Philippians is known as the joy book because joy is referred to 18 times.  Paul was joyful as a prisoner who had endured much suffering.  How so?  True and lasting joy is found in Christ (Phil 1:21) and in the pathway of sacrificial service.  The name “Christ” is mentioned 37 times in this epistle.



I. The Personal Circumstances of Paul (Phil 1:12-30) — the preaching of Christ

Il. The Pattern of Christ (Phil 2:1-30) — the humility of Christ

Ill. The Prize of Christ (Phil 3:1-21) — the knowledge of Christ

IV. The Peace of Christ (Phil 4:1-23) — the presence of Christ