I. Background

1. Philippians was written by Paul (human instrument) while in prison the first time at Rome.

2. The time was about 62 AD, about 10 years after he had founded the Church in Philippi on his second missionary journey. (Acts 15:36‑18:21)

3. He met much opposition in Philippi which caused his stay in the city to be short. (Acts 16:40‑17:1)

4. This is the ninth epistle written by Paul, but rightly placed sixth as II Tim. 3:16 bears out.

A. Doctrine = Romans (the great doctrinal book of the NT); it reveals great truths, that had not been revealed before, to the saints at Rome and also applies to us.

B. Reproof = I and II Corinthians (where Paul reproves sin).

C. Correction = Galatians (where Paul corrects false teaching).

D. Instruction in righteousness = Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thess., I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon; in all these epistles Paul teaches holy living based on Christian doctrine.

5. This epistle is not an epistle of rebuke, because the church had nothing that needed to be set right.

6. The theme of the book is "joy."  The word "joy" and "rejoice" is used in Philippians 16 times. Yet joy is stolen from us many times by:

A. Circumstances = Paul deals with this in Chapter 1.

B. People = Paul deals with this in Chapter 2.


C. Things = Paul deals with this in Chapter 3.

D. Worry = Paul deals with this in Chapter 4.

7. Therefore, the attitude of mind that we cultivate will determine our joy or lack of it.

8. Outline of the book.

Title: Attitudes that maintain your joy.

A. The Single Mind = produces joy in spite of circumstances. Chapter 1

B. The Submissive Mind = produces joy in spite of people. Chapter 2

C. The Spiritual Mind = produces joy in spite of things. Chapter 3

D. The Secure Mind = produces joy in spite of worry. Chapter 4.




II. Introduction. V. 1‑2

      1. Writer

V. 1

1."Paul" = a Gentile name; identifies the human instrument God used to write this letter (II Peter 1:21); it was customary in those days to open a letter with the writer's name and greeting, rather than place them at the end, as we do today.

2. "Timotheus" = Timothy; Paul's son in the ministry; Paul first encountered Timothy on his second missionary journey at Lystra (Acts 16:1) where he joined Paul on his missionary journey, and was with him at Philippi even though he was not put in prison (neither was Luke, who also was with Paul at this time; Acts 16:10 where Luke, the human instrument of the book of Acts began using the pronoun we) with Paul and Silas (Acts 16:23‑29); it seems that he was with Paul when he was in prison (actually it was a hired house where Paul was allowed to have visitors come and go freely; Acts 28:16,30) in Rome; he may have been the one to carry this epistle to the church at Philippi.

3. "Servants" = bondslaves; the most despicable term used by the Greeks to denote slaves; word designated:

A. One who was born as a slave; Paul was born a slave of sin at his physical birth, and became a bondslave of his Lord through regeneration (the new birth).  The bondslave was owned and totally possessed by his master. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

B. One who was bound to his master in chords so strong that only death could break them; the chords that bound him to his old master Satan, were rent asunder in his identification with Christ in His death.

C. One who served his master to the disregard of his own interest; Paul's will, at one time swallowed up in the will of Satan, now is swallowed up in the sweet will of God.  The bondslave existed for his master and he had no other reason for existence.

4. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

5. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

      2. The recipients.

6. "Saints" = set apart; saved; Christians; those who have had a "sanctifying work" of the Holy Spirit completed in their lives. (I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13; John 16:8‑11)

7. "All" = each and every one; there were some in Philippi who had sent support to Paul while others did not, but Paul wanted to make sure that all the saints knew that this letter was sent to them even though some did not support him as a missionary. (Phil. 4:14‑16)

8. "In" = shows the spiritual location of the saints‑‑in Christ Jesus, which is the place to be. (I Cor. 15:22)

9. "Which" = who; the servants are people not things; therefore, it is masculine gender not neuter.

10. "At" = shows the geographical location‑‑at Philippi‑‑ the city where the saints congregated together.

11. "With the bishops and deacons" = this reveals that the church was in operation with both offices of the church being filled.

12. "Bishops" = overseers; one who has the oversight and provides direction for the local church; refers to the office of pastor; the qualifications are listed in I Tim. 3:1‑7; in the plural because the early church had more than one pastor.

13. "Deacons" = an English spelling of a Greek word that was used as a general term to designate a servant; denotes those who had charge of ministering to the sick and the poor; the qualifications are listed in I Tim. 3:8‑13.


      3. Message

V. 2

1. "Grace" = sanctifying grace, not justifying, for he is writing to saints who were already justified; this grace enables the saints of God to overcome obstacles in their daily living and keep on keeping on for the glory of God; we have access (freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another) into this grace by faith (Rom. 5:2); this word was also used as a greeting among the Greeks.

2. "Peace" = sanctifying peace, not justifying of Rom. 5:1, for he is writing to saints who were already justified; this peace is the peace of God that passes all understanding, even in troubled times (Phil. 4:6‑7); a state of Christian tranquility; we are fighting from victory not for victory; this word was used and is still used now as a greeting among the Hebrews.

3. "Unto you" = refers to the saints at Philippi.

4. Paul may have been using these terms only as a greeting to the Greeks and Hebrews, but I think he meant more than a greeting as we have just defined above.

5. "From" = this grace and peace comes from God as the source whom he identifies as "our Father" (personal) and "the Lord Jesus Christ."

6. The Greek construction refers to God as "our Father" = as the source of this grace and peace and also to God as our "Lord Jesus Christ" as the source of this grace and peace. Paul establishes the truth that Jesus Christ is God at the very beginning of this book.

7. "Lord" = supreme in authority; Master; Jesus the Christ.

8. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

9. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.


III. Main Message‑‑Attitudes that maintain your joy.

A. The Single Mind--The secret of joy in spite of circumstances. V. 3‑30

1. The reason many are upset by circumstances is because they do not cultivate the single mind. (James 1:8)

2. Paul expresses this single mind attitude in verse 21.

3. He was a man with a purpose‑‑"this one thing I do." (Phil. 3:13-14)

4. He does not look at circumstances themselves but how they connected to his relationship to Jesus Christ.

5. He is not a prisoner of Rome but the prisoner of Jesus Christ. (Eph. 3:1)

6. The chains he wears are "my bonds in Christ." = (V. 13)

7. He is not facing a civil trial.  He is "set for the defence of the gospel." (verse 17)

8. He did not look at Christ through his circumstances but he looked at His circumstances through Christ and that changed everything and brought joy because he was single‑minded.  And because he cultivated a single‑minded the circumstances strengthened:


            1. The fellowship of the gospel. V. 3‑11

                Three phrases summarize this:

                 1) I have you in my mind. V. 3-6

V. 3

1. "I" = "my" = Paul, the human instrument God used to write this epistle.

2. "Thank" = to be grateful; the tense is continuous action.

3. "My God" = the one true God who was personal to Paul thus, "my."

4. "Upon" = introduces the basis of thanksgiving‑‑"every remembrance of you."

5. "Every" = each and every one.

6. "Remembrance" = recollection; memory, whether good or bad (Rom. 8:28); the meaning is that as often as he thought on the Philippian saints (you), whatever the occasion, he had reason to be thankful‑‑even the suffering he experienced at the Philippian jail in Acts 16:22‑29.

7. Paul practiced what he preached in I Thess. 5:18‑‑"in everything give thanks."


V. 4

1. "Always" = at all times; means every time he prayed; Paul reminds the Philippians that he never forgot them.

2. "Every" = each and every one.

3. "Prayer" = "request" = word for request for particular benefits.

4. "Mine" = Paul.

5. "For you all" = for all of you; refers to each and every believer at Philippi; he prayed for each and every saint individually.

6. "Making" = forming; constructing; fashioning; refers to Paul forming words as he prayed (made request) to God; the tense reveals a continuous action.

7. He did it "with joy" = gladness of heart (I Peter 1:8); part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)

8. Paul is not referring to some superficial (put on; shallow) happiness when he made this statement.


V. 5

1. "For" = introduces the reason for Paul's joy spoken of in verse 4‑‑because of their continuous fellowship in the gospel.

2. "Your" = the Philippian believers.

3. "Fellowship" = joint participation; a gift jointly contributed; this word means more than just enjoying someone else's company but expresses a joint participation in a common ministry or interest‑‑that of preaching the gospel; Paul was the missionary gone out preaching the gospel while the church at Philippi contributed to Paul.

4. "In" = a preposition of motion; the Philippians supported Paul with their prayers and finances while he went about his missionary labors; therefore, their common interest and activity was in the progress of the gospel‑‑this was what he was thanking God for.

5. "Gospel" = good news of salvation through Christ, to be received by faith, on the basis of His expiatory (having the power to make atonement or expiation‑‑the act of making satisfaction for an offense, by which the guilt is done away, and the obligation of the offended person [God] to punish the crime is canceled) death, His burial, resurrection, and ascension.

6. "From the first day until now" = refers to the time they were first saved until now, when Paul was in Rome in prison, they had been constant in contributing to Paul's ministry; in Thessalonica (Phil. 4:15‑16); in Corinth (II Cor. 11:7‑9; Philippi is in Macedonia); and now at Rome. (Phil. 4:18)


V. 6

1. "Being confident" = having been persuaded or convinced; it means to be fully and firmly persuaded; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means Paul had come to a settled persuasion at a point in past time and remain persuaded at this present time‑‑time of writing this epistle.

2. "This very thing" = refers back to the fellowship in the gospel in verse 4.

3. "He" = God in the person of the Holy Spirit.

4. "Which" = who; God the Holy Spirit is a person, not a thing; therefore, this is masculine gender not neuter.

5. "Hath begun" = to make a beginning.

6. "Work" = "it" = act or deed; described as "good" = upright; honorable.

7. "You" = the Philippian believers.

8. "Will perform" = accomplish; perfect; complete.

9. "Until" = unto; speaks of the nearness in Paul's mind and outlook of "the day of Jesus Christ" = rapture‑‑not a Bible word but a Bible principle; refers to the Lord's second coming when He gathers His saints.

10. In context Paul is referring to the Philippian saints participating with Paul in preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world.  This work refers to a believer's growth and maturity which would be perfected in them (Rom. 8:29) because it was begun by God, not by their own agency or will; therefore, Paul was convinced that it would be completed and permanent.  This could correspond to salvation being completed in these saints‑‑all three parts:

A. Justification = the work whereby a believer's spirit is saved from the penalty of sin.

B. Sanctification = the continual work whereby a believer's soul is being saved from the power of sin day by day.

C. Glorification = the work whereby the believer's body will be saved from the presence of sin, by being raptured out of this world.

11. Paul was confident that this work would be accomplished in every believer.

12. There is also an application of this Scripture that even a lost man can draw strength from. II Tim. 3:16 says "all scripture is profitable for doctrine," and it is, as long as we do not violate the principle of Scripture. Therefore:

A. This verse can be applied to a lost person in whom the Holy Spirit has begun a "good work" of conviction, godly sorrow, and repentance.

B. What He started He is able to perform (complete; finish). This is a conditional promise depending upon a lost person meeting His responsibility of obeying what light he has.  Light obeyed and acted upon will cause more light to be made available to that person, thus bringing him to salvation. (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 4:21); Pro. 21:16) The Lord is faithful and will keep His promise if we obey the light we have. (I Thess. 5:24; John 8:31‑32)


            2) I have you in my heart. V. 7‑8

V. 7

1. "Even as" = seeing that.

2. "It is meet" = it is right or the right thing to do.

3. "Think" = to have an opinion; speaks of the action of a person constantly having his mind directed in a practical way in the good interest of someone.

4. "This" = refers to their continued joint participation with him in missionary work. (verse 5)

5. "You all" = "you" = "ye all" = each and every one of the saints at Philippi.

6. "Me" = "I" = "my" = Paul, the human instrument the Holy Spirit used to write this book.

7. "I have you in my heart" = the Greek construction implies that the saints in Philippi had a large place in their hearts for Paul as well as he for them, which was why he said it is right for him to think this; they were bound together by love, which resulted in their having a large place in their hearts for Paul, while he was in prison for the cause of Christ.

8. "Inasmuch as both" = refers to two areas the saints helped Paul:

A. "In my bonds" = while Paul was a prisoner at Rome; refers to the care which they had taken to minister to his needs.

B. "In defence and confirmation of the gospel" = Paul was defending the gospel before Caesar's household (Phil. 4:22), and a successful defense would result in the gospel being confirmed; refers to the help the saints at Philippi gave him for this to be accomplished whether it was money, provisions, or personal support.

1) "Defence" = speech in defense, refers to preaching.

2) Confirmation" = to make stable; to establish; to make more certain.

3) "The gospel" = good news concerning Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4); involves the virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.

9. "Partakers" = joint partners.

10. "Of my grace" = with me of grace; since they shared with him in defense of the gospel they would share in the benefits or blessings which would flow to him as a results of his efforts in the cause of Christ.


V. 8

1. "God" = Jehovah, the one true God.

2. "My" = "I" = Paul.

3. "You all" = each and every saint at Philippi.

4. "Record" = witness; one who bears testimony; God is a faithful witness, bearing testimony that Paul longed after the saints at Philippi.

5. "Greatly long after" = one word in the Greek; means to desire earnestly; to have a strong affection for.

6. "Bowels" = refers to the seat of emotions, affections, sympathy, and compassion; it is not the word for the intestines, but means "the heart."

7. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

8. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

9. Paul is describing his longing, not as his individual emotion, but as Christ's longing, as if the very heart of Christ dwelt in Paul.  This longing was motivated by the love Jesus had for His own people; an affection so great that He died for His people.


            3) I have you in my prayers. V. 9‑11

V. 9

1. "This" = refers to four specific things Paul prayed for concerning the saints at Philippi; they are found in V. 9‑11:

      A. "That your love may abound." (verse 9)

B. "That you may approve things that are excellent." (verse 10a)

C. "That ye may be sincere and without offence." (verse 10b)

D. "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness." (verse 11)

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Your" = the saints at Philippi.

4. "Pray" = translation of a word which speaks of prayer directed consciously to God, and with a definite aim; applies to all four of Paul's requests for the saints at Philippi.

5. "Love" = agape; the God kind of love; the love produced in the heart of the yielded believer by the Holy Spirit; refers to love to God, love to one another (the brethren), and love to the world‑‑all mankind.

6. "May abound" = to exceed a fixed number or measure; to exist in superfluity‑‑overflow; the tense is continuous action--may it keep on overflowing.

7. "Yet more and more" = to a greater degree.

8. "Knowledge" = precise and correct knowledge; denotes full or ever increasing understanding; speaks of knowledge gained by experience not just facts learned in the head; refers to a better understanding of God's Word.

9. "Judgment" = perception; discernment; refers to the saints exercising the love they had for others with proper discrimination; which means being able to use tact and wisdom to express ourselves correctly so we can convey the love we have in our hearts to others.


V. 10

1. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

2. "May approve" = to establish beyond doubt; to test to with the expectation of finding it good; the sense is, that Paul desired them to try (test) the things that were of real value, so they could determine that which was true and genuine.

3. "Things that are excellent" = "things"  in the Greek has a definite article "the" in front, and when coupled with "excellent" (to differ; surpass; excel) refers to those moral and spiritual concepts and actions which involve delicate and keen distinctions; this does not refer to knowing the difference between right and wrong but establishing without doubt the difference between good and evil and even going farther‑‑good and better (excellent); if we are not careful we will get caught up in doing "good" things when the Lord wants us to do "excellent" things‑‑this is what Paul prayed for the saints at Philippi.

4. "Sincere" = means that which is clear and manifest; that which is pure and bright; literally means without wax‑‑that is, honey which is pure and transparent when it has no comb in it; when applied to Christian character, it means that which is not deceitful or hypocritical; that which is not mingled with error, worldliness, and sin; that which does not proceed from selfish and interested motives, and where there is nothing disguised; there is no hypocrisy about such a saint; his life is open like a book waiting to be read.

5. "Without offence" = inoffensive to others; void of offence; speaks of the saint not being a stumbling block to others by example, nor opinion, nor conversation, nor by wounding their feelings, nor by giving occasions for hard thoughts; refers to a believer living such a life that all may see that he has a blameless life.

6. "Till the day of Christ" = refers to the rapture of the saints at which time all saints will be made blameless (that which cannot be called into account). (I Cor. 1:8)


V. 11

1. "Being filled" = to fill up; to complete; to furnish liberally; having been filled; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; Paul's use of this tense indicates his desire for the saints at Philippi to demonstrate abundantly in their lives at the present time what they received at the point of salvation.

2. "Fruits" = deeds; conduct; plural in number; that which righteousness in the heart produces; refers to:

      A. The fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)

      B. Holiness. (Rom. 6:22; Heb. 12:14)

      C. Every good work. (Col. 1:10)

      D. Fruit of the lips. (Heb. 13:15)

3. "Righteousness" = God's uprightness or standard to which the saint is expected to conform.

4. "Which" = the fruits.

5. "By" = through; refers to the channel or agency who is "Jesus Christ."

6. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

7. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

8. "Glory" = manifestation which calls forth praise.

9. "Praise of God" = commendation of God, not of man nor self; all praise comes forth because of Him, from Him, and all goes back to Him because He is worthy.

10. The difference between spiritual fruit and human "religious activity" is that fruit brings glory to Jesus Christ.  The fruit tree does not make a great deal of noise when it produces its crop, it merely allows the life within to work in a natural way and the fruit is the result. (John 15:5)




Because Paul cultivated a single‑mind, the circumstances promoted:


            2. The Furtherance of the Gospel. V. 12‑26

                 1) Paul's chains. V. 12‑14

V. 12

1. "I" = "me" = Paul.

2. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

3. "Would" = desire.

4. "Understand" = come to know.

5. "Brethren" = from the same womb; all who are saved are from the womb of God; the saints at Philippi.

6. "That" = introduces what Paul desired the saints at Philippi would come to know.

7. "The things" = circumstances; refers to Paul being falsely accused in Jerusalem, placed in confinement for two years at Caesarea where he appealed to Caesar, had been taken to Rome as a prisoner, and now chained to a Roman soldier. (Acts chapters 21‑28)

8. "Have fallen out" = have turned out; have come to result in; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results.

9. "Rather" = to a greater degree; Paul's use of this word tells us that the Philippians were thinking Paul's ministry was being curtailed; when Epaphroditus brought the church's offering to Paul in prison, he may have told Paul what some of the saints had said; thus, Paul assures them otherwise in this letter which would be sent back possibly by Epaphroditus. (Phil. 4:18)

10. "Furtherance" = progress; advancement; to cut before; this word is a Greek military term which speaks of an army of pioneer wood cutters which precedes the regular army into regions where otherwise it could not have gone; Paul found his circumstances really opened up new areas of ministry; he wanted to go to Rome as a preacher but instead he went as a prisoner where God used his chains as a strange tool to help further the gospel.

11. "Gospel" = good news; refers to Paul's message of good news of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4) and everything around it such as His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.

V. 13

1. "So that" = introduces a phrase that reveals how the gospel was furthered.

2. "My" = Paul.

3. "Bonds in Christ" = refers to Paul's being a prisoner of the Roman empire because it was according to the will of God, thus "in Christ."

4. "Manifest" = to make known what has been unknown; to become known; to be plainly recognized; to be thoroughly understood; the gospel was made known in all the palace of Caesar because of Paul's chains.

5. First "all" = completely.

6. "Palace" = refers to those forming the praetorian guard; history said that the Emperor Tiberius had 10,000 soldiers who were handpicked with special qualifications and special privileges, concentrated in Rome with the purpose of guarding the Emperor and his court; to reach men of this caliber for Christ was a remarkable achievement for the gospel; think of this:

A. Paul lived two years with a Roman soldier (or maybe two) chained to his wrist.

B. As the different soldiers would take their turn guarding Paul in his own rented quarters where visitors could come and go, they would hear conversations he had with the visitors, hear him pray, and listen to him as he dictated the epistles he wrote.

7. "In all other places" = there is a true saying of that day "that all roads lead to Rome;" therefore, many came through and made contact with this man of God and heard the gospel; one of these was Philemon's slave, Onesimus. (Philemon 10‑13)


V. 14

1. "Many" = very many; the more part.

2. "The brethren in the Lord" = refers to the saved.

3. "Waxing confident" = to persuade; to move one to persuasion to do something‑‑"speak the word;" the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; this means at some point in past time some of the saved waxed confident because of Paul's example while in prison and at the time of his writing this epistle they retained that confidence.

4. "Much more" = more in a greater degree; more exceedingly.

5. "Bold" = not to dread or shun through fear; saying a good word for the Lord Jesus was not highly thought of in the Roman empire but many of the believers had taken fresh courage when they saw Paul's faith and determination while in chains in Rome.

6. "Speak" = means to break silence and "speak the word" = this does not mean to preach but refers to everyday conversation as the Romans were discussing Paul's case, the Christians took advantage of this conversation to say a good word for the Lord Jesus Christ.

7. "Without fear" = fearlessly; they were influenced by Paul's brave and fearless example in prison.

8. Discouragement has a way of spreading, but so does encouragement.


                 2) Paul's critics. V. 15‑19

V. 15

1. "Some" = certain ones.

2. "Indeed" = truly; certainly.

3. "Preach" = to proclaim after the manner of a herald; to publish or proclaim openly.

4. "Preach Christ" = preach the gospel.

5. "Even" = indeed.

6. "Of" = because of.

7. "Envy" = jealousy; spite; ill‑will; prompted by envy.

8. "Strife" = contention; wrangling; these were jealous of the influence of Paul and took the opportunity while Paul was in prison to try to diminish his influence and strengthen their own cause.

9. "Also" = indeed.

10. "Good will" = pleasure; delight; having pure motive and not intending in any way to give Paul trouble.


V. 16

1. Verses 16 and 17 are the apostle's own commentary on the statement he made in verse 15.  The motive behind a person's actions may not always be known to other people, but God knows what it is and Paul records it by inspiration of God.

2. "The one" = refers to the first "some" of verse 15.

3. "Preach" = to proclaim publicly.

4. "Preach Christ" = preach the gospel.

5. "Of" = out of; introduces their motive.

6. "Contention" = self-seeking; has the idea of selfish ambition; having a partisan and factious spirit.

7. "Sincerely" = purely; honestly; negated by "not" which means this group had mixed and impure motives or intentions.

8. "Supposing" = thinking.

9. "Add" = to bring upon in addition.

10. "Affliction" = pressure; tribulation; trouble involving direct suffering.

11. "Bonds" = refers to Paul being in prison.

12. These individuals apparently thought they could enhance their own position by degrading the apostle.


V. 17

1. "But" = shows the contrast between the two groups.

2. "The other" = refers to the second "some" of verse 15.

3. "Of" = out of; introduces their motive.

4. "Love" = agape; God kind of love; refers to a love for Paul as well as a love for Christ.

5. "Knowing" = to have absolute knowledge of the facts; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; they had come to know at a point in past time that Paul was an ambassador of Christ even while in chains in this Roman prison and they still knew that at present.

6. "I" = Paul.

7. "Set" = appointed. (I Tim. 1:11‑12)

8. "Defence" = defense; court term speaking of the verbal defense presented by a lawyer who defends his clients.

9. "The gospel" = good news concerning Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4); involves the virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.


V. 18

1. "What then?" = what for? what does it matter? this question is asked by Paul so that he could give his feeling upon the matter of verses 15‑17.

2. "Notwithstanding" = nevertheless.

3. "Every way" = has the idea of "in every way or manner" of preaching methods.

4. "Whether in pretence" = pretense; pretext to cover up some other design; excuse; cloke; show; has the idea of an ulterior motive.

5. "Or in truth" = opposite of pretense; refers to having a pure motive.

6. "Christ" = refers to the gospel.

7. "Is preached" = to proclaim publicly.

8. "I" = Paul.

9. "Therein" = in preaching of the gospel.

10. "Rejoice" = be glad; to rejoice exceedingly; the tense is continuous both at present time and in the future.

11. "Yea" = moreover.


V. 19

1. "For" = introduces the reason Paul rejoiced.

2. "I" = "my" = Paul.

3. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; this knowledge came by faith.

4. "This" = refers to the fact that Christ is being more widely announced as a result of Paul's imprisonment.

5. "Shall turn" = to be the outcome; result.

6. "Salvation" = deliverance; in context Paul is not referring to the deliverance of the soul, but speaking of his body, his well being, and his release from prison as he strongly hopes to see them again. (verse 26)

7. "Through" = preposition denoting the channel of an act; this involved two kinds of aid‑‑human and divine:

      A. Human = "through your prayer."

            1) "Your" = the saints at Philippi.

            2) "Prayer" = asking, seeking, and entreating God.

B. Divine = "through the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ."

1) "Supply" = support; help; refers to help which undergirds and strengthens the object; means to provide generously and lavishly.

2) "Spirit of Jesus Christ" = the Holy Spirit; the same Spirit which Jesus Christ had to enable Paul to bear his trials with patience.


            3) Paul's Crisis. V. 20‑26

                 A. Because of Paul's chains, Christ was known.

                 B. Because of Paul's critics, Christ was preached.

C. Because of Paul's crisis, Christ was magnified.


V. 20

1. "According to" = in a manner conformable to.

2. "My" = "I" = Paul.

3. "Earnest expectation" = comes from three Greek words which mean away, the head, and to watch; it describes a person with his head erect and out‑stretched, whose attention is turned away from all other objects and riveted upon just one.

4. "Hope" = the desire of something good with an expectation of obtaining it; Paul's desire was not primarily that he might be released from prison but that he might in all circumstances be able to honor the gospel, by living or dying.

5. "In nothing" = not one thing; refers to Paul's actions and attitudes.

6. "Ashamed" = to bring dishonor; Paul did not want to do anything or act in such a way to bring dishonor to Christ even if faced with death.

7. "But" = shows contrast or opposite from dishonor‑‑magnify Christ and maintain his testimony.

8. "Boldness" = freedom in speaking; unreservedness in speech; described by "all" = each and every time he spoke‑‑preached and testified.

9. "As always" = at all times; probably refers to his past ministry in which was his habit to maintain a bold and fearless testimony.

10. "Now" = at this time, while in prison.

11. "Also" = indeed; truly.

12. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

13. "Shall be magnified" = to esteem highly; to make great; to make conspicuous; to get glory and praise.

14. "In my body" = in the flesh; it is harder to honor Christ in the flesh than it is in the spirit; Paul said that was just our "reasonable service" in Rom. 12:1.

15. "Whether it be by life" = if I am permitted to live; he was not yet certain how the case would turn out.

16. "Or by death" = if my trial shall result in death; if so, his desire was to be able to show such a spirit that it would bring honor to Christ and His cause.

17. It was the intense desire of Paul's heart that Christ be magnified in him, whether by a life lived in the fullness of the Spirit or in a martyr's death.  Come what may, he wanted the Saviour's name honored.


V. 21

1. "For" = introduces a further explanation of what he said in verse 20.

2. "Me" = Paul; emphatic pronoun which expresses more than just an opinion about life, but indicating Paul's actual situation; he knew he was ready for life or for death.

3. "To live is Christ" = means that Paul is determined that Christ shall be radiated through his life.

4. "To die is gain" = the Greek construction denotes not the act of dying, but the consequences of dying‑‑the state after death.

5. "Gain" = profit; advantage; this is a translation of an old Greek word which means interest on money; but the Greek construction means to cash in both the principle and interest and as a result have more of Christ than when living.

6. It is hard to stop a man who thinks like this because he knows something (II Tim. 1:12) and has a deep settled peace‑‑rest in his soul.  Whether he lived or died, he knew it would result in his deliverance.  Example: three Hebrew boys in Daniel 3:16‑18.


V. 22

1. "But" = shows contrast between death (last part of verse 21) and life (in this verse).

2. "I" = "my" = Paul.

3. "If I live in the flesh" = "this" = refers to remaining on earth in his earthly tabernacle (body).

4. "Fruit of my labour" = refers to more opportunity to work for God and harvest more fruit‑‑if he continued to live.

5. "Yet" = indeed.

6. "What" = which.

7. "Choose" = prefer; refers to continue living on this earth or dying so he could be with the Lord.

8. "Wot" = know; negated by "not;" Paul did not know which to prefer if it were left to him‑‑to live or die.


V. 23

1. "For" = introduces the reason for Paul's statement in verse 22.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "In a strait" = to be pressed upon; constrained; a state of perplexity; to press on every side.

4. "Betwixt two" = between two choices‑‑live or die.

5. "Having" = possessing.

6. "Desire" = craving; longing.

7. "To depart" = to die; to leave this world for a better world; to be with Christ; word comes from a military term meaning "to strike camp = to take down your tent and move on" (II Cor. 5:1,6,8) and from a nautical expression meaning "to release a vessel from its moorings;" later Paul said the time of his departure was at hand. (II Tim. 4:6‑8)

8. "To be with Christ" = to be in heaven.

9. "Which is far better" = more advantageous in a greater degree; in the Greek this means better beyond all human ability to describe in words; Paul knew first hand because he had visited the third heaven and saw things he could not describe and heard things that was not lawful for a man to utter. (II Cor. 12:1‑4; Rom. 8:18)


V. 24

1. "Nevertheless" = but; shows contrast between his desire to depart (verse 23) and his need to stay on earth.

2. "Abide" = continue; remain.

3. "In the flesh" = in his body; means to continue to live and minister here on earth.

4. "More needful" = what is required by the circumstances; necessary.

5. "You" = the saints at Philippi.

6. While Paul longed to be with Christ, he eagerly yearned to remain to help these believers grow in Christ.  This expresses Paul's unselfishness.

7. If this principle is present in our lives, we can never find a place of retirement in the work of the Lord. Maturity, knowledge, and experience can be of great assistance in God's kingdom.

8. Paul knew the church at Philippi would continue to grow and expand without him, but he also realized his own value to the members of that church, thus his statement, "To abide in the flesh is more needful for you."


V. 25

1. "Having confidence" = to persuade; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; speaks of a settled conviction which is the result of a past completed process of turning something over in one's mind until he is persuaded of it and remains in that state of mind at present.

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Know" = to have absolute positive knowledge of the facts; the tense in the Greek is perfect which means a past completed action with existing results; absolute certainty‑‑he had heard from the Lord; Paul had a settled conviction that he would be released from prison.

4. "Shall abide" = shall stay; not to depart.

5. "Continue with" = to remain beside; translation of a Greek word having a special sense of remaining alive.

6. "You" = "your" = the Philippian saints.

7. "All" = each and every one of you.

8. "Furtherance" = advancement; progress; refers to the Christian progress which the Philippians would make under the ministry of the apostle.

9. "Joy" = gladness; that which is a result of faith; fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22‑23)

10. "Faith" = in the Greek there is the definite article "the" preceding "faith" = thus "the faith;" refers to the whole body of God's revealed truth which is delivered to all saints. (Jude 3)


V. 26

1. "Your" = "you" = the Philippian saints.

2. "Rejoicing" = boasting; glorying.

3. "May be more abundant" = may increase; to remain over; more than enough.

4. "In Jesus Christ" = the basis for the glorying; if Paul was spared, his deliverance would be traced to Christ and they would rejoice together in one who had so mercifully delivered him.

5. "Me" = "my" = Paul.

6. "Coming" = to be beside; refers to personal presence; this same word is used of the Second coming of the Lord Jesus; Paul did not want any glory but wanted the Lord Jesus to have all glory because He is worthy.

7. "Again" = repetition of an action; Paul had visited them when he carried the gospel to them and now he intends to visit them again to encourage, teach, and instruct them further when he is set free from prison.


Because Paul cultivated a single‑mind, the circumstances guarded:


            3. The Faith of the Gospel. V. 27‑30

A. We are sons in the family enjoying the fellowship of the gospel.

B. We are servants sharing in the furtherance of the gospel.

C. And we are also soldiers defending the faith of the gospel.

D. Paul explains three essentials for victory in the battle to protect "the faith."


                 1) Consistency V. 27a

V. 27

1. "Only let" = introduces another line of thought different from the previous verses; means above all else.

2. "Your" = "you" = "ye" = the saints at Philippi; applies to all saints.

3. "Conversation" = to behave as a citizen; live as a citizen; perform your duties as citizens; Paul uses a word that is related to our word "politics" which indicates that Christians are citizens of heaven and while on earth they ought to behave like heaven's citizens; this was a meaningful expression to the people in Philippi because the city was a Roman colony and its citizens were Roman citizens and were under Roman laws.

4. "As it becometh" = in a manner worth of; befitting; implies to add to or strengthen.

5. "The gospel of Christ" = the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and involves the virgin birth, sinless life, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming back again.

6. First "that" = introduces the reason to behave like citizens of heaven.

7. "Whether" = if.

8. "I" = Paul.

9. "Come and see" = to be present with you face to face.

10. "Or else be absent" = not be able to personally visit you.

11. "Hear of your affairs" = hear of the things (conduct as citizens) concerning you.

12. Paul said if your manner of life is what it ought to be, he would hear about them even if he did not get to come to them.  If you live for Christ, it will get out on you.  The most important weapon against the enemy is not a stirring sermon or a powerful book but the consistent life of the believer. (II Cor. 3:2)  This is essential for victory in this battle.

13. "It has been said of a teacher, "We teach some by what we say; more by what we do; but most by what we are."


                 2) Cooperation. V. 27b

14. "Stand fast" = stand firm and hold one's ground; has the idea of firmness and uprightness.

15. "In one spirit" = speaks of the unity of spirit that should be present among the members of a local church which is produced by the Holy Spirit; the implication is clear that when one holds his ground, he does it in the face of enemy opposition.

16. "With one mind" = soul; means with all the desire and emotions concentrated on one object, all acting together in one great work‑‑the faith of the gospel.

17. "Striving together" = to wrestle in company with; to strive together as athletes; implies teamwork as Paul pictures the church as a team and reminds them that it is teamwork that wins victories; in the Greek this is perfect tense which means a past completed action with existing results; thus, the saints at Philippi at a point in past time begin striving or laboring together and at present were still doing so and Paul exhorts them to continue do so.

18. "The faith of the gospel" = refers to the whole body of God's revealed truth delivered to the saints at Philippi.

19. Teamwork is necessary.  If it disappears, the victory is lost.  The motto of the enemy is "divide and conquer." (Mat. 12:25)

20. Paul is reminding the saints to cultivate a single mind and if they do so there is joy even as they battle the enemy, if they live consistently and practice co‑operation.  This applies to us as well.


                 3) Confidence. V. 28-30

V. 28

1. "Nothing" = nobody; no one.

2. "Terrified" = to frighten; this Greek word is used of the terror of a startled horse shying away from a battle.

3. "Your" = "you" = the saints of Philippi.

4. "Adversaries" = "them" = one who opposes; refers to the enemies of the gospel.

5. "Which" = refers to the fact of the Philippian saints not being terrified.

6. "Evident token" = indication; translation of Greek law term denoting proof obtained by an appeal to facts.

7. "Perdition" = damnation; loss or ruin; destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell.

8. "But" = shows contrast between the adversaries and the saints at Philippi.

9. "Salvation" = deliverance from the power of sin day by day and one day from the presence of sin.

10. "That" = refers back to the words "evident token."

11. "Of God" = from God; God was the One who provided clear evidence to the adversaries of their destruction and ruin; also He was the One who gave the saints clear evidence of the saint's deliverance.


V. 29

1. "For" = connects the words "in nothing terrified"  (verse 28) with "to suffer for his sake" in this verse.

2. "You" = the saints at Philippi.

3. "It" = to suffer for His sake.

4. "Is given" = to grant as a favor; refers to suffering for His sake; when a saint views suffering in its true light, they discover that it is a gift of God's grace instead of evil.

5. "Behalf" = for the sake of.

6. "Christ" = "him" = "his" = the Anointed One; the Messiah; Jesus the Saviour.

7. "Not only to believe on him" = refers to a person exercising saving faith that had been given to him. (John 3:27; Eph. 2:8‑9)

8. "But" = shows the contrast between "believing on him" and "suffering for his sake;" both are given to the saints at Philippi.

9. "Also" = indeed.

10. "Suffer" = to endure affliction; this is not referring to Christ's sufferings on the cross but to His suffering for righteousness sake while here on earth in His humiliation (while robed with flesh).

11. "For his sake" = for the cause of Christ.

12. This verse represents suffering as a privilege. (Acts 5:40‑41)  After all He suffered for us and a willingness to suffer for Him is the very least we can do to show our love and gratitude. (Phil. 3:10)


V. 30

1. "Having" = possessing.

2. "Conflict" = "which" = struggle; battle; we get our English word "agony" from it.

3. "Same" = refers to the same kind of conflict‑‑for the cause of Christ, not necessarily the exact same, such as Paul being in jail in Philippi; it is not spoken of their being in prison.

4. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

5. "Me" = Paul.

6. "Saw in me" = not only saw with their eyes but had absolute positive knowledge of the facts‑‑Paul being in jail at Philippi recorded in Acts 16.

7. "Now" = at this present time.

9. "Hear to be in me" = refers to Paul being in prison in Rome of which the saints at Philippi were well aware of.

10. Satan wants you to think you are alone in the battle and your difficulties are unique.  He is a liar.  A change of location geographically does not solve one's problems because:

      A. Human nature is the same everywhere you go.

      B. Circumstances are similar.

      C. The enemy is the same and he is everywhere.





B. The Submissive Mind‑‑the secret of joy in spite of people. V. 1‑30

            1. Instructions concerning this mind. V. 1‑4

V. 1

1. "If" = since; in view of the fact; introduces a first class conditional sentence (in fact four in this verse) in the Greek which assumes the condition (four) to be true not hypothetical in nature.

2. "Therefore" = then; these things being so.

3. "Any" = a certain thing.

4. "Consolation" = exhortation; admonition; encourage-ment; incentive.

5. "In Christ" = the spiritual location  of all saints; Paul regarded Him as the source of all comfort; the idea is that Christians ought at all times, and especially in afflictions, to act so as to secure the highest possible happiness which their Saviour can impart to them.

6. "Comfort" = a word which means come to the side of one to stimulate or comfort; it is similar in meaning to consolation but it includes the element of tenderness and persuasion in its meaning.

7. "Love" = agape; God's love; the Greek denotes that it is God's love for the Philippians which produces the "comfort" which is to be found in Christ.

8. "Fellowship" = speaks of a common interest and a mutual and active participation in the things of God in which the believer and the Holy Spirit are joint‑participants.

9. "Spirit" = Holy Spirit; third part of the Godhead.

10. "Bowels" = tender‑heartedness; a heart in which mercy resides.

11. "Mercies" = compassionate yearnings and actions.

12. "Bowels and mercies" = refer to the innermost feelings of the heart which react with a tenderness and compassion toward others.

13. There is indeed (not "if" but since) these four things to be found in Christ–consolation, comfort, fellowship, and mercies.


V. 2

1. "Fulfil" = complete; fill full; Paul already spoke of having joy when he remembered them and now he is saying "fill up my joy so that nothing shall be wanting to complete it;" then he mentions some things that would complete his joy if the saints at Philippi would practice these things.

2. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

3. "My" = Paul.

4. "Joy" = gladness of heart.

5. "That ye be like minded" = to think the same thing; refers to the harmony that should exist among them; the tense in the Greek indicates a habitual continuous action‑‑keep on thinking the same thing; this is defined and shown in these three necessary elements mentioned here.

A. "Having the same love" = God kind of love; agape; harmony of affection; refers to not having partiality among the brethren; the tense is continuous action.

B. "Being of one accord" = of one soul; having your souls joined together; the tense is continuous action.

C. "Of one mind" = thinking the one thing; repetition but in stronger terms; the tense is continuous action.


V. 3

1. "Nothing" = not one thing.

2. "Through" = according to; preposition which shows the impelling motive behind an action or attitude.

3. "Let be done" = in italics, thus supplied by the translators because the Greek implies this.

4. "Strife" = denotes a desire to put one's self forward; factions; divisions, and disagreements; speaks against having selfishness or self‑promoting in your heart; one who practices this does things at the expense of other people in order to elevate self.

5. "Vainglory" = empty pride; self esteem; descriptive of vain and hollow parade and show; implies that this kind of activity brings a kind of glory that has no substance and therefore, is meaningless.

6. "But" = shows contrast between how not to act and how to act.

7. "Lowliness of mind" = humility; having a humble opinion of one's self; a deep sense of one's littleness; modesty; this does not mean that the believer is at the beck and call of everybody else or that he is a "religious doormat" for everybody to use or that he conforms to the peer pressure of other's wishes for the sake of unity.

8. "Each other" = one another; reciprocally; mutually.

9. "Esteem" = consider; the weighing and comparing of facts; a deliberate and careful judgment; denotes a belief resting not on one's inner feeling or sentiment, but on the due consideration of external ground.

10. "Better" = to be above; to excel; to be superior; to be better than.

11. "Let each esteem other better than themselves" = this attitude is one of the effects produced by true humility, and it naturally exists in every truly modest mind; this does not mean to put yourself down but refers to being concerned about the needs of others before the needs of self.

V. 4

1. "Look" = regard; negated by "not;" thus it means to fix the attention upon, with consideration of other's interest.

2. "Every man" = "his" = each and every interest.

3. "Own things" = own interest.

4. "But" = shows contrast between what not to regard and what to regard.

5. "Also" = indeed.

6. "Others" = someone besides yourself.

7. When your burdens are so heavy you don't think you can bear them, reach out and help another and your burden will become lighter.

8. If we have a single mind of Chapter 1, we will not have a problem with the submissive mind of Chapter 2.


            2. Illustrations of this mind. V. 5‑30

                 1) Christ's example.  V. 5‑18

                       a. His humiliation (God being robed with flesh). V. 5‑8

V. 5

1. "Let this mind be in you" = the submissive mind Paul is dealing with in this chapter.

2. "You" = the saints at Philippi.

3. "Which" = refers to mind.

4. "Also" = indeed.

5. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

6. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

7. To have the mind of Christ means "to think as Christ thought" and display humility.

V. 6

1. "Who" = Christ Jesus.

2. "Being" = existing; this word takes us to eternity past.

3. "Form" = the outward expression of the inward nature.

4. "Being in the form of God" = the Greek construction reveals this has nothing to do with shape or size for God is Spirit (John 4:24) and cannot be thought of in human terms; this means that in eternity past Jesus Christ was God (John 1:1,14; Col. 1:15); the use of the word "being" also informs us that our Lord's possession of the divine essence did not cease to be a fact when He came to earth to assume human form‑‑He was still God even though He laid aside the outward manifestation of His deity.

5. "Thought it" = considered it.

6. "Robbery" = a treasure to be held and retained at any hazard or cost; negated by "not."

7. "Equal with God" = equal in quantity and quality in honor, majesty, and glory.

8. Jesus gladly, willingly, and lovingly laid aside the outward manifestation of glory when He was robed in flesh through a virgin's womb.  Peter, James, and John saw that glory manifested on the Mount of transfiguration. (Mat. 17:1‑2)


V. 7

1. "But" = shows contrast between laying aside His manifested glory and taking up a servant's position.

2. "Made" = to come into existence; to be born.

3. "Himself" = "him" = Jesus the Christ.

4. "No" = to make low; bring low; to bring into a humble condition.

5. "Reputation" = to empty; involves a previous fulness; speaks of a voluntary act‑‑He emptied Himself.

6. "Took" = to claim for one's self.

7. "Form" = refers to the essential attributes of a "servant" = a bondslave; the most despicable term used by the Greeks to denote slaves.

8. "Likeness" = resemblance; refers to external appearances; this does not imply that our Lord was not truly man for He was, yet He was more than man‑‑He was God.


V. 8

1. "Being found" = to be recognized; refers to the time of His earthly life when He appeared as a man among men.

2. "Fashion" = kindred word to form in verses 6 and 7, but signifies the figure or shape; refers to that which is outward, while "form" also deals with that which is inward.

3. "He" = "himself" = Jesus Christ.

4. "Humbled" = to make or bring low; humiliate; in the Greek this refers to the supreme act of self‑humiliation involved in the Lord's voluntary submission to death.

5. "Became" = begin to be.

6. "Obedient" = giving ear to; involves submission.

7. "Unto death" = "death of the cross" = speaks of not just an ordinary death but the most torturing forms of death; a death that was full of shame; a death reserved by the Romans for slaves; a death that was cursed in the eyes of Jews. (Deut. 21:23)

8. "Cross" = commonly called "tree" in the Scripture; a well known instrument in Jesus' time of cruel punishment; His death was not the death of a martyr but the death of a criminal (Gal. 3:13) and really the death of a Saviour;  He gave Himself as a sacrifice. (I John 2:2)

9. A person with a submissive mind does not avoid sacrifice. The test of the submissive mind is not just how much we are willing to take in terms of suffering, but how much we are willing to give in terms of sacrifice.


                       b. His exaltation. V. 9‑11

V. 9

1. "Wherefore" = on account of; because of Jesus' supreme humility and voluntary sacrifice.

2. "God" = God the Father.

3. "Also" = indeed.

4. "Highly exalted" = to exalt to the highest ranks and power; to raise to supreme majesty; refers to the resurrection, ascension, and Jesus being seated at the right hand of the Father.

5. "Him" = Jesus the Christ.

6. "Given" = freely bestowed; graciously given.

7. "Name" = name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which are aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, or remembering the name; for example: one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, and etc; in the Greek there is a definite article "the" used which indicates a specific name referred to; verse 11 ascribes to Jesus Christ the name "Lord" which is the word used by the Septuagint (Greek translation of OT Hebrew) translators for the OT name Yahweh or Jehovah; "Lord" was the unspeakable name that Jews hesitated to write or say.

8. "Above" = beyond; chiefest.

9. "Every" = each individual name; His rank, His titles, His dignity is above all others.


V. 10

1. "Jesus" = name given our Lord at His humiliation (birth).

2. "At the name of Jesus" = refers to the name given Jesus. (Lord; verse 11)

3. "Every" = each and every one.

4. "Knee bow" = to bend one's knees; to kneel down in worship to express homage, respect, and adoration.

5. "Should" = shall; the Greek indicates certainty; in English "should" implies some might not, but every knee shall bend.

6. "Things" = in italics thus not in the original but supplied by the translators because they took the Greek to be neuter gender but it is masculine gender, thus "beings" bow, as "things" do not bow.

7. "Things in heaven" = beings in heaven; refers to saints and angels.

8. "Things in earth" = beings on earth; refers to the living.

9. "Things under the earth" = beings under the earth; refers to the dead in hell and fallen creatures.

10. The use of these three divisions means that all creation will ultimately acknowledge the man Jesus as fully God (Lord) with a position equal to that of the Father.  All will bow to His sovereign will and all will be subject to His control.  And all will recognize Him as Divine.  This does not mean that they will all be saved, for the guilty and the lost will be compelled to acknowledge His power and submit to His Lordship.


V. 11

1. "Every" = each and every one.

2. "Tongue" = organ of speech; refers to all creatures endowed with the gift of speech.

3. "Confess" = to openly and plainly agree.

4. "Jesus" = the earthly name of God incarnate (God robed in flesh); the Saviour of mankind.

5. "Christ" = the Anointed One; the Messiah of the OT.

6. "Lord" = owner; ruler; sovereign‑‑chief; supreme; above all others for there is no other; the term declares the true character and dignity of Jesus Christ and is the basis and the object of worship.

7. "Glory" = praise; honor; magnificence; dignity; majesty; splendor.

8. "To the glory of God the Father" = such a universal confession will honor and glorify God.

9. It would be a lot better for each person if they would bend their knee now and confess Him as Lord while His Spirit is drawing them to salvation.  But if man rejects the Lord in this life, he will still bend his knee and confess Him as Lord one day, which will be too late for the saving of His soul.


                       c. Application. V. 12-18

                             a) There is a purpose to achieve. V. 12

V. 12

1. "Wherefore" = in view of the fact that Christ is our example.

2. "My" = Paul.

3. "Beloved" = esteemed; dear; worthy of love because of the Lord (saved); described as "my beloved" probably due to the saints at Philippi being considered as Paul's converts.

4. "Ye" = "your own" = saints at Philippi.

5. "Always" = at all time.

6. "Obeyed" = to submit to; implies a readiness to do what Paul commands them to do.

7. "Not as in my presence, but now much more in my absence" = Paul commends them for their constant obedience, not just when he was present with them but also while he was absent from them; it seems they were trying harder to obey in his absence.

8. "Work out" = to carry out a goal; to carry to its ultimate conclusion or full completion; word used for:

A. Working a mine‑‑get out of the mine all the valuables that are possible.

B. Working a field‑‑so as to get the greatest harvest possible.

10. "Work out your own salvation" = this does not mean to work for one's salvation (justification) for two reasons:

A. Paul was writing to those already justified‑‑saints. (Phil. 1:1)

B. Salvation is not a work of man for God, but a work of God in man‑‑a work that was accomplished on Calvary.

10. This is to be done "with fear and trembling."

11. "Fear" = reverential awe of God with a hatred for evil; not the fear of a slave.

12. "Trembling" = shaking with fear; used to describe the anxiety of one who distrusts his ability completely to meet all requirements, but religiously does his utmost to fulfill his duty.

13. The goal God wants us to achieve is Christlikeness. (Rom. 8:29)


                             b) There is a power to receive. V. 13‑16

V. 13

1. "For" = preposition introducing the enablement for a person to achieve His purpose.

2. "God" = "his" = God the Father who enables through the Holy Spirit.

3. "Which" = who; God is a person not a thing; therefore, this is masculine not neuter gender.

4. "Worketh" = to be operative; to energize; put forth power; the tense is continuous action.

5. "You" = the saints at Philippi; applies to all saints.

6. "In you" = in, not around; God must work in a person before He can work through him.

7. "Both" = indeed; indicates two areas:

A. "To will" = creates a desire in us; the will urging on to action; means God exerts such an influence that makes us willing to obey Him. (Psa. 110:3)

B. "To do" = to work; to display one's activity.

8. "Of" = according to.

9. "His good pleasure" = as it pleases Him; means His delight and purpose.

10. It is the power of God that enables us to achieve.


V. 14

1. "Do" = perform; produce; indicates activity; the tense reveals a continuous habitual lifestyle; refers to the part of salvation we usually call sanctification which means a walk of progression toward perfection that will be gained at the first resurrection.

2. "All things" = each and every activity that the Lord has purposed for your life.

3. "Murmurings" = to mutter; a mumbled complaint; not a loud outspoken dissatisfaction; refers to the act of murmuring against men; Paul said do "all things without murmurings."

4. "Disputings" = hesitation; arguing; carries the idea of discussion and debate with the thought of suspicion or doubt; Paul said "do all things without disputing."

5. Murmurings led to disputes.


V. 15

1. "That" = introduces the result of practicing the command of Phil. 2:14.

2. "Ye" = saints at Philippi; applies to all believers.

3. "May be" = may become; speaks of growth of sanctification.

4. "Blameless" = deserving no censure; free from fault or defect; refers to the verdict of others upon a person.

5. "Harmless" = unmixed; unadulterated; simple; guileless.

6. "Sons" = children; born ones.

7. "Of God" = belonging to God.

8. "Without rebuke" = without blemish; faultless; unblamable; a kindred word to "blameless."

9. "In the midst" = amongst; gives the location where saints are to be without rebuke‑‑in this world, not in isolation or a monastery. (Titus 2:11‑12)

10. "Crooked" = warped; wicked; used in the sense of turning away from the truth.

11. "Perverse" = to distort; to turn aside from the right path; similar to "crooked" but a stronger word.

12. "Nation" = refers to the world‑‑the people (among whom).

13. "Shine" = refers to the act of appearing not the act of shining.

14. "Lights" = luminous; heavenly bodies such as the stars, sun or moon; refers to saints who are heavenly people, therefore, luminaries giving off light.

15. "In the world" = among the people of the world. (Mat. 5:16)


V. 16

1. "Holding forth" = to hold forth so as to offer; an example would be offering a drink of water to a guest; to hold towards; Paul pictures a Christian as a runner holding out the Olympic torch; this verse tells us how we are to shine as lights in the world‑‑"holding forth the word of life."

2. "Word of life" = the gospel message which is proclaimed by your life as well as by your lip. (II Cor. 3:2)

3. "I" = Paul.

4. "Rejoice" = to boast; to glory.

5. "In the day of Christ" = rapture; not a Bible word but a Bible principle; refers to the Lord's second coming when He gathers His saints.

6. "Run" = refers to the Christian life as a race.

7. "Vain" = empty; fruitless; negated by "not."

8. "Laboured" = to labor with a wearisome effort; means to labor to the point of exhaustion.

9. Paul said he could boast or brag when the Lord comes for His saints because there would be saints from Philippi present as a result of him preaching the gospel to them.   Also there would be others saved and present at the rapture as a result of the saints at Philippi holding forth the word of life.   The saints were Paul's crown of rejoicing. (I Thess. 2:19) This is consistent with Gal. 6:14 for it is the cross that enables men to be saved.


                       c. There is a promise to believe. V. 17‑18

V. 17

1. The promise to believe is that joy comes with submission.

2. "Yea" = yes; forms a transition from the joy hereafter (verse 16) and the joy here and now.

3. "I" = Paul.

4. "Be offered" = speaks of the drink‑offering poured out upon the sacrifice itself with the sacrifice being the major part while the drink offering is the minor part; he is speaking of the fact that one day his life's blood would be poured out as a martyr; later he said in II Tim. 4:6 that his life's blood is about to be poured out‑‑"For I am now ready to be offered."

5. "Sacrifice and service of your faith" = refers to the Philippians saint's (your) Christian life and service as the main sacrifice; Paul always lifted others above himself = joy–Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.

6. "Joy" = be glad; to rejoice exceedingly.

7. "Rejoice with" = take part in another's joy.

8. "You all" = each and every Philippian saint.


V. 18

1. "Same cause" = in the same things; for the same reason.

2. "Also" = indeed.

3. "Ye" = the Philippian saints.

4. "Me" = Paul.

5. "Joy" = be glad; to rejoice exceedingly.

6. "Rejoice with" = take part in another's joy.


                 2) Timothy's example. V. 19‑24

                       a. He had a servant's mind. V. 19‑21

V. 19

1. Paul gives us an example to follow who is just like us‑‑human.  Paul knew his readers are prone to say "It is impossible for us to follow such an example as Christ for He is God in flesh."

2. "I" = Paul.

3. "Trust" = to hope; hopefully trust in.

4. "I trust in the Lord Jesus" = this phrase tells us that Paul's every thought, word, and deed proceeded from the Lord as the center of every decision he made; he hoped to send Timothy to them as soon as possible and would do so if the Lord willed it--"in the Lord Jesus."

4. "To send" = to bid a thing to be carried to one.

5. "Timotheus" = Greek for Timothy; means knowing God; a resident at Lystra whose father was a Greek and mother a Jewess; Paul's son in the ministry; Paul's traveling companion and fellow laborer.

6. "Shortly" = soon; as soon as possible.

7. "You" = "your" = the saints at Philippi.

8. "I also" = I likewise; I in like manner.

9. "May be of good comfort" = one word in the Greek; means to be of a good courage; to be of a cheerful spirit; speaks of the well being of one's soul.

10. "Know" = to know by experience; to understand; to have knowledge of.

11. "Your state" = things concerning you; it had been a considerable time since Epaphroditus has left the Philippians and had informed Paul of their condition.


V. 20

1. "For" = introduces the reason for Paul sending Timothy.

2. "Have" = to be closely joined to a person.

3. "No man" = not even one.

4. "Likeminded" = translation of a Greek word made up of the words "equal" and "soul;" Paul is saying that he does not have a person in Rome with a soul equal to Timothy's.

5. "Who" = has the aspect of "who is of a character such that."

6. "Naturally" = to look out for; to seek to promote another's interest; give one's thoughts to a matter.

8. "Your state" = things concerning you.

9. "Your" = the saints at Philippi.


V. 21

 1. "All" = "their" = each and every one who was with Paul; this is a strong word and means the whole of them; one and all; all without exception; Paul could not say the same things about those in Rome that he said about Timothy;  there must have been some of Paul's closest helpers absent from Paul when he said this; for example‑‑Luke.

2. "Seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's" = they desired and craved things for their own benefit and cause, not for the cause of Christ and His kingdom.

3. Too many professing Christians live in Phil. 2:21 instead of Phil. 1:21.



                       b. He had a servant's training. V. 22

V. 22

1. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

2. "Know" = speaks of knowledge gained by experience.

3. "Proof" = refers to that which has met the test and has been approved; they had evidence how Timothy had faithfully served with Paul in preaching the gospel; this evidence came first‑hand as they witnessed Timothy in action with Paul when they had come together to Philippi.

4. "Him" = "he" = Timothy.

5. "As a son with the father" = manifesting the same spirit toward Paul as a son does toward his father; spiritually he was Paul's son in the ministry.

6. "Hath served" = give one's self up to.

7. "Me" = Paul.

8. "With" = Timothy did not serve Paul even though no doubt he helped him with his physical needs at times; He served with Paul in getting the gospel to the regions beyond.

9. "In" = a preposition of motion in the Greek; it was in the progress of the gospel that Timothy served with Paul.

10. "The gospel" = good news; refers to Paul's message of good news of Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (I Cor. 15:1‑4) and everything around it such as His virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, resurrection, ascension, ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming again.

11. Paul well trained Timothy to be a servant.




                       c. He had a servant's reward. V. 23‑24

V. 23

1. "Him" = Timothy.

2. "Therefore" = in view of the facts just stated.

3. "I" = "me" = Paul.

4. "Hope" = hopefully trust.

5. "Send" = to go at the orders of another.

6. "Presently" = immediately.

7. "So soon" = when.

8. "Shall see" = means to know; speaks here of the act of turning one's attention from other things and concentrating upon one's own situation; Paul was so forgetful of self, dead to self, so engrossed in the welfare of others, that even though he was a prisoner, and was facing martyrdom, yet he had not taken thought of his own welfare.

9. "How it will go with me" = things concerning me; refers to the outcome of his trial.

V. 24

1. "But" = shows contrast between sending Timothy and going himself.

2. "I" = "myself" = Paul.

3. "Trust" = to persuade; not the usual word for "trust;" the Greek construction indicates that Paul had come to a settled persuasion in the sphere of the Lord, based upon His faithfulness to Him; that persuasion was that he himself would come shortly to them.

4. "Also" = indeed.

5. "Shortly" = quickly; very soon.


                 3) Epaphroditus' example. V. 25‑30

V. 25

1. "Yet" = reveals the contrast between sending Timothy, going himself, and sending Epaphroditus.

2. "I" = "my" = Paul.

3. "Supposed" = considered; esteemed; a translation of a word that does not contain a doubt, but refers to a decision arrived at after weighing the facts in the case.

4. "Necessary" = indispensable; what one cannot do without; a strong word in the Greek.

5. "Send" = to bid one to go.

6. "You" = "your" = saints at Philippi.

7. "Epaphroditus" = "he" = name means charming; the one who brought Paul the gifts (whatever they consisted of) from the church at Philippi; why Paul did not consider him likeminded as Timothy (verse 20) we do not know for Paul speaks very highly of him in this verse by the use of five words:

A. "My brother" = from the same womb; it speaks of a common origin which speaks of a common level; Paul put himself on the same level with this humble brother because they both were birthed by the same Spirit‑‑salvation is of the Lord.

B. "Companion in labour" = co‑worker; a fellow worker; again Paul places him on the same level as himself.

C. "Fellowsoldier" = both being in the same Christian conflict against the powers of darkness; both facing the same danger.

D. "Your messenger" = used of an ambassador sent on a mission; he may have been the pastor of the church at Philippi sent to bring the gifts of the church to Paul in prison.

E. "Ministered to my wants" = "ministered" is a translation of a Greek word used of the ritualistic service of the Levitical priests; Epaphroditus in ministering to the wants (needs; necessities) of Paul while he was in prison, was looked upon by the apostle as a ministry having as much sacredness about it as one of the priests who ministered in the OT Jewish temple services.


V. 26

1. "He" = Epaphroditus.

2. "Longed after" = to desire earnestly; this was not a spasmodic yearning but continues on.

3. "You all" = "ye" = the saints at Philippi‑‑each and every one.

4. "Full of heaviness" = not at home; uncomfortable; troubled; distressed; the word does not refer to homesickness, but to the discomfort of not being at home.

5. "Because that" = introduces the reason Epaphrodictus was full of heaviness.

6. "Had heard" = word had traveled back to Philippi of Epaphroditus' sickness.

7. "Had been sick" = was sick; to be weak; to be feeble; we know not what sickness he had but it must have lasted for a period of time‑‑long enough for the message to get back to Philippi and also a message to return back to Rome revealing that the saints at Philippi knew of Epaphroditus' sickness; this may have been why he is not considered likeminded with Timothy. (verse 20)


V. 27

1. "Indeed" = truly.

2. "He" = "him" = Epaphroditus.

3. "Nigh unto" = near to; almost to; coming near.

4. "Death" = physical death; that separation of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended.

5. "Nigh unto death" = phrase has the idea of "alongside of a neighbor;" he and death were next door.

6. "But" = shows contrast‑‑God intervened.

7. "God" = refers to the Godhead, especially the Holy Spirit who demonstrated His power in healing.

8. "Mercy" = something he did not deserve; to help one afflicted; word stems from God's love for people (Lam. 3:22‑23); means the Lord healed him, probably not by a miracle but by ordinary means‑‑medicine and doctors, for Dr. Luke was with them.

9. "Only" = alone.

10. "Me" = "I" = Paul.

11. "Also" = indeed.

12. "Lest" = unless.

13. "Should have" = possess.

14. "Sorrow" = pain; grief; used twice to emphasize extreme pain upon pain or grief upon grief; had he died, Paul would have felt that he was partially responsible for his death since Epaphroditus had traveled from Philippi to Rome to bring supplies and gifts to Paul.


V. 28

1. "I" = Paul.

2. "Sent" = Paul instructed him to go back to the saints at Philippi.

3. "Him" = Epaphroditus.

4. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that he was full of heaviness. (verse 26)

5. "The more carefully" = hastily; diligently.

6. "Ye" = the saints at Philippi.

7. "See" = perceive with the eyes as he arrived back home.

8. "Again" = anew.

9. "Rejoice" = be glad; the saints at Philippi would cease to be anxious about him when they saw him and could rejoice that their faithful friend was well again.

10. "May be the less sorrowful" = to be free from pain and grief; to know that Epaphroditus was safe again in Philippi would lessen the sadness of Paul's heart.


V. 29

1. "Receive" = to receive to one's self; the Greek construction implies that fellowship is involved here.

2. "Him" = Epaphroditus.

3. "Therefore" = in view of the fact that Paul sent him back to the saints at Philippi.

4. "In the Lord" = in the realm of the Lord so that God receives all the glory.

5. "With all gladness" = with all joy or joyfulness.

6. "Hold such in reputation" = to hold one dear or in honor; to value highly; to prize; to deem precious.

7. "Such" = refers to Epaphroditus.


V. 30

1. "Because" = introduces the reason he was sick and near death.

2. "The work of Christ" = he had a calling to minister; he may have been sick because he over exerted himself in the ministry.

3. "He" = "His" =  Epaphroditus.

4. "Nigh unto death" = next door to death.

5. "Not regarding his life" = hazarding his life; these words are used to describe Epaphroditus who recklessly risked his life to serve Paul while he was in prison.

6. "To supply" = to furnish what was lacking.

7. "Your" = the saints at Philippi.

8. "Lack" = deficiency.

9. "Toward" = with regard to.

10. "Me" = Paul.

11. The submissive mind really does work. Christ is the pattern we follow.  Paul shows us the power in the application. (V. 12‑18)  And Timothy and Epaphroditus are proof that this mind really works.



New Hope Baptist Church
1661 Griggstown Road
Calvert City, KY 42029
Church -270-527-3864
Pastor - 270-559-7135
The Persuader