The Philippians lived in the city of Philippi, which is a city near Neapolis in Macedonia and were mainly Gentiles like the Colossians.
Paul and Timothy are writing together here, just like Paul and Timothy wrote to the Colossians together.
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Paul tells the Philippians that he is very confident in their sincere repentance and diligence to attain to the salvation of the gospel, and that he is sure that they will succeed and overcome and endure untill the end.
1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Paul calls the faithful and zealous for God “fellow partakers” of the same grace [the calling and salvation of Christ] as he himself and assures them of how deeply he longs to be with them. Together they long to be with each other [Paul and the Philippians], for they are both full of the same Spirit of Christ and the same deep mutual passionate love for God the Father and the whole Word of God.
1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
Paul prays for them that their love of God and the keeping of the whole Word of God, which defines godly love; will abound all the greater and bear fruit in the increase of knowledge, understanding and the sound judgment of God. I also pray that the same blessings will be poured out on the faithful and diligent for God.
1:10 That ye may approve [that you may accept, diligently seek and grow in the spiritual things which are acceptable to God] things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence [that you may be without sin or any offense against God, in the day of our judgment] till the day of Christ.
Paul is hopeful that their [our] love of godliness may abound and that their [our] good works of faith should abound, and that they should excel and be sincere without any sin or offense against God, and be well pleasing to God always.
1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
The whole Word of God is righteousness defining God who is righteousness; and our duty is to internalize and be filled with the very nature of God, which is the passionate keeping of the whole Word of God.
1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
Paul encourages the Philippians telling them that because of the charges against him and his imprisonment, the fame of the whole matter has been spread abroad.
Everyone in the palace and people throughout the land are hearing of his situation and are hearing the Gospel, so that his imprisonment is actually working to further the spreading of the Gospel. Paul’s imprisonment and courage are also inspiring others to take a stand
1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Some preach Christ for personal reasons, while others preach the truth in sincerity and true godly love. Paul set us an example that he did not care who preached the truth; as long as the truth was preached!
1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Paul says that he lives and dies for Christ, and declares that to remain diligent in so doing will be his salvation in Christ.
The same is true of us: Our salvation rests in being diligent to live and die for God the Father just as Jesus Christ did. We should do likewise; presenting our wholehearted service as a fitting, pleasant and acceptable burnt offering to God the Father the Almighty!
Let us be bold for God to learn and to live by every Word of God and to be well studied and grounded in sound doctrine so that we are able to explain and teach the truth of God to all who ask us, just as Paul was and did.
1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Paul longs with all his heart for his life to end and to be chosen to be with God the Father, yet he knows that he is needed for the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation so that others may also converted to godliness.
1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain [because of the resurrection to be with Christ]. 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Paul lived to please God, just as Jesus lived to please God the Father
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Paul’s joy in life was to serve and please God, and to teach the things of God and encourage people to a zeal for God and spiritual salvation. Paul encourages the Philippians and us today; to stand fast in wholehearted unity with God and the whole Word of God,
1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith [which includes the works of faith] of the gospel;
Fear [exalt] no man, but question every word of men by the Word of God. Exalt God and fear to displease Almighty God.
Many leaders and elders today think that they should be exalted and that the brethren should blindly follow whatever they say without question.
They regard any questioning of them by the scriptures, to be an apostasy from God; thinking of themselves as being above the Word of God. Do not be afraid of them, for in setting themselves up above the Word of God they have made themselves the adversaries of God and the deceivers of the people of God.
1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, [to question the word’s of men by the Word of God and to cleave to God’s Word alone, safeguards our salvation] but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Such men are so full of themselves that they suppose that our lack of exalting and fearing men is a sign that we are damned, when it is exalting and fearing men above God which brings damnation.
Jesus warned that many false teachers would seek to deceive the Ekklesia. Matthew 24:4 is a warning to the disciples of Christ, not to the world which has always been deceived! The Gospels and Epistles are full of warnings to the brethren, to beware for many deceivers shall enter the assemblies to lead them astray!
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Every one who believes Christ and has the works of faith, which is to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal and refuses to follow the deceivers will be persecuted by the wicked.
Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 1:30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.