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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of the Epistle to the Philippians
To Present Every Man Perfect in Christ
Salutation, Philippians 1:1-2 .
I. A Pastor’s Regard and Concern for His People,Philippians 1:3-11; Philippians 1:3-11
1. Thanksgiving for Their Co-operation , Philippians 1:3-5
2. Confidence That They Share the Same Grace , Philippians 1:6-7
3. Prayer for Their Spiritual Enrichment , Philippians 1:8-11
II. The Compensations of Paul’s Imprisonment, Philippians 1:12-26
1. Testimony of His Bonds throughout the Praetorian Guard , Philippians 1:12-13
2. Increased Boldness of the Brotherhood in Preaching Christ , Philippians 1:14-18
3. His Hope of Larger Usefulness upon His Release , Philippians 1:19-26
III. The Life That Is Worthy of the Gospel of Christ, Philippians 1:27-30 ; Philippians 2:1-30
1. A Life of Courage in the Face of Conflict , Philippians 1:27-30
2. A Life of Good-Will and Helpfulness , Philippians 2:1-5
3. A Life Determined by the Spirit of Christ , Philippians 2:6-11
4. A Life Triumphant in an Evil World , Philippians 2:12-18
( Illustrated by Paul’s Fellow-Workers , Philippians 2:19-30
1. Timothy , Philippians 2:19-24
2. Epaphroditus , Philippians 2:25-30 )
IV. Human and Divine Righteousness Contrasted,Philippians 3:1-21; Philippians 3:1-21 ; Philippians 4:1-3
1. Warning against Those Who Glory in the Flesh , Philippians 3:1-3
2. Paul’s Personal Claim to Legal Righteousness , Philippians 3:4-6
3. His Repudiation of All Else for the Righteousness of Christ , Philippians 3:7-16
4. Warning against the Fleshly-Minded , Philippians 3:17-21 ; Philippians 4:1
( Personal Message to Euodias and Syntyche , Philippians 4:2-3 )
V. The Final Exhortation,Philippians 4:4-10; Philippians 4:4-10
1. The Place of Prayer , Philippians 4:4-7
2. The Need of Purity , Philippians 4:8-9
VI. A Personal Message, Philippians 4:10-19
1. The Gift from the Philippians , Philippians 4:10-14
2. Their Past Assistance , Philippians 4:15-17
3. The Divine Acceptance of This Service , Philippians 4:18-19
Conclusion, Philippians 4:20-23
The Church at Philippi appears to have been one of the purest of the Apostolic age, and beyond any other called out the Apostle’s thankfulness and commendation.
The occasion of the Epistle seems to have been the return of Epaphroditus, who had brought a gift from Paul’s friends in Philippi, but had been seized by a dangerous illness, Paul was a prisoner in his own hired house in Rome and was anticipating his trial before the emperor.
There is nothing controversial in this letter. The peace of God keeps the Apostle’s mind and heart, and out of it pours a tide of deep and tender love. The hope of being alive at Christ’s coming is still his guiding star. His citizenship is in heaven, and all that he has forfeited of earthly wealth and joy is more than compensated for by what he has found in Christ.
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Philippians in the printed edition
Review Questions on the Epistle to the Philippians
( a ) What is the chief thought which Paul develops in this Epistle?
( b ) What sort of life is worthy of the gospel of Christ?
( c ) Where was this letter written?
( d ) What was its occasion?
( e ) What distinguishes it among the group of Pauline Epistles?
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .
1. What great confidence did Paul have concerning the Philippian converts?
2. How had the Apostle’s imprisonment fallen out to the furtherance of the gospel?
3. What news did he hope to hear regarding the Philippians?
4. What is the great characteristic of the “mind of Christ”?
5. What is the Christian’s relation to the world?
6. How was Timothy distinguished from Paul’s other helpers? What is said about Epaphroditus?
7. Why did Paul count as loss everything that had been gain to him?
8. What should we ever seek to apprehend?
9. What objects should engage our thoughts?
10. What great lesson had Paul learned? With what promise does the Epistle close?
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