Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1
Paul has just written about the joy of his possible return to Philippi (verse 26). The Christians would have a special reason to praise God at Paul’s return there, after several years as a prisoner.
However, Paul was not promising to return to Philippi, even if he received his freedom. Paul had to go where God sent him (compare Acts 16:6-10). Philippi’s Christians must not depend on Paul or any other person for their joy; their joy must be in God alone.
So Paul reminded the Christians there about the gospel, the message from God about Christ and his death. By that message God had saved (rescued) them; by that message they received a right relationship with God (Romans 1:16). It is a wonderful honour to receive that message of rescue, hope and love from God. So, Paul told them that the gospel should continue to guide their actions and their beliefs. Christians should always live in the way that pleases God. Also, they should stand together to believe and to trust those things that God has taught them in the gospel message.
There were some serious disagreements among Philippi’s Christians (4:2-3). However, the gospel, the message about Christ, brought them together. They all had trusted in Christ through the same gospel. When enemies opposed them, they all needed to stand firmly for that same gospel. They would all be much stronger if they helped and supported each other through these troubles. It is not wrong if Christians disagree about certain matters. However, it is wrong if they refuse to show love to each other because of their disagreements (John 15:12; 1 John 4:7).
Next part: God's people do not need to be afraid of their enemies (Philippians 1:28)
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© 2020, Keith Simons.