Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1

Paul’s love for Philippi’s Christians

Philippians 1:7-8

In Philippians 1:7-8, Paul describes the love that God has given him for the Christians in Philippi. It is interesting to compare that passage with 1 Corinthians 4:14-16, which describes his love for Corinth’s Christians.

In those passages, God showed, through Paul, a different kind of love to the Christians in each place. In Corinth, the Christians were doing wrong things. So Paul’s love for them was like the love of a father who must teach and correct his children, sometimes firmly.

In Philippi, Paul considered the Christians to be his partners in his work. They truly cared about him; so they shared with him by their prayers and their gifts. So they had a part in everything that he was doing for God. Paul was as aware of their support in prison, as when he declared the gospel publicly.

So, Paul’s love for them took the form of a deep and sincere friendship. Although he rarely saw any of them, still that love for them remained constant. Paul’s love was like the love that Christ himself has for them. His genuine desire was that God would work powerfully in and through their lives. Of course Paul desired that for all the other Christians too. However Paul could see that God had given him a special connection of true friendship with Philippi’s Christians. He did not deal with them like the Christians in other churches, because they were not like those other Christians (4:15). Rather, God had brought them together with Paul to do his (God’s) work. Even when they were not together, they remained partners and willing workers together in that great task.

Next part: Love with wisdom (Philippians 1:9)


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