Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 3

Chapter 3

Remember to be joyful

Philippians 3:1

Paul had finished the main subjects for his letter to Philippi’s Christians. He has told them his news; he has told them how they should pray for him; he has told them how God is helping him to deal with his present difficulties. He has taught them about their attitudes, and he has urged them to help and to support each other. Also, he has explained to them about Timothy and Epaphroditus, who will soon be returning to Philippi.

Usually, the first Christians used a kind of paper called parchment to write their letters. People made it from animal skins, and the Christians did not like to waste any of it. So, they wrote on both sides of the page, and they sewed smaller pieces together to make books.

Paul still had some space on his page, and he was not too tired to write more. So, he decided to remind the Christians in Philippi about some of the lessons that he had taught them in the past. It would benefit them to remember those things; that advice would protect them from many dangers to their relationship with Christ. So, while the Holy Spirit continued to guide him, Paul would continue to write.

In particular, Paul would urge them to find their joy in Christ. This seemed to him to be an extremely important lesson for the Christians at Philippi. He will again repeat it, and emphasise it, in Philippians 4:4. A Christian’s joy should not depend on the things in this world or his circumstances in life. Those circumstances may change quickly – even a rich person can soon become poor. So Christians need to recognise their relationship with Christ as the main reason for their joy. Even in the most difficult circumstances, nobody and nothing can separate them from Christ’s love for them (Romans 8:35-39). That is a reason for the greatest joy.

Next part: Wrong ideas about the human body (Philippians 3:2)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.