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An Introduction of Philippians with Outlines

The Epistle of Joy

Paul J. Bucknell


An introduction of Philippians is provided along with several outlines.

Philippians, a simple introduction

Philippi was located on a fertile plain about 9 miles from the Aegean Sea northwest of the island Neapolis which served as its seaport. In NT times Philippi was regarded as the chief city of Macedonia and as a colony. Being a colony meant they were Roman citizens who could vote and govern themselves. Today in ruins. – Gromacki

This seems like a thank you letter to the Philippians. The believers at Philippi seem to be following after the Lord with no major problems. This is seen through the way he speaks about furthering the Gospel through their lives, attaining the full joy of the Lord and providing brief exhortations.

Two minor problems are being addressed: encouraging leaders to work together in love (Phil. 4:1-2) and beware of legalistic cults (Phil. 3:17-19).

The beginning of the church is recorded in Acts 16:11-40 where Paul the Apostle went across the sea from then Asia Minor (now Turkey) to Macedonia in response to the Macedionian call.

The tone of the letter to the Philippian believers is for the most part quite upbeat with Paul sharing from his personal life, Christ's example and the example of others how the Christian life can and should be lived out. The examples enable us to more easily understand and apply these teachings to our lives and therefore has been a popular book to read and study among believers.

Many people note the common use of words like 'joy' and 'rejoice', which seem strange at first because the apostle is in jail while he writes!

Book of Philippians, Two Outlines

Living Beyond the World’s Reach

Philippians Outline by Paul J. Bucknell

By understanding and devoting ourselves to God’s calling and purpose for our lives, we are able to live above the world’s reach and like the apostle please our Lord, strengthen our brethren, witness to the lost and find personal fulfillment as Christ carries out His purposes through our lives.

1) Commitment to God’s Purpose (Ph. 1:1-26)

Dedicated to see God’s kingdom grow around us.

Missions-oriented life: Enables us to rise to the occasion to serve others even in difficult circumstances.

2) Attitude towards God’s Service (Ph. 1:27-2:30)

Purposed to humbly walk with others around us.

Servant-oriented life: Enables us to work with others in a team to maximize our service.

3) Devotion for God’s Service (Ph. 3:1-21)

Devoted to pursue Christ in all we enabling us to live in the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Christ-oriented life: Enables us to carry out God’s will for our lives in the power of Christ’s resurrection.

4) Peace in God’s Service (Ph. 4:1-23)

Determined to fully trust God in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Trust-oriented life: Enables us to live out our difficult circumstances and exude Christ’s life resulting in His peace.

Philippians Outline

by Dr. Haik (my notes)

I. Rejoicing in the Service of Christ (1:1-26)

A. Petition for the Philippians (1-11)
B. Progress of the Gospel (12-20)
C. Problem of the Apostle (21-26)

II. Rejoicing in the Selflessness of Christ (1:27-2:30)

A. Declaration of it (1:27-2:11)
B. Exhortation from it (2:12-16)
C. Exemplification from it (2:17-30)

III. Rejoicing in the Sufferings of Christ (3:13-21)

A. In Relation to Salvation (1-9)
B. In Relation to Sanctification (10-19)
C. In Relation to Glorification (20-21)

IV. Rejoicing in the Sufficiency of Christ (4:1-23)

A. His Peace (1-9)
B. His Power (10-13)
C. His Provision (14-23)

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Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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