Phillippians 1: 1-2

[1:1] Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
[2] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Comments to "Phillippians 1: 1-2"

  1. Dad's Gravatar Dad
    June 2, 2011 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

    In the Bible there are no wasted words, no fluff, no filler. Each and every word has a purpose, carefully placed to reveal something unique about our God who is determined to make himself known. This is the case with the genealogies in the old testament, the lineage of Christ in the gospels and the greetings which introduce Paul’s letters.

    Imagine opening this letter for the first time. The parchment is new and gently crackles as the scroll is opened. The writing is bold and clear. The very first thing we look for is the author’s name. It is essential in order to fix in our minds who is speaking as we read what follows. This is what gives the contents meaning. This letter is from Paul and Timothy.

    Interesting that Paul includes Timothy. Unlike some of the support letters I have seen in my mailbox, this letter is not designed to promote the writer above everyone else. Paul includes Timothy to endear him to the hearts of the Philippian believers at least in part because he knows that Timothy will someday assume the position of influence that Paul currently holds. Clearly Paul has his vision set further down the road. He sees the future of the Phillippian church as well as the future of his disciple in ministry. Paul is not about the business of building his own kingdom his goal is to faithfully steward his responsibility to further the Kingdom of God.

    The next phrase “servants of Christ Jesus” describes both Paul and Timothy’s attitude and perspective regarding their role in the world. They are servants – (doulos) to someone greater than themselves. They come in His name to do His bidding, slaves to His purpose with no claim to their own agenda. Bound by blood to the one who purchased their souls these men speak to the Phillippians as messengers from their sovereign.

    The letter is to “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Phillipi”. Sainthood here is ascribed to those who are “in Christ Jesus”. This is the sole criteria for assuming the title of “saint” under the new covenant. In this context claiming to be a “saint” brings no particular glory to oneself, on the contrary, it is merely a statement of fact that the believer is “in Christ Jesus”. Claiming sainthood becomes a recognition of our own depravity and inability to save ourselves and resulting need for salvation” in Him”.

    The next phrase “with the overseers and deacons” is most interesting in it’s placement, namely following the inclusion of “all the saints. This placement emphaiszes the fact that Paul’s intent is that this letter is for all the believers not just some select group of leaders. Paul is careful to include the leadership of the church and to give them special mention but only after he has directed his intention to “all the saints”.

    “Grace to you and peace”, a standard Pauline greeting but not to be skipped over. Paul wishes these two godly endowments upon all the saints in Phillippi. May these two gifts be everpresent in our lives. Grace from our Father to walk in His unmerited favor in such a way that His glory is made clear to those who observe our lives. Peace to live out our destiny enjoying God’s goodness to us unhindered by life’s battles and distractions. Living in this state is a gift from our Father through the willing sacrifice of our savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Enjoy and be grateful.

  2. Michael's Gravatar Michael
    September 11, 2011 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Great thoughts and insight!

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