The Epistle to the Philippians is one of Paul’s prison Epistles.It is a thank you letter. It was written by Paul while waiting trial before Nero (Acts 28:30). This church was formed on Paul's second missionary journey (Act 16:12). It was an established church with elders and deacons (1:1). The occasion of the epistle was to acknowledge the gift brought to apostle by Epaphroditus (2:27; 4:18). The letter is intensely personal in nature. This church was very close to Paul’s heart (2 Cor 8:1-6). This epistle is known as the epistle of joy. “Joy or rejoicing “is mentioned about 19 times in this letter. This letter teaches that joy is a Christian experience and it does not depend on our circumstances. Paul was grateful to this church for their love gift and for their faithful partnership in the ministry (1:5). The key verse is “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (1:21). This epistle declares the profound truth about the humiliation and the exaltation of Lord Jesus Christ (2:5-11). Paul rejoices in the Lord because he found the purpose of his life in Christ (1:21). Christ is the example for him to follow (2:5-9).This chapter explains the glorious and profound declaration of the humiliation and exaltation of Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the goal and the object of Paul's life (3:13-14). Paul testifies that Christ is the source of his strengths (4:13). Chapter one explains the principle of christian living. In Chapter two we see the pattern for Christian life. Chapter three deals with the price of Christian life. Chapter four explains the source and power of Christian life. Paul's heart overflows with joy and thankfulness for the faithful partnership of Philippians in the ministry.
Authorship. This letter was written from Rome during Paul’s first imprisonment (Acts 28). The references to the palace and the Caesar’s household confirm this. This church was founded in obedience to Paul’s "Macedonian call" on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:10-15). This was the first church founded in Europe. The epistle was written from Rome, approximately 10 years after Paul founded this church. The church membership was largely gentiles. Philippi was a Roman colony and the center of Emperor worship. Today it lies in ruins.