An epistle of reproof for failure to exhibit the  teaching set forth in Ephesians. Philippians deals with practical failure in the manifestation of the “mind of Christ” within the body.
Written from Rome in 62 A.D.
HISTORY - The city of Philippi was a city in eastern Macedonia, in northern ancient Greece,  founded in 356 B.C. and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. The city was named for its founder, King Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. The objective of founding the town was to take control of the neighboring gold mines and to establish a garrison. Despite its fertile soil and minerals, the city’s importance was primarily due to its strategic location. The plain of Philippi served as a gateway through the almost continuous mountain barrier between Europe and Asia. The site controlled the route between Amphipolis and Neapolis, part of the great royal route which crosses Macedonia from the east to the west and which was reconstructed later by the Roman Empire as the Via Egnatia. Philip II endowed the new city with important fortifications and sent colonists to occupy it. Philippi preserved its autonomy within the kingdom of Macedon, and had its own political institutions (the Assembly of the demos). The discovery of new gold mines near the city, at Asyla, contributed to the wealth of the kingdom, and Philip established a mint there. The city was finally fully integrated into the kingdom under Philip V. Philippi remained historically insignificant and unknown after the Romans took control in 167 B.C. until the Battle of Philippi.
               The Battle of Philippi was the final battle in the Wars of the Second Triumvirate between the forces of Mark Antony and Octavian (the Second Triumvirate) against the forces of Julius Caesar's assassins Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus in 42 B.C. The Second Triumvirate declared this civil war to avenge Julius Caesar's murder. The battle consisted of two engagements in the plain west of Philippi. The first occurred on the first week of October; Brutus faced Octavian, while Antony's forces were up against those of Cassius. At first, Brutus pushed back Octavian and entered his legions' camp. But to the south, Cassius was defeated by Antony, and committed suicide after hearing a false report that Brutus had also failed. Brutus rallied Cassius' remaining troops and both sides ordered their army to retreat to their camps with their spoils, and the battle was essentially a draw, but for Cassius' suicide. A second encounter, on October 23, finished off Brutus's forces, and he committed suicide in turn, leaving the triumvirate in control of the Roman Republic. Antony and Octavian released some of their veteran soldiers, and colonized them in the city, which was refounded as Colonia Victrix Philippensium. In 30 B.C. Octavian became Roman Emperor, reorganized the colony, and established more settlers there, veterans from the Praetorian Guard and other Italians. The city was renamed Colonia Iulia Philippensis, and then Colonia Augusta Iulia Philippensis after January, 27 B.C., when Octavian received the title Augustus from the Roman Senate
               Following this second renaming the territory of Philippi was centuriated
(divided into squares of land) and distributed to the colonists. The city kept its Macedonian walls, and its general plan was modified only partially by the construction of a forum, a little to the east of the site of Greek agora. It was a "miniature Rome," under the municipal law of Rome and governed by two military officers, the duumviri, who were appointed directly from Rome.
The colony recognized its dependence on the mines that brought it its privileged position on the Via Egnatia. This wealth was shown by the many monuments that were particularly imposing considering the relatively small size of the urban area: the forum, laid out in two terraces on both sides of the main road, was constructed in several phases between the reigns of Claudius and Antoninus Pius, and the theatre was enlarged and expanded in order to hold Roman games. There is an abundance of Latin inscriptions testifying to the prosperity of the city.

THE CHURCH - (See Ac 16) In 52 A.D., on his second missionary journey, the city was visited by the apostle Paul who was guided there by a vision (Acts 16:9-10). Accompanied by Silas from Jerusalem (Ac 15:40), Timothy whom they picked up in Lystra (Ac 16:1,3) and Luke, who would have joined them in Troas for the trip (Ac 16:8,10 note “we“). The voyage was blessed by favorable wind and took only two days (Ac 16:11).
               He preached for the first time on European soil in Philippi as always, first offering the gospel to the Jews. At this time, there was barely a Jewish
community and no synagogue (Acts 16:13). Those Jews present did not seem to include any men and met by the river, a common meeting place in the absence of a synagogue and Paul soon encounters the “miniature Rome” atmosphere (Ac 16:19,20). He baptized Lydia, a purple
dye merchant, in a river to the west of the city. While in Philippi, his exorcism of a demon from a slave girl caused a great uproar in the city, which led to their (Paul and Silas) arrest and public beating (Acts 16:16-24). An earthquake caused their prison to be opened. When the jailer awoke, he prepared to kill himself, thinking all the prisoners had escaped and knowing that he would be severely punished. Paul stopped him, indicating that all the prisoners were in fact still there. The jailer then became one of the first Christians in Europe (Acts 16:25-40).
The three converts stand in contrast to each other and indicate the varied population of this city linking East and West. The first is Asiatic, the second Greek, the third a Roman. The first is a wealthy businessperson, the second an exploited servant, the third a government worker. The sequence - proselyte, Greek, Roman - mirrors the movement of Christianity itself. More importantly, we see the prominence of a woman and a slave as a witness to Gal 3:28 as central truth in Paul’s teaching. Within the epistle we find the peace of the church later endangered by a “feud” between two influential women in the church whose work is appreciatively acknowledged by Paul.
               It is also significant that here, for the first time we see whole households baptized into the faith. From here, we see family worship as foundational. The church in Philemon’s house becomes the church at Colosse (Phil 2); the house of Nymphas becomes the church at Laodicea (Col 4:15); the house of Aquila and Priscilla evolves into the churches at Ephesus and Rome.
               What is most outstanding about the epistle itself is the affection Paul feels for the Philippians. “Joy” is the keyword, despite the disproportionate persecutions and trials Paul endured and was delivered from in Macedonia. He refers to the members as his “joy and crown”. They are the only ones from whom he consents to receive personal financial support. We find him sending others ahead while he lingers at Philippi to enjoy Passover with his beloved “converts” (Ac 20:1-6).
               This is an epistle without doctrinal reproof. It is full of love and gratitude. The issue is that a spirit of rivalry existed in the church. Family type social issues which Paul is careful not to stir up. There is a tone of a parent dealing with sibling rivalries and Paul uses the word “all” consistently to avoid any form of favoritism. There is mention of “forbearance” and “humility”, oneness and unity.
               It was here that Paul seemed most comfortable in his role as founding pastor. It was here that Paul seemed to be able to “take a break”, perhaps from the tentmaking work he was normally required to do. It was here that Paul wrote 2 Corinthians and Galatians.

Ch. 1:1 - No "apostle title mentioned, as in Thessalonians and Philemon where the focus is likewise affection, not authority.
     - "all" - The operative concept of the epistle (26 occurences)
     - "saints" - Those set aside, consecrated. NOT a term of moral status, but an indicator of duty.  Ro 12:1
     - "bishops and deacons' - Only occurrence where mentioned together, setting the tone for Philippians in this opening verse of unity.

2 - Compare 1 Th 1:1
3-5 - "thank" - The spirit of thanksgiving which marks the epistle. 
     - "every" should be "all" - Not occasionally, but constantly.
     - "request" - Same word as "prayer" - Paul prays with joy and thanksgiving for their continuous cooperative efforts.
6 - "Being confident"=Gr."peitho"="Trusting" (based on evidence)
     - "perform"=Gr."epiteleo"="complete"  See 1 Sa 3:12   Isa 55:11
7 - "Even...of you all" - This confidence based on the past, is based on the realization that it is God's doing through the saints. God begins and finishes. A fundamental principle of true worship and service. See 2:12,13 and 4:13.
     - "because..." - They participate with Paul in his bonds, his defense, and his labor for the gospel. Therefore, they participate in his grace.  See v.29  2 Co 12:9,10.
                               It is a privilege to serve, it is a privilege to suffer.
8 - "record"=Gr."martus"="witness" - A powerful statement of unity. Paul "longs" for them in the heart of Christ, the seat of communion for believers who have no will or desire apart from God's. We abide with each other if we abide in Him.  Jn 17:19-23 
9 - The intent of the prayer referenced in v.4.
     - "love"=Gr."agape" - Not the love for each other, but absolute love.
     - "judgment" = "discernment" (see next verse)
10 - "approve" = "try", "test"
     - "are excellent"=Gr."diaphero"="differ"    1 Th 5:21  2 Ti 2:15
     This is the discernment of Heb 5:13,14; The testing of 1 Jn 4:1; The stony hearts of Mt 13:20,21
    - "sincere" = "pure", "unmixed"   See Jas 1:27 "unspotted"

     - "offence" = "stumbling"    "till"=Gr."eis"="for"
     - "day of Christ" - See 2 Th 2:2 and Isa 2:11-22
11 - "Being" = "Having been"   "filled"=Gr."pleroo"="fulfilled"
     - "fruits of righteousness" - See Pr 11:30  Amos 6:12  Jas 3:18
     - "by"=Gr."dia"="through" - No misunderstanding. This is not righteousness through law or effort, but by faith bound up in the life of Christ. It is fruitful by its nature, and a condition of fruitfulness (Jn 15:1-6). It is perfected through cleaning, purging, pruning "unto the glory and praise of God" - the objective of our service. The manifestation (glory) of God's sovereignty and grace and the recognition (praise) of His holiness.
12 - "Don't be misled (be discerning!). My trials and circumstances have not stymied the gospel. The reverse is true." 2 Ti 2:1-10  Heb 12:1-13
13 - "...bonds in Christ" - Paul is a prisoner, but not a criminal. he is under arrest for preaching the gospel of Christ.
     - "palace"=Gr."praitorion"="the praetorian guard", not the building. Paul is speaking of people from here through v.17. - "in all other" should be "to all the rest". Omit "places". Paul's arrest and the reasons for it are manifest to both the guards and the civilians.
14 - "many"=Gr."pleion"="the majority"
     - "in the Lord" should be read after "confident"
     - "word" should be "word of God"
     - "without fear" - See 1 Jn 4:17,18  2 Ti 1:6-14
             Our endurance is a strengthening witness to others.
- Certain ones preached Christ "through" an envious and quarrelsome spirit with impure motives. Some were politically motivated. Some were jealous of Paul and/or his influence and were anxious to compound his trials. Some were proponents of the law seeking to divide the followers of the way. The methodology for opposition is illustrated in Nehemiah in 6 (#of man) stages. Neh 2:10 (Grief); 2:19 (Laughter); 4:1-3 (Wrath, Indignation or Mockery); 4:7,8 (Conspiracy); 6:1,2 (Subtilty); 6:5-7 (Compromise - successful when not discerned as leaven).
  NOTE: Study Satan's patterns in Gen 3:1-6 and Mt 4:1-11.
The discernment of these Scriptural patterns in our daily lives (walk) is the "preparation" of Eph 6:15 which leads to the fruit of Jas 3:18. Paul's peace and joy, and ours, are present during trials as well as good times. Understand Ecc 3:1-14; 12:13,14.
     - Others preached through love and goodwill acknowledging Paul's divine appointment  (see v.7).

18 - "notwithstanding"=Gr."pleu"="only that" 
     - "therein" - Paul is not claiming to rejoice for being imprisoned, but to rejoice despite personal circumstance.
ISSUE:  How can Paul rejoice in the success of the opposition? What about Gal 1:1-9?
      The circumstances differ. In Galatians, the choice is between the liberty in Christ and the bondage of ritualism. Paul denounces them for abandoning the Gospel in favor of other practices. Here, the choice is between a less than ideal Christianity and a totally unconverted state. Paul counted it as gain to advance awareness of the Gospel even if Jesus Christ was only known "after the flesh" (2 Co 5:16). He ends saying he "shall rejoice" as a determination to overcome his personal annoyance.
19 - "know"=Gr."oida"="understand" Pr 4:5-7 - Adversity will "turn out" to us through salvation through prayer and the nourishment of the Spirit as both giver and gift. Mt 26:41
20 - Paul is resolved to speak and act courageously so that whether he dies as a martyr or lives to labor, he will glorify Christ. See Stephen Ac 6:8-15; 7:1, 54-60
21 - "to live"=Gr."zoa" = To have life as the gift of God, including resurrection life. The direct opposite of death.
     - "gain" - For Christ, not Paul. If his bonds could further the gospel, so too could his death.

22 - "this" = the gain, if he is to live, is his work
     - "wot"=Gr."gnorizo"="declare" - Those who have truly surrendered their will to God's do not choose to live or to die, but to accept God's will though they may have a preference, as Paul states in the next verse. See Mt 26:42
23 - "betwixt"=Gr."ek"="out of" - Paul is being "pressed" on both sides and therefore unable to lean in either direction in this verse.
     - "a desire" should be "the desire"
     - "depart"=Gr."analuo"="unloose" used of pulling up stakes to break camp. Compare the tent ("tabernacle") of 2 Co 5:1 to the mansions of Jn 14:2 to appreciate the metaphor.
     - "far better" - The dilemma for Paul is not life or death, but life in the flesh vs. resurrection life.
24 - "Nevertheless" - "Regardless of my personal desires"
     - "for" = "because of" - The mindset of the true labourer.  Mt 9:35-38
25 - "confidence" connects to v.6
     - "continue with" = provide comfort and support
     - "faith" = "the faith"  See Ro 15:13
26 - Paul's confidence is based on "gain to Christ", but he qualifies his position in the next verse.
27 - Here through 2:4 Paul defines the "mind of Christ".
     - "Only" = "No matter what"
     - ""=Gr."politeuomai"="behave as citizens", "perform your duties" - See 3:20. The word refers to public duties as a member of a body (Ex. a congressman). satisfactory performance as a citizen leads to a share in sovereignty (2 Ti 2:12) (Rev 22:3-5)
     - "stand fast" - See 1 Co 16:13
     - "the faith of gospel" is Heb 11:1
28 - "terrified"=Gr."pturomai" Only occ.="caused to fall or fly away" See 1 Pe 5:8,9 for one approach, 2 C0 11:14 for another. The root word is not a feeling of terror, but the pursuant actions.
     - "which" = "the faith" - evidence for both salvation and destruction. Compare 1 Pe 2:6-8. See v.19.
29 - To believe on Him...ALSO to suffer FOR HIS SAKE - It is a privilege (2 Co 12:9,10) AND a sign of favor (Job 1:8).
30 - "conflict"=Gr."agon"="a gladiatorial or athletic contest" - See 1 Ti 6:12 ("fight")  Heb 12:2 ("race")
     - "saw" - Paul had suffered persecution at Philippi  (1 Th 2:2 referring to Ac 16:19-24)
     - "hear" - With "saw", a second witness.
Ch. 2:1 - "If" - Indicative mood, means "Since". Read as "Since there is...". "If", used this way, assumes fact.
     - "consolation" = "exhortation" (Gr."paraklesis")
     - "comfort"=Gr."paramuthion" Only occ.="incentive", "encouraging force"
     - Omit "the" before "Spirit"
2 - "Fulfil" = "Complete" (what has already begun)
3 - "strife" same as "contention" in 1:16
     - "vainglory"=Gr."kenodoxia" Only occ.="self-conceit"
     - "in" = "by" - The mind precedes the action. Compare 2 Co 8:11,12
     - "lowliness of mind" same as "humility of mind" in Ac 20:19 (Gr."tapeinophrosune")
     - "let...other" = "each thinking the other"
4 - "Look"=Gr."skopeo"="focus", "take aim at" - Meaning is locked in by "also". We are not instructed to ignore ourselves. See Gal 6:2-5 where "burdens" v.2=Gr."baros"="loads" whether physical or spiritual (eased by comfort, sympathy, etc.) AND "burden" v.5=Gr."phortion"=literally, "invoice", i.e., task or service for which one owes (carrying our own weight).

     - "every man" - "each one"

          “Reflect in your own hearts and minds the mind of Christ Jesus. Be humble as He also was humble. Though He existed in the Eternal Godhead before the ages, He did not tenaciously hold on to the perks of His divinity, He did not resort to flaunting His equality with God. Instead, He divested Himself of heavenly glory, and embraced the nature of a servant and assumed the likeness of men.
But He didn’t stop there.
          After making His appearance among humanity in the fashion of a man, He humbled Himself even further, remaining dedicated to obedience to the point of dying. He did not die an ordinary death. He was crucified as the lowest and most vile of criminals. But the magnitude of His humility was equalled by His exaltation. God raised Him to a state of preeminence, to an unmatched height and gave Him a title and dignity far above all other titles and dignities. For to the name, majesty and power of Jesus, all creation - every thing created in heaven and earth and hell shall pay homage on bended knee. Every tongue will be dedicated to thanksgiving and praise. Every tongue will unequivocally declare that Jesus Christ is Lord and every tongue shall glorify God the Father in Christ and for Christ.

5 -""= "Mind this within yourselves (i.e., in your hearts)"
     - "which" = The same, not similar
6 - "Being"=Gr."huparcho"="Coming into existence" - Points to His eternal existence, the pre-existence of Jn 1:1.
     - "form"=Gr."morphe"="essential form" - Not mere outward appearance, but attributes and nature. Note "equal" in the next clause. See Col 1:15,17, Jn 8:58;17:24;10:30.
     - "robbery"=Gr."harpagmos"="plunder", "something taken or usurped from another" - Jesus did not seek any type of advantage despite His divinity. He lived as a Jew under the law as explained in vv.7,8. (Contrast Satan in Eze 28:12-17). Jesus did not view His equality as a prize that could not slip from His grasp.
7 - He divested, or emptied Himself, to act as a slave.
     - "made...reputation"=Gr."kenoo" (See Ro 4:14 "is made void")="emptied Himself" - He said and did only what He was appointed to say and do: The will of Him that sent Him. He did not, could not, divest Himself of His divine nature, but of its prerogatives. This was voluntary, not forced.
     - "was made" = "becoming"
     - "likeness"=Gr."homoioma"="same appearance" See Ro 8:3.
8 - A progression. First, becoming a man, then becoming the humblest of men. Dying as a criminal slave, with both the suffering and shame of crucifixion. his inner deity masked by the outer appearance (Isa 53:2,3). The stumblingblock of 1 Co 1:23. See Heb 12:2
9 - Lk 14:11, 18:9-14 - Note "Wherefore" here and v.12 establishing the reason for exaltation; voluntary humiliation and obedience.
IMPORTANT: "a name" = "the name" - Inclusive of title and dignity. Connect Rev 19:13.
     - "above" - Adds rank to title and dignity and gives clarity to "praise the name", "in the name", "bless the name", "fear the name", etc.
     - "given" = "gave" - A past, completed act.
10 - See Ro 14:10-12. "at the name" = "in the name" (Gr."en")
     - "of Jesus" NOT "Jesus" - Many are and were named Jesus. It is not the personal name, but the office. The object of worship, praise and reverence ("knee...bow").
    - "every..." - All creation, animate and inanimate. Ps 148; Rev 5:13
11 - "confess"=Gr."exomologeo" - Accurately translated, but with the secondary meaning "proclaim with thanksgiving" as in Mt 11:25 and Lk 10:21.
     - "to the glory..." - The ultimate aim of the reverence and praise that has the Son as its object. Note Mt 20:23b
12 - "Wherefore" - the thread continues.
     - "obeyed" - God, not Paul.
     - "present" - Not because Paul is present. Not only when he is present.
     - "work out"=Gr."katergazomai"="to fully exercise"
     - "trembling" - An anxiety to do right (within oneself)
13 - God works in us from first impulse through final achievement, hence "to will and to do". Nothing is done apart from God. There is no desire to serve apart from God. Note Pr 16:9
     - "good pleasure"=Gr."eudokia"="benevolent purpose" - 1 Ti 2:4
14-16 - "Do not be like the Israelites."  1 Co 10:10  1 Th 5:18
     - "disputings" = "debate"  See 1 Ti 2:8 ("doubting")  Pr 17:14
     (15) - "be" = "become"
            - "blameless"=Gr."amemptos" - In judgment of others - Pure
            - "harmless"=Gr."akeraios" - In one's own character - Sincere
            - "crooked...nation" - See Song of Moses  Deu 32:5
            - "shine"=Gr."phaino"="appear", specifically, "present oneself in a manner to be seen completely independent of the observer" (v.12). Note Eng. "phenomenon", See Mt 5:14-16; 10:27  Eph 5:8-14
     (16) - "Holding forth"=Gr."epecho"="Giving heed to"
                - "in vain" - Without fruit
17 - "and if" = "even if"   
       - "offered"=Gr."spendomai"="poured out" - Drink offerings always poured out, never drunk, unlike meat and grain offerings, thus wholly given to God. Here the "altar" is the "sacrifice and service..." (as in Ro 12:1), both verbs.
       - "service"=Gr."leitourgia"="public function as a priest"
       - "joy" - See Jas 1:2-4  1 Pe 4:12-19
18 - The fellowship that marks this epistle.  Jn 14:28  1 Co 12:25,26
     - "rejoice"=Gr'"augchairo"="congratulate" here and v.17
       Paul invites the Philippians to congratulate him on finishing the race as a matter of accord.
We can be spiritually weakened by discouragement disguised as sympathy.
19 - Connected to v.12. Paul urges self-reliance, but isn't going to leave them alone.
     - "trust"=Gr."elpizo"="hope"
              NOTE: "send"=Gr."pempo"="to send" accompanied by the sender (spiritually) See Jn 20:21. Timothy being sent, not just for the Philippians, but also for Paul's "comfort"=Gr."eupsucheo"="good spirits", i.e., peace of mind (Only occ.)
20 - "likeminded" - Not with Paul, but with Timothy, who would have "instinctive" care for the Philippians. Timothy's spiritual parentage (see "son" v.22) allowed him to inherit his "father"'s affection.  See 1 Ti 1:2  Tit 1:4
21 - "all" = "one and all" (without exception)  Cp. 2 Ti 4:11
22 - Cp. 1 Co 4:17
23 - "presently" = "at once"
24 - "I trust"=Gr."peitho" (middle perfect "pepoirtha" here)="I have persuaded myself"
Phil 2:24 (expanded) - What is middle perfect?
       -Greek verbs have “voice” and “tense”.
       -  The middle voice indicates the subject performing an action on himself (reflexive), by himself for his own benefit. It is intransitive, there is no object. Hence, “I have persuaded myself”.
       -  The perfect tense refers to an action completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.
   - Why does it matter?
       - Note the reasoning in 2 Ki 7:3,4 and apply to Paul’s circumstances as described in 1:20-25. He must turn his mind (persuade himself) towards life. Death is a conclusion or a consequence. It is allowed or inflicted by God. Tomorrow is not promised or guaranteed to us, BUT must be anticipated if we are to finish the race. The finish line is established by the judge, not the runner. What Paul has done, as a Christian, applies to us all. He has used his “sound mind” to understand that we cannot be unprepared to live/serve.
                   For example, suppose a man becomes convinced that he will not see tomorrow and spends all his money, runs up huge debts, tells off the boss, the in-laws and every church member he doesn’t like. When tomorrow comes and he’s still around … By contrast, if we work and prepare for the next day and we do not make it, there’s no loss. We have not submitted to the spirit of fear ( 2 Ti 1:6-12). We have not become so sure that we’re on the layoff list that we stop doing our job and in effect, write in our own name. We have not refused to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We have “sown in tears” (Ps 126: 5,6).
                    What Paul has done is illustrate how to be positive without denial. He is obviously aware of all aspects of his situation. There is no assumption or pretext that it’s “no big deal”. The truth must be embraced and managed. If not, seeking the face of God, Who can only be worshipped in spirit and truth (Jn 4:24), can actually frustrate us even further. Sometimes we are delivered, sometimes we must endure. At all times we must be fruitful (2:16).
25 - "Epaphroditus" - the bearer of this epistle
     - "brother" - Common sympathy
     - "labour" - Common work
     - "fellowsoldier" - Common danger, suffering
     -"messenger"=Gr."apostolos"="apostle", "ambassador"
26,27 - "full of heaviness"=Gr."ademoneo" 3 occ.="depressed", "weighed down" - "heavy" in Mt 26:37 and Mk 14:33
     - "because..." - Due to his sickness causing others concern.
     - "nigh"=Gr."paraplesion"Only occ.="neighboring" English expression would be "at death's door".
     - "but...lest" - The true sympathy of fellowship. Concern for the effects of one's trials on others (Epaphroditus). Understanding that God is merciful to us by extending mercy to our loved ones (Paul).
28 - Paul was eager to send Epaphroditus so that the people could recover their cheerfulness and so that his sorrow would be lessened (not eliminated). See v.27 "sorrow...sorrow"
29 - Cp. Ro 16:1,2   "in reputation"=Gr."entimos"="as honorable"
30 - "for...Christ" - critical for the context of what follows
     - "was nugh" = "drew nigh"
     - "not regarding"=Gr."parabouleuomai"="risking", "exposing to danger" (note "fellowsoldier" v.25). Literally, "throwing down a stake", the original meaning of English "hazard" as in to "hazard a guess".
     - "to supply..." - To make up the lack of personal ministration.

Ch. 3:1 - "Finally" = "For the rest" - See 2 Co 13:11  1 Th 4:1  2 Th 3:1
Paul digresses from the concluding portion in v.4 until 4:8.
     - "rejoice..." - NOT a request. Cp. 1 Th 5:16
     - "same things" - Things Paul has warned about before.
     - "grievous" = "bothersome"     "safe" = "sure"
2 - "dogs" - A term used by some Jews of Gentiles. See Mt 15:26
     - "concision"=Gr."katatome" Only occ.="mutilators", specifically, heathen ritualistic mutilations. 1 Ki 18:28
3 - "circumcision" = "true circumcision"
     - "worshipping...rejoicing...not trusting..."
          Ro 2:25-29    1 Co 7:19   Gal 5:5,6; 6:15
4 - "also" - Paul compares himself to the "concision" and refers to confidence in the flesh as well as in Christ.  Cp. 2 Co 11:17,18
5,6 - INHERITED - apart from Paul's action or will
         a. "Circumcised..." - Parents not heathens nor descendants of Ishmael.
         b. "stock..." - Directly descended.
         c. "Benjamin" - Tribe of the 1st king, always faithful to Judah.
         d. "Hebrew..." - Both parents. Paul spoke Hebrew and observed Hebrew customs.
                                         Note 2 Co 11:22
     - "the law" = "law" - NOT a reference to Mosaic law but a general reference to principles of action.
        a. "Pharisee" - Hebrew for one separated by special beliefs and practices. Rigid rules regarding eating, tithing, etc. They held that their oral law was necessary to explain and complete the written law.  Mk 7:1-9
        b. "zeal" - Ac 9:1,2  Gal 1:13,14
        c. "righteousness...blameless" - Leaving nothing undone.
7 - "gain" - The 7 things in vv. 5,6. Same word as 1:21.
     - 'loss"=Gr."zemia"="detriment" - Natural attributes are potential stumblingblocks on our spiritual walk. Note that the plural "things" are lumped together as a single "loss."
     - "for Christ" - There are no other claims to righteousness.
8 - Moves from past to present tense. From certain things to all things.
     - "for" = "by reason of" - The knowledge of Christ surpasses and nullifies all worldly gain. Mt 16:26
     - "but dung"=Gr."skubalon" Only occ.="to be waste"
     - "win" = "gain"

Dung (Phil 3:8)

Commonly called “manure” (or worse) in today’s language. Sometimes referred to as “guano”. We regard it as waste, but it’s also a resource. It is essential to God’s ordained process for life.

Waste or resource? It depends on its usage.

Manure from different animals has different qualities and requires different application rates when used as fertilizer. For example horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits and guano from seabirds and bats all have different properties. For instance, sheep manure is high in nitrogen and potash, while pig manure is relatively low in both. Horses mainly eat grass and weeds so horse manure can contain grass and weed seeds, as horses do not digest seeds the way that cattle do. Chicken litter, coming from a bird, is very concentrated in nitrogen and phosphate and is prized for both properties.

  USES: Caked and dried cow dung is used as fuel in many parts of the developing world. It is rich in methane and used to produce biogas to generate electricity and heat. In central Africa,  Maasai villages have burned cow dung inside to repel mosquitos. In cold places, cow dung is used to line the walls of rustic houses as a cheap thermal insulator. It provides food for a wide range of animal and fungus species, which break it down and recycle it into the food chain and into the soil.

Most interesting of all are bat and seabird droppings specifically known as “guano”, never called “manure”.

The Incas highly valued guano as a fertilizer. It was so important to their culture that the Incan government divided the guano-bearing islands between the various provinces and dictated when and where it could be harvested.  Incan law also provided that killing or disrupting the nesting birds that produced guano was punishable by death. 

           The value of guano as a fertilizer was not known in Europe until Humbolt returned from his 1806 voyage with samples from Peru. But there was no practical application of guano until 1824.  In that year, Mr. Skinner, editor of American Farmer, received two barrels of guano at Baltimore. He sent small samples to various people. One of those recipients, ex-governor Edward Lloyd of Maryland, later proclaimed it was “the most powerful manure he had ever seen applied to corn.”     

          In 1840 twenty barrels of guano were received in England. “But notwithstanding the astonishing results from its application to the soil, the fear that the enormous crops realized under its stimulus might exhaust the land of its productive elements, deterred the great body of farmers from availing themselves of so valuable a fertilizer.”  (Journal of the American Geographical and Statistical Society (1895))  However, the fear quickly lapsed, and in the years 1841-1857, the United Kingdom imported over 2 million tons of guano fertilizer. 

            The U.S. farmers came to realize the agricultural value of guano at about the same time. Anxiety over supply led President Fillmore to address the guano issue in his first State of the Union Address. In that 1850 address, the President stated that “guano has become so desirable an article to the agricultural interest of the United States that it is the duty of the Government to employ all the means properly in its power for the purpose of causing that article to be imported into the country at a reasonable price. Nothing will be omitted on my part toward accomplishing this desirable end.”   

            The frenzy for control of the guano trade led to the Guano War of 1865-1866, pitting Spain against Peru and Chile. The U.S. Navy also fought a battle with Peru for the guano. Fear of guano shortages even led the U.S. into its first bout of global colonialism. In 1856, Congress passed the Guano Islands Act (still on the books at 48 U.S.C. § 1411-1419).  This Federal law allows U.S. citizens to claim an unclaimed and uninhabited island for the United States if the island contains guano. Over 50 islands were claimed in the Pacific and Caribbean under authority of this Act, and many are still under U.S. control. One of the most famous is Midway.   

           By 1900, most of the great guano deposits were depleted and the world was well on its way to dependence on chemical fertilizers.  But not before many fortunes were made. Between 1840-1880, Peru exported 20 million tons of guano for a $2 billion profit. Individual guano fortunes founded corporate giants such as W. R. Grace & Company, a Maryland chemical conglomerate which grew from their association with guano importation. The extraction of huge quantities of guano from small Pacific islands enabled the rapid development of Australia and New Zealand’s economies.     

What is Paul actually saying about his life before Christ?

9 - "in Him" = as part of the body of Christ
     - "through the faith" - faith is the means, not the source, of justification.
          Eph 2:8   Note Gal 2:16 where "by"=Gr."dia"="through"
10 - Note "and". His death and His resurrection cannot be split. To "know" (Gr."ginosko"="to know by experience") either one requires knowing the other. To participate in one means to participate in the other, hence "fellowship."
     - "power...resurrection" - Ro 8:11  1 Co 15:14-28  Ro 6:4-11
     - "sufferings" - Ro 8:18  2 Co 1:5-7  1 Pe 4:12-19
     - "conformable" - See "fashioned like" in v.21. - This conformity implies enduring persecutions and afflictions in our battle with sin. The faithful servant will have a measure of Gethsemane and Calvary along the way.  Mk 10:30  2 Ti 3:12
11 - "If..." - Why is Paul not certain? Recall 1 Pe 4:18  Phil 2:12
IMPORTANT: "resurrection"=Gr."exanatasis" Only occ.="out-resurrection". This is the resurrection out from the dead. Everyone will be resurrected (Jn 5:28,29  Ac 24:15  Dan 12:2). Paul refers to the "first resurrection" of Rev 20:4-6, avoiding the "second death." This is not certain until we have "finished."
     - "of"=Gr."ek"="out from"
12 - "as though" = "that"   "attained" = "received"
     - "perfect" = "perfected"
     - "follow after" same as "press" in v.14.
     - "apprehend"=Gr."katalambano"="seize", "take eagerly" as when police "apprehend" a suspect.
     - "am...of Christ" should be " Christ"  Ac 22:1-10
13 - A subtle warning against false security.  "not" = "not yet"
     - "forgetting..." - Paul refers to the ground already covered as a runner who cannot compete effectively if he is looking backward.
     - "reaching forth"=Gr."epekteinomai" Only occ.="stretching forward"
14 - "mark"=Gr."skopos"="clearly defined target" (Think "bullseye")
     - "prize"=Gr."brabeion" Only here and 1 Co 9:24
     - "high calling" = "calling from on high" (above)
15 - "perfect"=Gr."teleios"="initiated", "mature" (Adult vs. child)
           1 Co 14:20   Eph 4:12,13   Heb 5:12-14  1 Co 13:10-12
              Note: v.12 "perfect"=Gr."telioo"="consummated", "at an end"
     - "thus minded" - as 13,14
     - "otherwise"=Gr."heteros"= the other of two when there are only two.  Mt 12:30
     - "reveal" - If we are fundamentally sound, God will expose minor flaws.
16 - Gal 6:14-16  Phil 2:2-4   The rule of faith vs. works.
17 - "All of you be fellow-imitators of me". - Paul then passes from singular to plural to stress unity with those who walk the same way. Here we are to "mark" and follow. Typically it is "mark" to avoid.  Ro 16:17,18
18,19 - A parenthetical aside to emphasize v.17 and warn of dangers from within. (See 1 Co 5:11  2 Co 11:13-15).  Ro 16:17,18
   (18) - "and now" = "but now" - Indicating evil has increased.
          - "enemies of the cross" - In doctrine and practice.  Col 2
   (19) - "destruction" same as "perdition" 1:28
          - "belly" - 1 Co 8:8  Self-indulgence vs. sacrifice
          - "glory...shame" - Liberty taken to excess. No discipl(in)e.
          - "earthly things" - Mt 6:19-34
20 - "conversation"=Gr."politeuma" Only occ.="seat of government"
     - "is"=Gr."huparcho"="exists even now"  Since 2:9-11
     - "whence" = "which" referring to "politeuma"
     - "look"=Gr."apekdechomai"="eagerly wait for"  See Ro 8:19   Mt 24:42-47
21 - "change" = "transform"
     - "vile body"=Gr."tapeinosis"="body of humiliation"  See 2:8
     - "whereby...subdue" = "of His ability to subject"  Heb 2:7-18
     - Our "conforming" to Christ in His glorified estate is described in 1 Co 15:35-53.
     - His "working" (Gr."energeia") corresponds to our "working" in 2:12.  See 1 Co 3:9
     - "subdue" - 1 Co 15:27, 28
Ch. 4:1- "Therefore..." - "Keeping these things in mind as citizens of the Kingdom filled with the blessed hope..."
     - "dearly beloved" - Repeated to enclose and seal what's between.
     - "joy and crown" - See 1 Th 2:19,20. This crown (Gr."stephanos") is the wreath worn in victory or celebration, by the athlete or the merrymaker. Paul's race should end in joy and victory.
2 - "beseech"=Gr."parakaleo"="call aside", "appeal to"
     - "be...mind" = "mind the same thing"  Same as 2:2
3 - "true yokefellow...Clement...fellowlabourers" - All asked to aid in reconciliation of Euodia and Syntyche ("those women") who were valuable to the ministry. The unnamed issue between the two was ongoing and therefore serious.
     - "book of life" - Rev 3:5; 13:7,8; 20:15; 21:27; 22:19
4 - Not a request, but an instruction.  1 Th 5:16.
5 - "moderation"=Gr."epiekes"= the ability to act appropriately.  Mk 13:33-37
          The opposite spirit to contention and self-seeking.
6 - "Be..." - Hold no anxieties. Throw them upon God.
     - "supplication"=Gr."deesis" - A specific spoken petition from one who needs to One Who can "supply". This word does not apply to written requests.
7 - "which passeth"=Gr."huperecho"="surpassing"
     - "keep"=Gr."phroureo"="garrison"    "minds" = "thoughts"  2 Co 10:5
     - "through" = "in"  This Scripture is applied to the dissension in the church to achieve a peace that surpasses every counsel and device of the enemy or of man.
8 - "Finally" - Paul resumes from 3:1 using a list of 8 (#of regeneration, new beginnings)
     - "true"=Gr."alethes" = True in every sense (Used of God Jn 3:33)
     - "honest"=Gr."semnos"="worthy of respect and honor", "venerable"
     - "just"=Gr."dikaios" = Just in every sense, hence, righteous
     - "pure"=Gr."hagnos" (See "clear" 2 Co 7:11)="stainless"
     - "lovely"=Gr."prosphiles" Only occ.="amiable", "friendly" - toward others
     - "of good report"=Gr."euphemos" Only occ.="fair-speaking" - an active term
     - "virtue"=Gr."arete" Only here, 1 Pe 2:9("praises"), 2 Pe 1:3,5="excellence"
     - "praise"=Gr."epainos"="commendable thing"
     - "think on"=Gr."logizomai"="take inventory"  See Ro 8:28
9 - What Paul has written, he has practiced. Connect "learned" to "heard" and "received" to "seen".
10 - "But" = "Let me not forget"
     - "care...again" = "you revived your interest in me"
     - "wherein...careful" = "in which you indeed did interest yourselves"
     - "lacked opportunity"=Gr."akaireomai" Only occ.="could find no occasion"
11 - Omit "have"
     - "whatsoever..." = "the position in which I am placed"
     - "content"=Gr."autarkes" Only occ.="self-complacent" (see v.7)
          This is the ability to have peace despite danger or troubles.
12,13 - "I can handle humiliation and/or abundance under all circumstances and in every case."
     - "I am instructed"=Gr."mueo"="I have been initiated into the mystery (Gr."musterion"), hence, "I possess the secret".
     - "through" = "in" as in v.7      "Christ" should be "Him"
          See 1 Ti 1:12   See Isa 40:31 where "renew" = "change"
14 - "Notwithstanding..." - The monetary assistance was far less valuable than the fellowship with his suffering.
15 - Paul makes sure that they don't think he disregards the money.
     - "giving...receiving" - Materially and spiritually
     - "only" - Love must accept love.  Mt 19:13,14
16 - A reminder to the Thessalonicans (See 2 Th 3:7-9)
     - "again"=Gr."dis"="twice" (Same as 1 Th 2:18)
     - "unto my necessity" = "to relieve my want"
17 - Paul again wants to be clear. He wasn't seeking the gift, but the fruit of their demonstration of love.
18 - "I have all things to overflowing."
    - "odour", "sweet smell" - See 2 Co 2:14,15
     - "wellpleasing"=Gr."eurastos"  See Ro 12:1 and 1 Pe 2:5 "acceptable"
19 - "my...your" - "You have supplied my want, so God on my behalf will supply yours by placing you in glory through your union with Christ.
20 - "my" and "your" become "our"
     - "for ever and ever"=Gr."eis tous ainas ton aionon"="to the ages of the ages"
21 - "Salute every saint..." - the brethren
22 - "All the saints salute you..." - the Christians in Rome
     - "of Caesar's household" - Includes all attached to the palace, whether bond or free, low ranking or high.
23 - "you all" should be "your spirit"
     - "Amen" - Omit