Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy greet the Thessalonian church with grace and peace. Paul was chased out of Thessalonica, so he wants to encourage the believers there and exhort them for their continued faithfulness.
Paul concludes his letter by praising God and sending regards from the believers in Rome to the Philippians. He wishes for Jesus’s favor to be upon them all as they strive to imitate His example of radical obedience to God in the face of all circumstances.
Paul praises the Philippians for being the most generous church in all his ministry. They have given him financial support from the beginning. Paul never asked them for funding, but they gave to him out of their own desire to share in his ministry work. Paul describes their gift-giving in terms of a pleasing sacrifice to God, which they will be rewarded for when Jesus returns.
Paul expresses his mindset of joy that the Philippian believers care about him and have sent him financial support while he is imprisoned. He explains that the secret of contentment in all situations is through the strength given to us by Jesus.
Paul provides a list of what believers should keep our minds focused on: whatever is in line with God’s design, whatever is clean and unspoiled from the world’s influence, whatever God-honoring input will help keep our thoughts on the right track, and aid us in walking after Christ and Paul’s example.
Paul repeats the call for the Philippians to rejoice. Rejoicing in the face of all circumstances is part of having the mindset of Jesus, who showed radical obedience to God no matter what. This mindset brings us the peace of God and keeps us from anxiety.
Two women in the Philippian church, named Euodia and Syntyche, have conflict between them. Paul urges the entire church and its leaders to help restore these two back to a harmonious relationship with each other.
Paul plans to send Timothy to the Philippians to teach them and minister to them, but he is first waiting to hear the verdict of his court case before Caesar. If he is set free, Paul plans to follow closely behind Timothy to visit Philippi. The messenger from Philippi, Epaphroditus, became sick and nearly died, but has been spared by God, so Paul sends him back to the Philippians so that they won’t worry about him anymore. He is an example of the type of man believers ought to admire, because he risked his life in service to Christ.
Paul encourages the Philippians to have the mindset of Christ: to obey God no matter the earthly cost. To continually adopt this mindset takes hard work, but it is work worth doing, motivated by a fear of God to reject worldly attitudes, to not complain in the face of hardship, and to live apart from the normal sinful way of the world. The encouraging thing is that it is God working through us if we choose to obey, and it pleases Him and points nonbelievers toward Christ.
The attitude of Christ Jesus was that of radical humility and radical obedience. Even though He was with God and was God, He lowered Himself not only by becoming a man, but by dying on the cross. Because of this, God the Father rewarded Jesus with rulership over the earth.