The city of Philippi was a large and prosperous Roman colony
whose inhabitants were mainly Roman citizens.
The "church" (or assembly) of Christians at Philippi
received this Epistle (letter) from the Apostle Paul while
he was in Rome awaiting trial before the Emperor.
Paul had a great love for this church, founded when he went
to Philippi on his 2nd missionary journey. They also had a
great concern for the Apostle Paul. Three times they sent
gifts to him - on the most recent occasion by the hand of
Epaphroditus who nearly lost his life trying to reach
Rome to see Paul (2:25-27).
The letter is a joyful one, containing encouragement for
Christians in the city of Philippi and for the followers of
The example of Christ, who humbled himself and became "obedient
unto death" (2:8), is set before us. We are to have the
"mind of Christ" (2:5), that is, one of obedience
to the will of God and of love for our fellows.
A church of such people will indeed be united and happy.
They will see the difference between the poverty of
human ideas and the riches of God's ways.
Let Christians think on things that are excellent and praiseworthy
and so grow like Christ (4:8).