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Philippians, more than any other Pauline epistle, reveals insights into Paul’s situation, commitments, and background. Paul spoke candidly to his strongest supporters. He explained the situation at Rome and how his imprisonment caused mixed reactions in the church. He thanked his dear friends for their financial and prayer support and urged them to continue in the faith in spite of opposition. By sharing his thoughts and actions, Paul hoped to provide a model of the truth. This incarnational principle permeates his writing in this epistle. He found that he could even counter the false teachers by appealing to his past experiences. As a rabbi, he had lived what they taught and found it lacking.

In addition to revealing the life of Paul, the epistle contains a fresh presentation of Jesus Christ. In a lofty hymn about Jesus Christ, Paul called his readers to an examination and interpretation of the mind of Christ. Paul clearly believed his life had been transformed radically because of following Christ, and thus every portion of the epistle reveals the Lord through his servant.

The epistle reads easily. Paul’s thoughts flow logically and personally, and there are few places where interpreters question the nature of the language or what it discloses. Apart from Philemon, Philippians is the most personal of all the Pauline corpus. Contemporary readers naturally and properly honor the apostle Paul. Paul, however, sought to honor his Lord, Jesus Christ. The focus on Paul can only be acceptable if it brings a clearer picture of the grace of God in Christ. This study intends to honor that aspect of Paul’s life. A goal of the commentary is to help readers see the apostle Paul in a new light, with real and vital, life-changing commitments. Another goal is that readers will feel the depth of his understanding and practical insights. The overriding goal, however, is that readers will see the Lord through the pages of the text.


Melick, R. R. (1991). Philippians, Colossians, Philemon (Vol. 32, pp. 21–22). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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The views and opinions expressed in this posting are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Alpha University.

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