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biblestudy: Philippians (Part 1)

Background and Philippians 1:1-6

Given 18-Jul-89; Sermon #BS-PH01; 81 minutes

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In this introductory section of this series on Philippians, John Ritenbaugh insists that Paul systematically planned his travels to specific cities for specific reasons, choosing Philippi for its strategic location as the only autonomous Roman colony in the region having historical cultural, military and commercial significance. As an autonomous outpost of Roman culture, more Roman than Rome, it provides a metaphor of a Christian's status of occupying an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven, ardently maintaining a loyalty to the customs and laws of the home country. From Philippi, God called people from several nationalities and social strata, galvanizing them into one family. Paul expresses joy and camaraderie more with this congregation than any other, appreciating their selflessness, generosity, and sacrifice. Paul, from his vantage point of a prisoner, offers both abundant encouragement (God will complete what He has begun) as well as a plaintive appeal for unity to this congregation.

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Next in this series

Philippians (Part 2)