Notes on Philippians 1:1-11

(These notes are part of an ongoing project, a theological and ethical commentary on the whole Bible. Write me at if you want to subscribe).

Philippians 1:1-11


Revelation: Comes to us through the Holy Spirit-inspired writings of the NT apostles (as well as OT prophets, including Moses and writers of history and wisdom and Psalms), including Paul, “slave” of Jesus Christ, 1:1; focuses on the grace and peace that come to us from God the Father through Jesus Christ, not (anymore) on the Law’s demands, although the gospel also brings legal obligations, 1:2.

God: Exists as Father and Son (and the Holy Spirit), 1:2, 3, 6, 8, 11; is source of all revelation, 1:1, grace and peace, 1:2, affection, 1:8, love, knowledge, discernment, and righteousness, 1:9-11; deserves all praise and glory, 1:11.

Christ: Is fully equal with the Father, 1:2, as source of all divinely-given grace and peace.

Salvation: Includes a restored and reconciled relationship with God the Father, through the person and work of Jesus Christ, 1:2; comes to us entirely by God’s unmerited grace and favor, 1:2; brings individual moral transformation as a result of union with Christ, 1:9-11; creates a community of love, comprised of all believers in Christ, 1:3-11; will be completed in each person, and in the church, by God, who will bring all his saints = his elect, to full sanctification and salvation when Christ returns, 1:6.

The church: Consists of all who are considered “saints,” that is, reckoned to be holy – set apart for God’s possession and use, and cleansed of all stain that would prohibit access to God, and now growing in holiness by the power of the Spirit through ongoing faith in Christ – because of their union by faith with Jesus Christ, 1:1; resides in all sorts of places, 1:1; consists of all who are “partakers” with the apostles in grace through faith in Christ, 1:7; is marked by mutual intercessory prayers, 1:1-2, 9; joins together in promoting the gospel, 1:5, 7; is united with other congregations in common submission and loyalty to the NT apostles as our ultimate authority, 1:1, 7; is led by a plurality of “bishops” = overseers =- pastors = elders (see Acts 20:17, 28, Titus 1:5, 1 Peter 5:2), and deacons in every place (and probably also in every congregation), 1:1; lives for the glory of God, 1:11.

The Christian life: Is marked by constant progress in knowledge, discernment, wise judgment, personal rectitude and love, that is, righteousness, 1:9-11.

Last things: Jesus will return on the “day” of his coming to take his church to be with himself forever, 1:6.


We should begin each day with thanks for God’s grace and peace to us in Christ; he is for us and will be with us!

We should attend carefully to the writings of the apostles (and OT prophets) and ask for increase of knowledge and discernment that lead to love and righteousness.

We should pray for each other, using the words of the Bible, including Paul’s prayers for his readers.

We should support the work of the spread of the gospel beyond the boundaries of our own congregation and city to the whole world, by prayer and finances.

We should seek constant growth in love, knowledge, wisdom, and all righteousness, relying on Jesus alone to produce these in us as we draw near to him in prayer and faith.

We should live for the glory of God at all times and in every way.