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“Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:1-2
The Macedonian Call Led to Imprisonment in Philippi
Paul is on his second Missionary journey in Europe, he is writing this letter from Rome where he is literally in chains in prison. He is writing to a church that was born from his earlier prison experience. On his Mission to Europe the first church to be planted was in response to the Macedonian call which he received in Acts 16. Paul’s divine deliverance from prison led to the conversion of the Philippian jailer and the beginning of the congregation in Philippi with Lydia and other converts.
A Strategic Roman Colony
Philippi was historically, militarily, economically and spiritually strategic. Philippi was a Roman colony in Northern Greece, linking Italy with Asia Minor (today, Turkey) on a very strategic road between East and West. Philippi is located on the same plain where Mark Anthony defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius (who had murdered Julius Caesar). Philippi was the church that Paul, Silas, Luke and Timothy had planted. The jailer who had been led to the Lord by Paul is one of the pillars of the church.
Positive Prison Epistle
Written in AD62 during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome, this letter is a thank you for sending Epaphroditus: Thank you for your encouragement and thank you for your support. It is one of the most positive books in the Bible. Paul is overflowing with joy and gratitude and is rejoicing in how strong they are in the Faith, how steadfast and effective they are!