Overview And Background
The letter to the Philippians is one of four written by Paul while he was in prison. The other three are Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon. Philippians was written to the first church established by Paul in Europe, then known as the province of Macedonia . Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey after receiving a night vision where he saw a man from Macedonia standing before him, earnestly asking him to "come over into Macedonia, and help us" (Ac 16:9).
Paul's primary reason for writing this letter was to thank the Philippian church for the gift they had sent him in his time of need (Php 4:10-19). He also used this opportunity to encourage them to look confidently to Christ for their joy and unity, and to continue to persevere in their Christian life and faith.
Even though Paul wrote this letter from prison, it contains a constant theme of rejoicing. The words "joy" and "rejoice" were used sixteen times in this short epistle. Paul made it very clear in Php 3 that his personal relationship with the Lord was the key factor in his joy.Paul had a special affection for the Philippians. They were not only the first fruits of his ministry in Europe but also the only church that contributed to his ministry after he had departed from their city (Php 4:15-16).