Philippians 1: 3-11 Analysis

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Paul’s inaugural address in Philippians 1:3-11 gives thanks to God and expresses joy for the effectual, transformative work of Christ that courses through lives of the Philippians believers, which has caused them to be partners “in the gospel from the first day until now” (v.5). Yet, Paul does not conclude his salutation with thanksgiving and rejoicing. Rather, Paul sees the gospel work through an eschatological lens evidenced through his assurance in that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (v. 6). Therefore, concludes his greeting with a prayer that their love would “abound more and more” so that they would be “pure and blameless in the day of Christ […] to the glory and praise of God” (v. 9-11).
In the ensuing passage, Philippians 1:12-18a, Paul tells the Philippians that “what has happened to [him]” (v.12), namely his imprisonment (v.7), has served to advance the gospel. Therefore, continuing in the theme of the preceding passage Paul draws a dotted line linking the efficacy of Christ’s work in both Philippians endurance in the gospel to the gospel
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It appears as Fee notes that for some reason unknown to present day readers, perhaps some sort of suffering or persecution, some of Philippians believers lost their footing and firm grounding in future certainties secured in Christ. “Hence even this personal musing functions as paradigm.” And so, Paul exhorts them, “even if it were to mean in his case to arrive there prematurely at the hands of others!”
Similarly, Paul, in Philippians 1:27-30, shifts from his personal example of suffering to the Philippians present and future certainty of suffering. In this, he calls them to be united and stand firm in the face of adversity and suffering for the gospel through the Spirit – living as “ones worthy of the gospel”

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