To All the Saints

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons

The letter to the Philippians was written from Rome about 64 A.D. by Paul. The immediate occasion for writing is disclosed in Philippians 4:10-18. Its theme is the joy of Christian grace and experience in all of life and death. Paul himself demonstrated the greatest joy in the greatest suffering and humiliation, starting the congregations (Acts 16:1-40). He mentions “joy” 14 times in the epistle. The keyword is “rejoice” (3:1). Christians are to rejoice in fellowship with one another (1:3-11), in afflictions of the gospel (1:12-30); in the ministry for saints (2:1-18), in the faithfulness of their teachers (2:19-3:1); in the Lord and not in Judaism or the flesh (3:1-21); in unity (4:1-3), and always in all things (4:4-23).

‘To all the saints in Christ’ – Those who are living as Christians (1Pet. 2:21-23), not just proclaiming it (Mat. 7:21-23) are always addressed as saints. We have the Old Testament saints (many listed in Hebrews 11), the New Testament saints will be those who are in Christ from His ministry on earth and lastly, the tribulation saints refer to those that will be saved during the tribulation (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 15:2-4; 20:4-6). To say that all saints are sinners is unscriptural, for even if we were born into sin and lived in it, the moment we are born again, we are no longer identified by God’s Word as sinners – a man cannot be a saint and a sinner at the same time (Mat. 7:24; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:13). One cannot be holy and sinful and serve God and satan, or be a servant of sin and righteousness at the same time (Mat. 6:24).

‘Timotheus’ Timothy is associated with Paul in the address of the epistles to the Philippians and Colossians, and with Paul and Silas in the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Timothy was at this time with Paul in Rome (2:19).

‘Servants of Jesus Christ’ [Greek: doulos] one giving himself wholly to another’s will.

‘Saints in Christ Jesus’ All saved people are saints, so there are no grounds for making people saints after death (1:1; Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10; Rom. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:2; 6:1-2; 2Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2; 2Thess. 1:10; Jude 1:3; Rev. 5:8; 13:7, 13:10; 17:6).

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