Philipians 2: 1-11

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Philippians 2:1-11

Main Idea of the Passage:

In Philippians 2:1-11 Paul has two main subjects that he is addressing for the church in Philippi, exhortation towards unity and living a humble minded life that Jesus exemplified while on the earth. Paul ties these two ideas together by explaining that unity among the church begins with humility.

Outline of the Passage:

Verses 1-2 The author is giving a definition as to what faith really is as things hoped for and things not yet seen. For it was by faith that the great men and women of the bible were held in high esteem with God.

Verses 3 It was by faith that God created the world, giving a good example of how God called things into existence from the invisible.

Verses 4-5 Abel offered God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain because it was founded upon faith, placing Abel in high esteem with God because of his faith. Enoch was translated into heaven because of his great faith, which like Abel placed him in very high esteem with God.

Verses 6 Without faith it is impossible to please God. Anyone that comes to God must believe that He is and that he is a rewarded for those who seek Him.

Verses 7-11 Noah believed God when he spoke to him warning him against the coming flood. Noah trusted in and believed God’s words and took God’s words on faith, and Noah was rewarded. Abraham obeyed God when He asked him to go to a place he had never seen to receive an inheratance that would pass down to his heirs. Abraham looked for a place that was founded and made by God. Abraham believed God’s words and took God’s words on faith. Sarah was able to conceive a child years past child bearing age, because she believed in God’s words and took them on faith.

Exegetical notes for context:

Historical-Cultural Context

* The author of the letter of Hebrews is uknown. Many believe that Paul was the author of Hebrews due to it’s content which lead to the book of Hebrews being canonized as a Pauline book. (Ellingworth 4)

* Other purposed possible authors are Clement, Luke, or perhaps someone assocated with Paul, being Barnabas or Apollos (O’Brian)

* It is widely accepted that the letter of Hebrews was written somewhere between A.D 50-A.D. 90. (O’Brian)

* The location of Hebrews is also unknown. The most plasuable options are believe to be Spain, Judea, Jerusalem and Rome. Jerusalem and Rome are considered to be the most likely. (Ellingworth pg 29)

* The time, and place of Hebrews is unknown which makes it difficult to determine the recipiants in which it was written to. The general belief is the book of Hebrews was written to both a Jewish and Gentile audince who were really struggling with their belief in Jesus and their Christian expereince due to general weariness, repeatative sins and possible persecution.

* Due to their current struggle the recipiants appeared as if they were starting to revert back to old ways of Judaism or Hellenistic syncretism which was all based more on rules and regulations as oppose to a relationship with Jesus.

Literary Context

* The book of Hebrews

* Paul’s letter to the Philippians can be broken into six major sections (Fee 38)

* Introductory matters 1:1-11

* Paul’s Affairs: Reflections on Imprisonment 1:12-26

* The Philippians’ Affairs: Exhortation to Steadfastness and Unity 1:27 – 2:18

* What’s Next Regarding Paul’s and Their Affairs 2:19 – 30

* The Philippians Affairs – Again 3:1-4:3

* Concluding Matters 4:4-23

* There is some belief that the letter to the Philippians was not a single letter, rather a combination of several letters that were possible not even written in the order in which we read them today. The main bases for this belief is based on two factors

* The change of tone the writing at the beginning of chapter 3

* The thank you portion in...
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