The New Testament book entitled Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul during his imprisonment to the church he founded at Philippi.
Although he was in prison, Philippians is a joy-filled letter to his friends and co-workers for Christ. The church members at Philippi send money and provisions to Paul during his travels spreading the word of God, and also while he was in prison. Paul tells the people to always be filled with joy and the message of Christ. They are to spread the gospel to all they meet. While Paul has heard that there were preachers around Philippi that were teaching the true message, but only doing so to make money. Paul reminds them, and us, that it is the message being preached that is important, and if people are hearing the Word, it doesn’t matter the motivations of the speaker.
Paul also tells the people of Philippi that he thinks of them constantly with love and joy. He is thankful that they continue on with his work while he is unable to do so. He informs them with joy of his success in teaching the Romans who guard him in bringing the message of Christ to them, and their open hearts to receive that message.
Paul writes that he will be sending to them his fellow minister/companion, Timothy, as soon as his, Paul’s circumstances are resolved. But currently, Paul is sending Epaphroditus, whom Paul calls his brother and fellow worker, back to Philippi.
Apparently, Epaphroditus was sent by the Philippi church to take care of Paul while he is a prisoner. While with Paul, Epaphroditus became so ill that he nearly died and word of this reached the Philippi church. The people there were concerned for their fellow believer. Word of that concern reached Paul and Epaphroditus, and Paul states this caused him and Epaphroditus distress. Paul was joyfully sending Epaphroditus home to Philippi with thanksgiving that he had come and Epaphroditus was happy to be returning home.
Paul also reminds them, and us, that joy and happiness cannot be found in material possessions or in the flesh. Paul remembers that he himself has been poor and wealthy and he has lost everything, considers it all rubbish, as he has earned Christ. He encourages them to press on to the goal of Christ and heaven.
At the end of the letter, Paul again thanks the people for all their many gifts to him, and encourages them to remain faithful and be content in every situation they face.