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An Interpretive Analysis Of Philippians 3:11

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An Interpretive Analysis

Philippians 1:3-11

1. Structural Analysis

Keeping with the basic structure form used by multiple times by Paul in his day, immediately after opening the letter (Giving his name and in this instance also Timothy's, naming to whom the epistle was written for, a general greeting and thanksgiving)Paul gives a prayer for these believers while foreshadowing the themes that will be used later on in the epistle.

Key Center: "I thank my God every time I think of you..." (3)

Paragraph Points

Paragraph 1: "I thank my God...I pray with joy"

Paragraph 2: Being confident

Paragraph 3: Since I have you in my heart

Paragraph 4: This is my prayer

2. Topical Analysis

Master Title: Paul and Timothy's Prayer for the Philippians

I. Paul prays with joy for the church at Philippi because of the common bond they have in Christ.

II. They should have joy and stability in Christ

1. God started something great and will finish it in its entirety

2. Paul loves them in Christ

a. When he is bound in chains

b. When he is defending the faith from oppressors

III. Paul's prayer for the church of Philippi

1. Paul prayed that the Philippians may have more love

2. He prayed for them to have more knowledge and wisdom to help them choose what is blameless and holy in life

3. Prayed that they would have righteousness that comes only through having a personal relationship with Christ

3. Situational Analysis

1: 5 - "because your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now"

1:7 - "...whether I am in chains"

This verse (1:5) shows that Paul and the church at Philippi had a prior history. Other epistles show the church's dedication to Paul. The church supported him financially and spiritually ever since he had visited there. It appears that Paul is no able to meet them in person because he is in prison or more likely house arrest awaiting a trial.(1:7)

4. Purpose Analysis

1:3- "I thank my God"

1:4b- "I will always pray with joy"

1:6- "Being confident"

1:7- "Since I have you in my heart"

1:9- "This is my prayer"

Paul's words, "I thank my God" points to his love for God and also shows how he thanks God for all his blessings in his life even through the struggles. I will always pray with joy points to the connection and the pride he has in the growth in Philippi. He is glad to see them following God and Paul's teachings. Being confident shows the encouragement that he wants them to experience even though he is in chains. Their walk and faith are his highest priority. He is suggesting that the situation will get worse and that he will in fact be killed. Since I have you in heart points to his devoted love to the church of Philippi. He thought of them often and this verse shows why. He saw them almost as a home church. This is my prayer shows exactly how much Paul loves them. This verse tells of Paul devoting himself to prayer for the church. All of these verses show the purpose of this part of scripture. They show thankfulness, joy in the face of persecution, being faithful to the Lord, keeping the call of God in your heart and prayer.

5. Supplementary Studies

Previous Passage: In the previous passage (1: 1-2) Paul and Timothy introduce themselves as the servants of Jesus Christ. They address the Epistle as a letter to saints or Christians at Philippi and the deacons and overseers. This is the intro to the letter.

Personal Observations

Law of Composition: Paul uses a few different laws of composition. The first of which was Continuity. This law is the repetition of words, phrases, thoughts and actions.

This is seen with the repetition of the word prayer. Paul mentioned prayer three times in this section of verses. This shows his emphasis on prayer and his constant communication with God.

1:6,10 Paul also repeats " until Christ". This repetition lets the reader know Paul is concerned with the Philippians continuing their walk with Christ until he comes back. This also applies to the present church, we need to finish the race no matter the circumstances.

Observation from Other Sources:

According to Matthew Henry there were a few ways Paul remembered the Philippians in prayer.

1. Thought of them often and as a friends. He was delighted to hear them spoken of.

2. Remembered them with joy. Paul was maltreated in Philippi. He was sent repeatedly to the stocks and he saw little fruit. He considered his sufferings as a crown and loved them just the same.

3. "In all my prayers for all of you..." 1:4a. There were seasons of prayer for Philippi in Paul's prayer life.(MATTHEW HENRY'S COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE, Matthew Henry, p. 637)

According to Frank Thielman there are two (2) reasons for Paul giving thanks in his epistle

1. The partnership that existed between the church and Paul.

The Church at Philippi continually supported him with financial support and gifts.

The church was always supporting Paul through thick and thin.

2. Confidence in:




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