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The New Testament | The Letters of Paul


Things to know

Where does the book begin?

Paul wrote this letter from prison. He thanked God for the church* in Philippi.

Places to go

Paul gave a prayer of thanks
Philippians 1:3-11

Paul had good news in prison
Philippians 1:12-17

Jesus showed us how to be humble
Philippians 2:1-11

Follow my example
Philippians 3:12-21

God will provide what you need
Philippians 4:10-20

Where does the book end?

Paul blessed those people who would read his letter.

People to know


The Story of Philippians

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. But he did not want the people to worry about him. God helped Paul to tell the people in prison about Jesus. So he felt joy [1], even in that difficult place.

Paul wrote this letter to the church* in Philippi. Paul was the one that first told them about Jesus. [2] Many people there loved Jesus. They also loved Paul. Some of them had helped Paul on his journeys. So Paul wrote this letter to say ‘thank you’. He wrote this letter to tell them how he was doing.

He also wanted to help them live the kind of life that pleased God. The people had done well since they came to Jesus. But Paul knew that there were tests ahead. Some people outside the church* were angry with the people that followed Jesus. There may be times in the future when they would suffer. Paul wanted them to live like Jesus and follow his example [3] no matter what happened.

They should follow Jesus’ example in many ways. One way was to be humble. Paul did not want them only to think about themselves. He wanted them to care for each other. But they would not do this if they were not humble. So Paul told them about the ways that Jesus was humble. [4]

Jesus was God. But He came to be a servant. He was willing to die to rescue them. After he did this, God gave Jesus a place of great honour. So they should serve people too. They should be careful not to complain or fight with each other. But they should live in a way that would help people see the right way. [5]

Jesus lived a humble life. But Paul knew other men that were humble too. Timothy was humble. He served people and served God. He was a good example. Paul was a good example too.

Paul wanted the people to follow Jesus in every way. He warned them not to follow proud people. Some proud men had come to Philippi. They were proud of the things that they knew. They were proud of things that they had done for Jesus. Paul said that he could be proud too. But he would not be proud about the things that he did. These things did not make him right with God. He would only thank God for what Jesus did for him. God was pleased with Paul because he had faith* in Jesus.

Paul was not a perfect man. But he knew Jesus was making him a better man. And he wanted the people in Philippi to follow Jesus. Paul wanted to know Jesus better. He wanted them to know Jesus better too. And Paul wanted them to feel joy. God gave this joy to the people that knew him. They knew that some day, God would make them perfect. They would be just like God wanted them to be.

Until that time, they should do the right things. They should think about the best things. [6] They should always trust* in Jesus. Sometimes, they may have problems. They might even suffer because they believed in Jesus. But God would always be with them. He would always give them what they needed.


[1] See Philippians 1:4252:2294:1

[2] Acts 16:12-40

[3] Philippians 3:17

[4] Philippians 2:1-11

[5] Philippians 2:12-18

[6] Philippians 4:8-9

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