WCS Philippians - For the Sake of the Gospel
Welwyn Commentary Series
Author Hywel Jones
The church in Philippi was, in many respects, a church like any other in any place or time. There were no great doctrinal nor moral problems there; yet, it was not without its difficulties. It faced opposition from outside and there were threats to unity from within. Paul wrote showing the need to live in a way that was 'worthy of the gospel'. Paul wrote to them longing for the church to grow, so what he spoke then speaks now to us today.
A comparison of the Epistle to the Philippians with the letters that Paul had written before it might seem to indicate that the church at Philippi had no censurable weaknesses at all. Such a thought, of course, cannot be true because just as "there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins" (Eccl. 7: 20 ESV) so it is with churches, and even though the church at Philippi is not charged with any doctrinal deviation or moral blemish a little investigation will soon uncover its difficulties.
It was a church which could be prayed for (1: 4) and preached to (1:28). It could gain more. It could even lose much of what it had. In these general, but important, respects, it was a church like any other in any place or time.
Now retired, Dr Hywel R.Jones pastored churches in Wrexham and London, before becoming Editorial Director of the Banner of Truth Trust and then Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary, California.