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  • Bishop Keith Butler

Grace and Peace to the Philippians

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:1-2)


The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Philippians, but he mentions Timothy in his salutation. By doing so, Paul honored Timothy’s faithfulness and servanthood. The Philippians knew Timothy; he was with Paul at its founding (Acts 16:1-12), and Paul sent him back to check on the church later (Acts 19:22). Paul didn't use his title in the opening of his letter to the Philippians. Compare Philippians 1:1 with several other epistles that begin like this – “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).



Remember that the Philippians had a special place in Paul’s heart. They were the only ones who participated in giving and receiving (Philippians 4:15). They supported his ministry through good times and bad. Perhaps that accounts for Paul’s less formal introduction.


Every one of Paul's letters, except the book of Romans, begins with the invocation of grace, but the message to the Philippians also ends with it; the last verse repeats, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Philippians 4:23). Grace, charis in Greek, has more than two dozen uses in the New Testament. It is the anointing, the power, the favor, and the goodwill of God. Paul also spoke about the peace of God (eirene in Greek) over his friends. It means prosperity, quietness, and rest.


Practical Application –

Grace is at the beginning and the end of the book of Philippians, and it is where we begin too. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Grace comes first, then comes peace – prosperity, quietness, and rest because of who we are in Christ Jesus.


Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3

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