Philippians

Philippians

PHILIPPI WAS A prosperous Roman colony in Thracia, at the northern end of the Aegean Sea. Here, the first congregation in Europe was established during Paul’s second missionary journey. Contrasting with the idea of a colony of Rome, the congregation of believers is seen as a ‘colony of heaven’, whose members are citizens of a heavenly kingdom (3:20). Paul’s visit to Philippi and the establishment of the congregation there is related in Acts 16. He was imprisoned by the authorities. As he writes this letter he is in prison again, in Rome. Yet he rejoices that his imprisonment has worked out ‘to advance the gospel’ (Philippians 1:12–18)— he has been able to preach to his guards. Unity in Christ Paul urges his readers to be ‘standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel’ (1:27). If they are united in fellowship