by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Paul and Timothy ... to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi together with the overseers and deacons... (Phil. 1:1).
Paul is in prison, probably at Rome. Timothy, his spiritual son and fellow evangelist is with him, although not a prisoner. The Christians in the town of Philippi had sent a gift to Paul. Now Paul sends this letter thanking his friends for the gift. Later, this letter to the Philippians became a part of the sacred writings through which the church of God knows the truth.
Paul calls himself and Timothy simply "servants of Christ Jesus." That title says it all.
He calls the church members "saints"—that is, holy people. In the Bible a person and a church are holy not because they have managed to make themselves noticed by their high moral standards and godly behavior, but because God has set them apart from other people. Once we are set apart, we try to honor God by our moral excellence. But don't reverse that order.
They are saints "in Christ Jesus." They believe in Christ and have been baptized in his name. They are holy because they belong to Jesus Christ.
Paul also mentions the "bishops" (overseers), a position originally the same as our office of elder, and "deacons." Elders (or bishops) and deacons (or helpers) should serve in every church of the saints.
That's the God-ordained way to preserve the grace and the peace that have come to us from God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version