Paul arrived in the city of Philippi, which was a
Roman colony and the leading city of the district of
Macedonia (Acts 16:12) at the time, around 49 CE.
The city's original name was Crenides, but was renamed after Philip II of Macedon in 356 BC, the father of Alexander the Great, when he took over the city.
The citizens of Philippi were worshiping the emperors (Julius, Augustus, and Claudius), and multiple deities such as the Egyptian gods Isis and
Serapis. It was by the leading of God, that Paul and company arrived in Philippi to established the church.
9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of
Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to
Macedonia and help us.”
10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at
once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God
had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight
for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to
12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman
colony and the leading city of that district[a]
of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
The establishment of the churches in Philippi was among the first Christian community of Europe. It would be approximately ten years later, around 62 AD, that Paul and Timothy writes a letter addressed to the leaders and christians located at Philippi.
Paul informs the believers of his ongoing prayer for them, prayers for God's fullest blessings for them, which included the peace of God in the hearts and lives of His people. Joyful praise was incorporated in those prayers, reminding the devotees of their valuable labor in spreading the gospel. Paul encouraged the church of this city, to finish the task that begun within them; growing in grace, wisdom, spiritual knowledge & insight, truth, faith, strength and love. The people of God need to be pure in heart(inwardly clean, not just giving off an outward appearance of godliness..vs 10).. so that one's personal life will not darken the message of the Gospel..vs 11
Putting God to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6). But to be an honor to the name they proclaim salvation under...vs 20
The focal point, in all things, is winning souls VS 22. What the devil meant for evil, God turns it around for good VS 19, this could be clearly seen in the many cases of Paul's imprisonments. The way in which Paul handled his incarcerations (with patience VS. 14). It was the motivation needed for the type of courageous boldness that was birth in the local adherent. VS 12-14
Regardless of motives; social status, economic gain, love of God and each other, the gospel was being heard..and it is faith in the message that saves, not the messenger (The bigger picture). VS 15-18
Maturity in the Spirit is a major necessity in spiritual growth. That our response is not depended upon an outcome (good or bad) VS 27, but on our solid faith in God VS 28. Being that there is always reasons to give glory to God when we lean not to our own understanding. Living for Paul gave him opportunities to win people to the Lord VS 22. As well as help strengthen the faith of many of his protégé VS 25 & 26.
He wanted them to come to learn that suffering for God is just as much a privilege as trust and faith vs 27-29.