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Synthesis, Translation and Commentary

Synthesis: How the Letter Unfolds

1:1-2

Greetings, grace, and peace

1:3-11

I am grateful to God for our long-standing partnership together in Gospel work, which for various reasons I am certain will be ongoing.

1:12-18

So, loving you as I do, and with your interest in our work together in the Gospel, this is my ministry report to you: even though I am in chains, our Gospel work is as fruitful as ever.

1:19-26

Are you worried about me, your mission partner, being executed? Dying would be gain for me, but somehow I feel sure I'll live, for your advancement in the Gospel.

1:27-30

Now, if we are partners in the Gospel, and such is my willingness to keep on living for you, I can ask you to stand firm and suffer with me for Him.

2:1-4

I have just written of the struggle we have together in our Gospel partnership, but I also want to write you about the encouragement and comfort that helps us in our partnership.

2:5-11

In fact, the ultimate example of humility, suffering, and then exaltation is Christ. Follow that example.

2:12-18

I am explaining this theology to you now so that you will be Light and Life to the world around you. I will boast and we will rejoice together – are we not partners in Gospel work?

2:19-24

Yes, it is true that I may soon die, so I think of my protégé, Timothy, who serves the Lord selflessly. I want to send him to you, to strengthen our partnership. He will assure me of how you all are doing. But right now, in my situation, I just cannot spare this man until I know how it will go with my imprisonment.

2:25-30

But I have to send back to you Epaphroditus, your missionary to me. Although I appreciate his willingness to serve, even to die, he is just too worried about you all. Honor him.

3:1-3

So the crucial thing I want to remind you about is that you must put your joy and boasting in the Lord, and not in anything of the flesh – not circumcision, not anything. Get your identity from the Gospel.

3:4-9

Let me tell you my own story. I was full of self-confidence, but now I confidently regard all that as rubbish, and Christ as my righteousness, my salvation.

3:10-14

Christ is my salvation, but He is also my goal, because I press on to win the prize He has for His obedient servants.

3:15-21

Follow me in this! Unhappily, the enemies of the cross are many. They will be destroyed, but we have a heavenly citizenship and a Savior from heaven.

4:1-7

So of course you should stand firm in unity, joy, and prayer.

4:8-9

Yes, if you live like that you will experience the peace of God – furthermore, if you will fill your minds with true and good things and follow my example, the God of Peace will be with you!

4:10-20

Before closing this letter, I want to be quite specific about the financial aspects of our partnership in missions, our Gospel fellowship.

4:21-23

The brothers here greet you and I bless you with God's grace.

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines