“Beyond Reasonable Doubt”
(An Exegesis of Philippians 2:14-15)

Natural Unit: Philippians 2:14-18
Next Larger Unit: Philippians 2
Literary Form: Epistle
Historical and Cultural Context:

A. Written to the believers in Philippi - Philippians 1:1.

B. The City of Philippi

1. Philippi was one of the major cities of Macedonia

2. Philippi received its name from Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who conquered the city in 360 B.C.

3. Philippi became a Roman colony during the reign of Octavius. He and Marc Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius near Philippi.

4. Philippi was situated on the Egnatian highway, a major trade route through Macedonia. This would insure fast travel to and from the city to other parts of the Roman Empire.

5. It was a military and agricultural centre rather than a commercial city. Since it was not a commercial centre not many Jews lived in the city.

C. The Beginning of the Church at Philippi

1. It’s birth - Acts 16:9-15.

a. Paul was on his second missionary journey when he received the vision of the man in Macedonia - Acts 16:9-10.

b. Paul then sailed to Samothracia, journeyed to Neapolis, and then to Philippi - Acts 16:11-12.

c. Philippi had no synagogue because they have a very small Jewish population there. Paul went to the Gangitis River on the Sabbath, a place where Jews would congregate.

d. While at the Gangitis River, Paul met a group of women to whom he preached the gospel. One of them, Lydia, was converted by listening to Paul’s preachings.

e. Lydia’s own conversion led to the conversion of her whole household. The opening of her home to the missionaries provided a base of operation for Paul's work and a place of assembly for the young church.

2. It’s first conflict - Acts 16:16-24.

a. Paul and Silas were followed by a demonized woman - Acts 16:16-17.

b. After some time, Paul, desiring that people did not think that the woman was part of his “team”, cast the spirit out of her - Acts 16:18.

c. This angered her owners who then stirred up trouble and had Paul and Silas cast into prison after being beaten - Acts 16:19-24.

3. It’s first revival - Acts 16:25-34.

a. Paul and Silas, being in prison, sang hymns and praises to God - Acts 16:25.

b. God sent a strong earthquake which opened all of the prison doors and made the jailor think that all of the prisoners had escaped – Acts 16:26-27.

c. Paul reassured the jailor that all the prisoners were there, after which the jailor asked Paul how he could be saved - Acts 16:28-31.

d. The jailor then took Paul to his home, washed up their wounds, and as a result Paul preached to his whole household with the result that all of them believed as well - Acts 16:32-34.

4. It’s establishment - Acts 16:35-40.

a. Paul and Silas , being Roman citizens, made the magistrates of the city personally apologize and release them from prison - Acts 16:35-39.

b. Paul and Silas visited the brethren at Lydia’s house after they came out of the prison. Afterwards, they left for Amphipolis - Acts 16:40.


Since Philippi was not a commercial center, not many Jews lived in the city. In fact there were not even enough to form a synagogue. The small number of Jews who lived there gathers at Gangitis River.

Textual Issues: none

Before and After:

Before: Imitating Christ’s Humility – Phiippians 2:5-13
After: Sending of Timothy and Epaphroditus - Philippians 2:19-30

Determining the Central Idea of the Text:

Words in the Text:

· Do everything without complaining and arguing

· Shine like stars

· Be blameless and pure

· Without fault

Connecting words: So that


We should not fight among ourselves because it jeopardizes our testimony as Christians. We are the bearers of light, so the whole world must see Christ through our actions and dealings with each other. As children of God, the whole world must see unity and humility in us.


Knowledge: If we consider ourselves as children of God, we must show it to the whole world through our actions – by displaying unity with the brethren.

Grace: God wants us to be a light to this crooked and deprived world.


· With God – imitate the attitude of Christ – humble and obedient

· With Believers – conflicts may arise, but we must be able to resolve our differences and restore harmony.

· With Unbelievers – they should see us as role models of unity and camaraderie.


· Am I sowing discord, or unity in the church?

· Whenever there are conflicts in the church, do I add fuel to the fire, or do I stop it?

· Do other people’s views of me as a Christian make them doubt of my professed faith?

· Will my relationship with others be evidence for, or against me as a Christian?

Character and Conduct: Command to obey: “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Phil 2:14)

Ministry to Others:

The people around us (unbelievers) are watching. Therefore, we, as children of God must live in unity, harmony, and love. When they see genuine love in us, they will be encouraged to receive the Gospel because they see Christ in our attitude and dealings with our fellow Christians.

Application Questions:
1. What difference would it make if right now I responded in faith and obedience to what God is saying to me?

If I responded to what the command says, I will be a living testimony of God’s love. As a result, I will be sowing unity instead of discord among my fellow believers in the faith. Unbelievers will also see that my faith is genuine and not only a façade because they will see through my actions that I am really a child of God. They will say that I am a Christian beyond reasonable doubt.

2. What should I do and when will I do it?

Having unity in the church is not a one time event – it’s a continuous process. Conflicts will still arise, but I should be able to forgive easily and bear with the faults of others. I should see to it that I will not be adding fuel to the fire, but instead be an instrument of resolving conflicts.

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