PHILIPPIANS - Christ, Name above All Names.
The Apostle Paul is a prisoner in Rome but has just received a visitor, Epaphroditus. He has come from Philippi with a gift for Paul from the believers there.
It was to the Philippians that of all his converts, that Paul looked back with most loving affection and confidence, for from them alone he would accept things to relieve his personal needs.
While Epaphroditus was with Paul he was attacked by an illness which brought him to death`s door. News of this caused great distress among his friends in Macedonia. On his recovery, weak and shattered as he was, he longed for home, and Paul sent by him this letter.
`Epaphroditus.....was longing for you all, and distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death, but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less sorrowful.` (Phil. 2: 25 - 28)
In Paul`s letter although he is in prison, he rejoices, for even here he can reach some of Caesar`s household with the gospel.
`I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to the rest that my chains are in Christ.` (Phil. 1: 12 & 13)
And at the end of the letter we read how not only the saints at Rome greet the Philippians but `also those who are of Caesar`s household.` (Phil. 4: 22 )
Thus amid great trials and difficulties the apostle encourages the believers to rejoice, and again he says `rejoice.` (Phil. 4: 4) And with his great heart for the believers he turns their minds towards the Lord -
`Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.` (Phil. 2: 5 - 9)
What need they to fear, for the Lord is above every authority and power, and every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord. (Phil. 2: 10 & 11)