Outline of Philippians
1. Opening Greetings (Philippians 1:1-2)
In partnership with the letter’s closing verses (4:21-23), this introduction forms a ring around the letter. A Christian missionary who once persecuted the church More and The companion on Paul’s later journeys for whom two pastoral epistles are named More greet “all the saints in Christ Jesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God’s saving act for humanity More who are in Philippi.” “Saints” do not represent a special elite corps of Christ’s followers but rather “all” believers “made Holy is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More” in Christ.
2. Opening Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession (Philippians 1:3-11)
Paul thanks God for the Philippians and intercedes on their behalf. These prayers express the intimate, personal relationship that Paul shares “in the gospel” with the believers in Philippi.
3. Life Centered in Jesus Christ as Servant and Lord (Philippians 1:12-2:30)
Structured in a concentric pattern, this section begins and ends with Paul’s reflections on his imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. At the center is a hymn that proclaims Jesus Christ as servant and Lord of all (2:6-11), bracketed by instructions regarding practical living “in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27).
4. Life Centered in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Philippians 3:1-4:9)
Also structured in a concentric pattern, this section begins and ends with Paul identifying self-centered attitudes and behaviors in the congregation that detract from the centrality of Christ. At the center, Paul proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (3:20), surrounded by calls to live in expectation of the Lord’s return.
5. Closing Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession (Philippians 4:10-20)
Paul voices thanksgiving for the Philippians’ unfailing support of his ministry, their faithful life in Christ, and the strength and “riches” that are available in Christ.
6. Closing Greetings (Philippians 4:21-23)
The letter concludes as it began, with greetings, completing the book’s overall concentric literary pattern.