Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
— Philippians 1:1
Because Paul had a very pure relationship with the Philippians, he began his epistle to them with a very simple introduction. He didn’t write to them as “Paul the apostle.” He didn’t say, “The Lord has committed me with your care, and I am coming to help you.” He was not at all formal. Paul was writing a family letter, not an official letter. Since Paul was writing to a local church that he had raised up through his own labor, he wrote in an intimate way.
He began his epistle, “Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1). The saints in Philippi understood this. They remembered how Paul came to them, how he was in prison, and how pure his gospel had been. They remembered how the church was raised up. The saints in Philippi knew that Paul was a bond-servant because they had seen how he had no freedom for himself.
Adapted from Philippians: “That I May Gain Christ,” page 12.
Tomorrow: “Bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (1)