Paul was not writing to the Philippians to deal with moral problems (as in Corinth) or aberrant theology (as in Galatia). The letter to Philippi is the most personal of all of Paul’s general epistles, likely because he knew the people personally and was used in the founding of the church. His affection for the people in Philippi is seen in the opening words. He does not state his apostleship or his calling, he simply addresses “all the saints … with the bishops and deacons.” Commenting on this Robert Johnston writes (1875):
The highest form of Christian life is seen when energetic love is fully pervaded by the spirit of gentleness and sympathy, exhibiting itself in true politeness to all of all social positions and in little things as well as great, according to the broad apostolic precept “be pitiful and courteous.” The apostles themselves rose in conduct to this height, enforcing precept by example. Their letters, written in the midst of arduous and harassing work yet show diligent attention to all the kindly courtesies of social life.
Reading: “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.”—Philippians 1:1