Our study of Paul's letter will reveal a powerful tool to remind us of what we have in Jesus Christ. This letter was written while Paul was in prison in Rome and it was delivered to the city of Philippi. The city was named after King Philip of Macedonia who was the father of Alexander the Great.
"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:" NIV translation
Paul begins the introduction by letting us know that his spiritual son Timothy was with him and that they were both bondslaves to Jesus. They were free and yet devoted forever to serve Christ. As this humble servant, they first address this letter to all of the saints and that is everyone who is called by God and trusts in Jesus Christ. There are some that want to elevate men to the status of "saints" where the church leadership certifies them to be saints but that is the opposite of what Paul and the early church knew as the truth. Sainthood is not a work of man and is not certified by man but by God Himself. God certifies saints (His people) with the mark of the Holy Spirit and no "church leader" can assume that authority or place. Then, he also addresses it to the leaders of the local church.
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." NIV translation
This was the way that Paul normally greeted his brothers and sisters in Christ. "Grace" was the typical greeting used by Greeks in that day and "peace" ("shalom" in Hebrew) was the typical greeting used by Jews. This greeting shows how both Jews and Gentiles were reunited with God through His gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. Paul always put grace before peace to remind us that the way to peace with God is only through the grace (gift) of God in Jesus Christ.
"I thank my God every time I remember you." NIV translation
Paul had a habit of praying for all of the believers in the churches that he started. In the same manner, we need to continually offer up prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ and give God the praise for what He is doing in His people.