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By Anthony Lee Ash / College Press / 1994
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There are a number of reasons why Paul wrote this letter. First, there was the matter of Epaphroditus and the gift sent to Paul by his hand. Paul wished to respond to their generosity. Second, he took the opportunity to share certain news about himself and his situation. Third, he wished to address a serious problem of division within the church. Fourth, Paul wished to warn about those he calls "dogs," "men who do evil," and "mutilators of the flesh" in 3:2. In addition to these central purposes there are certain themes sounded throughout the book which can be an enriching pursuit by the serious student.