The letter being a unit does not mean that Paul only had one purpose in writing the epistle. There were a number of purposes:
- To communicate his present situation of rejoicing in spite of suffering (1:12-26). To keep them up to date and relieve their anxiety concerning him.
- To inform them of the visit of Timothy (2:18-24).
- To communicate to them about Epaphraditus, their representative, ministered to him but had become ill, was recovering, and was a worthy servant (2:25-30). Robertson says this was the immediate purpose.
- To inform them of the danger of seductive tactics and doctrines of the Judaizers (3:1-4:1)
- To communicate his affection for the Philippians (cf. 4:1). This is one of the most personal of the epistles of Paul. There is no question but that there was an intimate relationship between them and the Apostle
- To admonished the spiritual immaturity of Euodias and Syntyche, and to hold to the unity of the faith (4:2-3). To correct division in their ranks.
- To communicate his thanksgiving for their gift (4:10-20).
- To send his greetings to all (4:21-23).