"Paul's Example; The Philippians' Solicitude for Paul."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org
Philippians 4:1 "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved."
To all those Christians that work in a fruit bearing church, doing things the way the Scriptures teach, there is a crown waiting for them in eternity. So we see the loving greeting that Paul has for the Philippians.
Philippians 4:2 "I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord."
Though "Euodias" is not a feminine for a woman's name, the scribe doing the translating has put her name as such for whatever the reason. Paul is addressing a couple of ladies here and pleading with them not to be at odds with each other.
Philippians 4:3 "And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose name are in the book of life."
What ever happened between these ladies, happened while Paul was visiting in Philippi. A "yokefellow" is when two people join together to accomplish a specific task, in an act of love and service for the Lord. These women we Paul's helpers when he was in Philippi, probably doing dishes, setting up chairs, or what ever the task Paul needed getting ready for his services. Clement also was another woman who helped with Euodias and Syntyche. There were also many other people that helped, but Paul simply cannot call their names to memory. One thing is for sure though, their names are written in the book of life, and they shall have their rewards.
It is interesting what we find when we take the words "laboured with" back to the Greek text. The word is "sunathleo", and it means "to wrestle jointly against an enemy". That is exactly what preaching the gospel is, wrestling against the devil and all his realm. These ladies were part of that battle with Paul, in his giving forth of the gospel.
Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
It is easy to rejoice when the times are going good, but we are to rejoice in the Lord at all times, good and bad. Any time you become angry with God, you are blaming Him for something that you have brought on yourself. It seems silly to blame God for your allowing Satan to run all over your life. God gave you the power to control your life, and take power over Satan's realm, only you have to assume that on your own behalf. It's not only silly, its dangerous, and God could come down on you for even entertaining the thought.
Philippians 4:5 "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand."
"Your moderation" is your conduct, what you think, say and do, it is where you stand on things. When people look at you they know what to expect of you, for they know that what you do is according to God's Word. The time is coming when you will be held accountable for your conduct. It is all part of your earning of rewards for the eternity, and the time is right now.
Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
"Be anxious for nothing", which means "stop worrying about things that just don't matter". Friend, this is the order that you speak to God, with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God. When you pray to Him, make sure you thank Him for every thing that He gives you. Your request is to be made to God directly, for it does not say to your friends and those interested at church.
Friend, when Jesus went to the cross, the veil in the temple was torn away, and we are able to go directly to the Father, through the blood of Christ. Jesus is the only name that gives you the authority to approach our Father with boldness, and that is how you are to make your requests be made know unto God. You do not need an intercessor, go directly to him prayerfully.
Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Our heavenly Father is the author of peace, and he understands your every need as they happen to you, and as you think if them. In fact God knows better what you need then you do, for He knows the future as well as the present. When you rely upon Him, the Holy Spirit will lead you in the way that you should go. Any time you are surrounded by a lot of confusion, that is not of God.
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever thing are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Paul is telling us to stop and take account of these things. Take a look at your own character, and what you are demonstrating in your life. Is what you do and say conforming to each of these items? Are they true and honest in all of your dealings with other people, and is the intent of your mind pure and lovely towards others? When other talk about you, what do they say about you? are their reports good, and can they see the virtue of Christ in you in the things you say and do? When your name comes up before men and women, is there praise for you, or do they see you as a hypocrite, a play actor claiming to be one thing while your actions show you to be something different.
Think on these thing, practice your discernment as you look upon the way that you really are. You become just when you follow the teachings of Christ, and do unto your brother as you wish others to treat you. To become pure in your mind, is to be mindful fo your shortcomings, and sins, and repent of them when you fall short. Have a good balance to your life, that is the moderation that should be seen of all men. Be a good thinker, and not easily shaken when the unknown comes your way.
Philippians 4:9 "Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
You learn, and receive by hearing with understanding. The promises that Paul, or Peter, or any of the prophets or disciples have written are not the author of that person, but the promises of God. When you do those things that God has written to you through his prophets, you will have the peace of God with you. Why? Because God promised it to you.
Paul is saying that in the things that I have told you to do, do them and then God will make good His promises to you. When a problem comes up, then you make it know to Him with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving and God will hear you.
Philippians 4:10 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care fo me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lack opportunity."
Paul is recalling all of the times that the Philippians have tried to take care of Paul, and seen to his needs, and he is thankful to the Lord for each of them. Paul is saying that he know that they wanted to do much more for him, but the opportunity just wasn't there. Paul was on the move constantly, and much of that time he was in prison for his preaching of the gospel. Paul was not the easiest person to keep in contact with.
Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Paul was content in whatever place that God had placed him, and with whatever was provided for his needs. That is the quickest way to peace of mind. When you make your request know to God, then when things come your way, God is using you, so be content and find peace of mind in that state. God will take care of you, and if you are one of God's elect, there is a duty that is expected of you. He is going to control your life anyhow whether you want Him to or not. God will bring you to the place of being a working vessel for Him. The key to verse eleven is verse six, don't worry, for worry accomplishes nothing. You are to do the things that you can do for yourself, and then turn the rest of it over to the Lord.
Philippians 4:12 "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Paul is saying, I know how to be humble and poor, and I know how to have fame. I have been in both states. I can have wealth, and I know how it is to go hungry, I can handle either one. I've been on the top of society, and I have been at the bottom. He is trying to point out that he has been in all positions, and can understand where everyone is coming from.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ Which strengtheneth me."
Paul was content in whatever state that he was in, for he knew that he was under God's control and loving care. Paul's experiences will make a better person out of you, and give you strength in whatever you face. By living your life as God's Word instructs you will come out on top. You can not fool God because He knows the intent of your heart. When you ask in earnest, believing, God will give you the strength to see your through even the hardest task.
This verse is one of the finest verses that a person can memorize to give him or her encouragement during troubled times. It makes you a "can do" type person, and you can. When you do it, "through Christ" it means that you do what ever you do God's Way. It applies to your business, getting along with your family or neighbors, or what ever you do. Examples and rules for running your life and business are right in His Word. Living your life by those rules will always make your successful.
Philippians 4:14 "Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction."
Paul is reminding the Philippians that it is the little things that they have done in the name of the Christ that will count. They have put forth a great effort to supply Paul when he was in Prison, and to assist in the ministry were ever he was. Paul is reminding them that after they had heard the Word of God, then it is what they have done with what knowledge they had that counts before the Lord.
When you stop and think on this matter, most of the time there is trouble between a man and his wife or two close friends, it is because one or both have not stopped to consider the little things that are important to the other. It may just a word of encouragement, or keeping that comment to yourself that can make trouble vanish.
Philippians 4:15 "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only."
Paul traveled on three different missionary journeys, and established many churches everywhere he went, however only these Philippians stood by Paul through thick and thin, while in need and in prison, the Philippians communicated and sent money to Paul to join in his missionary work. Can you start to see the concern and love that Paul had for this church, and these people. When you are in prison for teaching the Word of God, you kind of find out who your friends are.
Philippians 4:16 "For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity."
Even when I was teaching in Thessalonica, you sent your tithe to help with my needs. Paul did not forget those acts of kindness of these dear brethren in Philippi. The Philippians became part of Paul's ministry, and shared with Paul in all the trials, both the highs and the lows, and when Paul was now in jail in Rome, they sent Epaphroditus to take care of Paul's need in the ministry of the gospel. The commitment of this dear Philippian brother in the lord just about cost Epaphroditus his life, and we can see how bonded Paul was to them. They will each receive the blessings of God, and the rewards that come in eternity from their sharing in the gospel work with Paul.
Philippians 4:17 "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."
"Abound" means increase. Paul accepted their gifts not because he needed that money, but Paul knew that what they gave they sacrificed and gave from their heart. Paul knew that this was Christianity in action, because God did increase them greatly.
Philippians 4:18 "But I have all, and abound: I am full having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, and odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God."
All these gifts that Paul received, and even the help that came from Epaphroditus was given to be a sacrifice acceptable and offered to please God. Paul received the gift, but the money and help went to Paul, because God gave Paul his increase. Paul was the servant of God, and accept the gifts on behalf of his Master, or heavenly Father.
Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
This is another one of those verses you can memorize for it is a direct promise from God. My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. To memorize this verse, you must also see that there are conditions to receiving those gifts. If you have not fulfilled your part of those conditions set forth in this chapter, God will give you nothing. When you do things God's way you can expect the blessings, but when you go against God's instructions, why would God give you anything? Don't follow one verse preachers that get your hopes up with a promise, and leave out to conditions to the promise.
Paul knew the conditions that God has set forth before His blessings would go forth from Him. Then when the Philippians were meeting those conditions in their love gifts, and service, Paul was not going to let anything get in the way of stopping God's blessings to them. This is all part of God's Word, and the initiation of the gift must come from your heart, not from some money grabbing preacher. When you give as part of an emotional plea, and make a pledge to the building fund, or to feed fat bellied babies in a foreign land, then that is not a tithe, but part of a contract that must be met. It becomes a man to man contract, and not a gift to God. What is given to God must come freely from the heart, and according to His Word.
If you do it God's way, you give to where you are fed His Word from the Word of God. If the Word is not taught in your church, but some traditions and quarterly instructions from a religious headquarters, then that is not a tithe. The pastor is where the sheep feed, and when they are not fed, there is not pastor, nor obligation of tithe. Paul fed the church at Philippi, and the sheep in that church ate well from the pastor. They knew the Plan of God, and what happened in all three ages. They knew and understood who the Kenites are, and they had the ability to see a fake when he came in their midst. They understood the entire Word of God, and they followed the instructions from their pastor. Just how well are you being instructed in your church house, or is there just story telling and fairy tales being taught there by hirelings? Are you maturing in your Christian life, or are you the same as you were five, ten or even twenty years ago?
Friend, it is up to you what you do because if you expect to be blessed, stop and analyze what you are doing in your giving, and why. Are you maturing in your Christian life, or are you stagnant? the answer determines your blessings. The true man of God, that is teaching the Word, and maturing those under him will not harp on giving all the time, for he knows that his flock know how to receive the blessings, and that is giving God's Way. When the pastor is blessed the sheep are blessed also. That is why Paul was joyous in receiving every last coin that was sent him, for blessings would follow to the giver.
Once you come to understand the principle of tithing God's way, the rest is up to you. How are you doing friend? If you want His blessings then do it God's way.
Philippians 4:20 "Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
We are all looking for that day when we can be with our heavenly Father for ever and ever.
Philippians 4:21 "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you."
The brethren are all those that are set apart in election. Those that do the service, greet and appreciate each of them.
Philippians 4:22 "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household."
Think of that, Paul while in Caesar's prison had converted many of Caesar's household. They were converted, and now these Romans are concerned about this little church way out in the empire in the little town called Philippi.
Philippians 4:23 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
There we have the book of Philippians, a letter from Paul in prison in Rome, to this group of Christians in Philippi. All bound together by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and what a different picture we have of Paul in his love for these faithful Christians that maintained the gospel of Christ, and were fruitful. All of the things accomplished by this body of Christ was magnificent and a blessing to the living God.
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