by Ken Cayce

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Philippians Explained

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Book of Philippians Explained

Title: Philippians derives its name from the Greek city where the church to which it was addressed was located. Philippi was the first town in Macedonia where Paul established a church.

Authorship: The unanimous testimony of the early church was that the Apostle Paul wrote Philippines. Nothing in the letter would have motivated a forger to write it.

The question of when Philippians was written cannot be separated from that of where it was written. The traditional view is that Philippians, along with the other Prison Epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon), was written during Paul's first imprisonment at Rome (ca. A.D. 60-62). The most natural understanding of the references to the   praetorian guard¯ (1:13), and the   saints ¦ of Caesar's household¯ (4:22), is that Paul wrote from Rome, where the emperor lived. The similarities between the detail of Paul's imprisonment given in Acts and in the Prison Epistles also argue that those epistles were written from Rome (e.g., Paul was guarded by soldiers, Acts 28:16; compare 1:13-14; was permitted to receive visitors, Acts 28:30; compare 4:18; and had the opportunity to preach the gospel, Acts 28:31; compare 1:12-14; Eph. 6:18-20; Col. 4:2-4).

Background " Setting: The city of Philippi. The city was established by and named after, Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. After Octavian defeated Mark Antony's army at Actium (in 31 B.C.), Philippi was designated as a military colony with special privileges of citizenship. This may account for the terminology used (in 1:27 politeuesthe),   to conduct oneself as a citizen¯), and (3:20) (politeuma,   citizenship¯). Proud of their citizenship, its inhabitants called themselves   Romans¯ (Acts 16:21). The official language was Latin, but the daily tongue was Greek. According to (Acts 16:12), Philippi was the   chief city of that part of Macedonia.¯ Its importance lay not least in its being a crossroads lying on one of the main routes between Asia and Europe.

We will find many different things about this church at Philippi and the one in Corinth. In fact, the first church meetings here, were held in Lydia's home. Actually, Lydia and her family were the first converts to Christianity here. We will find that Paul had been instructed directly from God to go to this area, because they needed help.

There was no synagogue in this area, and the women were praying out at the river bank where they washed. They were there on the Sabbath, and Paul went there and brought them the good news of the gospel.

It seemed Lydia was very prominent in the work here in Philippi. The first man that was brought into the church here was the Philippian jailor and his family.

This city was said to be a Roman city in Greece. This made this church a Gentile church. There was not the problem with the Jews at this time, because they were not prominent in worship here. Both Latin and Greek were spoken here in Phillip. This was a poor church, but one that gave generously to help Paul. This was the only church that Paul would take help from.

In this church, we see ministry of the women more prominent than in the other churches. Paul, on one occasion, tells the church people to cooperate with the women that had ministered with him.

Historical: Since it is primarily a practical letter, Philippians contains little historical material (there are no Old Testament quotes), apart from the momentous treatment of Paul's spiritual autobiography (3:4-7). There is, likewise, little direct theological instruction, also with one momentous exception. The magnificent passage describing Christ's humiliation and exaltation (2:5-11), contains some of the most profound and crucial teaching on the Lord Jesus Christ in all the Bible. The major theme of pursuing Christlikeness, as the most defining element of spiritual growth and the one passion of Paul in his own life, is presented (in 3:12-14). In spite of Paul's imprisonment, the dominant tone of the letter is joyful (1:4, 18, 25-26; 2:2, 16-18, 28; 3:1, 3; 4:1, 4, 10).

The planting of this church on his second missionary journey, was Paul's first act on European soil. The history of his mission there is recorded in (Acts 16:12-40). His sojourn was brief but long enough for him to fall victim to abuse and punishment. The power of his ministry was demonstrated in the deliverance of a demon possessed girl, in the conversion of Lydia and her household, and in the salvation of the jailer and his family.

To this small nucleus, others were later added: Epaphroditus (2:25-30), Euodias and Syntyche (4:2), Clement, an unnamed friend, and other   fellow laborers¯ (4:3). Judging from these names the church seems to have been mostly Gentile. The assembly was organized and under the oversight of its leaders, the bishops and deacons of (1:1). The congregation at Philippi quickly became the dearest of all of the apostle's children in the faith. While Paul's relationship with some fellowships (e.g. the Corinthians and the Galatians), was at times strained. His relationship with the Philippians was apparently never marred by misunderstandings or distrust.

  From the first day until now¯ (1:5), they had shared his interests, made his suffering their own, and participated with him in his ministry. Twice they had sent him money at Thessalonica (4:16), once at Corinth (2 Cor. 11:9), and now again at Rome (4:18). Their love for him (1:9), was reciprocated in full measure (1:7-8). In the epistle he addresses them three times as   beloved¯ and calls them   brethren ¦ longed for, ¯ and   my joy and crown¯ (4:1). They are, on the whole, in good spiritual health. Their only flaw is an apparent lack of complete harmony among some of their members. Hence, Paul often summons them to unite (1:27; 2:1-4; 4:2-3). And a potential danger lies in their enemies, thus occasioning the caution of (3:1 " 4:1). Despite being under persecution (1:28), and experiencing suffering (1:29-30), they are doing well.

Theme: The basic theme of the epistle is joy. This idea of rejoicing is found 16 times, appearing in noun forms (1:4, 25; 2:2, 29; 4:1), and verb forms (1:18, twice; 2:17, twice; 2:18 twice; 2:28; 3:1; 4:4, twice; 4:10). There is ample basis for this theme throughout the letter. There is joy in suffering, for through it, God accomplishes good (1:12-14). There is joy in the sacrificial giving of oneself (2:17-18), and of one's goods (4:18), to meet the needs of others and to do God's will, thus following Jesus' example (2:4-11). There is joy in knowing Christ and experiencing His resurrection power (3:8-10). There is joy when harmony prevails among the brethren (2:4; 4:2-5). And there is joy over the adequacy of Christ (4:13, 19), which produces contentment for every circumstance of life.


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Philippians 1 Philippians 3
Philippians 2 Philippians 4

Philippians 1

Philippians Chapter 1

Philippians 1:1 ¯ Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:¯

The definite article might imply that these men thought of themselves as Christian workers par excellence, but since the Greek text does not have the definite article (the), it should be rendered   servants (literally   bondservants¯ or   Slaves¯), belonging to Christ Jesus.

  Saints¯: is a technical term referring not to the spiritual elite, but to all Christians. The word means   separated ones¯. Believers are   separated¯ in a dual sense:

(1) They are separated from all that is profane and set apart or reserved for God and His use; and

(2) Because they are separated from evil, they are morally pure and holy.

Paul has a much more personal approach to this church than to the church in Galatia, Ephesus, or the church at Corinth. For some reason, he felt more at ease and personal with these Christians than with any of the others.

All formality was dropped in this letter. This does not mean that Timothy wrote this letter, but that Timothy was in agreement. One notable variation here is that Paul included Timothy's name because Timothy was an important gospel coworker in and around Philippi and a trusted corroborating witness to the truths Paul expounded.

Notice, they have recognized their position with Jesus Christ as His servants. Paul is saying in this, that he is free of sin, but servant or slave to Christ. This denotes a willing slave who was happily and loyally linked to his master.

1 Corinthians 7:22   For he that is called in the Lord, a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise, also he that is called, free, is Christ's servant.¯

The letter is written to all saints or believers in Christ at Philippi. It seems that they had set up an order in the church of bishops and deacons at this time.   Bishops¯ (referred to as overseers), overlooked the spiritual aspect of the church as elders do today, but   deacons¯ had the job of looking to the financial needs of the church.

An overseer is a term used to emphasize the leadership responsibilities of those who are elders, who are also called pastors and bishops. These are the leaders having the spiritual oversight of a local church. Their duty is to nurture, protect and care for the flock of God.

All three terms are used in the New Testament to describe the same men. Deacons literally mean   those who serve¯, who are church officials whose responsibilities were mainly administrative in nature.

Philippians 1:2   Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.¯

  Grace ¦ peace¯: Paul's standard greeting (see note on Rom. 1:7), reminded the believers of their relationship to God.

This benediction that Paul begins with in his letters let us know beyond a shadow of doubt that this is a Pauline letter. Paul's standard greeting reminded the believers of their relationship to God.

Grace, of course, is unmerited favor. When this grace is applied by God to our lives, it brings perfect peace.

The salvation plan was from the foundation of the earth. The Father, Word, and Holy Ghost were all in on the planning from the beginning. The Word took on the form of flesh and saved us. He tore the veil in the temple from the top to the bottom and opened the way directly to the Father for us.

You might say that Jesus, with His crucified body, and shed blood, reconciled us to the Father. In fact, Jesus paid the price for us to be sons of God.

Philippians 1:3   I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,¯

  I thank my God¯: Paul's letters usually included such commendation (see note on Gal. 1:3-5).

Paul is like a loving parent to these people who came to the Lord through his ministry. He is so pleased with the results from this church that every time he thinks about it, is pleasant to him. Paul's letters usually included such commendation.

Philippians 1:4   Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,¯

The Greek word for   prayer¯ denotes a petition for or a request made on behalf of, someone else. Paul is saying that, it is no chore to pray for them. He has only pleasant thoughts of them. His heart is full of joy when he thinks of their relationship with God.

Philippians 1:5   For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;¯

Paul is thanking God for their desire to help spread the gospel. It appears that this enthusiasm for the gospel was from the very first. We will see as we go on, that Lydia insisted on Paul using her house as a place of ministry immediately after she first met Paul. At her conversion, she opened her home to Paul and his evangelistic team (Acts 16:14-15), and her home later became a church (Acts 16:40).

It is wonderful to be able to fellowship with Christian friends, but to fellowship in the gospel means that they studied of God when they were together. They shared in the Word of God and in the work of God.

Philippians 1:6   Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform until the day of Jesus Christ:¯

This is a reference to salvation itself. When God begins a work of salvation in a person, He finishes and perfects that work. Thus, the verb   will perform (meaning perfect), points to the eternal security of the Christian.

The phrase   day of Jesus Christ¯ is not to be confused with   Day of the Lord¯, which describes final divine judgment and wrath. (Isa. 13:9; Joel 1:15; 2:11; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10). Day of Christ Jesus¯ is also called the   day of Christ¯ (verse 10; 2:16). And the   day of our Lord Jesus Christ¯ (1 Col. 1:8), which looks to the final salvation, reward, and glorification of believers (1 Col. 3:10-15; 4:5; 2 Col. 5:9-10).

God works through those He has called. God will not call you to do any job that He does not equip you to do. The anointing of God on you to do a specific job is never taken away. God will not leave you half way through the job.

Romans 11:29   For the gifts and calling of God without repentance.¯

We see in this, that the call of God never goes away. If He called you to do a job, the call is still there until the day you die. He will stay with you through thick and thin and give you whatever strength you need to complete the job.

God never turns away from us. Sometimes we give up and turn away from Him. The day of Jesus Christ is the day we die, or are carried away into heaven.

We will find all through the years of work for the Lord that all He wants for us is our willingness to use the ability that He gives us to His glory.

Philippians 1:7   Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.¯

The meaning of the word   meet¯ is right.   In my heart¯ is a common biblical word used to describe the center of thought and feeling. The words   defense and confirmation¯ are two judicial terms referring either to the first phase of Paul's trial in Rome in which he defended his gospel ministry. Or in a general sense to his continual defense of the faith, which was the heart of his ministry.

Paul loved the church at Philippi. He knew that they believed as he did. He knew that God had given him grace to suffer imprisonment, and to preach the gospel in whatever circumstance he found himself.

Paul also knew that these Philippians were full of that same grace. He had every confidence in them that they would live in the grace of God as he had taught them. It was pleasant for Paul to think of them, because he knew they were sincere in their belief.

He knew that some small problem that might arise would not stop them from following the Lord Jesus. He felt their love for him and for the Lord, even while he was in chains.

Philippians 1:8   For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.¯

Bowels in Greek refers to the nobler human entrails or organs; the heart, liver and lungs. By a figure of speech one word   bowels¯ is changed for another, love, only remotely connected with it; that is, as a man's entrails are located deep within his body, so his strongest passions (e.g. love), come from deep within.

For Paul to say that he longs for the Philippians with the   bowels of Jesus Christ¯ is to say that he longs for them with the love of Christ. He is saying that only God knows how much he believes that they will stay with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Paul wanted them to do as the Scripture says.

Galatians 2:20   I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.¯

To truly be a believer in Christ, then or now, we must let Christ live in us.

Philippians 1:9   And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all judgment;¯

  In knowledge¯ is from the Greek word that describes genuine, full, or advanced knowledge. Biblical love is not an empty sentimentalism but is anchored deeply in the truth of Scripture and regulated by it.

Judgment here is speaking of discernment. The English word   aesthetic¯ comes from this Greek word, which speaks of moral perception, insight and the practical application of knowledge. Love is not blind, but perceptive and it carefully scrutinizes to distinguish between right and wrong.

Paul's prayer for them was that the more they learned of Jesus, the more they would love Him. The more any of us learn about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we love Him. We love Him more, because we understand more and more just exactly what He did for each of us.

If you really want to appreciate the great sacrifice that Jesus made for each of us, study the lessons on the sacrifices in Leviticus.

Philippians 1:10   That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;¯

  Things that are excellent¯ means   things that really matter.¯ This refers to important issues. As the Philippians' love increases in knowledge and discernment (verse 9), they will be able to accurately distinguish the vital and worthwhile things in life from those that are not.

Contextually, the readers' love for Paul vexes them as they are anxious over his imprisonment. He wants them to perceive his imprisonment as being among those   things that really matter¯, because of the good that God will bring out of it. The purpose for such discrimination is that ye may be sincere or, morally pure, and without offense till the day of Christ.

This of course, is the desire of every Christian. We must conform to God's ways, not God to our ways. The only way that we can do what this Scripture and the one following says, is to stay in the Word of God and find out what the will of God is.

Romans 12:2   And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.¯

When we study the Word of God with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will know the will of God for our lives. God wants us to have a sincere heart, and He will do the rest.

Philippians 1:11   Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.¯

This verse could be translated,   Filled with the fruit that is righteousness, which comes through Jesus Christ for the purpose of glorifying and praising God.¯

The believer who is pure and without offense before God (verse 10), has divinely developed in him a practical   righteousness¯, or daily moral life that measures up to God's standards in character and conduct. The ultimate purpose for this   righteousness¯, is to glorify God.

The fruit of righteousness here means that they will strive to live holy lives. The   fruit of righteousness¯ is what righteousness produces. That would be a holy life, without spot or wrinkle. Our righteousness is a gift from the Lord Jesus Christ. Our own righteousness without Jesus would be as filthy rags.

We must put on the righteousness of Christ to be acceptable before God. The righteousness that we are clothed with is a garment of white linen washed in the blood of Jesus. Our righteousness received from Jesus glorifies the Father.

Look with me, just how this fruit comes. Look with me and see what Jesus says about the fruit.

John 15:2   Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.¯

The   purgeth it¯ (in verse 2), is saying that God removes all thing in the believer's life what would hinder fruit bearing. I.e., He chastises to cut away sin and hindrances that would drain spiritual life just as the farmer removes anything on the branches that keep them from bearing maximum fruit.

John 15:4-5   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.¯   I am the vine, ye the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.¯

John 15:8   Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.¯

Philippians 1:12   But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;¯

Paul tells the readers that his imprisonment has occurred for the purpose of furthering or spreading the gospel. The word   rather¯ suggests that the Philippians were anticipating the reception of bad news as a result of Paul's captivity. He informs them rather to the contrary.

In His wisdom and sovereignty, God has deliberately designed His servant's present circumstances, as undesirable as they may be, for the gospel's benefit. Two positive results of Paul's imprisonment are given (in verses 13 and14);

(1) Caesar's palace learned the gospel from him (verse 13); and

(2) many Roman Christians were stirred to preach the gospel during his bondage (verse 14).

Paul reminds them here, that they are not to grieve about what happens to him. Everything that happened to him is for a reason. The reason is to further the gospel of Jesus Christ. It really seemed the greater the persecution, the more the church grew.

Paul had chosen to walk this road. The Lord had told Paul that He would show him what great things he would suffer for the gospel. Even today, it seems the church is the strongest where it is forbidden.

Philippians 1:13   So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other ;¯

This verse is better translated,   So that my imprisonment has been recognized as being because of my commitment to Christ, in all the palace and in all other places.¯ All eventually realized that Paul was no criminal, but an evangelist with a pure and blameless life. They also perceived that his incarceration was caused by no crime on his part, but because he was representing the good news of Christ's death and resurrection.

This palace has been defined as the Praetorian Guard or governor's palace. The Greek word praetorian can denote either a special building (e.g., a commander's headquarters, the emperor's palace), or the group of men in the Imperial Guard.

Because Paul was in a private house in Rome,   Praetorian Guard¯, probably refers to the members of the Imperial Guard who guarded Paul day and night.   Others¯ meaning those in the city of Rome, who met and heard Paul.

Paul was proud to be chained in the palace for Jesus. Many were convinced of the reality of Christ by Paul being so willing to suffer for Him. Many received Christ as their Savior while Paul was under arrest.

Philippians 1:14   And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.¯

Waxing confident means   depending on.¯ The whole verse could be rendered,   And the majority of the brethren, depending on the Lord, because of my imprisonment have much more courage to speak the word fearlessly.¯

The Roman believers were aroused by Paul's bonds and, relying upon the Lord for enablement, were more courageous than before to spread the gospel in and around Rome. The whole church, thus stirred, did more in spreading the Good News that Paul could have done by himself had he not been in jail.

It seemed that the strength Paul showed in chains gave the other brethren more confidence. They felt if Paul loved the Lord enough to suffer imprisonment for Him, they could too. It was as if he were the example of what all believers should be willing to go through, if necessary for Christ.

Paul's example of powerful witness to the gospel as a prisoner demonstrated God's faithfulness to His persecuted children and that their imprisonment would not halt the progress of the gospel. This encouraged others to be bold and not fear imprisonment.

Philippians Chapter 1 Questions

1. Who wrote the letter to the Philippians?

2. Approximately when was it written?

3. Where was Paul when he wrote this letter?

4. Where were the first church meetings in Philippi held?

5. Who were the first converts to Christianity in Philippi?

6. Who was the first man converted in Philippi?

7. This was said to be a _________ city in Greece.

8. Why was there not many problems from the Jews here?

9. What were the languages spoken here?

10. What was the only church that Paul would accept help from?

11. Who was with Paul when he wrote this letter?

12. What did Paul call himself in verse 1?

13. Who did he write the letter to?

14. Why was all formality dropped in this letter?

15. What was the responsibility of these bishops?

16. What is the purpose of a deacon?

17. What is the blessing spoken in verse 2?

18. Who were in on the plan of salvation?

19. When was it planned?

20. What reconciled us to the Father?

21. In verse 3, Paul is like a loving __________.

22. What is Paul thanking God for in verse 5?

23. The gifts and calling of God are without ________________.

24. Why was it pleasant for Paul to think of them?

25. What was the prayer in verse 9, that Paul prayed for them?

26. What is the   fruit of righteousness¯?

27. Did Paul's chains keep him from ministering?

28. What gave the other brethren more confidence?

Philippians Chapter 1 Continued

Verses 15-17: Contention here means   selfish ambition¯. Some of those sharing the gospel were doing so with the proper motive, but other believers were preaching for the wrong reasons. The right motivation is   love¯. Love for God, for Paul and love for unbelievers. Improper motives are   envy, strife¯ (verse 15), and selfish ambition. Some egotistical Christians were jealous of the apostle and rejoice over his imprisonment, for it gave them opportunity to be in the limelight.

  Supposing to add affliction to my bonds¯: They hoped that when Paul learned of their being the center of attention, his chains would become particularly galling to him.

Philippians 1:15   Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:¯

We find the very same thing that we have in our society today. Many, who profess to know Christ, bring a different message than the others who profess to know Christ. As long as what they are preaching is doctrinally sound, we should not worry about this.

Jesus said, those that are not against us are for us. I would rather teach that God loves you and get you to heaven, than to preach threatening you out of hell. This is just personal preference.

The attitude of Paul's detractors, who really did preach the gospel, was jealous of his apostolic power, authority, success and immense giftedness.   Strife¯ connotes contention, rivalry and conflict, which resulted when Paul's critics began discrediting him.

On the other hand, there are teachings now which border on blasphemy such as teaching that Jesus suffered in hell for our sin. This is a blatant untruth and takes away from the victory of Jesus on the cross. This is something we cannot tolerate.

I believe this is what Paul is speaking of here. Paul is saying, be sure the doctrine they are bringing is of God.

  Good will¯ speaks of satisfaction and contentment, the attitude that Paul's supporters had for him personally and for his ministry.

Philippians 1:16   The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:¯

The word   contention¯ here, means selfish ambition. It seems that these were Judaizers who were causing problems in the church. They did not agree with the good news of the gospel that Paul had brought. These were those who were interested only in self advancement, or who ruthlessly sought to get ahead at any cost.

Paul's detractors used his incarceration as an opportunity to promote their own prestige by accusing Paul of being so sinful that Lord had chastened him by imprisonment.

In the process of causing problems in the church, they are causing Paul extra problems.

Philippians 1:17   But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.¯

Paul's supporters were motivated by genuine affection for him and confidence in his virtue.   Set¯, meaning here   appointed¯, is a Greek word which describes a soldier's being placed on duty. Paul was in prison because he was destined to be there by God's will, so as to be in a strategic position to proclaim the gospel.

Paul will defend the gospel, even at the cost of his own life. Paul is teaching the love of God. The gospel is good news, not bad news. It seems so many of these other teachers were trying to put them back under the law.

They really had not shed many of their customs and practices they had before they came to Christ. They were still trying to work their way to heaven, by keeping laws and ordinances.

This was in terrible error, because Jesus either was the perfect sacrifice for all things for all time, or He was not. You could not accept Him as the fulfillment of all the sacrifices and still sacrifice. That would be a contradiction.

Philippians 1:18   What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.¯

Paul's joy was not tied to his circumstances or his critics. He was glad when the gospel was proclaimed with authority, no matter who received credit. He endured the unjust accusations without bitterness at his accusers. Rather, he rejoiced that they preached Christ, even in a pretense of godliness.

Whatever the case was, Jesus is being preached and many are believing. This could not be all bad.

1 Corinthians 1:21:   For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.¯

God can turn something bad into something really good. They are still meeting in church, and they are still speaking of Jesus. These two things together cause many to be saved. There is power in the name of Jesus.

Philippians 1:19   For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,¯

Praying for them will bring the truth. This is not speaking of Paul being saved later (in my opinion). It is saying, if they are introduced to Christ Jesus and they pray, the Lord will straighten them out as to the truth.

Here salvation is   deliverance¯, which is from the basic Greek term for salvation. But it can also be rendered   well being¯ or   escape¯, which presents four possible interpretations:

1. It refers to Paul's ultimate salvation;

2. It alludes to his deliverance from threatened execution;

3. He would finally be vindicated by the emperor's ruling; or

4. Paul is talking about his eventual release from prison.

Whatever Paul's precise meaning, he was certain he would be freed from his temporary distress.

Paul had supreme confidence in the Spirit. Those who receive the Holy Spirit will be taught of the Spirit, and that will bring them to absolute truth.

Philippians 1:20   According to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death.¯

  Earnest expectation¯ this Greek word indicates keen anticipation of the future, as when someone stretches his neck to see what lies ahead. Paul was very confident and excited about Christ's promise.

Paul not only hopes, but expects them to come to the full knowledge of Christ. Paul was bold in proclaiming Christ, and it did not matter to him whether he was alive or dead, the message would go forth.

As in many cases, it would probably be more accepted after his death. Paul would be bold in speaking of Christ, no matter what his circumstances were.

Philippians 1:21   For to me to live Christ, and to die gain.¯

Paul's life was a proclamation for Christ, and his death was a proclamation, as well. The following Scriptures say it better than I can.

Romans 8:35-39   Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?¯   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.¯   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.¯   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,¯   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.¯

Paul speaks of two desirable possibilities, living and dying. Living is attractive, since it affords possibilities to increase fruit or spiritual gain in his apostolic labors. But because dying is   gain,¯ he is unsure of which of the two he prefers.

Paul's life would glorify the Lord. His death would glorify Him even more.

Philippians 1:22 ¯ But if I live in the flesh, this the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not.¯

The word flesh here does not refer to one's fallen humanness but simply to physical life. Paul knew that the only reason to remain in this world was to bring souls to Christ and build up believers to do the same.

Paul's greatest desire was to be with the Lord in heaven, but he would not be able to bear fruit in heaven. To bear fruit for Jesus, he would have to endure the hardship in the flesh.

We can read this verse thus:   But should I continue living in the flesh, this will result in fruit (again profit), from my labor; yet which (of the two), I will prefer, I know not.¯

Philippians 1:23   For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:¯

As in a tug of war, Paul is torn between the two desirable possibilities of living and dying.   To depart¯ is a euphemism for dying. To be with Christ signifies to be forever with Christ. Of the two options, dying is far better.

Strait meaning hard pressed picturing a traveler on a narrow path, a rock wall on either side allowing him to go only straight ahead. Paul knew if he died he would have complete, conscious, intimate, unhindered fellowship with his Lord.

As we said, Paul's greatest desire was to be with Jesus in heaven. The desire of every true Christian is for the Lord Jesus to hurry His coming back for us. The rewards for Christians are in heaven, not on this earth.

Philippians 1:24   Nevertheless to abide in the flesh more needful for you.¯

Paul was needed to teach others of the love of God on this earth. Even those, who had already received Jesus as their Savior, needed Paul to continue to teach them, so that they would grow into mature Christians.

In this verse the writer turns from his own wishes to his responsibility, from what he wants to do to what he must do. While he personally yearns to be with the Lord, Paul senses it would be to the advantage of the Philippians for him to remain on earth awhile longer in order to minister to them.

Paul yielded his personal desire to be with his Lord for the necessity of the building of the church.

Philippians 1:25   And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;¯

The delay of Paul going to heaven and the delay of the return of the Lord is not because God is slack, but because He wants everyone saved, who will be saved.

2 Peter 3:9   The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.¯

The furtherance or progress pictures trail blazing so that an army can advance. Paul wanted to cut a new path for the Philippians to follow to victory; the increasing of their faith would result in the increasing of their joy.

Paul is willing to stay and continue to teach these who he started with. It is for their benefit he is staying and not for his own benefit.

Philippians 1:26   That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.¯

  Abundant ¦. In Jesus Christ¯: meaning confident. The Greek word order is   that your confidence of joy may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me.¯ The point is, as Paul lived on fruitfully, their joy and confidence would overflow because of Christ's working in him, not because of anything he himself did by his own ability.

This could be translated,   That your confidence in Christ may continue to abound because of me, by my coming again to you.¯ Paul's future ministry to the Philippians should increase their confidence in the Lord.

This may be speaking of Paul coming to them in this letter, rather than in person. Their rejoicing should be in Jesus and not in Paul.

Philippians 1:27   Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;¯

This is like a loving parent instructing their children on how they are to act. Paul is reminding them to let everything that comes from their mouth bring glory to the Christ within them.

Believers are to have integrity, i.e., to live consistent with what they believe, teach and preach. The church was to look and act as though she possessed but   one mind¯ and one way of thinking. To achieve this, the assembly must put away their many petty grievances, jealousies and disunity.

The manner in which the Philippians are to stand fast in one spirit is by their striving together for the faith. That is, by their standing up for the Christian faith. Like Paul, they too are to expend their lives for the good of the gospel. But proper conduct on their part and unity in the church are essential if they are to benefit the gospel.

  One spirit with one mind¯ introduces Paul's theme of unity that continues through (2:4). His call for genuine unity of heart and mind is based on;

(1) The necessity of oneness to win the spiritual battle for the faith;

(2) The love of others in the fellowship;

(3) Genuine humility and self sacrifice; and

(4) The example of Jesus Christ who proved that sacrifice produces eternal glory.

Paul also tells them, even though he is not with them in person, to follow his teachings and live in the Spirit. This would make him proud to have been the one who led them to the Lord.

Paul would like to hear that they are guided by the Spirit of God. He would also, like to hear that their mind is stayed on Christ.

Fellowship, one of the keys to spiritual growth, occurs when Christians share their walk with God in an atmosphere of love and respect. Fellowship occurs when everyone communicates in love with other believers, and the whole assembly becomes strengthened as a result.

Sometimes fellowship requires confessing our faults (James 5:16), as we strive to develop a unity of spirit and mind. Those who work to hinder the fellowship of the brethren practice a sin that is hated by God (Prov. 6:19).

Philippians 1:28   And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.¯

Paul is telling them to not be overwhelmed with fear of those who are against them. The enemy will say that they are not even following God, but they will be strong in their salvation. Notice in the following Scriptures, that only the true Christian understands.

1 Corinthians 1:23-25   But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;¯   But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.¯   Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.¯

When believers willingly suffer without being terrified, it is a sign that God's enemies will be destroyed and eternally lost.

One of the ways in which the readers' proper conduct benefits the gospel in (verse 27), is mentioned here: not being terrified by their adversaries. The lack of intimidation is a twofold sign:

(1) To unbelievers it is evidence of their lost condition;

(2) To believers it is an assurance of their salvation.

Philippians 1:29   For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;¯

The very highest calling for a man is that of suffering for Christ. How much do you believe? Do you believe enough that you would be willing to give your life for that belief? Salvation is a gift of God to man. The willingness to suffer for this salvation is also, a gift from God to man.

2 Timothy 2:12   If we suffer, we shall also reign with : if we deny , he also will deny us:¯

Here the work   given¯ meaning granted ¦ to suffer. The Greek verb translated   granted¯ is from the noun for grace. Believers' suffering is a gift of grace which brings power and eternal reward. (1 Peter 4:13).

  For¯ reinforces the assertion that the proof of the believers' salvation, provided through their courage in persecution, comes from God. This justification lies in the fact of the Philippians' being divinely granted the dual privilege of believing in Christ and suffering for Him. Thus, the assurance of their salvation is from God, just as is their suffering for Jesus. For the latter was the occasion providing the former.

Philippians 1:30   Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear in me.¯

Paul set a good example for those who would follow him. Paul is saying here, you know how I suffered for the furtherance of the gospel. Paul is not saying this to get sympathy from them, but that they might look to his problems and know that they too, can live through the persecutions.

  The same conflict¯: He says, you are experiencing the problems I had. Some of the recipients' persecution was of the same nature as they witnessed in Paul when he was beaten and imprisoned in Philippi 10 years earlier, and similar to what they now hear him to be currently experiencing in Rome.

  Ye saw¯: This refers to what the Philippians witnessed when Paul and Silas were imprisoned at Philippi (Acts 16:19-40). They had seen the way he had been persecuted when he was with them, and now they hear that he is in chains in Rome.

Philippians Chapter 1 Continued Questions

1. What was the difference in the way Christ was being preached?

2. What are two messages that are both doctrinally sound that are opposites in manner?

3. What is an example of a doctrine that must be stopped?

4. What was adding to the afflictions of Paul?

5. What does the word   contention¯ in verse 16, mean?

6. Paul will defend the gospel, even at the ______ of ______ ____ _____.

7. What was the problem with the message the Judaizers were bringing?

8. In verse 18, Paul is pleased about what?

9. What will bring the truth?

10. Believers in Christ are taught by whom?

11. Paul not only hopes, but ____________ them to come to the full knowledge of Christ.

12. What was Paul's greatest desire?

13. What would Paul have to do to bear fruit for Jesus?

14. Where are the rewards for Christians?

15. What was Paul needed on the earth for?

16. What should their conversation be as?

17. Who is Paul like in verse 27?

18. What is a token of perdition?

19. How much do you believe?

20. What did Paul suffer for?

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Philippians 2

Philippians Chapter 2

Philippians 2:1 "If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,"

Consolation "Encouragement": From the Greek word that means "to come alongside and help, counsel, exhort, which our beloved Lord does for His own.

Consolation of love portrays the Lord coming close and whispering words of gentle cheer or tender counsel in a believer's ear.

Fellowship of the Spirit refers to the partnership, of common eternal life, provided by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

God has extended His deep affection and compassion to every believer and that reality should result in unity.

This verse is as if he is asking them if their experience with Christ was real or not. Do you trust in Christ? Is His love real to you?

Do you fellowship with Him in your Spirit? Do you really believe in the mercy of God? Were you really baptized in the Holy Spirit?

This verse forms the basis for Paul's appeal (in verse 2): "Fulfill ye my joy." His thinking is this: Since these five benefits or virtues ("consolation", "comfort of love", "fellowship of the Spirit", "bowels, and mercies"), exist in Christ. And since you are Christians, then exercise these virtues toward one another as you contend for the gospel and face opposition.

Philippians 2:2 "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind."

Fulfill ye my joy or ("Make my joy complete"). Paul rejoiced over the Philippians but his happiness was incomplete, owing to some disunity and lack of total harmony among them. The Greek equates what to Paul? It constitutes "complete joy" with the readers being likeminded.

This means "loving in harmony" with one another. That is, the Philippians can "fulfill" the writer's joy by living in harmony among themselves. But what does such harmonious living entail? Beginning (in verse 2), and continuing through (verse 4), six participles spell out and clearly define what it means to "live in harmony":

1. Having the same love toward one believer as shown toward another, without partiality;

2. Being of one accord; that is, they are to be united in spirit;

3. Of one mind; that is, the whole church is to have the same values and goals;

4. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, for selfish ambition or conceit;

5. Let each esteem others better than themselves; that is, each is to regard his fellow Christian as more important than himself; and

6. Look ... every man also on the things of others; that is, each is to be just as concerned for the needs and problems of his brother as he is for his own affairs.

Then Paul says, if you answered yes in the verses above, conduct your life like a Christian. Agree with your Christian brothers and sisters and make me very happy. Love each other and get along. Be of one mind in the things of God. Let there be unity in your spirits.

Philippians 2:3 "[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

Selfishness is a Greek word, which is sometimes rendered "Strife", because it refers to factionalism, rivalry, and partisanship that speaks of the pride that prompts people to push for their own way.

Empty glory or conceit refers to the pursuit of personal glory, which is the motivation for selfish ambition.

Lowliness of mind was a term of derision, with the idea of being low, shabby and humble.

Esteeming others more so than yourself is the basic definition of true humility.

Pride causes problems. It seems that a good bit of jealousy was going on, and Paul speaks against that. Paul is explaining to them that Christians consider the needs of others before themselves. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Strife and vainglory cause division in the church. Paul is saying, do not be stubborn and demand your own way. Think of the needs of others first.

Philippians 2:4 "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

One of the main differences in Christian's attitude and the attitude of the world is that Christians are more thoughtful of others than the world. A Christian desires success for his Christian brothers and sisters, as well as his own success.

Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"

If we have taken on the mind of Christ, then our thoughts would be the same thoughts He would have about the same thing. He was unselfish and thoughtful of others. If we desire to be Christ like, then we will be unselfish and thoughtful of others.

Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.

Philippians 2:6 "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"

Jesus was in the beginning with God, but His name, in heaven before he came to earth, was the Word of God. It was not robbery, because He was God the Word.

Paul affirms that Jesus eternally has been God. The usual Greek work for "existed" or "being" is not used here. Instead, Paul chose another term that stresses the essence of a person's nature, his continuous state or condition.

Paul also could have chosen one of two Greek words for "form," but he chose the one that specifically denotes the essential, unchanging character of something, what it is in and of itself. The fundamental doctrine of Christ's deity has always encompassed these crucial characteristics.

"Equal with God": The Greek word for "equality" defines things that are exactly the same in size, quantity, quality, character and number. In every sense, Jesus is equal to God and constantly claimed to be so during His earthly ministry.

1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

This next Scripture really settles it.

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

When the Word of God came to the earth, He took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He was "Immanuel", God with us. He had the flesh of man so that He could be tempted and suffer as we do in the flesh.

The Spirit within the flesh was God the Word.

Philippians 2:7 "But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"

The NASE says He "emptied Himself. From the Greek word comes the theological word "kenosis"; i.e., the doctrine of Christ's self emptying in His incarnation. This was a self renunciation, not an emptying Himself of deity nor an exchange of deity for humanity.

Jesus did, however, renounce or set aside His privileges in several areas:

1. Heavenly glory, while on earth He gave up the glory of a face to face relationship with God and the continuous outward display and personal enjoyment of that glory;

2. Independent authority, during His incarnation Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of His Father;

3. Divine prerogatives, He set aside the voluntary display of His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit's direction;

4. Eternal richness, while on earth Christ was poor and owned very little; and

5. A favorable relationship with God. He felt the Father's wrath for human sin while on the cross.

Jesus left His title (Word of God), in heaven and took on the lowly flesh of man. He came to this earth in the form of man to rescue mankind from their sin. Since the problem was in the flesh of mankind, Jesus took on flesh. His flesh was in the likeness of man, so that He could defeat Satan as a man. In heaven, He was worshipped.

He left that to save His creation. He became a lowly servant to mankind. He had no reputation as Jesus on the earth. His glory was in heaven as the Word of God.

Christ became more than God in a human body, but He took on all the essential attributes of humanity, even to the extent that He identified with basic human needs and weaknesses. He became the God-Man: fully God and fully man.

Philippians 2:8 "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Christ's humanity is described from the viewpoint of those who saw Him. Paul is implying that although He outwardly looked like a man, there was much more to Him (His deity), than many people recognized naturally.

After the humbling of incarnation, Jesus further humbled Himself in that He did not demand normal human rights, but subjected Himself to persecution and suffering at the hands of unbelievers.

Beyond even persecution, Jesus went to the lowest point or furthest extent in His humiliation in dying as a criminal, following God's plan for Him. Even further humiliation was His because Jesus' death was not by ordinary means, but was accomplished by crucifixion, the cruelest, most excruciating, most degrading form of death ever devised. The Jews hated this manner of execution.

He wanted to taste every aspect of the suffering on the cross for you and me. Him being fashioned as a man, He suffered pain as you and I would. Notice, in the Garden of Gethsemane, He said, my Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak."

He humbled Himself and did the will of the Father. One must die for the sins of the people. This had to be to free mankind from sin. Notice also, that all of this was the will of Jesus, (humbled Himself).

Philippians 2:9 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"

This in a sense, is speaking of God the Father exalting Him. Whether this name spoken of here is the unspeakable name in heaven, or not, we do not know. We do know that on the earth this name is Jesus which means Jehovah Savior.

He was exalted, because he had been humbled. He had been exalted ruler in heaven, before He came to earth. This just puts Him in the exalted position He had held in heaven from the beginning.

Christ's exaltation was fourfold. The early sermons of the apostles affirm His resurrection and coronation (His position at the right hand of God), and allude to His intercession for believers. He did not concern Christ's nature or eternal place within the Trinity, but His new identity as the God-Man meant God gave Him privileges He did not have prior to the Incarnation.

If He had not lived among men, He could not have identified with them as the interceding High Priest. Had He not died on the cross, He could not have been elevated from that lowest degree back to heaven as the substitute for sin.

Name: Christ's new name which further describes His essential nature and places Him above and beyond all comparison is "Lord". This name is the New Testament synonym for Old Testament descriptions of God as sovereign ruler. Both before and after the exaltation, Scripture affirms that this was Jesus' rightful title as the God-Man.

Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"

Jesus was the name bestowed at His birth, not His new name. The name for Jesus given in the fullest sense after His exaltation was "Lord".

The entire intelligent universe is called to worship Jesus Christ as Lord. This mandate includes the angels in heaven, the spirits of the redeemed, obedient believers on earth, the disobedient rebels on earth, demons and lost humanity in hell.

This now is speaking of His creation, whether in heaven, earth, or under the earth. Creator God deserves all praise. We should praise Him that we are recreated in Him at our new birth. We do know that all prayers made to the Father must be spoken in the name of Jesus to receive entrance to the throne of God.

We do know that He has given believers on the earth the power of attorney to use the name of Jesus. We do know that miracles occur in the name of Jesus. There is great power in the name of Jesus. Look with me, at some of the other names this Jesus is called by.

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

My own belief is that the name (Jesus), encompasses all these names.

Philippians 2:11 "And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

The word for "confess" means "to acknowledge", "affirm" or "agree", which is what everyone will eventually do in response to Christ's lordship. Willingly and blessedly or unwillingly and painfully.

"Jesus Christ is Lord" means that we recognize Him as our Savior (Jesus), we recognize Him as Messiah, the Anointed One (Christ), and that we have turned our will over to His will and call Him Lord. Every tongue means all that have the gift of speech. It also, means everyone who has the breath of life.

"Lord" primarily refers to the right to rule, and in the New Testament it denotes mastery over or ownership of people and property. When applied to Jesus, it certainly implies His deity, but it mainly refers to sovereign authority.

For every tongue to confess would bring glory to the Father.

John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

The glory of Jesus was the glory of His Father in Him. When we glorify Jesus, we are also glorifying the Father. Even earthly fathers are glorified in their sons.

Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

"Obeyed" is their faithful response to the divine commands Paul had taught them.

"Work out your own salvation": The Greek word rendered "work out" means "to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion." It cannot refer to salvation by works, but it does refer to the believer's responsibility for active pursuit of obedience in the process of sanctification.

"Fear and trembling", is the attitude with which Christians are to pursue their sanctification. It involves a healthy fear of offending God and a righteous awe and respect for Him.

God has no grandchildren, only children. Salvation in Jesus is a very personal thing. Each person has to receive Jesus for himself. Paul is explaining to them that they are responsible to God for themselves. Do you act more Christ like around your preacher than you do when you are alone?

Go back and ask God into your heart, if your answer was yes. Your preacher can only save himself. You are responsible for your own soul. He can tell you about Jesus and help you find Him, but you must accept Him for yourself.

You must decide what you are going to do with Jesus. You have heard about Jesus, now it is up to you whether you accept Him and Life, or reject Him and go to hell.

Philippians 2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure."

Although the believer is responsible to work out his own salvation (verse 12), the Lord actually produces the good works and spiritual fruit in the lives of believers. This is accomplished because He works though us by His indwelling Spirit.

God energizes both the believer's desires and his actions. The Greek word for "will", indicates that He is not focusing on mere desires or whimsical emotions but on the studied intent to fulfill a planned purpose. God's power makes His church willing to live godly lives.

"Good pleasure" means that God wants Christians to do what satisfies Him.

God dwells in the heart of the believer. When He has taken up residence in you, then your heart directs your actions. You do the will of God even when you are alone, because Christ in you is the hope of glory.

Ephesians 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,"

Colossians 1:27 "To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"

Philippians Chapter 2 Questions

1. What is this as if Paul is saying?

2. What could they do that would make Paul happy?

3. Let nothing be done through __________ or _____ _______.

4. What do Christians consider before their own needs?

5. What is verse 4 saying to us?

6. What kind of mind should a Christian have?

7. What was Jesus' name in heaven, before He came to the earth?

8. What does "Immanuel" mean?

9. Why did He take on the flesh of man?

10. Verse 7 says, He took upon Him the form of a _________.

11. What was His title in heaven?

12. How was Jesus in the likeness of man?

13. Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient unto _______.

14. What is the full meaning of Jesus?

15. How do we know that all of this was the will of Jesus, too?

16. At the name of Jesus ________ knee shall bow.

17. Prayers to the Father must be asked in ________ name.

18. What has Jesus given the Christian power of attorney to do?

19. What are some of the names He is called by in Isaiah 9:6?

20. What is every tongue to confess?

21. Who will that glorify?

22. What does the name Jesus Christ Lord tell us about our relationship to Him?

23. God has no ________________, only children.

24. ______ _______ has to receive Jesus for himself.

25. Who is responsible for your soul?

Philippians Chapter 2 Continued

Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings:"

Murmurings is much like muttering or grumbling in a low tone of voice. It is an emotional rejection of God's providence, will and circumstances for one's life. The word for "disputing" is more intellectual and here means "questionings", or "criticisms" directed negatively toward God.

Since God is producing in the Philippians the willing and doing of His good and perfect will (in verse 13), there can be no legitimate reason for murmurings and disputings. Not only are they forbidden to complain about the difficulties and persecutions that will befall them in carrying out God's good pleasure, but quarreling among themselves is also prohibited.

We found in the last lesson that a person's salvation is his own responsibility to obtain. Now, we see that we are not to murmur and dispute others.

One of the things that had God angry at the children of Israel coming from Egypt to the Promised Land was their constant murmuring. The murmurings here, could also mean doubting. If we are to do all things, we should do them gladly and not complain.

Philippians 2:15 "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"

This introduces the reasons believers should have the right attitude in pursuing godliness. This indicates a process in which they are to be growing toward something they do not yet fully possess as children of God.

If the readers obey the commands of (verses 12-14), they will be (become) blameless, (i.e., no finger of accusation can justly be pointed at them), and harmless (i.e., morally pure).

"Blameless" describes a life that cannot be criticized because of sin or evil.

The world around them was evil to the utmost. They must let the Light of Jesus shine forth in this very darkened place. That is really what missionaries do. They go to places where it is spiritually very dark, and they shine the Light of Jesus to do away with the darkness.

Notice the fact that they are sons of God. The son will do the will of the Father knowing full well that the Father's work is his work also. We followers of Jesus are not completely blameless and harmless, but are working toward becoming that.

At least, the desire of our heart is to be blameless and harmless.

"Crooked and perverse nation": "Crooked" is the word from which the English "scoliosis" (curvature of the spinal column), comes. It describes something that is deviated from the standard, which is true of all who stray from God's path.

"Perverse" intensifies this meaning by referring to a person who has strayed so far off the path that his deviation is severely twisted and distorted. Paul applies this condition to the sinful world system.

"Shine as Lights" is a metaphorical reference to spiritual character. Believers must show their character in the midst of a dark culture, as the sun, moon, and stars shine in an otherwise dark sky.

Philippians 2:16 "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."

"Holding forth" here refers to believers' holding out or offering something for others to take. As a healthy church, the Philippian assembly is to "offer" the word of life.

"The Word of Life" is the Bible and is also, the Lord Jesus. The gospel when believed, produces spiritual and eternal life.

Many other places in Paul's writings this "day of Christ", is spoken of as day of the Lord. Paul wants to believe that all of the people he led to the Lord would stay in Christianity, until the return of the Lord.

Paul wants to feel that his life has caused someone to believe. Each of us wants to believe that his life has been some benefit to the work of God.

"That I have not run in vain": Paul wanted to look back on his ministry and see that all his efforts were worthwhile. Their godly behavior and fruitful witness will demonstrate on Judgment Day that Paul's ministry in Philippi was effective.

Philippians 2:17 "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all."

It seems as though Paul believes he will be martyred for the work of the Lord. He is saying this would be a pleasure for him, and not a defeat.

Some connect this with Paul's future martyrdom, but the verb is in the present tense, which means he is referring to his sacrificial ministry among the Philippians.

Notice the statement, "your faith". He believes even the giving of his life for the sake of the gospel is for the benefit of those he had ministered to.

Another bible version states this scripture as: "But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all."

"Drink offering": This refers to the topping off of an ancient animal sacrifice. The offerer poured wine either in front of or on top of the burning animal and the wine would be vaporized. That steam symbolized the rising of the offering to the deity for whom the sacrifice was made. Paul viewed his entire life as a drink offering, and here it was poured on the Philippians' sacrificial service.

"Service of your faith": "Service" comes from a word that refers to sacred, priestly service and was so used in the Greek Old Testament. Paul sees the Philippians as priests who were offering their lives sacrificially and faithfully in service to God.

Philippians 2:18 "For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me."

As Paul rejoices over his ministry, so they must do the same over theirs, demanding and sacrificial though it may be. And the Philippians must also rejoice, as Paul does over his ministry, though it involves imprisonment and probable martyrdom. How can Paul rejoice over premature death in the Lord's work? Because "to die is gain" (1:21).

Paul wants them to share in his joy, even if he is martyred.

In (verses 19-23), Paul tells the Philippians of his plans to send Timothy to Philippi, to set him forth as a model spiritual servant.

Philippians 2:19 "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state."

The main thing for us to see in this is that even though Paul wanted to send Timothy, the Lord Jesus was really the one that had to send Timothy. If Paul sent Timothy without the approval of the Lord, the trip would be a failure.

In (Phil. 1:1), we saw that Timothy was an important gospel coworker in and around Philippi and a trusted corroborating witness to the truths Paul expounded.

Paul knows that Timothy would minister the same things he would minister, if he were there. Paul trained Timothy, and he was an extension of Paul. When Paul knows that Timothy is ministering to them, he will be pleased, because he will feel they are being taught the truth.

"When I know your state": Condition.

In (verses 20 & 21), Paul states that "I have no man likeminded". Literally meaning "one souled". Timothy was one in thought, feeling, and spirit with Paul in love for the church. He was unique in being Paul's protégé. Paul had no other like Timothy because, sadly, "all" the others were devoted to their own purposes rather that Christ's.

Philippians 2:20 "For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state."

Likeminded: Paul has no one else like Timothy who possesses the mental framework and spiritual disposition so much in keeping with Paul's own.

Paul was so sure of Timothy, that he called him his own son in the faith. Timothy was trained totally by Paul. He thought the same way as Paul, because he was trained by Paul. There was no one else Paul could send who was like this. Timothy cared for these people, primarily, because Paul loved them.

Philippians 2:21 "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."

The dedication, even unto death, that Paul had for Jesus Christ was not shared by many of the Christians. Paul is saying above, they are more concerned with their own needs than the needs of others.

It seems from what Paul says here, that many were in the ministry for the wrong reasons.

"All seek their own": Paul must dispatch his right-hand man Timothy to Philippi because none of the Roman Christians are willing to undertake the mission. They all pursue their own interests, not Christ's. Despite their zealous witness in and around Rome, they refuse to venture further afield for the Lord's work.

Philippians 2:22 "But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel."

The proof of him is better said, "his proven character."

Paul is saying that his relationship with Timothy was as a son with a father. These people were already aware of the relationship that Paul had with Timothy. This serving was almost as a slave. At least, it was as a loving son to a father.

Philippians 2:23 "Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me."

Since Paul could not come at this time, the next best thing was to send Timothy. Paul would send Timothy to Philippi with news of his verdict as soon as he learns of it.

Paul really would not ever be able to go to Philippi again. He would end his days here in Rome.

Philippians 2:24 "But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly."

Paul loved this church at Philippi, and it was the desire of his heart that he would be able to go there personally. We can never overrule the will of God in these matters. Paul knew that whatever the Lord had planned for him would be what he would do.

Verses 25-30: These passages take a compelling look at love and unity among believers. All the parties show selfless affection for each other.

Philippians 2:25 "Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants."

It seemed that Paul had decided to wait a while to send Timothy and sends Epaphroditus in his stead. Perhaps, he even took the letter with him to these Philippians. The verse above is like a recommendation.

Paul wanted to send Timothy (verse 23), and come himself (verse 24), but found it necessary to send this man. A native Philippian of who, outside this passage, little is known.

His name was a common Greek one, taken from a familiar word that originally meant "favorite of Aphrodite" (Greek goddess of love). Later the name came to mean "lovely" or "loving." He was sent to Paul with gifts and was to remain and serve Paul as he could (verse 30).

The word "messenger" comes from the same word that yields the English "apostle." He was not an apostle of Christ, but an apostle (sent one), in the broader sense that he was an apostle of the church in Philippi, sent to Paul with their monetary love gift. Paul's sending him back to the church with this letter needed an explanation, lest they think Epaphroditus had not served Paul well.

The word "messenger" makes me believe he carried the letter. It seems as if he had taken care of Paul's needs while Paul was under house arrest. Epaphroditus was Paul's brother in the sense that all Christians are brothers, not that he was his physical brother.

Philippians 2:26 "For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick."

Heaviness, (meaning distressed), is a Greek term which describes the confused, chaotic, heavy state of restlessness that results from a time of turmoil or great trauma.

Epaphroditus was more concerned about the Philippians' worry for him then he was about his own difficult situation.

This illness seemed to be something of the nature of being heart sick and weary, possibly, because of the fact that Paul was under arrest. Notice, he longed after you all. It appears that his love, as Paul's, was to minister in the church at Philippi.

Many believe he might have been the head of the church there, but there is no Biblical proof of that. Some illness is caused from exhaustion and being homesick. This could have been the problem here, we do not know.

Whether this illness was emotional or physical, we cannot say, but we will see in the next verse, that it was a very serious illness.

Philippians 2:27 "For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow."

Perhaps by the time he had gotten to Rome, he had become seriously ill, but now was recovered enough to go back home to labor with the church, who needed him more that Paul did.

We see from this verse, that God healed him. Paul is explaining how hard it would have been on him, if Epaphroditus had died.

"Sorrow upon sorrow" means that if Epaphroditus had died, that would have added further sorrow to the apostle's already present sorrow of imprisonment.

Philippians 2:28 "I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful."

Paul had a great burden for all the people in the churches, and he was concerned here because the Philippians were so distressed about Epaphroditus.

This in itself, makes you believe that part of his sickness was depression over being homesick, and over seeing Paul daily in chains. It will even make Paul feel better to know that his friend is feeling better.

"That I may be the less sorrowful": means that the burden of Paul's own detainment and possible death remains. But the Philippians' joy over the return of Epaphroditus will lessen the apostle's grief.

Philippians 2:29 "Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:"

"Receive him ... in the Lord": Means that the Philippians are to welcome Epaphroditus home from Rome with a heartfelt Christian reception. Hold such in reputation is an imperative to the readers to hold in high esteem such Christian servants as Epaphroditus who are selfless in concern for others and who willingly risk their lives in serving the Lord.

"To hold him in reputation" would mean that they were to show him great respect. The Philippians would rather have seen Paul, but Paul is saying, don't let that show when you receive him. Receive him with joy. Men like him are worthy of honor.

Philippians 2:30 "Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me."

Nigh unto death refers to the same thing mentioned as sickness.

We see from this that Epaphroditus' illness was brought on by overwork. His concern for Paul had been greater than his concern for himself. Possibly, he had done without necessities for himself to give them to Paul, because of the statement (to supply your lack of service to me).

Not regarding his life is better said, "Risking his life." In ministering to Paul in Rome, Epaphroditus became so ill that he almost died. The reason he thus "risked his life", was in order to supply your lack of service toward me. That is, to make up for the Philippians' inability to aid Paul due to their being many miles from him.

Philippians Chapter 2 Continued Questions

1. Do all things without ________________ and _______________.

2. A person's salvation is _________ _____ responsibility.

3. Where is an example in the Bible, when God was angry at the people for their murmuring?

4. How are Christians to be in the midst of a perverse world?

5. Missionaries really do what?

6. We Christians are not completely blameless and harmless, but are __________ __________ ______________ _______.

7. What is the "Word of life"?

8. What is another way to say "day of Christ"?

9. What do we find in verse 17 that Paul believed about himself?

10. Who does Paul believe would be benefited, if he were martyred?

11. If he is martyred, Paul wants them to ___ _______ _____ _________.

12. Even though Paul wanted Timothy to go, who had to send Timothy?

13. Why did Paul want Timothy to go to Philippi?

14. What is Paul speaking of, when he says Timothy is likeminded?

15. Verse 21 says, for all seek their _____.

16. What was the relationship with Paul and Timothy?

17. Serving Paul, as Timothy did, was almost as a _________.

18. Since Paul could not come to them, what was the next best thing to do?

19. Paul loved this church at Philippi and desired what in his heart?

20. Who did Paul send immediately to Philippi?

21. How does Paul describe him?

22. What does the word "messenger" cause the author to believe?

23. Verse 26 is probably speaking of what type of illness?

24. How sick was he?

25. What does verse 28 make you believe about his illness?

26. What does the statement, "hold such in reputation", mean?

27. Why was he nigh unto death?

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Philippians 3

Philippians Chapter 3

Philippians 3:1 "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed [is] not grievous, but for you [it is] safe."

The word, "finally" here, indicates that this is summing up the things he had said to them in the last chapter. This is a translation point, not a conclusion, since 44 verses remain in this book.

He sent Epaphroditus, and wanted to send Timothy to them to keep them instructed in the ways he had started them in. He is saying this letter of instruction is not hard to write, because he loves them and they know that he loves them.

Anything he would say, would be well received, because they know what he would say would be in the way of instruction, not to criticize them, but to help them.

This has been Paul's familiar theme throughout the epistle which has already been heard (in chapters 1 and 2). Now he adds, rejoice in the Lord which is the first time he has added this, signifying the sphere in which the believers joy exists. A sphere unrelated to the circumstances of life, but related to an unassailable, unchanging relationship to the sovereign Lord.

"The same things": What he is about to teach them in the verses that follow, he had previously given them instruction in, regarding their opponents. "It is safe" is a warning to protect the Philippians from succumbing to the false teachers.

Philippians 3:2 "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."

"Dogs" is not speaking of an animal, but of the lost Gentile world. During the first century, dogs roamed the streets and were essentially wild scavengers. Because dogs were such filthy animals, the Jews loved to refer to Gentiles as dogs. Yet here Paul refers to Jews, specifically the Judaizers, as dogs to describe their sinful, vicious and uncontrolled character.

"Evil Workers": The Judaizers prided themselves on being workers of righteousness. Yet Paul described their works as evil, since any attempt to please God by one's own efforts and draw attention away from Christ's accomplished redemption is the worst kind of wickedness.

"Concision": The apostle refuses to call Judaizers "the circumcision." The very expression applied (in verse 3), to genuine Christians. Instead he calls them "the concision," meaning, those who mutilate or cut the flesh.

Judaizers mutilated the flesh by imposing circumcision on their converts, believing the ritual to be necessary for salvation. But the true "circumcision" consists of those circumcised of the heart, not of the body, recognizing the ritual to have been abrogated by Christ. Circumcision of the body no longer had spiritual value and significance.

The main thing that Paul is warning them against in these things is the Judaizers who were trying to put them back under the law. They appear in the natural to be believers in Christ, when, in fact, they have not given up Judaism.

Paul is saying; do not get back into the flesh religion. Christianity is of the spirit, not the flesh.

Philippians 3:3 "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."

"Worship God in the spirit": The first characteristic Paul uses to define a true believer. The Greek word for "worship" means to render respectful spiritual service. The word "Spirit" should have a small "s," to indicate the inner person.

The circumcision or true people of God are described here in three ways:

(1) They are those who worship God in the spirit. Their worship of God is prompted, directed and enabled by the Holy Spirit.

(2) Real Christians also rejoice in Christ. They boast and take pride in Him, not in themselves.

(3) They have no confidence in the flesh. "Flesh" here means one's earthly privileges, human attainments and religious accomplishments. God's people refuse to depend on such things for their salvation; instead, they rely upon Christ to obtain favor with God.

The circumcision of Christians is of the heart. This circumcision is not of the flesh, but the cutting away of the lust of the flesh from around the heart. God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The true people of God do not possess merely a symbol of the need for a clean heart; they actually have been cleansed of sin by God. Flesh religion is pertaining to the ordinances of the law.

Jesus fulfilled the law completely, when He gave His body and blood on the cross in full payment. We are no longer under the law. Christians are living in the grace of God. Christ in us is our hope of glory.

The Greek word for glory means to boast with exultant joy. The true Christian gives all the credit for all that he is to Christ. The only rejoicing a Christian has is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"No confidence in the flesh": By flesh Paul is referring to man's unredeemed humanness, his own ability and achievements apart from God. The Jews placed their confidence in being circumcised, being descendants of Abraham, and performing the external ceremonies and duties of the Mosaic Law, things that could not save them.

The true believer views his flesh as sinful, without any capacity to merit salvation or please God.

Verses 4-7 To counteract the Judaizers' claim that certain ceremonies and rituals of Judaism were necessary for salvation, Paul described his own lofty attainments as a Jew, which were greater that those his opponents could claim, but were of no benefit for salvation.

Philippians 3:4 "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:"

Paul had been a man of the law. He had been a Pharisee of the Pharisees. He had confidence in the fact that he had been circumcised the eighth day, and had lived by the Law of Moses. God brought a greater than Moses, when He brought His only Son to bring us grace from the law.

"Any other man" refers to Paul's religious opponent, the Judaizer. Having just stated that Christians do not confide in human merit and religious achievements (verse 3), the apostle now shows that as far as one might do this, he himself could but does not. Paul draws back the curtain on his past Jewish life, lists his religious credentials, places himself on the Judaizers' ground. And adopting their language, speaks of himself as having that very thing, the flesh, or human and religious merit, which he in fact has rejected.

He does this for two reasons:

(1) to prevent his adversaries from alleging that his refusal to trust in religious credentials and accomplishments is due to his lack of them; and

(2) to refute the Judaizers' doctrine of there being any saving value in such human achievements.

The law is not done away with, just fulfilled. Paul is saying here, if the flesh could save you, I would have been saved by the flesh. He learned better on the road to Damascus.

Galatians 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

Hebrews 10:1 "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."

The law was fulfilled in Jesus' crucifixion.

Philippians 3:5 "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;"

Paul is telling them that he had been more of a Jew than any of them, but he realized that was not the way to salvation. All of the things Paul said (in verse 5), were true, but that was still not the way to heaven.

"On the eighth day". Paul was circumcised on the prescribed day of which was on the 8 th day.

"Of Israel": All true Jews were direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Paul's Jewish heritage was pure.

"Of the tribe of Benjamin: Benjamin was the second son of Rachel and one of the elite tribes of Israel, who along with Judah, remained loyal to the Davidic dynasty and formed the southern kingdom.

"Hebrew of Hebrews": Paul was born to a Hebrew parent his mother was Jewish and his father Roman, and maintained the Hebrew tradition and language, even while living in a pagan city.

"A Pharisee" The legalistic fundamentalists of Judaism, whose zeal to apply the Old Testament Scriptures directly to life, led to a complex system of tradition and works righteousness. Paul may have come from a line of Pharisees.

Philippians 3:6 "Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."

"Zeal, persecuting the church": To the Jew, "zeal" was the highest single virtue of religion. It combines love and hate; because Paul loved Judaism, he hated whatever might threaten it.

Paul had kept the very letter of the Mosaic Law. He thought he was doing God a favor when he persecuted the Christians. Paul was so sincere in what he was doing, that Jesus appeared to Paul in a very bright Light, so that Paul would believe Him.

"The righteousness which is in the Law": The standard of righteous living advocated by God's law. Paul outwardly kept this, so that no one could accuse him of violation. Obviously, his heart was sinful and self-righteous. He was an Old Testament believer, but a proud and lost legalist.

But then Paul believed and changed completely. Now he is saying, that these who were promoting Judaism must change too, if they desire to be saved. The old way is not the true way to God.

Philippians 3:7 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ."

The word for "gain" in the Greek, is an accounting term meaning profit. The Greek word for "loss" also is an accounting term, used to describe a business loss. Paul used the language of business to describe the spiritual transaction that occurred when Christ redeemed him.

All his Jewish religious credentials that he thought were in his profit column, were worthless and damning. Thus, he put them in his loss column when he saw the glories of Christ.

Paul is saying, that he gave all of his position and former beliefs up to follow Christ. At one time, Paul had thought all of those things to be important, but now he has learned a better way.

Philippians 3:8 "Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,"

Paul was willing to turn his back on all the things he had been taught as a youth. He did not count anything in this world valuable enough to keep him from Christ. The Light of the world had shined in the heart of Paul, and he would never be the same again. Things of this world meant absolutely nothing to Paul, in comparison with Christ.

Paul had expanded his seven credentials listed (in verses 5 & 6), which were actually detriments or liabilities. Trusting in all these religious privileges and human attainments for salvation had not brought him closer to God, but farther away from Him.

Not only does Paul view those now as loss, but expanding on this idea he also regards all things, (i.e., any such human works and religious attainments on which one might depend to secure a place in heaven), as dung or excrement. As one rids himself of his body waste, so did the apostle rid himself of his "gains" upon realizing that they cut him off from God.

"I have suffered the loss", or I have forfeited, meaning Paul willingly renounced all his earthly advantages and Jewish privileges as a means of attaining salvation.

"That I may win Christ", that is, divine righteousness is imputed to the repentant sinner through his believing in Christ and depending on Him alone and not on his good works for salvation. One cannot be saved if he confides in his own efforts and accomplishments; these must be renounced before he can believe in Christ as Savior.

The greatest possession any person can have is Jesus Christ. Paul appreciated the greatness of being allowed to know Jesus Christ in reality.

Philippians 3:9 "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"

Until Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he depended on his keeping the law to make him righteous before God. When the great Light of Jesus Christ shined on Paul, it made him see more clearly that he would never be righteous enough in himself to please God. Paul received the righteousness of Christ as a free gift.

Paul originally had a proud self-righteousness of external morality, religious ritual and ceremony, and good works. It is the righteousness produced by the flesh, which cannot save from sin.

Paul now was "In Christ". His union with Christ was possible only because God imputed Christ's righteousness to him so that it was reckoned by God as his own.

Faith is the confident, continuous confession of total dependence on and trust in Jesus Christ for the necessary requirement to enter God's kingdom. And that requirement is the righteousness of Christ, which God imputes to every believer.

The righteousness of Christ, through the washing in the blood of Jesus Christ, is the only righteousness that will put us in right standing with the Father God. Jesus took our sin and clothed us in His righteousness, if we are truly Christians.

Philippians 3:10 "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"

This verse may also be paraphrased: "in order that I may personally know Him, that I might both experience His resurrection power and share in His sufferings, and thus I will be more and more conformed to His death."

Paul wants "the righteousness of God" (verse 9), so that he can obtain a personal relationship with Jesus in actual day to day experience. This knowledge of Christ is obtained by experiencing in daily problems, needs, ministry and so forth, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Knowing Christ also entails participating in His sufferings.

Paul desires to share in the Lord's sufferings because they bring him into a deeper and more meaningful relation with Him, companionship in sorrow establishes the most intimate and lasting of ties, as afflicted hearts cling to each other.

The result of participating in Christ's sufferings is that Paul is being made like Him in death. This word "death" has double meaning here, including inward and outward, ethical and physical death.

As Jesus died in regard to sin on the cross, so Paul is doing more and more in his daily life. As Jesus was bodily slain, so the apostle, should Caesar's verdict go against him, is prepared to be slain.

The eyes of his understanding had been opened, and he could see clearly the Lord Jesus Christ. To know Him is to believe in Him. The following Scriptures are how we must know Him.

Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

With His blood, He has saved us and with His power He has raised us. Because Jesus rose from the grave, we will rise, if we believe.

Very few know the fellowship of His suffering. Paul thought it a privilege to suffer for Christ. To be able to share in His resurrection, we must share in His death. The flesh must die for the Spirit to live. Jesus is the Quickening Spirit, which makes all believers alive.

Philippians 3:11 "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."

Paul is humbly stating that his hope, as the hope of all believers, is the resurrection. Because Jesus lives, we shall live also.

Reflecting his humility, he didn't care how God brought it to pass, but longed for death and for the fulfillment of his salvation in his resurrection body.

"The resurrection of the dead": Literally "the resurrection out from the corpses." This is a reference to the resurrection which accompanies the rapture of the church.

In (verses 12-14), Paul uses the analogy of a runner to describe the Christian's spiritual growth. The believer has not reached his goal of Christlikeness, but like the runner in a race, he must continue to pursue it. That this is the goal for every believer is also clear from (Roman 8:29, 2 Thess. 2:13-14 and 1 John 3:2).

Philippians 3:12 "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Paul denies that he has already attained his objective of (verses 10-11). That objective is to know Christ and all that is included in the knowledge, that is, experiencing His power, sharing His sufferings, being made like Jesus in death, and experiencing resurrection from the dead. At this point in his life, the apostle does know Christ, but not to the full extent possible. He has experienced His power, but not to the degree he desires.

He has been made like Jesus in His death, but he can die still more to sin and self. He does "walk in newness of life," but there is room for improvement.

Either we're already perfect: Unlike the perfectionists who claim to be sinless in this life, Paul admits that he is not. If the chief of the apostles does not feel he has "arrived" spiritually, then neither should we.

I follow after .... Christ Jesus: Christ "laid hold of" Paul on the Damascus road for the very objective mentioned (in verses 10 and 11): to "know him". Paul concedes that he has not yet realized this goal to the full extent possible, but he is in hot pursuit of it.

Paul now realizes, that by his own efforts, he could not reach heaven. Everlasting life is a gift bestowed on all who believe.

We see in the next Scripture what Paul is attempting to do.

2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen."

Philippians 3:13 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,"

"Those things which are behind", refers both to his religious credentials (verses 5-6), now counted as "loss" (verse 7), and to his past Christian achievements and successes. In ever pursuing his goal to know Christ (verse 10), he refuses to let past guilt pull him down or to rest on past laurels. Either could spell spiritual disaster.

"Those things which are before", refers to his goal of knowing Christ, with all that implies. experiencing His power and participating in His suffering, becoming more like Him in death (verse 10), and experiencing the resurrected life (verse 11).

Paul was like many of us. When he looked back to what he had done against the Christians, and in turn against Christ, it was a great sorrow to him. He had to forget about the past and do all he could do that was good in the future. Not any of us can change the past. It is useless to look back, unless we use it as a lesson.

Start with this day and live for Jesus. We can look forward and try to do all we can that it is good. The Lord Jesus wiped the slate clean, when He forgave us of all of our sins. It is as if that part of our life never happened. We become a new creature in Christ.

Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

Philippians 3:14 "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

The mark is the objective of (verses 10 and 11; i.e. knowing Christ). The prize is the joyful personal satisfaction of having attained it, as well as the divine commendation and reward to be granted in heaven for having reached this goal on earth. The high calling of God is the divine summons extended to the believer for salvation.

God is calling everyone to a better life in the heavens. The calling of God here, is speaking of the work Paul would do to bring the gospel of the Lord to the Gentile world. We are like Paul, in the fact that we cannot fulfill the call on our life within ourselves.

The only way we can live the life God would have us to live is let the Lord Jesus live through us. Christ in us is the hope of glory. The Holy Spirit must lead and guide us for this to become a reality.

Philippians 3:15 "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you."

Since the spiritual perfection of Christlikeness is possible only when the believer receives the upward call, Paul is referring here to mature spirituality. He could be referring to the mature believers who were like minded with him in the pursuit or he may also have used "mature" here to refer sarcastically to the Judaizers, who thought they had reached perfection.

"Be thus minded" meaning that believers are to have the attitude of pursing the prize of Christlikeness. To be otherwise minded speaks of those who continue to dwell on the past and make no progress toward the goal.

"God shall reveal": The Greek word for reveal means to "uncover" or "unveil". Paul left in God's hands those who were not pursuing spiritual perfection. He knew God would reveal the truth to them eventually, even if it meant chastening.

We were reading in the verse above how Paul would grow in the Lord. This, then is saying, if he is to be a mature (perfect) Christian, he must be guided by the mind of Christ. Jesus (the Light), will brighten the path that we are to walk for us.

He will lead us down this path that leads to everlasting life. If we stumble and fall, He will help us up, and we will walk again. If you are truly interested in serving God, He will show you the way.

Seek, and you shall find God. Ask, and it shall be given unto you. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Jesus is the door we must go through to reach our heavenly home.

Philippians 3:16 "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."

Whereto we have already attained refers to whatever level of Christian knowledge and spiritual maturity the Philippians have attained since conversion. They are to walk by the same rule, that is, live in accord with this same level of knowledge and maturity, if God is going to give them further light. Fidelity to truth possessed is a condition for receiving more.

In just a few words, this is saying, walk in the salvation you have received. Walk the narrow path of righteousness.

Philippians 3:17 "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example."

Paul tells them here, that he is walking that path. If they need someone to go with, just follow him.

Paul asks the Philippians to imitate him. Due to his absence, they cannot observe him, so he tells them to imitate those among them who live as he does.

Since all believers are imperfect, they need examples of less imperfect people who know how to deal with imperfection and who can model the process of pursuing the goal of Christlikeness. Paul was that model.

The Philippian believers were to focus on other godly examples, such as Timothy and Epaphroditus, and see how they conducted themselves in service to Christ.

Philippians 3:18 "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:"

Apparently, Paul had warned the Philippians on numerous occasions about the dangers of false teachers, just as he did the Ephesians.

"Weeping": Paul had a similar response as he warned the Ephesian elders about the dangers of false teachers.

"Enemies of the cross of Jesus": Implied in Paul's language is that these men did not claim to oppose Christ, His work on the cross, or salvation by grace alone through faith alone. But they did not pursue Christlikeness in manifest godliness. Apparently, they were posing as friends of Christ, and possibly had even reached positions of leadership in the church.

There are two very different paths a person may choose to walk in this life. The straight and narrow path leads to everlasting life in God. The broad path leads to destruction. The sad thing is that many who profess to know Christ walk too broad a path.

Philippians 3:19 "Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)"

These enemies of the cross could have been either Jews (the Judaizers; verse 2), or Gentile Libertines, precursors of Gnosticism, who maintained a dualistic philosophy that tended toward antinomianism, which is a discarding of any moral law.

"End is destruction": The Greek word for "end" refers to one's ultimate destiny. The Judaizers were headed for eternal damnation because they depended on their works to save them. The Gentile libertines were headed for the same destiny because they trusted in their human wisdom and denied the transforming power of the gospel.

"God is their belly or appetite": This may refer to the Judaizers' fleshly accomplishments, which were mainly religious works. It could also refer to their observance of the dietary laws they believed were necessary for salvation. If the Gentile libertines are in view, it could easily refer to their sensual desires and fleshly appetites. As always, false teachers are evident by their wickedness.

"Glory ... shame": The Judaizers boasted of their self effort, but even the best of their accomplishments was no better than fifthly rags or dung. The Gentile libertines boasted about their sin and abused Christian liberty to defend their behavior.

"Earthly things": The Judaizers were preoccupied with ceremonies, feasts, sacrifices, and other kinds of physical observances. The Gentile libertines simply loved the world itself and all the things in it.

The broad path that leads to destruction is a path pleasing to the flesh of man. The flesh of man must be crucified, so that the spirit of man can follow God on the narrow path. In these lessons, I have explained what I believe about mankind.

We are a spirit which dwells in a house of flesh. Our soul will either be ruled by the flesh and its desires, or it will be ruled by our spirit which wants to worship God.

Romans 8:13 "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

Philippians 3:20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

"Our conversation" is really translated "our citizenship" The Greek term refers to a colony of foreigners. In one secular source, it was used to describe a capital city that kept the names of its citizens on a register.

"In heaven", is the place where God dwells and where Christ is present. It is the believers' home where their names are registered (Luke 10:20), and their inheritance awaits (1 Peter 1:4), other believers are there (Heb. 12:23). We belong to the kingdom under the rule of our heavenly king and obey heaven's laws.

"We look" or eagerly wait. The Greek verb is found in most passages dealing with the second coming and expresses the idea of waiting patiently, but with great expectation.

The true Christian cares very little for the things of the earth. He is laying up treasures in heaven. This is just saying that believers in Christ are to live a heavenly minded life here on the earth. We watch the eastern sky for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ our Lord.

Philippians 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

The word "change" means "transform". The Greek word for "transform" gives us the word "schematic," which is an internal design of something. Those who are already dead in Christ, but alive with Him in spirit in heaven, will receive new bodies at the resurrection and rapture of the church, when those alive on earth will have their bodies transformed.

The believer's new body will be like Christ's after His resurrection, and will be redesigned and adapted for heaven. "Subdue" meaning to subject: The Greek word refers to arranging things in order of rank or managing something. Christ has the power both to providentially create natural laws and miraculously overrule them.

Thank goodness, we shed this old body of flesh which has caused us so much trouble, and take on a heavenly body. The best explanation of this I can give is in the following Scripture.

1 Corinthians 15:44 "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."

Praise God this natural body will return to the dust that it came from and we will have a new heavenly body. Read all the rest of (1 Corinthians chapter 15 beginning with the 35th verse to get the full picture).

Philippians Chapter 3 Questions

1. Finally, my brethren, __________ in the Lord.

2. What does "finally" in verse 1 indicate?

3. Why had Paul wanted to send Timothy to these Philippians?

4. In verse 2, who did he warn them to beware of?

5. Who are the "dogs" in verse 2?

6. What was the real thing Paul was telling them to beware of?

7. Who are the true circumcision?

8. The circumcision of a Christian is of the ________.

9. What is our hope of glory?

10. The law is not done away with, but _____________.

11. When did Paul learn better than to depend on the flesh?

12. The law was fulfilled in Jesus' _______________.

13. Give the description of Paul from verse 5.

14. Had Paul kept the Mosaic Law?

15. What showed his zeal?

16. What did Paul give his position and former beliefs up for?

17. What had happened to Paul, so he would never be the same again?

18. What is the only righteousness God will accept?

19. What is the hope of the believers?

20. When we receive Jesus, the sin in our life is gone, as if it had never ____________.

21. How is the only way to be perfect?

22. What is verse 16 saying?

23. What are the two different paths a person may choose to walk?

24. The ______ _________ cares very little for the things of this earth.

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Philippians 4

Philippians Chapter 4

Philippians 4:1 "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved."

"Therefore", concludes that the recipients should stand fast, or "persevere," in the relationship with Christ. Not allowing the Judaizers, perfectionists or hedonists to disrupt their Christian walk.

"Beloved and longed for": Paul reveals his deep affection for the Philippian believers. The Greek term for "long to see" which is used in various bibles, refers to the deep pain of separation for loved ones.

"My joy, my crown": Paul did not derive his joy from circumstances, but from his fellow believers in Philippi. The Greek term for "crown" refers to the laurel wreath received by an athlete for winning a contest. Or by a person honored by his peers at a banquet as a symbol of success or a fruitful life. The Philippian believers were proof that Paul's efforts were successful.

In the last lesson, Paul had talked of the great resurrection as the hope of all believers. Now he says, in light of that, stand fast in the Lord. It is not enough for Paul to call them his brethren, he adds that he loves them dearly. He longs to be with them again, but that will not be on this earth.

He loves these Philippians the most, because they love God and live for Him. He is proud of them, because of their great faith and charity. He calls them his crown, because it was through his ministry that they came to God. He uses dearly beloved, twice in this verse, showing the sincerity of the statement.

Philippians 4:2 "I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord."

"Euodias ... Syntyche". These two women were prominent church members who may have been among the women meeting for prayer when Paul first preached the gospel in Philippi. Apparently, they were leading two opposing factions in the church, and were at odds with one another over some matter(s).

There was a more prominent group of women in this leadership here at Phillip, than there was in Corinth or Galatia. Since they were prominent in the running of the church, it was very important that they be in one accord.

The leaders of a church must always be in one accord, or there will be confusion in the church. Spiritual stability depends on the mutual love, harmony and peace between believers. Apparently, the disunity in the Philippian church was about to destroy the integrity of its testimony.

Philippians 4:3 "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and [with] other my fellow laborers, whose names [are] in the book of life."

Yokefellow or companion is from a Greek word picturing two oxen in a yoke, pulling the same load, as someone who worked side by side with another. A companion is a partner or an equal in a specific endeavor, in this case, a spiritual one.

It is possible that this individual is unnamed, but it is best to take the Greek word translated "companion" as a proper name ("Syzgos"), who was likely one of the church elders.

Some believe this is speaking of Paul's wife, but I do not believe Paul was ever married. I believe this means they were yoked together for the common cause of the gospel.

This yokefellow would have been someone in the Philippian church, because that would be the only way they could help these women who worked with Paul in the ministry. Clement would be with the two women mentioned (in verse 2), although nothing is known of this person. He seemed to be an unidentified friend of Paul's who would try to help these two women become reconciled to one another.

Everyone who is saved should help whoever is ministering in the church. They should all be in one accord. Having their names in the book of life means they are saved through belief in Jesus Christ and God has recorded those inheritors of eternal life in that book.

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always: [and] again I say, Rejoice."

The mention of believers' names being recorded in heaven (verse 3), causes the author to write rejoice in the Lord always. Harmony among church members, as Paul assumes will be the result of his plea (in verses 2 and 3), is another reason to "rejoice." In adding and again I say, Rejoice, it is as though the apostle looks into the future, considers all possibilities of sorrow, and in spite of them all repeats "the command".

This command to rejoice at all times and in all circumstances, is nothing less than a call to faith. For if the Christian believes that his life and all its circumstances are in the hands of a sovereign, wise, and loving God who is always working to accomplish good for him, then he can indeed "rejoice always."

Paul wants them to learn the joy of serving Jesus. Christians should rejoice more than all other people, because our names are in the Lamb's book of life. We have heaven to look forward to.

Philippians 4:5 "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand."

Moderation means "graciousness" or "sweet reasonableness." The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (verse 2), and who rejoices always (verse 4), is indeed a gracious, reasonable person.

"The Lord is at hand" means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be "gracious" unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him.

Second, the "Lord is a hand" spiritually. The Lord's being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety, hence the command of (verse 6).

The word that was translated moderation here, was translated as gentleness (in 2 Cor. 10).

2 Corinthians 10:1 "Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence [am] base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:"

Whether it should mean be moderate in all things, or to be gentle to all, it doesn't matter. They both are headed in the same direction. A gentle person is moderate. I believe this moderation is in everything in our life.

Women dressing in moderation are a very good example of what I am speaking of. Moderation should be practiced by men and women in all walks of our life; in what we drink, and what we eat, and especially in the way we act.

"The Lord is at hand", means just what it says. I am looking for the return of the Lord at any moment. Be ready, for He comes in an hour when you think not.

Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

"Be careful for nothing" means "don't worry about anything." The Lord's nearness (verse 5b), leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern.

Christians should not go around wringing their hands in worry. Worry is lack of faith. We should trust the Lord in every aspect of our life. Supplication (in the verse above), means petition. Prayer should not be just a time to request things of God that we want.

"In every thing", in any matter of life. The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving.

We should go to Him in prayer, thanking Him for all He has already done for us. We should praise Him for who He is, and then make our request known. God is loving and He will give you the desire of your heart, if you love Him as He loves you.

Psalms 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Inner calm or tranquility is promised to the believer who has a thankful attitude based on unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for His children.

"Shall keep you" means to "guard", or "keep watch over". God's peace guards believers from anxiety, doubt, fear and distress.

"Hearts and minds": Paul was not making a distinction between the two, he was giving a comprehensive statement referring to the whole inner person. Because of the believer's union with Christ, He guards his inner being with His peace.

Jesus is the King of Peace. This is the kind of peace that we have in the midst of problems. Look at the promise that should bring perfect peace to all believers.

Psalms 91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee."

This peace passes all understanding, because it is in the midst of the problem. Remember with me, that God saved Noah in the flood, not from the flood. Knowing all of this, we should have perfect peace in our mind and heart, knowing that God takes care of us.

Get your eyes off of the circumstances around you, and know within yourself that God will take care of you.

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [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."

"True": What is true is found in God (2 Tim. 2:25, in Christ, Eph. 4:20-21), in the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), and in God's Word (John 17:17).

"Honest" or honorable meaning a term "worthy of respect." Believers are to meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration. I.e., the sacred as is opposed to the profane.

"Just" or right. The believer is to think in harmony with God's divine standard of holiness.

"Pure": That which is morally clean and undefiled.

"Lovely": The Greek term means "pleasing" or "amiable". By implication, believers are to focus on whatever is kind or gracious.

"Of good report": That which is highly regarded or thought well of. It refers to what is generally considered reputable in the world, such as kindness, courtesy, and respect for others.

Paul is saying, keep your mind and your heart stayed on the good things of God. Christians should not be negative. We should always look on the bright side. There is more than enough despair in the world without the Christians adding to it. Be positive in this negative world; bring hope in Jesus to the lost world.

Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

It is the responsibility of every Christian to be a bright light, reflecting the Light of Jesus to this lost world. You may be somebody's only look at what Christ is all about. Give them hope, not more despair.

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."

The Philippians are too busy themselves with the right activities. They were to follow the truth of God proclaimed, along with the example of that truth lived by Paul before them.

Paul is encouraging them to go out and win souls for Christ. Don't just be a hearer of the Word of God, be a doer of the Word of God. I hear so many say, I do not know enough to lead someone to Christ. If you are saved, you know more than those who are lost. Share what you do know. If you are a Christian, walk like Christ, talk like Christ and do Christ like things.

John 14:12 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."

If you feel that you are not capable of ministering to others, let Christ minister to them through you.

"The God of peace": God is peace (Romans 16:20), makes peace with sinners through Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20), and gives perfect peace in trouble (verse 7).

In (verses 10-19), Paul expressed his gratitude to the Philippians for their kind expressions of love and the generous gift they sent him and thus provides a powerful example of how a Christian can be content regardless of his circumstances.

Philippians 4:10 "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity."

As we said earlier in these lessons, this was the only church that Paul would accept help from. They were a poor church, but they loved a lot. This is Paul's way of thanking them for helping him, when they had opportunity to do so.

Paul was saying "regarding your care for me, you really were concerned": Paul acknowledges that they were concerned about his needs all along, but they lacked opportunity to minister to him.

Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content."

"Not that I speak in respect (because) of want": Paul's ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of (verse 10), is not solely over his "need" being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid.

For justifies this implication. I have learned ... to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.

Paul probably had been a wealthy man when he was a Pharisee, before he came to the Lord. We said earlier, Paul was not concerned at all about things of this earth. He enjoyed whatever provision he had and was not concerned about that which he did not have. He knew that God would provide for all of his needs, not his greeds. The parable of the sparrow teaches that.

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."

By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad "in whatever state I am in" (of verse 11). Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is, to tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity.

"Every where and in all things I am instructed" (or in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how) to be full, that is "well fed." To abound means to have plenty. To suffer need means to go without. Paul has acquired the skill required for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder.

Paul had learned something, we all need to learn. He learned that his happiness was not in the things he had, but were in God. True joy comes from God and is a feeling inside of us, regardless of the circumstances around us. Even the need sometimes suffered can turn into a blessing from God.

Paul's secret was that he was in this world, but not of this world. He refused to be controlled in his emotions by hardships around him.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

The apostle's ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity, does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengthened him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever changing circumstances.

God orders Paul's various situations and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.

Because believers are in Christ (Gal. 2:20), He infuses them with His strength to sustain them until they receive some provision (Eph. 3:16-20; 2 Cor. 12:10).

Every Christian should have this implanted in their heart. Things that are impossible in the flesh are more than possible through Christ who is our strength. The secret is realizing that it is not our strength, but His.

Philippians 4:14 "Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction."

Paul adds a word of clarification here so the Philippians would not think he was being ungrateful for their most recent gift, because of what he just wrote (verses 11-14).

Paul didn't want them to conclude that, since he can live just as well in poverty as in prosperity, perhaps the money then sent him was wasted. So, he hastens to assure them that they did well in sharing or meeting his financial needs.

Paul says here, even though I could have gotten along without your help, it is good that you helped. They realized there was a need, and they took care of Paul's need. They will be blessed of God for it.

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."

Ten years had passed since Paul first preached the gospel in Philippi and then had left. Paul informs the Philippians that he is still appreciative of the gifts they sent long ago while he ministered in Macedonia. Since he remains grateful for that aid given years ago, it stands to reason that he is appreciative of their latest help received recently in Rome.

Every person who ministers the Word of God, whether missionary or local minister, needs a church like Philippi that will take care of that need. Those who minister should never have to raise their own money. They need to stay in the Word of God and prayer, and let others who are called furnish the needs to do their job.

One of the greatest callings (in my opinion), is to have the gift of a giving heart. Paul is telling this church at Philippi that they were the only ones who helped him with his needs.

Philippians 4:16 "For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity."

Paul had preached to the Thessalonians for a few months, during his second missionary journey.

Paul is reminding them of the times they helped, and letting them know that he has not forgotten their generosity.

Philippians 4:17 "Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."

Paul appreciated the gift, but what pleased him the most about it, was the fact that they had matured as Christians and were bearing fruit. Giving freely to those in need is certainly fruit bearing.

The Philippians were in effect storing up for themselves treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20). The gifts they gave to Paul were accruing eternal dividends to their spiritual account.

Philippians 4:18 "But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things [which were sent] from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God."

Epaphroditus had brought things from the church at Philippi to take care of Paul's needs here in Rome. They had not forgotten him, even though he was a prisoner. He is saying in this, I have all of my needs met because of your generosity toward me.

He also says he accepts these things in his name, and in the name of God. God will not forget their generous heart either.

In the Old Testament sacrificial system, every sacrifice was to provide a fragrant aroma and be acceptable to God. Only if it was offered with the correct attitude would it be pleasing to Him. The Philippians' gift was a spiritual sacrifice that pleased God.

Philippians 4:19 "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Paul addressed all of the Philippians' material needs, which had probably been depleted to some extent because of their gracious gift. God would give increase to the Philippians in proportion to His infinite resources, not just a small amount out of His riches.

Because they were so generous in their giving to Paul, and really to God, God will bless them abundantly and take care of all their needs. Give and it shall be given to you pressed down and running over.

You cannot outgive God. He multiplies when giving back to you, what you have given with no hope of return. Do not give expecting to get. Give without hope of return and God will give you so much your cup will not be able to hold it all.

Philippians 4:20 "Now unto God and our Father [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."

This is so typical of Paul. He ends with praises to God. This is speaking of God the Father, God the Word (Jesus), the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

This doxology is Paul's praise in direct response to the great truth that God supplies all the needs of the saints. In a more general sense, this is praise in response to the character of God and His faithfulness.

Philippians 4:21 "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you."

Instead of using the collective "all," Paul used the individualistic "every", to declare that each saint was worthy of his concern.

"The brethren" certainly included Timothy and Epaphroditus. Others who were preaching the gospel in Rome were present. It is possible that Tychicus, Aristarchus, Onesimus, and Jesus Justus were also there.

This too is typical of Paul. He sends greetings to all the brothers and sisters in Christ, and sends it from himself and all the believers with him.

Philippians 4:22 "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household."

A significant number of people not limited to Caesar's family, which would include courtiers, princes, judges, cooks, food tasters, musicians, custodians, builders, stablemen, soldiers, and accountants.

Within that large group, Paul had in mind those who, through the proclamation of the gospel by members of the church at Rome, had been saved prior to his coming. Newly added to their number were those led to Christ by Paul himself, including those soldiers who were chained to him while he was a prisoner (1:13).

There is a little morsel in this. We know that Paul's stay as a prisoner of Caesar has not been unfruitful, because he speaks of the converts to Christianity in Caesar's household.

Philippians 4:23 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen."

We see in Paul's writings, that Paul begins and ends his letters with grace. This is a benediction favorite of Paul's, a common conclusion to Paul's epistles.

I must say along with Paul, so be it (Amen).

Philippians Chapter 4 Questions

  1. What two things does Paul call the Philippians in verse 1?
  2. What is the hope of all believers?
  3. What words show how Paul feels about these Philippians?
  4. Why does Paul love them so much?
  5. What 2 women does Paul speak to in verse 2?
  6. What instructions did he give them?
  7. Who does the author believe the yokefellow to be in verse 3?
  8. What was the yokefellow to do?
  9. What, in verse 3, did all of these people have in common?
  10. When are Christians to rejoice?
  11. Why should Christians rejoice more than other people?
  12. What are some things we should do in moderation?
  13. What does the statement "the Lord is at hand" mean?
  14. How are we to let our requests be known unto God?
  15. Worry is lack of _______.
  16. Who is King of Peace?
  17. What is the promise, in Psalms, that should bring peace to believers?
  18. Noah was saved __ the flood, not ________ the flood.
  19. Get your eyes off the _______________ around you.
  20. Christians should not be __________.
  21. What is the responsibility of every believer to reflect?
  22. Do not just be a ________ of the Word, be a _______.
  23. When had they helped Paul?
  24. Paul said, "for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be __________."
  25. I know both how to be ________, and how to _________.
  26. Memorize and quote Philippians chapter 4 verse 13.
  27. Who was the only church that helped Paul with his needs?
  28. In verse 17, Paul desired ________ that may abound to your account, more than gifts.
  29. Who had brought the gifts to Paul from the Philippians?
  30. Who did Paul tell them to salute?
  31. How do we know some in Caesar's house came to Christ?

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