Summary: An in-depth study on the book of Philippians
Philippians Part 18, Chapter 4:9-4:23
I. Do what you have seen in me. (4:9)
A. That is, what you have witnessed in me, and what you have learned of me, and what you
have heard about me, practice yourselves. Paul refers them to his uniform conduct - to
all that they had seen, and known, and heard of him, as that which it was proper for
them to imitate. (Barnes’ Notes)
B. It could have been only the consciousness of a pure and upright life which would make
such counsel proper. How few are the people at this day who can urge others to imitate
all that they have seen in them, and learned from them, and heard of them. (Barnes’)
1. I Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
2. I Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
C. You have seen in me Now, the main thing in a public speaker should be, that
he may speak, not with his mouth merely, but by his life, and procure authority
for his doctrine by rectitude of life. Paul, accordingly, procures authority for his
exhortation on this ground, that he had, by his life no less than by his mouth,
been a leader and master of virtues. (Calvin’s Commentary)
II. Your care of me. (4:10)
A. Rejoiced – 5463 chairó (khah'-ee-ro) -- to rejoice, be glad Usage: I rejoice, am glad;
also a salutation: Hail.
1. In the last (16th) rejoicing of Philippians, Paul gives thanks for their giving,
remembering the gift sent by Epaphroditus in Chapter 2.
2. Paul says they “lacked opportunity”. It is not known why, but they had not
sent Paul an offering for 10-12 years.
3. Many Christians today have opportunities, but they lack the concern. (WW)
B. Care -- 5426 phroneó (fron-eh'-o) -- to have understanding, to think Usage: (a)
I think, (b) I think, judge, (c) I direct the mind to, seek for, (d) I observe, (e) I care for.
III. I don’t speak in want (4:11)
A. Paul must say, “I am not ministering for gifts”, to silence his critics.
B. Paul is quick to let them know his contentment was not tied to the gift but to
C. Content – 714 arkeó (ar-keh'-o) -- to assist, suffice Usage: I keep off, assist;
I suffice; pass: I am satisfied.
1. Contentment is not complacency, nor is it a false peace based on ignorance.
The complacent believer is unconcerned about others, while the
contented Christian wants to share his blessings. Contentment is not
escape from the battle. (WW pg 134)
2. The verb “learned” means “learned by experience.” Paul had learned and
that through Christ.
3. Paul was quick to add that they must not for a moment suppose that he was
dependent upon outward gifts for contentment and peace. His secret of
happiness was not in circumstances, but in his peace of heart; he would not
admit that his joy was lessened when his circumstances were more straitened,
and enhanced when they brimmed with comfort. His serenity lay beyond the
range of storms, in Christ. (F. B. Meyer pg 239)
IV. How to be abased and abound (4:12-4:13)
A. Abased – 5013 tapeinoó (tap-i-no'-o) -- to make low, to humble Usage: I make or
bring low, humble, humiliate; pass: I am humbled.
1. metaphorically, to bring into it humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances;
i. e. to assign a lower rank or place to
2. Whatever our need, we must turn for its supply to the fullness of God in
Christ. As we keep open the avenue of our soul to our Lord, He will
pour His strength into our nerveless and helpless nature. (F. B. Meyer
3. Abound – 4121 pleonazó (pleh-on-ad'-zo) to superabound, to make to
Abound Usage: I have more than enough; I abound, increase.
4. That is, he had learned to have an ample supply of his needs, and yet to
observe the laws of temperance and soberness, and to cherish gratitude
for the mercies which he had enjoyed. (Barnes’ Notes)
B. I can do all things.
He could bear any trial, perform any duty, subdue any evil propensity of his
nature, and meet all the temptations incident to any condition of prosperity or
adversity. His own experience in the various changes of life had warranted him
in arriving at this conclusion; and he now expresses the firm confidence that
nothing would be required of him which he would not be able to perform. In Paul,
this declaration was not a vain self-reliance, nor was it the mere result of his
former experience. He knew well where the strength was to be obtained by
which to do all things, and on that arm that was able to uphold him he confidently