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

Jesus Christ.

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

pg 245)

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

relied. (Barnes’ Notes)

V. Well Done -- Communication (4:14-4:18)

A. Communication – 2842 koinónia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah) fellowship Usage: (lit: partnership)

(a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual

fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit.

B. 4:15 A. V. “entered into partnership with me and opened up an account in giving

and receiving except you only.”

C. Scriptures:

1. Romans 12:13

2. Romans 15:26-27

3. Galations 6:6-10

4. 1 Corinthians 9:6-16

5. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

D. In sending the gift, the Philippian Christians had shared in Paul’s affliction. They had

made his distress theirs. They had sympathized with him in his affliction and had

assisted him in bearing it. The word “share” is a form of the word for fellowship.

The church entered into a fellowship of giving and receiving. The church gave

materially to Paul and received spiritually from the Lord. In this sharing, Paul’s

friends received the greater blessing. He received the lesser blessing and rejoiced

that it was so.

E. Paul compares their giving to three familiar things:

1. A budding tree (v. 10). The word “flourished” carries the idea of a flower or tree

budding or blossoming.

2. An investment (v. 14-17). Paul looked upon their missionary gift as an investment

that would pay them rich dividends. The Lord keeps the books and will never

fail to pay one spiritual dividend! The church is poor that fails to share materially

with others. The wealth of God is open to those who love Him and love their

fellow-men. He who gives makes himself richer, for his own gift opens to him

the gifts of God.

3. A sacrifice (v. 18). Paul looked upon their gift as a spiritual sacrifice, laid on the

altar to the glory of God. We obligate God when we give.

F. If you are not willing to give, you may not have a functioning religion.

VI. My God (v 4:19 – 4:20)

A. Shall Supply—2023 epichorégeó (ep-ee-khor-ayg-eh'-o) to supply Usage: I supply,

provide (perhaps lavishly), furnish

1. That is, "You have shown your regard for me as a friend of God, by sending

to me in my distress, and I have confidence that, in return for all this, God

will supply all your needs, when you are in circumstances of necessity."

Paul's confidence in this seems not to have been founded on any express

revelation; but on the general principle that God would regard their offering

with favor. Nothing is lost, even in the present life, by doing good. In

thousands of instances it is abundantly repaid. (Barnes’ Notes)

2. He will fully supply. [We may perceive that this act of kindness on the part of the

Philippians was indeed excellently laid out, if even it only produced this prayer

of the apostle.—V. g.]—??e?a?, need) As you have supplied and relieved my

need, what is empty of yours will not remain empty [it shall be filled, in glory) This should be referred to the whole sentence. There are riches in glory, glorious riches, immediately at hand; then besides, God will fully supply in glory, i.e. gloriously. (Bengel’s Gnomon)

3. He expressly makes mention of God as his, because he owns and

acknowledges as done to himself whatever kindness is shewn to his

servants. They had therefore been truly sowing in the Lord's field, from

which a sure and abundant harvest might be expected. Nor does he

promise them merely a reward in the future life, but even in respect of

the necessities of the present life: (Calvin’s Commentaries)

B. All your need according to His riches in glory need—5532 chreia (khri'-ah) need,

business Usage: need, necessity, business.

1. The word "riches" here means, His abundant fullness; His possessing all

things; His inexhaustible ability to supply their needs. The phrase "in

glory," is probably to he connected with the following phrase, "in Christ

Jesus;" and means that the method of imparting supplies to people was

through Jesus Christ, and was a glorious method; or, that it was done in

a glorious manner. (Barnes’ Notes)

2. "Do not think that you have impoverished yourselves; God, whom I serve,

will abundantly furnish you with everything necessary for you." The

phrase, in glory, ought to be taken in place of the adverb gloriously, as meaning magnificently, or splendidly. He adds, however, by Christ, in whose name everything that we do is acceptable to God. (Calvin’s Commentaries)

C. Glory to God (v 4:20)

1. Better, our God and Father; the ultimate Source of all faith, love, and hope in

the brethren and members of His Son.—“Our”:—“It is no longer [‘my’], for

the reference is now not to himself as distinguished from the Philippians,

but as united to them” (Lightfoot).

2. Now to our God and Father This may be taken as a general thanksgiving,

by which he closes the epistle; or it may be viewed as bearing more

particularly upon the last clause in reference to the liberality shewn to

Paul. [259] For in respect of the assistance which the Philippians had

afforded him, it became him to reckon himself indebted to them for it in

such a manner as to acknowledge, that this aid had been afforded to them

by the mercy of God. (Calvin’s Commentaries)

VII. Salutations (v. 4:21 – 4:23)

A. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus - It was usual for him also to close his epistles

with affectionate salutations to various members of the churches to which he

wrote. These salutations are generally specific, and mention the names,

particularly if prominent members of the churches; see the close of the Epistles

to the Romans; 1 Corinthians; Colossians, and 2 Timothy. this Epistle, however,

as in some others, the salutation in general. Why none are specified in particular

is not certainly known. (Calvin’s Commentary)

B. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus - It was usual for him also to close his epistles

with affectionate salutations to various members of the churches to which he

wrote. These salutations are generally specific, and mention the names,

particularly if prominent members of the churches; see the close of the Epistles

to the Romans; 1 Corinthians; Colossians, and 2 Timothy. this Epistle, however,

as in some others, the salutation in general. Why none are specified in particular

is not certainly known. (Barnes’ Notes)

C. Chiefly they that are of Caesar's household - That is, of Nero, who was at that time

the reigning emperor. The name Caesar was given to all the emperors after the

time of Julius Caesar, as the name Pharaoh was the common name of the kings

of Egypt. The phrase used here - "the household of Caesar" - may refer to the

relatives of the emperor; and it is certainly possible that some of them may have

been converted to Christianity. (Calvin’s Commentaries)

D. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.