Philippians 4:1-9

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015



We have already seen -


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Finally, we have seen -


We look next at -


First, there is -

A. Paul's Appeal to Steadfastness - 4:1

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 means for this reason. It refers to what has been stated in chapter 3, particularly in 3:17-21, that they should be living as citizens of heaven in the light of Christ's return.

Paul appeals to the saints in Philippi as his fellow believers when he writes my brethren, i.e. my brothers.

Dearly beloved is simply dear ones or beloved ones and indicates that Paul dearly loved them. It is another way of referring to the Philippian believers.

And longed for is and desired ones, which likewise refers to the Philippian believers as does my joy and crown.

By referring to them as my joy, Paul indicates that he takes particular delight in them; and by stating that they are his crown or wreath, Paul indicates that they are his prize catch. This indicates that they were saved as a result of his ministry.

So stand fast in the Lord means in this manner be standing firm (or keep on being steadfast) in the things of the Lord (i.e. as Christians). No matter what happens, keep standing firm in the Lord.

My dearly beloved is repeated for emphasis.

Second, there is -

B. Paul's Appeal to Euodias and Syntyche - 4:2-3

Philippians 4:2-3 - (2) I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (3) And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Verse 2 introduces a situation in which some were not standing fast in the Lord.

I beseech is I am urging, I am exhorting, or I am encouraging.

Euodias is the name of one lady whom Paul beseeches.

And beseech is repeated for emphasis.

This time it is (I) beseech Syntyche, another lady. By using beseech with both names, Paul is not assigning blame to one rather than the other. Both ladies need to resolve this matter.

What he is beseeching both of them is that they be of the same mind in the Lord. These two ladies were at odds with one another. They apparently had an ongoing dispute or fight with each other. Word of this had reached the Apostle Paul, and it was apparently going on to such an extent that it was upsetting the entire church in Philippi. In view of the fact that the Philippian believers had sent Paul a gift by the hand of Epaphroditus, it was likely that Epaphroditus had informed Paul of what was happening between Euodias and Syntyche. What happens is that two people become unhappy with each other and then they both line up sympathizers on their side. This leads to a divided church. This problem needs to be stopped.

In the Lord means in the person of the Lord or in the things of the Lord and suggests as Christians. As Christians they ought to be getting along with each other.

They ought to be of the same mind (4:2) or be likeminded (2:2), and the mind they needed was the mind found in the Apostle Paul, that he live his life totally for the Lord and put everything that is not conducive to living for the Lord behind him. They ought to do as Paul has done; and if they would do this, they would find that their problems with each other would be resolved.

They also ought to have the same mind which was in Christ when He left heaven's glory to become a man so that He might provide for the eternal redemption of sinners. He made Himself of no reputation, became a man, and eventually became obedient to death on the cross.

If they would stop looking on their own things and be concerned instead for the well-being of each other, their problems would disappear.

Paul was referring to this problem with Euodias and Syntyche in a general way in chapters 1 and 2 but more specifically here in chapter 4.

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 (emphasis added).

Philippians 2:1-4 - (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, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (emphasis added).

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

And I intreat is understood as and I am intreating, and I am asking, or and I am requesting.

Thee also is you also and is written to a particular individual who is described as true yokefellow, i.e. true (or genuine) comrade.

True yokefellow is masculine; so this person was a man, but we don't know his identity. Yokefellow has been translated in a way which describes this man.

Help means be (i.e. continue or keep on) helping, coming to the aid of, or assisting. Its tense implies that he may have already been doing this.

Those women refers to Euodias and Syntyche.

Which also refers to Euodias and Syntyche and is understood in the sense of such ones who or who to be sure.

Laboured with me [i.e. with the Apostle Paul] is struggled along with me, contended along with me, or fought at my side.

In the gospel tells where they had labored with Paul and implies that it was in his proclamation of the gospel while he was at Philippi. Exactly what they had done in order to assist Paul in proclaiming the gospel is not clear, but they had assisted him in some way.

With Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers indicates that others had also helped Paul in the gospel ministry while he was at Philippi. Nothing is known about Clement other than this statement. However, the people at Philippi knew who Clement was and what he had done.

And with other my fellowlabourers is and with my other fellow workers or and with my other helpers. Evidently, a number of people had joined Paul and assisted him in the gospel ministry at Philippi.

Whose names are in the book of life refers to these other fellow workers as well as to Clement, Euodias, and Syntyche; and the fact that their names are in the book of life indicates that they were all genuinely saved people who will spend eternity in heaven.

Third, there is -

C. Paul's Appeal to Rejoicing and Self-control - 4:4-5

Philippians 4:4-5 - (4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Although the Philippian believers had sent a gift to the Apostle Paul when he was in prison, it is the Apostle Paul who now commands them, Rejoice, i.e. Be rejoicing, continue rejoicing, or keep on rejoicing.

In the Lord also suggests in the person of the Lord and implies as Christians in view of all that He has done and will continue doing for them.

Alway means always or at all times.

And again I say rejoice indicates that Paul is stating the same thing a second time for emphasis.

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

Let your moderation be made known unto all men means, Your moderation must be known to all human beings (or to all persons).

Your moderation, which refers to the Philippian believers (and by extension to all believers everywhere), is your yielding, your gentleness, your kindness, or your forbearance.

The way they would make their moderation known to all human beings (or to all persons) would be by treating them all, including each other, with gentleness, kindness, patience, and forbearance rather than by being demanding, impatient, harsh, intolerant, and thinking only of themselves.

The Lord is at hand, where Lord refers to Christ, implies that the Lord is near or that the Lord is close by. It suggests that the Lords return is not far away and that they need to act now to demonstrate their moderation or kindness before He returns. It pictures the Lord Jesus Christ as already being on His way and about to arrive.

Fourth, there is -

D. Paul's Appeal to Prayer - 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7 - (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

In verses 6-7 Paul indicates what the peoples attitude should be when experiencing persecutions, trials, or other difficulties they may face in their Christian lives. A person may become worried and filled with anxiety and care, but he should not be overly burdened with these things. Instead, he should learn to be praying rather than worrying about them.

The tense of be careful for nothing, when combined with a negative, suggests that they were already full of care, unduly concerned, or anxious and implies that they were to stop being unduly concerned, to stop being anxious, or to stop having anxiety in anything (or in everything).

Careful is used of the sense of full of care or full of concern. Although one should have care or concern, he should not be overwhelmed or consumed by it.

For nothing is, In anything stop being unduly concerned.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast with be anxious.

In every thing implies in everything that comes in life.

By prayer is by means of prayer or with prayer.

And introduces a second term for prayer: supplication, which means entreaty. One should be careful of making artificial distinctions between prayer and supplication. For purposes of emphasis, Paul frequently uses two or more terms which basically mean the same thing.

With thanksgiving is with rendering of thanks.

The believers are called upon, Let your requests be made known unto God. Although in English this may appear to be a suggestion, in the Greek text it is an imperative or command rather than a suggestion. It means your requests must be made known to God. Believers have no choice in the matter.

Your requests, where your refers to the Philippian believers, is the things for which you ask. Let your requests be made known unto God is a timeless truth which, by extension, is applicable at all times to all believers everywhere.

Be made known unto God is be revealed to God. It does not mean that believers have to tell everybody else or even anybody else; instead, it means that they must tell God, even though He already knows all about it because He is omniscient. It is not that they are bothering God, interrupting Him from doing something more important, or taking up His valuable time with the result that He is not able to help others with even greater needs. It is a matter of obedience. God has commanded that this be done. His capacity to hear and answer prayer is without limit. There are no waiting lines in which people must wait for hours to be able to speak to God. Access is instant, and God is able to listen, comprehend, and answer all the prayers of everyone at the same time. So, why should someone worry when he can pray?

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

Verse 7 indicates the result a believer can expect when he stops being unduly anxious about things in life and instead turns his requests over to God.

And the peace of God refers to the peace which comes from God or the peace which God provides.

This peace is described by which passeth all understanding.

Passeth means surpasses or excels in the sense of is better than. What it passes, surpasses, excels, or is better than is all understanding. It surpasses a comprehension of the mind. The mind does not understand it, but it excels (or is better than) whatever the mind is capable of comprehending. It is not able to be fathomed by the human mind.

Shall keep is predictive of a future event which will definitely happen. It means will guard or will protect. It suggests the sort of guarding or protection a garrison will supply and is understood in the sense of will garrison.

What it will guard, keep, protect, or garrison is your hearts and minds.

Your hearts suggests the Philippian believers themselves in the innermost recesses of their beings, and (your) minds implies (your) thinking.

It will be done through Christ Jesus, implying in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, which suggests all He is and all He represents.

So, why should a believer worry when he can pray? On the other hand, someone has facetiously quipped, What do you mean that worrying doesn't do any good? Most of the things I worry about don't happen.

Fifth, there is -

E. Paul's Appeal to Appropriate Thinking - 4:8

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.

Finally is the same term used in Philippians 3:1 which means as far as the rest in concerned, beyond that, or in addition. By using finally Paul signals a change in the direction he is going in his epistle rather than the end of his epistle.

Brethren is used by Paul to address his fellow believers at Philippi. It indicates that they are brothers, i.e. fellow believers and fellow members of the household or family of God.

Whatsoever things is what things and is used in an abstract way to mean whatever. It is used six times in this verse for emphasis.

Whatsoever things are true means whatever things are genuine.

Whatsoever things are honest indicates whatever things are honorable (i.e. worthy, venerable, or holy).

Whatsoever things are just suggests whatever things are upright (or righteous).

Whatsoever things are pure is whatever things are morally pure (or holy).

Whatsoever things are lovely is whatever things are pleasing (i.e. agreeable or amiable).

Whatsoever things are of good report is whatever things are commendable (i.e. well sounding, praiseworthy, attractive, or appealing).

If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise is the translation of a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. Whether it is true or not depends on what it is. Hence, if in both cases should be understood as assuming that.

If there be any virtue means if there is some moral excellence or assuming that there is some excellence of character.

And may indicate a continuation of the thought, or it may be emphatic and understood in the sense of indeed or in fact.

If there be any praise is if there is something worthy of praise or assuming that there is approval.

The believer is told, Think on these things, i.e. consider (or be considering) these things, think (or be thinking) about these things, ponder (or be pondering) these things, or let your mind dwell (or be dwelling) on these things.

Rather than dwelling on corrupt things or on things that are not what they ought to be, the believer is to think thoughts that are pleasing to God. He is to think about the things of God and the things expressed in the Bible.

What is seen in verse 8 is certainly reminiscent of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. He is also characterized by virtue and is worthy of all praise. Believers should meditate on Him as well as on things He represents and does.

Verse 8 places the responsibility for what the believer is continuously thinking squarely on himself. He is responsible for his own thoughts. He can and must control them. He can do this by limiting what he allows to enter his mind, by making certain that he feeds his mind on the Word of God, and by confessing wrong thoughts as sin and refusing to dwell on them.

Sixth, there is -

F. Paul's Appeal to Appropriate Conduct - 4:9

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.

Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do is What things you both learned, and received, and heard, and saw in me, these things do or, Do these things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me. They had learned, received, heard, and seen these things in the past.

Ye have learned is you (Philippian believers) appropriated for yourselves.

And (have) received is and accepted.

And (have) heard implies things they heard directly or, perhaps, indirectly from the Apostle Paul.

And (have) seen implies that they had seen them with their own eyes.

In me implies in the Apostle Paul.

Those things . . . do refers to what they had learned, received, heard, and seen in the Apostle Paul. The tense of do indicates that its action is understood as be (i.e. continue or keep on) doing, accomplishing, or practicing. Their lives should be patterned after the Apostle Paul's life and teaching.

The result of their following Paul's example is and the God of peace shall be with you.

The God of peace is the God Who gives peace or the God Who provides peace.

Shall be is predictive of something that will definitely happen in the future.

With you implies with you believers at Philippi. It is a timeless truth, however, and is applicable by extension to all believers everywhere who are doing as they should be doing in their spiritual lives. They will experience the presence of the God Who gives peace. Those who base their lives on the teaching of the Scriptures are going to be blessed, and their consciences will not bother them at all.