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Theme: Power for Christian living; joy . . . the source of power; prayer . . . the secret of power; thought of Christ . . . the sanctuary of power . . . in Christ . . . the satisfaction of power
We have seen the viewpoint of Christian living, the pattern for Christian living, the prize for Christian living, and in this chapter we shall see the power for Christian living. All the others would be meaningless and totally useless if there were no power for them. An view point of life is useless unless there is power to carry it out. A prize is no good if we cannot achieve the goal. For that reason, power is very important.
I would think one of the reasons that the Spirit of God did not let Paul end this epistle when he wrote: Phil.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. (KJV) . . . was because He wanted to let us know that there is power for Christian living in today's’ times. We need to know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
This chapter tells us that joy is the source of power; prayer is the secret of power; and meditation on Christ is the sanctuary, the reserve, the back-up of our power.
Joy . . . The Source of Power (Philippians 4:1-4)
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (KJV)
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for . . . because you have this armor and God for your support, see that ye stand fast in Him. This verse belongs to the preceding chapter.
My joy and crown . . . the Philippians were going to be in the Presence of Christ one day, and Paul expected to receive a crown for winning these folks to the Lord, and besides, they were his joy down here. Paul loved these believers in Philippi.
So stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved . . . and, as Paul said to the Ephesian believers, ". . . take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph.6:13). TRUE Christian faith will always produce a stable life.
Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (KJV)
I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. . . these were two devout women, and supposedly were deaconesses in the Church at Philippi, and who in some points of doctrine and discipline had disagreed. Paul urges them to be of the same mind (Phil.2:2; Rom.12:16; 1 Cor.1:10), meaning to unite their differences, because their conflict would strengthen the hands of the enemy, and cause to stumble those who were weak. Paul did not mean they must agree 100% with each other. Differences of opinion will not separate two people who have the mind of Christ. It is one of the glorious truths about the body of Christ that each member can be different and yet all are one in Christ.
Some think that Euodias was a woman, and Syntyche a man, and probably the husband of Euodias; and that it is Syntyche whom the apostle calls true yokefellow in the next verse.
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. (KJV)
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow . . . it is not known to whom Paul refers to here. No name is mentioned, and guesswork is of no use. It had to be someone whom Paul considered as associated with himself in labor, and one who was so prominent at Philippi that it would be understood who was referred to. It is not told to us, so it is not necessary that we know who it is. , without more particularly mentioning him. The Letter was addressed to the "church, with the bishops and deacons," (Phil.1:1). Paul knew he was a proper person, to whom he could entrust a delicate and important business.
Help those women which labored with me in the gospel . . . both in the Grecian and Asiatic countries women were kept greatly secluded, and is was not likely that even the apostles had much opportunity of speaking with them; so it was necessary that they should have some experienced Christian women who could access families, and preach Jesus to the female part of them. The apostle tells us that certain women labored with him in the Gospel, and were assistants to others also who had assisted him.
With Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life . . .
Supposedly Clement is the same who was afterwards bishop of Rome, and who wrote an epistle to the Corinthians. Whose names are in the book of life . . . only TRUE, genuine Christians are listed in this book.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (KJV)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice . . . this is a commandment to all TRUE Christian believers. Rejoice in the Lord always . . . no matter what time of day it is, or where you are! It means no matter whether it is a difficult time or an easy time! We are commanded to rejoice. It is SO important, that Paul repeats it, in case we miss it the first time: "again I say, Rejoice." Joy is something we cannot produce ourselves; joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:22). My friend, there is NO power in a Christian's life if he has no joy. One who does not experience the joy of the Lord has no power at all.
Prayer . . . The Secret Of Power (Philippians 4:5-7)
Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (KJV)
Let your moderation be known unto all men . . . moderation is very far-reaching and important: it means gentleness, mildness, patience, self-control, yielding, mercy, unwilling to fight. Moderation means meekness when provoked, ready to forgive injuries, fairness in business, honesty in judging the characters and actions of others, sweetness of disposition, and the entire control of passions.
The Lord is at hand . . . and is at hand to punish. Consider: 1 Cor. 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (KJV) . . . The Lord is Judge. Some suppose from this verse, taken in connection with the preceding Passage, that Euodias and Syntyche were of a quarrelsome disposition; therefore comes the urging and warning in the third and fifth verses.
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. (KJV)
Be careful for nothing . . . do not worry about everything; do not give place to burdensome cares, let what will happen, happen! Worry, anxiety nor unrest can change the state or condition of anything from bad to good, but will simply injure your soul.
But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God . . . God alone can help you! He is very willing to do it . . . BUT . . . you must ask by prayer and supplication (appeal, request, plea). Without this, He has NOT promised to help you.
By prayer . . .solemn, sincere request to God from a sense of need.
By supplication . . . a continuance in earnest prayer, along with thanksgiving, for the countless favors already received from Him; and for dangers, evils and deaths He has turned aside. Our souls should be found in this exercise at all times, on all occasions, and in all places.
1 Thes. 5:17 Pray without ceasing. (KJV) . . . Does NOT mean to lock yourself in a closet, but to be in an attitude of prayer all the time!
Ten Cures for Worry
1. Allow the peace of God to keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ (Phil.4:7).
2. Abandon all worry; then by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, make all requests known to God (Phil.4:6; Jam.4:7).
3. Think on right things (Phil.4:8).
4. Keep mind stayed on God (Isa.26:3).
5. Use the weapons of spiritual warfare available to you (2 Cor.10:4-6).
6. Put on the whole armor of God (Eph.6:10-18).
7. Have faith in God (Mat.6:25-34; 7:7-11; 17:20; 21:22; Mk.11:22-24).
8. Live and walk in the Spirit (Rom.6:14; 8:1-13; Gal.5:16-26).
9. Do not cast away confidence (Heb.3:6,12-14; 6:11-12; 10:19-23,35-39).
10. Cast all your cares upon God (1 Pet.5:7).
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (KJV)
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding . . . the peace of God is to harmonize all passions and appetites which are produced by the Holy Spirit, and arises from a sense of pardon and the favor of God. Which passeth all understanding . . . this peace of God cannot be put into words! It passes all our understanding!
Shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus . . . only the peace of God can keep your hearts and minds safely in a strong place. Your hearts are the seat of all your affections and passions, your minds are your understanding, judgment, and conscience through Christ Jesus.
We have been brought into this awesome peace when we became God’s children and were born again into the family of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8). We are preserved in it, and Christ keeps that peace in our hearts, from where He dwells and rules. It is a peace which Christ has purchased, and which God dispenses; it is felt by all TRUE Christians. It cannot be explained by anyone; it is communion with the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.
The Scripture speaks of other kinds of peace which we can understand. There is world peace. We have the assurance that someday peace will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. It will come through the person of Christ, the Prince of Peace. There is also the peace that comes when sins are forgiven. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom.5:1). And there is the peace that is quietness. The Lord Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you..." (Jn.14:27). That is a marvelous peace, but it is NOT "the peace . . . which passeth all understanding."
Meditate on Christ; our Sanctuary of Power (Philippians 4:8-9)
This next verse could be called the account, biography or profile of Christ!
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. (KJV)
Finally, brethren . . . the object of the apostle Paul is to recommend holiness and righteousness to them in every point of view; and to show that the Gospel of Christ requires all its professors to have the mind that was in Christ, and to walk as He Himself walked. They were not to show just one branch of righteousness or virtue only, but in everything by which they might bring honor and glory to God, good to their fellow creatures, and credit to themselves.
Whatsoever things are true . . . all that agrees with the unchangeable and eternal Truth (2 Tim.2:15; 3:16-17).
Whatsoever things are honest . . . all that is serious, decent, honorable, and Christian (1 Tim.3:8,11; Tit.2:2).
Whatsoever things are just . . . all in harmony with justice and righteousness (Rom.3:24-31; 8:4; 2 Pet.1:4-10).
Whatsoever things are pure . . . all that is pure and holy for body and soul (Rom.12:1-2; 2 Cor.3:16-17; 7:1).
Whatsoever things are lovely . . . all that is pleasing and tends to bless others (2 Cor.13:4-8; Gal.5:22;23).
Whatsoever things are of good report . . . all that is in harmony with the public good, virtuous and praiseworthy (Rom.13:1-10; 2 Pet.1:4-10).
If there be any virtue . . . all that can be calculated to promote the general good of mankind, and are praiseworthy.
Think on these things . . . regard all good things highly, recommend them heartily, and practice them fervently.
This has been called the briefest biography of Christ. He is the One who is "true." He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. "Whatsoever things are honest" . . . He is honest. "Whatsoever things are just" . . . He is called the Just One. "Pure" . . . the only pure individual who ever walked this earth was the Lord Jesus. He was "...holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners..." (Heb.7:26). He was lovely which means "gracious." Virtue has to do with strength and courage. He was the One of courage, a real man. He took upon Himself our humanity. "If... any praise" . . . He is the One you can praise and worship today.
You and I live in a filthy world. We need a sanctuary. We need something to think upon that will clean up our minds. Here are some questions to think about: #1. How much time do you spend with the Word of God? #2. How much time do you spend considering Christ?
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. (KJV)
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard . . . the things which you have learned, received and heard from Paul’s preaching and writing. And received . . . they heard and believed by faith, as a revelation from God.
And seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you . . . while he lived and labored among you them. Do . . . a better word for "do" is practice. Paul could say something that would be overconfident such as "Do what I do." But instead Paul could make his life an example to other believers. Paul lived in that sanctuary of power because He had made Christ the very center of his life.
In Christ . . . The Satisfaction of Power (Philippians 4:10-23)
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. (KJV)
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly . . . every good thing comes from God, either immediately from His providence or from His grace; so Paul thanks God for the kindness of the Philippians towards him; for it was God that gave them the power, and directed their hearts to use it.
That now at the last your care of me hath flourished again . . . they had helped him before (Phil.2:25).
Wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity . . . they had ceased for a time, and now they began again. This is evidently intended by the apostle, as the word implies, which is a image taken from the revival of flowers in spring which seemed dead in winter. For the time in which they were apparently negligent he makes a slight apology: Ye were careful, but ye lacked opportunity; or you had not ability, you wanted the means; as the word sometimes implies.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (KJV)
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content . . . Paul was quite unconcerned in this respect; leaving the whole of his support, while bound for the testimony of Jesus, to the providence of God. For I have learned . . . to be satisfied with the wise providence and goodness of God, for I know whatever He determines is the best; and therefore I am perfectly content that He should govern the world in that way which seems best to His awesome wisdom. Consider the following proverb: “A contented mind is a continual feast! What do we get by murmuring and complaining?”
Ten Tremendous Lessons TRUE Christian should Learn:
1. To be content under all circumstances (Phil.4:11)
2. How to be abased (Phil.4:12)
3. How to abound (Phil.4:12)
4. In all places (Phil.4:12)
5. In all things (Phil.4:12)
6. To be full (Phil.4:12)
7. To be hungry (Phil.4:12)
8. To abound (Phil.4:12)
9. To suffer need (Phil.4:12)
10. That nothing is impossible through Jesus Christ (Phil.4:13; Mat.17:20; Mk.9:23; 11:22-24; Jn.14:12-15; 15:7,16)
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. (KJV)
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need . . . Paul knew how to be abased (humbled), and how to abound (thrive and prosper), for he had passed through all those states, and he knew exactly how to conduct himself in each, and how to extract good from them all. He had passed through these things, especially the hardships, so that he had learned the lesson perfectly. He was fully introduced into all the mysteries of poverty and want, and of the supporting Hand of God in the whole. God had permitted his chief apostle to be abased! And the grace of Christ supported him under the whole of it. How few of those who are called TRUE Christians who have learned this important lesson! When affliction, trouble or want comes, their complaints are loud and many; and their patience soon ends!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me . . . it was a disposition which he, and we have by grace; and he was enabled to do all by the power of an indwelling Christ.
When Paul says all things, what does he mean? It means in the circumstance of the will of Christ for your life. Whatever Christ has for you to do, He will supply the power. Whatever job He gives you, He will empower and equip you to do it! I am proof of this. When He called me to teach His Word, all those many years ago, He did certainly equip me. My earthly education was next to nil! Whatever gift He gives you, He will give the power to use that gift. A gift is a display of the Spirit of God in the life of the believer. As long as you function in Christ, you will have power. Through Christ which strengtheneth me . . . Christ is the One who will strengthen you and enable you to do everything that is in His will for you to do. Let me stress the point: you must be in God's will, and His will is made known to us by a knowledge of His Book, and a close walk with Jesus.
Philippians 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. (KJV)
Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction . . . Paul had learned many important lessons, and was never miserable when he was in want, yet the Philippians had done well in sending him relief in the time of his affliction.
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. (KJV)
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only . . . Paul loved this church. They were the ones who supported him; Paul was their missionary. Although Paul had learned the grace of contentment, and although he knew that Christ could enable him to do all things, it was wonderful for them to show kindness for his sufferings. They took part with Paul’s affliction. They sympathized with him and assisted him in bearing it. The relief which they had sent not only supplied his wants, but it sustained him by the certainty that he was not forgotten.
Philippians 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. (KJV)
For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity . . . (Acts 17:1). Paul remained there long enough to establish a flourishing church. But, he met with much opposition and persecution there; and so it was necessary that his wants should be supplied by others.
Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. (KJV)
Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account . . . Paul did not desire a gift from them. He did not speak to incite them to send Paul a farther gift. What Paul did seek was their spiritual good, and in the abounding in the fruits of their faith which would be put down to Paul’s account, at the day of reward (Heb.6:10).
Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. (KJV)
But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God . . . they had sent Paul so much by Epaphroditus, that he abounded in all the necessaries of life; possibly a supply of clothes and necessary things, as well as money. An odor of a sweet smell . . . most likely referring to the sacrifices offered up under the law by the priests. With what the Philippians had done for Paul, God is well pleased (Eph.5:2).
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (KJV)
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus . . .just as they had given to Paul in his distress, God will never allow them to want without raising up help to them, just as He raised them up for help to Paul. According to his riches . . . His fullness is infinite; and through Christ, whose followers we are, He will dispense every necessary blessing of providence, grace and glory to you.
Philippians 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen . . . God is our Father in Christ Jesus! And He has such pity as an earthly father has for his children, such pity has the Lord for them that fear Him. Just as a father is concerned for the support and life of his children, so is God concerned for you. A father may be poor, and unable to help his most beloved children; BUT God, your Father, is infinite in His riches of grace and glory, and out of His abundance we have all received, and grace for grace (Jn.1:16). Let our daily prayer to God our Father, be glory and honor for ever and ever!
Philippians 4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. (KJV)
Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you . . . Paul wanted them all to remember Paul’s affectionate wishes to every Christian at Philippi. The brethren which are with me . . . are those who were fellow laborers with him, supposedly they were Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke and Demas (Col.4:17; Philemon 1:25).
Philippians 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. (KJV)
All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household . . . Nero was at this time emperor of Rome: a worthless, cruel rascal, yet in his family there were Christians. We do not know whether this relates to the members of the imperial family, or to guards, or courtiers, or to servants. If even some of his slaves were converted to Christianity, it would have been wonderful. Converts to Christianity in this family, there certainly were; and this shows how powerfully the Divine Word had been preached and spread.
Philippians 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (KJV)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen . . . the usual apostolical benediction, which has often occurred, and been more than once explained (Rom.1:7; Gal.6:18). Paul closes with a blessing.
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