1 Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
- This greeting is a blessing because God, the One who has all the power, gives our words power to bless.
The Lord will finish the work He has begun in us
3 I thank my God at every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 7 even as it is fitting for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the good news, all of you are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. 9 And I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
- Notice that love abounds because of knowledge, not works.
- We know God by His word. This gives more judgment or discernment.
- Jeremiah. 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.
10 That you may test the things that divide; that you may be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ; 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
- The fruits of righteousness are done in our lives by Jesus Christ.
- Isaiah 26:12 LORD, you will ordain peace for us; you have worked all our works in us.
12 But I want you to understand, brothers, that the things that happened to me have advanced the gospel; 13 so that my bonds in Christ are shown in all Caesar’s court, and to all others; 14 and many of the brothers in the Lord grow confident because of my bonds, and are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
- God has promised us that His word will do what He sends it to do regardless of our circumstances. We just need to speak it.
- Isaiah 55:11 So will my word be that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper in the I sent it to do.
- Romans 828 And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
15 Some indeed proclaim Christ because envy and strife; and some from good will: 16 One proclaims Christ from contention, not sincerely, thinking to add affliction to my bonds: 17 but the other from love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? In every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this will turn to my deliverance through your prayers, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness Christ will even now be magnified in my body, whether it is by life, or by death.
Christ is life
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: but I do not know what I will choose. 23 For I am hard-pressed in both directions, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I will stay and continue with you all for your further growth and joy of faith; 26 that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. 27 Only let your way of life be worthy of the good news of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 and are terrified by your adversaries in nothing: which is a sign of destruction for them, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 having the same conflict that you saw in me, and now hear is in me.
- Romans 7 speaks of the inner war between the flesh and the spirit. Suffering causes us to stop sinning.
- Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we not serve sin.
- 1Peter 4:1 For as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
Christ is exalted above all
1 If there is any comfort in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 fulfill my joy, that you be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or self-conceit; but in lowliness of mind let each consider others better than themselves. 4 Let every man not look to his own things, but every man also to the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, did not think it robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
- There is no being higher than the Lord, no humbling lower than the cross, bearing wrath of God against all the hideous sin and evil of history.
- There is consolation, even great comfort in Christ.
- His consolation and comfort will last throughout time and forever.
- Ezekiel describes the visible form of God that Christ was before He became man.
- Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the throne was the likeness of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from his loins upward, and from his loins downward, I saw the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave him a name which is above every name: 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Christ conquered all that is bad, wrong, evil, and dangerous— including death itself.
- Even the demons and inhabitants of eternal hell will bow to acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord.
God works His good pleasure in us
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own deliverance with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmuring and disputing: 15 that you may be blameless and harmless the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world; 16 holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, or worked for nothing. 17 Yes, and if I am offered up on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same cause you joy, and rejoice with me.
- Paul would rejoice even if killed for telling them the great news about Jesus because giving them the eternal life that Jesus died to give them will last forever.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your condition. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your condition. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. 22 But you know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope to send this one to you presently, as soon as I see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself will come soon. 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 needs. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because you had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick near death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 So I sent him more carefully, that when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and honor such ones: 30 Because for the work of Christ he was near death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
- 1 Corinthians 9 fully explains God’s policy of support for missionaries. The missionaries and ministers need to be supported abundantly while the facilities are less important.
- Missionaries and ministers are doing the most important work on earth, giving out the priceless gift that Christ died to provide for the world and preparing those who receive God’s gift to spend eternity in His majestic presence.
- They fight great spiritual opposition daily and their lives are often at risk.
- 1Corinthians 9:14 the Lord ordained that those that preach the good news should live of the good news.
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you in fact is not tiresome to me, but is safe for you. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, and beware of the false circumcision. 3 For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has cause to trust in the flesh, I more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
- The apostle Paul was the most devout Jew. But he was not sinless.
- Our old nature is unreformable.
- God’s holy law shows us our sin and need of Christ.
Knowing Christ is of surpassing excellence
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things but loss for the surpassing excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is by the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.
- How much is it worth to know the eternal Maker of all things as your closest relationship?
- How much is infinite knowledge, infinite genius, infinite wisdom worth? How much is infinite power worth? How much is infinite love worth?
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I have already attained, or am already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may eagerly seize that for which also I have been apprehended by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching ahead to those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
- Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
- Revelation21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
15 As many as are complete, let us think this: and if you think anything other than this, God will reveal even this to you. 16 However let us keep living according to that standard which we have attained. 17 Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark those in this way as you have us for an example. 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: 19 whose end is destruction, whose God is their stomach/belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
- “whose God is their belly’ can mean that they live for physical food, also they live by and for their emotions.
- Both are wrong and empty. Christ is our life.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Jesus is going to change our bodies to be just like His glorious body
20 For our citizenship is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 who will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like his glorious body, according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
- The word ‘vile’ is the Greek nadab which means to pierce or be hollow.
- Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.
- Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like o the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and wrapped about the chest with a golden girdle. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15 and his feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying unto me, Do not fear; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
1 Therefore, my brothers, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I urge Euodias and I urge Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I also ask you, true companion, help those women that labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.
- Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
- 1John 5:4 …and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
- Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
- Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The Lord is at hand
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious about nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- The Lord, Maker of the universe, is near all of us.
- And the time of His return to earth to establish His kingdom is very near.
- He has all the power and He loves us more than any other.
- That is great cause for rejoicing.
- He can do anything, fix anything.
- Acts 17:28 in Him we live and move and exist…
- John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
The God of peace is with us
8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. 9 Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace will be with you.
- TV, movies, literature, and art today have very little in them that is true, honest, lovely, virtuous or worthy of praise.
- We are to guard our hearts. We choose what we hear, see, and think about.
Christ empowers us
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at the last your thinking of me has revived; in which you were thinking of me but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of lack: for I have learned, in whatever state I am to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who empowers me. 14 Yet you did well in sharing with me in my troubles. 15 Now you Philippians also know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, not one church shared with me in giving and receiving, but only you. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to my need. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
- 2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance will be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
He supplies all our need
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent by you, a sweet aroma, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 19 But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints salute you, mainly those that are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
SUMMARY: Philippians 1-4
- The Lord will finish the work He has begun in us
- Christ is life
- Christ is exalted above all
- God works His good pleasure in us
- Knowing Christ is of surpassing excellence
- Jesus is going to change our bodies to be just like His glorious body
- The Lord is at hand
- The God of peace is with us
- Christ empowers us
- He supplies all our need