"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"
Paul's Thank-You Note (Ph 4:10-23)
1. In our study of Philippians, we come to point where Paul mentions the
occasion which prompted the writing of this epistle
2. In these verses we find an expression of Paul's gratitude, a
"Thank-You Note", if you will - Ph 4:10-23
3. In these concluding verses, there are a number of notable things I
would like to emphasize
[The first being...]
I. THE PHILIPPIANS' GENEROSITY
A. AS DESCRIBED BY PAUL...
1. Notice especially verses 10,14-18
2. Clearly they demonstrated an "on-going" support and concern for
a. When Paul first departed from Macedonia, they shared with him
b. Even before leaving Macedonia, while still in Thessalonica,
they sent aid on several occasions
c. Now at last, while in Rome, they sent a gift by the hands of
B. WHAT A WONDERFUL PICTURE OF FELLOWSHIP BETWEEN A CHURCH AND A
1. The kind that ought to exist today!
2. Where churches and preachers continue to maintain their
fellowship in the gospel of Christ as the need calls for it,
long after the preacher has gone on to other works
3. How sad, that in many cases preachers leave a congregation in
such a way that there is no desire on the part of the
congregation to maintain such fellowship!
[Another notable thing in this passage is...]
II. PAUL'S CONTENTMENT
A. AS EXPRESSED BY PAUL...
1. His expression of thanks was not to hint that he was in great
need - Ph 4:11a
2. For he was quite content with the "state" or condition he found
himself in - Ph 4:11b
3. This "contentment" was something he had learned - Ph 4:11b-12
B. WHAT WAS THE "KEY" TO PAUL'S CONTENTMENT?
1. As expressed in Ph 4:13, it involved strength given by the
a. Who enabled him to be content whether full or hungry
b. Who enabled him to be content whether abounding or in need
2. Part of this strength from the Lord may have been the proper
perspective which Paul likely received from the Lord
a. The proper perspective about life and death - cf. Ph 1:21-24
b. The proper perspective about the true necessities in life
- cf. 1 Ti 6:6-8
[Having mentioned the strength given by the Lord, let's look a little
III. CHRIST'S POWER
A. THERE IS INDEED WONDERFUL POWER AVAILABLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN!
1. As Paul indicates, this power enables one to do all things
necessary in serving the Lord- Ph 4:13
2. We learn more about this wonderful power in Paul's epistle to
a. It is power about which Paul wanted them to know - Eph 1:18-19
b. It is power that is in accordance with the power used to
raise Jesus from the dead, and to seat Him at the right hand
of God! - Ep 1:19-21
c. Paul attributes such power to the Holy Spirit, dwelling in
the Christian - cf. Ro 8:11-14
d. He prayed that God would strengthen the Ephesians with such
power, which is described as being able to accomplish great
things - Ep 3:16; Ep 3:20-21
3. In other words, with the Spirit as the instrumental agent, God
and Christ enables the Christian to do all that he or she is
required to do!
B. THE RAMIFICATION OF THIS POWER...
1. We are not alone in our efforts to "work out our own salvation"
- cf. Ph 2:12-13
2. There is no excuse for not doing what God desires!
3. When we fall, it is usually a problem of the will, not the
ability! (unlike those outside of Christ, where it is a problem
of ability - cf. Ro 7:18, 22-25)
4. For Christians who sin knowingly, it is not that they CAN'T do
the will of God, but they WON'T!
a. Of course, because we have imperfect knowledge, we may
sometimes sin ignorantly, and therefore are always in need of
the cleansing blood of Jesus
b. But when we know the will of God, there are no excuses for
not doing it!
[What a wonderful blessing for those who are in Christ, to have that
power! But there is even a hint of more blessings in our text, as we
notice what is said about...]
IV. GOD'S RICHES
A. AS DEFINED BY PAUL...
1. These are "riches in glory" which God supplies by Jesus Christ
- Ph 4:19
a. I.e., one must be "in Christ" to enjoy these "riches"
b. Indeed, "in Christ" is the realm in which God provides every
spiritual blessing - cf. Ep 1:3-13 (note the use of the
phrase "in Christ", or "in Him")
2. But God provides not only spiritual needs, but "all your needs"
a. Which includes the necessities of life, like food and
b. As Jesus Himself taught in Mt 6:30-33
B. WITH "RICHES" LIKE THESE...
1. How can we not be content?
2. We have an abundance of "spiritual" blessings, and an assurance
of "physical" needs, how could we ever be less than satisfied?
[May God forgive us when we take these "riches" lightly and begin to
feel discontented with what we have!
Finally, we note...]
V. THE SAINT'S GREETINGS
A. AS READ HERE IN PHILIPPIANS...
1. Paul first sends his greetings - Ph 4:21a
2. The brethren with him (Luke? Timothy?) send their greetings
- Ph 4:21b
3. Then "all the saints...especially those who are of Caesar's
household" send their greetings - Ph 4:22
B. THE SIMPLE ACT OF GREETING CAN SERVE AN IMPORTANT FUNCTION...
1. Clearly, Paul thought so - cf. Ro 16:3-16; Ro 16:21-23
2. Some possible benefits of greeting one another:
a. Greeting one another expresses our love and appreciation for
b. Greeting one another frequently (in letter or in person)
nourishes the relationship we have as brethren in Christ
3. Note that Paul desired to greet "every" saint in Christ Jesus;
no room for favoritism here! - Ph 4:21
4. How we greet (or fail to greet) other Christians in our
assemblies reveals a lot about ourselves
a. Either that we are caring and loving without partiality
b. Or cold and insensitive, except to those in our "clique"!
1. Such are some the things we can glean from a simple "thank-you
a. The Philippians' generosity
b. Paul's contentment
c. Christ's power
d. God's riches
e. The saints' greetings
2. What this reveals is the high quality of life experienced by those in
a. Who despite the sort of circumstances faced by Paul...
b. Could still feel and write such a letter as the epistle to the
3. As we close this study on this wonderful epistle, I leave with you two
words: "glory" and "grace"
a. "Now to our God and Father be GLORY forever and ever. Amen."
- Ph 4:20
b. "The GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
- Ph 4:23
Have you received the wonderful GRACE of our Lord in your life, by
obeying His gospel? Are you living so as to offer GLORY to God, both
in word and deed?
May such portions of God's Word like the Epistle to the Philippians
inspire you to do both!
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