"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS" Chapter Four OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To notice Paul's tactfulness in dealing with Euodia and Syntyche 2) To glean Paul's secrets for joy, peace, contentment, and strength 3) To consider how Paul viewed the Philippians' generosity towards him SUMMARY This final chapter begins with a series of exhortations to unity, joy, and peace. With great affection, Paul pleads with his beloved Philippians to stand fast in the Lord (1). With great diplomacy and a call for assistance from others, he implores Euodia and Syntyche to be of one mind in the Lord (2-3). He then follows with a call for them to rejoice always in the Lord, letting their gentleness be known to all, and through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to allow the peace of God to remove any anxiety (4-7). His final exhortations include a call to meditate on things of virtue and worthy of praise, and to imitate his example in order to ensure that God will be with them (8-9). At last he comes to the matter which occasioned this letter, expressing joy and gratitude for the gift they had sent to him by way of Epaphroditus. As they had done before on several occasions, so now they had provided for his necessities. He is thankful, even though he was quite content, for he knows that this gift really abounds to their account, serving as a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is well pleasing to God (10-19). His closing remarks include praise to God, and greetings from those with him, especially members of Caesar's household. As was his custom, he closes with a final prayer that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with them all (20-23). OUTLINE I. EXHORTATIONS TO UNITY, JOY, AND PEACE (1-9) A. AN APPEAL TO EUODIA AND SYNTYCHE (1-3) 1. Prefaced with an exhortation to stand fast in the Lord (1) 2. A plea for Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord (2) 3. A request for assistance in helping these women (3) B. EXHORTATIONS TO REJOICE AND TO BE AT PEACE (4-9) 1. Rejoice in the Lord always, letting your gentleness be known to all (4-5) 2. Through prayer, allow the peace of God to guard your hearts from anxiety (6-7) 3. Meditate upon things worthy of virtue and praise, and follow Paul's example (8-9) II. THANKSGIVING FOR THEIR GENEROSITY (10-23) A. THEIR GIFT A SOURCE OF JOY TO PAUL (10-14) 1. Paul rejoiced when they were able to care for him again (10) 2. Not that he really had need (11-13) a. For he had learned contentment (11-12) b. For he had the strength of Christ (13) 3. But they have done well to share in his distress (14) B. THEIR GIFT A SOURCE OF BLESSING FOR THEMSELVES (15-19) 1. A brief history of their giving to Paul (15-16) 2. Their giving abounds to their own account, viewed as an acceptable sacrifice to God (17-18) 3. God will supply all their needs according to His riches (19) C. CONCLUDING REMARKS (20-23) 1. Praise to God (20) 2. Greetings from those with Paul, especially those of Caesar's household (21-22) 3. Final benediction of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (23)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) How does Paul describe his brethren as he exhorts them to stand fast in the Lord? (1) 3) What two women does Paul implore to be of the same mind in the Lord? (2) 4) What is said about these two women? (3) 5) In what are we to rejoice always? (4) 6) Why are we to let our gentleness (or moderation) be known to all men? (5) 7) What is the antidote for anxiety? (6) 8) What will the peace of God do in response to such thankful prayer? (7) 9) Upon what should one meditate? (8) 10) How can one ensure that the God of peace will be them? (9) 11) What had served as a source of great joy for Paul? (10) 12) What had Paul learned? (11-12) 13) How was Paul able to do all things? (13) 14) When had the church at Philippi helped Paul before? (15-16) 15) Why was Paul really pleased with their gift? (17) 16) How did Paul view the gift they had sent by way of Epaphroditus? (18) 17) Who would provide help for the Philippians? (19) 18) Who in particular sent greetings to the Philippians by way of Paul? (22) 19) What was Paul's final prayer for his beloved Philippians? (23)