Philippians FOUR: 18-23

“Lord God, Heavenly Father, Holy Spirit, as we conclude this study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, enable us to see as Paul saw: his focus was always on Christ; his motive was always Christ. Enable us, please God, to do likewise.”

18 But I have all things, and abound. I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, a sweet-smelling fragrance, an acceptable and well-pleasing sacrifice to God. 19 My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever! Amen. 21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Link to WEB

You will notice that I have included vs. 18-20 in this final lesson, even though they were included in the previous one. Well, they are sort of a transition into the closing doxology and greetings. But more than that, The Asbury Commentary suggests that some ‘ancient texts’ read this as “May God supply…” Which, if that’s the case, really does move these two verses into the closing remarks. The IVP Commentary and Matthew Henry as well as the Asbury Commentary severely remind us that this is not an ‘automatic compensation’ for being generous. It seems to me that it reads more as a blessing than a promise; partly because Paul is proclaiming this thought (be it “may supply” or “will supply”) over the Philippians. It is very similar in style to the proclamation of blessing that Clergy offer at the end of each worship service. Verse 20 seems to be a part of the thought expressed in verse 19. 

The Asbury Commentary provides an interesting note on the last words, “with you all” in the WEB, above. The NIV translates this as “with your spirit”. Apparently this is an idiom meaning “with you”. That is a rather interesting grammatical formula. “You” are spirit as well as flesh, However, the “you” that is important, the “you” that matters, is your spirit.

There’s an interesting historical comment from the IVP about the phrase concerning Caesar’s household sending greetings. This comment is obviously the opinion of the writer; however, it does provide some insight into how the Gospel was spreading. Somewhere I have read an opinion on how the Roman world was ready for Christianity at this time. This opinion tried to show how, if Jesus had lived in a different time period, it would have been much more difficult for the Gospel to flourish. It is the last paragraph of this essay which I found to be worthwhile. Many of us sort of know this from our Bible reading. Yet, to see this summary of the historical facts is, for me, quite comforting.

 

Dear Reader,

Well, we have arrived at the end of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. And there’s so very much that we did not discuss. But that’s only natural. The Bible was written in such a way that each time you return to it there is more to reward your study efforts.

I hope you have been blessed by this study. I know I have. It’s amazing how much I learned from this. Please leave a comment to let me know if this has helped you.

Also, you might check out Always Rejoicing or Forever Stone if you’d like something different.

Rejoice Always!

Uisdean

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