Thanksgiving and Final Greeting
Phil. 4:10 – 23
We are now in the end part of this beautiful letter. Here we find one of the most inspiring verses in the Bible which were used effectively by Pastors, Christian teachers, Counsellors, even by secular writers to inspire, motivate, comfort, strengthen, and even change the thinking and lives of people in all classes. Phil. 4: 13 and 19 have such an amazing power that for me they ranked as one of the most popular and loved verses in the Bible.
I. Paul’s thanksgiving for their generosity (v. 10)
A. Paul’s joy was “in the Lord”. He knows that it was their love for the Lord that motivated them to give. They sent the gift but he thanked God as the real source of the gift.
B. The Philippians have been very helpful to Paul in his ministry but for quite some time they were not able to send help. Epaphroditus willingness to deliver the gift, gave them the opportunity to give to him again.
Paul received the gift of the Philippians because he saw it as an evidence of the working Spirit of grace in their souls. The Spirit was working for their blessings as well as his. The giver and the receiver are both blessed. We need to support our missionaries who are labouring day and night so people may know Christ and be saved. When you give to missionaries you are obeying the Word of God which says that “they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:14).
II. Contentment (vs. 11-12).
A. For me contentment is the opposite of covetousness or greed. Money will never satisfy us because we never get enough to satisfy our desires. We crave for more and more.
B. In Greek, “content” means self-sufficient”. A content person is self-sufficient. Does that mean Paul is self-sufficient? Absolutely NO, Biblical sufficiency or Biblical contentment is “Christ-sufficiency”, and this was learned by Paul.
C. The secret of contentment is “Jesus Christ” who was crucified, died, buried, rose from the dead, and preached to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23). Contentment is not for the few but for everyone (Mt. 11:28-30), who might take up the cross and follow Christ (Lk. 9:23).
D. Paul was able to adapt to circumstances because of Christ and he learned it through the school of affliction. Ps. 119:71. He was able to cope with the extremities in his life, to be abased and to abound to be full and to be hungry. Are you content with your life now? Are you satisfied with what the Lord has given you? If you cannot be satisfied in Christ right now, you will never be satisfied with anything.
As a rule, Man is a fool. When it’s hot, He wants it cool. And when it’s cool, He wants it hot, always wanting what is not.
Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.”
III. I can do all things through Christ (v. 13)
A. Our strength comes from the Lord. We can endure the trials and hardships in our lives, not because we are strong enough to bear them, but because our help comes from the Jesus Christ. We can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and not be afraid, because the Lord is with us and our strength comes from the Lord.
B. Can we really do everything? Does that mean we can be faster than a speeding bullet, stop a locomotive, or jump over tall buildings like superman? Everything means that entire God wants us to do in our lives in serving and following Him even in the midst of difficulty or prosperity. We cannot do everything we set our mind to but we can do all things God gives us to do and be content with what He gives us to do them with.
C. God’s grace will sustain us no matter where He leads
Polycarp (A.D. 70-155) was bishop of Smyrna and a godly man. He had known the apostle John personally. When he was urged by the Roman proconsul to renounce Christ, Polycarp said: “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” “I have respect for your age,” said the official. “Simply say, ‘Away with the atheists!’ and be set free.” The aged Polycarp pointed to the pagan crowd and said, “Away with the atheists!” He was burned at the stake and gave joyful testimony of his faith in Jesus Christ.
IV. Divine Supply (v. 19)
A. The promise here is that God will supply “all” the needs of the Philippians. Whether it’s spiritual or temporal, God will supply it.
B. The rule is “God will supply our needs when we meet someone else’s need”. The Philippians met Paul’s need, now God will meet their need. Its not that the Philippians were generous to Paul but because God shows his approval for their sacrificial giving.
C. The principle and promise in Lk. 6:38, Ps. 37:25, and Prov. 3:9-10 still and will always be true.
God supplied food, water, safety, and everything Israel needs when they were in the wilderness. Millions were fed by the Lord so there is no reason He will not be able to supply our needs.
A man had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He could receive little company and was not to be excited. While in the hospital a rich uncle died and left him a million dollars. His family wondered how to break the news to him with the least amount of excitement. It was decided to ask the preacher if he would go and break the news quietly to the man. The preacher went, and gradually led up to the question. The preacher asked the patient what he would do if he inherited a million dollars. He said, “I think I would give half of it to the church.” The preacher dropped dead.
V. Final Greeting (v. 21 -23)
A. Saints here means God’s holy people, all true believers. Even carnal Christians in Corinth were called saints (2 Cor. 1:1).
B. Christians are not saints because they are sinless. They are saints because they have a sinless saviour and He has removed their sin from before God (Rev. 1:5, 6; 1 Pet. 2:9, 10).
C. The reference to saints from Caesar’s household in v. 22 is important and somewhat ironic. The very Romans who were persecuting the church in Philippi (see v. 1:27-30) had within their ranks, back home in Nero’s house, Christians to whom Paul refers as saints! This stands as an encouragement to the Philippians concerning the power of the gospel to change lives. After all, probably much to the surprise of many of them, the gospel had penetrated into the very heart of their “opponents!”
D. Paul concludes this letter with a closing prayer. The prayer of the saints often reveals their heart. Paul’s heart was that the Philippians would experience the grace of God.
E. May you experience the Grace in your lives day by day.
Philippians is a letter that which stresses joy, humility and unity. My prayer is that you and this church may experience the Lord Jesus Christ things which Paul declared in these beautiful letter.
Preached: 20 Jan 2013