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« Themes of Colossians - Part One | Main | Your Body, God's Temple »

Themes of Philippians: CHAPTER 4

1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

The crowns:

19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

Euodias and Syntyche. Evidently a feud was going on between two women in the church. Unity is once again a primary theme of Paul’s epistles.

Help those women which labored with me in the gospel.

What is the role of women in the church? 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35

Jesus’ view of women Mary of Bethany . Capable of spiritual worship and intellectual understanding. Woman at the well. Received some of Christ’s greatest teaching on the Holy Ghost. Woman accused of adultery. Spared her from punishment of the law and illustrated his grace in her.

Women in Acts Acts 1:14 . Inclusion of women. Acts 2 was promised to women as well as men. (Acts 2:17-18) This reference to women was deliberate. Acts 21:8-9. Daughters of Philip were used in prophecy.

Apostle Paul’s View of Women Romans 16 - Ten of twenty-nine names are of women. Four women, Mary, Tryphene, Tryphosa, and Persis “worked very hard” in the cause of the Gospel. Pricilla, along with her husband, Aquila, were called “fellow-helpers” (sunergos) with Paul, a term also used for men.

Women: New Testament Principles

  • Speaking: No authoritative teaching
  • Obedience: The context of the law
  • Submission to husband
  • Definitive roles:

  • Teaching under submission
  • Teaching young women
  • Spiritual gifts

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  • Rejoice…rejoice! Rejoicing ought to characterize the attitude of the church.
  • Moderation. Means gentleness, reasonableness. There is no place for contentious spirits, obstinacy or strife in the church. Even when we do not agree, we can love and respect one another.
  • Be careful for nothing. Stop worrying! Worry is a little fox that spoils the vine. Worry is blind to blessing and has eyes and ears only for negative reports.
  • “What is worry? Our English word “worry” comes from an Anglo-Saxon word that means “to strangle”; worry certainly does strangle people physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Bible term “be careful” or “be anxious” means literally “to be torn apart.” Worry comes when the thoughts in our mind and feelings in our heart pull in different directions and “tear us apart.” The mind thinks about problems, and these feelings weigh down the heart, creating a vicious circle that wrecks our emotional state. Our minds tell us we should not fret, but we often cannot control the anxiety in our hearts! We have to break this circle of worry before we can enjoy peace.” Warren Wiersbe

The Apostle Paul had every reason to worry. People, circumstances and the material things of life all created problems for him, but he did not give them power over his attitude!

Everything by prayer and supplication…let your requests be made known to God. This is our antidote to worry.

The peace of God which passeth all understanding… This is one instance where the Word of God and prayer can put you to sleep! Instead of reaching for the sleeping pills, rely on the peace of God to calm your nerves. How do we do this?

Colossians 3:15-17 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest  , whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Think on these things. Just as food stimulates the digestive system into action, so input from the world stimulates the thought processes into action. The kind and quality of food determines the health of your body. The kind and quality of the input from the world determines the health of your mind.

Learned, received, heard, seen… There could be no better synopsis of a good example than this. Paul conducted himself beyond himself. He did not live for personal pleasure and fulfillment alone. He constantly had his followers in mind as he lived his life.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where 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 which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

Be content. This does not mean a lack of ambition or drive to succeed. It does mean that we are wrong to envy or be covetous of more than is given to us. Many fights and feuds break out because people are dissatisfied with themselves—their looks, their natural gifts, their possessions or status in life.

1 Timothy 6:3-12 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Socrates said as to who is wealthiest: “He that is content with least, for αὐταρκεια [ autarkeia ] is nature’s wealth.”

15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia , no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all  , and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

My God shall supply all your need… The promise is that God will supply our needs on two conditions.

1. Your unselfish giving to God.

2. What you need, not what you want.

The prosperity gospel is an abomination to the true gospel. It is based on words taken out of context and does not align itself with the spiritual purposes of God.

Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it .

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Besides being wrong, prosperity feeds on greed and self-gratification. It leads people to have false expectations of God and it abuses the practice of prayer.

James 4:1-3 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. 22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. To the Philippians written from Rome , by Epaphroditus.

The household of Caesar. These are probably not relatives of Caesar himself, but a reference to anyone in civil service for the Roman government. They may have included servants who had been converted while Paul was under house arrest.

The gospel knows no limits or exclusions. Rich or poor, bond or free, male or female, public servant or private citizen, black or white…the gospel is for all.

God cannot be a God of the majority or the minority or he would be fickle and biased. You may be in the majority in this country, but you would be in the minority in another country. Would that mean that God would reject you if you lived somewhere else? God pays special attention to two groups: The Jews and the Church. He has a word covenant with the Jews and a blood covenant with the Church. Other than that, God deals with us as individuals.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ephesians 6:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

God created all. Jesus died for all. We must be careful not to draw lines where the scripture draws none. Whenever our culture conflicts with the principles of the Word of God, the Bible must always be the final authority.

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