MY BROTHERS: Paul's strong affection for the Philippian
Christians comes through very clearly in this verse. He called them "brethren"
four times (Phi 1:12; 3:1,17; 4:8), "beloved" twice (Phi 2:12 and here), and
"beloved brethren" once (here).
WHOM I LOVE AND LONG FOR: Paul has previously expressed
his great affection for them: "God can testify how I long for all of you with
the affection of Christ Jesus" (Phi 1:8).
MY JOY: In the day when glory, honor, and immortality
are bestowed on the faithful, there will be great joy on the part of those who
preached the gospel and those who received it. "As you have understood us in
part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will
boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus" (2Co 1:14).
CROWN: Gr "stephanos": the coronal wreath bestowed on
winners in athletic competitions (Phi 2:16; 1Co 9:25). Their salvation will be
Paul's victory as well as their own (Phi 2:15-18). In a similar vein, Paul wrote
to the Thessalonians: "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we
will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?" (1Th
STAND FIRM IN THE LORD: Gr "stekete", as in Phi 1:27: a
military term sig "to stand in an unbroken line" -- the Roman phalanx -- as
against the assault of the enemy (also in Gal 5:1; 1Co 16:13).
Standing firm involves living in harmony with one another (vv
2,3), rejoicing on all occasions (vv 4-7), and developing the quality of sweet
reasonableness (vv 8,9).
I PLEAD WITH EUODIA AND I PLEAD WITH SYNTYCHE TO AGREE WITH
EACH OTHER IN THE LORD: "Plead" is "parakaleo": to exhort, encourage. Euodia
(sig "success") and Syntyche (sig "lucky") were two sisters who had a
difference, perhaps even a long-running feud. Though to be named would surely be
embarrassing, Paul considers this serious enough to do so. He does not attempt
to arbitrate -- but only to encourage them to find a way to make peace with one
another, and to forgive one another even as they have been forgiven (Mat
6:12,14,15). What divided these two we do not know, and it does not matter.
There are latent causes of division in the human heart, just as there are latent
possibilities of disease in every living organism. Divisions spring from pride
and mistrust, and we need to recognize these as evil and destructive of the
fellowship which should exist between brethren. Instead, the urge for unity,
though unnatural, should be cultivated and eagerly pursued (Eph 4:1-3).
The aspects of fellowship: fellow-heirs (Eph 3:6);
fellow-soldiers (Phi 2:25); fellow-helpers (3Jo 1:8); fellow-workers (Col 4:11);
fellow-servamts (Rev 6:11); fellow-prisoners (Rom 16:7); fellow-laborers (Phi
4:3); fellow-citizens (Eph 2:19).
This verse is rich in "syn-compounds" -- words using the
prefix which denotes "together with": "yokefellow" ("suzugos": yoked together);
"help" ("sullambano": take hold together with); "contended" ("sunathleo":
wrestled together, as helpers in a contest); and "fellow workers" ("sunergos":
I ASK YOU, LOYAL YOKEFELLOW, HELP THESE WOMEN: Possibly
Paul has a particular brother in mind here: he seems to enlist the aid of a
third party, Syzygus (sig "yokefellow", whom he challenges to live up to his
name and be a "loyal yokefellow" ("gnesie syzyge") by bringing these women
together. (Another Pauline play on a personal name occurs in Phm 1:10,11.) It is
possible, of course, that there was no brother by the name Syzygus, and that
this is an appeal to an otherwise unnamed brother -- but in that case, how would
the Philippians know to whom this exhortation is addressed? The other
alternative is that this is a general appeal to any and all in Philippi, to help
with this reconciliation between Euodias and Syntyche.
WHO HAVE CONTENDED AT MY SIDE IN THE CAUSE OF THE
GOSPEL: Whenever possible, Paul does not rebuke without also commending! In
this case, he reminds Euodias and Syntyche of the sterling qualities and
faithful service they manifested previously, when the gospel was first preached
to them, and when they embraced and labored alongside the apostle (Acts
16:13-40). Possibly they were among the first women in Philippi to hear his
message (Acts 16:13-15).
CLEMENT: The only ref to this brother. Probably not the
same as the more famous Clement of Rome, who lived at the end of the 1st century
-- some 35 or 40 years later. Clement was a common name.
WHOSE NAMES ARE IN THE BOOK OF LIFE: Cp Psa 69:28; Dan
12:1. This divine roll is, in the NT, mentioned only here and in Rev, where the
refs are numerous (Rev 3:5; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19). We are reminded of
the occasion when Moses pleaded with God to erase his name from the book of life
if this could be a condition of the forgiveness of Israel's sin (Exo 32:32).
This request shows that the book is the heavenly register on which are entered
the names of God's covenant people. When God takes such notice of men, they are
signally honored: "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven" (Luk 10:20).
The fact that names, once written, can still be blotted out of the book (Rev
3:5) is a sobering reminder that citizenship of the heavenly commonwealth is not
"Practically every city of that day maintained a roll or civic
register of its citizens, and in that record was entered the name of every child
born in the city. If one of the citizens proved guilty of treachery or
disloyalty or of anything bringing shame on the city, he was subjected to public
dishonour by the expunging of his name from the register. (The name was in any
case normally obliterated at death.) He was deemed no longer worthy to be
regarded as a citizen of the city. If, on the other hand, a citizen had
performed some outstanding exploit deserving of special distinction, honour was
bestowed upon him, either by the recording of the deed in the city roll or by
his name being encircled in gold (or overlaid in gold) in the roll" (Tatford,
cited in Const).
REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS: Cp Phi 3:1. That is, joy in
fellowship (v 2). Rejoicing is the antidote to division (Phi 4:2), and the
antithesis of ill-temper (1Ti 3:3; Jam 3:17; Psa 86:5, LXX). Paul and Silas
rejoiced and sang hymns while in the PHILIPPIAN jail (Act 16:25). The paradox of
a man in prison rejoicing lies at the root of what this book is all about. Such
an attitude demonstrates an unusual view of life. It is a uniquely Christian
view of life. It demonstrates the mind of Christ, which is the key to this
There were many reasons the Philippian saints could have felt
discouraged. Paul's imprisonment and the possibility of his death, Epaphroditus'
illness, and the antagonism of unbelievers were a few. The attacks from
legalists on the one hand and libertines on the other plus friction among
certain members of the church contributed to this spirit. To counteract this
attitude Paul prescribed rejoicing in the Lord.
I WILL SAY IT AGAIN: REJOICE: The apostle is anxious
that the full implication of his words should not be missed; accordingly, he
repeats himself. He repeats the command, because in all the vicissitudes of the
Christian life, whether in attacks from errorists, personality clashes among
believers, persecution from the world, or threat of imminent death -- all of
which Paul himself was experiencing at this very time -- the Christian is to
maintain a spirit of joy in the Lord. He is not immune to sorrow nor should he
be insensitive to the troubles of others; yet he should count the will of God
his highest joy and so be capable of knowing inner peace and joy in every
GENTLENESS: "Epieikes": "reason" (Vine). "Moderation"
(AV). "Considerateness" (Roth), or "reasonableness" (Roth mg). "Forbearance"
(RV, RSV). "Gentleness" (Diag). Sw 1Ti 3:3; Tit 3:2; Jam 3:17.
The Gr word contains connotations of gentleness, yielding,
kindness, patience, forbearance, leniency, and magnaminity. It recalls the
example of Jesus Christ's humility in Phi 2:5-11. The forbearing person does not
insist on his or her own rights or privileges. He or she is considerate and
gentle toward others.
THE LORD IS NEAR: Or "at hand" (AV, RV, RSV). Two
possibilities: (1) Christ's nearness at all times to his brethren: "I am with
you always" (Mat 28:20). He can see and appreciate the injustices they were
suffering (Phi 1:27-30). This knowledge would comfort them, and enable them to
be gentle in the face of mistreatment or other bad conditions. (2) Christ's
second coming is near... at least as near as one's death. Then he will reward
his faithful servants (cp Phi 3:20,21) and redress all grievances (James 5:8).
The knowledge of this would encourage them to be faithful to all his commands.
And in view of eternity, any and every affliction will seem to have been only
for a "moment" (2Co 4:16-18).
Possibly this phrase is an allusion to Psa 119:151; 145:18:
the contexts there would apply to either of the two possibilities of
Do not nag or quarrel, but you may "nag" at God!
Paul used several different words for prayer in this verse.
"Prayer" ("proseuche") is the most general term for our communications to God.
"Petition" ("deesis") refers to requests for particular benefits. "Thanksgiving"
("eucharistias") is grateful acknowledgment of past mercies. "Requests"
("aitemata") looks at individual requests of God that form part of the whole
DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING: Those who are anxious
and fearful are not showing confidence in God (cp Mat 6:25-34). Earlier Paul
commended Timothy for being anxious over the welfare of the Philippians (Phi
2:20). Here he said we should not be anxious about anything. The same Greek word
("merimnate") appears in both places. The resolution of this problem probably
lies in viewing anxiety as concern that may become fretful and inappropriate if
taken too far. Paul's point here was that, rather than becoming distraught over
a particular situation, we should take it to the Lord in prayer.
BUT IN EVERYTHING, BY PRAYER AND PETITION: This is the
great antidote for anxiety. If God's will has been taken into account, then
there must be a faithful acceptance of whatever comes -- because, whether it
matches up with what we might like or not, it will be for our ultimate benefit:
"In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been
called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28).
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of
prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for
all the saints" (Eph 6:18).
WITH THANKSGIVING: "Pray continually; give thanks in
all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1Th 5:17).
God wants to hear our prayers. But to keep them from becoming too self-focused,
God wants us to always remember to give thanks. Gratitude can only exist where
there is appreciation of God's past goodness, and confidence in His future care
(Rom 5:4). It is so easy for us to turn prayer into a request line. We are the
ones who are left bereft when thanksgiving and praise are robbed from our
prayers. Without praise our hearts grow dim because all we think about are
problems and prayer becomes a wish list.
PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD: God desires that we take
all our requests to Him (Psa 50:15; 81:7). Those who walk with God will not fail
to do this, and thereby He will draw nigh to them even while they are drawing
nigh to Him (Jam 4:8). "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your
paths straight" (Pro 3:5,6).
Peace: made (Col 1:20), preached (Eph 2:17), enjoyed (Rom
5:1), filling hearts (Rom 15:13), given (John 14:27), keeping (Phi 4:7), and
ruling (Col 3:15). Peace achieved by forgiving past bickerings (Col
THE PEACE OF GOD: This is peace that comes FROM God
rather than peace WITH God. A peace which comes from intimate association with
God, which cannot be threatened by external circumstances or conditions: Rom
5:1; Col 1:20; John 14:27. "God is not subject to the fluctuations in mood, the
storms and tempests born of conflicting interests and passions. The mind that is
set on Him shares His peace" (BPh 151). "You will keep in perfect peace him
whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you" (Isa 26:3).
"These familiar words are remarkable for their atmosphere of
complete calm; they rightly constitute one of Paul's most treasured utterances.
The apostle was clearly drawing on his own experience when he wrote the passage.
He had known many dark moments in his life, but the Lord had delivered him out
of them all" (BPh 31).
WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING: Everything about
God surpasses human comprehension: " 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your
thoughts' " (Isa 55:8,9). Our Heavenly Father "is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20).
WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS:
The Gr "phroureo" is "either the work of a garrison in maintaining law and order
within a city and protecting it against attacks from without... or the activity
of a sentry who ensures that there is no surprise attack" (BPh 102). The sw
occurs in Gal 3:23, in the sense of being held prisoner, or kept under
"Everyone -- and everything -- is on a secondary level, in
relation to our relationship to God. This includes our family, and the ecclesia,
and the ecclesial world. Not that they are unimportant. They are very important
to us. But they cannot -- in the ultimate -- mar or jeopardize our personal
peace with God. Only we ourselves can do that. Our relationship to God must be
such that whatever else happens, it can only have a secondary effect upon us.
Sometimes, indeed, a very major and serious effect -- but still secondary, and
relatively minor, in comparison with our impregnable, unassailable peace with
God. We must -- by deliberate concentration and effort -- get all things into
their proper secondary perspective, if we are to have the perfect peace that
transcends understanding. And we can have it. We must have it. This is spiritual
success. All else is failure. God alone is immutable and unchanging. So He alone
can be built on and depended on" (GVG).
"There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who
would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at
all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose
between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for
peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with
fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect
picture of peace. The other picture had mountains too. But these were rugged and
bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightning played.
Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look
peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny
bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her
nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her
nest... perfect peace. Which picture won the prize? The King chose the second
picture 'because,' he explained, 'peace does not mean to be in a place where
there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all
those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace'
GUARD: The word guard ("phroureo") was a military term
that described a sentinel, a Roman soldier holding his weapon, walking back and
forth in front of an open gate so that no one could enter. And so God will be a
sentinel, guarding our hearts and giving us His peace. Our Father is a Father
who delights to give good gifts to His children. He will actively guard ours
heart against whatever is troubling us. He will not allow any menacing worry to
FINALLY, BROTHERS, WHATEVER...: The lesson is
generalized for all ecclesia.
TRUE: Gr "alethe", sig "valid, honest, and reliable" --
the opposite of false. It characterizes God, and should characterize believers
(cf Rom 3:4).
NOBLE: Gr "semna", worthy of respect (Prov 8:6; 1Ti
3:8,11; Tit 2:2). Not base or dishonorable. Used in the NT only by Paul -- here
and in 1Tim 3:8, 11; Tit 2:2 -- and may ref ecclesial elders. It is a quality
that makes them worthy of respect.
RIGHT: Gr "dikaia": what is just and upright;
conformable to God's standards and thus worthy of His approval. Cp Phi 3:9; Rev
PURE: Gr "hagna" denotes cleanness (cp Jam 3:17), and
may connote moral purity, or chastity.
LOVELY: Gr "prosphile" (lit, that which leads to love)
means what is amiable, agreeable, or pleasing.
ADMIRABLE: "Of good report" (AV, RV, Roth). Gr
"euphema" refers to what is praiseworthy because it measures up to the highest
standards. It occurs only here, though Paul uses the cognate "euphemia" in 2Co
EXCELLENT: Gr "arete". "Of preeminent estimation"
PRAISEWORTHY: Gr "epainos".
THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS: "Impute" or "reckon", ie
consider these qualities to be characteristics of others. Cp thought, 1Co
"Commentators point out that heathen philosophers were wont to
draw up such catalogues of virtues. Paul would not be blind to the moral
qualities exhibited by some in the heathen world... There is sometimes a painful
contrast between the conduct of professing Christians and that of men
indifferent to Christ's claims. If some of the virtues Paul recommends were
practised in the pagan world they were none the worse for that. Having said so
much, we must make it clear that Paul is not writing as a moralist or
philosopher. The apostle was not writing purely abstract virtues but personal
qualities which had already been embodied in a Life. Furthermore, the
essentially Christian reference of these things, so far as Paul is concerned, is
made clear by the next verse" (BPh 152).
WHATEVER YOU HAVE LEARNED OR RECEIVED OR HEARD FROM ME:
Wholesome conduct (v 9) should follow wholesome thinking (v 8). Paul was of the
conviction that the truths of the Christian gospel must never be abstracted from
action and put into high-toned words and phrases, but always expressed in the
life of the teacher. And so Paul, unselfconsciously, sets himself up as their
example. Specifically to the point of v 2, for example, he had never cherished a
grudge or quarreled with anyone.
AT LAST YOU HAVE RENEWED YOUR CONCERN FOR ME: Paul is
not complaining that they had been negligent, but simply stating that he knew
that they had lacked opportunity, until recently, to show their care for him.
Now they had showed it practically in a gift brought by Epaphroditus (Phi 2:25;
RENEWED: A verb used of flowers blooming again in the
spring (BPh 153). "Had blossomed afresh" (NEB). Like a person rejoicing over the
signs of spring after a hard winter, so Paul rejoiced to see again the signs of
personal concern from Philippi after a long interval of silence.
I AM NOT SAYING THIS BECAUSE I AM IN NEED: The ground
of his joy is not the relief to his own condition but their goodness.
I HAVE LEARNED TO BE CONTENT WHATEVER THE
CIRCUMSTANCES: "Content" is the Gr "autarkes", which means
"self-sufficient". This usage is derived from Stoic philosophy, describing a
person who accepted impassively whatever came -- one whose mental state is
independent of his material conditions. In this case, this is true not because
Paul subscribes to the school of philosophy, but because he believes that his
Heavenly Father will supply all his needs: "Not that we are competent in
ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God"
"One of the best established principles in economics is the
one that says the more you have of anything, the less satisfaction you get from
having some more. Otherwise known as the principle of marginal returns. One car
may make a big difference to your life. The fourth car just gives you the choice
whether you will go there in the sedan or the convertible. One crust of bread
may save a man from starvation; a thousand crusts would simply be a litter
problem. While this is well understood for specific items, it is not generally
grasped that it also applies to material goods when taken as a whole.
"In the early stages of industrialization, the benefits in
terms of real satisfaction are great. Running water and electric light made life
vastly less onerous. A home, sufficient clothes, good food are of basic
importance. But industrial civilization has reached the point where the majority
of the population is consuming goods which yield only marginal satisfactions. We
consume far more clothing than we need, changing because 'fashion' has changed
and discarding clothes which are far from worn out. We know how to make clothes
in large quantities, and we do this. But the satisfaction gained is small. It is
rather than we avoid the dissatisfaction of being accused of being out of
fashion than that we get any positive pleasure. People who live secluded lives
seldom bother much about fashion" (GR Taylor, "The Doomsday Book").
"John Wesley's rule of life was to SAVE all he could, and GIVE
all he could. When he was at Oxford he had an income of £30 a year. He
lived on £28 and gave the balance away. When his income increased to
£60, £90, and £120 a year, he still lived on £28 and gave
the balance away. The Accountant-General for Household Plate demanded a return
from him. His reply was, 'I have two silver teaspoons at London, and two at
Bristol. This is all the plate I have at present, and I shall not buy any more
while so many around me want bread.' The Romans had a proverb which said that
money was like sea-water; the more a man drank the thirstier he became. And so
long as a man's attitude is that of the rich fool his desire will always be to
get more -- that is the reverse of the Christian way" (William
TO BE IN NEED: More literally, "to be abased, brought
low, or humbled" (as in Phi 2:8).
TO HAVE PLENTY: Gr "perisseuo" = to superabound; to
I HAVE LEARNED THE SECRET: Lit, "I have been initiated
into the mystery" -- which is, of course, revealed in v 13!
IN ANY AND EVERY SITUATION: Specifically detailed by
Paul in 2Co 11:23-27: "I have worked much harder, been in prison more
frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and
again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three
times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked,
I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I
have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own
countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the
country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and
toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and
have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."
WELL FED... LIVING IN PLENTY: Notice that the
conditions of prosperity are themselves times of testing and temptation, and
prospectively of spiritual danger. Both poverty and wealth bring temptations
with them (Prov 30:7-9). Wealth is a different sort of testing than privation,
but perhaps even more deadly as a result -- because it may lead to feelings of
pride and self-sufficiency, and the forgetting of God.
I CAN DO EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH:
This is the great lesson for all who would attain salvation. They must "cease
from man" and learn to trust in the mercies of God (cp Isa 2:21; Psa 146:3-6;
22:8; Eph 6:10; 2Co 12:9,10; 2:14; 1Ti 1:12). Paul was not a member of the Stoic
philosophical school, even though for this purpose he might sound like he was:
his secret was... CHRIST!
YET IT WAS GOOD OF YOU TO SHARE IN MY TROUBLES: Paul
realizes that his disclaimer about plenty and prosperity might, by itself, sound
ungrateful -- so he attempts to redress this.
"We know that God loves a cheerful giver, but I believe we
also need to stress that God loves a cheerful receiver. Cheerful receivers make
giving and receiving a joy... This is not necessarily an easy task. The art of
being a gracious, cheerful, thankful receiver may be even more difficult than
being a cheerful giver. If we learn to accept the compliments and the special
personal gifts which we receive in a gracious, cheerful manner, we will help
make giving and receiving a joy for ourselves and for [others]" (Brug, cited in
IN THE EARLY DAYS OF YOUR ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE GOSPEL,
WHEN I SET OUT FROM MACEDONIA: The events described in Acts 16: Lydia's
warmth and hospitality, the jailer's wholeheartedly devotion and
NOT ONE CHURCH SHARED WITH ME IN THE MATTER OF GIVING AND
RECEIVING, EXCEPT YOU ONLY: "The Philippians, by their contributions, had
opened an account wi him" (BPh 155). Of them Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "And
now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the
Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and
their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave
as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to
the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first
to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will" (2Co 8:1-5; cp 2Co 11:8).
The Philippians were obviously as close to Paul as any of the ecclesias which he
THESSALONICA: His first start after departing from
Philippi (Acts 17:1).
NOT THAT I AM LOOKING FOR A GIFT: Again, Paul says that
he did not require it as a necessity, but as a token of their love (cp vv
CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT: "But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do
not break in and steal" (Mat 6:20; cp 1Ti 6:17-19).
A FRAGRANT OFFERING, AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE, PLEASING TO
GOD: Burnt offerings, speaking of dedication (Gen 8:20,21; Exo 29:18,25,41;
Lev 1:9,13,17; 2:12). In Eph 5:2, Christ's sacrifice is described in similar
Other sacrifices believers can make to God beside our material
possessions (v 18) include our bodies (Rom 12:1,2), our converts (Rom 15:16),
our praise (Heb 13:15), and our good works (Heb 13:16).
MY GOD WILL MEET ALL YOUR NEEDS: Cp Pro 11:25; 19:17;
Mat 5:7; 6:33). Note that it is needs that He will meet, not "greeds."
God's liberality to them. Paul's "blank check": the "banker" =
"my God"; the promise to pay = "will meet"; the amount = "all your needs" --
'Fill in the blank!'; the inexhaustible capital = "his glorious riches"; and the
"cashier" = Christ Jesus!
"In God through Christ we can have...
A love that can never be fathomed,
A life that can never die,
A righteousness that can never be tarnished,
A peace that can never be understood,
A rest that can never be disturbed,
A joy that can never be diminished,
A hope that can never be disappointed,
A glory that can never be clouded,
A light that can never be darkened,
A purity that can never be defiled,
A beauty that can never be marred,
A wisdom that can never be baffled,
Resources that can never be exhausted.
God can be our all in all!" (MT).
HIS GLORIOUS RICHES IN CHRIST JESUS: Called "the
unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph 1:8; 3:8,20).
TO OUR GOD AND FATHER BE GLORY FOR EVER AND EVER: Small
wonder that Paul closes this beautiful passage with a doxology. The glory of
God's providential care must always be recognized by His children. Even the
eternal ages yet to come will not be sufficient to exhaust the praises that
belong to Him.
Other doxologies, or ascriptions of praise to God: Rom 16:27;
Gal 1:5; Eph 3:20,21; 1Ti 1:17; 2Ti 4:18.
It is likely that the remaining words of the letter were
written by Paul's own hand, after the pattern announced in 2Th 3:17 (see also
Gal 6:11; Col 4:18).
GREET ALL THE SAINTS IN CHRIST JESUS: "As the letter
draws to its conclusion, he greets every saint in Christ Jesus and thus, as in
the opening verse, embraces all, from the lowliest to the most distinguished, in
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO BELONG TO CAESAR'S HOUSEHOLD:
Perhaps they had visited Philippi on some sort of official business, and had had
opportunity to meet the Philippian brethren.
THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOUR SPIRIT:
The last words of the NT carry the same message (Rev 22:21).
GRACE: "In the Christian message, grace is the first
word and the last word" (BPh 157).