Philippians 4 NIV

4:1 Therefore [connects the last verses of chapter 3 with the first verse of chapter 4], my brothers, you whom I love and long for [reminder of his affection for the Philippian saints], my joy [Philippians were source of joy and gladness to Paul (cf. Phil. 1:3)] and crown [Gr. “stephanos” refers to the crown or garland that was awarded to a victorious athlete at the Greek games], that is how you should stand firm [Gr. “stekete” means to stand fast in the heat of battle when the enemy is coming upon you; Paul urged them to maintain their spiritual position as citizens of heaven, especially in face of persecution from without and error from within] in the Lord, dear friends!

4:2 I plead [ exhort] with [note that Paul listed them in alphabetical order, perhaps to show impartiality] Euodia [name means “prosperous or successful journey,” or, according to some texts, “sweet savor/fragrance”] and I plead [exhort] with Syntyche [name means “pleasant acquaintance, good fortune, or affable”] to agree [be of the same mind; to live in harmony; we are not told the cause of their dissension; must have been at odds a long time since news of their disagreement reached Paul in Rome] with each other in the Lord.

4:3 Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow [has been interpreted to mean either a proper name (Syzygus) or as a reference to some outstanding saint who Paul felt was capable of helping these two women; some believe this is reference to Epaphroditus], help these women [sadly, these women are remembered because they quarreled; thy failed to live up to the meaning of their names] who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel [had been of great service in furthering the establishment of the Philippian church], along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4:4 Rejoice [keep on rejoicing] in the Lord always [at all times; in all places; in good or bad circumstances; when things look promising; when everything is wrong (cf. Hab. 3:17-18)]. I will say it again: Rejoice!

4:5 Let your gentleness [or reasonableness; “the opposite of stubbornness and thoughtlessness” (Erdman)] be evident to all [not just to some persons; to those within the church and in society at large]. [note the reason and motive for this exhortation…] The Lord is near [the expectation of the Lord’s return should serve as an incentive to holy living].

4:6 Do not be anxious [means “to be pulled in different directions” (Wiersbe)] about anything, but in everything [someone noted that there is nothing too great for God’s power, and nothing too small for His fatherly care], by prayer [the general word for making requests known to the Lord; prayer is the cure for anxiety] and petition [means to ask for things], with thanksgiving [bringing requests to God with an attitude of appreciation for whatever answer He may give], present your requests [refers to particular or specific petitions] to God.

4:7 And the peace of God [the fruit of believing prayer], which transcends all understanding, will guard [stand guard like a soldier] your [cf. Isa. 26:3] hearts [feelings] and your minds [thoughts] in Christ Jesus.

4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true [keep in mind that Satan is a liar (Jn. 8:44) and wants to corrupt our minds with his lies (2 Cor. 11:3)], whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure [refers to moral purity], whatever is lovely [means beautiful or attractive], whatever is admirable [means worth talking about, appealing]—if anything is excellent [that which motivate us to do better] or praiseworthy [worth commending to others]—think [consider; ponder] about such things.

Paul’s goal was to press on toward maturity in Christ. He believed all spiritually mature believers would embrace his way of thinking. Because our thoughts affect how we live and how we interact with others, Paul listed some of the virtues that should dominate believers’ thinking.

Paul urged the Philippian believers to fill their minds with the kind of thoughts that please God and would guide them on the journey toward Christlikeness. Right thinking does not just happen but is the result of filling our hearts and minds with the Word of God (see Ps. 19:7-9; 119:9-16). That is the way we develop a new mind-set that impacts how we live and a biblical worldview that impacts how we view life. Filling our minds with God’s Word will help us to pursue a mature way of thinking and to dwell on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable.

4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice [an exhortation to follow his example (cf. Phil. 3:17)]. And the God of peace will be with you.

4:10 I rejoice [Paul rejoiced specifically because they had sent an offering and Epaphroditus to minister to him] greatly [word used only here in the NT] in the Lord that at last you have renewed [Gr. word means “to sprout or blossom again”] your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned [they had never lost their interest in or concern for him], but you had no opportunity to show it.

4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need [Paul’s joy was not dependent upon whether or not his needs were met], for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances [included the litany of experiences recorded in 2 Cor. 11:23-33].

4:12 I know what it is to be in need [having very little], and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned [means “understanding” or “entering into the secret of” ] the secret of being content in any [particular] and every [general] situation, whether well fed [refers to being full of food] or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want [refers to one who is in serious financial difficulty or in debt].

4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength [enabled Paul to deal with the “every situation” of verse 12].

4:14 Yet it was good of you to share [Paul was truly thankful for their gift and for the ministry and friendship of Epaphroditus] in my troubles.

4:15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days [Paul recalled the past generosity of the Philippians] of your acquaintance with the gospel [they had expressed their thankfulness for and commitment to the gospel from the very beginning, from the day Paul founded the church at Philippi some ten years earlier], when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving [possibly refers to the gift Paul received from Macedonia while he was in Corinth (2 Cor. 11:8-9)], except you only [no other church followed their example];.

4:16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you [the Philippian church was a new assembly of believers when it made these donations] sent me aid again and again when I was in need.

4:17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account [the Philippians benefited spiritually by their giving].

4:18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied [Paul addressed the matter of the personal benefits of the Philippians’ gift; Paul told his Philippian friends that his needs were “amply supplied” by their generous gift (cf. Eph. 3:20-21)], now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

4:19 And my [personal relationship] God will [speaks of certainty] meet [supply] all your needs [both temporal and spiritual] according to his glorious [God will supply their needs in such a way that His glory will be manifested] riches [inexhaustible and boundless] in Christ Jesus .

4:20 To our God and Father be glory [Paul’s earnest desire was for God to be glorified] for ever and ever. Amen.

4:21 Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings.

4:22 All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household [those who worked in Caesar’s household; Paul had likely led these to faith in Christ through his ministry in Rome (cf. Phil. 1:12-14).].

4:23 [a simple benediction…] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

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