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Philippians 4

 

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To notice Paul's tactfulness in dealing with Euodia and Syntyche

2) To glean Paul's secrets for joy, peace, contentment, and strength

3) To consider how Paul viewed the Philippians' generosity towards him

SUMMARY

This final chapter begins with a series of exhortations to unity, joy, 
and peace.  With great affection, Paul pleads with his beloved 
Philippians to stand fast in the Lord (1).  With great diplomacy and a
call for assistance from others, he implores Euodia and Syntyche to be 
of one mind in the Lord (3-4).  He then follows with a call for them
to rejoice always in the Lord, letting their gentleness be known to 
all, and through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to allow the
peace of God remove any anxiety (5-7).  His final exhortations include 
a call to meditate on things of virtue and worthy of praise, and to 
imitate his example in order to ensure that God will be with them 
(8-9).

At last he comes to the matter which occasioned this letter, expressing
joy and gratitude for the gift they had sent to him by way of
Epaphroditus.  As they had done before on several occasions, so now
they had provided for his necessities.  He is thankful, even though he
was quite content, for he knows that this gift really abounds to their
account, serving as a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is well pleasing to
God (10-19).

His closing remarks include praise to God, and greetings from those 
with him, especially members of Caesar's household.  As was his custom,
he closes with a final prayer that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ 
be with them all (20-23).

OUTLINE

I. EXHORTATIONS TO UNITY, JOY, AND PEACE (1-9)

   A. AN APPEAL TO EUODIA AND SYNTYCHE (1-3)
      1. Prefaced with an exhortation to stand fast in the Lord (1)
      2. A plea for Euodia and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the
         Lord (2)
      3. A request for assistance in helping these women (3)

   B. EXHORTATIONS TO REJOICE AND TO BE AT PEACE (4-9)
      1. Rejoice in the Lord always, letting your gentleness be known
         to all (4-5)
      2. Through prayer, allow the peace of God to guard your hearts
         from anxiety (6-7)
      3. Meditate upon things worthy of virtue and praise, and follow
         Paul's example (8-9)

II. THANKSGIVING FOR THEIR GENEROSITY (10-23)

   A. THEIR GIFT A SOURCE OF JOY TO PAUL (10-14)
      1. Paul rejoiced when they were able to care for him again (10)
      2. Not that he really had need (11-13)
         a. For he had learned contentment (11-12)
         b. For he had the strength of Christ (13)
      3. But they have done well to share in his distress (14)
   
   B. THEIR GIFT A SOURCE OF BLESSING FOR THEMSELVES (15-19)
      1. A brief history of their giving to Paul (15-16)
      2. Their giving abounds to their own account, viewed as an 
         acceptable sacrifice to God (17-18)
      3. God will supply all their needs according to His riches (19)

   C. CONCLUDING REMARKS (20-23)
      1. Praise to God (20)
      2. Greetings from those with Paul, especially those of Caesar's 
         household (21-22)
      3. Final benediction of grace from the Lord Jesus Christ (23)
         
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Exhortations to unity, joy, and peace (1-9)
   - Thanksgiving for their generosity (10-23)

2) How does Paul describe his brethren as he exhorts them to stand fast
   in the Lord? (1)
   - My beloved and longed-for brethren
   - My joy and crown

3) What two women does Paul implore to be of the same mind in the Lord?
   (2)
   - Euodia and Syntyche

4) What is said about these two women? (3)
   - They labored with Paul in the gospel
   - Their names were in the Book of Life

5) In what are we to rejoice always? (4)
   - In the Lord

6) Why are we to let our gentleness (or moderation) be known to all 
   men? (5)
   - The Lord is at hand

7) What is the antidote for anxiety? (6)
   - Letting our requests be made known to God with an attitude of 
     thanksgiving

8) What will the peace of God do in response to such thankful prayer?
   (7)
   - Guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

9) Upon what should one meditate? (8)
   - Whatever things are true
   - Whatever things are noble
   - Whatever things are just
   - Whatever things are pure
   - Whatever things are lovely
   - Whatever things are of good report
   - Anything of virtue, anything that is praiseworthy

10) How can one ensure that the God of peace will be them? (9)
   - Do the things learned, received, heard, and seen in Paul

11) What had served as a source of great joy for Paul? (10)
   - The Philippians' care for him flourishing again

12) What had Paul learned? (11-12)
   - To be content in whatever state he found himself

13) How was Paul able to do all things? (13)
   - Through Christ who strengthens him

14) When had the church at Philippi helped Paul before? (15-16)
   - When he departed from Macedonia
   - On at least two occasions when he was at Thessalonica

15) Why was Paul really pleased with their gift? (17)
   - He knew that it added to their account

16) How did Paul view the gift they had sent by way of Epaphroditus?
    (18)
   - A sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to
     God

17) Who would provide help for the Philippians? (19)
   - God, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

18) Who in particular sent greetings to the Philippians by way of Paul?
    (22)
   - Those of Caesar's household

19) What was Paul's final prayer for his beloved Philippians? (23)
   - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all

Philippians 4

[Phl 4:1-23 NKJV] 1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Be united, joyful, and in prayer

2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names [are] in the Book of Life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord [is] at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Meditate on these things

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things [are] noble, whatever things [are] just, whatever things [are] pure, whatever things [are] lovely, whatever things [are] of good report, if [there is] any virtue and if [there is] anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippian generosity

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. 16 For even in Thessalonica you sent [aid] once and again for my necessities. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things [sent] from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father [be] glory forever and ever. Amen.

Greeting and blessing

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar's household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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