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Philippians Chapter Four                            


I. Content of the Chapter


Christ is the Strength of Believers in Their Conversation

A.  Stand fast in the Lord (v.1);

B.  Be of the same mind in the Lord

C.  Rejoice in the Lord:

1. Rejoice in the Lord always (v.4-5);

2. Have the peace of God in Christ Jesus

1)    By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let God guard your hearts and minds (v.6-7);

2)    Meditate on and do good things and the God of peace will be with you (8-9);

3. Rejoice in the Lord greatly for having known of the care of believers (v.10);

4. Christ is our strength everywhere and in all things:

1)    Having learned in whatever state we are, to be content (v.11);

2)    Christ is our secret to whatever conditions everywhere and in all things (v.12);

3)    We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (v.13);

5. Receive the provision of God in Christ Jesus:

1)    The worker are provided by the church (v.14-16);

2)    The desire of the worker for the church (v.17);

3)    Regard material gift as acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God (v.18);

6. To our God and Father be glory, and grace and peace be with all the saints (v.20-23);


II. Verse by Verse Commentary


Phil. 4:1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

YLT: “So then, my brethren, beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand ye in the Lord, beloved.”

Literal Meaning: here Paul addresses believers in Philippi different from believers in other churches, unveiling the special position of believers in Philippi in the heart of Paul: 1) two times of “my beloved”, the word originates the divine love of God, which indicates that Paul deeply loves them in the Lord; 2) “longed-for”, it reveals the deep love and earnest remembrance; 3) “brethren”: the relationship of life; 4) “my joy”, it shows that their condition in the Lord makes him joyful; 5) “my crown”, crown represents the victory in the race, valuable things or the joy in the festival. Therefore, believers in Philippi are the fruit of Paul’s labor and become the “crown” of Paul before the Lord on that day (1Thess. 2:19).

  “Therefore”, here Paul exhorts them to “stand fast” for the reason mentioned in chapter three, including the heresy that has crept into the church. “Stand fast” is the most important condition in spiritual war (Eph. 6:14).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The effect of the works done for the Lord is one of the sources of the joy of both the workers and believers. However, if we believers do not work for the Lord, we can not taste such joy.

2)    We should “run” and “press on” (Phil. 3:12-16) in spiritual growth and service. However, we shall “stand fast” in faith.

3)    The devil leaves no stone unturned to make the children of God stumbled. Therefore, we shall stand fast.

4)    No matter how strong believers are, they can in no wise stand fast by themselves, but can stand in the Lord.


Phil. 4:2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

YLT: “Euodia I exhort, and Syntyche I exhort, to be of the same mind in the Lord;”

Meaning of Words:implore”: beseech, entreat, beg; “Euodia”: fine travelling, the one who obtains, the one who has arrived; “Syntyche”: lucky, pleasant countenance;

Literal Meaning: Euodia and Syntyche are two fellow workers in the church in Philippi. They disagreed with one another to a so severe degree that Paul had to mention it in the public letter.

  “Be of the same mind”, it indicates that not only do they have the same mind and thoughts but also they are in harmony in life so that they have the same feeling and attitude.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    When dealing with the disharmony among the fellow workers, Paul does not condemn, but implores. He stands on either side, and such attitude fosters the reconciliation of the fellow workers.

2)    Euodia”, may be she has obtained what she “desires”. “Syntyche”, may be she has “kind and pleasant” appearance. However, both of them are not of the same mind. How imperfect it is!

3)    “Be of the same mind”, it should be in the Lord. We cannot be of the same mind outside of the Lord. Even though we have the so-called same mind of men in the world, it only destroys but not profits.

4)    “In the Lord”, it is where all estrangements or misunderstandings are eliminated. Any iniquity or prejudice should be brought before the Lord.

5)    It is insignificant who is right or who is wrong in the church, but it is serious if believers in the church are not “of the same mind” ---- not let the mind of Christ Jesus in us (Phil. 2:5).


Phil. 4:3 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.

YLT: “and I ask also thee, genuine yoke-fellow, be assisting those women who in the good news did strive along with me, with Clement also, and the others, my fellow-workers, whose names in the book of life.”

Meaning of Words: “help”: aid, help, take; “labor with”: wrestle in company with, seek jointly;

Literal Meaning:you also, true companion”, it means that those who take the responsibility of the works are like yoke fellows. Or perhaps the “companion” is the original meaning of the certain person (Philem. 10-11) or it refers to Epaphroditus (see Phil. 2:25).

  “Labored with”, it indicates that they had not only wrestled in company with Paul but also suffered from the labor.

  “The Book of Life”, it is the book in which God records all those who have part in the life of God (Ex. 32:32; Ps. 69:28; Rev. 3:5).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “True companion”, “labored with and “fellow workers”, it shows that Paul regards his fellow workers, no matter male or female, young or old, equal, not his subordinates.

2)    Those who yoke and labor together are not of the same mind ---- this is the worst fault of the workers of God.

3)    When problems arise among the fellow workers, all the yoke fellows in the church shall not condemn anyone, but “help” to foster the peace and harmony. This is what they are supposed to do.

4)    When there is no harmony among the leading brethren of the church, if the church sympathizes or favors anyone, there will be terrible consequences ---- either strife or division.

5)    Those whose names are in the Book of Life in the heavens may have not lived a life of testimony. How lamentable!

6)    The names of the true workers of God are in the Book of Life. They are known and remembered by God. Men may not know their works, but it is enough that God knows.


Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

YLT: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice;”

Meaning of Words: “always”: every when, at all times;

Literal Meaning: “rejoice…rejoice”, this is a command, a command from God. God always provides first and then demand. He never commands us to do anything impossible. “Rejoice”, this is a kind of emotion and feeling deeper than happiness. Since it is a kind of emotion and feeling, how can it be commanded? Joy is also a kind of heart and mind. The joyful feeling does not come from external smooth environment, but from inner heart and mind. Therefore, joy can be decided by one’s will. We can decide that we have a joyful mind in any environment.

Rejoice in the Lord always”, it indicates that such joy is a kind of particular joy, not joy stirred up by sight but joy in the Lord.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Paul repeatedly commands us to rejoice, so joy is so important to us.

2)    The word rejoice in the imperative shows our obedience and determination. When we are determined to obey the command of God, joy will be filled in us immediately.

3)    “The Lord” is the origin of joy. “In the Lord” is the secret of rejoicing always. Abiding “in the Lord” is the condition of rejoicing in any case.

4)    The closer we are to the Lord, the more joyful we will be. The deeper our relation with the Lord is, the deeper our joy will be.

5)    When we have no joy or have no reason for or comfort of joy, we should still rejoice. Even when you are in manifold temptations, you shall still rejoice.


Phil. 4:5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

YLT: “let your forbearance be known to all men; the Lord near;”

Meaning of Words:gentleness”: mildness, moderation, patience;

Literal Meaning: “let…”, it is a command, the third one in this chapter.

  “Be known to all”, it is not doing before men purposefully, but manifesting the inner virtue and letting others know (Matt. 5:16).

  “Gentleness”, it means forgiving others in the principle of righteousness and not seeking his own right, so it also carries another positive meaning except for humbleness and patience ---- be able to bear ignoble and low environment or unduly treatment of others. Gentleness is neither weakness nor giving up one’s status. Instead, we shall stand fast in truth for the Lord.

  “At hand”, it is near in both “time” and “space”. The former points that the Lord’s second coming is at hand, and the latter means that the Lord is close to us ---- He is just near us and in us.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    One who always rejoices must be gentle. If one is not gentle and is worried about this and that must not be joyful.

2)    Believers should be considerate of others in everything. The leaders especially need such “gentleness” (2Cor. 10:1).

3)    The life of the one who is full of Christ inside is quite gentle. No matter what kind of environment he is faced with, he is not disturb.

4)    The best secret of gentleness for believers is being in the Lord and remembering the Lord’s second coming.


Phil. 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

YLT: “for nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer, and by supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God;”

Literal Meaning:anxious”, it is the self-centered and unprofitable anxiety, which manifests the lack of faith upon God’s care and protection.

  Be anxious for nothing”, it does not say that we need not show any concern for, (2Cor. 11:28) things of ourselves, of our family, of the church or of God, but means that we need not to be in charge of or be worried about the above-mentioned things.

  “In everything”; everything in our daily life;

  “Prayer”: general prayer;

“Supplication”: the concentrated and earnest petition;

“Thanksgiving”: it is thanksgiving of confidence ---- one is confident of assuredly obtaining, though the supplication has not been granted. This is the highest expression of faith.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The reason for joy is “being anxious for nothing”. The way of “being anxious for nothing” is “committing oneself by prayer”. Our whole life is too short to experience and enjoy this principle.

2)    Many anxieties of believers are groundless and unnecessary, for anxiety is of little avail.

3)    Since believers have a God who looks upon us, we shall have no anxiety.

4)    There is not any burden that the Lord is unwilling to bear for us. Anxiety shows that we do not believe the Lord and are unwilling to cast the burden upon the Lord.

5)    If we have no “breach” in our heart, we will not be entangled with any anxiety and will be anxious for nothing.

6)    Worries, anxieties, doubts and unbelief ---- all of them are the worst weaknesses of Christians.

7)    Believers should not be anxious for anything, but shall pray for everything.

8)    It is a privilege of praying to God for Christians. No matter in adversity or in prosperity, we can let “everything” be made known to God

9)    We shall bring “everything” to the presence of God. We have nothing too trivial to pray and commit to God.

10) Prayer in anxiety is the source of power in believers’ daily life.

11) Prayer, supplication and thanksgiving are the excellent way for believers to cast their anxieties upon God. A Christian who is able to pray in everything is the one who has no anxiety at all.

12) If we can give thanks for the things that make us anxious, the burden will be decreased half.

13) Those who are anxious for things in the world cannot rejoice. If we desire to rejoice, we have to overcome all the anxieties. .


Phil. 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

YLT: “and the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”

Meaning of Words: “guard”: be a watcher in advance, protect (a military word);

Literal Meaning:surpasses all understanding”: exceedingly surpasses man’s imagination and appreciation. Only those who have experienced it can understand it.

  “Peace”: inner rest;

  “Guard”, it is a military word, describing the situation that a watcher is on sentry.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “The peace of God”, it is in the most depth of man, which can not be touched by external difficulty or disturbance. It is a kind of transcendent peace beyond explanation.

2)    God’s thoughts are not men’s thoughts, neither are men’s ways God’s ways (Is. 55:8). God’s loving-kindness, tender care and works are far beyond our interpretation (Eph. 3:18-20).

3)    When believers cast all their care upon God, they will enjoy the inner peace in depth of heart.

4)    Anxiety is that the enemy attacks our mind and causes havoc in our mind and thus affects our heart.

5)    The peace given by God is the peace of God, namely, God Himself. The peace of God can guard our heart like the army protect the city so that no anxiety can further its step toward the scope.

6)    God does not guard our environment or make our environment peaceful, but lets us peaceful in our heart.

7)    He who is peaceful and smooth inside has no breach, so no anxiety can creep into the heart of him.

8)    If we have really known that the Lord loads us day by day (Ps. 68:19), we will have the peace surpassing all understanding. Such peace is enough to protect our heart from anxiety. And it will be impossible for us to be anxious or rely on ourselves anymore.


Phil. 4:8 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.

YLT: “As to the rest, brethren, as many things as are true, as many as grave, as many as righteous, as many as pure, as many as lovely, as many as of good report, if any worthiness, and if any praise, these things think upon;”

Meaning of Words:true”: not concealing; “noble”: honorable; “just”: equitable; “pure”: clean; “lovely”: amiable, acceptable; “of good report”: reputable; “meditate”: consider, take an inventory, estimate, suppose;

Literal Meaning: “true”: honest in morality;

“Noble”: honorable things that men will show respect for;

“Just”: things are right to God and to men;

“Pure”: have no constitution or motivation of sin at all;

“Lovely”: amiable and pleasant things;

“Of good report”: things of good reputation before all;

“Virtue”: it especially refers to things excellent in morality;

“Praiseworthy”: things worthy of praise

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Man’s mind is the stronghold of Satan. Therefore, man’s mind should be firstly brought into captivity (2Cor. 10:4-5) and then he can obey God.

2)    Believer should use his mind actively and positively. If one’s mind is passive and negative, the devil will easily creep into and occupy his mind.

3)    If Satan has seized our “mind”, it has controlled our “whole life”. Therefore, believers should guard our mind and thoughts carefully.

4)    “Works” stems from “mind”. Man’s mind has great influence upon his works. If one lets something occupy his mind, it will dominate his words and works sooner or later.

5)    If we set out mind on all the good things that we are supposed to meditate on, there will be of no disharmony (4:2).

6)    If one’s mind has not been defiled with immoral things, his inner peace will disappear.

7)    If we believers often mediate on the virtue of Christ manifested on others, we will be encouraged and be spiritually edified.


Phil. 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

YLT: “the things that also ye did learn, and receive, and hear, and saw in me, those do, and the God of the peace shall be with you.”

Literal Meaning: “which you…in me”: Paul sets himself as an example for believers.

  “Things which you learned”, it relates to his knowledge of truth;

  “Things which you received”, it relates to his spiritual provision;

  “Things which you heard”, it relates to his preachment and teaching;

“Things which you heard”, it relates to his conversation;

  “These do”, it is “meditate on” in the previous verse, and “do” in this verse;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Meditation without doing is still of no profit to us. Sound meditation should bring about sound works.

2)    Paul dares to ask men to learn from him, for he has firstly learnt from Christ. One who has learnt has the right to ask others to learn from him.

3)    A spiritual leader is not a conductor behind the scenes, but a pioneer before the rest. He who guides others with oral teachings and has no practical performance of himself cannot give true help to men.

4)    A good preacher should have the following four conditions at least: a) abundant knowledge about truth ---- let men “learn”; b) abundant spiritual provision ---- let men “receive”; c) abundant capabilities of expression ---- let men “hear”; d) abundant examples of conversation ---- let men “see”.

5)    Our “doing” has inseparable relation with the peace of God. If we believers meditate and do those good things, we will surely have the peace of God.

6)    God is “the God of peace”. He is the source of peace. Once man has the presence of God, he will have peace.


Phil. 4:10 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.

YLT: “And I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye flourished again in caring for me, for which also ye were caring, and lacked opportunity;”

Meaning of Words:flourish again”: revive;

Literal Meaning: this verse points that the joy of Paul is not because of the gift of the Philippians, but their care for him. The Philippians cared for Paul, but had no chance to express their solicitude. Now through the gift and service brought by Epaphroditus, their care for Paul reappeared before him like the flourishing buds, making him joyful and elated.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is the best encouragement of expressing the inner solicitude to those whom one cares for.

2)    Though someone is inept in oral expression by words, he shall express his love in practical conversation by works.

3)    It is a good thing for believers to show concern for one another. And the solicitude for others should be manifested in due time.


Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:

YLT: “not that in respect of want I say , for I did learn in the things in which I am -- to be content;”

Literal Meaning: Paul is truly grateful for the gift of Philippians, but he does not confide in the gift with all his heart, for “in whatever state he is, to be content”, which means that he is quite content with what he has possessed.

  Paul’s content does not come from the material provision, but from his inner provision ---- Christ (v.13). Such “content” makes him pay little attention to the physical environmental condition. No matter rich or poor, he can still rejoice and deal with it well.

  I have learned”, it indicates that content is not out of one’s optimistic character, but is obtained after learning.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The reliance of believers in shortage is not rich men, but the all-sufficient God.

2)    He who is content does not speak for his shortage, so his words have rather spiritual power.

3)    The adaptive faculty of believer for physical environment is decided by his spiritual condition.

4)    He who has learned to be content has attained to a degree of “no choice”. When a man does not choose for himself at all, he can be sufficiently content.


Phil. 4:12 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.

YLT: “I have known both to be abased, and I have known to abound; in everything and in all things I have been initiated, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.”

Meaning of Words: “abase”: humble, bring low, humiliate; “full”: make animals fat;

The Background: “have learned”, it is a generic term ---- when the ancient Greek participated a mysterious religion, they had to take part in a mysterious ceremony which called for rather great price.

Literal Meaning:abased”: the humiliation suffered in hunger and shortage;

  “Abound”: the full condition;

  “Have learned”, it refers to an unknown way from learning and experience;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The secret of content for believers is the union with the Lord everywhere in everything.

2)    Those who have not learned may complain in abasement and poverty and lavish in abundance. However, he who has learned may rely on God in shortage and devote his money to the divine service in abundance.

3)    He who “has learned” should undergo a long and tough period. Only the one who has learned can find the secret of dealing with everything.

4)    An unbeliever does not know the secret of dealing with various problems. However, as long as we believers rely on Christ with whole heart, we must be able to learn the secret gradually.

5)    Christians do not purposefully choose poverty or richness, hunger or fullness, shortage or abundance, but live a “two-sided” life according to God’s guidance. Christians neither mortify the flesh nor fulfill the lust.


Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

YLT: “For all things I have strength, in Christ's strengthening me;”

Meaning of Words:strengthen”: enable, empower, be (make) strong;

Literal Meaning:strengthens me”, it is not external power but internal provision.

  “All things”: the various situations mentioned in verse twelve as well as all the things that please God;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Only those who are strong inside can do all things.

2)    If we are strengthened by the Lord, we can do all things. What we are unable to do can be done by the One who “strengthens” us.

3)    To abide in the Lord is the source of being strengthened and being always strong for believers.

4)    If the Lord allows us to encounter something, He will surely strengthen us.

5)    God is a God of works. And He is also a God who works through us. Since God works through us, He must strengthen us.

6)    The precondition of God’s working through us is that we shall let Him work on us first. Only those who are willing to let God work on them can be strengthened by God to work for Him.

7)    If we have simple and direct faith to commit us unto the Lord, we will be content in any condition.

8)    According to the original, “in Christ” is the key of the secret of Paul’s content. .


Phil. 4:14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.

YLT: “but ye did well, having communicated with my tribulation;”

Meaning of Words: “share”: be partaker of, co-participate in;

Literal Meaning:shared in distress”: the sharer of distress, the partaker of distress;

  Believers in Philippi did not despise Paul because of his distress, but provided him in material, thus sharing in the distress of Paul. It was “done well” in the sight of Paul and profited them in spirit.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is a good thing in Christ of sharing joy and distress together.

2)    Paul could bear all the distress himself, but it was a good thing that believers in Philippi shared in his distress.


Phil. 4:15 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.

YLT: “and ye have known, even ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the good news when I went forth from Macedonia, no assembly did communicate with me in regard to giving and receiving except ye only;”

Meaning of Words: “share”: it shares the same root of word with the word “fellowship” (Phil. 1:5).

Literal Meaning:giving and receiving”: it refers to the giving and receiving in money or substance, just like the “credit side” and “debit side”.

  Paul does not receive the gift of any church flippantly, lest he should know the church helps him out of sincerity. Paul trusts in the motive of the devoting of the church in Philippi. Therefore, they have good cooperation with one another, just like the partakers in business.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    It is unsuitable for the preachers of the Lord to receive the gift of anyone or any church blindly.

2)    True devotion of the gift makes both the giving and receiving sides like fellow partakers taking part in the same career. The profit that the receiver has obtained by the gift of the giver also abounds to the giver’s account. 


Phil. 4:16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.

YLT: “because also in Thessalonica, both once and again to my need ye sent;”

The Background: when Paul preached in Thessalonica, believers there were still young. Paul worked with his own hands night and day (1Thess. 2:9; 2Thess. 3:8) so as not to burden anyone. Possibly, his earning was quiet limited, so the church in Philippi aid once and again for his necessities.

Enlightenment in the Word: 

1)    If every church only provides the workers in the local church only, many workers may suffer hunger and many works of the Lord will suffer loss.

2)    Today, many local churches that are rich have not done according to the examples in the Scriptures to care for the necessities of the workers who serve in poor areas.

3)    Today, there are also many preachers who desire to serve in urban areas or big churches only, but do not want to serve in rural areas or small churches, for they have not learned in all things.

4)    Though Paul has not served in the church in Philippi yet, but the church in Philippi still provides for Paul’s necessitiesonce and again”, which shows that what they has done is out of the Lord’s burden and loving care, not of personal interests.


Phil. 4:17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

YLT: “not that I seek after the gift, but I seek after the fruit that is overflowing to your account;”

Meaning of Words: “fruit”: profit; “account”: treatise (commercial term);

Literal Meaning: Paul’s word indicates that the help of the Philippians in gift, which is a kind of valuable investment.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Paul does “not seek” toward men, but “seeks” toward God. He does not seek anything for himself, but seeks abundance for others.

2)    A true servant of the Lord does not seek the gift from men for his own material necessity.

3)    Material gift shall make the fruit of spiritual work abound. And the increase of the fruit of spiritual work shall be to the account of those who devote. The circular working continues unceasingly.

4)    All that we have devoted for God shall be to our account.


Phil. 4:18 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.

YLT: “and I have all things, and abound; I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things from you -- an odour of a sweet smell -- a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God:”

The Background: in the times of the Old Testament, the sacrifice that the people of God offered for thanksgiving is called “an offering of a sweet odor” (Gen. 8:21; Ex. 29:18, 25, 41; Lev. 1:9, 13), through which hose who offered the sacrifice desired to please God.

Literal Meaning:I have all”: I have received all things.

  “An acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”, in other words, the sacrifice is what God ordains. And God accepts it for it is offered through Jesus Christ (1Pet. 2:5).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The devotion of the gift is as offering the sacrifice. The motive and heart are crucially important (1Sam. 15:22).

2)    Paul receives the gift of the church in Philippi without focusing on the material incomings but regarding it as spiritual sacrifice. Therefore, he has not felt the power of money. Only those who are not seized by the power of money can taste the “sweet-smelling aroma” therein.

3)    Both the receiving and giving between the workers and believers should be done by God. All that believers have given for the workers are given to God. And all that the workers have received from believers are obtained from God.


Phil. 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

YLT: “and my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus;”

Literal Meaning: “my God”, Paul uses the phrase again (Phil. 1:3), showing that he has really experienced the faithfulness and power of God.

  The word “need” is the same with “necessity” in verse 16 (“my necessity”), which shows that he concludes that the provision of God will not be interrupted according to his own experience.

  “Riches”, the plural form of the word indicates that God does not supply us in one particular aspect of His riches but that He supplies us with all his unsearchable abundance.

  “Supply all your need”, it means that God provides all the need of us.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Philippians care for the need of Paul and Paul also cares about the need of the Philippians. How beautiful the mutual care for one another in the Lord is!

2)    It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

3)    Give, and it shall be given to us (Luke 6:38). God will never doubly reward us for what we have given to Him.

4)    God knows our “need” and supplies all our need. His attendance is too complete and perfect. However, men may seek for other things besides our “need”.


Phil. 4:20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

YLT: “and to God, even our Father, the glory -- to the ages of the ages. Amen.”

Literal Meaning: “glory”, it is “the glory” in the original, which means that the glory is of God, namely, glory of God. The manifestation of God Himself is glory.

  “Father”, who relates to life;

“God”, who relates to creation;

“Forever and ever”, from generation to generation, unceasingly;

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The ultimate purpose of the giving and receiving of gift is giving glory unto God. When believers devote their treasure, they should be for the purpose of glorifying God.

2)    Glory should be given unto God forever and ever. Many people give glory to God temporarily and soon give it to them.


Phil. 4:21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.

YLT: “Salute ye every saint in Christ Jesus; there salute you the brethren with me;”

Literal Meaning: the most significant meaning of the greeting in the epistles is making the readers feel that they are really a part of the whole body of Christ and taste the fellowship of life and the sweetness of solicitude. Such greeting has unspeakable effect on their spiritual life.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Those who have tasted the peace of God will deeply desire others to always taste such peace.

2)    The Lord Jesus also pays attention to greetings (Matt. 10:12-13), so believers shall show care for the peace of one another.


Phil. 4:22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar's household.

YLT: “there salute you all the saints, and specially those of Caesar's house;”

Literal Meaning:those who are of Caesar's household”, possible, those who ministered in the royal court or government of Rome at that time repented and believed the Lord because of the testimony of Paul. Therefore, though Paul was physically in prison, Christ was magnified in him so that many people believed and obeyed Christ.


Phil. 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

YLT: “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with you all. Amen.”

Literal Meaning: this epistle starts from the grace of God and ends in the grace of Jesus Christ, thus surrounding the readers with grace.

Enlightenment in the Word: the life of Christians needs the grace of God by the minute.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Joy of Christians

A.   Regard believers as joy (v.1);

B.   Rejoice in the Lord (v.4);

C.   Joy from gentleness (v.5);

D.   Rejoice, for the Lord is at hand (v.5);

E.   Rejoice for being anxious for nothing (v.6);

F.    Rejoice for the peace of God (v.7);

G.   Rejoice for the meditations of all the saints (v.10);


The Peace of Christians

A.   Have peace with other Christians (v.1-4);

B.   Have peace with oneself (v.5-9);

C.   Have peace with the environment (v.10-20);


Duties that Christians Are Supposed to Fulfill

A.   The duty of rejoicing always (v.4);

B.   The duty of being gentle to all (v.5);

C.   The duty of remembering that the Lord is at hand (v.5);

D.   The duty of leading a life of no anxieties (v.6);

E.   The duty of praying and giving thanks (v.6);

F.    The duty of meditating and practicing various good things (v.8-9);


How to Be Anxious for Nothing (v.6)?

A.   Trust in God in everything;

B.   Prayer and supplication in everything;

C.   Thanksgiving in everything;

D.   Let our requests be made known to God;


Things that Christians Should Meditate on (v.8)

A.   True;

B.   Noble;

C.   Just;

D.   Pure;

E.   Lovely;

F.    Be of good report;

G.   Virtue;

H.   Praiseworthy;


Views that Believers Should Have On the Gift

A.   God makes us care for the Lord’s workers (v.10).

B.   God provides the opportunity for us to present the gift (v.10).

C.   The one who gives and the one who received are jointed by this (v.14).

D.   The devotion of gift lets each make up what the other lacks ---- “giving and receiving” (v.15).

E.   Supply the need of the workers in others places (v.16).

F.    Be rewarded from God (v.19);


The Attitudes that the Lord’s Workers Are Supposed to Have

A.   Do not blame because of the interruption of provision (v.10);

B.   Be content in shortage (v.11);

C.   Do not seek the gift (v.17);

D.   Be grateful to those who give and the church (v.10, 15-16);

E.   Take the material gift as spiritual sacrifice (v.18);

F.    Pray to God to reward those who give and the church (v.17, 19);


The Provisions that Christians Have Obtained (v.19-20)

A.   The origin of provision ---- God;

B.   The degree of provision ---- according to His riches;

C.   The way of provision ---- in Christ Jesus;

D.   The content of provision ---- all the need;

E.   The measure of provision ---- abound;

F.    The purpose of provision ---- give glory to God;


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou