Philippians

Philippians 4:1-7 “Be anxious for nothing.”

In the previous section (3:17-21), Paul referred to his readers as brethren (v. 17), now he goes further and calls them “beloved and longed-for brethren” (4:1). Paul greatly loved his readers because they were his “joy and crown”. This seems to speak to the likely possibility that Paul was in fact the one who brought the gospel to them (Cf. 1:3-4). The ‘Therefore’ which begins this chapter connects what he said concerning the contrasting citizenships, and his desire that they continue to “stand fast in the Lord.” To this end he pled for unity between Euodia and Syntyche “to be of the same mind in the Lord” (v. 2). Whether the word for “companion” (syzygos) is a name or simply an unnamed but trusted leader, they are “true” and as such are commanded to help these women who Paul says laboured with him in the gospel (v. 3a).

Paul also includes Clement and the rest of his fellow workers, in the labour of the gospel, all of whom have their names “in the book of life” (v. 3b), that is, their names are written in heaven (Lk. 10:20). And once again Paul tells them to rejoice, no doubt because they are called to labour for the Lord and that they do have the hope of eternal life (v. 4). They were called to serve with gentleness, being anxious for nothing (vv. 5-6a). The answer to anxiety was prayer, with thanksgiving, making known their requests to God (Cf. I Th. 5:17-18). God, in turn, answers our prayers with peace that only He can give (Jn. 14:27). It is a peace that surpasses understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (v. 7), a peace which comes from His very presence with us (v. 5b Cf. 1:1) This echoes what Jesus Himself taught (Cf. Mt. 6:25).

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