Philippians

Philippians 4:10-23 Content In Christ.

Paul rejoiced in the help which he had received from his readers, not so much for the care itself as in it being evidence that his labour among them was not in vain, as they showed the fruit of regeneration and simply lacked the opportunity (vv. 10, 17 Cf. II Cor. 9:12; 11:8-9; Titus 3:14; Heb. 13:16). This brings around full circle to what he started his letter with, namely his readers fellowship with him in the gospel ministry (1:5). However, he also made clear that he had learned to be content whatever his circumstances (vv. 11-12). Paul knew something about real deprivation (Cf. I Cor. 4:11ff.). Nevertheless, Paul learned contentment even in these circumstances. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (I Tim. 6:6-8).

For Paul, Christ was enough (v. 13 Cf. Ps. 23:1). The Philippians were in fact unique, “that in the beginning of the gospel…no church shared” with him as they had shared in his distress, and in both giving and receiving (vv. 14-15). Again, this reiterates what he opened his letter with-they were partakers with him of grace (1:7). And he concluded this letter with a prayer for continuing grace (v. 23). Furthermore the help they provided was not a one time thing-they were consistent and stuck with Paul in his work (v. 18 Cf. 2:25). Paul was also convinced that God would reward their help by supplying all their needs (v. 19), therefore to Him alone belonged the glory (v. 20). Paul encouraged greetings among all, and these even included members of Caesar’s household (vv. 21-22). These were people he would not have had contact with if not for his imprisonment (1:13). This also brought him contentment.

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