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Philippians Chapter 4  

Memory verses for this week:   1 Pet 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

 Introduction:    In chapter 3, Paul told of how he could boast of the flesh if anyone could, but he did not.  He wanted to be known as a person who was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and know about Jesus’ resurrection, and to grow in the knowledge and fellowship of His sufferings.


 I.   Paul Exhorts Church to Unity and Joy

 Philippians 4:1  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

From these first three verses, it seems logical to conclude that this church may not have been perfectly joined together in the same mind.  Perhaps this is one of the greatest problems facing the New Testament churches today.   But God’s desire is for us to be like-minded in all things.   Paul calls these at Philippi “My Brethren” and “My Joy and Crown”.  And as always, he exhorts them to stand fast in the Lord.  God needs faithful men, women, and young people to take a stand on ‘thus saith the Lord’ and to not be moved away by false teachings and doctrines of evil.   And we can be if we do not study and grow in the scriptures daily.   Our minds focus on something all through the day.   If we are walking in the Spirit, I think we will be thinking of the Holy Scriptures.   Young Timothy was a man who had known the scriptures from a child.

2 Tim 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2 Tim 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Tim 4:1  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Tim 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.


Eph 5:19  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Eph 5:20  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


In verse 2, Paul speaks of Euodias and Syntyche who could not pull together.  We should all be able to work for God in the same harness.   We are told to put on Christ and that His yoke is easy.  But it does mean we are to work and get the yoke on.   Yokes went around the shoulders of the mule or horse years ago to pull the plow or the wagon.    God wants us working in synchrony one with the other, and when Jesus is the team member, He is the one carrying the heavy load, not us.   If we are going to be successful as a church, we have to all be of the same mind and not be afraid of work.   What can you do?   There are many things that a church needs to function.   Probably being willing to go out and witness on visitation might be our most important job that we can do.  But if all we do is greet visitors, visit the sick and the elderly, or perhaps be a mentor to a young person, these are all things that honor and glorify the Lord.   I heard a radio program yesterday where the guy was talking about going into the bakery and the people giving you a bite of cheese cake for free.   You didn’t come in there to buy a cheese cake probably, and they don’t make a living giving away cheese cake.  But they do that because once you taste it, you many times go home with a cheese cake.   I’ve bought things at Sam’s Discount Store because they gave me a sample for free.   The point is that if we can show a young person just a small sampling of Christianity, that may be the spark needed to light that flame to get them involved in the things of God.  And when they see the whole truth, they perhaps will accept Jesus as their Savior and will be workers for God for all their life.   See how just doing a small thing for God can return great things when we do it God’s way.   David Jeremiah recently said that God gave him a thought about the verse where Jesus taught the disciples that the widow who cast in her two mites gave more than all the rich did.

Luke 21:2  And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

Luke 21:3  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luke 21:4  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

For years we have know she gave her all, but by her example being taught through the years, how many have given more to the service of God by her sacrifice.   And perhaps those giving because of her example could indirectly be counted towards those two mites.   Interesting if it is accurate teaching.. Think of the potential of the thousands upon thousands of dollars who may have given because of her sacrificial life.   Our lives count and we affect MANY around us. 

Paul beseeched the church in Corinth to be of the same mind.  And there was a price to be paid when they did not do this.

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?   4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.   

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Everything we do, we should do it for the honor and glory of God.  In our example in these first verses, it appears that Epaphroditus was the true yokefellow.   He wanted the true believers who were willing to work to help those women who had labored with Paul in spreading the Gospel.   This is not inferring that they were preachers in the church, but they helped Paul and most likely did have great testimonies and were not ashamed to share what God had done for them.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  

Paul points out that these labourers had their name written in the book of life.   It is an interesting study to determine when the name is written in the book of life.  But we must have our name written there or there will be much bad befall us one day.   Only those saved will enter into heaven.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Only those who have their names written in the book of life will have the privilege to enter into the new city of Jerusalem.


II.  The Peace of God

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

There are two important things that we need to learn from verse 5.   He says to let our ‘moderation’ be know to all men and that “The Lord is at hand.’  Moderation means calmness, patience, and gentleness.    I think it speaks of living a life under control that is Godly and not extravagant, and certainly within our means also.   Christians should be special people, and all look to God with faith for our provisions.  Our lives should be such that Jesus is shown by our works.

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The Lord is at hand might point to his soon coming, but the greater meaning is that His presence is with us at all times.   The Holy Spirit takes up His dwelling inside us when we are saved, and we are never far from God.  He truly lives inside every believer.

Paul tells us that the peace of God will keep our hearts.   We truly should not worry about ANYTHING.   Worry is basically doubting God, and that is not what we should do.  By faith we should expect the best from the Heavenly Father who loves us so much.  And if negative things befall us, we need to accept this and know that God may be using the trial to mold us into greater men and women of faith.   We don’t gain a lot unless we are put to the test.  Under fire, we can become a vessel mete for the Master’s use.

The King James Study Bible said this about verses 5 and 6.

4:5. Moderation means “graciousness” or “sweet reasonableness.” The believer who is at peace with his fellow Christian (v. 2) and who rejoices always (v. 4) is indeed a gracious, reasonable person. The Lord is at hand means two things. First, His return to earth is near. His imminent coming as judge encourages the Christian to be “gracious” unto all men, for He will judge the believer for all of his actions toward all people, and will avenge all wrongs committed by others against him. Second, the “Lord is at hand” spiritually. The Lord’s being presently near should free the Christian from fear and anxiety. Hence the command of verse 6.

4:6. Be careful for nothing means “don’t worry about anything.” The Lord’s nearness (v. 5b) leads Paul to forbid his readers from worrying. This is no summons to irresponsibility or an invitation to dismiss legitimate concern. The solution to undue anxiety is prayer in every thing, “in any matter of life.” The way to be free of anxiety is to be prayerful about everything. While God is eager to hear our requests, they are to be accompanied with thanksgiving. [1]

The word careful in verse 6 speaks of not being anxious for things.  Rather, we should pray and give thanks unto the Lord.   James tells us to make our requests known unto God.

James 4:2   Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

There is a difference in the “Peace of God” and “Peace with God.”  We have made peace with God by what Christ has done for us.

Colossians 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

The Peace of God comes over us and gives us comfort that this world has never known, particularly when we are in tune with the Holy Spirit and walking in God’s Will for our lives.

Col 3:15  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


III. Good Thinking gives the presence of the God of Peace

 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

We are given some things here to think on that will help us to have that peace of God that every believer so desires.  We are to think on things that are true.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,  the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou,  Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,  Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

We should think on things that are honest, things that are just, pure, lovely, and good.  People flock to hear the bad news, but we should be of a different mindset and seek to think and seek good things.  If we follow the example Paul set, we will have peace that God gives from His presence.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

IV.  Christian Contentment 

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  

Paul mentions 3 things that he had learned to be content with. 

1.  In verse 10, he speaks of being content with worldly provisions.

2.  In verse 11, he speaks of being content with our present condition and position.

3.  In verse 12 he speaks of being content with every-day surroundings and occasions.


It is easy to say all of this, but to learn to really live like this takes years of trust in the Heavenly Father and a lot of faith.  Paul had this.  He writes this from a prison cell and speaks of knowing how to be abased.  He told Paul that ‘godliness with contentment’  brings great rewards to the Christian. 

1 Timothy 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

How can we learn to be content like Paul?  We must trust God and believe verse 13.   It says we can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST.    Do we believe this or is it just a nice sounding verse.   This verse is every where as true as John 3:16.    When we look to Jesus for power, and we trust in God’s provision and sovereignty, there won’t be anything we can’t accomplish within God’s Will for our lives.  I’ve mentioned the story about how that at the age of 11, there was nothing more important to me than to have my own pony.  Probably every boy has that desire sometime in his childhood.  In Sunday School that week, the teacher had been teaching on the fact that if we truly believed with the faith of a mustard seed, we could literally move a mountain.   But we had to really believe.   So Sunday night, I got serious with God and prayed for that pony.  When it wasn’t there on Monday morning, I got pretty upset.  But I wasn’t giving up.  So on Monday night I prayed again truly believing that I’d have that pony on Tuesday morning.   As silly as this sounds, to me it was a big deal back then.  When no horse materialized on Tuesday, I had a real heart to heart talk with my mother about why the bible was not true.  She carefully and lovingly pointed out that wanting a pony might be important to me, but that might not be what God had in mind as the best for my life.   And these verses about trusting and getting answers to our prayers do involve doing the will of God.  Many times he does give us not only our needs, but many of our wants.   So I kept praying, and on Saturday morning, my dad came in and told me and my brother to get up and get ready to go to town.   We went and picked out the most beautiful grey dappled Shetland pony I ever saw with a crème colored mane.  I got to pick her out of about 50 ponies.   That just shot my faith up unbelievably.  But as I got older, I added it all up that mom went to dad and asked him to go and buy me that pony.

She died in 1997 and I never got to ask that question because deep down I didn’t want to know the answer.  But last year (over 35 years later), I finally asked my dad why he ever bought me that pony.   He said why do you ask?  I flat out told him I wanted to know if Mother put pressure on him to buy me that horse cause he rarely bought us things in my childhood.   He said she never said a word... it was all his idea.  That horse almost killed me, but boy was I glad to get it when I could stay on it.   I tell you all that to tell you that God hears the prayers of even a child, particularly when we look to him with total faith.   He may not always give us our pony, but sometimes he does.  Paul knew that his strength came from one place, and that was from Jesus Christ.


Mat 19:13  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.


V.  Christian Communications

14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.  

Paul communicated tow things with the church.  He told them of his sufferings, and he told of his physical needs.   We as a church should be very sensitive to the needs of our missionaries and do our best to make special offerings when we can when they have problems arise.   And you know from your own life, things come up sometimes that we can barely deal with.   And many missionaries are truly living on the mission field with meager support looking to God in faith.   All things are in the Father’s hand, and what a privilege it is to be used to provide a need through the local church to help that missionary.  When we give to help them through the church, all the honor and glory goes to God.


18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. 22 All the saints salute you,  chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  

Paul did not necessarily desire a gift, but the fruit that would abound to the account.  It would be God that supply the need for both he and those in the church of Philippi.   All of this would be according to the riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  When he says the saints salute you, he was not speaking of Caesar’s immediate family, but of his slaves and servants. 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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