Philippians: Chapter 4 Bible Study
Philippians: Chapter 4 Bible Study
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.”
Here are some more words of wisdom Paul gives the Phillipi in the first verse of Chapter 4 when he tells them to stay true to the Lord. But how do you stay true to the Lord? You stay true to the Lord by following his commandments, obeying his Word, fulfilling your calling, living a clean life, seeking Him in all of your ways, and keeping Him at the center of your focus and heart always, repenting (turning away from your sin), and sharing the gospel. These are some of the ways you stay true to the Lord.
Keep a Christ-centered focus at all times. Paul has already given instructions in the previous chapters on how to live their life and to pattern it off of his. So, this statement is advising them to stay true to that way of life and stand firm on the foundation of the Lord. He goes on to say they are his joy and the crown he receives for his work.
What does Paul say they should settle their disagreement?
“Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.”
Here Paul’s encouraging Euodia and Syntyche to live in harmony. He’s stressing that because they belong to the Lord, they need to settle their disagreement, to live in unity, and work things out. The enemy loves to cause division. Like the old saying divided we fall, united we stand. If the enemy can keep us divided, we are not anywhere near as strong. Paul is saying like before, let your differences go, don’t let it cause you to lose the progress you have made, settle your disagreement, and eventually, the Lord will make it plain to you.
Rejoice in the Lord Always
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.”
This is a verse I feel needs to be written on our fridge for a constant reminder. The enemy frequently wants to keep the negatives at the forefront of our minds. But God wants us to rejoice, keeping Him and His goodness at the forefront of our minds instead. Paul says always be full of joy in the Lord, or in KJV, rejoice in the Lord always! He didn’t say sometimes, he said always. Through the bad days when you feel so overwhelmed, you don’t know how you can go on, or when you feel like life is going wrong at every turn, rejoice in the Lord! No matter the circumstance, the Lord is faithful. Rejoice and remember the Lord is at hand.
What does Paul say we should worry about?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
And now the verse that everyone loves to recite. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything! Whenever fear starts to creep into our minds, we need to immediately start praying. Paul says we should not worry about anything but pray about everything! God has given us all the tools and weapons we need to fight the enemy’s attacks with, we just have to use them!
He says to tell God what we need and thank him for all he has done. Sometimes we can get too caught up in our needs that we forget to thank God for what he has done. Never falter in giving thanks to God.
What does Paul say about God’s Peace?
Then Paul says we will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Our human minds cannot comprehend the kind of peace God can provide. It’s like when you see the widow still filled with joy after a loss because of God’s peace within her heart. God’s peace exceeds anything we can understand. Someone who doesn’t know God will not understand the joy and peace the widow has after the loss of a loved one. Even the one who has God’s peace cannot comprehend it but can feel it. He says His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
The key words here are “as you live in Jesus“. If you are not living in Jesus, he cannot live in you. As you live in Jesus, his peace will guard your heart. Living in Jesus is being completely Christ-centered and Christ-focused every moment of the day.
“Christians ought not to be smothered in fear. There is a spiritual readiness, where we return to having the peace of God stand guard over our hearts and minds. What an incredible witness it is to a lost and fearful society when the Christian acts like a child of God, living under the loving sovereignty of the heavenly Father. Christians need to walk in peace, so no matter what happens they will be able to bear witness to a watching world.”
What does Paul say we should fix our thoughts on?
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Paul says to fix your thoughts on what’s true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. When we fix our thoughts, we are keeping our minds focused on these things consistently. We have to keep our thoughts in check, or they can take us to some bad places. Make a conscious effort to keep your mind clean. We are to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. To know what’s pleasing to God, we must know His word, and seek His wisdom. It would be very hard to have thoughts pleasing to God and worthy of praise if we don’t know what God considers to be worthy of praise. We need to truly know him.
What does Paul say to do with what they have learned from him?
Then, Paul tells them to keep putting into practice all that they have learned and received from him, everything they heard, and saw him doing. Once you get saved it is just the beginning. We are to keep putting into practice what we have learned. Because when we get saved, our flesh, and fleshly desires do not go away. But we have the strength of God and the Holy Spirit to overcome our flesh. However, we must continue putting into practice the knowledge and wisdom from the Bible, never letting it leave us.
Paul’s Thanks for Their Gifts
“How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.”
What should we learn to be content with from Paul’s example?
I feel verses 11 through 13 are verses to live by. Whether we have a little or a surplus, we always have God and should be grateful for what He’s blessed us with. Paul says he’s learned to be content no matter what situation he is in. We should learn from Paul’s example, being content with nothing, or everything. And by his letter to the Philippi, you can feel his gratefulness come off the page by the way he continues to praise and rejoice despite the situation he is in.
Paul says he can do everything through Christ who gives him strength. He fully relies on God for everything and leans on Him for strength and guidance. We should all have such a Christ-centered focus as Paul. In verse 14 he recognizes the difficult situation he’s in, but he did not allow it to overtake him. Instead, he used it in any way that he could to further the Gospel.
“As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.”
Paul wanted to reward the Phillipi for their Kindness
In verses 15 through 17 he gives his thanks and appreciation for all they have done for him. Never forget to show thanks and appreciate those who show you kindness. Then, he goes on to say he has all he needs. Sometimes we get too focused on our wants, that we neglect to recognize that we have all we need. We can focus so much on our wants, that we forget to be grateful that we have what we need.
Like this Facebook post I recently saw about the constantly rising gas prices. He said he caught himself complaining about the price of gas before being convicted by the Holy Spirit about it. The reason he felt convicted is because he realized he should not be complaining or grumbling. Instead, he realized he should be rejoicing and giving thanks that he has the money to get gas. There are so many that may not even have that. It’s important we distinguish between our wants and needs. You may not have what you want, but you likely have exactly what you need.
What does Paul say about the same God who takes care of him will do for them?
“At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.”
Then Paul says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus”. I like this because God’s well never runs dry. He’s not affected by inflation. The changing economy does not affect his riches. We do not have to worry about the changing economy when we have a God whose riches are out of reach. Then he ends that section with now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. Paul never fails to give all the glory to God and ensures to never take any glory onto himself.
Paul’s Final Greetings
“Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
Paul ends his letter by giving his greetings and saying may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. This is a nice way to end the letter and a gentle reminder that God is always with us in spirit and His bountiful grace.
This concludes the Philippians Bible study recap. I pray you found it illuminating and that God really spoke to you through it. As mentioned before use this as a starting point to dig in! There’s much more knowledge and wisdom to be found. Thank you for your support and for following along. God bless!
Philippians: Christ, the Source of Joy and Strength
Philippians: A Biblical Study (By Joyce Meyers)
Exalting Jesus in Philippians (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)
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