PHILIPPIANS-SERIES NR 14
PHILIPPIANS 4: 10 – 23
Theme : Blood family
The fabulous thing about being a Christian is the fact that you have others around you who are also Christians. Blood family! There is a mutual connectedness. Unbreakable. It is a stronger bond than one you have with your own family who are not Christians! Because it is the blood of Christ which is the bond! And within this family there is love and there is genuine care!
One can see the power of this in the first few verses… while this paragraph is in fact about money!
The church in Philippi had collected an amount of money that they sent to Paul in Rome by Epaphroditus in order to help with his livelihood. And now he is saying thank you! That is what these verses are all about. But there are so many truths contained in it, and we are privileged to look at that this morning.
1 The mutual connectedness and love among Christians.
We see the church’s care for the Apostle and His gratitude for their financial assistance. Even though they were separated by distance and the Apostle in prison in Rome, he was ALIVE in their hearts and they in his! That is something which all Christians should treasure and protect : mutual connectedness and love.
2 These days there is a false teaching being preached according to which a Christian must be prosperous with regard to health and finances. The so-called “prosperity gospel“. If you are in poor health, and if you are not rich, then there is something lacking with your spiritual life – so they say.
There is nothing further from the truth! It is an absolutely false teaching.
Look at the Apostle Paul for example. Listen to what he is saying about himself and his own situation: “I know what it is to be poor. I know what it is to be in need. I know what it is to be hungry! BUT I have learned the secret – through faith in Christ – to be content in EVERY situation! “
Look carefully: He is not saying that he learned the secret of how to get OUT of every situation – but the secret of how to be victorious IN every situation.
And what is the secret?
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”.
This verse is very well known and we often use it in all kinds of situations, but Paul is actually using it in connection with his finances. Instead of being rich, healthy and prosperous, he often suffered privation (as apostle) but he discovered that the Lord Jesus gave him strength IN his difficult circumstances. When he made that discovery, he realized that he was able to be content whatever the circumstances. He realized that he could – through Christ – live victoriously – even though he did not have good health or much money. Even if he sometimes did not even have food!
3 The Apostle makes it clear that – on the one hand – he is very grateful and glad for the money which the Philippians sent him. But – on the other hand – he is not dependent on their assistance and is not looking for further gifts.
He clearly explains that he does not look for something for HIMSELF, but that he is very excited about the spiritual blessing that they – as givers – receive from the Lord. How they benefit spiritually, that is the most important thing. What a godly attitude!
4 The believer who gives with a joyful heart and who regards it as a ministry, is a person who will never be deserted by the Lord. To GIVE is a ministry!
Just look at what he is saying: “my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus “. LISTEN CAREFULLY: According to HIS riches in Christ. God does not provide for His children according to human ability or according to the stock market’s ability or a rich relative’s ability, but according to HIS ability. And what does HIS ability look like??…
5 The fruit of the Holy Spirit: Contentment! We should carefully observe and feel what the climate of Paul’s words are. It is a climate of contentment. It comes so absolutely from the Holy Spirit. The heart and the attitude/disposition of the Lord Jesus himself! That is the actual secret which Paul discovered in all circumstances: Contentment! Not rebelliousness or dissatisfaction. Contentment does not mean to refuse opportunities or not to use the gifts which are given to you! Paul accepted them! Contentment means to rest in the Lord as opposed to being rebellious and panic-stricken.
6 To God and Father be glory for ever and ever! Only to Him! Soli Deo Gloria! When we realize that it is not at all about us, but that the glory belongs only to Him, and we focus our eyes there – then there is unity among Christians and everyone will be healed!
7 Not all people, not all good people, not all church people truly belong to God and are His reconciled children. Only those who are so THROUGH CHRIST! Even within the Emperor’s guard there were some of those. The Spirit works in powerful ways! There are many, many people who hope and believe and think that – when they arrive in eternity – they will be with (the true) God. Most are going to be dreadfully surprised. It is ONLY the people who belonged to God through the death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who turned to this Lord and anchored their faith-confidence on His death on the cross and resurrection, who will arrive in the right place!
Translated by Marthie Wilson