Category: Phillippians Commentary
Philippians Chapter 4 Dr. McGee goes into the Apostle Paul's message of POWER for Christian living. Who doesn't want that or more importantly need that. (Key verse: 13) This is the program for power. Paul gives us the formula for power in Christian living, which must be met before we can quote verse 13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Another powerful time in the word of God. May God richly bless you as you continue to grow in grace. Also the throne of God where Christ sits on the right hand of God. He will cleanse us by the washing of His Word.
IV. POWER for Christian living, Chapter 4
(Key verse: 13)
This is the program for power. Paul gives us the formula for power in Christian living, which must be met before we can quote verse 13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
A. Joy — the source of power, vv. 1-4
v. 1 — The Philippian believers were a joy to Paul in this life and his crown for the next. Paul calls upon them to “stand fast in the Lord” (see Ephesians 6:10-14).
v. 2 — Evidently, two women in the church, Euodia and Syntyche, had a misunderstanding that ruptured the close fellowship of the believers in Philippi. These women needed the mind of Christ (Philippians 2).
v. 3 — This reveals the prominence of women in the leadership of the apostolic church.
v. 4 — Joy is not an option for the believer, it is a command of Christ. Without joy, a believer is powerless (Nehemiah 8:10).
B. Prayer — the secret of power, vv. 5-7
v. 5 — “Moderation” is called by Matthew Arnold “sweet reasonableness” v. 6 — Worry about nothing; pray about everything. Paul places two indefinite pronouns in opposition. A believer is to worry about nothing because he is to pray about everything. There is nothing in a believer’s life that should not be made an object of prayer. The answer of a famous preacher to a woman who asked if we were to pray about the small things in our lives is noteworthy: “Madam,” he said, “can you mention anything in your life that is big to God?” “With thanksgiving” means that the believer is to thank God for answering his prayer even while he prays. God always hears and answers the prayers of His children — but His answer is often no.
v. 7 — This is an indescribable peace of God, for it passes understanding. It guards the heart and mind. It is a peace that must encompass all others.Peace with God — sins forgiven
Peace of God — tranquility
You enter this passage in worry — you come out in peace. The storm is still blowing, the waves are still rolling high, the night is still dark. Things have not changed, but the believer who prays has.
C. Contemplation of Christ — the sanctuary of power, vv. 8, 9
v. 8 — “Lovely” is gracious. This has been called the briefest biography of Christ. The believer must contemplate Christ as well as communicate with Him for power. Purity is essential to power. In fact, purity is synonymous with power. We live in a dirty world. We need to retire to the sanctuary of the soul.
— the throne of God where Christ sits on the right hand of God. He will cleanse us by the washing of His Word.
v. 9 — “Do” is practice. Paul is an example here also.
D. In Christ — the satisfaction of power, vv. 10-23
v. 10 — The Philippian believers had sent Paul a gift, and this is his thank-you note.
vv. 11, 12 — Paul knew how to be content, regardless of his circumstances. (As I write these notes, I am about 35 miles northwest of
Boston, Massachusetts, in a place called Ayer. A snowstorm has paralyzed this area. It is impossible to get into Boston. I have not even been able to make telephone contact to see if I have reservations out of here. I am stranded and find it difficult to be content.)
v. 13 — “Through Christ” is in Christ. This is the high point of the epistle. It is well to note that “all things” is modified by “in Christ.” For example, a train can do “all things” between departure and destination when it is “in” the tracks made for it. When it leaves the track, it is a wreck and can do nothing.
vv. 14-19 — Paul speaks of the past generosity of the Philippian believers and assures them that God will meet their every need (not
vv. 20-23 — Paul concludes this epistle as he began it — on a personal, warm and friendly basis of Christian love and fellowship.
Philippians Commentary Notes
Philippians (75.5 mb) Download entire Commentary here.
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