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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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"God Will Supply Every Need" -- Philippians 4:10-23

The Ninth and Final in a Series of Sermons on Philippians

Paul’s letter to the Philippians comes to an end with Paul reminding his brothers and sisters of one of the great promises given by God to his people.  “God will supply every need.”  This is an important reminder to a congregation facing persecution from those outside the church who cannot possibly understand why someone would give up Roman religion to worship a Palestinian Jews, who claimed to have risen from the dead.  The Philippians were also facing doctrinal woes from a group of Judaizers who had arrived in Philippi and were teaching that faith in Jesus was not enough to be justified.  One had to submit to circumcision and embrace Jewish culture and customs in addition to trusting in Christ.  Paul has exhorted the Philippians to stand firm in the face of this opposition as well to rejoice always even while in the midst of difficult times.  At the end of this epistle, Paul speaks of the secret as to how the Philippians can accomplish these things–they are to realize that through their union with the Risen Jesus who strengthens them, they can indeed accomplish all things and stand firm and even rejoice in the face of anti-Christian opposition to the cause of Jesus and his ever-advancing kingdom.

As we wrap up our series on Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi we come to what one commentator has called “Paul’s thank you note,” sent to those who have supported the apostle during his difficult days in Rome.  The help coming from the Philippians was no doubt greatly appreciated by Paul who was instrumental in the founding of the Philippian church a decade or so earlier.  It may even be the case that Paul was so grateful for the Philippian’s support that he could not pen just a few words of thanks and appreciation, but felt compelled by both his friendship toward the Philippians, as well as by the necessity of his calling as an apostle to encourage the churches, that Paul’s brief note of thanks became the four chapter epistle we now know as Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians.  

So far, Paul has given us a series of indicatives (centering on God’s gracious work in Jesus as applied to the Philippian believers) followed by a number of imperatives (especially the exhortations to stand firm and to rejoice in all circumstances).  But in the final section of chapter 4 (vv. 10-23, our text for this sermon), Paul finally gets to his main reason for writing this epistle.  Paul thanks the Philippians for their generosity in sending him a gift upon learning of his imprisonment in Rome.  From what we can tell, the Philippians learned that Paul’s appeal to Caesar had taken him all the way to Rome, where the apostle was now under house arrest.  This unspecified gift to Paul was brought to him by Ephahroditus, who may have been a pastor or an elder in the Philippian church.  Upon his arrival in Rome, Ephahroditus fell ill, and now that he has recovered, Paul composes this note of thanks (with a long letter of introduction) which is contained in the concluding section of this letter.

In many ways this closing section reflects Paul’s earlier thanksgiving in chapter 1:3-11, especially his comments, in verses 3-6.  “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  The concluding section of the epistle effectively wraps up with another demonstration of Paul’s affection toward the Philippians as the apostle expresses his thanks to God for allowing his friends in Philippi to support him with such a generous gift–a gift which comes at a time when Paul was himself encouraged by their concern for him.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

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