Studying Philippians By Brian A. Yeager

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).

Studying Philippians


Study Notes For Philippians
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(Chapter Four)

Philippians 4:1 –

  • Called “brethren dearly beloved” and “my dearly beloved” (cf. I Corinthians 15:58, I Thessalonians 1:4, II Thessalonians 2:13, I Timothy 6:1-2, James 1:16, James 1:19, and James 2:5)
    • Because we are to love our brethren (John 13:34-35, Romans 12:10, Galatians 5:13, I Thessalonians 4:9, Hebrews 13:1, I Peter 1:22, I Peter 3:9, I John 3:14-18, and I John 4:20-21).
    • “Beloved” is a term our Father used with Jesus (Matthew 3:17).
  • Longing for brethren (Acts 20:17-38, Romans 1:9-13, Philippians 2:25-30, and I Thessalonians 2:17).
  • They being Paul’s joy and crown (I Thessalonians 2:18-20; 3:6-11; cf. II Timothy 2:10).
    • This, aside from whether or not truth is not, separates teachers of the truth from false teachers. False teachers only care about themselves (Romans 16:17-18 and II Peter 2:1-3).
  • Stand fast in the Lord (I Corinthians 16:13, Philippians 1:27, I Thessalonians 3:8, II Thessalonians 2:14-15, and Hebrews 10:23).

Philippians 4:2 –

  • Strong’s dictionary says Euodias and Syntyche are females (#’s 2136 & 4941).
  • Be of the same mind (Romans 12:16, I Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1-6, Philippians 2:2, I Peter 3:8, and I Peter 4:1-2).
  • The phrase “in the Lord” (Acts 14:3, Romans 16:1-2; 8; 11-13; 22, I Corinthians 1:31, I Corinthians 4:17, I Corinthians 7:22; 39, I Corinthians 9:2, I Corinthians 11:11, I Corinthians 15:58, I Corinthians 16:19, etc.). *Again, this phrase will be in verses 4; 10 of this chapter.

Philippians 4:3 –

  • “Intreat” is “to interrogate; to request: ask” (Strong’s #2065). The idea is to ask or desire something of someone (Acts 3:3; 16:39).
  • When considering what a yokefellow is, we should consider what a yoke is and the several applications that has (Matthew 11:28-30 and I Timothy 6:1; cf. Philippians 1:1).
  • If there are true yokefellows that infers there are those in which are not true yokefellows (Galatians 2:1-5) and even those with whom we should not be yoked together with (II Corinthians 6:14-18).
  • Women as fellow laborers (Acts 1:12-14, Acts 9:36, Acts 16:40, Romans 16:1-6, Romans 16:12, II Timothy 1:3-5) with definite qualifiers (I Corinthians 14:34-35 and I Timothy 2:8-15).
  • Help brethren (Romans 16:3-4, Romans 16:9, and I Corinthians 16:6).
  • Names in the book of life (Exodus 32:31-33, Luke 10:20, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:15, and Revelation 21:27).

Philippians 4:4 –

  • Rejoice [calmly happy or well-off; impersonally [added note: *means not involving personal feelings], especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: — farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hall, joy(- fully), rejoice; Strong’s #5463] (Romans 5:1-2, Philippians 3:1, and I Thessalonians 5:16-18) always in the Lord (Matthew 5:10-12, Acts 8:35-39, II Corinthians 7:9-10, Philippians 4:10, I Peter 4:13, and II John 1:4).
  • It should be apparent by looking at the Scriptures we just studied that always rejoicing refers to a mindset of joy, even in the worst of situations. However, it does not mean that such is a singular mindset (i.e. Ecclesiastes 7:1-6, Ecclesiastes 12:1-8, Luke 19:41-44, Romans 9:1-3, Romans 12:15, and I Corinthians 12:25-26).
  • For discussion, what would it mean if someone pretended to be joyous, when they really aren’t, just to appear to be obeying points like this one?
    • Would that person be honest (Romans 12:17, Romans 13:13, I Thessalonians 4:12, and I Peter 2:11-12)?
    • If that person thought rejoicing always meant to never have any other feelings, do they properly understand the point (II Peter 3:15-18)?

Philippians 4:5 –

  • Let your moderation [being gentle; Titus 3:2 and James 3:17] be known unto all men (Matthew 5:14-16 and Philippians 2:14-16).
  • The Lord is at hand (Jeremiah 23:23; cf. Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 17:10, Hebrews 4:13, and I John 3:20).

Philippians 4:6 –

  • Anxiety is starts in the mind of a person. A Christian is supposed to be someone who has a focused mind (Proverbs 16:3, Isaiah 55:6-9, Romans 12:1-3, II Corinthians 10:5, Ephesians 4:22-23, Colossians 3:1-2, and I Peter 1:13).
  • Be careful [anxious; troubled with cares] for nothing (Psalms 127:1-2, Proverbs 12:25, Proverbs 15:13, Proverbs 17:22, Luke 10:38-42, John 14:1, II Timothy 2:3-4, and I Peter 5:6-7).
    • If I believe in God and I am doing my part in life, I won’t worry about carnal things (Matthew 6:24-34). Those kind of cares kill the word of God (Mark 4:19).
    • If I believe in God and I am doing my part in life, I won’t worry about spiritual things either (Hebrews 10:23).
    • Like David, we should be able to encourage ourselves in the Lord (I Samuel 30:6).
    • This doesn’t mean being absolutely carefree either (Luke 12:13-21, II Corinthians 13:5, Philippians 2:12, and Hebrews 3:12-13).
  • Being careful “for nothing” has exceptions though. The same Greek word [Strong’s # 3309] is used in verses that teach to be careful about some things (I Corinthians 7:34; 12:25, and Philippians 2:20). Similarly, though a different Greek word, Paul had cares concerning the Lord’s body (II Corinthians 11:28).
  • In prayer (Colossians 4:2 and I Peter 4:7).
  • In supplication [requests] (i.e. Roman 10:1, I Timothy 2:1-5, and James 5:16).
  • With thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 1:12-13, Colossians 3:15, Colossians 3:17, I Thessalonians 5:18, and Hebrews 13:15).
  • Let your requests be made known to God (I John 5:14-15; cf. James 4:3).

Philippians 4:7 –

  • The peace of God (Proverbs 3:1-2, Romans 8:6, I Corinthians 14:33, II Corinthians 13:11, Colossians 3:15, and Hebrews 13:20).
  • Peace of God that passes [is higher; Isaiah 55:6-9] ALL understanding doesn’t mean we cannot comprehend it or obtain it (cf. Ephesians 3:17-19).
  • The peace of God will keep your hearts and minds through Christ (Isaiah 26:3 and John 14:27).

Philippians 4:8 –

  • Things true (Psalms 19:9, Psalms 119:160, John 3:33, II Corinthians 1:18, Philippians 4:3, and I John 5:20).
  • Things that are honest [venerable; honorable; grave], like to that of a deacon, his wife, and older faithful men (I Timothy 3:8, I Timothy 3:11, and Titus 2:2).
  • Things just (Isaiah 26:5, Hebrews 10:38, I Peter 3:18, and I John 1:9; cf. Proverbs 18:17 and John 5:30).
  • Things pure (I Timothy 5:22, James 3:17, and I John 3:1-3).
  • Things that are lovely [acceptable; pleasing] (Proverbs 21:3, Ecclesiastes 12:10, and Ephesians 5:10).
  • Things that are of a good report [reputable] (Proverbs 22:1 and III John 1:12).
  • Things of virtue (Proverbs 31:10 and II Peter 1:3-10).
  • Things of praise (Psalms 113:3, Proverbs 31:30, Acts 16:25, and I Peter 2:9).
  • Think on these things. As we addressed in verse 6, be able to redirect your mind (Proverbs 16:3, Jeremiah 4:14, Romans 12:1-3, and Ephesians 4:23).

Philippians 4:9 –

  • They were to follow Paul’s example (I Corinthians 4:16, I Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:17, and I Thessalonians 1:6).
  • In the things he taught (Acts 2:42, Colossians 1:23, I Thessalonians 4:1, and II Peter 3:1-2).
  • As well as in the things they saw in him (II Thessalonians 3:7; cf. I Thessalonians 2:10).
  • In faithfulness to the Lord’s will, which was taught through Paul (I Corinthians 2:9-13, I Corinthians 14:37, II Corinthians 5:20, and Galatians 1:6-12), the God of peace is with us (John 14:21-24, I John 1:3-7, and I John 2:24).

Philippians 4:10 –

  • Rejoicing in the Lord greatly (Psalms 33:1, Psalms 97:12, Habakkuk 3:18, Philippians 3:1, and Philippians 4:4).
  • What does “at the last” mean? Consider how the word translated hers as “last” (“ποτέ [pote]”; Strong’s # 4218) is translated throughout the New Testament (NOTE: this is not a COMPLETE list of every time the word is used) … “when” (Luke 22:32), “aforetime” (John 9:13), “length” (Romans 1:10), “once” (Romans 7:9), “past” (Romans 11:30), “past” (Galatians 1:13), “past” (Galatians 1:23), “whatsoever” (Galatians 2:6), “past” (Ephesians 2:2-3; Ephesians 2:11), “sometimes” (Ephesians 2:13), “sometimes” (Ephesians 5:8), “sometime” (Colossians 1:21), “time” (Colossians 3:7), “time” (I Thessalonians 2:5), “sometimes” (Titus 3:3), “past” (Philemon 1:11), “time” (Hebrews 1:5), “time” (Hebrews 1:13), “past” (I Peter 2:10), “time” (I Peter 3:5), “sometime” (I Peter 3:20), and “time” (II Peter 1:21).
  • Their care for him flourished again is in reference to the fact that they had helped Paul even in the beginning of his work (Philippians 4:15).
  • They were careful [minded] for Paul’s needs (Philippians 1:5-7; cf. Galatians 6:6).
  • However, in the past, they lacked opportunity (cf. Galatians 6:10).
  • Paul could depend on brethren from Macedonia (includes Philippi; Acts 16:12) for his financial support (II Corinthians 11:8-9).

Philippians 4:11 –

  • Paul did not speak in respect of want for he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in (Proverbs 30:8-9, Matthew 6:19-21; 24-34, Luke 3:12-14, Luke 12:13-21, II Corinthians 6:10, I Timothy 6:6-10, and Hebrews 13:5-6).

Philippians 4:12 –

  • Paul knew how to be abased (II Corinthians 6:4-10 and II Corinthians 11:27-31; cf. Psalms 37:16, Proverbs 16:8, and James 2:5).
  • He also understood how to abound as the Scriptures show this too (Philippians 4:18; cf. Ecclesiastes 5:19 and I Timothy 6:17).
  • One thing you do not find record of is his boasting of those times wherein he would have abounded (Jeremiah 9:23-24 and James 4:16).
  • The right mindset is that true wealth and poverty cannot be measured in worldly terms (Psalms 62:10, Proverbs 8:1; 18-19, Matthew 6:19-21, and Hebrews 10:34; 11:24-26).
  • Paul just simply did not get caught up in the measure of worldly wealth (Acts 20:33-35).

Philippians 4:13 –
  • First off, we should realize that Paul wasn’t literally saying he could do “all things”.
    • First, He’d have to have authority for what he did (Matthew 28:18-20, Galatians 1:6-12, and Colossians 3:17).
    • Secondly, whatever he did would have to be expedient, edifying [profitable], etc. (I Corinthians 10:22-33).
    • Finally, even in the age of miracles which he was able to do through spiritual gifts, even therein he couldn’t do “all things” (II Corinthians 12:1-10).
  • The context of this statement, which is 99.9% of the time ignored, is about how he was able to abound or be abased in regard to the financial support he was receiving. His main point is that he is not strengthened by money or carnal things (I Timothy 6:6-10; cf. Matthew 6:24-34), but by the Lord (Proverbs 8:1-36, Proverbs 10:29, John 15:1-5, Ephesians 6:10-11, and II Timothy 2:1-4).
  • To illustrate how Paul was strengthened by spiritual thinking rather than what was occurring in the flesh, consider this: II Corinthians 4:8-5:1
  • No matter what the flesh is troubled with, we should KNOW that spiritually we have what we need (Psalms 37:25-28, Romans 8:28-39, and Hebrews 13:5-6).

Philippians 4:14 –
  • “Notwithstanding…” He wants them to know that though their support of him did not spiritually make or break him, they did good by giving it (Matthew 10:5-15).
  • They did well to communicate with [have fellowship] in his affliction (Romans 12:13, Romans 15:25-27, and Galatians 6:6).
  • Since supporting those preaching is fellowship, caution is to be taken (Ephesians 5:11).

Philippians 4:15 –

  • It is sad that no church communicated with [had fellowship through financial support] Paul in the beginning of his work. Supporting faithful preachers of the Gospel is a large part of the work of the church (I Corinthians 9:1-14).

Philippians 4:16 –

  • When Paul was in Thessalonica he surely had financial needs (I Thessalonians 2:9 and II Thessalonians 3:7-12).
  • Thankfully, these brethren in Philippi seemed to always be willing to support the faithful work of Paul. They KNEW what was going on with him. That’s the way it should be towards faithful teachers of God’s word (I Thessalonians 5:12-13).

Philippians 4:17 –

  • It is not selfish for a man laboring in teaching to seek support either. It is beneficial also for those providing the support in an eternal manner (Matthew 10:40-42 and Hebrews 6:10-12).
  • This is true of giving for the Lord’s work in all ways (Proverbs 19:17 and II Corinthians 9:6-13).
  • The principal of laying up treasure in Heaven applies here (Matthew 6:19-21) as supporting faithful men to teach is investing in spiritual things.

Philippians 4:18 –

  • As discussed in Philippians 4:12, Paul wasn’t always suffering need. Now, at the time he writes this epistle, he is doing well due to what Epaphroditus brought from Philippi (Philippians 2:25-30).
  • The language of a sacrificial giving regarding helping Paul (Hebrews 13:15-16).

Philippians 4:19 –

  • In the contextual application of fruit abounding to their account; riches in glory has a spiritual application (Matthew 6:19-21, Romans 8:18, II Corinthians 4:17-18, and Revelation 3:17-18).

Philippians 4:20 –

  • Glory is to be given to God (Psalms 108:5, Jeremiah 13:16-17, Luke 2:14, Luke 17:11-19, Acts 12:1-23, Romans 16:27, I Corinthians 10:31, Philippians 1:10-11, Philippians 4:20, I Timothy 1:17, Jude 1:25, and Revelation 1:6).

Philippians 4:21 –

  • The instruction for salutations [greet] to all saints (Romans 16:3, Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians 13:12, Colossians 4:15, Titus 3:15, Hebrews 13:24, and I Peter 5:14).

Philippians 4:22 –

  • Paul extended salutations from others (II Corinthians 13:13, Hebrews 13:24, and III John 1:14).
  • Paul had access to Caesar’s household (Philippians 1:13).

Philippians 4:23 –
  • Paul then closed with similar wording as he often did in other epistles (Romans 16:24, I Corinthians 16:23, II Corinthians 13:14, Galatians 6:18, Ephesians 6:24, Colossians 4:18, I Thessalonians 5:28, II Thessalonians 3:18, etc.). This too should be considered and not passed over though (II Timothy 3:16-17).