- Philippians 4:11-15
- Phil 4:11 (KJB)
- Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in
whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
- Of want - poverty or lacking
- Content - Satisfied
- The Apostle Paul is not trying to tell these Philippians that he has a
need right now nor is he trying to cajole them into another financial gift.
That type of con job is reserved for the TV preachers, especially the late
night ones. Paul is basically stating that Christ is his sufficiency and
because of that Paul had learned that no matter what his social or physical
condition was, Christ was his under girding strength in every situation.
Paul had a made a commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ no matter what
the circumstances would be. In ministry, there are times of plenty and there
are times of famine and in each case, the Lord Jesus Christ remains the
stabilizing one in all situations. (Psa
37:25 KJV) I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the
righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
David understood this principle well because of all the problems he had in
his life, especially with Saul, Absalom, and Amnon. All during the times he
was on the run from Saul, the Lord had protected him and provided for him.
God never forsakes His own, even when times get tough, the provision of God
will always come through.
- Phil 4:12 (KJB)
- I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:
every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to
be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
- Abased - Make low or humbled
- Abound - To have an abundance or have more than needed
- I am instructed - Initiate into or to learn a secret
- Paul expresses the idea from verse 11 and this verse stating that he has
learned the secret of being sufficient in times when there was lack of
material goods. In the ancient days of Greece the Stoics spoke about being
self-sufficient and being independent of external circumstances. Paul used
the word behind ďI am instructedĒ to show that his sufficiency was in Christ
and nor himself. This is why Paul could be sufficient in ministry in the
leanest of times. (2 Cor 3:5 KJV) Not
that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but
our sufficiency is of God; Paul wrote that
very principle to the Corinthians in his second letter which would have been
written about 5-7 years before Philippians. During those years, the Apostle
Paul had faced much opposition and also had some very fruitful times in his
ministry. He always believed that the Lord Jesus Christ was his sufficiency
and not an abundance of goods. Too many believe that abundance of goods
makes them sufficient and therefore never realize that it is God who gives
them the abundance but when their abundance wanes, then the reality of who
they trust comes out.
- Did you ever hear ministries begging for money in constant desperation?
It may be that the Lord is trying to get them to realize that it is not
their ministry but the Lordís and He will fund it according to His plan. How
many times do we hear that ministries want to reach the entire world? It is
a good thing to want to reach the whole world for the Lord, but maybe the
Lord wants certain ministries focusing on certain areas of the world,
instead of the whole world. Ministry focus must be done according to the
Lordís guidance and plan. This may be why many ministries are starving
because they are going outside the plan of the Lord. When the Lord told us
to go into all the world and reach them for the gospel, that command was to
the whole body of Christ and not to one person or ministry. This is why He
gave us the principle of the human body that each part is different yet has
a strategic function. We know the hand is important and the foot is
important and the ear is important and the eye is important, but each one
has a strategic function. This is why God gave different gifts in the body
of Christ, not so we all do the same thing, but we tend to accomplish the
goal of evangelism from different methods with different focus. If we would
realize this, then when lean times come we can have the same confidence Paul
had that the Lordís ministry will be taken care of by the Lord in His timing
and in His way.
- Phil 4:13 (KJB)
- I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- Strengtheneth - Empowering
- Here is the summary of what Paul had been speaking about in the previous
verses. No matter what the circumstances are, it is Christ who gives us the
strength to endure. Whatever ministry God has me do, I can be assured that
the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who will strengthen me. This verse should
never be misapplied to believe that now we can go around healing people,
raising the dead, or attempting to do outrageous miracles. This verse speaks
specifically of the fact that whatever God commissions us to do in this
life, He will under gird us with strength to accomplish the task. Just as
the Lord empowered Paul in his ministry, He will empower us in the ministry
He has chosen for us.
- Phil 4:14 (KJB)
- Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with
- That ye did communicate - Have fellowship in
- Affliction - Tribulation
- Paul did not want the Philippians to think that he did not appreciate
the fact that they had helped him considerably but he wanted them to know
that the help he received from them was ordained of the Lord and the
Philippians had become part of Paulís ministry. God works through His people
and He still does that today. Whenever you help a ministry, you are sharing
in the ministry. The absolute truth is there is no such thing on earth as a
self-sufficient ministry as God uses the body of Christ to help each other.
The hand helps the eye and the ear helps the foot, etc. While Paul was in
prison, he wanted them to know how much he appreciated the help that they
sent and their prayers for him.
- Phil 4:15 (KJB)
- Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when
I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning
giving and receiving, but ye only.
- Paul wants them to know that they have been faithful to him from the
beginning of his ministry to them. Philippi was located in Macedonia and
here Paul is commending them that even when he left them, they were willing
to continue their support of his ministry. Paul may have visited other
churches in Macedonia but it was the Philippian church that became his
greatest supporter. From this verse, it seems that they were also his sole
supporter. The Philippians had also kept an account of what was received and
what was sent for Paulís ministry maybe they did this as good stewards of
the Lordís money or they may have remembered what happened to Ananias and
Sapphira concerning the Lordís money and honesty in ministry. It was more
likely the first scenario that they were being good stewards of the Lordís
money. It is never wrong to keep good records, in fact, it is wise.