Philippians 4:1-5
Phil 4:1 (KJB)
Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Longed for - Desired
Crown - The Stephanos Crown given to victors in a sporting event like the Olympics
Stand fast - Stand firm or persevere
As Paul looks back to what has been written in this epistle, he definitely shows that he wears his heart on his sleeve as he longs to be with them and calls them his crown. This crown is the Stephanos crown which was made up like a laurel wreath. The laurel begins to wilt shortly after it is picked which means its glory was all transitory. However, those Christians whom Paul had dealings with are seen as his permanent crown as those who become born again are saved and sealed forever. He continues to encourage them to stand firm in the Lord no matter what type of consequences hit them. Maybe they were facing persecution and Paul did not want them falling away.
Phil 4:2 (KJB)
I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
Beseech - Encourage
The same mind - To think the same thing
There must have been petty squabbles in the Philippian church and Paul was encouraging these two women to become likeminded. A petty squabble in a church has the potential of becoming a catalyst for serious division when people start taking sides. This is why it become necessary to quash petty squabbles before they have a chance to mushroom into something much bigger and more dangerous. If a thousand mile journey starts with one step, surely, a church split starts with one bad word.
Phil 4:3 (KJB)
And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
True - Legitimate or genuine
Yokefellow - Companion or comrade
Clement - This was Clement of Rome and not the heretic Clement of Alexandria who live about 150-215 A.D.
Paul is entreating the true yoke fellow to help the women who labored with him in the gospel. The term “yokefellow” is in the vocative case which is the case of direct address which means Paul is definitely aiming this request at someone but we do not know exactly who it is being aimed at. It could be Epaphroditus, or Luke or Barnabas. Whoever it was addressed to was to help Euodias and Syntyche in whatever their situation was. He also mentions Clement who later became Bishop of Rome and also the other fellow laborers in the Gospel. Paul states that their names are in the book of life and no doubt he is alluding to the Lamb’s Book of Life where all the names of the true believers are written down through the ages. He may not be listing their names but their names are listed where it counts for eternity.
Phil 4:4 (KJB)
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Rejoice - Be glad
Here Paul gives a command to the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice is in the Imperative mood making it a command. Paul knows that we rejoice in the Lord because on this earth, there is nothing else which make a Christian rejoice since we are surrounded by sin and sadness. Rejoicing in the Lord is the Christians only true source of Joy because it is an eternal joy and does not change with situations.
Phil 4:5 (KJB)
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Moderation - Gentleness or Consideration
Is at hand - Near or close
Since joy is the outward expression of true inward joy, Paul now encourages the Philippians to let their gentleness be known unto all for a testimony. Paul always preached the nearness of Christ’s return and he did this basically to remind Christians that the second coming of Christ could occur at any time and there was no time for bickering. He wanted all the Christians to be of like mind because of the tremendous scope of the Great Commission. The propagation of the Gospel is always hindered when there are petty squabbles between Christians. This eats up time and emotions and tires people out rendering them too exhausted to continue the gospel outreach. It is also unfortunate that many Christians like to use this verse as their proof text for “everything in moderation.” If one uses the term “everything” then that would have to include sinful activities as well. So this verse speaks of a Christian’s gentleness and not a license to sin.