Chapter 4, Verse 10-13
Can I? I Can!
Review; Think On These Things!
Philippians 4:8-9) [KJV] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Whatsoever Things Are True:
“true” – “1a) what is true in any matter under consideration” [Thayer].
Whatsoever Things Are Honest:
NOTE: Yes! But the majority of the translators have “honorable,” not “honest.”
“honest” – “There lies in it the idea of a dignity or majesty which is yet inviting and attractive, and which inspires reverence” [Vincent].
Whatsoever Things Are Just:
“just” – “1a) in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God” [Thayer].
Whatsoever Things Are Pure:
“pure” – “Old word for all sorts of purity. There are clean things, thoughts, words, deeds” [Robertson].
Whatsoever Things Are Lovely:
“lovely” – “acceptable, pleasing” [Thayer].
NOTE: We are to think about those things that Spiritual Truth tells us are “acceptable” and “pleasing” to God.
Whatsoever Things Are Of Good Report:
“good report” – “gracious (Rev., in margin)” [Vincent].
“good report” – “2) uttering words of good omen, speaking auspiciously” [Thayer].
If There Be Any Virtue:
“virtue” – “1a) virtue, moral goodness; 2) any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity” [Vincent].
If There Be Any Praise:
“praise” – “Anything worthy of praise, or that ought to be praised” [Vincent].
9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
NOTE: We will never fully reflect the Christian life to the lost world until we have more fully brought our thoughts into alignment with the Scriptures. Right thoughts produce right actions! The battle is in our minds.
On To This Week’s Lesson, “Can I? I Can!”
Philippians 4:10-13) [KJV] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
(GNB) In my life in union with the Lord it is a great joy to me that after so long a time you once more had the chance of showing that you care for me. I don’t mean that you had stopped caring for me—you just had no chance to show it.
QUESTION: What thought does Paul turn his attention to as he is reaching the end of this letter?
ANSWER: He turns his attention to how the Philippian believers have shown their affection for him by their supporting his ministry even when he wasn’t there in Philippi. Now, as he sits in prison, they had shown this same care for him yet again.
QUESTION: What does “ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity” mean?
ANSWER: They had always cared for him deeply but they had lacked the ability to express it through their giving because he was a long ways away from them. A journey to Rome by land would be an enormous distance, and a journey be sea would be costly and dangerous.
QUESTION: What did the Philippian believers finally do to show their care to Paul?
ANSWER: They sent one of their own, Epaphroditus, to make the difficult journey to Rome as a representative of them all. He brought an offering to Paul, and stayed awhile to physically care for him.
11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
(ERV) I am telling you this, but not because I need something. I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens.
1 Timothy 6:6-10) [KJV] But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
“contentment” – “1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed; 2) sufficiency of the necessities of life; 3) a mind contented with its lot, contentment” [Thayer].
Matthew 6:25, 33) [KJV] Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
QUESTION: What do the above passages, along with vs. 11 of this week’s lesson, teach us?
ANSWER: Almighty God, the Lover of our souls, wants to be our Sustenance.
Psalm 42:1) [KJV] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
(GNB) As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God.
QUESTION: What does this teach us?
ANSWER: God wants us to long for spiritual sustenance more than for physical sustenance.
12) 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.
“I am instructed” – “Rev., have I learned the secret. The metaphor is from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries. I have been initiated” [Vincent].
QUESTION: What is Paul telling his readers in this verse?
ANSWER: He is telling them that the School of Life had initiated him into a understanding that life’s experiences had taught him. He had enjoyed times of plenty and endured times of little. He had, through the initiation of life’s experiences, learned how to excel in both cases. He had learned “the secrets” that life had previously hidden from him.
13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
QUESTION: What is the context of this subject being discussed?
* You send financial aid to me in a time of my need [vs. 10].
* God, through life’s experiences, had taught me to be content in all situations [vs. 11-12].
* God gives me the strength to face whatever I’m facing [vs. 13].
* You, however, blessed me again with your offering [vs. 14-18].
* In return God will bless you [vs. 19].
QUESTION: What does this context teach us regarding vs. 13?
ANSWER: Primarily vs. 13 is a confession by the Apostle that God continuously gives him the strength to face whatever life throws at him. This principle, though, does include the idea that when life throws good things your way that God will give you the strength to do the right thing then as well.
God’s Word To Ananias In A Vision:
Acts 9:15-16) [KJV] But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
QUESTION: What does God tell Ananias about Paul?
ANSWER: God said, “I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
NOTE: Paul enjoyed times of blessing but God called him to face times of suffering for His name’s sake.
Romans 4:17b) [GW] Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence things that don’t even exist.
A CLOSING NOTE: God once looked out into the vastness of nothingness and said, “Let there be!” And there was. When we look out into what seems to be the vastness of hopelessness and nothingness there God resides. Trust Him to make the creative call that will change your nothingness to contentment.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church