Chapter 4, Verse 1-4
What To Do? REJOICE!
Philippians 3:21) [KJV] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 John 3:2) [KJV] Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1 Corinthians 15:42-53) [KJV] So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44) It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
QUESTION: What does our being “fashioned like unto his glorious body,” or, our becoming “like him” entail?
* We will be “raised in incorruption.” Our bodies will not be subject to decay.
* We will be “raised in glory.”
* We will be “raised in power.”
* We will be “raised a spiritual body.”
1 Corinthians 13:12) [KJV] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
2 Corinthians 3:18) [KJV] [KJV] But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
* We shall see everything clearly; we shall know everything fully.
* Consequently, our being “changed into the same image” that we are currently “beholding as in a glass” will now be a complete, absolute change into our being like Him because “we shall see him as he is” at last.
On To This Week’s Lesson:
Philippians 4:1-4) [KJV] Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
(GNB) So then, my friends, how dear you are to me and how I miss you! How happy you make me, and how proud I am of you!—this, dear friends, is how you should stand firm in your life in the Lord.
QUESTION: What is the “therefore” there for?
Philippians 3:20-21) [KJV] For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
ANSWER: The “therefore” is there to tell us that since Jesus is coming again to fashion our “vile” bodies “like unto his glorious body” we should be encouraged in our faith to “stand fast in the Lord.”
QUESTION: What else, besides encouraging them to “stand fast in the Lord,” is Paul doing in vs. 1?
ANSWER: He is reaffirming his love for them by:
* He refers to them as “my brethren dearly beloved and longed for.”
* He refers to them as “my joy and crown.”
* He refers to them as “my dearly beloved.”
“joy and crown” – Paul says to the Philippian Christians, “looking forward also to the great day of account, he tells them too that in the judgment day their faith will be his joy and crown in the presence of the Lord, into whose service he has been privileged to bring them” [Popular].
NOTE: Paul was telling his readers in Philippi how much he loved them and “longed for” [KJV], or “missed them” [GNB] and how “dearly beloved” they were to him; and in reference to how vs. 21 of the previous chapter talks about Jesus coming back to take them to Heaven, he tells his readers that their faithfulness to God will be a “joy and crown” to him in Heaven.
2) I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3) And I intreat 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.
“Euodian” and “Syntyche” – “These are doubtless the names of females. The name Syntyche is sometimes the name of a man; but, if these persons are referred to in Phi_4:3, there can be no doubt that they were females. Nothing more is known of them than is here mentioned. It has been commonly supposed that they were deaconesses, who preached the gospel to those of their own sex; but there is no certain evidence of this. All that is known is, that there was some disagreement between them, and the apostle entreats them to be reconciled to each other” [Barnes].
4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
QUESTION: What does this passage teach us?
Philippians 1:28-30) [KJV] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30) Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
ANSWER: Whatever life throws at us we are instructed to “rejoice in the Lord always.” Paul emphasizes this important Truth by repeating it; “and again I say, Rejoice.”
Matthew 10:17) [KJV] But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Acts 5:34-35) [KJV] Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;
35) And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.
Acts 5:38-42) [KJV] And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39) But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
40) And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41) And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
42) And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
“beaten them” – “The usual amount of ‘lashes’ which were inflicted on offenders was 39. ‘Beating’ or ‘whipping’ was a common mode of punishing minor offences among the Jews” [Barnes].
QUESTION: What did Peter, and the other apostles that were with him, do when they had been beaten 39 times with a whip, and commanded to stop preaching Jesus to the people?
ANSWER: They did what Paul told the Philippians to do; they rejoiced.
Acts 7:59-60) [KJV] And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60) And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
QUESTION: What did Stephen do when he was being stoned?
ANSWER: He forgave the very ones who were stoning him; and he “fell asleep.”
Acts 12:1-2) [KJV] Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
“killed James the brother of John with the sword” – Clement professed to have received by tradition from his predecessors, to the effect that the informer who accused James was so struck with his constancy in confessing Christ before the judge, that he came forward and confessed himself a Christian too. The two were then led off to execution together; and on the way the informer asked James’s forgiveness. After a moment’s hesitation, James said to him, ‘Peace be unto thee,’ and kissed him. They were then both beheaded (’Eccl. Hist.,’ 2. 9.). As Clement flourished about A.D. 190, the tradition need not have passed through more than three persons.” [Pulpit].
NOTE: What about these crazy 1st century Christians? They rejoiced after they had been beaten, glad that they had been “counted worthy to suffer shame” for Jesus. They forgave their executioners, and possibly their informers, and fell asleep. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that if any of us suffer persecution to the extent of death that it won’t hurt. Of course it will hurt. I’m suggesting that in the middle of unbelievable pain there stands Jesus, along side of us. I’m suggesting that immediately following the pain that ends in death there stands Jesus escorting us to the glories of Heaven.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church