10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. 22 All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
(Indicate verses in your response)
How did Paul learn to be content?
Does he tell us what “the secret” is?
How did the Philippians learn to be generous? (See Acts 16:15, 29-34).
What do we know about “Caesar’s household”? (See chapter 1)
In 17 and 18, Paul used accounting terms. Explain his thinking.
On what basis could Paul be so confident in verse 19?
The verses of this section would have been appropriate as a thank you note to the congregation at Philippi. How did Paul give back to them? Any specific examples?
No matter who is giving what, what is Paul’s focus as he closes his letter?
How is you “contentment quotient” doing?
I have learned:
Giving and receiving:
Fragrant . . . acceptable . . . pleasing:
His glorious riches:
In his closing comments, Paul opens himself up to his friends at Philippi. He lets them know some of the thoughts and feelings that he has gone through as he traveled from one location to another.
Out of his own experience, he can offer his encouragement and teaching on how to live a contented Christian life. As he sits in his cell in Rome, he remembers all the tough times. But he is cheered as he recalls how this group of people stood beside him all the way through. What a testimony he was to them. What a joy they were to him. And to “God our Father be glory for ever and ever.”
Paul was continually struggling with those who had a worldly view of Christian faith. Some even claimed “apostolic” authority which was exposed by Paul and others. As he points out in this letter, Paul’s credentials were unassailable. He was in prison for Christ.