V 1, Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
“Therefore”, is the connecting word between Philippians 4 and Philippians 3. Paul addressed the Philippians Christians as his beloved, his longed-for brothers, his joy, and his crown. He implored them (and us) to stand firm in the faith and hold on to the teachings of Christ.
VV 2-3, 2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Paul implored two women ministers of the Philippians Church, Euodia and Syntyche, to reconcile their differences and misunderstandings. They were co-workers of Paul. Paul implored a “true companion” of the Philippians Church to help them come to terms with their dispute. The identity of this person was not stated. Paul also mentioned Clement and other fellow workers whose names are in the Book of life. The book of life is mentioned in the white throne judgment.
Revelation 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”.
VV 4-7, 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Paul implored the Phipillipians Christians (and us) to always rejoice in Christ and walk in gentleness because Christ’s second coming is imminent. We are to be anxious over nothing but to bring everything to God in prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. God’s peace will comfort our hearts and protect our minds. Joy, prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving are the remedies for anxiety.
Philippians 4:6 is a memory verse. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”.
Anxiety is the opposite of peace. Surrender all your anxieties over to Christ, the Prince of Peace.
1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”.
Numbers 6:26, “The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”
V 12, Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2, NIV, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
VV 13- 16, Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Greek for apprehended is “katalambano”, which means to understand or comprehend. A Christian’s life journey is compared to an athlete running a race. An athlete’s concern is to run forward without looking back with the goal of winning the race to get the prize. The prize is to attain Christlikeness and to get the crown of righteousness in heaven. Completing the race requires perseverance and endurance.
2 Timothy 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”.
VV 17-19, 17 Brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.
Paul implored the Philippians Christians, (and us) to imitate him even as he imitates Christ.
1 Cor 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”.
He warned them (and us) against the enemies of the cross, those who are anti-Christ and anti-Christians. In Paul’s days these were the Judaisers. In our days, these are cults, the liberal theologians, false teachers, false preachers, etc.
VV 20-21, 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
This world is not our real home. We are just sojourners in this world. Our real home and citizenship is in heaven. We await the second coming of Christ and for the resurrection of our natural bodies into our glorious body.
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”.