Philippians 4:1-9 Scripture
“1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
“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.
“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.
“8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:1-9)
Philippians 4:1-3 Meaning
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 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.” (Philippians 4:1-3)
The apostle Paul had a great love and affection for the churches under his care. He longed to see them and spend time with them. This reveals the heart of the apostle Paul, he didn’t just write letters and teach God’s word to appear wise or knowledgable, but he taught the word of God and corrected believers for their benefit so that they could grow mature in the Lord.
Paul calls the Philippians his “joy and crown.” Paul says this because he will be rewarded for all eternity for his work in Philippi and the church that he planted there.
They are his “joy” because he rejoices in their salvation and in their maturity. They are his “crown” because of the reward he will receive from the Lord when he stands before the Judgement Seat of Christ.
Apparently, two women Euodia and Syntyche were at a disagreement about something because Paul urges them to be of the same mind in the Lord. He even calls an unamed elder (“true companion”) to assist them in ending their disputes with one another.
The interesting thing is these women worked alongside Paul during his missionary journeys. We know this because he lists them and Clement as “my fellow workers.” Also, this disputes must have been very minor in the eyes of Paul because he makes the statement, with complete confidence, that their names are still in the Book of Life.
Philippians 4:4 Meaning
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
We have to remember that Paul is under house arrest when he wrote this letter. He is awaiting trial in Rome with no charges in place against him. By all natural reasoning, there is no reason to rejoice.
Today, if the average Christian got thrown in prison for three years they would be acting as if their life is basically ruined. They would be in deep sadness and they would most likely be filled with fear.
And yet Paul is writing a letter to the church in Philippi and he cannot contain himself! He keeps encouraging the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord!
Now to rejoice in the Lord is different than to simply rejoice. People can rejoice in many things; getting a better job, buying a new house, receiving a gift, getting married, having kids, etc. There are many reasons why people rejoice.
If it is a natural joy it will not last. By natural I mean a joy that is found in temporal things of this earth.
Paul is not telling them to simply “rejoice.” Paul is telling them to “rejoice in the Lord.”
Rejoice in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the forgiveness of sins. Rejpoice in the fact that the Holy Spirit is in you. Rejoice in the word of God. Rejoice in your relationship with God. Rejoice in the promises of God. Rejoice in your reward in heaven. Rejoice in persecutions. Rejoice in eternity. Rejoice in the unchanging constant of the Lord. Rejoice, rejoice, and rejoice!
Philippians 4:5 Meaning
“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5)
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5: ), and it is a byproduct of love (1 Corinthians 13: ).
The greek word translated “gentleness” here is epieikes. The word was translated in the KJV as “gentle” three times, “patient” one time, and “moderation” one time.
All of these words indicate the restraining of passions. When we are gentle, we restrain the passion to be aggressive, rude, loud, or argumentative. When we are patient, we restrain the passion to be offended, complain, or to be quickly angered. When we have moderation, we restrain the passion to be gluttonous, selfish, and to push our desires and wants upon others.
All of these things will ensure our life will shine before men.
Paul told the Philippians earlier in chapter 2 to “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.”
This exact thing is happening in this verse as well.
This “gentleness” that Paul is referring to will ensure that we will do all things without complaining and disputing. And just by fulfilling those two simple things we will become blamelss, harmless, without fault in the midst of darkness, we will shine as a light, and we will hold fast to the word of life. How profound!
The world is full of complaints, negativity, arguments, clamor, stife, disputes, etc. Let none of these things be named among you. But instead be gentle, patient, moderate, willing to yield, kind, and above all walk in love.
Philippians 4:6 Meaning
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)
The command to not be anxoius, not to worry, not to be discouraged, and not to be stressed is a command that is prevalent throughout the New Testament.
Jesus introduced this concept when he said, ““Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (Matthew 6:31), and “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).
Jesus consistently exhorted His followers not to be discouraged, disheartened, or worried about anything, and it appears that the apostle Paul did the same.
Notice, Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing.” There is nothing in this world that should cause us to be anxious, depressed, or worried. This is a foreign concept to many but it is scriptural nonetheless.
Right after Paul tells the Philippians to be anxious for nothing he tells them how they can do this.
“…But in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Whatever may begin to cause us to worry, Paul tells us to bring it to God through prayer and thanksgiving.
When we let our requests be made known to God it is impossible to worry if we truly prayed in faith.
If we are in faith when we pray, there will be no worry because we know that God almighty has heard our prayer, and he’s got it covered. Only a prayer that is filled with unbelief and outside of the will of God will He not answer. Otherwise, we know He has got it covered.
It’s also important to mention that we don’t just pray with supplications, but every prayer we have should be balanced with thanksgiving.
This way of praying is consistent throughout scripture:
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).
“…Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
“He (Daniel) knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.” (Daniel 6:10)
Philippians 4:7 Meaning
“…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
This verse is the promise of God if the previous verse is fulfilled.
The Spirit of God, writing through the apostle Paul, promised that God’s peace will guard our hearts and our minds in the face of every circumstance if we will bring everything to God in prayer and thanksgiving.
Jesus made it clear that in this world we will have tribulation, but in Him, we will have peace because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Verse 6 of Philippians 4 is how we access this peace that Jesus Christ has provided for us.
We live in prayer and thanksgiving. We are consistently being drawn near to Him through communion about everything in our life and thanking Him for everything as well, and when we do this the promise of God is that He will bring us a supernatural peace that passes all understanding.
There is another promise of God that is along this same line that came from the mouth of Jesus in Matthew chapter 6.
Right after Jesus tells His listener’s to not worry about anything. He then tells them what they should do instead.
“Therefore do not worry…But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31 & 33)
Here, Jesus tells them to seek first the Kingdom instead of getting worried. This is exactly what Paul said in verse 6 of Philippians 4. But notice the promise Jesus gave.
“and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Every need of ours will be met, every issue in our life will be resolved in the end, and everything will be worked out for our good because we love Him (Romans 8:28).
This is a promise from the almighty God. Not from the President of the United States, nor from our spouse, nor from our rich parents or grandparents, but from God! We should take this to heart and act on it.
Philippians 4:8 Meaning
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Throughout Paul’s letters, he consistently commands the churches to meditate on things above and not on the things of the earth.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2)
In fact, setting our minds on things above is what Paul calls walking in the Spirit in Galatians 5:16. We know this because when explaining the spiritual walk in Romans 8 he uses this same language.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.“ (Romans 8:5)
Jesus was referring to something similar when He mentioned the greatest commandment, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
Why is it the greatest commandment? Because by it we are able to bear the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-23) and we are able to renew our minds.
As you can see, setting our minds on things that are pure, holy, and good is not a new concept mentioned only in this verse. It is consistent throughout the whole of scripture, especially in the new testament.
So what are some things that are pure, lovely, good, and praiseworthy? Only God and everything that He does meets these criteria.
So what are some things that we can do to keep our minds on the things of God?
Read and meditate on the word of God.
Worship, thanksgiving, and singing to the Lord with sincerity.
Praying in faith according to the Word of God.
Meeting with other saints regularly.
Evangelizing the lost.
Giving to those in need.
And ABOVE ALL focus on love. Love for God and people. For this is the goal of our instruction (1 Timothy 1:5).
Philippians 4:9 Meaning
“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9)
Remember in the previous three verses, Paul just told them how God’s peace can guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. It is only through communion with Him and meditating on the things of God.
So when Paul says the “God of peace will be with you” if you obey my example and do the same things that you saw me do, that indicates that Paul is actively doing all of the same things that he just commanded them to do.
He is not being worried about anything. Instead, he is keeping his eyes on Christ, living his life in communion with God, and meditating on the things of God, and God’s peace is enrapturing him in the midst of trials, persecutions, and imprisonments.
Paul is teaching out of his life lived in God. He is not teaching a theory, but a reality that he is actively living out. This causes him to be very confident in what he is communicating to others, and how they as well can live in God.
Paul knows that God is not a respecter of persons, He is only a respecter of faith. So if followers of Jesus do what Paul did, they would get the same results.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.
If you want to read more commentary on the fourth chapter of Philippians you can by clicking the title below.
Also, if you want to read my commentaries on the other chapters of Philippians you can do so by clicking one of the titles.
God bless you all and enjoy!