Search word: Retrieve verses, illustrations, etc
Facebook - Preceptaustin
Twitter - Preceptaustin
Blog - Preceptaustin
Studies, Devotionals, Sermons, Illustrations
Old and New Testament
Philippians 4:14-18 Commentary
Commentary updated February 7, 2015
NEVERTHELESS, YOU HAVE DONE WELL TO SHARE WITH ME IN MY AFFLICTION: plen kalos epoiesate (2PAAI)
sugkoinonesantes (AAPMPN) mou te thlipsei: (1Ki
8:18; 2 Chr 6:8; Mt 25:21; 3Jn 1:5, 6, 7, 8) (Php 4:18; 1:7; Ro
15:27; 1Co 9:10,11; Gal 6:6; 1Ti 6:18; Heb 10:34; 13:16)
(plen) is a marker of contrast (see discussion of
terms of contrast), implying the validity of
something irrespective of other considerations. Paul uses plen
here to restrict his previous statement. In view of Paul's complete
reliance upon Christ in him, continually strengthening him in every
circumstance, the Philippians might have wondered if they should have
even bothered to send him the gift. After all why would one who is
self-content (in Christ) need anything? Paul wants the Philippians to
know that their gift ("nevertheless") was still very much appreciated.
Their gift demonstrated that they had a proper spirit as givers.
Paul's joy in his strength in
Christ would not obscure his joy in their loving ministry or take away
from his sincere gratitude to them for their sacrifice.
Vincent concurs writhing " Lest, in declaring his
independence of human aid, he should seem to disparage the
Share with me (4790)
(sugkoinoneo from sún = with + koinoneo = to
partake, share [word
study on related word koinonia]) means to participate in something with someone.
Vine has an interesting
comment on sugkoinoneo writing that by using this verb "the apostle does not mean simply
that it was a joint contribution on their part, but that they joined
with him, making his affliction their own. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Vine references as support
for his interpretation the passage in Galatians where Paul commands
commandment to do this as our lifestyle, only possibly as we
surrender to the Spirit, allowing Him to fill/control and empower
another's burdens (extra heavy loads, which here represent
difficulties or problems people have trouble dealing with), and thus
fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)
from thlibo = to crush, press together, squash, hem in,
compress, squeeze in turn derived from thláo = to break) (Click
in depth study of
Thlipsis - 45x in NT - Matt.
13:21; 24:9, 21, 29; Mk. 4:17; 13:19, 24; Jn. 16:21, 33; Acts 7:10f;
11:19; 14:22; 20:23; Rom. 2:9; 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; 1 Co. 7:28; 2 Co.
1:4, 8; 2:4; 4:17; 6:4; 7:4; 8:2, 13; Eph. 3:13; Phil. 1:17; 4:14;
Col. 1:24; 1 Thess. 1:6; 3:3, 7; 2 Thess. 1:4, 6; Heb. 10:33; Jas.
1:27; Rev. 1:9; 2:9f, 22; 7:14
The NAS translates thlipsis as
affliction(14), afflictions(6), anguish(1), distress(2),
persecution(1), tribulation(16),tribulations(4), trouble(1).
expressed sheer, physical pressure on a man. Medically thlipsis
was used of the pulse (pressure). It conveys the idea of being
squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. When,
according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused
to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were
pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis.
John MacArthur writes that
"Thlipsis (tribulations) has
the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used of
squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of
squeezing grapes to extract the juice...In Scripture the word
thlipsis is perhaps most often used of outward difficulties, but
it is also used of emotional stress." (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Moody)
Thlipsis pictures one being "crushed" by intense pressure,
difficult circumstances, suffering or trouble pressing upon them from
without. Thus persecution, affliction, distress, opposition or
tribulation, all press hard on one's soul. Thlipsis does not
refer to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. In Scripture the
thlipsis is most often used of outward difficulties, but it is
also used of emotional stress and sorrows which "weighs down" a man’s
spirit like the sorrows and burden his heart. Thlipsis then
includes the disappointments which can "crush the life" out of the one
who is afflicted.
English word "tribulation" is derived from the Latin word
tribulum (literally a thing with teeth that tears), which was a
heavy piece of timber with spikes in it, used for threshing the corn
or grain. The tribulum was drawn over the grain and it
separated the wheat from the chaff. As believers experience the
"tribulum" of tribulations, and depend on God’s grace, the trials
purify us and rid us of the chaff.
Constable has an interesting
“We know that God loves a cheerful
giver, but I believe we also need to stress that God loves a cheerful
receiver. Cheerful receivers make giving and receiving a joy. It is
especially important that the called workers of the church learn to be
gracious, cheerful receivers. This is not necessarily an easy task.
The art of being a gracious, cheerful, thankful receiver may be even
more difficult than being a cheerful giver. If we learn to accept the
compliments and the special personal gifts which we receive in a
gracious, cheerful manner, we will help make giving and receiving a
joy for ourselves and for our people.” (Philippians Notes)
In sharing with him in his
affliction, they did something about his problem, putting their money
where their mouth was so to speak.
F B Meyer
has the following comments...
FILLING AND FILLED
Phil 4:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
THE Apostle had already made it clear, that though for a long interval
he had received nothing from the Philippian Church, he did not
complain, but realised that there were sufficient reasons which
accounted for the cessation of their gifts. He did not deny that he
had been straitened in outward circumstances, but he had been content
because he discerned the will of God in every dispensation, and was
able to do all things in union with the Living Christ. He had found
that his legitimate necessities had been met, and that God had dealt
with him as with Elijah, to whom the feathered fowl, and the slender
resources of the widow of Zarephath, ministered daily provision. He
rejoiced, however, that his friends had been able to send again to his
necessity, not for his sake alone, but for theirs. It was not that he
sought for a gift, but for fruit that might be reckoned to their
The Gift and Its Return. No Church had done for Paul what the
Philippian Church had. In the early days they had sent once and again
to minister to his need; and now their present, forwarded by the hand
of Epaphroditus, redounded still further to their credit. It was "an
odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God."
How could he repay them for the gifts they had sent when they were
able, and for the desire to send when they were not. It was clear that
he must always be hopelessly in debt to them so far as material
supplies were concerned, but he could pray and make intercession on
their behalf, and remind the Master that all kindness shown to the
servant imposed an honourable obligation on the Master, and out of all
this arose the assurance that his "God would fulfil every need of
theirs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
"Fulfil." To translate the Greek word as R.V. does by fulfil
connects this verse with the preceding one, and brings out the
designed and beautiful harmony. The Apostle was filled because he had
received from Epaphroditus the gifts of his friends, and now God would
fulfil their need. What they had done in the lower sphere for him
would be repeated in a higher sphere by God. The measure with which
they had meted out their stores for the imprisoned Apostle would be
returned to them brimming to the full, not with the supplies for
physical need, but with the eternal and unsearchable riches of heaven,
which are in Christ Jesus.
Give and Receive. This is a constant law of God's world. "Give,
and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, shaken
together, running over, shall be given into your bosom. For with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Lend your boat
for a whole afternoon to Christ that it may be His floating pulpit,
and He will return it to you laden with fish. Place your upper room at
His disposal for a single meal, and He will fill it and the whole
house with the Holy Spirit of Pentecost. Place in His hands your
barley loaves and fish, and He will not only satisfy your hunger, but
add twelve baskets full of fragments. The Philippians sent three or
four presents to a suffering and much needing servant of God, and from
that moment they might reckon that every need of theirs would be
supplied. Such small acts on our part are recompensed with such vast
returns. We scratch the surface of the soil and insert our few little
seeds, and within a few months the acreage is covered by a prolific
harvest in which a hundredfold is given for every grain which we
seemed to throw away.
God's Return to us. God refuses to be in debt to any man. He
takes into His exchequer the accounts of all outlay made by His
stewards for the relief of need and distress, and He repays with
interest. When the Good Samaritan was leaving the village inn, on the
morning after the memorable rescue of the wounded traveller, he said
to the host, "Take care of him, and what thou spendest more, when I
come again, I will repay." Evidently, he was well-known on the road,
he had often been at that inn before, and had established his
character by honourable and generous treatment. They knew that his
word was his bond, and that whatever was expended in reason would
secure an ungrudging repayment. And if this be true of man how much
more of God. He hands over to us cases in which He is deeply
interested, saying as He does so, "Take care of these, expend what is
necessary, and I will repay." May we not reckon on God for this?
According to our faith it will be to us.
But Give Cheerfully. Whenever, therefore, we feel impelled to
make provision for others, let us do it as unto God, not simply out of
human pity, but from a deep sense of obligation to our Heavenly
Father, let us do it gladly, freely, generously. "God loveth a
cheerful giver." Three things will happen,
(1) We shall send a thrill of gratitude into some weary and fainting
soul, encouraging it to hope in God because it has found that its hope
in man has not been misplaced.
(2) The odor of the act will be fragrant as it steals upward to mingle
with the adoration and service of Heaven. There is no longer need to
offer propitiatory sacrifices, for they have been done away in view of
the sacrifice made by our Lord when He once offered Himself without
sin unto God, but there is room in the Christian dispensation for the
sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15-note),
for the living sacrifice of ourselves (Ro 12:1-note),
and for the acceptable sacrifices of Christian beneficence which, as
this paragraph tells us, are well-pleasing to God.
(3) We may also reckon that He will fill to the brim the measure with
which we have meted out for others, and take it as a certainty that He
will fulfil every need according to His riches. If our measure was
filled with sand grains, He will return it filled with gold dust; if
it was filled with pebbles, He will hand it back replete with
diamonds; if it contained necessaries for the physical life, He will
restore it brimming over with spiritual riches.
Charity Succeeded by Poverty. It may be answered that many who
have given lavishly for God's cause have afterwards come to penury and
need, and their benefactions seem to have been lost like argosies that
go down at sea. In any case, there has been no return to brighten the
straitened circumstances of declining years.
Three answers may be given.
First, it may be that the gifts were not rendered with a single
eye for the glory of God, but for some lower motives of display,
ostentation, or self-advertisement; therefore, they had their reward.
They were done to be seen of men, they received the recognition and
applause of men, and God refused to recognise any obligation for
Secondly, it is necessary, before these laws of the spiritual
world operate on our behalf, that we should definitely and by faith
appropriate them. There is no promise which does not require to be
claimed. As the angel of electricity will not step forth to illumine
our rooms unless we turn the switch when we pass through the door, so
we must not complain that the laws of the spiritual world do not bring
us help unless by faith we appropriate their service. Whenever,
therefore, we expend alms for the relief of need, let us definitely
put our money into God's bags, which wax not old: we should
specifically lay up treasure in heaven, we should pay our money, so to
speak, into the bank of His faithfulness, and reckon that there will
be a definite return. It may be taken as an axiom that in this world
there is a return for every gift that we lay on the altar of
self-sacrifice --not of reward but of free grace. We must not make the
gift in order to get the reward, but having made the gift in the name
of Christ, and for the fulfilment of His redemptive purpose, we may
certainly believe that in ways that we may not be able to define God
will supply all our need.
Thirdly, it should be borne in mind that though there may be
apparent straitness, there may be a wealth of content, a gold mine of
peace and joy, the precious stones of spiritual grace, which
correspond to the riches in glory of which the Apostle speaks. When
life was young, they gave of their temporal things, and now as the
evening shades gather, God gives them not temporalities but
spiritualities. They sowed carnal things and reap spiritual ones (1Co
God's Return. "All your need." From the moment that we draw our
first breath in this world to the last sigh of expiring life, we are
full of needs. The babe has its cradle needs, and the patriarch those
that arise from the wearing out of his faculties, and his growing
dependence on others. The body has physical need, the mind its hunger
for truth, the heart its insatiable longing for love, the spirit for
spiritual sustenance and quickening. Our human nature is one great
bundle of need, it is always crying aloud for satisfaction; and as
civilisation advances, the variety and multiplicity of our need is
ever on the increase.
Needs and Desires. We must distinguish between our needs and
our desires. It is possible to want a good many things which we do not
need. We often want things which it would injure us greatly to have.
Paul wanted to be delivered from his thorn, but his real need was for
more grace. We want a great many things which it is not possible for
our Heavenly Father to give us, except to the great detriment of our
best life. There is no promise that God shall supply all our desires
or wishes, there is a certainty that He will fulfil all our need.
Some may read these words whose needs are clamant, the need for
guidance, for help against temptation, for the quickening of
languishing devotional life, the need for daily bread or employment.
Let all such take this to their heart for their comfort that God will
supply all their need. "My God shall fulfil every need of yours."
Christ is God's Answer to Our Need. "In Him are all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden." "It pleased the Father that
in Him should all the fulness dwell." "In Him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily." The Divine-Human nature of Christ is replete
with every possible supply for His people. "He filleth all in all."
Those that trust Him can say, as the Apostle did of the Philippian
gifts, "I have all things and abound; I am filled, hating received
from Christ the things that came from God, and which were treasured in
Him for my enrichment and thanksgiving." The teaching of the Apostle
is full of this thought, as when he says, "I thank my God always
concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ
Jesus; that in everything ye were enriched in Him" (1Cor 1:4, 5), and
again, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who
hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
in Christ" (Eph 1:3-note).
Peter also affirms the same thought. "Grace to you, and peace be
multiplied in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that
His Divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto
life and godliness" (2Pet. 1:2-note,
Christ is the complement i.e. the completement of every soul.
Just as the dark face of the moon taken with her first crescent of
light makes a complete circle, so the unseen Redeemer together with
our infinite need makes a complete man after God's stature. The
greater our deficiency the larger His supply.
The Prime Necessity. The prime necessity, however, is that we
should reckon it is so, and avail ourselves of all the treasures that
are prepared for our use in our Risen Lord. Too often we act as if we
had to meet the demands of life from our own limited exchequer,
instead of believing that we have been taken into partnership with the
Son of God, and can at any moment draw upon His all-sufficiency. What
would you think if a clerk, who was sent to a distant land to open a
branch of some great business firm, were to seek to meet the expenses
out of his own limited salary, when the head of the firm had told him
to draw upon his credit to any extent which he deemed necessary? But
we make the same mistake when we meet the calls of life apart from the
boundless wealth which is placed to our credit in Jesus.
A story is told by Dr. Richard Newton of an old and poverty-stricken
Indian, who many years ago made his way into a Western settlement in
search of food to keep him from starving. A bright-coloured ribbon was
seen around his neck, from which there hung a small, dirty pouch. On
being asked what it was, he said it was a charm given him in his
younger days. He opened it, and took out a worn and Crumpled paper,
which he handed to the person making the inspection. It proved, on
examination, to be a regular discharge from the federal army, signed
by George Washington himself, and entitling him to a pension for life.
Here was a man with a promise duly signed, which if presented in the
right place would have secured him ample provision, yet he was
wandering about hungry, helpless, and forlorn, and begging bread to
keep him from starving. What a picture of many Christians who are in
need of everything when they might be rich and full! Perhaps their own
life had not been generous, certainly their faith has never put in its
claim to God's great bank of promise.
We deal with a Father. Let us remember that we are dealing with
a Father. "Now unto our God and Father be the glory for ever." The
Father's eye is on His children, and a Father's hand is stretched out
to their relief. Let us be of good cheer. Two sparrows are sold for a
farthing, but five for two farthings, that is, sparrows are so cheap
that one can be thrown into the bargain, but that odd sparrow cannot
fall to the ground without the notice of the Father. Surely we are of
more value than many sparrows, and we may count on Him with absolute
certainty. Nowhere in the world does He make birds, fish, young lions,
or babes, without supplying the food which He has taught them to
require. He cannot do worse by us; we dare not think that He had
implanted needs which He is unable and unwilling to meet. Only let us
make Him our confidant, going through life with a free-handed
generosity that gives, and with an absolute trust which takes, making
our requests known unto Him, and receiving the fulfilment of every
need, out of which shall arise to Him who loves us, cares for us, and
sustains us, glory unto the ages of the ages. The grace of God, and if
He loves, there must be something lovable upon which our hearts can
B. Meyer. The Epistle to the Philippians - A Devotional Commentary)
Philippians, that at the
preaching of the
with me in the
giving and receiving but you
Amplified: And you Philippians
yourselves well know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry,
when I left Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership
with me and opened up [a debit and credit] account in giving and
receiving except you only.
Bible - Lockman)
though I am thus indifferent to my own wants, I commend you for your
sympathy and aid in my affliction. I need not remind you, my
Philippian friends; you yourselves will remember that in the first
days of the Gospel, when I left Macedonia, though I would not receive
contributions of money from any other church, I made an exception in
NLT: As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave
me financial help when I brought you the Good News and then traveled
on from Macedonia. No other church did this. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Philippians will remember that in the early days of the Gospel when I
left Macedonia, you were the only church who shared with me the
fellowship of giving and receiving. (Phillips:
Wuest: But you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the
beginning of the good news, when I went out from Macedonia, not even
one assembly made itself a partner with me as regards an account of
giving and receiving except you only, (Eerdmans)
and ye have known, even ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the
good news when I went forth from Macedonia, no assembly did
communicate with me in regard to giving and receiving except ye only;
YOURSELVES ALSO KNOW PHILIPPIANS THAT AT THE FIRST PREACHING OF THE
GOSPEL AFTER I DEPARTED FROM MACEDONIA NO CHURCH SHARED WITH ME IN THE
MATTER OF GIVING AND RECEIVING BUT YOU ALONE: Oidate (2SRAI) de kai
humeis, Philippesioi, hoti en arche tou euaggeliou, hote exelthon apo
Makedonias, oudemia moi ekklesia ekoinonesen (3SAAI) eis logon doseos
kai lempseos ei me humeis monoi: (Macarthur
And you Philippians yourselves well
know that in the early days of the Gospel ministry, when I left
Macedonia, no church (assembly) entered into partnership with me and
opened up [a debit and credit] account in giving and receiving except
you only. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
You yourselves know (eido) - Paul
by recalling their former kindness confirms his appreciation of their
present help. In other words he is saying that this is no new thing
for you have always been generous.
They were the only church that had
shared financially with Paul in his pressing circumstances and they
had done so despite their own poverty.
With the statement "First
preaching of the gospel" Paul digresses to 10 years earlier at the
time of is initial encounter with his readers, when God used his
preaching of the Gospel to birth the "First Church of Philippi".
Preaching of the Gospel
from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) (Click
in depth study)
originally referred to a reward for
good news and later became the good news itself. The word
euaggelion was in just as common use in the first century as our
words good news today. “Have you any good news for me today?” would
have been a common question. In this secular use euaggelion described
good news of any kind and prior to the writing of the
New Testament, had no definite religious connotation in the ancient
world until it was taken over by the "Cult of Caesar" which was the
state religion and in which the emperor was worshipped as a god. The
writers of the New Testament adapted the term as God's message of
salvation for lost sinners.
Euaggelion - 76x in the NT -
Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; 26:13; Mk. 1:1, 14f; 8:35; 10:29; 13:10;
14:9; 16:15; Acts 15:7; 20:24; Rom. 1:1, 9, 16; 2:16; 10:16; 11:28;
15:16, 19; 16:25; 1 Co. 4:15; 9:12, 14, 18, 23; 15:1; 2 Co. 2:12;
4:3f; 8:18; 9:13; 10:14; 11:4, 7; Gal. 1:6f, 11; 2:2, 5, 7, 14; Eph.
1:13; 3:6; 6:15, 19; Phil. 1:5, 7, 12, 16, 27; 2:22; 4:3, 15; Col.
1:5, 23; 1 Thess. 1:5; 2:2, 4, 8f; 3:2; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2:14; 1 Tim.
1:11; 2 Tim. 1:8, 10; 2:8; Philemon 1:13; 1 Pet. 4:17; Rev. 14:6
The NAS renders euaggelion as made
a proclamation(1), preach(16), preached(10), preacher(1), preaches(2),
preaching(11),proclaim(8), proclaimed(6), proclaiming(6).
I departed from Macedonia
refers to Paul's first European circuit, when he went by way of Athens
to Corinth, where he was joined by Silvanus and Timothy, bringing a
contribution from Macedonia. (Acts 18:5; 2 Cor. 11:9).
(ekklesia from ek = out + kaleo = call) literally
"called-out ones" and implies an "assembly". Ekklesia was used by the
Greeks for their assembly of citizens "called out" to transact the
business of the city or to discuss the affairs of State. Ekklesia in
the NT describes a living organism, composed of living members joined
together; through which Christ lives and works, carrying out His
Kingdom purposes on earth. The giving by the Philippian saints was a
reflection of Christ living His life out through this local, dynamic
body of believers. May their tribe increase in these last days. Amen.
As stated above, "the church" is not a building or an organization or a
creed but is in essence an organism, the Body of Christ (Eph 4:12-note,
Col 1:18-note), with Christ as the
Head of the Body (Col 1:18-note,
Eph 1:22, 23-note),
and individual members of
His Body, the Church composed of men and women called out of the
domain of darkness (Col 1:13-note) by God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Rev 5:9-note,
out of darkness - 1Pe 2:9-note) unto salvation. I believe
that only regenerate (Titus 3:5-note) men
and women, both Jew and Gentile (Eph 3:6, "formerly far off" =
Gentiles Eph 2:13, 14-note,
Ep 2:15, 16-note,
Ep 2:17, 18-note,
cp Gal 3:28, 29), compose the true
church and that the true church does not include unsaved individuals (Acts
2:41, 47). Jesus predicted the church in (Mt 16:18), and Pentecost was the
inception of the church (Acts 2:1, 2, 3, 4ff). The church at its
inception was composed of Jews but Gentiles later became
"fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus
Himself being the
Corner Stone in Whom the
whole building, being fitted
together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord in Whom you also are
being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19, 20,
I believe that the NT Scriptures also teach that "church" can refer to
a local assembly of believers (eg, Col 4:15,16-note,
cp Acts 2:42, 14:23, Re 1:4-note).
The church is the bride of Christ, which will live and reign with Him
throughout all eternity (Ep 5:31-note,
The church is entrusted with the mission of world evangelization
during this age (Mt 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).
(koinoneo from koinos = common, shared by all) means
literally to share one's possessions with the implication of some kind
of joint participation and mutual interest. This Greek word was used
in a marriage contract where the husband and wife agree to a
joint-participation in the necessaries of life.
The things that are
"shared" in the NT include needs of other believers (Ro 12:13-note),
spiritual things (Romans 15:27-note), good things with one's teacher (Ga 6:6), giving
to the work of missions (Php 4:15), responsibility in another's sins
(! 1Ti 5:22), of Christ participating (sharing or taking part) in our humanity (He
of believers who experience the suffering for the sake of Christ
in evil deeds (2Jn 1:11).
The key idea in the word is that of
a partnership, a possessing things in common, a belonging in common
to. The saints at Philippi were in a glorious spiritual partnership
with the great apostle Paul in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Believers have the same opportunity today as they pray for and give
generously to missionaries taking the gospel to the thousands of
hidden people groups. Are you sharing in the eternal endeavor? Don't
pass up the once in a lifetime opportunity!
There are 8 uses of koinoneo
in the NT and is rendered (in the NAS) as contributing(1),
participates(1), share(4), shared(2)...
contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing
Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if
the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are
indebted to minister to them also in material things.
Galatians 6:6 And let the one who is taught the word share all
good things with him who teaches.
Philippians 4:15 And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at
the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no
church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but
1Timothy 5:22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thus
share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free
Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself
likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render
powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;
but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep
on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may
rejoice with exultation.
2Jn 1:11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in
his evil deeds.
Paul used the noun form
first chapter writing...
in view of your participation
(koinonia) in the gospel from the first day until now. (see note
in that verse signifies joint participation and co-operation in the
gospel, through financial support and prayer support. The Philippians
were fellow laborers or co-laborers with Paul to take the whole Word
to the whole world. Immediately upon becoming Christians and
continually thereafter, the Philippians had dedicated themselves to
living and proclaiming the truth about Jesus Christ, and specifically
to helping Paul in his ministry. (cf Lydia - Acts 16:15).
Koinoneo is used 4 times in the
Septuagint (LXX) 2Chr 20:35;
Job 34:8; Pr 1:11; Eccl 9:4.
(dosis from dídomi = to give) refers to a gift.
Today's English Version
renders it "you were the only ones who shared
my profits and losses."
(lepsis from lambáno = to receive) refers to a receipt
or to the act of receiving.
Giving and receiving
together picture a ledger with a credit and debit page. The
implication is that Paul evidently was a careful steward of his
resources and kept an account of his receipts and expenditures.
(logos) was sometimes used as a business term and in the NT is
translated as “accounts” (Mt 18:23; 25:19) or “accounting” (cf Luke
16:2). This is Paul's meaning in the present context.
The Philippians kept a ledger in
which they recorded the good things received from Paul on the credit
page, and the debt they owed Paul on the debit side. He acknowledged
the receipt of their gift in the words, "I have all," using a business
term meaning, "I have received in full" (Php 4:18).
The word "abound" in Php 4:17, is taken
from the money market. It was used of the accumulation of interest.
FOR EVEN IN
THESSALONICA YOU SENT A GIFT MORE THAN ONCE FOR MY NEEDS: hoti kai en Thessalonike
kai hapax kai dis eis ten
chreian moi epempsate. (2PAAI): (Macarthur
on Php 4:14-19)
For - see
term of explanation
for discussion of
importance of pausing to ponder this strategic conjunction.
Even in Thessalonica - see
The Greek literally reads
"because also in Thessalonica, both once and again to my need you
sent". Note that the NASB adds the word "gift" for continuity, but it
is not present in the original Greek text.
(chreia from chréos = debt) refers to that which is
a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful. Chreia
means to have need of someone or something (Mt 3:14, Mk 2:25). It can
speak of the necessities of life (Acts 20:34). In Eph 4:29 (note)
chreia refers to an individuals "needs" (more in a figurative
sense or psychological, spiritual sense rather than a physical sense).
Chreia - 49x in the NT -
Matt. 3:14; 6:8; 9:12; 14:16; 21:3; 26:65; Mk. 2:17, 25; 11:3; 14:63;
Lk. 5:31; 9:11; 10:42; 15:7; 19:31, 34; 22:71; Jn. 2:25; 13:10, 29;
16:30; Acts 2:45; 4:35; 6:3; 20:34; 28:10; Rom. 12:13; 1 Co. 12:21,
24; Eph. 4:28, 29; Phil. 2:25; 4:16, 19; 1 Thess. 1:8; 4:9, 12; 5:1;
Tit. 3:14; Heb. 5:12; 7:11; 10:36; 1 Jn. 2:27; 3:17; Rev. 3:17; 21:23;
The NAS renders chreia
as necessary(1), need(40), needed(1), needs(6), task(1).
Dwight Pentecost notes
that "The strange thing in this passage
is that the apostle is not commending the Philippians because they met
his need; he is commending them because they have satisfied a need of
their own of which they seem to have been entirely ignorant. Since the
apostle had nothing, we would suppose that he would thank them because
of what their gift did for him. But he barely mentions that. His
thanksgiving goes to God because through the gift they have satisfied
a need which they have. The apostle points out that this is not the
first time the Philippians contributed to his needs. They did so on at
least two previous occasions. (Pentecost,
J. D. The Joy of Living: A Study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)
Philippians 4:17 Not
gift itself, but I
Not that I seek or am eager for [your] gift, but I do seek and am
eager for the fruit which increases to your credit [the harvest of
blessing that is accumulating to your account].
Bible - Lockman)
Lightfoot: Again I say, I do not desire the gift, but I do desire that
the fruits of your benevolence should redound to your account.
NLT: I don't say this because I want a gift from you. What I
want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your
- Tyndale House)
isn't the value of the gift that I am keen on, it is the reward that
will come to you because of these gifts that you have made (Phillips:
Wuest: Not that it is my character to be ever seeking the gift, but I
am seeking the fruit which is accumulating to your account. (Eerdmans)
not that I seek after the gift, but I seek after the fruit that is
overflowing to your account;
NOT THAT I
SEEK THE GIFT ITSELF: ouch hoti epizeto (1SPAI) to doma : (Php
4:11; Mal 1:10; Acts 20:33,34; 1Co 9:12, 13, 14, 15; 2Co 11:16; 1Th
2:5; 1Ti 3:3; 1Ti 6:10; Titus 1:7; 1Pe 5:2; 2Pe 2:3,15; Jude 1:11)
on Php 4:14-19)
from epí = intensifies meaning + zeteo
= to seek) means to search for or even to demand. Paul was
neither inquiring about a gift nor demanding it.
Epizeteo - 13x in the NT -
Matt. 6:32; 12:39; 16:4; Lk. 4:42; 12:30; Acts 12:19; 13:7; 19:39;
Rom. 11:7; Phil. 4:17; Heb. 11:14; 13:14. The NAS renders epizeteo
craves(1), eagerly seek(2), searched(1), searching(1), seek(2),
seeking(3), seeks after(1), sought(1), want(1).
By declaring "not (absolute
negation) that I seek the gift" Paul is apparently still
defending himself against the slanderous assertion that he is using
the gospel as a means of making a living. Note that "seek" is in the
indicating one's habitual action. As Wuest renders it Paul is saying
"Not that it is my character to be
ever seeking the gift"
(doma from didomi = to give) is a present or gift and
the word lends greater emphasis to the character of the gift. In this
case it is preceded by the definite article in Greek ("to" = the)
indicating that this is a specific gift he is referring to.
Wil Pounds - “Not that I seek the gift
itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account” (v.
17). James Boice writes, “Money that is given to help another
Christian is called fruit. Our gifts to others are encouraged by God,
noticed by God, and much-desired by Him.” There is a great stewardship
principle. The imagery says Thielman, is that of a bank account that
receives compounded interest. Paul says, it is “continuously
increasing profit for your account.” It pays spiritual dividends in
eternity. Paul has in mindd the day we stand before the Lord Jesus
Christ and give an account of how we have used His gifts to us. The
gifts the Philippians have sent to Paul is for their spiritual
advantage. “Their generosity was a concrete demonstration that God was
completing the good work that he had started in them when they
believed the gospel (1:6),” notes Thielman." (Abide In Christ Ministry)
BUT I SEEK
FOR THE PROFIT INCREASES TO
YOUR ACCOUNT: alla epizeto (1SPAI) ton karpon ton pleonazonta (PAPMSA) eis logon humon: (Phil
1:11; Micah 7:1; Jn 15:8,16; Ro 15:28; 2Cor 9:9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Titus
3:14) (Pr 19:17; Mt 10:40, 41, 42; 25:34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40; Lk
14:12, 13, 14; Heb 6:10)
But - see discussion of
terms of contrast.
from epí = intensifies meaning + zeteo
= to seek) means to search for and to strive after or long for.
Paul was striving for and longing for the fruit to be increasing for
the Philippians based on their giving.
[word study]) is fruit, in this case speaking of the dividends the
Philippians would receive from their grace giving to Paul. Paul is
referring to the eternal dividend accruing in their spiritual account
in the bank of Heaven, what Jesus referred to as storing up for
ourselves treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and
thieves do not break in to steal (Mt 6:19-20-note). This fruit was the reward God would recompense
to them for their generous support of Paul as their "church
missionary". (cf Pr 11:24, 25; 19:17; Lk 6:38; 2Co 9:6).
Karpos - 67x in the NT -
Matt. 3:8, 10; 7:16ff; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7f,
29; 11:14; 12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8f; 6:43f; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6f, 9; 20:10;
Jn. 4:36; 12:24; 15:2, 4f, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Rom. 1:13; 6:21f; 15:28;
1 Co. 9:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:6;
4:13; Heb. 12:11; 13:15; Jas. 3:17f; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2
The NAS renders karpos
as benefit (2), crop(5), crops(2), descendants*(1), fruit(43),
fruitful(1),fruits(4), grain(1), harvest(1), proceeds(1), produce(4),
(pleonazo from pleion = more) means to cause to
increase or superabound and so to be present in abundance or to have
plenty (2Pe 1:8-note,
Php 4:17). To have more than is necessary or more than enough to meet
one's needs (2Co 8:15). To become more and more - in Ro 5:20-note
speaking of transgression and sin increasing, in Romans 6:1-note
of grace increasing (in his rhetorical rebuttal to those who would
seek to turn grace into an opportunity to increase in sin, falsely
thinking such conduct was "okay" with God!), of grace spreading or
increasing as manifest by giving thanks to God (as an aside, genuine
giving of thanks proceeds from an attitude of gratitude in a grace
filled/controlled/transformed heart), in 2Th 1:3 speaking of love for
Pleonazo was a term taken from the money market and was
used of the accumulation of interest, in this case the interest in the
"spiritual account" of the Philippians as a result of their generous
Pleonazo is used 9 times in the NT
an is rendered cause to increase(1), grows greater(1), have too
much(1), increase(2), increased(1),increases(1), increasing(1),
- And the Law came in that the transgression might
increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might
2Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace
which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving
of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
2Corinthians 8:15 as it is written, "He who gathered much did not
have too much, and he who gathered little had no
Philippians 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the
profit which increases to your account.
and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound (perisseuo)
in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you;
(Note: Pray for love in your local body so that the God of love fills
His people with the desire and power to love one another with grace
empowered, Spirit controlled supernatural love, love that surpasses
human comprehension! Don't try to artificially "manufacture" it for it
will lack the touch of the Supernatural.)
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you,
brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged,
and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they
render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
There are 18 uses of pleonazo
in the non-apocryphal
- Ex 16:18, 23; 26:12; Nu 3:46, 48, 49, 51; 9:22; 26:54; 2Sa 18:8;
1Chr. 4:27; 5:23; 2Chr 24:11; 31:5; Ps 50:19; 71:21; Pr. 15:6; Jer
30:19; Ezek 23:32. Here is a representative use (and a great/bold
prayer to pray to our Father, although some translations do not see it
as a prayer, eg Psalm 71:21NIV, Ps 71:21ESV)...
Psalm 71:21 May You increase
(Heb - rabah = increase greatly or exceedingly; Lxx = pleonazo) my
greatness and turn to comfort me. (Amplified reads - Increase my
greatness (my honor) and turn and comfort me.)
Spurgeon comments on this
psalm writing that...
As a king, David grew in influence
and power. God did great things for him, and by him, and this is all
the greatness believers want. May we have faith in God, such as these
And comfort me on every side. As we were surrounded with afflictions,
so shall we be environed with consolations. From above, and from all
around, light shall come to dispel our former gloom; the change shall
be great, indeed, when the Lord returns to comfort us.
Greatness increasing with comfort, and comfort increasing with
greatness; very rarely united. George Rogers.
Here is another example of the use
of pleonazo in the Septuagint...
Proverbs 15:6 Great (Heb = rab =
much, many, great; Lxx = pleonazo) wealth is in the house of the
righteous, but trouble is in the income of the wicked.
(logos) in this context is used much as we would use the term
Philippians were in effect storing up for themselves treasure in
heaven. (Mt 6:2, 3, 4, 19, 20, 21--See notes on giving
F B Meyer - Give and Receive...is a constant
law of God's world. "Give, and it shall be given unto you: good
measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall be given
into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again." (Lk 6:38) Lend your boat for a whole afternoon to Christ that it
may be His floating pulpit, and He will return it to you laden with
fish. Place your upper room at His disposal for a single meal, and He
will fill it and the whole house with the Holy Spirit of Pentecost.
Place in His hands your barley loaves and fish, and He will not only
satisfy your hunger, but add twelve baskets full of fragments. The
Philippians sent three or four presents to a suffering and much
needing servant of God, and from that moment they might reckon that
every need of theirs would be supplied. Such small acts on our part
are recompensed with such vast returns. We scratch the surface of the
soil and insert our few little seeds, and within a few months the
acreage is covered by a prolific harvest in which a hundredfold is
given for every grain which we seemed to throw away. (Commentary on
4:18 But I
(1SPAI); I am
what you have
Amplified: But I have [your
full payment] and more; I have everything I need and am amply
supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you
sent me. [They are the] fragrant odor of an offering and sacrifice
which God welcomes and in which He delights.
Bible - Lockman)
Lightfoot: For myself, I have now enough of all things. The presents
which you sent by Epaphroditus have fully supplied my needs. I welcome
them, as the sweet savor of a burnt-offering, as a sacrifice accepted
by and well-pleasing to God.
NLT: At the moment I have all I need—more than I need! I am
generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They
are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable to God and pleases
- Tyndale House)
Now I have everything I want - in fact I am
rich. Yes, I am quite content, thanks to your gifts received through
Epaphroditus. Your generosity is like a lovely fragrance, a sacrifice
that pleases the very heart of God. (Phillips:
Wuest: But I have all things to the full and overflowing. I have been
filled completely full and at present am well supplied, having
received at the hands of Epaphroditus the things from you, a fragrant
aroma, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and I have all things, and abound; I am
filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things from you -- an
odour of a sweet smell -- a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to
BUT I HAVE
RECEIVED EVERYTHING IN FULL AND HAVE AN ABUNDANCE: apecho (1SPAI) de panta kai perisseuo (1SPAI): (Php
4:12; 2 Th 1:3)
(apechomai or apecho from apó = from + écho = have) means to
be enough, to be sufficient and as in this case to have received in
full. In this specific use apecho is used by Paul in the
technical sense "This is my receipt". Apecho was constantly
used in secular Greek describing the drawing up a of a receipt. What
Paul is saying to them in "business terms" is "you have paid me in
full in all respects". Note that in other NT contexts, apechomai
has a distinctly different meaning of to have (Lk 15:2) or to produce
separation or distance from someone or something (Mt 15:8) and then by
figurative extension to avoid contact with as in (Acts 15:29, 1Ti 4:3,
Apechomai - 19x in the NT -
Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; 14:24; 15:8; Mk. 7:6; 14:41; Lk. 6:24; 7:6; 15:20;
24:13; Acts 15:20, 29; Phil. 4:18; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:22; 1 Tim. 4:3;
Philemon 1:15; 1 Pet. 2:11-note
The NAS renders
apechomai/apecho as abstain(5), abstaining(1), away(1), have
back(1), have in full(3), have received in full(1), it is enough(1),
off(1), receiving in full(1), was away(2).
Wuest explains it this
And now Paul signs a receipt for
the gift they sent him, possibly a bit of apostolic humor. The words
“I have” are a rubber-stamp of the first century for, “I give you a
receipt for what you sent me,” or “I have received in full.”
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in
the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Have an abundance (4052)
(perisseuo from perissós = abundant) means to
superabound or to be in excess. In this verse perisseuo extends the
idea of apecho, as if he was not just full but overflowing or
Wuest commenting on perisseuo writes that "abound” (abundance) in the Greek speaks of that which exists in superfluity.
The Philippian gift must have been generous, and Epaphroditus must
have been loaded down. What a demonstration of the work of the Holy
Spirit is seen in this act of generosity on the part of these former
pagans, performed for one who in origin, training, and religion had
been and in some ways was still so different from them, different in a
sense which would naturally militate against Paul, Gentiles of the
proudest and most exclusive race of antiquity, the intelligentsia of
the world, loving one who belonged to a race that was looked down upon
I AM AMPLY SUPPLIED HAVING
RECEIVED FROM EPAPHRODITUS WHAT YOU HAVE SENT A FRAGRANT AROMA AN
ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE WELL-PLEASING TO GOD: pepleromai (1SRPI) dexamenos (AMPMSN) para Epaphroditou ta par' humon osmen euodias
thusian dekten euareston to theo: (Phil
2:25,26) (Jn 12:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 2Co 2:15,16; Ep 5:2; Heb 13:16, 20,
21; 1Pe 2:5) (Ro 12:1; 2Co 9:12)
Amply supplied (4137)
from pleres = full) means to be completely filled, as a net
filled with fish or cup filled to brim. Pleroo is used often to
describe the fulfilling of God's OT promises and prophecies.
Pleroo is a great NT verb to
take a moment and study to see what or who is filled (or fulfilled),
what they are filled with (eg, just to "tease" you, contrast Ro 1:29-note
and Eph 5:18-note,
Acts 13:52, Jn 3:29, 2Ti 1:4-note;
1Jn 1:4, 2Jn 1:12!), how this filling comes about, what the result of
filling is, etc.
Note Paul's use of the
perfect tense which
signifies "I have been filled full and remain in that state" or
“I have been filled and am still full, supplied and satisfied.” Such was
the lasting effect of their gift on Paul!
Pleroo - 86x in the NT -
Matt. 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; 3:15; 4:14; 5:17; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35, 48;
21:4; 23:32; 26:54, 56; 27:9; Mk. 1:15; 14:49; Lk. 1:20; 2:40; 3:5;
4:21; 7:1; 9:31; 21:24; 22:16; 24:44; Jn. 3:29; 7:8; 12:3, 38; 13:18;
15:11, 25; 16:6, 24; 17:12f; 18:9, 32; 19:24, 36; Acts 1:16; 2:2, 28;
3:18; 5:3, 28; 7:23, 30; 9:23; 12:25; 13:25, 27, 52; 14:26; 19:21;
24:27; Rom. 1:29; 8:4; 13:8; 15:13, 14, 19; 2 Co. 7:4; 10:6; Gal.
5:14; Eph. 1:23; 3:19; 4:10; 5:18; Phil. 1:11; 2:2; 4:18, 19; Col.
1:9, 25; 2:10; 4:17; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:4; Jas. 2:23; 1 Jn. 1:4;
2 Jn. 1:12; Rev. 3:2; 6:11 The NAS has various and
numerous ways of rendering pleroo - accomplish(1),
accomplished(1), amply supplied(1), approaching(1),
complete(1),completed(3), completing(1), elapsed(1), fill(3),
filled(16), fills(1), finished(1), fulfill(5), fulfilled(35), fully
carry out(3), fully come(1), fully preached(1), increasing(1), made
complete(2), made full(5), make complete(1), make full(1), passed(2),
Having received (1209)
[word study]) means to accept readily, or to receive kindly and so to
take to oneself what is presented or brought by another. Paul stresses
his appreciation of the kindness both of the church and of
Dechomai - 56x in the NT -
Matt. 10:14, 40f; 11:14; 18:5; Mk. 6:11; 9:37; 10:15; Lk. 2:28; 8:13;
9:5, 48, 53; 10:8, 10; 16:4, 6f, 9; 18:17; 22:17; Jn. 4:45; Acts 3:21;
7:38, 59; 8:14; 11:1; 17:11; 22:5; 28:21; 1 Co. 2:14; 2 Co. 6:1; 7:15;
8:17; 11:4, 16; Gal. 4:14; Eph. 6:17; Phil. 4:18; Col. 4:10; 1 Thess.
1:6; 2:13; 2 Thess. 2:10; Heb. 11:31; Jas. 1:21
The NAS renders dechomai
as accept(2), accepted(3), receive(18), received(11), receives(15),
take(3), taken(1),took(1), welcome(1), welcomed(1).
from ozō =
emit an odor whether good or bad; English = ozone) refers to a
smell, scent or odor of any kind. BDAG says osme is "the quality of
something that affects the mind as with an odor" and is used "of an
unpleasant odor stench (Tob 6:17; Job 6:7)." Osme is used
literally of the pleasant aroma of "the costly perfume" Mary used to
anoint Jesus' feet in (Jn 12:3). Friberg writes that osme is used
"figuratively; from the Middle Eastern concept that an odor from
something is communicating its power sweet smell, fragrance (2Cor
2:14, 16)." Here in Eph 5:2 osme is used to describe the "odor" of
the sacrifice of Christ as an acceptable aroma or fragrance.
Osme - 6x in the NT - Jn.
12:3; 2 Co. 2:14, 16; Eph. 5:2; Phil. 4:18
Osme is used 46x in
most often to describe a "soothing
aroma" to the Lord, which parallels Paul's use of osme as
fragrant to describe the saint's sacrificial giving!!!
Have you ever pondered
that your giving to the work of Jehovah as motivated by His Spirit
produces a soothing aroma before His throne in heaven? Does this
precious word picture not cause you to desire to be given more
opportunities to give to Him and His people and His supernatural
Kingdom work?! What an awesome God we serve that we as redeemed
sinners (who are now saints) are given the holy privilege of offering
up acceptable sacrifices to the incomprehensible God (Play
How Great Is Our God)
and that these offerings are truly pleasing and "pleasantly aromatic"
to Him, all made possible by and through the greatest sacrificial gift
of Christ Jesus, our Great High Priest!
Here are the Lxx uses of osme that you might want to meditate on in an
attitude of worship and thanksgiving -- Gen. 8:21; Exod. 29:18, 25,
41; Lev. 1:9, 13, 17; 2:2, 9, 12; 3:5, 11, 16; 4:31; 6:15, 21; 8:21,
28; 17:4, 6; 23:13, 18; Num. 15:3, 5, 7, 10, 13f, 24; 18:17; 28:2, 6,
8, 13, 24, 27; 29:2, 6, 8, 11, 13, 36; Ezr. 6:10; Ezek. 6:13; 16:19;
20:28, 41; Dan. 2:46; 4:1
fragrance, sweet odor and metaphorically as here of sacrifices pleasing
to God, specifically the material assistance sent to Paul by the
Euodia - 3x in the NT - 2 Co. 2:15;
Eph. 5:2; Phil. 4:18
aroma is an image that
moves us from the business world of accounting to the religious world
of the priest and obviously is used by Paul to describe their material
gift to God. It is worth noting that the same terms are used to
describe Christ’s sacrificial death in Ephesians, Paul writing for the
saints at Ephesus to...
walk in love, just as Christ also
loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to
God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:2)
Vine commenting on an odor of a sweet smell writes
the phrase is used in the
Septuagint (LXX) for the
Hebrew savor of rest especially of the burnt (or ascending)
offering, e.g., Leviticus 1 and 2, but also of the peace offering,
Leviticus 3 and sin offering (Lev 4). The idea of free will and
self-dedication was not altogether absent from the burnt offering
(though this is not to be gathered from Lev. 1:3, for the phrase there
is not “of his own voluntary will,” a.v., but “for his acceptance”)...
The offerings of believers, such as
the gifts of the church at Philippi to Paul, ascend to God as an odor
of a sweet smell, in the savor of the sacrifice of Christ (though they
have nothing to do with the removal of guilt as His expiatory offering
had), and this is suggested by the fact of the identical terms in
Ephesians 5:2 and Philippians 4:18. The free-will character of the
offerings is common to both. The gifts of believers are as the
fragrance of incense in their acceptance with God. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
to accept or receive favorably) means accepted (see Webster below),
acceptable, welcome (willing permitted or admitted), pleasing
(giving pleasure, agreeable, gratifying). Dektos describes
one of whom there is or has been a favorable decision of the will.
It conveys the picture of a "open" reception, much like when one
puts the "welcome mat" on their front door step, something Jesus did
not experience even in His own hometown! (Lk 4:24 - He was not
"dektos" - not welcome) Thankfully, God puts out the "welcome (home)
mat" for all who fear and obey Him. (Acts 10:35). As note below, the
adjective is very common in the LXX in a sacrificial sense.
BDAG summarized - 1.
Pertaining to being met with approval in someone’s company,
acceptable, welcome, (Lk 4:24); only here of human recognition; in
all other references in this entry always of acceptance by God.
(Acts 10:24). 2. Pertaining to being pleasing because of being
approved, pleasing, acceptable, of things: Sabbaths B 15:8;
sacrifices (Php 4:18), fasting (Isa 58:5), prayer (Pr 15:8); 3.
Pertaining to being appropriate to circumstances, favorable, of time
(2Cor 6:2, Isa 49:8, year , Lk 4:19. In these passages the concrete
temporal element points to the abstract feature of God’s favorable
attitude finding climactic expression.
Dektos was particularly
used of the sacrifice in Lev 1:3-4 to describe one that met with
divine approval. In Pr 11:1 we see that a just weight is God's "delight"
ratson/rason; Lxx - dektos)
and in Pr 14:35 it describes the "king's favor (Hebrew -
ratson/rason; Lxx -
dektos)...toward a servant who acts wisely." In Malachi 2:13 those
who offered the sacrifices were not right with the Lord (they were
seeking divorces - Mal 2:14) which is why He no longer was accepting
their offerings with "favor (Hebrew -
ratson/rason; Lxx = dektos)"
from their hand. In Jeremiah 6:20 because of their breaking covenant
with Jehovah, He says " Your burnt offerings are not acceptable
ratson/rason; Lxx = dektos),
and your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me.” In a prophecy to
be fulfilled during the
promises that those who have joined with Him in covenant, will once
again be able to offer "acceptable (Hebrew -
ratson/rason; Lxx = dektos)"
burnt offerings on His altar (NB: Yes, there will be "burnt
offerings" during the
- Ezek 40:38-39, etc)
The use of dektos in
the Lxx of Job 33:26 is very interesting to ponder as it reads "Then
he will pray to God, and He will accept (Lxx = dektos;
him, That he may see His face with joy, And He may restore His
righteousness to man." This use is very instructive as many of the
prior uses discussed in the previous paragraph are in a context of
sacrifices that were accepted by God. Here we see prayer is
acceptable to Him. It follows that there does seem to be
something about our prayers that parallel the literal OT sacrifices.
We know that many times those sacrifices are described as being
associated with a "soothing aroma to the Lord." (Lev 1:9, 13, 17,
Lev 2:2, 9, 12, Lev 3:5, 16, etc) This reminds us of Cornelius'
prayers to God of which Peter said "Your prayers and alms have
ascended as a memorial before God." (Acts 10:4). Henry Morris
comments "Even though Cornelius had not known about Christ, nor was
he a practitioner of the Jewish system of sacrifice and worship, he
nevertheless was a "devout man, and one that feared God...which gave
much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway" (Acts 10:2), and
God was pleased with this. While these actions were not
capable of earning salvation, his sincere acceptance and practice of
the limited spiritual light that he had received resulted in God
sending more light to him. It may be that this is a model of how God
may deal with those men and women of any time and nation who do
accept and follow such light as they have."
Baker adds that dektos was
"Used with elements of time such as
season (Lk 4:19), and eniautós (1763), year (2Cor. 6:2),
meaning a time in which God has pleasure, and which He Himself has
The verbal adjective dektos has the basic meaning “what one
can accept.” In the LXX it is linked with dechomai in transl. of
“to find pleasure,” and means “acceptable” or “pleasing” on the
basis of a divine act of will.
Dektos - 5x - translated
acceptable(2), favorable(1), welcome(2).
Luke 4:19 TO PROCLAIM THE
FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD."
Comment: Jesus is quoting
from Isaiah 61:2 explaining why the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him
- "To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD (fulfilled at His
first coming), and the day of vengeance of our God (to be fulfilled
in the future at His second coming); To comfort all who mourn.
Thayer says here dektos
denotes "that most blessed time when salvation and the free favors
of God profusely abound."
Luke 4:24 And He said, "Truly I
say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.
Acts 10:35 but in every nation
the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to
2 Corinthians 6:2 (Paul quotes
Isa 49:8) for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO
YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU." Behold, now is "THE
ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION "--
Philippians 4:18 But I have
received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply
supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a
fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to
Dektos - 34 uses in the
Septuagint - see discussion above for use of dektos in the
description of the sacrificial offerings.
Exodus 28:38 "It shall be on
Aaron's forehead (Engraved with "Holy to the LORD" - Ex
28:36), and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things
which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy
gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be
before the LORD.
Leviticus 1:3 'If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd,
he shall offer it, a male without defect; he shall offer it at the
doorway of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted (ratson/rason)
before the LORD.
4 'He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it
may be accepted (ratsah/rasah)
for him to make atonement on his behalf.
Leviticus 17:4 and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of
meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD before the
tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that
man. He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his
Leviticus 19:5 'Now when you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to
the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted (ratson/rason).
Leviticus 22:19 for you to be accepted-- it must be a male
without defect from the cattle, the sheep, or the goats. 20
'Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it will not be
accepted for you. 21 'When a man offers a sacrifice of peace
offerings to the LORD to fulfill a special vow or for a freewill
offering, of the herd or of the flock, it must be perfect to be
accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
29 "When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, you
shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.
Leviticus 23:11 'He shall wave the
sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted (ratson/rason);
on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Deuteronomy 33:16 And with the choice things of the earth and its
fullness, And the favor (ratson/rason)
of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let it come to the head of Joseph, And
to the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his
23 Of Naphtali he said, "O Naphtali, satisfied with favor (ratson/rason),
And full of the blessing of the LORD, Take possession of the sea and
24 Of Asher he said, "More blessed than sons is Asher; May he be
by his brothers, And may he dip his foot in oil.
Job 33:26 Then he will pray to God,
and He will accept (ratsah/rasah)
him, That he may see His face with joy, And He may restore His
righteousness to man.
Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked
fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be
granted (Lxx = is acceptable).
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an
abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight (ratson/rason).
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an
abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His
Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is good will.
35 The king's favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, But
his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the
wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright
is His delight (ratson/rason).
28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer (Lxx = are
acceptable with the Lord), But the mouth of the wicked pours out
Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways are
to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
13 Righteous lips are the delight (ratson/rason)of
kings, And he who speaks right is loved.
Proverbs 22:11 He who loves purity
of heart And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.
Isaiah 49:8 Thus says the LORD, "In
a favorable (ratson/rason)
time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped
You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people,
To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
Isaiah 56:7 Even those I will bring
to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable
on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all
Isaiah 58:5 "Is it a fast like this
which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing
one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as
a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable (ratson/rason)
day to the LORD?
Isaiah 60:7 "All the flocks of
Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will
minister to you; They will go up with acceptance (ratson/rason)
on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house.
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the
year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all
Jeremiah 6:20 "For what purpose
does frankincense come to Me from Sheba And the sweet cane from a
distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable (ratson/rason)
And your sacrifices are not pleasing to Me."
Malachi 2:13 "This is another thing
you do: you cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and
with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts
it with favor (ratson/rason)
from your hand.
The important principle for saints
to remember is that whether or not an offering is really acceptable
and well-pleasing to God depends on the motive of the one who brings
it. Lowell phrases it poetically as...
“Not what we give but what we
For the gift without the giver is bare.”
from thúo = to sacrifice) is literally that
which is offered as a sacrifice. Here thusia is used
metaphorically to describe their service of giving. It was a sacrifice
to God and since they were financially poor, it was given
In the Old Testament there were two
types of sacrifices, the first offered to deal with sin and the broken
fellowship that resulted from the sin. The sacrificial blood was a
picture of the bridging of the gap between the giver and God (although
OT sacrifices for sin only covered over for a time, whereas Christ's
sacrifice effectively and permanently removed all guilt of sin for
those who believe in Him).
The second type of OT sacrifice was
presented to God as an act of worship, the presenter having had his
sins covered over by the blood of the sin offering, which resulted in
his hearts being full of thanksgiving and praise to God which was
reflected in the offering. It is this second type of "sacrifice" for
which Paul is commending the Philippians. The writer of Hebrews has a
parallel passage writing that...
Through Him (Christ, our Great High
Priest) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His Name. And do
not neglect doing good and sharing (which is exactly what the
saints at Philippi had done!); for with such sacrifices God is
pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16)
Note also that in the Old Testament sacrificial
system, every sacrifice was to provide a fragrant aroma and be
acceptable to God. Only if the individual offered it up with
the correct heart attitude would it be pleasing to God. And so we read
that after the flood and their arrival on dry land...
Then Noah built an altar to the
LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and
offered burnt offerings on the altar and the LORD smelled the
soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again
curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is
evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living
thing, as I have done." (Genesis 8:20-21) (cf Lev
In Exodus a parallel passage
And you shall offer up in smoke the
whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a
soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD. (cf Ex 29:18).
Paul is saying that the
Philippians’ gift was a spiritual sacrifice, which is what he exhorted the saints
at Rome to pursue writing...
I urge you therefore, brethren, by
the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy
sacrifice, acceptable (euarestos) to God, which is your spiritual service of
worship. (see note on
Romans 12:1, cf
Well pleasing (2101)
(euarestos from eu = well + arésko = please)
describes that which causes someone to be pleased or something which
is well approved, eminently satisfactory, or extra-ordinarily
pleasing. What the saints at Philippi did to
help Paul and his mission was eminently satisfactory and
extra-ordinarily pleasing service to God (cf. Ge
8:21; Ex 29:18; Lev 1:9, 13; Ezek 20:41).
Euarestos - 9x in the
NT - Ro 12:1, 2; 14:18; 2 Co. 5:9; Ep 5:10; Php 4:18; Col 3:20; Titus
2:9; He 13:21.
The NAS renders euarestos
as acceptable(3), pleasing(2), well-pleasing(3), which is pleasing(1).
The KJV Commentary - The Philippians’ stewardship was a
barometer of their spiritual condition. One can give without loving,
but he cannot love without giving. Love takes the stew out of
stewardship. The love gift pleased God, relieved Paul, and enriched
the Philippians. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
Dwight Pentecost has a
practical summation of Philippians 4:14-18 writing that "We are responsible before God for
the use of every material thing that God puts into our hands. We are
not only responsible for the surplus, we are responsible for every
penny. Our material goods are to be used under the control of the
Spirit of God, so that the saints’ needs might be met, and the
servants’ needs might be met, and God might be satisfied as we give
sacrifices acceptable and well-pleasing to God. I trust that God may
give such an attitude toward the material things He has given to us,
that we shall no longer divide them into “His” and “ours” but
recognize that they all belong to Him and that we are stewards of what
He has entrusted to us, so that we might use them to the glory of His
J. D. The Joy of Living: A Study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)
><> ><> ><>
In Our Daily Walk F B Meyer
has the following devotional entitled "Rich Toward God"...
LET US never forget this wonderful
assertion, that life consists not in what we possess, but in what we
are; not in goods, but in goodness; not in things, but qualities. "How
much was he worth?" we ask when a man dies, and we expect an answer in
the amount that stood to his credit, and on which his estate must pay
death duties. Yet surely a man is worth only the love, humility,
generosity, and sweet reasonableness which characterize him. Take away
some people's wealth, and, as in the case of the rich man of whom our
Lord speaks in His parable, you have nothing left; but take away all
things from St. John or St. Paul, from St. Francis or Augustine, or
Wesley, and you have an abundance left which makes them the
millionaires of all time! "Poor, yet making many rich; having nothing,
and yet possessing all things."
The rich man in the parable made three foolish mistakes. First, he
treated his wealth as though it were absolutely his own. There is no
suggestion that he had made it wrongfully. His wealth had evidently
accrued as the gift of prolific harvests, and was certainly due to the
goodness of the Creator, on whose co-operation the results of
husbandry evidently depend. But to lift up grateful eyes in thankful
acknowledgment to God seems never to have occurred to him! Are we not
all too prone to magnify our own shrewdness and aptitude, and to
exclude God when we make up our accounts for the year.
Second, he thought that the best receptacle for his overplus was in
barns, and forgot that there were multitudes of poor and needy souls
around. When we begin to accumulate more than we need for our use, or
the provision for our families, we should consider, not further
investments, but the pressing need of others.
Third, he thought that goods could stay the hunger of the soul How
often has the heart of man or woman been surfeited with goods and
remained unsatisfied? Let us give, expecting nothing again, with full
measure, pressed down, and running over; give, not only money, but
love and tenderness and human sympathy; give as one who is always
receiving from the boundless resources of God.
PRAYER - Help us, O God, to set our affections on things above, not on
things on earth, for nothing beneath these skies can satisfy the
hearts which Thou hast made for Thyself. AMEN.
><> ><> ><>
A NOTE OF THANKS - I was
rummaging through some old files the other day when I ran across a big
envelope full of treasures -- a collection of thank-you notes from my
students during the last year I taught in high school. They brought
back some cherished memories. Reading them reminded me of the
importance of letting people know how much they are appreciated.
Thank-you notes afford us the opportunity to make permanent our
feelings of gratitude for our friends or loved ones.
The apostle Paul sent a thank-you note to the Christians in Philippi.
They were the only church that had supported him financially on his
missions trip (Phil. 4:15), and he wanted to say thanks. But he did
more. He told the people specifically what good they had done by
helping him. Through Paul, the people reached out to places they could
never visit. They met Paul's necessities (Phil 4:16). Their gifts bore
spiritual fruit (v27). They pleased God (Phil 4:18). And they received
the promise of God's provision for them (Phil 4:19).
Thank-you notes work both ways. They help the sender to express
appreciation, and they help the recipient to know what he has done to
assist. It's a great combination.
Does someone you know deserve a
note of thanks? -- J. David Branon (Copyright
RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights
Consider what the Lord has done
Through those who've shown you love;
Then thank them for their faithful deeds,
For blessings from above. -- Sper
A word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up
and going on.
Giving God Your Best
Pastor Jeff Williams
Overwhelmed by Need
Two weeks ago, Milt Hanson and I took our children to Cornerstone
Music Festival. We enjoyed the fellowship, the great weather, and were
inundated with incredible Christ-honoring music for four days. But we
were also overwhelmed by the opportunities to give. In between main
stage shows, commercials for World Vision (www.wvi.org) and the “ONE
campaign” (www.one.org) encouraged us to give sacrificially to erase
poverty and AIDS in Africa. Switchfoot (www.switchfoot.com) showed us
video from their recent mission trip to India and pleaded with us to
give. At the church service, we participated in an offering that
supported Jesus People USA (www.jpusa.org) and their work inner-city
Chicago. The helicopter ride we took supported Wycliffe Bible
Translators (www.wycliffe.org). There were even three hungry teenage
guys who sat in front of our camp site singing songs about chickens
while begging for money to buy a pizza. There were so many noble
causes, so many needs, so many opportunities, and only so much money
in my wallet. Should I feel guilty that I didn’t give my last dollar?
What did God require of me?
Right Here at Home
I am equally overwhelmed here. With the addition of Heart to Heart
Counseling Services, PBC now supports nineteen missionaries. From
Mexico to the Philippines, from Dallas to Pontiac we support
individuals and projects that are proclaiming the name of Jesus. (For
a full list and email addresses go to www.pontiacbible.org) We also
have six students doing five day clubs this summer, sharing the Gospel
with children all over Livingston County, and are still raising their
support. We just approved a budget that is approaching half a million
dollars, our new executive pastor starts today, and a parking lot
waits to be paved. We still owe on the family life center and are in
need of a new roof.
Do you know this feeling? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the seeming
endless needs that constantly tug at your heart through the
television, radio, and internet?
Because the Bible Tells Me So
When confused or needing answers, we need to search the Scriptures and
find out what God says about the matter. What does the Bible say about
money and giving? More than you think! Almost half of the parables are
about money or possessions. There are 40 verses on baptism, 275 verses
on prayer, 350 verses on faith, 650 verses on love, and 2,350 verses
that related specifically to finances and material possessions! (For a
detailed account of these Scriptures go to www.kluth.org) Both the Old
and New Testament have much to say about how money and possessions can
be used to further God’s Kingdom or how it can literally destroy a
person’s joy and hope. This morning my goal is to allow the Scriptures
to teach us some basic principles related to giving. Before we begin,
let me make a couple of disclaimers.
All the Church Wants Is My Money!
The story is told of two business men who were flying to a conference
overseas. The small plane they were in developed engine problems and
they had to crash land on a deserted island. One of the men began to
cry stating that he will never get to see his kids grow up and never
tell his wife how much he loved her. The other man simply leaned
against a palm tree and fell asleep. His friend woke him and
confronted him – “How can you sleep? Don’t you care that we are going
to die on this island?” At this the calm companion said, “I am not
worried at all. I make $500,000 a year and I always faithfully give
ten percent to my church. I know my pastor will find me!”
Many people are turned off when the pastor preaches on money and
finances. Many pastors are afraid to teach on this subject. Why do you
think Brian asked me to preach this week? Who has not heard some one
say “All they ever want is my money?” Mark Twain once said that he was
so tired of appeals for money that he never put anything in the plate
but he always tried to take a bill out!
This morning I am not here to coax you out of your cash or swindle you
out of your savings. None of the pastors or leaders knows how much or
how little you give. I do know that I am honored to serve a church
that is so generous with their giving. We are in good shape
financially so I am not preaching this as a pulpit power play hoping
to bring in a big offering. This is the beauty of going verse-by-verse
through books of the Bible. We have come to the end of our series on
Philippians. This morning we will look at the closing verses, which
just happen to be about giving. If you are visiting, stick with me.
You may be surprised by what you hear. By the end of our time together
today, I hope to convince you to be extravagant worshipers of God in
the area of your finances.
Thank you Notes
We are trying to teach our boys to write thank you notes. When they
receive a toy for their birthday or some money for Christmas, they
need to say thank you. I was not taught to do that growing up but I
have learned over the years to write thank you notes as soon as I
receive something. It is a small way of showing appreciation for the
gift. Philippians 4:14-23 is Paul’s thank you note to the Philippians
for their generous giving. Let’s listen in as he shares his heart of
gratitude with this church he loves.
“Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 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; for even when
I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in
need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may
be credited to your account. 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. And my God will meet all your needs
according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and
Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Philippians 4:14-19)
I believe we can glean four basic principles from these verses as they
relate to giving.
The four points will spell out the word GIVE. The first principle is…
God owns it all
The church in Philippi was about six months old when they begin to
support Paul’s missionary endeavors. He left Philippi and traveled to
Thessalonica where he preached the Gospel. The Philippian church sent
money to him several times to aid his efforts to win people to Christ.
Paul then traveled to Athens and Corinth. The Philippians had given so
much that they were unable to give while he was ministering in
Paul starts this section out by saying it was good of them to share in
his troubles. They partnered with Paul. In fact, they were the only
church that joined in Paul’s missionary adventures. Their giving
showed their heart for Paul and the fellowship they felt with him. To
them, it was like a joint business venture. They supplied the needs of
Paul so that he could minister freely.
It also showed that they “got it.” This is such a blessing to a
pastor. Honestly, the best compliment you can give me after a sermon
is not “great job” but “I get it! I heard what the Bible said and I am
going to do it!” Paul must have beamed with joy when the first gift
arrived. He spent time teaching and now they proved they were
One of the lessons he must have taught them when he was with them was…
God owns everything. If God owns everything, then how much do we own?
We own nothing! Well, surely we own ourselves, right? Does this verse
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” (I Cor 6:20)
What price? You were bought with the highest price imaginable – the
price of His Son. We own nothing, not even the right to our own lives.
God merely allows us to be stewards in order to further his kingdom.
The Scriptures make this point clear:
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who
live in it…”
Even the talents, abilities, and jobs that provide money are actually
from the Lord:
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the
ability to produce wealth…”(Duet 8:18)
This is even reflected in our worship. Think about the Doxology -
“praise God from whom all blessing flow…”
I think you get the point. God owns it all. We own nothing, not even
This is a very important foundational point. Everything you have has
been given to you for the purpose of glorifying God. Do we truly
believe that God owns it all? Do we believe He has made us a trustee,
a manager, and a steward of what He gives us during our life time?
If it is true that God owns it all, then how should we approach the
area of money? Ron Blue, a Christian financial expert, gives three
outcomes to the belief that God owns it all.
• If God owns it all, then we have a responsibility to Him. God has
the right to whatever He wants whenever he wants it. We are only
stewards of what He was entrusted to us.
• If God own it all, then every spending decision is a spiritual
• If God owns it all, then it is impossible to fake stewardship.
Concerning our checkbooks, Blue states, “It reflects your goals,
priorities, convictions, relationships, and even the use of your
(For more on financial management go to wwwronblue.com)
We are called to be faithful with what He has given us. Paul told the
believers at Corinth:
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove
faithful.” (I Cor 4:2)
Point to Ponder: Have you settled the ownership issue today with God?
Do you truly believe that He owns it all? Would your check book show
it? Maybe you need to sign it over to Him.
Invest in things eternal
“Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be
credited to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)
I have some bad news and some good news and it has nothing to do with
switching to Geico. The bad news is you can not take anything with you
when you die. I’ve never seen a U-haul behind a hearse.
Solomon, one of the richest men who ever lived, wrote about this in
“Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he
He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand…he toils
for the wind.” (Eccl 5:15)
That’s the bad news. Would you like to hear the good news? Listen to
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and
rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Here is a principle that Randy Alcorn says can change your life: you
can not take it with you but you can send it on ahead.
Paul says that the gift is important but even more important is the
fact that the Philippians had an eternal perspective about their
money. Again they “got it.” Their hearts were in the right place. Our
hearts always go where we put our money. In other words, our feelings
follow our finances. Their heart was for Paul and his ministry. They
wanted to invest in a venture that could pay ever-lasting rewards.
In these verses, Paul uses banking terminology – a ledger sheet
recording their gift that made God smile. When the Philippians gave to
Paul, God noticed. This is a picture of an account that has
continually increasing interest. Spiritual maturity leads us to invest
in things that last forever instead of things that can fade away.
James Boice writes: “Money that is given to help another Christian is
called fruit. Our gifts to others are encouraged by God, noticed by
God, and much desired by God.”
We will only be on this earth a short time and he who dies with the
most toys…still dies! We need a radical shift in our thinking about
True or false – Money is evil. Listen to how Paul describes money to
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into
many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and
destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced
themselves with many griefs.” (I Tim 6:9-10)
It’s the love of money that gets us into trouble. Just this week,
another CEO was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from his
company. When the judge sentenced him to twenty-five years with no
parole, this man sobbed uncontrollably. Jesus said, “What good is it
for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36).
Giving isn’t God’s way of raising funds; it is His ways of raising
children whose hearts are rich toward Him. God has poured out his
blessings on us and what have we done? We took them home and put them
on our shelf. God raises our standard of living so we can raise our
standard of giving.
Point to Ponder: How is your investment portfolio? Pastor Steven Cole
gives us some insight into where we are to invest. He emphasizes that
we should first give to our local church then to individuals and
organizations you know to be faithful. He encourages us to give to
those serving in difficult places and those reaching unreached parts
of the world. Also, giving to the needy should be a high priority. I
also rejoice when I see the generous mercy fund offering that we use
to meet needs in this church body and the community.
Value God more than Money
“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.”
The Philippians had renewed their concern for Paul by sending him
financial gifts while he was in prison at Rome. Paul states that the
gift is more than enough. He uses three Old Testament terms of worship
to describe their giving “fragrant offering,” “acceptable sacrifice,”
and “pleasing to God.” When the sacrifice was made (see Lev 7) it
produced a fragrant aroma that people could smell. The exact same
words are used to describe the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a
life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a
fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Eph 5:1-2)
When we give, we are not giving to a church or a pastor, but to Jesus
Christ Himself. And He is worthy of our best. Paul describes their
extravagant giving as a form of worship.
In our present Christian culture, the word “worship” has been limited
to singing and music. This is not the Biblical view of worship. Listen
to Paul’s definition of worship in his letter to the Romans:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer
your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is
your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
Worship is a lifestyle, not a song. Worship is prayer, reading and
studying the Scriptures, fasting, singing, serving, and giving.
Everything we do here at Pontiac Bible Church on a Sunday morning is
worship. The music, the prayer, the preaching of God’s word and even
the offering –it is all worship.
You may have noticed that we did not take the offering during the
music. We did this intentionally. This gives me an opportunity to
teach about the tithe.
A junior high girl in our Cross Roads ministry asked a great question
once in response to the bible study we were doing. She said, “I think
I know the answers to the other questions, but I’ve never heard of
There does seem to be a lot of confusion about giving. In the Old
Testament, people gave 10% because they had to. Under the covenant of
grace, we have the responsibility to give 10% and more because want
to. Let’s look at three principles of grace giving:
• Grace giving is voluntary. Giving is not something we HAVE to do; it
is something we get to do. If you are a Christian, then you will want
to give. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul states:
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not
reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2
The Greek word translated cheerful is the same word we get our word
hilarious. God loves extravagant, joyful, hilarious givers who realize
that the can not out give God. Jesus said, “It more blessed to give
than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
• Grace Giving is proportionate giving. In I Cor 16:2, we see Paul
addressing the amount to given:
“Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the
Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of
you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving
it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” (I
It is clear that ten percent is the baseline. But is that all we are
to give? John Piper has said that the 10% tithe is “a middle class
American way to rob God.” We are privileged to live in the wealthiest
country in the history of the world. If you live in a house, drive a
car, and have enough food to eat today, you are better off than 97% of
the world’s population. Many of us could and should be giving 15, 20,
or even 25%.
• Grace Giving is sacrificial. Jesus told a story about an offering
that got his attention:
“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the
temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper
coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in
more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of
their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live
on." (Luke 21:1-4)
It really is not about how much you give, but how much you keep. The
widow was commended for how much she kept – nothing. She gave
everything she had. The Pharisees just gave out of their wealth. Are
you just giving God the leftovers, or are you giving Him your best?
King David said it this way, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord a burnt
offering that costs me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24)
Tithing is the solution to greed. It has been said that if you want to
break the back of greed, give your money away freely. John Wesley,
whose books made an enormous amount of money during his lifetime, died
with two silver spoons to his name. He was quoted as saying, “When I
get any money, I give it away, lest it get control of my heart.” The
Philippians were worshipping God when they provided Paul with funds
for the ministry. It was a way of lifting Jesus high.
What happens to the money you put into the plate? The offering pays
our light bill, electricity bill, facility upkeep, the pastors,
teachers, and support staff’s salaries. It supports student ministry,
children’s ministry, men and women’s ministry, outreach and
evangelism. It supports the library, the nursery, Pontiac Christian
School, AWANA, the worship team, the multimedia team, and nineteen
missionaries scattered across the globe. Every dollar is used with
integrity to make an IMPACT on our community, our county, our country,
and the continents with the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ.
Can you get excited about that?
When you walked in this morning, you were handed a penny. It is a gift
from me to you. You can do anything you want with it. You can put it
in your pocket, put it in your change purse, or you can put it in the
plate. If you put it in the plate, it will be used to change hearts
for eternity. This morning everyone has something to put into the
offering. But it is your choice to give or to keep the penny.
Point to Ponder: Have you ever considered giving as a form of worship?
How can we use our time, talents, or treasures to worship God? As we
take this offering, how are you feeling about what you had planned to
put in the plate in light of what we have been studying? As you give,
consider these four declarations:
• With this offering, I am declaring my total dependence and trust in
• With this offering, I am resisting everything in our culture that
constantly whispers in my ear that I need more and more
• With this offering, I am sending treasure ahead to heaven
• With this offering, I am affirming my heart belongs to God.
Engage your heart and expect blessings
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches
in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:18-19)
This verse has been taken out of context by many people. Verse 19 is
not a blank check to people who waste what God has given them. It is
also not a promise of prosperity and luxury. It is conditional.
If…then. If you honor me with your finances, then I will meet all of
your needs. Let’s look at each phrase of this verse together:
• “My God” Paul does not invoke the name of some distant deity but
starts by saying “my God.” God is a personal God who knows the number
of hairs on your head (Luke 12:7) and what you need before you ever
ask (Matthew 6:8).
• “Will meet” – This word means to “fill to the brim, to furnish or
supply generously.” It is the picture of filling a glass to
• “All you needs” – Notice Paul said your needs and not your “greeds”.
In 1890, a survey was taken and the question was “Name your basic
needs.” The 19 century respondents came up with sixteen basic needs.
The same question was posed to individuals in the year 1990. Do you
want to guess how many “basic needs” they listed? The came up with 98
basic needs. Play Stations and Plasma Screens are not BASIC needs! The
Philippians had given so generously they were in needs. Paul says
thank you but he also realizes he can not repay them but is confident
• “Accordingly to His glorious riches.” Notice that Paul did not say
“out of his glorious riches.” If Bill Gates walked into your house
this afternoon and said, “I think I want to give you some money” what
would be your reaction? Would you get a wheelbarrow and shout “Show me
the Money!”? What if he pulled out his wallet and handed you a one
dollar bill. That would be “out of his riches” and cheap! But what if
he said “All I have is yours.” That would get your heart pumping,
wouldn’t it? That’s exactly what God promises - to meet all our needs
according to His vast resources which He makes completely available to
• “In Christ Jesus.” This is a promise for believers only. It is only
through Christ that these riches can be accessed. J.H. Pickford
writes: “What grounds do we have to lay hold of this promise to supply
our needs, if we refuse to supply the needs of God’s work and we have
the means? With what confidence can we pray for the Lord to honor us
with substance, if we have not honored Him with the substance He was
given us? …What we withhold withers, what we lay aside is spoiled, but
what we release, returns.”
God promises to meet our needs. What are our greatest needs before
God? Our greatest needs are not for more money or possessions but for
salvation, forgiveness, hope, and peace. God, through Jesus Christ’s
sacrificial death on the cross, has provided all this and more. That’s
why some of the poorest people in the world are the happiest in Him.
God promises to meet your needs in proportion to your honoring Him.
This is a pattern through the Bible. Rick Warren states with every
promise, there is a premise. This is an if-then proposition – “If you
faithfully, generously, sacrificially, voluntarily, and cheerfully
give to support and further my Kingdom, then I will provide all your
In 1990, Maxine’s parents were $120,000 in debt due to a failed
business. They were two hours away from having their house
re-possessed. They went to a credit counselor who encouraged them to
file bankruptcy. While reviewing their bills she noticed that they
gave to their church and told them they would have to stop tithing.
Maxine’s mother said that would be the last thing to go. When they
returned home, they took 1% of their total debt and gave it away to
someone who had a bigger need than they did. They never stopped
tithing and giving and, through a new job and some amazing
circumstances, they paid off the entire debt in three and half years!
Jesus said it this way:
“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For
with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38)
God even says to test Him in this area:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in
my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will
not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing
that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 2:10)
The great missionary Hudson Taylor’s wrote in his journal, “God’s
work, done in God’s way, will never lack for supply.” As one of our
high school students recently told me, “I guess giving in really all
One of the most important things you can do with a sermon like this is
to not just listen to it but apply it to your life. Here are three
action steps that Chuck Swindoll suggests:
• Look within and release. Examine your heart as it relates to giving.
Read and learn more about the spiritual discipline of giving. Go to
www.generousgiving.org and www.crown.org for great teaching in this
area. Read Larry Burkett’s “How to Manage Your Money” or “Money
Matters for Parents and their Kids” by Ron and Judy Blue. If you do
not give at all, make a commitment to at least give 10%. If you are
giving 10%, maybe God would want you to move that figure up to 15%.
• Look around and respond. Remember how I began this sermon? I was
overwhelmed by all the need. Ask God to show you where you can bless
someone. No one can do everything but everyone can do something.
• Look up and rejoice. I want to end this morning with one more story
about God providing. As many of you know, Pontiac Bible Church lead a
campaign this summer called “Ten Tons of Love.” Our goal was to
collect 20,000 pounds of Bibles, Christian books, magazines, tapes,
CDs, hymnals, and bicycles to support a ministry called Love Packages.
Last weekend, fourteen adults and students delivered Central Illinois’
gift. What an incredible weekend of worship. I watch our group give of
themselves in their time, talents, and treasures. One of the
highlights of our trip was listening to Steve Schmidt tell stories
about God’s powerful provision.
Steve told us about a time when David C. Cook publishing bought
several small companies and offered to give him all the material they
did not want to sell. He said yes but had no idea what he was getting
into. The next week, four full semi-trailers arrived and after they
unloaded everything the warehouse was packed full. When he stood in
the middle of the gym he became suddenly overwhelmed with how much
money it was going to take to ship all this material. He said that he
felt God saying two words to him, “Ship it!” His secretary told him
they had $37 in the account and they needed $3,500 in order to send
the first shipment. As they were loading the truck, he still had no
idea how they were going to pay for the container. As the truck pulled
out, a car pulled in and several men got and asked for Steve. They
told him they felt lead to give to Love Packages and handed him a
check for…guess how much? $3500! He walked back into the warehouse and
looked at his secretary and said, “You know that shipment to Liberia?
Ship it, too!”
That kind of faith is contagious. Let me introduce you to Candi Kelly,
one of our Love Packages team members. She is going to share how God
touched her heart through the mission of Love Packages.
“Last week, Brian gave us some homework assignments…the last one was-
Step out in faith and do what God wants you to do, relying on His
power to do so.
On July 8, 14 of us set out to do just that. I was excited about the
trip, because I knew God was going to be in it, but I had NO idea how
much He was going to move me. 14 of us made the trip and Steve (the
founder of Love packages) made 15 workers. Between the 15 of us, we
unloaded the semi, touched between 50 and 60 thousand pieces of
literature, completed a door frame on Steve’s house, did laundry, did
dishes and cut down some killer weeds. We began working at about 7
a.m. and finished up around 3:00. Now, we were some speedy workers,
but without God’s Hand in that, there is no way we could have
accomplished all we did.
Bible story—after we finished unloading the truck, a group of us went
into ‘the sorting room’ with Steve to sort and pack bibles. We were
busy working away, and Kenny Hinds pulled MY bible out of the sorting
bin and held it up in the air and said “it’s going in the box!” I
watched as he finished packing that box and then put it on the pallet
that is scheduled to be shipped to Tanzania on the 15th. Shipping
takes about 45 days, which means, by the end of August, a pastor in
Tanzania will be giving MY bible to someone who does not have one. As
if that wasn’t an awesome enough feeling, once we got home, I was able
to share with another PBC member that I put HER bible in a box that
will also arrive in Tanzania at the end of August. I knew the joy that
was behind the smile on her face, because I had experienced that same
feeling on Saturday.
Conclusion-It was awesome to actually BE the hands and feet of God,
helping to reach the other side of the world with His word. We worked,
we cried, we laughed, we sang, but most of all, we worshiped.
Everything we did Saturday was an act of worship of our awesome God.
There was also an unbelievable amount of fellowship that occurred in
the short amount of time we were together. Some of us even bonded with
strangers in a restaurant—but that’s a story for another time. As we
were winding down, we sat and listened to Steve share some
testimonies. As we were sitting there, I looked at Pastor Jeff and
said “don’t ever leave on another mission trip without me”
[Power Point presentation – Love Packages trip]
This week, I received an email from a high school student who read my
sermon ahead of time. She wrote:
“I'm not worshiping Him in my finances, my actions, or with my heart.
I mean, I know it's all His....now that you told us about that....but
I don't know if I can give it all to Him...or if I want to, or even if
I know how. I mean how am I supposed to give Him everything??? I'm so
scared that I won't be able to control my life....I mean, I know I
can't… but it scares me to have to walk blindly.”
Could you close your eyes and bow your head. Maybe you feel just like
that. You want to trust God but you are scared to take the leap. Let
me close by praying specifically for you to trust Him and honor Him
with your finances.