Friday, August 27, 2021

2021.08.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 4:21–23

Read Philippians 4:21–23

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Paul say to do with the believers (Philippians 4:21)? How many of them? What does he call them? In Whom? What does he call his coworkers? What do they do? Who else greets them from Rome (Philippians 4:22)? How many of them? Especially whom? What blessing does he give them in Philippians 4:23? Whose grace (cf. Philippians 1:2)? With how many of them? How does he conclude the letter? 

Greetings for all. The letter had been sent “to all the saints” but particularly “with the bishops and deacons” (cf. Philippians 1:1). Probably, it had been delivered to the officers, but the apostle there and now here wants to make sure that the letter is not just received to the church generally but that each one receives the letter personally. 

Each of us would do well to receive Scripture this way. It is breathed out by God—like having a living, breathing conversation with Him. And it is useful to prepare the man (singular!) of God for every good work. 

Greetings for saints. The man who has written how obsessed he is with Christ reminds them that they are set apart as holy precisely by their being joined to the One with Whom the apostle is obsessed. They are “every saint in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:21). How treasured they must know themselves to be, when his love for them is identified with his love for Christ!

Greetings from brethren. The brethren who have been with Paul in Rome have heard his prayers for the Philippians, and his dictation of the letter to them. They share his treasuring of Christ. They have been learning from the letter as it was written, and from the ministry of the man who wrote it. So of course, they too love the Philippians in Christ, and greet them.

Greetings especially from among Caesar’s household. These particular greetings would give the Philippians great joy. Not only has the gospel penetrated Caesar’s household so that there are brother-saints among them now, but these perhaps would know some of the retired centurions among the Philippian church. 

Greetings and Grace from Christ Himself. Ultimately, Paul’s love for them and the brethren’s love for them come from the Lord Jesus Christ. But Paul isn’t writing as his own man. He’s writing as a slave of Christ (Philippians 1:1), an apostle of the Lord Himself. And the Lord Jesus Christ gives more than just greetings; He gives all that He is for all that we need. Blessing for those who deserve only curse. Power for those who have only weakness. Goodness for those who have only wickedness. 

Sometimes, the grace is said to come from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is itself proof enough of Christ’s divinity: grace originates in Him as much as in the Father. But here it is Christ alone Who gives all the grace they need. He is the God of grace!

What believers do you know, treasure, and greet? How does it appear in your heart and behavior that you do so with the affection that you have for Christ? Who greets and treasures you with this affection? With what does Christ greet you, if you are His by faith?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, our God, we praise You for Your mercy, joining Yourself to us and setting us apart as holy in Yourself. Forgive us for when we have not loved those who are Yours with the love that we have for You. By Your grace, make us to love them with Your love. For in You is everything that we need, and we look to You for this grace in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or TPH405 “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

No comments:

Post a Comment