Philippians 1:7 Capacity for Spiritual Growth

updated: 1/29/2012

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

Chapter Outline

Verse 1-2:        The Salutation

Verse 3-           Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians

Verses 1-2  Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, to those residing in Philippi, together with pastor-teachers and deacons. Grace to you and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verses 3-6  Every time I remember you, I thank God for all of you.  [Always in my every prayer, for of all of you.] because of your contribution for the purpose of spreading the Gospel from that first day until now.  Because I have confidence in this doctrine (logistical grace) itself that He who began a good work in you (grace support from the moment of salvation) will complete or accomplish it until the Day of Christ.

Pertinent Verses

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. The Correctness of Paul’s Attitude
  3. Paul’s Thinking About the Philippians
  4. Paul’s Demonstration of Capacity
  5. The Basis of Rapport between Paul and the Philippians
  6. Partners in Grace

For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.  Philippians 1:7, NAS

A.         Introduction

1.            Paul’s Failure and Spiritual Recovery

In our first point of introduction we will review Paul’s current state of spiritual growth.  In our study of Paul we looked briefly at a time in his life when he lost his level of spiritual growth and capacity for life. He made an emotional decision to go to Jerusalem to bring his fellow Jews up to speed concerning the Church Age.  They were mostly operating on Age of Israel doctrines which were anachronisms. On the surface, Paul’s motivation seemed right; after all he had a strong desire to evangelize the Jews then teach them Church Age doctrine.  This, however, was not God’s plan for him.  Not understanding this, he made an emotional decision to go anyway, applying his own desires to his life instead of God’s plan for him.  That state of emotion caused him to decline spiritually.  He applied emotional fervor to his life instead of thought as revealed to him from our Lord.

We’ve noted the hardship and misery this erroneous decision cost him. He was caught up in a riot in the Temple which resulted in his imprisonment.  He almost lost his life at that point, but God preserved him for spiritual recovery and for a great ministry which we all continuously benefit from.  Paul took the opportunity to recover spiritually, doing so while being imprisoned.  He also made a fantastic discovery related to God’s plan for his life.  He was an apostle to the Gentiles not to the Jews.  God had uniquely gifted him to teach doctrines of the new dispensation to the Gentiles.

A part of his recovery was going through evidence testing which demonstrated and further established his reliance upon the Lord.  God reserves evidence testing as the ultimate testing of the mature believer’s spiritual growth.  The Book of Job teaches this principle as do other passages.  It is through evidence testing that the believer gives evidence to Satan of our Lord’s righteousness and justice.  Having passed this extreme level of testing, and the resultant level of his spiritual growth, at this point Paul had a tremendous capacity for love and life.  God doesn’t select every believer for this category of testing; only those who reach a very advanced stage of spiritual growth.

2.            Characteristics of Evidence Testing

Evidence testing is characterized by unique spiritual pressures.  You may go through this phase of testing being isolated from your normal structure of support.  You may be isolated from your normal source of doctrinal teaching so you have to rely upon the doctrinal resources in your soul.  What soldier in combat can afford to take a remedial gun care seminar in the middle of battle?  Your scale of values and priorities in life change.  Your viewpoint changes from human viewpoint to divine view point because the unseen doctrinal resources provide for you better than the usual human resources.  This doesn’t happen instantly; the process of your change in viewpoint begins at the moment you began growing up spiritually then continues.  At this point, though, your spiritual growth solidifies.  Your confidence in God and your rapport with Him becomes reality to you.

As a result of this change, the factors upon which you base rapport with people and the factors upon which you base your priorities change.  This results in changes in your life and changes in relationship with people. The bottom line is that your life changes.

Going through this level of testing has its own peculiarities and unique pressures.  As a result of these pressures, your life takes on a much more intense focus upon doctrinal resources for application. The further you advance in the spiritual life the more your priorities and scale of values change.  As a result, the factors upon which you base rapport with people and the factors upon which you base your priorities change.  This results in changes in your life and changes in relationship with people.

3.            Your Thinking Changes Your Capacity

One of the important themes in this verse deals with the importance of your thinking, thinking on a moment by moment basis.  If you are thinking God’s thoughts then you will find that your capacity for life increases.  By capacity, I am referring to the degree to which God can bless you.  If you have a small capacity for blessings, for instance, a thimble in your soul, then God cannot input blessings to you without making you miserable.  On the other hand, if, from constantly learning and applying principles from the Word of God, you gain great capacity for blessing, God can bless you immeasurably.  So, if you find yourself always thinking thoughts which are contrary to God’s plan for your life, to that degree you will lose both capacity for life and capacity for happiness.  Look for principles throughout this study which deal with this issue.

If you keep concentrating on the Word, both the written Word, and upon our Lord, seeking to make application of it and His thinking to your life, to that degree your capacity for life will increase, and so will your happiness.  The greater your level of spiritual growth, the greater your capacity for life, love and happiness. The greater your capacity, the more God can bless you. God will never bless you beyond your level of capacity.  When you look at your life, this is a good principle to remember.  If you are miserable, and unhappy, then your spiritual life is so out of kilter so that God can’t share His happiness with you!

Returning to Paul’s spiritual growth, he was going through evidence testing, his final push into the final stage of spiritual adulthood.  If he successfully emerged from this stage of testing, he would be occupied with Jesus Christ.  His faith would be unshakeable.  He was preparing to go through this stage of testing before his emotional decision to go to Jerusalem, but failed instead.    So, this verse expresses his return to that level of advanced spirituality where those with whom he has rapport is limited to those who under the same testing.

B.         The Correctness of Paul’s Attitude

“For it is right for me…”

WORD MEANING PART OF SPEECH PARSING USE
καθώςKATHOS Since, so, just as ComparativeConjunction AdverbialCausalConjunction
εἰμίESTIN it is Verb of Being 3ps, pres activeindicative Predicate
δίκαιονDIKAION right Adjective NominativeNeuterSingular PredicateNominative
ἐγώEGO for me Personal Pronoun 1stPersonDative Complement

This verse begins with the adverbial comparative conjunction, KATHOS καθώς, which is usually used to indicate a comparison. Because this is in the causal sense (BAG), it is best translated “so,” indicating the drawing of a conclusion based on what has proceeded.

The next word in the Greek word order is ESTIN εἰμί, which is, grammatically, the third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI, a verb of being, translated “it is.”  A third person singular subject can be either “he” “she” or “it.”  Before we launch into an analysis of what “present active indicative” means let’s look at what the present tense can indicate in the Greek. Such analysis is the domain of a word’s syntax.  Tense in the Greek language, in contrast to the English, expresses kind of action.  In the English, tense designates time of action.  The kinds of action most often encountered are labeled as either continuous or punctilliar action. Continuous action can be illustrated as a continuous line.  The action continues.  Punctilliar action occurs at a single moment.  It can be illustrated as a single point.  Voice indicates who produces the action while mood indicates the relation of the action of the verb to reality.

Syntactically, this present tense is a customary present tense falling into the category of linear action.  The action this verb expresses is continual.  This customary present denotes conditions which customarily or continually exist.  In this context, Paul, who is maturing spiritually, has rapport with the Philippian congregation, who are maturing spiritually and who whole-heartedly accept Paul’s teaching. He had been acting as their pastor-teacher.  This rapport continually exists between Paul and the Philippian believers. The simple active voice indicates that he is the one producing the action of the verb. Though he is an apostle, he is doubling as a pastor-teacher.  The declarative indicative mood indicates that this statement is a dogmatic statement of absolute reality.

The next word is DIKAION δίκαιον, the predicate nominative neuter from DIKAIOS δίκαιοςGrammatically, it is an adjective which usually modify or further describe nouns. This adjective is a predicate nominative acting adverbially describing the verbal idea of the previous verb of being, EIMI.  Along with the previous words, it is translated, “it is right.”

The verse continues with the dative of advantage of the personal pronoun EGW ἐγώ, translated, “for me.”  It is to Paul’s advantage for this action to take place.  It is for his benefit.  All of these words are translated “So it is right for me…”  Paul is making an important point with these words.  What he is about to say about his rapport with the believers in Philippi in this certain stage of spiritual growth is absolutely correct to say.  He wants his readers to understand clearly that the following statement is absolutely right and matches the level of integrity the believer in this stage of spiritual growth should exude.  A believer does not progress to this stage where his faith is tested to this extreme without most of his thinking falling into line with our Lord’s thinking.  Reverting to human viewpoint and evil at this point of spiritual growth means that the believer will most likely go into reversionism, possibly, never to recover.

We can apply two principles which we can apply from this short phrase to our lives.  First, we can have the same dynamic of thought that Paul possessed at that time.  It is available to us, today, as a result of our own spiritual growth.  Secondly, we each have the responsibility to grow up to this level of spiritual growth.  God designed us to do so, for the purpose of glorifying Him.

Our translation so far reads as this: “So it is right for me…”

C.         Paul’s Attitude toward the Philippian Believers

“…to feel this way about you…”

WORD MEANING PT OF SPEECH PARSING USE
οὗτοςHOUTOS  this DemonstrativePronoun AccusativeNeuterSingular Direct Object ofthe Infinitive
φρονέωPHRONEO think,to have an attitude Verb PresentActiveInfinitive Begins InfinitivalClause
ὑπέρHUPER for, on behalf of,about Preposition
πᾶςPAS all Adjective GenitivePluralMasculine
σύSU you PersonalPronoun 2ndperson

Correctly translated “this,” the accusative neuter singular of the immediate demonstrative pronoun of HOUTOS οὗτος, is the direct object of the proceeding infinitive.  This pronoun places emphasis on the confidence Paul has just stated in verse six, that the Father’s provision, all wrapped up in logistical grace, will see every positive believer through to the ultimate goal of occupation with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We can derive some applicable principles from this demonstrative pronoun.  Even though we are tempted to place our confidence in people themselves, the issue is to have confidence in the fact that these people rely on Bible doctrine, applying the doctrine of logistical grace to their lives.  So the confidence is placed on God the Father who continually provides believers with their needs.  Now, you may ask, doesn’t God logistically provide for every believer, both positive and negative?  Yes, but only those believers who are continually growing spiritually are guaranteed logistical support through to the goal of occupation with Christ.  If you are negative, not actively learning and applying the Word, then God will supply your every need until He removes you through the sin face to face with death: the sin resulting in death.

The present active infinitive of the verb PHRONEO φρονέω, translated, “to think,” “to have a mindset” or “to maintain an attitude” continues the verse.  It begins a short infinitival clause.  It denotes objective thinking as compared with emotionalism.  Believers in this stage of spiritual growth are capable of objective thinking even in the rigors this kind of testing brings.  This word is better translated, “to hold an opinion.”  The customary present indicates that mature believers consistently make their spiritual growth, by learning and applying the Word of God, their highest priority in life.  Their opinions are always intrinsically right because their thoughts are based upon the thought patterns of Christ.  The active voice of the verb means that Paul, as a believer in this stage of spiritual growth, is the one who is thinking objectively, who has the right attitude.

This is an infinitive of conceived result, which leads Paul to assume that as a consequence of the Philippians’ arrival to this level of spiritual maturity they will keep on growing in grace. Secondly, Paul will continue to hold this attitude toward them because of their spiritual growth.  Because both Paul and his Philippian congregation continue to grow spiritually; they have a mutual rapport based upon their spiritual growth and resultant spiritual status.

Confidence about people is the issue here, but not necessarily confidence in the people themselves.  We are to be confident in the Lord’s dealing with positive people not in each individual person.  We are often tempted to place our confidence in people themselves.  The issue though is to have confidence in the fact that these people have placed their spiritual growth as the highest priority in their lives.  You can have confidence in people when they put their gaining knowledge of the Word of God as the first priority in their life.

The word, thought, brings to mind some important principles.  First, the content of your thought determines in which direction your life will go.  Many scriptures express this fact.  If concentrate on the thinking of Christ, then you will fulfill God’s plan for your life.  Otherwise, satanic thinking will take you down the road of self-destruction.   Always remember that human viewpoint always conflicts with divine thought.  Actually, the term, “human viewpoint,” connotes that a human being has thoughts original to himself.  A person, at any given time, is either thinking satanic thoughts or divine thoughts.  Any category of thinking outside of divine is satanic.  Remember, the content of your thought will make or break you.  If you are thinking on our Lord’s thinking, you are in the process of “making” your life.  Otherwise, you are “breaking” your life, without hope of recovery.

Anytime you put forth the effort to concentrate on any given subject, you will accelerate your knowledge and application about that subject.  So also it is with your concentration upon the Word of God.  The only caveat is your exploitation of the empowerment of God the Holy Spirit during the course of your concentration.

The verse continues with the preposition UPER ὑπέρ, translated, “about” or “concerning” with the ablative plural of the adjective PAS πᾶς, translated, “all” with the second person plural personal pronoun SU σύ, translated, “you.”  These words are translated, “about all of you.”  Therefore, the first part of this verse is translated:

“So it is right for me to be holding this opinion concerning of all of you all…”

This is the fourth time in just seven verses that Paul uses the words “all of you all.”  Without going into too much detail here, there is some evidence of a squabble or some sort of power struggle going on in this church.  It was probably quite minor considering Paul’s attitude toward them, but by using this plural term he does make sure that everyone in the congregation understands that they are being included in this prayer.  No one is being left out nor is he taking sides in the squabble.

Paul has an opinion of his favorite congregation because they are right behind him spiritually.  He is confident that they will advance right through this pivotal stage of spiritual growth, following him.  When you, as a mature believer look around to see who is out there with you, you can’t help but have a tremendous rapport and love for those on the same battlefield.  You no longer have a foundation for rapport with those you have known before but who have chosen not to pursue the spiritual life, having become casualties in the angelic conflict.  You will no longer have rapport with those who have dropped away because your values will have changed.  The scale of values that you will retain for the rest of your life will be formed as you progress through this crucial stage of spiritual growth.  Paul, therefore, has perfect rapport with these believers who have stuck it out, persisting in their spiritual lives.

“…because I have you in my heart…” (NASB)

WORD MEANING PT OF SPEECH PARSING USE
DIA διά through preposition + accusative
TO the article
EKO ἒχω I have Predicate ofclause Present activeinfinitive
EGW ἐγώ I personal pronoun Accusative singular

A classical Greek idiom follows.  It is not the everyday Koine Greek, but language that harkens back to the 5th Century BC, to Athens.  This is “high fallutin’” language, emphasizing and calling attention to Paul’s special message.  He emphasizes his rapport with them with this clause. It begins with the preposition DIA διά followed by the articular infinitive of EKO ἒχω with the accusative singular from the personal pronoun EGW ἐγώ.  This phrase cannot be translated in to the English using the normal KOINE clues.  The preposition DIA takes the accusative case and is usually translated ‘through.’  Then the article in the accusative is translated ‘the,’ with the infinitive usually translated “to have.”  Putting it all together, as if were a KOINE clause, it would be meaningless: “through the to have I!”  I know that that is a mouthful.  I need to look at it closely every time I look at it, to fully understand the mechanics as well: but you do understand that Paul is expressing himself in a language totally apart from the normal KOINE, which he usually communicates in. I need to credit R. B. Thieme for this analysis.  Some commentaries mention that this phrase is classical Greek but don’t come close to this.  So let’s continue the analysis:

The following explanation is important to understand.  I want you to understand the complexity of what these four words mean and how Paul penned his thoughts.  Syntactically, the Attic Greek views this phrase differently from the KOINE.  We have a preposition followed by an article in the accusative case, followed by an infinitive and then an accusative singular personal pronoun.  The preposition with the accusative is translated “because of.”  This article also, because of its placement before the infinitive, allows us to understand the meaning of the infinitive.  The personal pronoun, which follows the infinitive, is in the accusative case, which is normally the case of the direct object.  But in this case the accusative personal pronoun acts as the subject of the clause.  What is normally the object acts as the subject of the infinitive.  The article preceding the infinitive is also very significant.  It restores the balance between the substantival use and the verbal use of the infinitive.  If a definite article precedes the infinitive, 85% of the time the infinitive is used substantively, that is, as a noun.  If an accusative proceeds if, then the infinitive is used verbally.  Normally, if a definite article precedes an infinitive it is used substantively, but if it is followed by an accusative of general reference acting as its subject, its verbal concept is restored.  So the translation goes like this: “Because I have you…

Paul is saying this, instead of in everyday common Greek, in classical aristocratic Greek.  The language Paul used here is for aristocracy!  Why did he, all of a sudden revert to and use a language that was centuries old?  When Paul wrote this, the Philippians did not have to stop and have this explained to them.  They understood it because they comprehended the classical language and the context created by using it.  This phrase well illustrates the great soul rapport that existed between them.  He is saying to the Philippian believers, “Because I have you…” in a beautiful, magnificent, classical way!  It is as if Paul is playing these words on a beautiful pipe organ or musical instrument.  It would have been breathtaking to the Philippians to hear these words read to them because it was the classical language of drama.  Read in the original Greek, it is beautiful to behold Paul’s use of this wonderful language.  American English has never enjoyed a system of aristocratic language, or even had aristocracy of thought, at least, not since Shakespeare.  You, though, as a maturing believer in Jesus Christ, can have the ultimate aristocracy of thought; the thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ in your thinking!

This also illustrates why Greek is the language of the New Testament.  It is the greatest language of thought ever written!  The Christian Way of Life is thought.  As Church Age believers we must learn to think.  When we first look at the subject matter here, that is, of Paul expressing his great affection to these believers, our first instinct is to consider the emotions, how we feel.  But not Paul!  This is an expression of profound thought!  In its verbal use, the historical present of the infinitive views a past event with a vividness of a present occurrence.  It is as if Paul had just written this a minute ago.  Because of this we can look back and see vividly Paul’s great rapport with and love for these Philippian believers. Though this is indicative of thought, certainly his emotions responded as well, to those thoughts.

Paul, in his Roman imprisonment, had suffered rejection by most of his former friends.  Those with whom he had had rapport have deserted him.  Many of these would testify against him, leading to his eventual execution.  Friendships die for lack of rapport.  But Paul, along with the Philippians, is pushing through no man’s land of spiritual adolescence while those in Rome have dropped along the wayside.  Those who stay in doctrine develop a magnificent rapport based upon spiritual growth while with others, who reject doctrine, it is lost.  Doctrine divides believers.  In that division, with new friends, new rapport is formed.  So look for new friendships to develop based upon new rapport.

The active voice means that Paul is the one producing the action of the infinitive.  This is also an infinitive of cause owing to the fact of the preceding preposition.  This verse, thus far, reads:

So it is right for me to have this opinion concerning all of you because I have you…”

“…you in my heart…” (NASB)

WORD MEANING PT OF SPEECH PARSING USE
ἕν EN in preposition + dative
HO the definite article dative singular
καρδία KARDIA my heart noun dative singular
σύSU you all second personpersonal pronoun accusative plural

The verse continues with the preposition EN ἕν and the articular HO locative feminine singular of KARDIA καρδία and SU σύ.  The phrase is translated “in my heart.”  This heart does not refer to the physiological part of the human anatomy which circulates blood.  The word sometimes does designate that anatomical heart, but most of the time it refers to the soul which circulates thought.  The Greeks often used parts of the body to describe functions of the soul.  We’ll see more examples of this as we work our way through this book.

Our translation thus far reads like this:

So it is right for me to have this opinion concerning all of you because I have you in my heart…”

Doctrinal Consideration

Doctrine of the Heart Power Point Presentation

“…since both in my imprisonment…”

WORD MEANING PT OF SPEECH PARSING USE
EN ἕν in preposition preposition
TE τέ and conjunction connective
HA the article dative plural masculine definite article
DESMOS δεσμός imprisonment noun dative plural masculine object
EGO  ἐγώ my personal pronoun first person singular adverbial

This is a prepositional phrase beginning with the preposition EN ἕν with the articular locative singular of DESMOS δεσμός.  Between the preposition and the article is the enclitic connective particle TE τέ, an Atticism, which connects simple concepts.  The adverbial genitive of place of the personal pronoun EGO ἐγώ follows the noun.  The prepositional phrase can be translated “in my imprisonment” or with that particle; a better translation is “while in prison.”

 “So it is right for me to be holding this opinion in behalf of you because I have you in my heart. While in my imprisonment…”

…and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel…

WORD MEANING PT OF SPEECH PARSING USE
KAI καί both conjunction connective
EN ἕν in preposition
HA the definite article dative sing fem
APOLOGIA ἀπολογία defense noun dative sing fem
KAI καί and conjunction
BABAIOSEI βεβαίωσις confirmation locative, singular
TOU the definite article genitive singular
EUAGGELION  εὐαγγέλιον gospel object genitive singular

The next phrase of the verse employs the KAI——-KAI pattern, translated “both—–and.” The first conjunction KAI καί, translated ‘both’ is followed by the preposition EN ἕν and the articular locative of the noun, “defense,” APOLOGIA ἀπολογία.  Following the second KAI καί, translated ‘and’ is the locative singular feminine of the noun, BEBAIOSEI βεβαίωσις, translated, “confirmation.” Following is the descriptive genitive singular of the definite article TOU and of EUAGGELIOU.  This phrase is translated “both in the defense and confirmation of the Good News.”

The Greek word, APOLOGIA, translated, defense or vindication, refers to the presentation of the Gospel or evangelization.  Paul, upon entering a city would often seek out the city synagogue and preach there, often evangelizing, forming the nucleus of a new church.  He was an incredible evangelist.  BEBAIOSEI βεβαίωσις, the establishment or confirmation of the Gospel is a presentation of the various categorical doctrines of the Christian Life and the organization of the local church.

“So it is right for me to be holding this opinion in behalf of you because I have you in my heart. While in my imprisonment, both in the defense and confirmation of the gospel …”

to be continued

Philippians 1:6 Confidence in Logistical Grace

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

An Exegetical Teaching Manuscript
Chapter Outline
Verse 1-2:        The Salutation
Verse 3-           Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians
ü    Verses 1-2  Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, to those residing in Philippi, together with pastor-teachers and deacons. Grace to you and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
ü    Verses 3-5  Every time I remember you, I thank God for all of you.  [Always in my every prayer, for of all of you.] because of your contribution for the purpose of spreading the Gospel from that first day until now.

Verse 6     Confidence in Logistical Grace

Pertinent Verses
“My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“Surely my soul remembers and is humbled within me.  This I recall to mind; therefore I have hope.  The Lord’s gracious functions never cease; His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.  ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul; ‘therefore, I have faith under pressure.’  The Lord is good to those who trust in Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:20-25 RBT
Verse Outline
                             I.            Introduction
                           II.            Paul’s Confidence
                         III.            The Object of Paul’s Confidence
                         IV.            The Goal of Logistical Grace
                          V.            The Limits of Logistical Grace

                  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NASB

                       I.        Introduction

As believers in Jesus Christ, we often make our best friends at the local church where we attend.  Of those people, there are those you know who will continue to grow up spiritually and those who don’t.  We all have setbacks of carnality or short stints of carnality.  Yet, despite those setbacks of carnality or short stints of reversionism; certain people will continue to advance in the spiritual life. God has most graciously designed the spiritual life in such a way that you can recover from setbacks of carnality.  What puts you into that status quo of carnality?  You are out of fellowship when you have sinned by the use of your volition: a choice you always make. Take responsibility for that sin by admitting your sin to God the Father then keep learning doctrine, keep on applying doctrine.

God has designed the Church Age spiritual life so that it is fairly easy to recover from mistakes you make.  But to recover from bad decisions you’ve made in the secular life? It is not often that easy or that simple.  Often, when the believer is carnal he leaves the wreckage of damaged relationships and lost opportunity in his wake.  But God has made it possible to recover from these blunders in the spiritual life.

In this verse, Paul expresses his confidence in the future greatness of this Philippian congregation, despite setbacks they may have.  His confidence is not necessarily because of the certain people involved, but because of the Biblical principle involved.  In other words, these Philippian believers are like those you meet every day; they were not perfect.  They failed just as you and I do but God gave them the opportunity to recover just as He does us.  They recovered and kept growing spiritually despite setbacks.

If people stay with the Bible doctrine, learning it and applying it, they will advance in the spiritual life, despite setbacks. You see, Paul has confidence in the doctrinal principle which says this, not necessarily the people involved.  Why not the people?  Inevitably, some fail and some succeed spiritually.  This issue is never the people involved but what the Bible teaches.

                   II.        Paul’s Confidence

For I am confident of this very thing…
Let’s get to our verse now.  We’re going to call this short paragraph, “Paul’s Confidence.” The verse in the NASB starts with: “For I am confident of this very thing…”  The Greek sounds like this: “PEPOITHOS AUTOS TOUTO…” πεποιθὼςαὐτὸ τοῦτο.    
This verse begins PEPOITHOS πεποιθὼς, a participle acting as a verb.  It is the perfect active participle from the verb PEITHW πείθω which means “to obey,” “to believe,” “to convince,” or “to be sure.”  In the perfect tense, it means, “to have confidence.”  In terms of the syntax, this is the perfect of existing state.  Using this perfect tense, Paul emphasizes his present state of confidence, which has resulted from a past action. He has total and complete confidence in his own and the Philippians present state of advancement in the spiritual life.  The past action is their spiritual growth which God has honored.  It began at salvation and continues to the time of writing.  So, he is confident in the fact that they are utilizing God’s provision and continuing to grow up spiritually.  The dramatic perfect emphasizes this existing state of spiritual maturity.  This participle is in the active voice; a simple active voice.  Paul produces the action of the verb, confidence, as a result of his spiritual life, which came from combining the grace of God with his own positive volition. 
We can glean at principle from this.  Your positive volition combines with God’s grace to cause your spiritual growth.  Paul had every intention of continuing his spiritual growth, of which confidence is a natural result. Because of his continued spiritual growth, Paul would glorify God.  It is a causal participle, adding the concept of “cause,” so it is best translated “because I have confidence.”
The third person personal pronoun AUTO αὐτὸ follows. Grammatically, it is in the accusative neuter singular of αὐτός. Syntactically, it is the intensive or reflexive use  serving to emphasize what Paul’s great confidence is based upon. So, it isn’t translated as “it” or a “thing” as it could be, but emphatically as “itself” or as the NASB translators do, “very thing.”  We’ll use the term “itself” and place it correctly in the sentence structure later.  We will expand the translation in a minute to include just what “it” is.
We can make an application of the fact that Paul has great confidence. There is no place in the spiritual life for doubt.  Confidence is a spiritual asset, as long as it is based upon the ultimate standard, the Word and perfect character of God. 
Next in Greek word order is the nominative masculine singular of the immediate demonstrative pronoun TOUTO τοῦτο.  It is translated “this” referring to and emphasizing a principle from something in the immediate context.  So Paul’s confidence is placed on a factor in the immediate context of this verse: a principle he teaches in the next phrase.
Right now, we will translate that phrase as: “because I have confidence in this itself.”  “This” again, refers to a principle.  We will derive the source of that principle and be specific about it in a minute or two.  We will see from the next phrase that Paul has confidence in their advance as a principle of doctrine not in the individuals necessarily.  His confidence is in the Lord’s work on their behalf, making their spiritual growth possible.
Some believers have more spiritual setbacks than others.  It may be a matter of environment, bad upbringing or really, just bad decisions!  We all fail!! This is a principle that every believer should receive a bit of relief from.  If you fail from time to time…or are in the middle of failure right now, you are not alone!  God has provided for that failure. If and when you do fail, do you have the tendency to beat yourself about the head and shoulders, kicking yourself in the rear end for that failure?  Remember that God has graciously given each one of us, yes, you too, the perfect provision for recovery.  He has given us a simple mechanic to apply which wipes our slates clean from sin.  Name your sin or sins to God the Father and then move on with your spiritual growth!  Don’t punish yourself, leave that to God!  If He punishes you, it will be from His love for you (I suspect that you don’t punish yourself from love!)  I want to emphasize here, the word: Grace Provision!
You can be sure that as long as you remain positive to the Word of God, as long as you faithfully listen to the teaching of the Word under the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit, despite setbacks, you will advance in the spiritual life. God has provided perfectly for your advance!
…that He who began a good work in you…
Let’s continue with the object of Paul’s confidence.  Just what exactly does Paul have confidence in?  Continuing this verse is HOTI ὅτι, a conjunction translated, “that.”  ENARZAMENOS ἐναρξάμενος follows. This verb is an aorist middle participle, nominative masculine singular from the compound verb, ENERCHOMAI ἐνάρχομαι.  The noun, in its grammatical form means, “to begin.”  It is articular, hence the preceding definite article, HO ὁ.  The articular construction indicates that this is the substantival use of the participle, meaning that it acts as a noun instead of a verb here.  You remember that the last participle we dealt with in the last phrase was verbal. So we will translate it as. “He who began.”  It refers to God the Father who is the subject of this clause.  Syntactically, this is an ingressive aorist tense. It views the Philippians spiritual progress from its beginning at the moment of salvation to the point of their current status, early spiritual adulthood, in its entirety but with the emphasis upon the beginning of their spiritual growth.  
The indirect middle voice emphasizes an agent as producing the action of the verb.  God the Father acts indirectly, through the provision of logistical grace. What is in view here is the provision of God the Father through logistical grace making the Philippians’ spiritual progress possible.  The issue of this middle voice is this; God the Father as the agent of this action  provides what believers need indirectly.  He provides everything to all believers through a doctrinal principle called logistical grace.  It comes to us from the source of His integrity which is His love.  It is dependent upon who and what He is, never upon us. We do not earn it from our good works.   We do nothing to earn it at all nor do we deserve it.  We can take no credit for any aspect of logistical grace with the Father provides.
EN HUMIN ἐν ὑμῖν are the last two words in this phrase. The first word is EN ἐν, a preposition.  It precedes the locative plural from the personal pronoun SU. This can be translated Southern style: “in ya’ll.” SU is in the plural because more than one Philippian believer is mature.  So this phrase is translated: “that He who began in ya’ll…”
We can derive some principles from this phrase: “that He who has begun in ya’ll”  Let’s make this a bit more personal and just say: “…that He who began in you…”
a.       God the Father, who supported the Philippian believers, supports us as well. He begins this support at the point of salvation.
b.      If you are still alive, God has a plan for your life. 
c.       He makes absolutely sure that you will stay alive.  His faithfulness is the issue here. 
d.      We receive everything God provides for us on a totally non-meritorious basis. 
e.       We do not earn or deserve anything we have in this life.
f.       The integrity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is the issue here. We have everything we have because of who and what God is.
g.      Our response to God’s loving support must be twofold:
                                                              i.      First we should be grateful and have an attitude of thanksgiving for everything He has given us.  We must parlay that gratitude into a love response.
                                                            ii.      Secondly, we must translate these logistical grace blessings to blessings of spiritual maturity. 
h.      When we mature, that is when we arrive at the point of being oriented to His grace, we must understand that we haven’t earned or deserved those blessings of maturity anymore than we do the blessings of logistical grace.  Nor do we deserve the wonderful blessings we have when we go through dying grace.  It is all a matter of God’s grace on our behalf.
i.        In our 9th point let’s look at the stages of spiritual growth that every believer goes through and relate them to how God supports us in each stage.
Let’s first look at the period between the instant we were saved to the moment we enter into the first stage of spiritual adulthood.  This period is characterized by spiritual childhood.  We began to learn and to apply the beginning problem-solving devices.  We will be studying these problem solving devices in later studies.  But, as an aside here; there is one which you should already have mastered: that involves taking responsibility for your failures as a believer.  By now, you should be routinely naming your sin or sins to the Father and resuming your spiritual growth after a failure.  During this period of spiritual childhood, you are supported by logistical grace support. 
When you grow spiritually beyond childhood, you enter into the first stage of spiritual adulthood.  You will find that God’s support changes at this point to include more blessing.  This support will sustain you until you reach the next stage of spiritual growth. This second stage of spiritual adulthood’s spiritual growth is characterized by a period of rest and relaxation, a sort of breather before God starts to test your spiritual growth. Here you will develop love for God the Father based upon your newly gained knowledge of Him, not based upon empty, foundationless emotion.  This is not to say, you will not respond with emotion when you appreciate Him, but that emotion will be a response to your knowledge of Him.  Simultaneously developed with your new gained love for Him is virtue love for those in the human race.  We will devote an entire lesson to the concept of virtue love down the road.  Let me give you just a brief explanation of each of these now.
You will learn to love God the Father personally, based upon you knowledge of Him, as you grow spiritually, coming to appreciate Him for who and what He is.  You love Him personally because He fulfills the norms and standards that you have developed from doctrine.  You will come to have virtue love for every member of the human race, emulating Christ’s love for the human race when He sacrificed Himself for it, paying the price for every sin ever committed in human history.  No one in the human race fulfilled our Lord’s norm for objects of love. He loved the human race because of his own virtue.  You will develop a similar virtue from your spiritual growth, loving people because you have virtue and integrity, not because they fit your norms as being those you love personally. 
In this first stage of spiritual adulthood, you will also experience first system of testing.  RB Thieme appropriately called this providential preventative suffering.  God allows you to recieve a dose of undeserved suffering, undeserved to prevent you from getting arrogant from your promotion into spiritual adulthood.  This will keep you from thinking: I’ve arrived…aren’t I great! You may remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh.  That was providential preventative suffering.
Now that you are in the first stage of spiritual adulthood, God supports you with a measure of prosperity blessings as well as your previous logistics. Now, in your next stage of spiritual growth, God gives you more blessings and logistics to carry you through to the next stage of spiritual growth. 
To shorten the duration of our lesson, we’ll jump to the last stage of spiritual adulthood during which you finally reach occupation with Christ.  When you reach occupation with Christ, you will have arrived!  This stage of spiritual adulthood is characterized by an extreme system of testing called evidence Testing.  Here your faith is tested to the maximum.  God supports you with grace blessings which are designed to carry you through this extreme testing.  You may even experience privation as a part of your testing, but you will be supported through it because God will always keep you alive to fulfill his plan for your life.
Finally, you pull through evidence testing and you emerge, totally occupied with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  You have an unshakable reliance upon God.  You are now in the highest status of spiritual growth, the sunum bonum of the Christian way of life.  In this stage, God supports you with a distribution of blessings reserved for the fully mature believer.  You will be prospered fully in the area God intends to prosper you in.  This is where you want to be spiritually!
      Some more principles:
1.      By giving to us the blessings in the Devil’s world, God is glorified.
2.      When God blesses believers with whom you have little rapport or don’t particularly like, God is glorified by the imputation of those blessings to those believers.
3.      God’s faithfulness in providing for us, always depends upon His character, not upon us. 
4.      So the key to life as well as the key to this passage is the faithfulness of God!
               An expanded translation of this verse thus far reads as this:
“I have confidence in this doctrine itself that He who has begun (on the day you were saved) in you…” Philippians 1:6a
…will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Our phrase in this verse reads in the NASB as “…will perfect it…” The Greek reads as this: ERGON AGATHOS EPITELESEI ἒργονἀγαθόςἐπιτελέω
Following the Greek word order, the word “work” or ERGON comes next.  This is the anartharous accusative form of ERGON, translated “deed,” “action” or work.  In this context ERGON ἒργονcan be considered as that which is brought into being by God the Father through logistical grace.  The anartharous construction, that is, lack of the definite article, denotes the incredible quality of logistical grace.  This particular category of grace begins at the moment of salvation.  This continues until you break the maturity barrier at which time these blessings are parlayed into grace blessings to carry you through to the next stage of spiritual adulthood.  As you grow spiritually, God parlays the previous blessings into the blessings for the next stage of spiritual growth. During these times of testing, God will allow you to face intense testing which will require that you apply every bit of doctrine you know.  All of these blessings also form a down payment of the blessings the mature believer will receive in the eternal state. 
The accusative singular direct object of AGATHOS ἀγαθόςcontinues the verse.  AGATHOS ἀγαθόςis translated “good,” but it refers to good of intrinsic value.  God is absolutely perfect perfection so anything that comes from God has to be absolutely intrinsically perfect.  It cannot be less than perfect.  God cannot provide less than that which is perfect.  The word ‘intrinsic’ means that wherever something of quality is found, it still retains its original value.  For instance, gold, ounce for ounce holds the same value whether it’s found in a gold filling, or on your finger as a ring or as bullion.  Gold always holds its value. 
The verse continues with the third person future active indicative of the verb EPITELEW ἐπιτελέω, generally translated “to perform,” “to accept” or “to fully complete.”  The best translation here is “will complete it.”  This gnomic future tense indicates what always happens for the believer who is between the two stages of spiritual adulthood and your spiritual goal, occupation with Christ.  The active voice indicates that the subject of the verb, God the Father produces the action of the verb by supporting the believer logistically.  He did this for the Philippian believers and He does it for all believers who are pressing toward the high ground of occupation with Christ.  The declarative indicative mood indicates that this is a point of absolute truth, a point that can be accepted dogmatically.  God always provides logistical grace!
So far, the translation reads this way:
 “I have confidence in this doctrine itself that He who has begun (on the day you were saved) in you a good work will complete it…” Philippians 1:6
           The final phrase in this verse is: “until the Day of Christ.”  The Greek reads this way: ARCHI HEMERA XRISTOS IESOU ἄχριἡμέραΧριστόςἸησοῦς.
The improper preposition ARCHI ἄχρι, “until,” with the descriptive genitive of three words complete this verse.  The three words are HEMERA ἡμέραXRISTOS ΧριστόςIESOU Ἰησοῦς, “the Day of Christ.”  This is a reference to what theologians call the Rapture of the Church.  This is the time the Church is to be resurrected and transported from the earth to heaven.  Every believer on earth at that time will be resurrected then join our Lord in the air as per 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17.  Believers who have already died will join them there for a time of great worship before being transported to heaven.  Jesus Christ is the central Person involved with the resurrection of the Church.  The point of these words is this: God keeps every believer alive, providing the necessary logistics for spiritual growth, until it is time for that believer to be removed from this life.  This grace will continue to be given to every believer until every Church Age believer is caught up in the sky, at which time, logistics will no longer be necessary. 
The complete verse is translated as
Because I have confidence in this doctrine (logistical grace) itself that He who began a good work in you (grace support from the moment of salvation) will complete or accomplish it until the Day of Christ. Philippians 1:6
Principles:
God has a plan for every Church Age believer.  It has a defined objective; spiritual maturity.
The believer generally progresses through three distinct stages of spiritual growth in spiritual adulthood.  The divine objective is never stated in terms of production but of capacity and concentration upon our Lord.  Works and production are always the result of spiritual growth, never the means.  To make works and production the means of growth is tantamount to legalism.
Saying that God doesn’t have the ability to bring you to these objectives but that you have to help Him by your works, and prayer is blasphemy.  God does not need our help.
 This plan and objective from grace demands logistical grace provision from the Planner.  It will continue until the resurrection or the rapture.  Logistical support will not be needed after the rapture.
 Out of these principles come some conclusions:
1.      As long as you are alive, God has a plan for your life.
2.      You can never divorce that plan from Bible Doctrine resident in your soul.  Orientation to and function in that plan depends upon Bible Doctrine resident in your soul.
3.      All objectives in the spiritual life are accomplished by learning, believing and applying the Word of God.
4.      All positive logistical grace comes through positive volition to doctrine.
5.      All negative logistics come through negative volition to or rejection of Bible Doctrine.  This provision comprises the stages of divine discipline.
One final note on this verse:  It has been used to support the contention that no matter what the believer thinks, says or does, God will continue to make sure that he grows, that God alone guarantees this.  Not so!  This passage refers to the provision available to every Church Age believer for spiritual growth resulting in glorification of God.  God provides everything necessary logistically to grow.  But you, the believer must supply positive volition.  You must make yourself available to the teaching of the Word of God on a daily basis. 

Pertinent Doctrines

Philippians 1:5 Thanksgiving for the Support

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

Chapter Outline

Verse 1-2:        The Salutation

Verse 3-           Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians

Verses 1-2  Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, to those residing in Philippi, together with pastor-teachers and deacons. Grace to you and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Verses 3-4  Every time I remember you, I thank God for all of you.[Always in my every prayer, for of all of you.]

Verse 5     Thanksgiving for Support

Pertinent Verses

“Each person, to the degree he has determined by means of his thinking, so give.  Not from distress of mind or compulsion of emotions; for God loves a grace-oriented giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have an abundance for every good deed.”  2 Corinthians 9:7-8

“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, He will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.” 2 Cor 9:10-12

“But just as you excel in everything in faith-rest and in doctrine and in knowledge and in all diligence of application and in love from you to us, you also excel in this grace giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7

Verse Outline

  1. The Parenthetical Issue
  2. Thanksgiving for the Gift
  3. Motivation for Giving
  4. Purpose for the Gift
  5. The Philippians Faithfulness

1.     The Parenthetical Issue

Now, let’s talk a bit about the parenthetical issue.  Verse 5 continues the thought of verse three after the parenthetical thought presented in verse four.  Verse three reads as this: “I am giving thanks to my God for every memory of you…” Then verse 4, which should be bracketed in parenthesis: [Verse 4: “Always in my every prayer for all of you, when offering prayer with inner happiness.”]The thought then continues in this verse with a prepositional phrase: “because of your contribution…”

Although I have chosen to interpret these verses as parenthetical, there are rationales not to see them as such.  In any case, though Paul may not have been thinking of these words as parenthetical, we can gain the doctrinal thoughts expressed by them this way.

2.     Thanksgiving for the Gift

Let’s start our study of this verse with a reading of the first phrase from the NASB.  It’s a great translation to begin our study with because of its accuracy.Verse 5 begins as: “…in view of your participation…”  (NASB)The Greek reads as: “…ἐπὶτῇκοινωνίᾳὑμῶν…EPI TE KOINONIA HUMON…”

This prepositional phrase begins withEPIἐπὶ, a preposition, translated “because of” by virtue of its being placed with the instrumental case, in this case, the instrumental of cause.  A preposition can change its meaning or in some cases, its nuance, depending upon what case it precedes.

TE τῇ, a definite articlein the instrumental feminine singular, follows. This is the identifying use of the article, which points out and identifies the Philippians generous participation in Paul’s ministry.It is translated: “because of the…”

KOINONIA κοινωνίᾳ follows.Grammatically, it is a noun in the instrumental feminine singular.  Syntactically, it’s an instrumental of cause which is often translated “fellowship,” or “participation.”  Precedence exists in two other verses that give credence to the translation “contribution,” referring to monetary giving. KOINONIA is translated in the NASB as “participation.”  In 2 Corinthians 8:4, the NASB translates KOINONIA as, “participation.”  This verse reads as: “…begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.” The context for this “participation” in verse four is the “support of the saints,” a reference to generous monetary giving, a financial contribution, in other words.

The NASB actually translates KOINONIA as “contribution” in 2 Corinthians 9:13.  The context again, being monetary giving:

“Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the Gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all.” 2 Corinthians 9:13

In this verse, “participation” fits the overall context of the passage because no phrase further defines the form of their participation.  Their participation included giving, intercessory prayer and companionship.  We have already discussed the procedure and importance of prayer in verse four.   Because their giving was such an important aspect of their participation, we will look closely at that factor.

The last word in this phrase isthepersonal pronounHUMNὑμῶνin the genitive plural. Syntactically, it is a genitive of possession, meaning: “of you all” or “your.”This all leads to a corrected translation of this prepositional phrase: “because of your participation.”

3.     The Philippians’ Motivation for Giving

These believers were Paul’s logistical support.  They were, from theirwealth, in some cases, poverty in others, expressing their gratitude toward God for Paul by supporting him.As a result of their attitude of gratitude they were the only church to support Paul.  They may haveheard that Paulwas making tents for a living.  Yet he was the foremost Bible teacher at that time because he was the only apostle who thoroughly understood the many facets of the then-new church age.  They knew he had an important mission to accomplish which demanded all of his time and energy.  He did not need the distractions of tent-making.  So, they gathered up and sent him sizable monetary gifts that freed up his time so that he was able to spend his time studying, teaching and evangelizing.By supporting him, they were participating in his ministry, just as if they were standing behind him as he taught.They had been supporting him with their gifts since he became a mature believer.

God uses advancing believers to support their pastor to liberate his time for study.  By giving to Paul, they transformed their spiritual prosperity into material prosperity for Paul.This concept becomes blessing to both parties.  This is mutual blessing by association.

Doctrine of Giving

  1. Definition
  2. The Motivation for Giving
  3. The Doctrinal Principles of Giving
  4. Giving related to Pastor-Teacher and Evangelism
  5. The Grace Concept of Giving
  6. The True Meaning of Tithing

4.     Purpose of the Gift

This verse continues with the purpose of the gifts by which Paul was being supported.  The next phrase in the NASB reads: “in the Gospel.”  The Greek looks like this: EIS TOEUANGGELIONεςτεαγγέλιον. This phrase begins with the preposition EISεἰς then is followed by a noun in the accusative of purpose.  The grammar and syntax following the preposition determines its meaning and usage. In this case, EIS is translated as “for the purpose of.” TOτ, which follows,is a definite articlein the accusative neuter singular. This is the monadic use of the definite article, translated “the”which points out and underscores the uniqueness of the Gospel of Christ.  It is translated as, “for the purpose of the…” Let me emphatically underscore the definite article, “the.”  It really points out, underscores and emphasizes the importance of what follows.

The next word is EUANGGELIONεαγγέλιονin the accusative of purpose, neuter singular, translated, “good news.”  This good news is the best ever, referring to our Lord’s Person and work on the Cross.  We will translate it “Gospel.”  So the entire phrase is translated, ‘for the purpose of the Gospel.”

The accusative of purpose asks a question:“To what purpose does the action of the main verb pertain to?”The main verbal idea of this sentence is Paul’s thanksgiving for their support or participation in his ministry.   It reads, “I am giving thanks for your support or participation.”

Paul’s thanksgiving,then, is related to their support which is for the sole purpose of Gospel communication.So, a corrected translation of this prepositional phrase is: for the purpose of the Gospel…”We can expand the translation of this phrase to:“..for the purpose of spreading the Gospel.”  This inserts the word “spreading” which takes into consideration goals of Gospel communication, which is to spread it to as many people as possible. Those who are positive to the Gospel will respond to Jesus Christ. Those who are negative will reject the Gospel.  A person isn’t born being either positive or negative to the Gospel.  This simply reflects the choices a person makes, which makes the prepared to respond to the Spirit’s authority or reject it.  It always boils down the issue of volition.

Beyond communicating the Gospel, believers must be taught the entire realm of doctrine to ensure their spiritual maturity.  This phrase includes Paul’s role, not only evangelization but also the further communication of unique Church Age doctrine.We all tend to emphasize Paul’s role in doctrinal teaching and communication due to his fantastic writings,but he was also an incredible evangelist.Our translation of verse 5, as far as we’ve gotten is this:

“…because of your contribution for the purpose of spreading the Gospel…”

This brings up another categorical study: The Doctrine of Witnessing.

The Doctrine of Witnessing

  1. Introduction
  2. Definition and Description
  3. The Role of God the Holy Spirit
  4. The Issue: Faith Alone in Christ Alone
  5. The Weapon of Witnessing
  6. Mental Attitude in Witnessing
  7. Principles of Witnessing
  8. The Analogy to Witnessing

5.     The Philippians’ Faithfulness

The NASB translates the next phrase as:“from the first day…”The original Greek reads as: APO TES PROTES HEMERAS ARCHI TOU NUNπτςπρώτηςμέρας.  This is another prepositional phrase.  It begins with APO π. It is a preposition followed by an article in the ablative of separation meaning, “from.”Next is the definite article, TESτςused as in this case as a demonstrative pronoun meaning: “that.”PROTES πρώτηςtranslated,“first” is a sequential adjective is next.Next is the noun HEMERASμέραςtranslated “day.”This entire phrase is translated,“from that first day…”  It refers to the first time the Philippians contributed to Paul while he was in Corinth.

An attic Greek or classical Greek phrase concludes this verse: the NASB translates as: “until now.” The Greek reads: ARCHI TOU NUN χριτονν.  ARCHIχριis an improper preposition translated, “until.” Next is TOUτο, the genitive of the definite article.  Then NUNνν an adverb of time translated “…until now,” referring to the time of writing when Paul had received a generous gift from the Philippian believers.  The final translation of  verse 3 and 5 reads this way:

“I am giving thanks to my God for every memory of you because of your participation for the purpose of spreading the Gospel from that first day until now.”

Philippians 1:4 The Pleasure of Prayer

 Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

Pertinent Verses

ü     Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses never cease, for His compassions never fail.  It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have confidence in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.  Lamentations 3: 20-25
ü     But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  Matthew 6:5-8 NASB
ü     I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. Ephesians 1:18-19

ü     With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints… Ephesians 6:18

Verse Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Prayer
  3. Inclusiveness in Prayer: Doctrine of Prayer

1. Introduction

As we continue our study of Paul’s prayer, we need to take up two introductory considerations.  The first deals with the structure of the original language of the text.  We can better understand this verse if we understood it as being parenthetical. Some theologians do not consider this to be parenthetical, and for good reasons.  I’m not sure that Paul, when dictating this letter to Timothy, who functioned as his secretary, thought in terms of formal written sentence construction.  What is important are the words he spoke and what they mean.  The meaning of this verse doesn’t change whether you interpret it parenthetically or otherwise.  I interpret this verse parenthetically because reading from verse three to five reads very smoothly.  At this point we will ignore the parenthesis issue, study verse 4 with its accompanying principles and doctrines, then deal with the parenthesis issue later.
The second issue of introduction deals with the subject of this verse, which is prayer.  Generally speaking, most people do not associate prayer with pleasure or even consider it to be fun.  Certainly, it is hard work because it takes concentration, thought and mental organization. However, we will note that Paul takes great pleasure in his prayer life.  Your prayer life should be fulfilling and a great pleasure as well.  But, how often do believers sit down or even lay down with an agenda for prayer from their prayer list and be fast asleep before they even begin to thank God for His graciousness, provision and plan!  Fortunately, God reads our souls! He is omniscient, knowing your every thought long before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye.  He has read and understood what you would have prayed had you maintained your vigilant wakefulness.  Furthermore, had you named your sins to the Father before you fell asleep then you can be confident that you spent the night being filled with the Spirit, logging time in the Spirit, which is rewarded. Now this is grace!
Getting back to our point here; prayer takes effort, not only because it requires great concentration but also because praying correctly is complex.  As a matter of fact, even the simplest prayer, the cry for help, requires correct procedure.  The bottom line is this: we need to learn how to pray.  We need to learn prayer mechanics if we are going to prayer effectively. There is a right way and a wrong way to pray. No prayer offered apart from Biblical mechanics, presented in the Word, is either effective or heard. For all practical purposes, if you offer any prayer outside of the protocol presented in the Word, that prayer is going to bounce off the ceiling.  Any prayer beyond, “Help me, Father!” or a confession prayer, naming your sins to the Father, requires that you reach a certain point in your spiritual growth.
Both pleasure and effectiveness in prayer require spiritual growth. The greater your spiritual maturity, the more effective, the more dynamic and the greater pleasure your prayer life will be.  Dynamic, effective and pleasurable prayer belongs to believers in the various stages of spiritual maturity.

2. Prayer

Now, let us begin our exegesis of verse 4.  The first phrase, as the NASB translators have written, reads thusly: “always in my every prayer…”  The Greek looks like this, πάντοτε ν πάσ δεήσει μου PANTOTE EN PASE DESEI MOU.  This first phrase begins with πάντοτε PANTOTE, an adverb of time, best translated, “always,” or “at all times.”  This is followed by the preposition ν EN, followed by a word in the locative, so translated, “in.”  Often the case of the word after a preposition will change or alter the meaning of the preceding preposition.
Next is the adjective πάς PAS. Here it is in the locative feminine singular form, grammatically: πάσ PASE.  Syntactically, it is a locative of sphere.  The locative case generally indicates a particular point, geographically, a point in time, or a point in a succession of events.  But this locative is a figurative expression, indicating a logical sphere, hence the translation, “every.”  Next is the noun δεήσει DESEI, in the same locative feminine singular, also a locative of sphere, referring to prayer.  This noun of course, continues this prepositional phrase.  The final word in this prepositional phrase, the personal pronoun μου MOU is derived from EGO, the pronoun, “I.”  Grammatically, EGO is in the genitive form, first person singular.  Syntactically it is a possessive pronoun translated, “of mine.”  Our translation thus far reads: “always, in my every prayer…”
Now, let’s look at some prayer principles as they relate to δεήσει DESEI.
1. This noun is used most often as a noun of petition or of request to God, so it comes to mean prayer.  It may either refer to a prayer of petition, that is, for yourself or a prayer of intercession, praying for others.  Context generally indicates which is in view.
2. Paul is not saying here that he prays all of the time, but when he is praying, whether it is once an hour or once a day, he remembers the Philippian believers in those prayers.
3. Prayer is a personal matter, strictly between each believer and God the Father. It is a privilege, but whether or not you pray is a matter of application of your own priesthood. It should come that as you become more mature, the more you will pray and the more effective your prayers become.
4.  Paul enjoys prayer. Every believer should!
5. By this verse, Paul challenges every believer to have the same attitude in prayer as he does.  For each one of us to pray effectively and to take great pleasure in prayer, we must all achieve spiritual maturity.

3. Inclusiveness in Prayer

This verse continues with another prepositional phrase, which in the NASB reads, “for you all…” Our principle is this: Paul includes every Philippian believer in his prayer of thanksgiving.  There has been some evidence of a conflict within either the leadership or rank and file of the Philippian Church but Paul is not taking sides.
The Greek reads as πρ πάντων μν HUPER PANTONE HUMON.  The preposition πρ HUPER with which this phrase begins is with the genitive so it is translated, “on behalf of.” Next is the πάντων PANTONE, the genitive plural form of πάς PAS, an adjective is translated, “all.” The genitive plural of the personal pronoun SU, μν HUMON completes this phrase.  This pronoun, serving as the direct object of πρ HUPER, is translated, “of you.”
Paul is not leaving out anyone in the Philippian church.  He is expressing thanksgiving to God for every believer in Philippi.  Now, some commentators cite evidence of a brewing conflict within the church, and they take it from this prayer that he is not taking sides.  He is not leaving anyone out of his thanksgiving no matter where they stand in the conflict. Every believer is included in Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving. If there had been some problems going on in Philippi, wouldn’t it follow that one side of the conflict was on the right doctrinally while other wrong, getting into some form of heresy?  If this was so, why wouldn’t Paul align himself with the correct side then take the opportunity to offer some corrective advice to those in the wrong?
This is a prayer of thanksgiving. Because Paul was operating under the principle of virtue love, a principle we’ve discussed before, his great integrity shows here.  He is grateful for their spiritual growth and rapport with God and himself. Paul understood that no one benefits from taking sides in a prayer of this nature.  Syntactically, this is a genitive of advantage that denotes that it is to the Philippian believers’ advantage to be remembered to the Father as the subject of Paul’s persistent prayers. Our translation of verse 4, as far as we have gone is this:
ü     Always in my every prayer, on behalf of all of you…  Philippians 1:4
Now, at this point in our study we need to turn to the doctrine of prayer.  If we are going to pray effectively, as we have been mandated to, then we need to master every principle in this study.
Chapter Outline
Verse 1-2:        The Salutation
Verse 3-           Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians
ü    1. Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, to those residing in Philippi, together with pastor-teachers and deacons.
ü    2. Grace to you and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
ü    3. I am giving thanks to my God for every memory on the basis of every memory of you.
ü    4. Always in my every prayer, on behalf of all of you.

Philippians 1:3 Thanksgiving, Memory and Blessing by Association

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

Presented to Teleios Bible Church by Pastor Jim Oliver
PowerPoint Presentation at AuthorStream.com

Chapter Outline
Verses 1-2: The Salutation

Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, to those residing in Philippi, together with pastor-teachers and deacons. Grace to you and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:1-2

Verse 3: Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians

Pertinent Verses

Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s loving kindnesses never cease, for His compassions never fail. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I have confidence in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. Lamentations 3: 20-25

Verse Outline
A Introduction
B Thanksgiving
Doctrine of Thanksgiving
C Memory
Doctrine of Memory
Doctrine of Blessing by Association

I Introduction

With this verse, we move from the salutation of Philippians to the general body of the letter.  The first thing on Paul’s mind is thanksgiving.  In this study, we are going to look closely at the subject of thanksgiving.  Actually, I like the term, “gratitude” better because it does not conjure up visions of turkey and football!  Paul’s first thought with regard to gratitude is its direction.  He is grateful to God, even though the Philippians believers financially supported him.  So, in this study, not only are we going to determine to whom our thanksgiving should be directed, but also seek to answer other vital questions about Christian gratitude. First, what is the point of studying thanksgiving?  Second, we need to determine what attitude or structure of thought in our soul we should gain from studying gratitude. Thanksgiving seems like such an obvious concept!  It seems obvious but for Church Age believers, an incredible dynamic results from gratitude and spiritual growth.  We also need to understand the relationship between our capacity for gratitude and our spiritual growth.  Gratitude or thanksgiving alone has dynamics, which can change your life.  For instance, gratitude can protect you from all kinds of arrogance sins, such as bitterness, self-pity and preoccupation with yourself.  Therefore, for you and I, as Church Age believers, thanksgiving or gratitude is a technical term that relates to and results from spiritual growth.

II Thanksgiving

The beginning of this verse and prayer indicates Paul’s great capacity for life. The foremost factor in his life, in his thinking, is gratitude; gratitude toward God.  He has just received a sizable monetary gift from the Philippian believers, yet his first thought is gratitude toward God. A person can have no greater focus, no greater attitude in life than gratitude toward God.  The NASB, which is the starting point for our translation reads as: “I thank my God…”  The Greek reads as, Εὐχαριστῶτῷθεῷμου EUCHARISTO TO THEO MOU.
Let us first look at these Greek words closely to see what Paul wrote and what he meant by these words.  The first word of the verse is Εὐχαριστῶ EUCHARISTO, a verb, grammatically in the present active indicative, first person singular.  We derive the noun “Eucharist,” a name for the Lord’s Table or Communion Table from this verb.  The Lord’s Table is a time of both remembrance and thanksgiving for the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Syntactically, this is a customary present tense. It denotes an activity that habitually occurs.  Whenever Paul prays, he includes thanksgiving as a part of his prayers.  Translations include “I thank,”  “I keep thanking” or “I am thanking.” The simple active voice of the verb indicates that Paul, as founder of the Philippian Church, produced the action of the verb, gratitude.  The declarative indicative mood of the verb denotes the historical reality of Paul’s thanksgiving.
The second word in this phrase, τῷ TO, the definite article, using the monadic function, denotes God’s uniqueness.  He is the one and only God.  There is no other God.  Syntactically, τῷ TO is a dative of indirect object.  There is no way to bring this word into the English, so we do not directly translate it.  The next word, θεῷTHEO is the dative of indirect object from the proper noun THEOS, translated, God.  It refers to God the Father to whom all we address all prayer.  The proper possessive pronoun μουMOU, in genitive singular from EGO, translated, “my” follows.  This genitive indicates personal relationship.  Every Church Age believer has an intensely personal relationship with the Father due to His gracious plan and provision.  He thought of and provided for every believer long before Jesus Christ created the universe.
Paul was able to keep his thinking straight in those times of great pressure because of his priority: concentration upon his personal relationship with God the Father!  The degree of Paul’s concentration indicates his degree of gratitude toward God. This factor gave Paul great soul capacity for life including thanksgiving.  One result of his gratitude was his ability to recall and to enjoy his memories, which protected him from stress.  These are historically difficult times in this country.  Do you suffer stress from these threats and economic hardships?  If so, you need to take a close look at your spiritual life.  These words, τῷθεῷμουTO THEO MOU, translated “my God,” refer to God the Father who receives thanksgiving, the action of Paul’s prayer. God is Paul’s first priority in life. His relationship with God gave him an incredible capacity for thanksgiving!  The translation of this verse reads, as far as we have translated read this way:
ü  I am giving thanks to my God…Philippians 1:3a

Let us further into the concept of gratitude and thanksgiving in this separate study.

III Memory

At this point in his life, Paul had lived a long and full life. By modern human standards, Paul was no doubt a lonely man.  He was under house arrest and had been under the authority of a prison guard for a couple of years.  However, he had wonderful memories of past years and of the congregations to whom he had taught doctrine. Being under house arrest, he had the opportunity to remember those whose company he enjoyed.  Applying the principles of memory, remembering past circumstances and people whose company you have enjoyed can be one of the richest blessings in life.  Like other blessings, this one also requires great capacity for life.  Gaining capacity for life is dependant upon making the right choices in life.  Paul, since the time he believed in Jesus Christ, made wonderful decisions so he possessed the ability to recall many facets of his life with great pleasure.  He was probably alone when he wrote this letter, not enjoying the company of too many people, especially the company of those he had loved over the years.  These people were now far away yet he possessed the capacity to enjoy his aloneness and bring back into his conscious mind the great times he had shared with the Philippian believers.
God has designed the time the mature believer is alone with thoughts and memories as a time of great blessing.  Only mature believers have capacity for aloneness.  God designed previously experienced social life as something to be remembered as an expression of capacity, to be recalled repeatedly with pleasure.  For instance, when you have true friends, you can bring them back to mind, enjoying and appreciating them even though they may be far away in either time or space.  Being able to do this requires capacity for life.
On the other hand, if you have made bad decisions in your life, creating only bad memories, they may become one of the greatest curses in your life.  If you have a terrible pre-Christian past, as did Paul, only spiritual growth can deliver you from bad memories.  Only with the power of the Spirit and the Scripture in your life, coupled with your desire to continue growing, can you escape bad memories.  Paul, as an unbeliever committed heinous acts, which ordinarily result in great mental distress.
üBrethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  Philippians 3:13
Because God the Holy Spirit filled and empowered him, circulating the Word though his soul, he was able to avoid focusing on his past failures and focus upon his relationship with God.  God the Holy Spirit graciously replaces occupation of memories of past failures with capacity for life.  If you have a soulful of good memories, having had your bad memories negated by your spiritual life, these good memories will protect you from hang-ups, from stupid thoughts, depression or even suicide.
The next phrase reads in the NASB as: “in all my remembrance of you.”  The Greek sounds like this: ἐπὶπάσῃτῇμνείᾳὑμῶνEPI PASE TE MNEIA HUMON.  These words constitute a prepositional phrase, beginning with the preposition ἐπὶ EPI.  This preposition precedes a word in the dative case, in this case a dative of advantage.  The case of the word after a preposition often changes its meaning, or at least the nuance of its meaning.  This dative of advantage, a syntactical issue, indicates the people for whose benefit someone does something. This preposition is translated, “on the basis of.”  The Philippians form the basis for Paul’s thanksgiving.
Next is the adjective πάσῃPASE. Grammatically, it is a dative feminine singular from the adjective PAS, meaning “all.”  These two words EPI PASE are best translated, “on the basis of all” or “because of all.”  “All” emphasizes that every Philippian believer is included in Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving.  Paul leaves no one out of his prayer.  Syntactically, this dative of advantage indicates the great advantage these believers had by being remembered to God the Father by the Apostle.
The monadic, identifying use of the definite article τῇ TE follows, pointing out something uniquely important.  Because this article precedes the noun, μνείᾳMENIA, it is an articular noun.  It is in the dative feminine singular.  Because the preceding article is monadic, you can consider these memories as unique to Paul, unique because the Philippians were a beloved, special congregation to him.  This monadic article τῇTE, identifies the memory and distinguishes it from all other memories.  The noun, μνείᾳMENIA means “remembrance,” “recollection” “memory” or “mention.”  In remembering the Philippian believers, he prays for them, in terms of both thanksgiving and intercession.  In the following verses, we will discover why he is praying for them and what his specific prayer agenda is.  Not only is this ministry of intercession an apostle’s responsibility but it belongs to every believer as well.  That the noun is in the dative, syntactically, the dative of advantage, indicates that it is to the Philippians advantage to be remembered and so prayed for by Paul.
The last word in this phrase is the personal pronoun ὑμῶνHUMON.  All Greek words that deal with memory have objects in the genitive case.  This case is no different.  This pronoun appears as a genitive of possession in the feminine plural, and so translated, “of you,” “your” or “of ya’ll,”  if you are from the south!
The verse so far sounds like this:
üI am giving thanks to my God on the basis of every memory of you.  Philippians 1:3
A looser, more comfortable, translation might read as this: “Every time I remember you, I thank God for you all.”
We can draw some conclusions about Paul’s capacity of soul for life and his great capacity for thanksgiving as related to his memory.  These Philippian believers are a wonderful memory for Paul, causing him to thank God for every one of them. Why are they such a great memory for him?  This leads us to an introspective question every believer ought to ask of himself: “Am I a pleasant memory to anyone else as these believers were to Paul?”  Depending upon your capacity for life, either you, in anyone’s soul, are a pleasant memory, causing someone to recall your memory with pleasure with thanksgiving to God or an unpleasant memory, someone they would just as soon forget!  What has caused these Philippian believers to be such a positive and pleasant memory to Paul?  He dearly loved them for their fierce positive volition, their enthusiasm for the Word of God.  He loved them for their love of the Lord!
Paul, then, has taken a few moments to pause, to remember and to thank God for his memories and for those he remembers.  He was a mature believer with his spiritual life intact, denoted by the active voice of εὐχαριστέωEUCHARISTEO, in which he produces the action of thanksgiving.  His priority was thanksgiving directed toward God.  His sharp and vivid memory demonstrates his great capacity for life!  What a privilege for these Philippians to be such a fragrance in his soul, to be remembered by him!  How do you become a fragrance of memory to someone? You must be growing spiritually to be a pleasant memory for others.  Paul remembered the Philippian believers as a pleasant, wonderful memory because of their rapport of spiritual advance.  He did not remember them because they had great personalities, rapport or physical attractiveness but because of their spiritual priorities.  Believers who attain spiritual maturity because of spiritual priorities invariably become a pleasant fragrance of memories to others as well as source of blessing by association.  As these Philippian believers advanced spiritually by means of his teaching, some became wealthy.  Because Paul was in their memory, because they were grateful to God for him, they wanted to do something for him.  Therefore, they shared their grace blessings of wealth with him as he shared his doctrine with them.  This is mutual blessing by association.  The Lord used this concept to support Paul, for the Philippians for quite sometime, were his sole support.  Because of their spiritual rapport, they became a blessing to Paul as they were doctrinally blessed through him.
A mature believer can meet someone for a short time and be a blessing to that person for the rest of his life. Being a blessing by association to others is a part of the prosperity blessings imputed to the believer upon maturing spiritually.  By means of Bible doctrine, God molds the maturing, advancing believer into a pleasant memory for others.  No believer should ever attempt to impress people with a façade.  A mature believer will be able to relax and be himself.  This kind of blessing by association overflows into the next category of blessing, historical impact.
Paul also had historical impact in his day, which has carried over into our modern times!  He is still remembered and enjoyed because he left to us his Spirit inspired writings, the source of unique Church Age doctrines.  These Philippian believers also had historical impact, which overflowed into the preservation of the Roman Empire.
When a person gives graciously to others because of the fragrance of memories, there are no strings attached!  This is proper giving.  The giver expects nothing in return, is not giving to impress, not giving expecting something in return, but is simply expressing his own capacity for life.  God used the Philippians’ blessing of wealth to support Paul under the principle of blessing by association.  He received gifts from them on at least three occasions, which may have been the monetary equivalent of a million dollars each time they gave.  You see, these Philippian believers had capacity and expressed it by supporting Paul.  He wrote about the Philippians’ generosity at least three times:
üWhen I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”  2 Corinthians 11:9 (NASB)
Why did Paul add the statement; “and will continue to do so?” The Philippians were supporting him so well that his detractors accused him of trying to profiteer from the ministry!
üYou yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.”  Philippians 4:15-16 (NASB)
üBut I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity…Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.”  Philippians 4: 10 & 14 (NASB)
This verse demands that we take up two additional studies; “Doctrine of Memory” and Doctrine of Blessing by Association”
Let me conclude this lesson with one important principle: as just one citizen in a country of millions, you may not think that you have much of an opportunity to have impact your nation.  Let me tell you this: you have the opportunity to have the most fantastic impact on your nation.  If you live in the USA, your potential impact may be greater than the president may!  Is your nation undergoing hardship of one nature or another?  Have terrorists attacked your country, or is your government corrupt?  Are your freedoms diminishing or non-existent?  How can you play a part in improving things?  Listen!  Sit down; listen to the teaching of the Word of God, grow in grace!  Become a conduit of blessings to those around you.  Because you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the fortune of your nation is on your shoulders.
This concludes our study of Philippians 1:3, the beginning of Paul’s prayer.  The corrected translation reads:
ü  Every time I remember you, I thank God for all of you.  Philippians 1:3

Philippians 1:2/ Concluding the Salutation

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For more information on this, read this article.

Concluding the Salutation

Presented to Teleios Bible Church by Pastor Jim Oliver
PowerPoint Presentation at AuthorStream.com

Pertinent Verses

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 NASB

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 NASB

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed… 2 Corinthians 9:8 NASB

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Ephesians 1:5-8 NASB

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Verse Outline

Introduction
The Dramatic Grace Crescendo
The Doctrine of Grace
The Crescendo
Grace Prosperity
Doctrine of Reconciliation
The Source of Grace
The Door to Grace

Introduction

Paul begins the second verse of the salutation with what appears, on the surface, to be a simple greeting. However, he packed every word he wrote with truths with which every Church Age believer should be very familiar. Because these Philippian believers were mature believers, Paul needed do nothing more than remind them of these doctrines. Often He did this by simply mentioning a single word or phrase. This phrase would bring back to their thinking everything that relates to that word. Many modern Christians often need more than a one-word reminder of certain doctrines because unfortunately today, the average believer is too often unfamiliar with these great and important truths. Verse one of this book demonstrates an example of this concept. The word, “saint” for instance, should evoke in your memory a series of extremely important doctrines. These include the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Sanctification, Eternal Security and others as well. We took some time to study the word, “saint” as a part of verse one. Now, whenever you come across the word, “saint,” you should now remember that God has sanctified you! You should understand every ramification of that fact!

Why should we take the time to learn these doctrines? Church Age believers are spiritual royalty. In order to live like spiritual royalty, God has bestowed upon us many Biblical truths that are unique to this Church Age. The doctrine of sanctification is just one doctrine that we, as Church Age believers, need to master in order to orient ourselves to this life as spiritual royalty. Again, Paul just mentions these one-word reminders to these Philippian believers because he knows that they have mastered them. Paul begins this second verse with another one-word reminder of one of the most fantastic doctrines taught in the Word of God.

Paul continues this salutation with a word whose impact, when thoroughly understood should leave you in total awe of what God has done for you. That word is CHARIS, grace! This term expresses the outpouring of God’s integrity and virtuous love and resultant compassion to those who have received His salvation solution to the problems of life. Furthermore, the realization of what God has provided to each one of us, to every Church Age believer, in this Age of ages should be overwhelming. However, we need to learn them before we can fully appreciate His grace and love Him in return for what He has done for us.

The Dramatic Crescendo

Let us begin our study of this verse with the NASB translation of the first phrase of this verse. It reads in the NASB, “Grace to you and peace…” In the Greek: CHARIS HUMIN KAI EIRENE. The first word in the first phrase of this verse is χάρις CHARIS, a nominative feminine singular noun, translated “Grace.” Because CHARIS appears in an introduction without a predicate, we consider it a nominative absolute. It functions as the logical but not the syntactical subject of the clause. “CHARIS!” or “Grace!” was a common Roman greeting, not unlike the Hebrew Shalom, which means “Peace” or “Prosperity.” Both of these are valid translations of the well-known Hebrew greeting. Many theologians take this statement to be just that: a simple greeting; but Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, never wasted words. The accurate meaning from the immediate context of this word, as we will see, brings to mind a great truth of God.

The next word, HUMIN, grammatically, the dative second person personal pronoun is the complement or indirect object of the predicator, “grace.” Syntactically, this personal pronoun is a dative of advantage. With CHARIS, it is correctly translated, “Grace to you…” This dative of advantage indicates that recipients of the predicator’s action have a great advantage in life. In this case, to be under God’s grace is to be the recipient of the most incredible system of assets ever! It is to your advantage for God to focus His grace upon you. This is the greatest advantage in human history. How often do you look at someone who has monetary wealth and say that the person has the real advantage. How often does someone of a minority race allege that the majority race has the advantage? The real issue in life is spiritual, not economic and not racial! Neither race, gender, nor economic level determines spiritual advantage. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are related to Him who owns the cattle on a thousand hills! The dative of advantage of this personal pronoun focuses crosshairs of a scope on the soul of every believer and pinpoints God’s incredible grace toward him. I do not know if you have ever looked through an expensive rifle scope! The one object you focus upon is sharp and vividly visible. With the crosshairs, your attention and concentration focuses sharply on that one object. So it is with the grace of God and your soul. God has focused and brought incredible grace factors together, aimed them at you, providing perfectly for you, Church Age believer, but, if you do not know these grace factors, you cannot exploit them! Did you know that once you are under God’s grace, nothing can ever remove you from that advantageous status? No believer can remove himself from God’s grace! No believer can remove himself from God’s love. No believer can remove himself from God’s perfect provision and blessing! These two words, again, read as, “Grace to you…”

Now, let us take a closer look at the concept of grace. What does it really mean? Briefly defined, grace is all that God is free to do for each member of the human race without compromising His essence, that is, who and what He is. Grace means favor, kindness, and mercy, based entirely upon our Lord Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, bearing the punishment for every sin committed by every member of the entire human race. This wonderful grace includes every detail of God’s plan for every individual human being, from the beginning as spiritually dead ones to the potential of eternally glorifying God and ruling with Christ. Let us now turn our attention to a more detailed study of this fantastic, matchless grace!

The Doctrine of Grace

The Crescendo

To this point in our study, we have translated the first two words: CHARIS HUMIN; Grace to you! The entire first phrase we are studying reads in the NASB as: “Grace to you and peace. The Greek reads this way: CHARIS HUMIN KAI EIRENE. The next word, the conjunction καὶ KAI, is translated “and so” because of its ascensive use. This ascensive use denotes that what condition follows results or arises from what precedes. The name Irene derived is from the next word, EIRENE. This noun came into the Greek language from and was equivalent to the Hebrew greeting, SHALOM. This nominative word, like CHARIS, above fulfills the syntactic requirements of a nominative absolute. It is in the feminine gender and singular in person. Though generally translated “peace,” the syntax of this phrase indicates that EIRENE, should be correctly translated, “prosperity!” Prosperity follows grace! If you follow God’s plan for your life, exploiting His grace, then prosperity will follow! It is as simple as that! The Philippian believers illustrate this pattern for us. They maximally exploited God’s grace provision by concentrating on the doctrines Paul taught them. Remember the “Parable of the Talents?” Our Lord taught this same truth. The servant to whom our Lord gave 10 talents exploited that grace by investment and fulfilled his lord’s plan for him. These Philippian believers invested the grace they were given so they fulfilled God’s plan for their lives by growing in grace so prosperity from the source of God followed.

Grace prosperity is the sum total of those blessings He imputes to believers after achieving spiritual maturity. This is a far cry from the common understanding of EIRENE, which is “peace” or simply the lack of warfare! This phrase then should be translated as: “Grace to you and so prosperity!”

These words, according to AT Robertson, form a crescendo, which dramatizes the entire concept. Paul waxes dramatic with these words. Every music lover loves and thoroughly appreciates the crescendo. The music begins softly then swells to a higher volume, fullness and intensity. A well-timed and perfectly executed crescendo thrills the music aficionado! Paul’s verbal crescendo, just as thrilling, begins with the word, grace. Is grace a quiet pastoral concept from which we would expect a crescendo to grow? I would have to say not! Paul begins this crescendo with the most fantastic principle of God’s perfect integrity then builds it to an even greater and higher intensity.

What can follow grace? Grace Prosperity! Paul’s crescendo builds from grace to grace prosperity. What can possibly follow God’s grace to heighten and intensify our appreciation of Him? What results from our exploitation of God’s grace? EIRENE, prosperity from the very source of God, Himself follows grace! Grace prosperity is perfect prosperity from the perfect hand of God. Grace prosperity emphatically results from the grace of our Lord. An expanded translation of these words sounds like this:

Now let us back up a moment here, why are we translating EIRENE as prosperity instead of the well-known definition, “peace?” First, a bit of background here: As I mentioned a bit earlier, the Greek word EIRENE came from the Hebrew word, SHALOM, which was and still is used as a salutation and greeting in the modern Hebrew, so the use of EIRENE would be a simple salutatory greeting were it not preceded by that ascensive use of the conjunction KAI. Its ascensive use changes the context of EIRENE and so its connotation from peace to prosperity. So EIRENE, usually translated peace, as in world peace, possesses as its true meaning in this context, “prosperity.”

Grace to you for your benefit and so prosperity!  Philippians 1:2a

The concept or application is this: If you put yourself in the middle of the positive side of God’s grace, then what follows from this grace exploitation is the wonderfully fantastic prosperity described in Ephesians 3:20 as “above and beyond all that we can ask or think.” This fact is just as true for you today as it was for the Philippian believers in AD 62. They illustrated one category of their prosperity, monetary wealth, by the generous gifts that they sent Paul. The Philippian believers exploited God’s grace by placing themselves under the spiritual authority of their prepared pastor teacher thereby growing to spiritual maturity. God, then, rewarded their spiritual maturity with grace prosperity! God has mandated that every Church Age believer exploit His grace in the same manner. Now let us consider the doctrine of grace prosperity.

Grace Prosperity
Doctrine of Reconciliation

The expanded translation of the first words in this verse is, “Grace to you for your benefit and so prosperity…” You have not lived until you have enjoyed the benefits of grace prosperity. This prosperity from the grace of God, from the source of God, Himself results from your advance to spiritual maturity. God designed grace prosperity to give you an encouragement, to give you a glimpse of how great Heaven will be. These temporal blessings become the down payment on eternal blessings. If you receive grace prosperity in time then you know that you will receive your imputation of blessings in eternity.

The Source of Grace

Paul continues this verse by revealing to us the source of this wonderful grace. The NASB reads, “from God our Father…” The Greek reads as: APO THEOU PATROS HEMON. This prepositional phrase begins with the preposition APO. When combined with the ablative of source from a noun, it means “from,” denoting ultimate source. The next word in this phrase is the proper noun THEOU, from THEOS. This ablative-case noun, masculine, singular is translated as “God.” The ablative of source denotes that God the Father as the author of the divine plan is the ultimate source for all categories of grace. The lack of a preceding definite article, called the anarthrous construction denotes the quality of the following noun. In this case, the anarthrous construction emphasizes and emphatically points to God’s absolute quality, His absolute perfection.

The next word, the noun PATROS, the genitive masculine singular from PATER is translated, “Father.” HUMON, completes this phrase. It is a possessive personal pronoun from the genitive of EGO. The genitive is syntactically a genitive of personal relationship, so translated “our.” It completes this prepositional phrase. The entire prepositional phrase is translated, “from God our Father.” It indicates the intensely personal relationship every believer, whether or not he acknowledges it, has with God the Father. Every Church Age believer has an intensely personal relationship with the Father. He is the personal Father God of every Church Age believer. You see, He had each one of us, every Church Age believer personally in mind when He designed His grace plan in eternity past.

The Door to Grace

Paul continues the phrase with the door to this gracious plan the Father has devised. The NASB reads this way: “…and the Lord Jesus Christ.” and the Greek, KAI KURIOU IYESOU CHRISTO. The final phrase of this verse begins with conjunctionKAI. The connective use is translated simply “and.” The conjunction is followed by KURIOU the ablative of source of KURIOS with IYSOU. This is followed the ablative of apposition of KRISTOU. KRISTOS describes “Jesus.”

Just as in the preceding phrase, there is no preceding definite article here. This anarthrous construction emphasizes once again the incredible quality of the person of Jesus Christ. The Son, Jesus Christ, is the Door to the Father’s incredible plan. “Jesus” is the name of His humanity, while “Christ” refers to His messianic appointment. The work of Jesus Christ on the cross, that is His Saving work, is the open door through which a person walks by faith to enter into God’s gracious plan. The Tabernacle, for which God gave Moses the plans, taught this truth to those in the Age of Israel. Just inside door to the Tabernacle yard stood the Brazen Alter that taught our Lord’s sacrificial death.

Our heavenly Father provides the blessings while Jesus Christ the Son is the Door. You will note that this verse does not mention the Holy Spirit. He is conspicuously absent because He operates in the background during the Church Age, bringing glorification to the Son. This is the Age of the Glorification of the Son. The Spirit stays in the background providing the power for us to worship the Son. The Spirit points to the Son in this Age.

So, the entire verse in corrected translation reads thusly:

The entire salutation of this book sounds like this:

“Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus, who are located in Philippi, with bishop-guardians (pastor-teachers) and deacons”. Grace to you for your benefit and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:1-2

Grace to you for your benefit and so prosperity from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:2

Link to: Philippians 1:3

Philippians 1:1/ Beginning the Salutation

Before you begin this or any study of the Word of God, because you are ultimately taught by God the Holy Spirit, make sure you are in fellowship with Him.  When you are in fellowship with Him, He empowers you to both learn and apply Bible Doctrine.  To regain His filling, apply 1 John 1:9, by naming your sins to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

For more information on this, read this article.

An Exegetical, Isogogical, Categorical Study of Paul’s Letter to the Philippian Believers

PowerPoint Presentation Link

The Salutation

An Exegetical, Categorical and Isagogical Study
Presented to Teleios Bible Church by Pastor Jim Oliver

Updated 6/11/12

Verse Outline

A. Introduction
B. God Promotes Prepared Believers
Doctrine of Paul
Doctrine of Timothy
Doctrine of Promotion
C. Slavery to Christ Jesus
Slavery to Christ Jesus
D. In Christ Jesus, Our Sanctification
Doctrine of Sanctification
E. Local Church
Doctrine of the Local Church
——————————————————————

A. Introduction

Normally before we undertake the study of a book we spend some time introducing it by looking at Philippi’s history, its citizens, religions or cults of the region, and other subjects germane to its writing.  But all of that would distract us from the primary purpose of learning the doctrines that Paul presented for our spiritual growth.  This was even Paul’s purpose of writing this letter, if not all of his letters.  This is reflected in a verse we’ll study down the road:

“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1:27

Conducting your selves worthy of the gospel of Christ, standing firm in one spirit, having one mind or system of thinking and striving together for the faith of the gospel have in common spiritual growth. These all involve and result from our spiritual gift. That spiritual growth forms the purpose of Paul’s writing all of his epistles as well as the purpose for studying this letter. So let’s get on with our study.
As was customary in the time of writing, Paul began his letter to his beloved Philippians with a salutation. It covers the first two verses of Chapter 1. This at first glance appears to be a routine salutation for what theologians classify as a letter of friendship during this period in Greek culture. As we will see as we go through this study, that this entire letter follows the ancient Greek protocol for letters of friendship. However, even so, we will see from this study that this salutation is far from being routine. These few short words remind us of our unique relationship with Jesus Christ.

To begin this salutation, the writers, Paul and Timothy, identify themselves as writers of the letter and identify the intended recipients of the letter, believers in Philippi. Paul is the writer while Timothy probably served as his secretary or more accurately, his amanuenses. As for Timothy’s role in the writing of this letter, theologians are split on this but I don’t see it as being too big of an issue. Paul also mentioned him because he had a close relationship with the Philippian believers. He also, a mature believer could serve witness to the doctrines which Paul was about to expound. Some theologians also have alleged that this letter qualifies as pseudo-Pauline; however, learned theologians have gone great lengths to debunk this allegation. This is no pseudo-Pauline letter!
Before we get too deeply into our study, you will note that we will be working extensively with the original Greek text. This is, at least, as close as modern scholarship has been able to bring it. Due to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, along with many academic techniques, we believe that this is very close to the original signature. This is a good time to talk a bit about the Greek Language I don’t know how many of you are familiar with it. However, without getting too detailed on the subject now, let me discuss just a couple of points.
First, the New Testament was written by the original authors in Koine or Common Greek. Many other dialects were used as well. We’ll be discussing some of those as we come to them. But God chose, of all of the languages in the world, to communicate to us in the Koine Greek. So it behooves us to understand what concepts are communicated to us with this language that we may by-pass when translating to English. Every language reflects the thought characteristics of the culture that uses it. The Greeks were thinker and philosophizers; their language reflects that fact. The spiritual life of this Church Age is one that requires thought, so what better language is there?
Therefore I will be starting the study of each phrase by establishing the correct translation from the Greek using morphological, grammatical and syntactical principles. You may ask why we should go to the trouble of translating the Scripture from Greek. After all, there are many good translations. The NASB is one of the best as far as I am concerned. However, even with a good translation, many Greek words teach concepts which one word or even a group of words in the English cannot justly represent, so often an expansion of translation is necessary. Whenever I expand a translation to clarify or to bring in a point of doctrine, I do my best to let you know I have expanded it and what rationale I apply to justify it. Other times, I just simply disagree with the NASB translation. I usually am in good company when I make certain changes in the translation. The fourth word in this verse is a great example of what I consider a weak translation. Also, often you may wonder where a point of doctrine comes from. A doctrine or an application of doctrine may not be apparent in the English, so we go back to the Greek for a clarification. So, having said that, let us get on with our study.

B. God Promotes Prepared Believers

The New American Standard Bible, which will always be our starting point for translation, begins the verse with:

Paul and Timothy…

These words appear in the Greek as: Παλος καi Τιμόθεος, PAULOS KAI TIMOTHEOS. The first word, Παλος PAULOS is transliterated “Paul,” in the English. Grammatically it is a proper noun in the nominative case, in the masculine gender, singular in person. Being Paul’s name, a proper noun, syntactically, it is a nominative of appellation. The next word is καi KAI, a paratactic, connective conjunction, which coordinates and connects words of equal rank. Paul is not pulling his apostolic rank on Timothy or the Philippian believers here as he does in other letters. Therefore, this letter begins with a warm tone of friendship. Correctly translated, καi KAI reads as, “and.” The next word, Τιμόθεος TIMOTHEOS, when transliterated into the English reads, “Timothy.” For those of you familiar with the Greek, you may recognize the last five letters of Timothy’s name as θεος THEOS, God. Τιμόθεος TIMOTHEOS, like Παλος PAULOS is a proper noun in the nominative masculine singular. Being a proper name, it is a nominative of appellation. Timothy spent time with Paul during this Roman imprisonment. He had also been the Philippians first pastor. After establishing the Church, Paul left him there to teach while he continued his missionary journey.

Our translation so far is this:

Paul and Timothy…

Now that we have established who wrote this letter, let us look at these two men a bit more closely: Our concern is that God promoted these men. Two questions immediately come to mind when we look at these two men’s lives. The first question: Why did God see fit to use these men in this capacity? Why did He promote Paul and Timothy? God promoted Paul to the position of highest human rank in the church. God made him an apostle while He promoted Timothy to another position of authority, pastor-teacher.

The second question: Why does God seemingly bless some people with promotion, but not others? Let me head off a wrong application here. God did not bestow upon Paul and Timothy these gifts of communication because of spiritual success. He imputed these spiritual gifts to them the moment they believed in our Lord Jesus Christ as a part of their salvation package. However, because of spiritual success, He put them into positions where they used their spiritual gifts to the maximum. God promoted these men to positions whereby they could use their spiritual gifts. You decide, as these men did, to what degree God can use you in your area of spiritual gifting by the use of your volition, your freedom of choice. This is the most important issue in the Christian life. You decide to what degree you are going to grow up spiritually…if you decide to grow at all. God has provided everything you need to spiritually advance, you just need to decide to take advantage of what He has provided in order to do so.

The second issue deals with what area God promotes and blesses you in. God determines what spiritual gift He gives you at salvation. If He has imputed to you the gift of pastor-teacher, it is unlikely that you will be imputed great riches. Riches may well distract a man from the pastoral role. That imputation seems to be reserved for those with a gift of giving, though I do not ever want to be accused of trying to second-guess God!

The bottom line is this: God promotes and blesses people because of certain choices they make from their own free will. God was able to use Paul and Timothy because they made right choices in life. They did not choose the spiritual gift God gave them, but they did make the right choices to gain the capacity for the use of those gifts.

The first choice they made that enabled God to use them was to believe in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, This is a one-time faith decision. Our Lord personally evangelized Paul on the Damascus Road while Timothy’s grandmother evangelized him. The second choice these two men made was to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ…” as stated in 2 Peter 3:18. As the first choice they made was a one-time decision, spiritual growth involves many decisions, made on a daily basis. Their daily decisions to study God’s word, by either being taught, or, as pastors must, search the Word for themselves, insured their spiritual growth. Paul grew by his own consistent study whereas Timothy sat under Paul’s teaching until he, undertaking the responsibilities of a pastor, did his own studying. These things guaranteed that they fulfilled God’s operational will for their lives. Because these two men chose to exploit God’s grace to the maximum, He was able to use them to the maximum. God only uses prepared people. Preparation always begins with spiritual growth or “growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”
Peter continued verse 18 with why God has mandated us to grow up spiritually:

To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

Whenever a believer grows up spiritually, God receives glory.

Preparation for ministry beyond salvation always varies with each spiritual gift. Both of these men had communication spiritual gifts. This category currently includes the gift of pastor-teacher and the gift of evangelism, both of which require formal academic training, including seminary training. Spiritual growth, however determines God’s ability to use the believer. God only uses spiritually mature believers. Your spiritual maturity comes only through making the perception and application of Biblical truths your first priority in life. If you fulfill this principle, through the expression of your positive volition, that is, your desire to do so, then God will promote you in your area of spiritual gifting. God promoted both Paul and Timothy because they prepared themselves first by believing in Jesus Christ, then by growing in grace, then by growing in grace. In many cases the spiritual gift that God gives you demands further education and training. He provides this training as you gain spiritual capacity for it. Again, God always promotes the prepared believer. God will promote you in the area of your capacity and in your area of spiritual gifting if you grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Having introduced Paul and Timothy, as well as the topic of Divine Promotion, let us turn out attention to a more detailed study of each of these men.

See the Doctrine of Paul

See the Doctrine of Timothy

See the Doctrine of Promotion

3. Slaves To Christ Jesus

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Let us return to our exegetical study. Our translation so far is this:

Paul and Timothy

Our next subject is “slaves to Christ Jesus.” At issue here is accuracy of translation. We must accurately interpret the Scripture. It all begins with an accurate translation. If we do not have an accurate translation we cannot interpret correctly. Without an accurate interpretation, we cannot learn the right lesson. If we do not learn the right lesson, we will not grow up spiritually. If we do not grow up spiritually, we will never glorify God, which is our very purpose in life.

This verse continues with what the NASB translates as, “…bond-servants of Christ Jesus…” The original Greek of this phrase sounds like this:

δολοι Χριστοs ησοu DOULOI CHRISTOU IESOU. This phrase begins with DOULOI the nominative masculine plural from the noun DOULOS. It is the subject of this sentence, therefore, a subject nominative correctly translated, “slaves.” The anarthrous construction, that this noun in not preceded by a definite article emphasizes the quality or the uniqueness of the status of this slavery. By using the term, “servant” or “bond servant” many translators weaken the force of Paul’s statement here. DOULOI should be translated as slave, not servant. Now, granted, the terms “slave” and “servant” appear to be very close in meaning, especially after watching some period movies. Some of the servants did appear to be slaves! In actuality, the lifestyle of a slave differs greatly from that of a servant. If Paul and Timothy were servants to Jesus Christ, their responsibilities to Him, and His to them, would be very different than if under slavery to Him. They were slaves to Him, not servants! Being a slave to Christ Jesus is a unique supernatural lifestyle. As God, with perfect integrity, there is no greater Master!
Χριστοs ησοs CHRISTOU IESOU are the next two words. CHRISTOU is in the genitive masculine singular, The genitive case generally describes or defines a substantive by ascribing a quality or relationship to it. It answers the question: “What kind?” Here: “What kind of slave are we talking about?” CHRISTOU is in the genitive of possession from the proper name CHRISTOS, transliterated Christ. YESOU is also a genitive masculine singular, grammatically, but an appositional genitive syntactically. It is transliterated “Jesus” which modifies or describes Christ. YESOU or “Jesus” is again, the proper name of our Lord.
These two words, transliterated as, “Christ Jesus” refer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. CHRISTOS, transliterated, Christ, is our Lord’s title meaning “Messiah.” Our Lord’s Messiahship refers to two aspects of His mission as the perfect God-Man to earth. First, it refers to His status of Jewish royalty, Son of David of which Israel is His family. As King of Israel, He will rule the earth for one thousand years in the Millennium. Secondly, it refers to His battlefield royalty, which ushered in this Church Age. He gained this royal patent when He completed His work on the Cross, was resurrected, ascended and seated at the right hand of the Father. His royal titles include King of kings, Lord of lords; His royal family is the Church, the bride of Christ. IYESOU transliterated, Jesus is the name for His humanity, which means “Savior.” As we mentioned, it is an appositional genitive describing Christ. Jesus Christ became our Savior by dying as our substitute:

God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners. Christ died as a substitute for us.  Romans 5:8

Our translation so far reads:

Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus…

The concept of “belonging” comes from the genitive of possession of “Christ”.
At this point, having come across the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, it would make sense to take some time to glory in His Person by studying about Him as we have Paul and Timothy. We will reserve this pleasure for chapter two where Paul details one of the richest passages of the Word about Him.

Next, we will embark on a short study of slavery. First, a few notes about Roman slavery. The slavery which existed in the Roman Empire at this time was evidently a far cry from the terrible institution of slavery, which blackened the history of this and some European nations. A Greek historian wrote that a person was far better off being a slave in the Roman Empire at this period in history than a free man elsewhere because slaves often shared in the general prosperity and benefits available in the Roman Empire at that time. That historian may have been biased because there were slave revolts; however, this comment does have some truth in it because slaves of the Romans did fulfill many societal roles, such as educators, accountants, and others which were not open to the slaves in the American South.

Paul used “slavery” as a dramatic concept. Though Roman slaves were given some societal benefits, the Philippian believers would have been shocked to hear Paul, a free Roman citizen, using this word to describe himself. He used this shock to impress upon his readers that Christ put Himself under the humiliation of subordination; that every believer should posses this same attitude of subordination and humility. For pastors, missionaries and evangelists, the application of this concept is this: pastors are better off being slaves to Christ than to be free under any system of freedom!

In salutations of letters to other churches Paul identified himself as an apostle, denoting his spiritual authority over them, but not to these believers. He identified himself as a slave with whom the Philippians are co-workers. The word “slave,” instead of “apostle” sets the tone for this letter. It is a mood of love based upon spiritual rapport not authoritarian correction, with which Paul wrote to other churches.

See Slavery to Christ Jesus

Now, let us continue our exegesis of Philippians 1:1. So far, we have studied the first part of verse one, which reads as:

Paul and Timothy, slaves to Christ Jesus… Philippians 1:1a

Our next subject is the sanctification of the believer in Jesus Christ. The NASB continues this verse with a prepositional phrase: “…to all the saints…” The Greek reads as:

PASIN TOIS HAGIOIS

The first word in this phrase is PASIN, the dative of direct object, masculine plural of the adjective PAS. Translated “all,” this letter includes the entire Philippian congregation. Paul leaves no member of the congregation out. All are included.

The next word in this phrase is TOIS a definite article in the dative masculine plural. This is the generic use of the definite article, which distinguishes one class or group from another. This letter is addressed to saints, that is, to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

The third word of this phrase is HAGIOIS, which is the dative masculine plural, a dative of advantage from the noun HAGIOS. HAGIOS is usually translated, “saints,” “sanctified ones” or “holy” making reference to “those who have been set apart for something special.” Every individual believer, as of the moment of salvation, is sanctified. Therefore, as a believer you are holy regardless of your status in life. The generic use of the definite article distinguishes this special category of people from all other categories. These believers are, as all believers in Jesus Christ in this Church Age, called “saints.” HAGIOIS, as noted above, means “holy” or “set apart for something special.” In this context, “saint” aptly describes Church Age believers because all believers have been set apart by God for a very special purpose, a purpose that spans into eternity! The dative of advantage denotes the fact that it is to every believer’s advantage to be a saint. It is a special honor to be given such privilege by God! There is no greater advantage or privilege a person can have. Being a saint is the ultimate advantage in all human history.

Our translation, as far as we have gone reads as:

Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints… Philippians 1:1a

The salutation continues with a reminder to the Philippians of how they received their royalty, that is, the mechanic for their “set apartness,” their sanctification or sainthood. The mechanics are the same for us in this year as it was for them.

D. In Christ Jesus, Our Sanctification

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This phrase appears in the NASB as, “…in Christ Jesus…,” EN CHRISTO IYESOU

The first word in the phrase, preposition, EN, possesses the basic meaning of, “within” or “in.” The title of our Lord, “CHRISTOS” in the locative case, masculine in gender and singular in person follows. The locative case, according to Dana and Mantey in A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, is the “in” case. This is a locative of sphere, which is an abstract, logical use of the locative, still exhibiting the root “in” idea. Paul considers the “in” concept so important and intense that he communicates it two ways. First by means of the preposition, “in,” then also he communicates it by syntactically indicating the concept by making CHRISTOS in the locative case, indicating the truth logically. The idea of “in Christ” is intensely important as we will discover as we study sanctification. YESOU, transliterated, “Jesus,” in the English is an appositional genitive masculine singular giving more information about “Christ.” This Christ is none other than “Jesus.” This prepositional phrase is translated, “in Christ Jesus.”

There are two fairly popular, though misleading understandings of this phrase, “in Christ Jesus.” In the first, theologians translate this as “by Christ Jesus” making this simply a statement as to the means of salvation. This is, of course, a fact. All believers are saved by faith alone in Christ alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Other theologians look upon being “in Christ” as being an inscrutable matter, something that we cannot understand. They say that it is mystery or mystical and really, not a discernable matter. Both sets of reasoning above severely limit the content of Paul’s message, so therefore stunt the believer’s spiritual growth if he fails to understand and apply this concept. Those who regard these two words as the mechanics of salvation are missing the uniqueness of being royalty while those who determine that this refers to some inscrutable mystery, bordering on mysticism, ignore the reality that God the Holy Spirit has made it possible for every Church Age believer to understand the whole realm of doctrine.

These three words are a reference to Church Age believers being in union with Christ, part of the uniqueness of this Church Age. Being “in Christ” is a reference to the theological phrase: “union with Christ,” referring to the mechanics of our sainthood or sanctification. If we are to become spiritually mature believers, we must understand and apply our set-apartness or sanctification! We need to understand what this means and how we apply this truth to our lives. Paul has communicated this mystery that believers may understand it and apply it to life. Understanding and applying this doctrine is essential to every believer in this age. At this point we need to turn our attention to the Doctrine of Sanctification.

See Doctrine of Sanctification

E. The Local Church

Let us now return to our exegesis and discussions in verse 1. The corrected translation thus far reads this way:

“Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus…”

Finally, we have arrived at the fifth and final topic of the first verse of the salutation to Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi. The last phrase begins with: “who are in Philippi” in the NASB. The Greek reads as this:  TOIS OUSIN EN PHILIPPOIS.

The first word is TOIS, which is a definite article or determiner in the dative masculine singular. It is used as a relative pronoun, so it is translated, “who.”

The second word, OUSIN, the present active participle from the verb “to be,” EIMI follows. This word, along with the previous definite article, places emphasis on the following participle by pointing to or identifying those saints, members of the Royal Family of God, living in Philippi who make up this particular local church. Because the participle is preceded by the definite article, it is in the articular construction. We will be using the term “articular,” fairly regularly in this study. This participle is in the durative present tense, which means that the Philippians action of residency in Philippi began in the past and continues to the time of writing. The active voice denotes that they produce the action of this verb by fulfilling the responsibilities of sainthood. They are saints, as we’ve noted in our study of sanctification. One responsibility of sainthood is, to the degree possible, gathering together with other saints to listen to the teaching of God’s Word. Paul taught this to the Hebrew believers:

…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

The following two words complete the thought of this verse. The preposition, EN with the locative of place of the proper noun, Φιλίπποις PHILIPPIOS, meaning, “in Philippi.” This last phrase is translated: “To those residing in Philippi.” This could just as easily be addressed to any believer, wherever he may live, whomever his pastor, whatever congregation he may gather with to hear the teaching of the Word. Every believer should produce the action of this verb by studying this Epistle to the Philippians. The issue here is the gathering place to hear the accurate teaching of the Word of God, that is, the local church. We can define the local church as the classroom provided by God, for the transmission of Word from the written page of the Scripture to the soul of the individual believer. This transmission requires teaching from one who has the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher, the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to both the pastor and congregation and, of course, you, a Church Age believer. Your first priority in life should be to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God has provided the local church to ensure the maturation of every individual Church Age believer.

Paul was also making a tongue-in-cheek point here that he emphasizes later in this epistle. Just as these Philippians were citizens of Rome in this little pocket of Rome in far away Macedonia, so also are these Philippian believers, royal citizens of Heaven, away from Heaven, in the city of Philippi. It would not have been too unusual for a citizen of Philippi to be addressed as “Citizen of Rome in Philippi!” Paul, in his tongue-in-cheek way, addressed them as “Citizens of Heaven in Philippi.” Paul had a great sense of humor!

The final phrase is this verse is a prepositional phrase that reads from the NASB as, “…together with bishop-overseers and deacons.” The Greek reads as, σuν eπισκόποις καi διακόνοις SUN EPISKOPOS KAI DIAKONOS.

This prepositional phrase begins with σὺν SUN, a preposition that means “with” or “together with.” It has two objects EPISKOPOIS and διακόνοις DIAKONOIS; both in the instrumental of association, masculine, plural. These two words, translated as “bishop-overseers” and “deacons,” introduce the system of hierarchy and organization in the local church. In the vocabulary form of both objects, you drop the iota (ι) preceding the final sigma (ς). EPISKOPOS which means “bishop-overseer,” refers to the pastor-teacher of the local church. This is one of several terms used for the local church pastor. This one emphasizes his authority and delegation of that authority within the local church organization. DEACONOS, from which we derive the word “deacon,” refers to men and sometime women to whom the pastor-teacher delegates authority to fulfill certain administrative responsibilities. This final phrase is translated: “together with pastor-teachers and deacons.”

At this point in our study, we will closely study principles of the local church. Our outline includes these subjects: The Lord Jesus Christ, The Bishop-Overseer, The Deacons and The Congregation.

Doctrine of the Local Church

Paul and Timothy, slaves belonging to Christ Jesus to all the saints in Christ Jesus to those residing in Philippi together with pastor-teachers and deacons. Philippians 1:1

Link to: Philippians 1:2

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