Category Archives: ICE Study

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

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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.”