Tag Archives: thanksgiving

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