Nov. 12, 2020

What Does Philippians 2:17 Mean?

What Does Philippians 2:17 Mean?

Philippians 2:17 (NIV): But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Biblical translators say that this verse is the most challenging verse to translate into English. Listen in to today's 2-minute Bible podcast to see what exactly Paul is trying to say by comparing his life to a drink offering. 

Listen now!

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Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.

In today’s verse, the Apostle Paul reflects on the sacrifices he’s made in his life to serve others. He also sees the sacrifice the believers in Philippi have made as followers of Christ. 

Which leads him to this conclusion in Philippians 2:17, “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”

Many Biblical scholars say this is one of the most complex and difficult passages to translate in the book of Philippians. Because it’s more than just translating the words. They also must translate the meaning behind the words. 

You ready for the cool imagery here? 

In this verse, Paul refers to his life as a drink offering. In the Old Testament, when the priests would sacrifice a lamb or bull, they would pour wine beside the alter to symbolize their dedication and worship to God. Ok. So picture this. Your throwing wine on a hot alter and as it’s vaporized you see steam rising. This symbolized the rising of your sacrifice and offering to God.

Paul takes that idea and applies it to his life with the believers in Philippi. He sees their faithfulness and loyalty to God as a sacrifice on the altar to God, and Paul sees his life being poured out as an act of worship for those he served.  

And Paul says that if his life should end, he is overjoyed to make that sacrifice. He asks that the church in Philippi rejoice with him. 

So, your Simple Truth for today: As a follower of Christ, you have built an altar with your life, and your service to God symbolizes yourself being poured out on that altar as an act of worship and sacrifice to God. 

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Have a blessed day. I’ll see you soon.