Philippians 4:1 (NIV): Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!”
Today, we start the final chapter of Philippians. Yay! I love this chapter. There are many wonderful verses that we have the honor of studying.
In the first verse of chapter 4, it’s as if Paul is reminiscing about the believers in Philippi. As he thinks about how blessed he is to have been a part of their Christian journey, he oozes joy into this sentience.
Paul calls them his “crown.” What an interesting way to describe someone you love. Lol. What exactly is he saying here?
Knowing the history and culture of that time will bring this verse alive.
Listen now to this 2-minute Bible study podcast.
Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
Today, we start our deep dive into the final chapter of Philippians - chapter 4.
Paul has been in prison for approximately four years awaiting trial. Two of those were in Caesarea before he was sent to Rome to have his case heard by Caesar Nero, and there in Rome, he spent another two years in house arrest.
And as he reflects on how much he loves the believers in Philippi, he writes this in Philippians 4 verse 1, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!”
Paul felt immense joy as he witnessed the believers' transformation. When he calls them his “crown,” he’s giving us a visual image of an athlete wearing the victorious crown won at the Olympic games. Wearing this was the pinnacle of every athlete’s career. It’s like Paul is saying that the church in Philippi was his victorious crown received from all his hard work.
Now, you may recall there are many temptations and trials coming against the church in Philippi. Outwardly, worldly ideas are tempting them to leave their faith, Judaizers are telling them they aren’t truly saved until they follow certain laws, and Roman officials are persecuting Christians. And inwardly, there were individuals causing division within the church family.
Knowing of all these temptations and trials, Paul tells the church to “stand firm in the Lord.” In the original Greek language, the word “stand firm” paints the picture of a soldier standing strong during an intense battle as the enemy tries to come against him. And the only way for the church to do this is to find their strength in Christ. But how do you do that? Paul says by following his instructions in this letter.
So, your Simple Truth for today: As we’ve seen, trials and temptations don’t stop just because you’re a Christian. But when you obey God’s Word and place your hope and strength in Christ alone and not what you can do on your own, you will find the strength to stand firm in the face of your enemy.
Hey, thanks for joining us today. It’s easy to do, simply ask your Amazon smart speaker to “Play Bible Study.”
Have a blessed day. I’ll see you soon.