Dec. 23, 2020

What Does Philippians 4:18 Mean?

What Does Philippians 4:18 Mean?

Philippians 4:18 (NIV): 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

Paul has been teaching us that every time we sacrificially give, God credits our "spiritual" bank account.

In today's verse, Paul uses a really cool Old Testament image to represent what your giving "smells" like to God!

Listen now to this 2-minute teaching!

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Transcript

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

In the book of Philippians, we learn that the believers in Philippi had monetarily blessed Paul throughout the 10 years since he started the church in Philippi. 

In Philippians chapter 4, Paul teaches us that every time we financially give to a fruitful ministry, God credits our spiritual “bank account.” 

Now, in the first part of verse 18 of chapter 4, Paul uses financial imagery as he writes, “I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.”

When Paul states he had “received full payment,” he uses a technical term from the business world that refers to the receipt of full payment for goods delivered or services rendered. It’s like Paul’s saying, “I confirm the receiving of your gift and you have provided me with more than enough.”

Paul then shifts gears from using technical terms of the modern business world of that day and begins referring to Old Testament sacrifices from the Israelites to God as he writes in the 2nd part of verse 18, “They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”

Did you notice his words “fragrant offering?” Picture yourself, if you will, in Jerusalem near the temple over 2,000 years ago. Whether your there walking by in the morning or evening, it would probably smell like a backyard BBQ as the priests took the sacrificial animals and placed them on the alter, and at the same time they burned incense to represent the prayers of God’s people rising upwards towards God. And together those two fragrances released an apparently amazing aroma representing an offering to God. 

Now, did you notice Paul used words “acceptable sacrifice” when he referred to their financial gift? Just the fact that he uses the word “sacrifice” indicates that it’s cost something for the giver, or that you feel it in some way. 

So, your simple Truth for today: When you give to others, your sacrifice is a sweet-smelling aroma to God. It’s as if God sees your giving and says (sniff-sniff), “Oh, that smells good.”

Hey, you know something else that smells sweet to God? When you leave a review for this podcast. Lol. Ok, well maybe not, but I know that it is a sacrifice of your time to write one or even just press the five stars. But when you do, your sacrifice leads others to discover more about God. So, thank you in advance for doing that!

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