Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #67
Posted: December 1, 2005

A Study of Positional Truths

Our IN CHRIST study of positional truth takes us this week to Philippians 4:10-14.  The text says, But I rejoice in the Lord greatly. That now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: Everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things, through Christ, which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my afflictions.”

These are Paul’s closing words to the church at Philippi.  He closes with a note of ‘rejoicing in the Lord’.  The word ‘rejoice’ is a word of salutation.  It means cheerful happiness, calm delight, and to speak well of.  Paul in a calm manner speaks well with cheerful happiness of this church.  Paul rejoices ‘greatly’.  The word ‘greatly’ means exceeding, abundantly, and in an excessive manner.  He is rejoicing over their ‘flourishing’ care for him.  The word ‘flourish’ has the idea to make a dry tree to blossom again.  It means to bud forth again in care or interest of another. 

Paul mentions their care for him in Chapter 4, verse 18.  The gifts sent he says were, “…an odor of sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.”  The word ‘abound’ that Paul uses means to be filled full and at present well supplied.  He rates the gifts they have sent with Old Testament sacrificial offerings given to the Lord in behalf of his people.  Truly these gifts were simply amazing. 

When I think of all that I have today I can do no less than rejoice.  The gifts through churches and individuals have filled the air of my life with a sweet odor of sacrifice well pleasing to our God. 

Paul tells us in verse 11 this thought, “…for I have learned…”  It has the idea of coming into a new condition.  The new condition is a state of being content.  The word ‘content’ means to be independent of external circumstances.  He was independent of circumstances because he was dependent upon Christ.  He explained this thought in verse 13 when he said he could do all things only through the strength he had from being IN CHRIST.  One has paraphrased this verse, ‘I can do all things through Christ who keeps pouring his power into my life’.  There is another blessed paraphrase, which says, ‘I can do all things through Christ resting sweetly in His control’

Paul tells us in verse 12 he has learned some things through ‘instruction’.  The word ‘instructed’ means to learn in secret.  Paul has learned in secret how to be abased.  The word means to render humble through humiliation. He says he has learned how to ‘abound’.  The word ‘abound’ means to overflow in fullness.  Paul says I have been hungry and had great needs with no signs of provision. 

In verse 14 he tells them “…ye have well done.”  The phrase means you have a done a beautiful thing.  Paul says they have ‘communicated’ with his needs.  The idea is that they have made themselves responsible for the satisfying of his needs.  In this season of giving let me give thanks not only for Him but for the people though which our needs have been supplied.  I thank those churches and individuals who support on a regular basis.  I could not do it without you folks.  I thank all of you who have sent notes and e-mails with questions and thoughts of appreciation.  I thank you who have been faithful to study with us online weekly from the website.  I appreciate you who have bought tapes and shared them with others thus enlarging our coasts.  I thank those who have stepped out with great sacrificial gifts of two cars this year.  I truly see all these gifts as an odor of sweet smelling sacrifice that is very pleasing to our God. To Him be all the glory!