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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beneficence;   Church;   Faith;   Minister, Christian;   Philippi;   Power;   Resignation;   Righteousness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Enabling Grace;   The Topic Concordance - Deeds;   Strength;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Power of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Philippi;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Guidance;   Power;   Providence;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Union with Christ;   Wealth;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Epaphroditus;   Humility;   Providence;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Philippians, the Epistle to the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Contentment;   Philippians;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Contentment;   Perfection;   Philippians, Epistle to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Abounding;   Acceptance;   Attributes of Christ;   Good;   Hindrance;   Philippians Epistle to the;   Right (2);   Righteous, Righteousness;   Walk (2);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Salvation;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for December 27;   Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 6;   Every Day Light - Devotion for February 14;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse 13. I can do all things — It was not a habit which he had acquired by frequent exercise, it was a disposition which he had by grace; and he was enabled to do all by the power of an indwelling Christ. Through Him who strengtheneth me is the reading of some of the best MSS., versions, and fathers; the word χριστω, Christ, being omitted.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/philippians-4.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


Thanks for the Philippians’ gifts (4:10-23)

The Philippians thought constantly of Paul’s needs, but were not able to send anything to him in his imprisonment until now. Paul’s joy at receiving this gift is not because he has a greedy desire for money, because he has long ago learnt to be satisfied with whatever he has. His contentment comes not through money or possessions, but through the assurance that Christ enables him to meet every situation (10-13).
Paul repeats that his pleasure is not because of the personal profit he has gained through the Philippians’ gifts, whether now or on previous occasions. Rather it is because of the profit they will gain through their sacrifice and generosity. Their gifts are like an investment with God, who, as their banker, will add interest to their account (14-17). Through their offerings, Paul has more than enough. They too will have more than enough, because God will repay them according to his abundant wealth in Jesus Christ (18-20).
On this joyous note Paul finishes his letter. Among the Christians who join him in sending greetings are a number of government officials. These people are of special interest to Paul, as they had probably been converted as a result of their contact with Paul at his place of imprisonment (21-23).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/philippians-4.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me.

This is a summary of what Paul had just been writing with regard to his having an inward sufficiency "in the Lord" to cope with any of life's circumstances, no matter how severe, and no matter how favorable. Paul truly felt that it was impossible for life to confront him with anything that he and the Lord could not handle! Those who think they find traces of Stoicism in Paul's attitude here know nothing, either of Stoicism or of the heart of the great apostle. As King correctly noted, "Christ is the source of Paul's power; it is Christ who is continually infusing power into him."[30] The key words of this verse, as so often in Paul's writings, are "IN HIM."

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/philippians-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I can do all things - From the experience which Paul had in these various circumstances of life, he comes here to the general conclusion that he could “do all things.” He could bear any trial, perform any duty, subdue any evil propensity of his nature, and meet all the temptations incident to any condition of prosperity or adversity. His own experience in the various changes of life had warranted him in arriving at this conclusion; and he now expresses the firm confidence that nothing would be required of him which he would not be able to perform. In Paul, this declaration was not a vain self-reliance, nor was it the mere result of his former experience. He knew well where the strength was to be obtained by which to do all things, and on that arm that was able to uphold him he confidently relied.

Through Christ which strengtheneth me - See the notes at John 15:5. Of the strength which Christ can impart, Paul had had abundant experience; and now his whole reliance was there. It was not in any native ability which he had; not in any vigor of body or of mind; not in any power which there was in his own resolutions; it was in the strength that he derived from the Redeemer. By that he was enabled to bear cold, fatigue, and hunger; by that, he met temptations and persecutions; and by that, he engaged in the performance of his arduous duties let us learn, hence:

(1) That we need not sink under any trial, for there is one who can strengthen us.

(2) That we need not yield to temptation. There is one who is able to make a way for our escape.

(3) That we need not be harassed, and vexed, and tortured with improper thoughts and unholy desires. There is one who can enable us to banish such thoughts from the mind, and restore the right balance to the affections of the soul.

(4) That we need not dread what is to come. Trials, temptations, poverty, want, persecution, may await us; but we need not sink into despondency. At every step of life, Christ is able to strengthen us, and can bring us triumphantly through. What a privilege it is, therefore, to be a Christian - to feel, in the trials of life, that we have one friend, unchanging and most mighty, who can always help us! How cheerfully should we engage in our duties, and meet the trials that are before us, leaning on the arm of our Almighty Redeemer! Let us not shrink from duty; let us not dread persecution let us not fear the bed of death. In all circumstances, Christ, our unchanging Friend, can uphold us. Let the eye and the affections of the heart be fixed on him; let the simple, fervent, believing prayer be directed always to him when trials come, when temptations assail, when duty presses hard upon us, and when a crowd of unholy and forbidden thoughts rush into the soul: and we shall be safe.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/philippians-4.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13 I can do all things through Christ As he had boasted of things that were very great, (249) in order that this might not be attributed to pride or furnish others with occasion of foolish boasting, he adds, that it is by Christ that he is endowed with this fortitude. “ I can do all things, ” says he, “but it is in Christ, not by my own power, for it is Christ that supplies me with strength.” Hence we infer, that Christ will not be less strong and invincible in us also, if, conscious of our own weakness, we place reliance upon his power alone. When he says all things, he means merely those things which belong to his calling.

(249) “ De choses grandes et excellentes;” — “Of things great and excellent.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/philippians-4.html. 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 4

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for ( Philippians 4:1 ),

What a beautiful words by Paul to the church, expressing his heart, just bearing his heart to them, "Dearly beloved, I long for you. My brothers, who I dearly love and I long for,"

[You are] my joy and [you are] my crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved ( Philippians 4:1 ).

The heart of the apostle. He is bearing his heart now, his love for those who he ministered to and those who ministered to him. Now, there were a couple of women in Philippi who were having an argument, a fight. That's not becoming the church, so Paul said,

I beseech Euodia ( Philippians 4:2 ),

And the s isn't there, it is just, the s would make it a masculine name, but in the Greek, unfortunately, it is a feminine name, Euodia,

and I beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord ( Philippians 4:2 ).

Now, let's not argue, let's not fight, let's not create division within the body. Let's be of the same mind in the Lord.

And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow ( Philippians 4:3 ),

Now, we don't know who Paul is referring to here. There have been a lot of guesses. Probably all of them are wrong. But the yokefellow would be one who had labored together. Maybe he was writing to the Philippian jailer who had been converted. There are some, I think it was Tertullium, one of the early church fathers, said he was writing her to his wife. But that hardly seems possible.

help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other of my other fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life ( Philippians 4:3 ).

When Paul went to Philippi, he first shared the gospel by the river where a group of ladies had gathered together for prayer. Among them, Lydia, you remember, the seller of purple. And having shared with the women, the following week they told their friends, and a big crowd of people gathered to hear Paul share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because many of the women believed and were saved and baptized, and so the work of God really began with women, and they had a very important part in the ministry in the church in Philippi. And so, "Help those women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, my fellow laborers, whose names are in the Book of Life."

In Luke's gospel, chapter 10, there is the report of the disciples who had been sent out by Jesus, two by two, the seventy of them. And they came back and they said, "Lord, it was fantastic. A lot of people were healed; people who were blind, their eyes were opened. And Lord, even the devils were subject unto us." And Jesus said to them, "Don't rejoice in these things, but rejoice rather that your name is written in heaven." Hey, that is the most important thing. There is nothing more important to me that my name is written in heaven. Not in what God is done through my life, that is not so important is that my name be written in heaven. That's what is really important to me. God has a book of life. It is exciting to realize that my name is there in His Book of Life.

We read in Revelation 20:0 of the great white throne judgment of God, "And the books were open, and the people were judged out of the things that were written in the book, and death and hell gave up their dead, and they were judged, and whosoever name was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into Gehenna and this is the second death." But there again, the mention of the Book of Life. It is interesting to me that God has this book in heaven, the Book of Life, and the names of those who are heirs of the heavenly kingdom, ordained of God to share, and He has inscribed their names in the Book of Life.

Now, when did God write my name in the Book of Life? When did He write your name in the Book of Life? You say, "Well, I was saved on October 2, 1968, so I guess God wrote my name in the Book of Life October 2, l968." No! We read in the book of Revelation that our names were written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world. How could He do that? Because He is God, and He is smarter than you are, because He is omniscient, He knows all things. And if God ever . . . well, because He knows all things, He can't learn anything. It is impossible for God to learn anything. So, if God ever is to know who is going to be saved, He has always known who is going to be saved, and having always known those that were going to be saved, He wrote their names in the Book of Life before the foundation of the earth. Aren't you glad? He knew you and wrote your name there before He ever laid the foundations of the earth. "Whose names were written in the Book of Life," from the foundations of the earth. And so those fellow laborers, Paul said, "Whose names are written in the Book of Life." Something that Jesus mentions, something that Paul mentions, something that John mentions in the book of Revelation. Now,

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice ( Philippians 4:4 ).

Again, notice the rejoicing is in the Lord. There is always cause for rejoicing in the Lord. I can rejoice because He wrote my name in His Book of Life before the foundation of the world. Oh, thank you, Lord. I can rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. A sad, sour Christian is no real witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand ( Philippians 4:5 ).

That is, live moderately, don't live extravagantly. There's no place in the Christian life for extravagant living. Live moderately. Why? Because the Lord is at hand. Don't get too involved in the things of the world, the Lord's coming.

Be careful [or anxious] for nothing [don't worry about anything]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God ( Philippians 4:6 ).

The answer for worry is prayer. Prayer and commitment, those things that concern me, those things that are prone to cause me to worry are the very things I need to be praying about. And once I pray about them, I need to just trust God to take care of them. I need to know that once I commit them to God, they are in His hands and He will work them out for His glory. Now, it may not be for my pleasure, it may not be like I want it to be, but I thank God I'm not in control. I thank God that He is in control of the circumstances that surround me. If I were in control of my life, I could make the worst mess of my life thinking that I was just doing what was good. But, you know, if you just let a kid go, they will just eat ice cream sundaes and nothing else. And so I would order my life, you know, make it sweet, make it delectable, put hot fudge and whipped cream on top and toasted almonds, you know. I want a bed of roses, Lord. I want to take it easy. But it doesn't always work out that way. Many times there are hardships, there are difficulties. There are things that I don't understand, but my faith is being tested, and my faith is being developed because I'm learning to trust in God even when I can't see the way. And though it doesn't fall the way I would like it to fall, I still trust the Lord and I learn that He has a better plan. Yes, it was tough, yes, I did hurt, yes, there was suffering. But ohhh the lessons that I learned that I wouldn't trade for anything, because I grew immensely and my walk and relationship with God has been enhanced by the whole thing. And I count that which I gained in my relationship with Him far more than the struggle that I went through.

We used to hear down in the south that song, "Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it all by and by." It was written during the depression years, I think. Hard times down in the south. Song of encouragement.

They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. It's not going to be easy, but the Lord is going to be there. And the Lord will give you strength, and the Lord will help you. So, the worries, the concerns, the anxieties, pray about them, give them over to the Lord, cast all of your cares on Him, because He cares for you.

And so, with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, three aspects of prayer. Prayer itself is very broad term that describes communion with God. Prayer is not a monologue; it is a dialogue. And it is important that we wait for God to speak to us, as well as to speak to God. So many people consider prayer a monologue. I want to go in and talk to God, and I do all of the talking, and when I am finished talking, I get up and leave. I never wait for God to respond or to answer. Through the years, I have come to the conclusion that it is more important that God talk to me than I talk to God. I am convinced that what God has to say to me is far more important than what I have to say to God. And I have sought to develop that listening side of prayer. The communion, prayer is communion with God. Listening for Him to speak to my heart. Laying my heart out before Him, waiting upon Him, worshipping Him, loving Him, all a part of prayer. Another part of prayer is supplication: my requests, where I present to God those needs of my life, those needs in the lives of those around me. The supplications are personal, but they can also go into intercession. So, there is request, and in the narrow sense, for my own needs, and then in the broader sense, for the needs of those around me, the intercessory prayer. And then there is that thanksgiving aspect of prayer.

Now, as we look at the Lord's prayer as a model, "Our Father, which art in heaven, and hallowed be thou name," you see it begins with the acknowledgment of God and the greatness and the glory of God. The name of God, hallowed be that name, reverend be that name. Petitions in a broad sense, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth even as it is in heaven." Petitions in a narrow sense, "Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil." Praise, glory, thanksgiving, "For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." So it begins with worship, it ends with worship, sandwiched in between, our petitions and intercession. And so, we find prayer, supplications, thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.

And the peace of God [the result of this will be the peace of God], which passeth all [human] understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus ( Philippians 4:7 ).

You will experience such peace. "Hey, what are you going to do?" "Well, I have prayed about it." "Yah, but what are you going to do about it?" "Well, I have already done it, I have prayed." "Yah, but you can't just pray; you have got to do more than that." "Now God is going to take care of it. I have peace. It is in God's hands; I have turned it over to Him. I am not struggling with it anymore. I am not wrestling with the issues anymore; I have turned them over to God, and now I am going to rest in Him. I am going to have an experience." That peace that passeth human understanding, passes your own understanding. You can't understand how that you can feel such peace in the midst of such turmoil.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things ( Philippians 4:8 ).

That pretty well eliminates television, doesn't it? Of all of the mental pollution that is going out night after night over the major networks. Our whole nation is being polluted by the television industry and by the movie industry. I mean, it is leading the nation right down the tubes. Why? Because it is having people think on things that are impure, unholy, filthy, unrighteous, immoral, and there is other things we need to be thinking on. Sort of tragic, a lot of people watch television just before they go to sleep, because you plant that junk in your mind just before you drop off.

You know, I have found that what I plant in my mind the last thing at night before I go to sleep is something that sticks with me. I learned as a child that I can memorize any poem by reading it over three times before I went to sleep. In the morning I could get up and recite it. Poems of several pages, all I do is read them over three times before I went to sleep, and in the morning I could recite them. Because it seems like during the night, what you plant just before you go to sleep has a way of your mind continuing to work on it.

And many areas across the United States we have begun our Word for Today broadcast on many stations now Act 10:00 o'clock at night. And a lot of people have gotten in the habit of setting their clocks on the radios to, you know, from Phi 10:00 to Phi 10:30 ,then, you know, and I put them to sleep every night. What a wonderful thing. The last thing in the night to be planting in your mind: that which is pure, that which is true, that which is honest, that which is just, that which is lovely, that which is of virtue and good report, think on these things. Interesting how we like to think on other things, isn't it? The hurts, the disappointments, the nasty thing that he said to me. Here is a good model to follow, I think that somewhere around the house we ought to put up, "True, Honest, Just, Pure," that our minds, we gear them toward these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me ( Philippians 4:9 ),

Paul the apostle, when he was talking with the elders at Ephesus, he said, "I was daily with you teaching you and showing you." It was show and tell with Paul. His life was the example of that which he was preaching, and so should it always be. It isn't just the proclaiming of the truth, it is the demonstration of the truth. And so Paul tells them, "Those things which ye have learned, and received, and heard, and you have seen in me, I set the example before you."

do [them]: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced 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 ( Philippians 4:9-10 ).

In other words, "You were anxious to send me some help, but you lacked opportunity. " Epaphroditus, you remember, had come to Rome, with a offering from the church in Philippi for Paul. And so, the care of him has flourished again. They sent him a very generous offering. They desired to do it before now, but, of course, he had been on his way from a Caesarea to Rome. He had been on that ship that was wrecked and spent a lot of time; they weren't able to catch up with him. But now, finally, that he is sitting there in prison in Rome, they are able to get to him again, and they send this offering. And so he thanks them that this care for him is flourished again.

Not that I speak in respect of want ( Philippians 4:11 ):

It is not that I really am, you know, desperately in need. It isn't that I have tremendous needs while I am here.

for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content ( Philippians 4:11 ).

Oh, what a tremendous lesson we need to learn. Because always the state that we are in might not be the most pleasant state to be in. Paul was in prison when he wrote this, chained twenty-four hours a day to a different Roman guard, as they would make their changes. And yet, content. "For I have learned whatever state I am in to be content."

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need ( Philippians 4:12 ).

It doesn't matter to me; I can live with it, I can live without it. I have learned to be content with it. I have learned to be content without it. Whatever state God sees to put me, I am content, because my life is in God's hands; He is in control of those things that surround me. He wrote, "Godliness with contentment is great riches." I have learned how to be content.

[For] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me ( Philippians 4:13 ).

And there is the secret: I can abound, I can be poor, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

In the fifteenth chapter of the gospel of John, as Jesus is talking about His relationship to His disciples, He said unto them, "I am the vine, ye the branches, my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that bears fruit, He washes it that it might bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the word which I've spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and let My words abide in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, neither more can ye except you abide in Me, for without Me you can do nothing."

Do you believe that? I didn't for a long time. The Lord had to prove that to me. I thought there was something I could do worthwhile in my flesh. And I tried too long to offer to God the sacrifices of my flesh. But one day, after years of struggle, I came to the truth of the statement of Christ and realized the truth of it, apart from Him I could do nothing. But thank God, in the same day I also learned the truth that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And so, rather than being all wiped out because I can't do anything in myself, I rejoice because of what I can do in Him. I can do all things through Christ. There are two verses I count extremely important in my own experience. Vitally important. To learn those two verses is vital to Christian growth. "Apart from me you can do nothing," Jesus said. But Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Notwithstanding, ye have done well, that ye did communicate with my affliction [to my needs]. Now ye Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia [Philippi was in the area of Macedonia], no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only ( Philippians 4:14-15 ).

When I left you, you were the only church. Now, there was a church at Thessalonica, Paul established the church of Berea. They didn't do anything for him. The only church that really sought to help Paul and support that ministry was the church of Philippi.

For even in Thessalonica [when I was there] ye sent once and again unto my necessity [to take care of my needs]. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account ( Philippians 4:16-17 ).

I love that. Paul was thanking them for what they sent, "not because I desire a gift. I desire that fruit might abound to your account." Now, God has a very interesting bookkeeping system. And in God's bookkeeping system, your investments that you make in the kingdom of God bring fruit to your account. Jesus said, "Don't lay up for yourself treasures on earth where moth and rust can corrupt and decay and thieves can break through and steal. But lay up for yourself treasures in heaven where these things cannot happen, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also."

God accounts to the person who supports the missionary the fruit that comes from the missionary's service. How can they hear without a preacher? How can they preach except they be sent? So, those that send share equally in the fruit of the ministry of those who go. That is why in supporting a ministry, I want to be very careful what ministry I support. I want to make sure that it is an effective ministry, doing a good work for God. Because there is a lot of charlatans out there that are padding their own pockets and not really doing a real service for God.

We were in Goroka, New Guinea, a beautiful place, sort of an ideal place to live. Weather is perfect year around. And just up in the highlands in New Guinea just beautiful, beautiful streams, beautiful forest, beautiful place to live. And as they were taking us through there, they said there is just a lot of paper missionaries here. And I said, "Paper missionaries, what do you mean?" And he said there are a lot of people who have retired here in Goroka who get their support by writing letters to people in the United States and Australia and England, sharing with them the ministry here among the New Guinea people. And what they do is, they get in their Land Rovers and they go out to the villages and they pass out candy to the children. And they will take pictures of the children reaching out for candy. And then they will send these pictures and letters back to the people and say, you know, "The children are reaching out for the New Testaments that we are passing out in the villages and all, and look at how, you know, all of the children, and all, had a tremendous response and God is doing a glorious work and all." And people are supporting them. Yet, they are just retired; they don't do anything but go out to the village once a month to take pictures of kids getting candy. Unfortunately, those people do exist. Frauds, charlatans, they'll have to answer to God.

The World Counsel of Churches uses a portion of their funds to support terrorist groups in Africa, supporting the P.L.O. their terrorism programs. A lot of missionaries were killed in Zabway by the terrorists, missionary children, by the dollars given in the churches that have a part in the National Counsel of Churches and the World Counsel of Churches.

I wouldn't give a dime to any church that's affiliated with the World Counsel of Churches, knowing that a portion of that dime would be going to support the World Counsel of Churches. I don't want to be giving money to terrorists in Africa who are murdering missionaries and their families. Nor would I want to be supporting Angelia Davis's defense, which received a generous contribution from the National Counsel of Churches. Careful where you invest. Paul said, "That fruit might abound to your account." Well, there is some kind of fruit that I really don't want to my account. And thus, I don't want to invest in that. I want to know that there is a valid and legitimate work being done, and that it is a fruit-bearing work, that fruit might abound. I want to support that kind of work.

And so Paul said, "Not that I desire a gift. I desire that fruit might abound to your account."

But [I have everything] I have all, I abound ( Philippians 4:18 ):

Got plenty. What a beautiful thing to say even though you're broke. I have all, I abound. Why? Because I have Jesus. That's enough.

I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell [Probably some cologne, I guess], a sacrifice acceptable, [and] well-pleasing to God. But my God shall supply all of your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus ( Philippians 4:18-19 ).

Isn't that a glorious promise? Take hold of it tonight. My God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now who can measure that kind of riches? If God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how much more then shall He not freely give us all things?

Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Salute [greet] every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household ( Philippians 4:20-22 ).

As Paul was chained to the Roman guard, those were Caesar's guards, and so many of Caesar's household send their greetings through Paul, who had received Christ because Paul's imprisonment there.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen ( Philippians 4:23 ).

Beautiful, beautiful epistle to the Philippians, and now the glorious epistle to the Colossians; next week, the first two chapters. The preeminence of Jesus Christ. Aw, this one just lifts you into glory as we behold Jesus Christ our Lord, and we see the preeminence that God has given unto Him. The preeminence of Christ. The book of Colossians, one that will enrich us so completely as we study it together.

And now may God cause you to abound in love and in your walk in the Spirit. And may indeed you find the promise to be true as God supplies all of your needs: spiritual, financial, physical, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus our Lord. God bless and keep you and give you a beautiful week. In Jesus' name. "



Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/philippians-4.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

A. The recent gift 4:10-14

First, Paul thanked his brethren for their recent gift that Epaphroditus had delivered to him (Philippians 4:10-14).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/philippians-4.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

IV. EPILOGUE 4:10-20

The apostle began this epistle by sharing some personal information about his situation in Rome (Philippians 1:12-26). He now returned from his concerns for the Philippians (Philippians 1:27 to Philippians 4:9) to his own circumstances (Philippians 4:10-20). Notice the somewhat chiastic structure of the epistle. This epilogue balances the prologue (Philippians 1:3-26).

"Nowhere else in all of Paul’s letters nor in all of the letters of antiquity that have survived until the present is there any other acknowledgment of a gift that can compare with this one in terms of such a tactful treatment of so sensitive a matter . . .

"The very structure of this section makes clear what has just been said. It exhibits a nervous alternation back and forth between Paul’s appreciation on the one hand (Philippians 4:10; Philippians 4:14-16; Philippians 4:18-20), and his insistence on his own independence and self-sufficiency on the other (Philippians 4:11-13; Philippians 4:17)." [Note: Hawthorne, p. 195.]

". . . Paul’s point is that his joy lies not in the gifts per se-these he really could do with or without-but in the greater reality that the gifts represent: the tangible evidence, now renewed, of his and their long-term friendship, which for Paul has the still greater significance of renewing their long-term ’partnership/participation’ with him in the gospel." [Note: Fee, Paul’s Letter . . ., pp. 425-26.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/philippians-4.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

How could Paul be content? His contentment did not come through will power or the power of positive thinking. Paul was not a member of the Stoic philosophic school. It was Jesus Christ who enabled him to be content.

"The secret of Paul’s independence was his dependence upon Another. His self-sufficiency in reality came from being in vital union with One who is all-sufficient." [Note: Hawthorne, p. 201.]

Earlier in this letter Paul explained that the most important thing in life was to center on Christ (Philippians 2:7-11). Contentment is a fruit of doing so. "All things" in the context included being content with little or much materially, but Christ can enable His children to do much more than this (cf. Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37).

"Paul . . . never allowed his weaknesses or perceived weaknesses to be an excuse for inactivity, or for a failure to attempt the impossible task. They in a sense became his greatest assets, and surrendering them to Christ he discovered that they were transformed for his own enrichment and for the enrichment of others." [Note: Ibid., pp. 201-2.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/philippians-4.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I can do all things,.... Which must not be understood in the greatest latitude, and without any limitation; for the apostle was not omnipotent, either in himself, or by the power of Christ; nor could he do all things that Christ could do; but it must be restrained to the subject matter treated of: the sense is, that he could be content in every state, and could know how to behave himself in adversity and prosperity, amidst both poverty and plenty; yea, it may be extended to all the duties incumbent on him both as a Christian and as an apostle, as to exercise a conscience void of offence towards God and men; to take the care of all the churches; to labour more abundantly than others in preaching the Gospel; and to bear all afflictions, reproaches, and persecutions for the sake of it; yea, he could willingly and cheerfully endure the most cruel and torturing death for the sake of Christ: all these things he could do, not in his own strength, for no man was more conscious of his own weakness than he was, or knew more of the impotency of human nature; and therefore always directed others to be strong in the Lord, and in, the power of his might, and in the grace that is in Christ, on which he himself always depended, and by which he did what he did; as he adds here,

through Christ which strengtheneth me. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave out the word "Christ", and only read "him"; and so the Alexandrian copy and others; but intend Christ as those that express it: strength to perform duty and to bear sufferings is in Christ, and which he communicates to his people; he strengthens them with strength in their souls, internally, as the word here used signifies; by virtue of which they can do whatever he enjoins them or calls them to, though without him they can do nothing.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/philippians-4.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Kindness Acknowledged; Christian Contentment. A. D. 62.

      10 But I rejoiced 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.   11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.   12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.   13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.   14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.   15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.   16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.   17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.   18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.   19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

      In these verses we have the thankful grateful acknowledgment which the apostle makes of the kindness of the Philippians in sending him a present for his support, now that he was a prisoner at Rome. And here,

      I. He takes occasion to acknowledge their former kindnesses to him, and to make mention of them, Philippians 4:15; Philippians 4:16. Paul had a grateful spirit; for, though what his friends did for him was nothing in comparison of what he deserved from them and the obligations he had laid upon them, yet he speaks of their kindness as if it had been a piece of generous charity, when it was really far short of a just debt. If they had each of them contributed half their estates to him, they had not given him too much, since they owed to him even their own souls; and yet, when they send a small present to him, how kindly does he take it, how thankfully does he mention it, even in this epistle which was to be left upon record, and read in the churches, through all ages; so that wherever this epistle shall be read there shall this which they did to Paul be told for a memorial of them. Surely never was present so well repaid. He reminds them that in the beginning of the gospel no church communicated with him as to giving and receiving but they only,Philippians 4:15; Philippians 4:15. They not only maintained him comfortably while he was with them, but when he departed from Macedonia they sent tokens of their kindness after him; and this when no other church did so. None besides sent after him of their carnal things, in consideration of what they had reaped of his spiritual things. In works of charity, we are ready to ask what other people do. But the church of the Philippians never considered that. It redounded so much the more to their honour that they were the only church who were thus just and generous. Even in Thessalonica (after he had departed from Macedonia) you sent once and again to my necessity,Philippians 4:16; Philippians 4:16. Observe, 1. It was but little which they sent; they sent only to his necessity, just such things as he had need of; perhaps it was according to their ability, and he did not desire superfluities nor dainties. 2. It is an excellent thing to see those to whom God has abounded in the gifts of his grace abounding in grateful returns to his people and ministers, according to their own ability and their necessity: You sent once and again. Many people make it an excuse for their charity that they have given once; why should the charge come upon them again? But the Philippians sent once and again; they often relieved and refreshed him in his necessities. He makes this mention of their former kindness, not only out of gratitude, but for their encouragement.

      II. He excuses their neglect of late. It seems, for some time they had not sent to enquire after him, or sent him any present; but now at the last their care of him flourished again (Philippians 4:10; Philippians 4:10), like a tree in the spring, which seemed all the winter to be quite dead. Now, in conformity to the example of his great Master, instead of upbraiding them for their neglect, he makes an excuse for them: Wherein you were also careful, but you lacked opportunity. How could they lack opportunity, if they had been resolved upon it? They might have sent a messenger on purpose. But the apostle is willing to suppose, in favour of them, that they would have done it if a fair opportunity had offered. How contrary is this to the behaviour of many to their friends, by whom neglects which really are excusable are resented very heinously, when Paul excused that which he had reason enough to resent.

      III. He commends their present liberality: Notwithstanding, you have well done that you did communicate with my affliction,Philippians 4:14; Philippians 4:14. It is a good work to succour and help a good minister in trouble. Here see what is the nature of true Christian sympathy; not only to be concerned for our friends in their troubles, but to do what we can to help them. They communicated with his affliction, in relieving him under it. He who says, Be you warmed, be you filled, and giveth not those things they have need of, what doth it profit?James 2:16. He rejoiced greatly in it (Philippians 4:10; Philippians 4:10), because it was an evidence of their affection to him and the success of his ministry among them. When the fruit of their charity abounded towards the apostle, it appeared that the fruit of his ministry abounded among them.

      IV. He takes care to obviate the bad use some might make of his taking so much notice of what was sent him. It did not proceed either from discontent and distrust (Philippians 4:11; Philippians 4:11) or from covetousness and love of the world, Philippians 4:12; Philippians 4:12. 1. It did not come from discontent, or distrust of Providence: Not that I speak in respect of want (Philippians 4:11; Philippians 4:11); not in respect of any want he felt, nor of any want he feared. As to the former, he was content with the little he had, and that satisfied him; as to the latter, he depended upon the providence of God to provide for him from day to day, and that satisfied him: so that he did not speak in respect of want any way. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. We have here an account of Paul's learning, not that which he got at the feet of Gamaliel, but that which he got at the feet of Christ. He had learnt to be content; and that was the lesson he had as much need to learn as most men, considering the hardships and sufferings with which he was exercised. He was in bonds, and imprisonments, and necessities, often; but in all he had learnt to be content, that is, to bring his mind to his condition, and make the best of it.--I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound,Philippians 4:12; Philippians 4:12. This is a special act of grace, to accommodate ourselves to every condition of life, and carry an equal temper of mind through all the varieties of our state. (1.) To accommodate ourselves to an afflicted condition--to know how to be abased, how to be hungry, how to suffer want, so as not to be overcome by the temptations of it, either to lose our comfort in God or distrust his providence, or to take any indirect course for our own supply. (2.) To a prosperous condition--to know how to abound, how to be full, so as not to be proud, or secure, or luxurious. And this is as hard a lesson as the other; for the temptations of fulness and prosperity are not less than those of affliction and want. But how must we learn it? I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:13. We have need of strength from Christ, to enable us to perform not only those duties which are purely Christian, but even those which are the fruit of moral virtue. We need his strength to teach us to be content in every condition. The apostle had seemed to boast of himself, and of his own strength: I know how to be abased (Philippians 4:12; Philippians 4:12); but here he transfers all the praise to Christ. "What do I talk of knowing how to be abased, and how to abound? It is only through Christ who strengthens me that I can do it, not in my own strength." So we are required to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10), and to be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1); and we are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man,Ephesians 3:16. The word in the original is a participle of the present tense, en to endynamounti me Christo, and denotes a present and continued act; as if he had said, "Through Christ, who is strengthening me, and does continually strengthen me; it is by his constant and renewed strength I am enabled to act in every thing; I wholly depend upon him for all my spiritual power." 2. It did not come from covetousness, or an affection to worldly wealth: "Not because I desired a gift (Philippians 4:17; Philippians 4:17): that is, I welcome your kindness, not because it adds to my enjoyments, but because it adds to your account." He desired not so much for his own sake, but theirs: "I desire fruit that may abound to your account, that is, that you may be enabled to make such a good use of your worldly possessions that you may give an account of them with joy." It is not with any design to draw more from you, but to encourage you to such an exercise of beneficence as will meet with a glorious reward hereafter. "For my part," says he, "I have all, and abound,Philippians 4:18; Philippians 4:18. What can a man desire more than enough? I do not desire a gift for the gift's sake, for I have all, and abound." They sent him a small token, and he desired no more; he was not solicitous for a present superfluity, or a future supply: I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things which were sent by you. Note, A good man will soon have enough of this world; not only of living in it, but of receiving from it. A covetous worldling, if he has ever so much, would still have more; but a heavenly Christian, though he has little, has enough.

      V. The apostle assures them that God did accept, and would recompense, their kindness to him. 1. He did accept it: It is an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. Not a sacrifice of atonement, for none makes atonement for sin but Christ; but a sacrifice of acknowledgment, and well-pleasing to God. It was more acceptable to God as it was the fruit of their grace than it was to Paul as it was the supply of his want. With such sacrifices God is well pleased,Hebrews 13:16. 2. He would recompense it: But my God shall supply all your wants according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,Philippians 4:19; Philippians 4:19. He does as it were draw a bill upon the exchequer in heaven, and leaves it to God to make them amends for the kindness they had shown him. "He shall do it, not only as your God, but as my God, who takes what is done to me as done to himself. You supplied my needs, according to your poverty; and he shall supply yours, according to his riches." But still it is by Christ Jesus; through him we have grace to do that which is good, and through him we must expect the reward of it. Not of debt, but of grace; for the more we do for God the more we are indebted to him, because we receive the more from him.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Philippians 4:13". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/philippians-4.html. 1706.