Philippians 4:14-19

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.

15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.

16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

you have done well (v.14) — you have done a beautiful thing

shared (v.14) — have fellowship with — The Philippians made Paul’s hardship their own.

beginning of the gospel (v.15) — When Paul first taught them his gospel

Macedonia (v.15) — about 10  years before this letter (Acts 17:1-15)

concerning (v.15) = on the score of, to the account of

Thessalonica (v.16) — about 92 miles from Philippi on the Via Egnatia. Paul did not take anything from the church in Thessalonica, but worked as a tentmaker.

  • For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
  • Nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you (2 Thessalonians 3:8).

not that I seek the gift (v.17) — Paul wanted to make sure the Philippians understood why he was talking about money.

fruit (v.17) — spiritual fruit

your account (v.17) — with the idea of earning (spiritual) interest

I have all (v.18) = I have in full

sweet-smelling aroma (v.18) — their gift is acceptable to God, like the odor of the Old Testament peace offering

Paul acknowledges that he was more than content with what he had received from the assembly. And he wanted them to be aware that their thoughtfulness and generosity had touched the heart of God. Their gifts were “an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable.” The apostle borrows this particular phraseology from the Old Testament. There were five Levitical offerings that were practiced under the Mosaic system, three of which were sweet-smelling savor offerings. They are:

The burnt offering which typified Christ offering Himself to the Father as the sinless spotless Lamb of God (Leviticus 1:3-4).

The meal offering which typified the flawless humanity of Christ who endured suffering on behalf of the sinner (Leviticus 2:1-3).

And the peace offering which typified Christ as the peacemaker who brings the believer into fellowship with God and other believers through His finished work (Leviticus 3:1-3).

These three offerings were all well pleasing to God, typifying Christ’s affectionate devotion to His Father’s will. — Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians, by Paul M. Sadler, page 203.

acceptable sacrifice (v.18) — regarded with favor by God (Hebrews 13:16)

supply all your need (v.19) — out of God’s fullness. “Supply” is from the same Greek word that was just translated “I am full.”

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