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Philippians 1-4 Listen
Introduction to Philippians
Paul wrote this letter while in prison - probably during the Roman imprisonment we see in Acts 28:30 (see notes). He talks specifically about this imprisonment in 1:12-18 (see below). That would put the date of the letter at 59 to 61 A.D. Philippi was far away from Jerusalem - over 1,000 miles by boat up in Macedonia. The church at Philippi was founded in A.D. 50 in the course of Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16, see notes).
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Compared to the other churches to whom he wrote letters, Paul's greeting seems more affectionate toward these folks as we look over the first 5 verses of his epistle. He had established this church some 10 or so years earlier while on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:12-40, see notes). Timothy's name is in the greeting, not because he helped Paul write the letter, but rather that he was traveling with Paul at the time of the writing. Timothy was a well-known leader to the Philippians. His reference to "fellowship in the gospel" in verse 5 may very well be two fold - the kindness and hospitality they had shown toward Paul along with their continued financial support which he mentions in 4:15-16 (see below)
Though still in the process of greeting, Paul makes a significant doctrinal point in verse 6 as he verifies the continuing work of grace in their lives - not only for their salvation ("begun a good work"), but for the long haul through the strength of the Holy Spirit in their lives. That work continues until "the day of Jesus Christ," a term mentioned again in verse 10, which is discussed below. Paul again expresses his love for them in verses 7-8. The KJV term "bowels" in verse 8 comes from the Greek noun, "splagchnon," which literally refers to intestines, but was used figuratively during that period to convey intense compassion for another.
In verses 9-11, Paul shares with the Philippians the prayer he prays for them as follows:
Like many who have studied before me, I had once attempted to fix a hard-and-fast rule on the usage of the terms "day of Jesus/Christ/God/the Lord." After countless hours of comparison over a period of years, it seems that there are no hard-and-fast rules on the usage of the term; the context must be considered in each instance in the New Testament. As a matter of fact, sometimes the word "day" (Greek: "hemera") is used to describe a literal 24-hour period and sometimes just the daylight portion; sometimes it figuratively describes a period of time - similar to the way we use the word when we say something like, "Back in my day, things were different."
Following are some of the events that may be referenced by the term "day of" in the New Testament:
So...what is meant when Paul uses the terms in Philippians? In all three references (1:6, 1:10, 2:16), Paul is obviously making reference to the end of labors for Believers in his day and ours here on earth. Therefore, those references clearly identify the rapture for Believers.
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
What a trooper! Paul acknowledges that his imprisonment in Rome is necessary for the advancement of the Gospel. He is being availed with opportunities for spreading the Gospel not possible otherwise. He remarks that this includes the "palace" (Greek: praitorion) along with other places. Moreover, others had been emboldened to preach upon Paul's imprisonment as well - some with the correct motivations and some without. Whatever their motivation, Paul says in verse 18, "What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." The Greek word for "pretence" there is "prophasis" which literally means "false motive." Isn't it interesting that Paul is pleased that "Christ is preached" even by those whose motivation for doing so is not what it should be? Understand, he's not talking about false doctrine here - just their motivation for preaching - as long as the message is true.
Rejoicing in prison (Philippians 1:19-26)
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
The "salvation" of verse 19 is used in the context of physical "salvation" - not spiritual. He's talking about physical deliverance from prison and from a potential death sentence. He is determined to be just as bold in the face of death as he is in life. I particularly like Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Paul says his life is all about Christ. So...living, dying...it's all good to him. However, he expresses in verse 24 that the Philippians will benefit more if his life is spared, even though his personal preference (verse 23) is to go ahead and be with Christ (in death). However, he concludes that his personal feelings about the issues are that God will allow his life to be spared this time; he anticipates seeing the Philippians once again (verses 25-26).
So...was Paul able to go back to Philippi and minister after the writing of this letter? Here's an excerpt from the Expositor's Bible Commentary on that issue:
Evidence from the pastoral Epistles, confirmed by considerable early historical testimony, indicates that Paul was released from this first Roman imprisonment and had opportunity for travel, including a trip through Macedonia (and presumably Philippi), before being imprisoned once again and suffering a martyrs death.
Testimony, testimony, testimony! (Philippians 1:27-30)
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Paul emphasizes that his desire for them is that they remain strong in Christ with or without his presence. Notice Philippians 1:27, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" That Greek phrase uses the Greek imperative verb form ("politeuomai"). He also uses the Greek word for "worthy" ("axios"). Add to that imperative (a command) the phrase ("worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ") and you get the sense. Paul's insisting upon a lifestyle that is "worthy." Let's reword the phrase like this: "Only, let you live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." Contrary to what many would have you believe, what people observe about our lifestyle does matter. And what about those people who oppose your life in Christ (verse 28)? That opposition is simply a verification of their impending destruction ("perdition") and your salvation. And notice verse 29 - a little suffering? No big deal! It goes with the territory (verse 29), just as it is with Paul (verse 30).
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
These verses show us the attributes of Christ and challenge us to emulate them. Verses 1-2 make this point: If your comfort is from Christ (which he's not questioning), then be unified. There's that Greek word ("splagchnon") translated bowels again as we already saw in 1:8 (see above); it was used figuratively during that period to convey intense compassion for another. How does that look on the outside? There's your answer in verses 3-4 - selflessness! Verses 1-4 encourage us to work as a team with other Believers; all of us are working toward the same goal; who cares where the credit goes. It was for the good of the body of Believers that Jesus Christ made his sacrifice, as seen in verses 5-11. These are worth memorizing; they demonstrate to us that Christ is worthy to be worshipped, and one day EVERYONE will declare that HE IS LORD! Incidentally, these attributes of Christ are given to us here to support Paul's admonition of verses 3-4. Literally, don't get caught up in your own self interests at the exclusion of the interests of others...just like Christ.
In the study of Christ, these verses are of utmost importance, though Paul gives them almost incidentally in making a point about Christian lifestyle. In other words, these 7 verses (5-11) have heavy Christological implications as follows:
The importance of a positive testimony ((Philippians 2:12-18)
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
Now here's a verse that has been taken out of context by Biblical novices: Philippians 2:12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Notice the context; Paul is talking to saved people to whom he has already ministered, but may not be able to personally minister in their presence again. He is telling them that the details of positive Christian living before the world is something that they must "work out" on their own. This verse has nothing to do with mixing works with salvation by faith. The "work out" (Greek verb: "katergazomai") simply implies to be about the business of performing works that reflect salvation.
Paul then uses an expression which is used by him in several other contexts in his writings, "with fear and trembling." It's an expression in Greek which is meant to convey extreme importance used by Paul also in I Corinthians 2:3, II Corinthians 7:15 and Ephesians 6:5 in various contexts. In verse 13 Paul says that God works in us for his "good pleasure." With that thought in mind, he notes that it's not just the big things, but the little things as well that accentuate a positive testimony for Christ. Verse 14 shows us that being a perpetual malcontent is sometimes just as damaging to one's testimony as major acts of rebellion. Make no mistake about it, verses 14 and 15 are lifestyle verses. Believers should strive to be above reproach in their public testimony. Paul calls in a marker in verse 16 when he challenges them to share the "word of life"( i.e. the Gospel) with others as he had done with them. We are to be lights in this world - not cast a shadow with our presence when we enter a room. The "day of Christ" here is to be understood as the rapture of Believers (see discussion on "day of Christ" above). Paul refers to his own potential death sentence as a sacrifice in verses 17-18 - a sacrifice that will have been gladly given on behalf of these Philippians. For their receipt of the Gospel message from Paul, they also rejoice.
A couple of good messengers ((Philippians 2:19-30)
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
Paul expresses a desire to be able to have someone minister to them like himself, but none is available to do so. Nonetheless, he expresses his desire to send Timothy later and Epaphroditis soon to minister among them. He commends Timothy for being "likeminded" with himself (verse 20), a characteristic which Paul found rare (verse 21). We see in verse 25 that it apparently was Epaphroditis who had brought word from the Philippian church to Paul (and perhaps a little cash while he was at it).
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul begins chapter 3 by declaring that he's going to do a review of some very important warnings he had given them before - probably when he was there. Mentioning it again is no problem for Paul and the safe thing to do for their sake. That warning to the people in Philippi is in verse 2, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." Nooooo! That's not a literal dog; it's a metaphoric dog. Metaphoric dog bites are the worst kind! Do a word search on "dog" in the Bible, and you will see the bad reputation dogs had. They are most often referred to in the context of being scavengers. Paul is warning them to watch out for the spiritual scavengers. He also uses an extreme term when he says, "beware of the concision." The Greek word there ("katatome") means self mutilators. He's addressing those people who had mixed Judaistic circumcision with grace as a component of salvation. By calling them self mutilators, he is obviously completely discounting the role of circumcision in the salvation experience. No wonder the Jewish leaders hated him. Incidentally, you will recall that this was the very accusation leveled against him back in Acts 21:21 (see notes). Verse 3 sums it up with regard to this sadistic practice of requiring new Believers to be circumcised when Paul says, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." In other words, physical circumcision has nothing to do with one's relationship with God. Spiritual circumcision is accomplished when one receives Christ as savior. Then he wants his readers to understand, he, himself, has been through all of those Judaistic practices as he lists his credentials in verses 4-6.
Just take a look at Paul's impressive set of Jewish credentials:
So...what about these impressive Jewish credentials (verses 7-8)? They were of no gain for the cause of Christ. As a matter of fact, none of his accomplishments were significant in light of "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." Only Christ is important; everything else is garbage ("dung"). Upon winning Christ (verse 8), Paul explains that one's righteousness does not rest upon personal accomplishments (verse 9), but strictly upon "the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Verse 10 sounds important, but perhaps may seem a little cryptic; let's break it down into parts. Paul is itemizing his personal experience with Christ:
Speaking of his death in verse 10, Paul says in verse 11, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." The Greek word for "attain" there is "katantao" which may be also translated "arrive." It's a Greek aorist subjunctive and should be understood as a possible soon-to-come eventuality of the "death" in verse 10. In other words, "If somehow I should arrive unto the resurrection of the dead." He's close to a death sentence; it could happen.
That brings up another point. Is Paul finished then...I mean...is he throwing in the towel (so to speak). Nooooo! He emphasizes in verses 12-13 that he's still in the race. He uses a little bit of athletic talk here to make his point. He hasn't "attained" (i.e. received the prize yet), nor is he portraying himself as the finished product of Christ (i.e. "already perfect/complete). He continues to pursue the same mission of Christ. Therefore, he doesn't consider himself to be finished (verse 13), but he does know that past accomplishments are of no benefit, and he is "reaching forth" (Greek: "epekteinomai" means to stretch one's muscles) toward a goal which he refers to in verse 14 as "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Here's what Paul means to convey: He's working hard - giving his all - to reaching his ministry goals. Those goals were set before him by Jesus himself.
Stick to the plan! (Philippians 3:15-21)
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
We saw in the preceding verse that Paul's eyes were fixed on a goal, and he would not be distracted. Then the challenge in verse 15: let's all rise to this level of commitment with Paul. If you're thinking otherwise, a spirit-led Believer will see it. Now to some more lifestyle verses regarding Christian maturity in verses 16-17. Don't get hung up on that word "perfect" in verse 15; the Greek word "telios" literally means "mature," and in this case it's speaking of spiritual maturity. Paul admonishes them to live consistently and according to established rules of godliness. Those who refuse to do so are "the enemies of the cross of Christ." He describes them as unregenerate in verse 18, listing their unregenerate attributes in verse 19. And why? Because in verse 19 Paul tells us that our real citizenship is not here, but in Heaven; that's where our loyalties lie. Perhaps verse 18 is worth giving special attention to here, "(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:" Understand what Paul is saying: Those who don't preach salvation by grace alone and who don't preach committed Christian living are "enemies of the cross." Paul was not a very good ecumenicist, was he?
On the other hand, our "conversation" (verse 20) is in Heaven. The Greek word for "conversation" is "politeuma" which means "citizenship." To Believers, that's home. We're just working here and looking for Jesus to receive us (rapture). At that point, he'll transform our bodies into glorified bodies (verse 21). He'll do that by the same power with which he "subdued" everything else.
1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 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.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We saw some high-level living in chapter 3. Did Paul make the victorious living of chapter 3 seem a little too easy? Well...how does a Believer keep a positive outlook of personal spiritual victory? That's our subject at the beginning of chapter 4. In verse 1 Paul tells them to "stand fast [firm] in the Lord." Adverse circumstances can get you down as perhaps had happened between the two women of verse 2; we don't have additional information on that situation. He solicits some third-party assistance for the remedy in verse 3.
Now, here are some of my favorite verses in counseling those who are distraught. Verses 4-5 tell us to stay in a state of rejoicing, displaying our "moderation" (Greek "epieikes" i.e. "gentleness"). How is that accomplished? Well, here it is in verses 6-8: don't worry; pray instead; God's peace (that passes all understanding) will prevail in you. Wait! There's more! Control your thought life. That's in verse 8. You know...garbage in - garbage out. Instead, fill your minds with virtuous thoughts.
So, here are the action items for Believers, especially the distraught in verses 4-8:
This is God's therapy; it works! Try it.
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.
Life ain't fair! But you don't hear Paul complaining...even though he's in prison while he's writing this letter. So, what does a guy say when he's in prison? Look at verse 11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." What? Content in prison? I know folks who get cranky if they have to share a bathroom. Maybe we need to adjust our expectations. Paul lays his whole dependence on Christ in verse 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.
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Typical conclusion, but it's a little special. He commends these folks for being there for him with support - physically, spiritually and financially. The church at Philippi was founded in A.D. 50 in the course of Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16, see notes). Philippi, itself, was located in Macedonia. Apparently these Philippians were the only church to contribute to his ministry following his second missionary journey. Paul's next stop after Philippi was the church of Thessalonica - still on his second missionary journey. Apparently the Philippians sent funds to him there also. Epaphroditus had been the courier for these funds.
What about folks who share their resources as the Philippians had done? Verse 19 declares to them, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Generosity toward the ministry insures that the giver's needs will always be met.
Paul concludes by extending his oft-used salutation on behalf of those who were with him. He even mentions "Caesar's household." We don't really know to whom he is referring here - probably not relatives of Nero himself. He could be referring to the Roman guard or perhaps servants of Caesar.