A Study of Philippians 4:14-23 reveals the importance of relationship in ministry, investing in eternal rewards, and assurance that God meets your needs.
A Study of Philippians 4:14-23 reveals the importance of relationship in ministry
V.14 To share my troubles…
V.15 no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving…,
The first thing this passage reveals is the importance of relationships in ministry. Paul uses two similar words to communicate this. The Greek word for “share” in V. 14 is synkoinōnēsantes, which means to share in company with, to co-participate in. And the Greek word for “partnership” in V.15 is kŏinōnĕō, which means to share with others. To communicate, distribute, and be a partaker.
Both words express a similar idea to the Greek word kŏinōnia, which means partnership, participation, or social interaction. And describes the unique sense of community when Christ-followers engage socially.
In other words, the Philippian church is not simply giving to a good cause. Or contributing to an online fund raising account. They’re investing in the ministry of someone they know and have a relationship with. Not just because they care about Paul’s ministry. But because they care about Paul and his welfare.
It underscores an important principle. The church should be relationship driven. Church programs are good. Worship and proclaiming God’s word a must. But ministry without relationships lacks spiritual power and Kingdom impact.
A study of Philippians 4:14-23 encourages investing in eternal rewards
V.17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit
The Greek word for “fruit” is karpós, and in secular Greek refers to “product” or “gain”. It’s financial language that describes earning interest in an account. Jesus also uses karpós in Matthew 7:17 when he says, “a healthy tree bears good fruit.” And he is clearly speaking in a spiritual context.
It appears Paul is doing the same thing. In other words, he’s saying their financial investment into his ministry is a spiritual deposit that earns dividends in the Kingdom of God. Jesus supports this idea further in Matthew 6:19-21 when he talks about storing treasure.
A Study of Philippians 4:14-23 provides assurance that God will meet your needs
A sacrifice pleasing to God…
The Philippian church gave sacrificially. Even perhaps, to putting themselves at financial risk. Paul points this out in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 where he speaks of their poverty, and yet, the sacrificial generosity of the Philippian church in providing for his ministry.
And it’s not the gift itself, that pleases God. But the sacrificial attitudes and serving hearts of those giving.
Of course, church generosity begins with individual generosity. As 2 Corinthians 9:7 reminds us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Not because God needs our money, but because generosity fights against our natural tendency of selfishness and greed.
V.19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Paul assures them in V.17 that he is now well supplied. And in a like manner, God will supply their needs. He didn’t ask them to give with such sacrifice. Nor would I suggest that sacrificial giving to the point of risking the welfare of your family is something God wants. However, the point is that God controls all the world’s richest and will supply the needs of His people who seek to honor and serve Him.
REFLECT AND RECORD
When you consider your own level of generosity, what drives it? Is gratitude, your trust in God, or your need for security?
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About Chip Tudor:
Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.