Philippians (16): Trusting God for All Our Needs

Date: 11/18/2012
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Giving
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Philippians (16): Trusting God for All Our Needs

Phil 4:14–23 - “Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”

Their Giving was Sacrificial (vv14-16). In this final section, Paul thanks the saints for their gift to him and remembers how they have repeatedly “participated” (koinonia) his ministry (1:5, 19, 4:14ff). From the “beginning of the gospel” their true fellowship with Christ in grace was evident from their giving. Not only this, but their giving was extraordinary. Even in “a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.” They gave “beyond” their ability (2Cor 8:1-5). Are you even giving to your ability?

Their Gift was Sacramental (vv17-18). Paul had an abundance through their provision, but he saw in their giving more than his own needs being met. God was increasing their blessing, literally “compounding the fruit” of their gift, like compound interest. Like a faithful sacrifice of old, these gifts had the sacramental character of being “a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God” (v18). In faithful OT worship, the animals and the harvest were representations of the worshiper. Offering them in faith meant that the Lord paid back the worshiper in the righteousness and grace that could not be bought or earned. Do you take seriously the sacramental offertory in our service in which we set apart our work for His kingdom?

Their Gain was Supplied (vv19-23). The wonderful memory verse that culminates this passage is, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (v19). This is essentially the promise that as they walk in faith and share in the gospel, as evidenced in their giving, so their needs will be met by a more glorious kind of wealth that comes through Christ. This calls us back to flee anxieties about money and have faith in God. Do you trust God to meet all of your needs in Christ?

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more