3:1-6: Paul safeguards the Philippians from trusting in their lineage and religious accomplishments. Implication: Adhering to religion does not grant a right relationship with God. The only way to God’s blessing is faith in Christ. Christians boast in Christ alone because everything valuable is in Him.
3:7-11: Paul considers his religiously self-righteous past as worthless rubbish compared to personally knowing Christ. Implication: Knowing Christ means righteousness from God. Nothing is worth more than Christ. Christians give up anything that hinders gaining and knowing Christ!
3:12-16: Paul ignores his prior accomplishments and continually presses on toward Christlikeness. God reveals this mature mindset. Implication: Even mature saints have not arrived. We never stop learning of Christ and imitating Him. Christlikeness is every Christian’s goal!
3:17-21: Paul exhorts us to follow godly examples. Many enemies of Christ abound! Their earthly mindset ignores eternity and the cross. But we know that our home is in heaven and we fix our hope on the Savior. Implication: Secularism ignores eternity, devalues heaven and elevates the earthly life, rendering the cross irrelevant. But, no earthly power can eliminate death and damnation. Our spiritual stability comes from our heavenly mindset.
4:1-5: Paul gives instructions on harmony, joy and gentleness. He urges Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord and asks Syzygus to help them. He commands us to rejoice in the Lord always and to exhibit gracious reasonableness toward all men in view of Christ’s soon return. Implications: Commit to actively pursuing harmony. Agree with one another in obedience to the Lord. Disunity is easy. Unity is hard. Even seasoned Christians need the help of a godly intermediary. Rejoice in Christ who does not change. Sin will rob us of joy. Dwell on Christ’s return and let that compel you to graciousness.
4:6-9: Paul also instructs the Philippians to be anxious for nothing, to pray continually to God with thanksgiving and to mindfully consider Christian virtues. Then he exhorts us to practice the very virtues that he exemplified. Implications: Anxiety is inexcusable. Trust God’s promise: prayer + thanksgiving = His peace. Consider and follow godly models in your life.
4:10-14: Paul rejoices in the Philippians' care for him. However, his contentment is not in their gift but in Christ. Partnering in the gospel is commendable. Implications: The world vainly searches for the secret of contentment. We find contentment in Christ who strengthens us. We stand with those who suffer for Christ, not show indifference.
4:15-23: The Philippians were the only ones who supported Paul repeatedly. God rewards such giving with a heavenly profit that increases to their account. All sacrificial giving like this pleases God. God will always amply provide for such givers. Implications: Christians proactively pursue generous gospel giving and partnership. Good givers sacrificially give, even from want, and this pleases God who is able to grow the impact of our gifts. Christians confidently trust God for provision. We warmly greet every saint. The church is one unit.