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Philippians 4:1 Honor and distinction

22-03-2023 - Posted by Hans

So that, my brethren, beloved and longed for, my joy and wreath, be standing firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

This verse forms the transition to a new passage. Paul addresses his readers as “brethren,” which of course includes sisters, as verse 2 also shows. This use of the masculine form of address rests on the Biblical principle that it is the man, not the woman, who is primarily responsible (“Adam, where are you?”).

Paul makes no secret of his longing for the Philippians (1:8; 2:26). He rejoices in them and calls them his “wreath”. Does he mean by this that the faith of the Philippians would be his merit? Of course not! For our faith is always GOD’S achievement. After all, He opens eyes, ears and hearts and He convinces. That is not human work. However, that does not alter the fact that Paul was honored to be God’s instrument in this. This award is Paul’s honor , but because it was given to him , it is GOD’S merit.

Twice in one sentence the readers are called “beloved” (viz. beloved of God; Rom. 1:7) and exhorted so to stand firm in the Lord. “Thus”, that is, standing firm in the promises of God as Paul had recorded them.