Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 4
Church leaders today often ask for gifts in quite a desperate manner. The work of God depends on people’s gifts, they say. Sometimes they even seem to demand that Christians must give.
Paul’s attitude was very different. He did encourage Christians to give generously for God’s work (2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9). He also taught that it is right and proper for Christians to give in order to support their leaders (1 Corinthians 9:7-11).
However, Paul did not believe that the work of God depends on anyone’s gifts. Instead, he trusted God to provide, whether or not the Christians gave. He had seen that in his own experiences. Sometimes he had been very poor – but God gave him the strength to serve God even in those difficult circumstances (4:11-13). So Paul did not depend on anyone’s gifts; he depended on God alone.
Still, Paul was very grateful to those Christians who willingly gave to help him. Especially, he was pleased to see their right and good attitudes. Those Christians had done something truly wonderful. They had permitted God to use them, in order to do his work. They had correctly recognised that God wanted them to help Paul. They had understood how, by their gifts, they could share with Paul in his troubles – and therefore, in his work for God. They had given gladly and willingly; and by their actions they showed the love that Christians should show (John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians chapter 13). So although Paul never demanded their gifts, those gifts were both necessary and important in the work of God.
Next part: A generous church (Philippians 4:15)
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© 2020, Keith Simons.