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4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


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4. (Isa 61:10.)

alway—even amidst the afflictions now distressing you (Php 1:28-30).

again—as he had already said, "Rejoice" (Php 3:1). Joy is the predominant feature of the Epistle.

I sayGreek, rather, "I will say."

5. moderation—from a Greek root, "to yield," whence yieldingness [Trench]; or from a root, "it is fitting," whence "reasonableness of dealing" [Alford], that considerateness for others, not urging one's own rights to the uttermost, but waiving a part, and thereby rectifying the injustices of justice. The archetype of this grace is God, who presses not the strictness of His law against us as we deserve (Ps 130:3, 4); though having exacted the fullest payment for us from our Divine Surety. There are included in "moderation," candor and kindliness. Joy in the Lord raises us above rigorism towards others (Php 4:5), and carefulness (Php 4:6) as to one's own affairs. Sadness produces morose harshness towards others, and a troublesome spirit in ourselves.

Let … be known—that is, in your conduct to others, let nothing inconsistent with "moderation" be seen. Not a precept to make a display of moderation. Let this grace "be known" to men in acts; let "your requests be made to God" in word (Php 4:6).

unto all men—even to the "perverse" (Php 2:15), that so ye may win them. Exercise "forbearance" even to your persecutors. None is so ungracious as not to be kindly to someone, from some motive or another, on some occasion; the believer is to be so "unto all men" at all times.

The Lord is at hand—The Lord's coming again speedily is the grand motive to every Christian grace (Jas 5:8, 9). Harshness to others (the opposite of "moderation") would be taking into our own hands prematurely the prerogatives of judging, which belongs to the Lord alone (1Co 4:5); and so provoking God to judge us by the strict letter of the law (Jas 2:12, 13).

6. Translate, "Be anxious about nothing." Care and prayer are as mutually opposed as fire and water [Bengel].

by prayer and supplicationGreek, "by the prayer and the supplication" appropriate to each case [Alford]. Prayer for blessings; and the general term. Supplication, to avert ills; a special term, suppliant entreaty (see on Eph 6:18).

thanksgiving—for every event, prosperity and affliction alike (1Th 5:18; Jas 5:13). The Philippians might remember Paul's example at Philippi when in the innermost prison (Ac 16:25). Thanksgiving gives effect to prayer (2Ch 20:21), and frees from anxious carefulness by making all God's dealings matter for praise, not merely for resignation, much less murmuring. "Peace" is the companion of "thanksgiving" (Php 4:7; Col 3:15).

let your requests be made known unto God—with generous, filial, unreserved confidence; not keeping aught back, as too great, or else too small, to bring before God, though you might feel so as to your fellow men. So Jacob, when fearing Esau (Ge 32:9-12); Hezekiah fearing Sennacherib (2Ki 19:14; Ps 37:5).

7. And—The inseparable consequence of thus laying everything before God in "prayer with thanksgiving."

peace—the dispeller of "anxious care" (Php 4:6).

of God—coming from God, and resting in God (Joh 14:27; 16:33; Col 3:15).

passethsurpasseth, or exceedeth, all man's notional powers of understanding its full blessedness (1Co 2:9, 10; Eph 3:20; compare Pr 3:17).

shall keep—rather, "shall guard"; shall keep as a well-garrisoned stronghold (Isa 26:1, 3). The same Greek verb is used in 1Pe 1:5. There shall be peace secure within, whatever outward troubles may besiege.

hearts and minds—rather, "hearts (the seat of the thoughts) and thoughts" or purposes.

through—rather as Greek, "in Christ Jesus." It is in Christ that we are "kept" or "guarded" secure.

8. Summary of all his exhortations as to relative duties, whether as children or parents, husbands or wives, friends, neighbors, men in the intercourse of the world, &c.

true—sincere, in words.

honestOld English for "seemly," namely, in action; literally, grave, dignified.

just—towards others.

pure—"chaste," in relation to ourselves.

lovely—lovable (compare Mr 10:21; Lu 7:4, 5).

of good report—referring to the absent (Php 1:27); as "lovely" refers to what is lovable face to face.

if there be any virtue—"whatever virtue there is" [Alford]. "Virtue," the standing word in heathen ethics, is found once only in Paul's Epistles, and once in Peter's (2Pe 1:5); and this in uses different from those in heathen authors. It is a term rather earthly and human, as compared with the names of the spiritual graces which Christianity imparts; hence the rarity of its occurrence in the New Testament. Piety and true morality are inseparable. Piety is love with its face towards God; morality is love with its face towards man. Despise not anything that is good in itself; only let it keep its due place.

praise—whatever is praiseworthy; not that Christians should make man's praise their aim (compare Joh 12:43); but they should live so as to deserve men's praise.

think on—have a continual regard to, so as to "do" these things (Php 4:9) whenever the occasion arises.

9. both—rather, "The things also which ye have learned … these practice"; the things which besides recommending them in words, have been also recommended by my example, carry into practice.

heard—though ye have not yet sufficiently "received" them.

seen—though ye have not as yet sufficiently "learned" them [Bengel].

and—"and then," as the necessary result (Php 4:7). Not only "the peace of God," but "the God of peace" Himself "shall be with you."




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