The One who Supplies All of Our Needs
Paul returns to the purpose for writing this letter to the church at Philippi in the first place, which seems to be to say, “Thank you for your gift.” Paul’s love for the churches is evident in all of his letters, regardless of the problems Paul needed to address in each church. But as we noted from the beginning, this letter of Paul shows the most warmth and concord between the Apostle and a church. He refers here to the gift conveyed to him from them by the hand of Epaphroditus, “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” Hence, we are reminded of the kind of sacrifices our Lord is pleased with—not the blood of goats and bulls but Christian charity. Indeed, this church had sent him aid once and again showing churches down through the ages the need for missions support. But in thanking the Philippians for their gift to him, Paul makes some comments which, although might seem to be made almost in passing, provide some of his finest teaching on trusting the Lord.
While thanking the Philippians for their support of his mission labors, he wants them to know that regardless of his circumstances, be they favorable of not, he had learned to be content. A better translation of the Greek would be “self-sufficient,” though translators shun this word for its independent nuances in contemporary ears. Rightly so but Paul insists that his sufficiency has nothing to do with his own strength but that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” In other words, Paul would have his hearers understand that only through faith in Christ, has he learned to live in any and all circumstances.
Furthermore, Paul will have these Philippians know that they can enjoy the same confidence. How? Because the Apostle knows that “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Now this has nothing to do with a “health and wealth” false gospel. No. The Philippians can count on such provision from the Lord because they have generously provided for others. It is through giving that we receive. And Paul speaks of needs, not desires. And our greatest needs are spiritual, not material. In sum, Kingdom economics has to do with complete trust in the Lord in every and all circumstances understanding that He is the divine Gift Giver who supplies us with all we need—SO THAT we may supply others with what they need. Oh, and please note: There were even saints in “Caesar’s household,” showing us that believers can show up anywhere, spreading the grace around. That’s even better Kingdom economics.