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Philippians, Chapter Four, Lesson Three

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V.17 ** Was Paul looking for gifts from people?

No - he had learned to be content! He says, "Not that I seek the gift itself..."

** Then for what was Paul seeking?

"...the profit which increases to [the Philippian's] account..."

** What does that mean? Is giving just a self-serving, self-glorifying exercise?

No - Let's examine what happens on an eternal scale when we give our lives and resources to others in the name of Christ.

1) Profit (karpos) - lit. fruit, charged to our account. cf. John 15:16

2) Rewards - cf. 1Corinthians 3:10-15, 2Corinthians 5:6-10

3) That still sounds self-serving, what is the ultimate goal? Glory to God!
cf. Revelation 4:10-11 "casting our crowns" John 15:8 "By this is My Father glorified"

When our "account" increases, it simply means that our ability to bring glory to God has increased.

V.18 ** Being amazingly sensitive, what does Paul do to insure that the Philippians aren't discouraged by his statement about not seeking the gift?

He makes three distinct statements about the sufficiency of their loving gift.
1) I have received everything in full
2) I have an abundance
3) I am amply supplied (lit.-made full)
All because of their generosity and "having received" what they had sent through Epaphroditus.

** With what threefold, supernatural insight does Paul encourage the Philippians? Or to put it another way, what was God's perspective of their gift?

It was...
1) a fragrant aroma
2) an acceptable sacrifice
3) well pleasing to God cf. Hebrews 13:16
Now we know that their giving wasn't self-serving, but rather it was God serving!

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