14. General Exhortations (Philippians 4:1-9)
I. Translation as It Appears in the NET Bible
4:1 So then, my brothers and sisters, dear friends whom I long to see, my joy and crown, stand in the Lord in this way, my dear friends! 4:2 I appeal to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 4:3 Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 4:5 Let your gentleness be seen by all. The Lord is near! 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, tell your requests to God in your every prayer and petition—with thanksgiving. 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 4:9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.
II. Outline: General Exhortations (4:1-9)
A. Transition (4:1)
B. Exhortations (4:2-9)
1. To Help Two Women (4:2-3)
2. To Rejoice (4:4-5)
3. To Pray (4:6-7)
4. To Think Rightly (4:8)
5. To Imitate Paul (4:9)
There is no specific connection literarily to what has preceded in the letter. The connection is historical in that the various imperatives of 4:1, 4-9 are further exhortations for the church’s growth. They may be grouped together as a final, general body of exhortations, though they are not to be viewed as secondary in any sense. Phil 4:2-3 concern a local situation regarding a dispute between two women, but 4:1 and 4:4-9 are more general in character.
IV. General Exhortations (4:1-9)
A. Transition (4:1)
4:1 So then (hoste), my brothers and sisters (adelphoi mou), dear friends (agapetoi) whom I long to see (epipothetoi), my joy and crown (chara kai stephanos mou), stand in the Lord in this way (houtos stekete en kurio), my dear friends (agapetoi)!
Chapter 4 and verse 1 serves as a transition. The term “so then” (hoste), as it so often does, draws on previous material and expresses a logical conclusion from it. To be certain its immediate connection is to 3:20-21 and the idea that Christian citizenship is in heaven and that the Philippians are eagerly awaiting a savior from there. It is on this basis that the Philippians are to stand in the Lord (stekete en kurio). But what does Paul mean by stand in the Lord and the adverb in this way (houtos). To stand firm in the Lord means to hold on to the truth on one hand—as a unified church, and to resist the onslaught of attacks on the other (Phil 1:27). The Philippians were to stand firm and not be taken in by the Judaizers (3:3-16) or those who were apparently of a more antinomian (“lawless) perspective (3:17-21). They were to do so in this way, meaning in the way that Paul had shown them by his own example (in 3:3-14, and indeed in the whole letter). Paul understood the error of their reasoning and the sufficiency of the cross. He knew that a personal relationship with Christ relies not on legalism, but on faith and personal trust. The Philippians were not to move away from this mark.
The command to “stand firm in the Lord” was not given the Philippians by an apostle who did not care for the churches over which God had placed him. Quite the contrary. Paul loved these people. Indeed the command is almost lost sight of in the midst of the many terms of affection, terms which go back to earlier comments in the epistle, e.g., 1:8. There he says: “God is my witness how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” First, Paul refers to them as brothers and sisters (adelphoi). This is the seventh time in this letter—a letter in which the term appears a total of nine times. It not only connotes intimacy, but expresses the family relationship Paul has with these people in Christ. He refers to them twice as beloved (agapetoi) which reflects his tremendous commitment to them as people and to their growth in the Lord (1:25). It is in this context of commitment and love that he urges them to stand firm in the Lord. Further, he says that he longs to see them (epipothetoi)—a point he has already made earlier in 1:8 (cf. also 2:24)—and thus it is no wonder that he refers to them as my joy and crown (chara kai stephanos mou). Joy is a theme in this letter as is evident in 1:4, 2:25 and 2:2. The Philippians are his joy in the sense that they give him great joy when he thinks and prays for them. They were a real “bright spot” in the apostle’s apostolic ministry and calling. The crown speaks to the feeling of pride Paul has in them now and might also allude to the apostle’s reward in eternity. Nonetheless, they are presently his honor. O’Brien comments:
As chara so also stephanos here describes what the Philippians are presently to Paul: they are already the cause of his honour, the source of his pride and joy. Certainly by their continued faithfulness ‘they ensure for him a crown on that day when the final word will be spoken on his apostolic work’. But they are his crown even now.216
B. Exhortations (4:2-9)
1. To Help Two Women (4:2-3)
4:2 I appeal (parakalo217) to Euodia and to Syntyche to agree in the Lord (to auto phronein en kurio). 4:3 Yes, I say also to you, true companion (gnesie suzuge), help them (sullambanou autais). They have struggled together (sunethlesan) in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers (sunergon), whose names are in the book of life (biblo zoes). Paul now turns to make an urgent appeal to two women who seem to have been at odds with one another and whose relationship probably threatened the unity of the body at large. That the relationship of Euodia and Syntyche (two common names) did indeed threaten the entire church is likely since Paul mentions them by name, and does so in a letter that was to be read publicly. Some scholars have attempted to identify one of the women with Lydia (Acts 16:14, 40) while others have argued that the names are used metaphorically to refer to two factions (i.e., the Petrine and the Pauline) in the church. Neither of these arguments commend themselves.
The use of the word Yes serves to reinforce Paul’s appeal to Euodia and Syntyche; they are to come to a common mind in the Lord, that is, they are to live in agreement and unity. Paul even requests that a certain true companion (gnesie suzuge) help in this reconciliation. Scholars who regard the names as referring to literal people have suggested several people for the identity of the true companion, including Timothy, Silas, Epaphroditus, Paul’s supposed wife, Christ himself (in a prayer), the bishop of the church in Philippi, Luke, etc. Many others take the term suzuge as a proper name and the term gnesie to mean that the person is rightly named. That is, they have lived up to their name of “companion” or “yoke-fellow.” The one problem with this interpretation is that there is no inscriptional support for such a name. The truth is: all suggestions remain only that, suggestions. We have no way of knowing for certain, nor do we need to know who the person was in order to understand the point of the passage: Paul wants this person—whoever they may be—to help Euodia and Syntyche agree in the Lord. He wants both women to reconcile and live harmoniously.
The apostle wants help for these two women because They have struggled together (sunethlesan) in the gospel ministry along with him and Clement and Paul’s other coworkers (sunergon), whose names are in the book of life (biblo zoes). The term sunethlesan is an athletic term which highlights the intensity of the struggle these women endured in the cause of the gospel (cf. Phil 1:12-26). Further, they served in this struggle with Paul and as a result he appears deeply committed to resolving this issue. Clement is otherwise unknown to us but appears to have been an associate of Paul’s. There were also other coworkers (sunergon) with whom Euodia and Syntyche had labored in the cause of the gospel. The repeated use of the sun prefix emphasizes the “togetherness” and unity of the people involved in the ministry of the gospel.
All of these peoples’ names are in the book of life (biblo zoes). With the previous mention of “citizenship in heaven,” the reference to the book of life indicates the Christian’s registry in the commonwealth of heaven. The image is immediately apropos, since the Philippians, as citizens of Rome living in a Roman colony, would have had their names entered in a civic registry for the Roman government. The background of the imagery, however (of names in a book of life), is not particularly Greek, but Jewish and in Paul’s thinking undoubtedly comes from the OT. Fee explains:
The idea of names inscribed by God in a heavenly book is found as early as Exod 32:32-33 (“blot out my name from the book you have written”); it is actually called “the book of life” in Ps 69:28 (LXX 68:29, “book of the living”). The term was especially congenial to apocalyptic (cf. Dan 12:1; 1 Enoch 47:3; Herm. Sim. 29), as evidenced by its sevenfold occurrence in the Revelation (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19). This is the same tradition to which Jesus refers in Luke 10:20 (“your names are written in heaven”); cf. Heb 12:23.218
2. To Rejoice (4:4-5)
Having made an appeal to specific people in the church to help resolve a potentially divisive issue, Paul turns to the church at large and urges them to Rejoice in the Lord always (chairete en kurio pantote). Again I say, rejoice (chairete)! For Paul joy was bound up with the salvation and relationship he enjoyed with the Lord and was thus not contingent upon how things were going in his life or ministry. Thus he could tell the church to rejoice always. This does not mean that he did not feel sorrow (Phil 2:27), but that joy was overall, a major theme in his life. He regarded it as the work of the Holy Spirit (Phil 2:1 with Gal 5:23) who had sealed him for the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14) and who was given as a down payment guaranteeing his future with the Lord (2 Cor 1:21-22; 5:5). The fact that joy was evident in his life accounts for the emphasis on this theme in the letter to the Philippians.
Paul says that in all his prayers for the Philippians he always prays with joy (1:4). In fact, he considers the Philippians to be his joy, that is, he welled up with the experience of joy when he thought of his friends in the church at Philippi (4:1). Paul rejoiced and was joyful at the thought of the advancement of the gospel whether it was preached by others—with false motives or true (1:18)—or whether it was advancing at the price of his own life (2:17). Paul’s joy increased as the gospel deepened its roots in the experience of the Philippians. He rejoiced at the hope of their spiritual development and progress, especially in terms of their commitment to Christ and faith, as well as to their commitment to unity and working together (1:25 with 2:2). The Philippians were to welcome back Epaphroditus as a soldier in the faith and to do so with all joy (2:29) and Paul even commands them to rejoice two times in the same passage (4:4). Paul also rejoiced over the gift the Philippians had sent him (4:10), another sign that the gospel was taking root and growing among them (cf. Phil 1:6). Thus joy and rejoicing permeate the letter!
4:5 Let your gentleness be seen by all (to epieikes humon gnostheto pasin anthropois). Paul continues his series of imperatives with the command to be gentle with other people. The term epieikes occurs four other times in the NT.219 In 1 Tim 3:3 Paul wants overseers not to be drunkards, nor violent, but instead “gentle”…. In Titus 3:2 Paul wants all people in the church to be “gentle” and not contentious, being considerate toward all men and not to malign anyone. James regarded the virtue of “gentleness” as related to the wisdom which comes from God. And finally, slaves were to submit to their masters, and not just to those who were good and “gentle,” but also to those who were otherwise (1 Pet 2:18; cf. 2 Cor 10:1). Kent explains the force of the term:
Second, believers are to be gentle to all. The term epieikes (“gentleness”) is difficult to translate with its full connotation. Such words as gentle, yielding, kind, forbearing, and lenient are among the best English attempts, but no single word is adequate. Involved is the willingness to yield one’s personal rights and to show consideration and gentleness to others. It is easy to display this quality toward some persons, but Paul commands that it be shown toward all. That would seem to include Christian friends, unsaved persecutors, false teachers—anyone at all. Of course, truth is not to be sacrificed, but a gentle spirit will do much to disarm the adversary.220
There is no explicit grammatical connection between The Lord is near (ho kurios eggus) and the preceding phrase Let your gentleness be evident to all. Nor is there any explicit connection with what follows in 4:6-7. Thus it is difficult to determine the precise function and point of the words. Further, the term eggus (pronounced engus) can mean the Lord is near in temporal terms, i.e., his second coming is at hand221 and it can, however, also mean that the Lord is near in spatial terms; he is close to every believer and every believer experiences his spiritual nearness.222 Both are correct theologically and have support in this letter (2:1; 3:20). It is virtually impossible to choose between the two and it may be that both are intended.223
3. To Pray (4:6-7)
Paul continues his series of staccato like commands with the imperative: Do not be anxious about anything (meden merimnate). With the advent of the kingdom in the present experience of the Philippian Christians, and the love and care of their heavenly father, Paul exhorts them not to worry. It is difficult to say what precisely may have been causing the Philippians to worry and be unduly anxious and concerned about their lives, but it is probably related to the persecution spoken of in 1:27-30 and the tension between some members in the community (2:3-4; 4:2-3).
Jesus put his finger on issue of worry in the Sermon on the Mount; many people are anxious about the daily needs in their lives. The importance of the subject can be seen in the proportion of space he devotes to it. In 6:25-34 he gives more space to the issue of worry than he does to murder (5:21-22), reconciliation (5:23-26), adultery (5:27-30), divorce (5:31-32), oaths (5:33-37), love (5:43-48), giving (6:1-4), fasting (6:16-18), money (6:19-24), and judging others (7:1-5). Only prayer is talked about more (6:5-15; 7:7-11) and nothing more mitigates against prayer than worry. You cannot do one and be thoroughly engaged in the other. The lack of peace we experience can be devastating when we give ourselves to worry. Listen to the penetrating words of Jesus:
6:25 “Because of this [i.e., the fact that you cannot serve two masters] I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat or drink, or about your body, as to what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 6:26 Look at the birds of the sky: they do not sow, or harvest, or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 6:27 Can any of you add time to his life by worrying? 6:28 Why worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow. They do not work or spin, 6:29 yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these! 6:30 And if God clothes the grass of the field this way, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 6:31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 6:32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. 6:34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.—NET Bible
On another occasion, in connection with faith and trust, Jesus warned against the stifling affects of worry. He said that there are those people who choose to respond to the ups and downs of life with worry and so fail to respond to the word of God. They are like seed sown among thorns (Mark 4:18-19). In their fits of worry and anxiety they cannot hear the message of the good news of the kingdom: there is Someone who not only cares, but is able to do something about your plight. Therefore do not succumb to anxiety. He runs the world, you’re supposed to trust!
Thus, worry is a problem endemic to the human race and one that every believer is confronted with, some more than others. But believers must come to grips with the gracious character of our heavenly Father and trust that He knows what’s going on in our lives. Jesus said, as we read above, that we are valuable to our Father and that He wants to provide what we need—and want, in many cases as well. Our responsibility (notice I said responsibility) is to seek first his kingdom!
Therefore, instead (all') of worrying, Paul admonishes the church saying, tell your requests to God in your every prayer and petition—with thanksgiving (all en panti te proseuche kai deesei meta eucharistias ta aitemata humon gnorizestho pros ton theon). Paul exhorts the Philippians not worry about anything, but in their every prayer and petition to tell their requests to God. The inclusive nature of the command can hardly be missed. It doesn’t matter what’s happened; “take it to the Lord” is what the apostle is saying. The term aitemata has the force of including all kinds of specific prayer and requests.224 Jesus promises us that God always hears and therefore he always answers, even if that answer—for our own good—is “no” (cf. 1 John 5:14-15). The important aspect of prayer to note in Phil 4:6 is that it is to be done with thanksgiving (eucharisias), in the context of who God is, who loves his children, and who knows their every cry, hurt, need, and desire. We are, first and foremost, in a relationship with him because of his amazing grace, and this must never be lost sight of in the process. Prayer has a lot more to do with God ministering to and changing us, then our getting something.
Immediately the apostle gives the result of replacing worry and anxiety with prayer and thanksgiving. With a note of utter certainty he concludes: And the peace of God (kai he eirene tou theou) that surpasses all understanding (he huperechousa panta noun) will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (phrouresei tas kardias humon kai ta noemata humon en Christo Iesou).
The peace of God refers to God’s peace that he himself possesses in his nature as Someone unfettered with concern and anxiety in any way (cf. Col. 3:15). It is closely associated with the idea of spiritual and emotional rest and He gives this to us when we pray. His peace surpasses all understanding because it goes beyond human ability to discover. It is not that it achieves more than human reasoning can, that is, in terms of bringing peace and rest to the soul, but that it is beyond human comprehension.225 It lies outside the innate ability of human beings to develop that kind of peace or even understand how it can exist in a world fraught with worry and anxiety. It is based on the relationship we now have with God through Christ—a relationship grounded in the grace of God—grace extended to us in Christ on the basis of the justification he accomplished (Rom 5:1-5, 8-11).
It is God’s peace which he gives to us and which will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The use of the term guard (phrouresei) recalls images, familiar to the Philippians, of Roman sentinels standing guard. Martin explains:
Paul uses a military metaphor in describing God’s peace, which is almost personified…The Philippians living in a garrison town, would be familiar with the sight of the Roman sentry, maintaining his watch. Likewise, comments the apostle, God’s peace will garrison and protect you hearts and your minds. Bunyan’s use of this picture in the appointment and patrol of Mr. God’s-Peace in the town of Mansoul should be read in conjunction with this verse.’ Nothing was to be found but harmony, happiness, joy and health’ so long as Mr. God’s-Peace maintained his office. But when Prince Emmanuel was grieved away from the town , he laid down his commission departed also. It is a salutary reminded that we enjoy God’s gift on in Christ Jesus, i.e., by our obedience to him and submission to his authority.226
4. To Think Rightly (4:8)
4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true (alethe), whatever is worthy of respect (semna), whatever is just (dikaia), whatever is pure (agna), whatever is lovely (prosphile), whatever is commendable (euphema), if something is excellent (arete) or praiseworthy (epainos), think about these things (tauta logizesthe). This sentence and the terms employed are almost without precedent in Paul and indeed in the NT. While it seems that Paul has borrowed terms common in Greek moral philosophy, perhaps Stoicism, it must be clearly articulated that his focus on the Christian’s personal relationship with Christ (3:10-11), and rejoicing and joy (e.g., Phil 4:4), indicate that he is not simply thinking of pure stoicism. On the other hand, he could be thinking of these terms as they appear in the LXX (i.e., Greek Bible), though this is difficult to demonstrate here in Phil 4:8.227 In any case, the terms were commonly known in the culture. It appears that he was encouraging the Philippians to consider (logizesthe) these virtues when they appeared in the culture and use them as points of contact to relate to the culture at large. The need for the Philippian church was to stand firm on what was important (e.g., the gospel and unity) and to exploit points of contact with their non-Christian persecutors wherever they could. In this way they could hold out the word of life (2:16). It must be remembered, though, for Paul, there is no way one can live up to these virtues without Christ. Let’s take a brief look at the virtues.
The term true (alethe) denotes the idea of truth which coheres with God, the gospel, and lives lived in conformity with the gospel. When the Philippians saw such things in their culture they were to acknowledge them however partial and incomplete these expressions were.
Respect (semna) is used of persons to indicate someone “worthy of respect,” “honor,” “noble,” “dignified,” or “serious.” Deacons and aged men are to be regarded as “worthy of respect” (1 Tim 3:8; Tit 2:2). It is also used of divinities and supernatural beings indicating beings “worthy of reverence,” “august,” “sublime,” or “holy.” “Characteristics, states of beings, and things” are predicated as “honorable,” “worthy,” “venerable,” “holy,” “above reproach.” Semna in Phil 4:8 would fall into this latter category.228
The term just (dikaia) refers to men who are “upright,” “just,” or “righteous” both in a Jewish sense of maintaining the law of God (Luke 1:6; Rom 3:10; 1 Tim 1:9) but also in a Greco-Roman sense of being model citizens. God is also regarded as just (Ps 140:5; Rev 16:5) as is Jesus himself (Matt 27:19; 1 John 2:1; 3:7; cf. Luke 23:47 where the term probably means “innocence”). In Phil 4:8 the term dikaia probably denotes “that which is obligatory in view of certain requirements of justice.”229
The term pure (agna) means “pure” or “holy” and was a religious term, “originally an attribute of the divinity and everything belonging to it.” It was also used by the stoics in reference to “wise men.” In the NT, God/Christ are said to be pure (1 John 3:3) and Christians are to be pure as well, that is, free from sin (1 Tim 5:22). In Titus 2:5 the apostle says that Christian women are to be pure. “Things” are said to be pure as well, including one’s conscience (1 Clement 1:3). James refers to the wisdom that comes down from heaven as pure. Thus the term denotes positively, holiness, and negatively, freedom from any kind of sin.230 Paul says that when the Philippians see these things they ought to think about them and allow them to guide their lives.
Lovely (prosphile), only appears in the passive voice referring to that which is pleasing, agreeable, lovely, amiable.”231
Whatever is commendable (euphema) refers to that which is “auspicious,” “well-sounding,” “praiseworthy,” “attractive” or “appealing.” It is difficult to determine which one best fits in Philippians 4:8 since the context is not a given.232 Praiseworthy is probably at the heart of the meaning in Phil 4:8, however.
The term excellent (arete) means “moral excellence” and “virtue.”233
And finally, praiseworthy (epainos) means someone or something which is worthy of “approval,” “recognition” or “praise.”234 The Philippians were to consider certain things in their culture that exemplified these virtues.
Hawthorne summarizes the list of virtues and their significance for the church in Philippi:
These then are the excellent qualities that belonged to the culture of Paul’s day, not at all unique to Christianity, which the apostle availed himself and commended to his friends at Philippi. He asked them continuously to focus their minds (logizesthe) on these things, to give full critical attention to them, and so to reflect carefully upon them with an action-provoking kind of meditation. It was not his desire to ask them merely to think about such noble matters without putting them into practice in their lives.235
5. To Imitate Paul (4:9)
4:9 And what you learned (emathete) and received (parelabete) and heard (ekousate) and saw (eidete) in me, do these things (tauta prassete). And the God of peace will be with you (kai ho theos tes eirenes estai meth humon). Thus Paul turns again to his own example. The Philippians were to continually practice that which they had learned from him and received by way of formal teaching.236 They were also to practice what they heard from others about the apostle’s life, as well as the principles they saw operative in his life while he was with them. The promise attending such obedience is nothing short of the peace of God.
V. Principles for Application
1. Paul’s admonition to help two people who were having a disagreement should be followed by us as well. Too often we take sides in a dispute between people and the schism becomes even worse. What we should do is attempt through prayer, support, and encouragement to bring differing sides of a dispute together. Blessed are the peacemakers!
2. Life has a way of stealing our joy. Yet Jesus never changes, nor does his love for us. Therefore, we ought to rejoice in God and life, even if things are difficult. He has said that he will never leave us or forsake us. In light of this we can always be joyful. Take the command to rejoice seriously!
3. If we truly want the peace of God, let us pray and bring all our burdens, requests, and needs to him. Set up a time for daily prayer. Do it as an expression of your continual desire to know God deeply and experience His very own peace. And, when you come to Him in prayer, be thankful. Thankfulness is central to the Christian faith and love for God.
4. Ask God to help you find elements in your culture which are beneficial and can be described according to the virtues in Phil 4:8. Give thanks to God for them and let others—even non-Christians—know of your feelings about the worth of those things. Applaud truth, purity, justice, etc. whenever and wherever you see it. Such an attitude brings a positive approach to sharing the gospel with others.
216 O’Brien, Philippians, 476.
217 The verb parakalw appears two times, once before Euodia and once before Syntyche. The repeated use is for emphasis and expresses Paul’s strong desire that these two women come to an agreement in the Lord.
218 Fee, Philippians, 396, n 59.
219 The related term epieikeia (“gentleness,” “graciousness”) occurs twice (Acts 24:4; 2 Cor 10:1).
220 Kent, “Philippians,” 151.
221 For the temporal use of eggus see Matt 24:32; Mark 13:28; Lk 21:31; Jn 2:13; 6:4; Rom 13:11; Rev 1:3.
222 For the spatial use of eggus see Luke 19:11; Jn 3:23; Acts 1:12; Eph 2:13. For a fuller discussion of this issue see O’Brien, Philippians, 488.
223 See O’Brien, Philippians, 489. See Fee, Philippians, 407-08 for a discussion of whether The Lord is near goes with 4:5a or with 4:6-7 following and the command to pray and experience the Lord’s peace. If it is an allusion to Ps 145:18 (i.e., the Lord is near to all who call on him), he suggests that it most likely goes with 4:6-7 following. In the end, however, he thinks it better as a piece of eschatological encouragement that even though the church is presently suffering at the hands of those who proclaim Caesar as Lord, the Lord is coming!
224 See lesson #3 for a fuller discussion of the terms for prayer and petition.
225 Cf. Martin, Philippians, 172; and Hendriksen, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, 196, who says “This sweet peace originates in God who himself possesses it in his own being. He is glad to impart it to his children.”
226 Martin, Philippians, 173.
227 See O’Brien, Philippians, 502.
228 BAGD, s.v., semnos.
229 BAGD, s.v., dikaios.
230 BAGD, s.v., agnos.
231 BAGD, s.v., prosfilh.
232 BAGD, s.v., eufhmos.
233 BAGD, s.v. areth.
234 BAGD, s.v., epainos.
235 Hawthorne, Philippians, 188.
236 The term parelabete probably refers to important tradition passed on orally in the early church. The Philippians would be responsible to pass it on as well.