Life-Study of Philippiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the closing verses of chapter four Paul extends a brief word of greetings (vv. 21-22) and blessing (v. 23).
In verse 20 Paul exclaims, “Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Then in verse 21 he goes on to say, “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you.” Paul’s words of greeting here are related to what he says in verse 20 about glory to our God and Father. This indicates that he greeted the saints with the very weight of glory spoken of in verse 20.
When we send greetings to others, or ask others to greet certain ones on our behalf, we may greet them with our best regards or with our love. However, Paul did not greet the saints in Philippi in a superficial way, merely with his best regards or with his love. I believe that what was within him as he wrote this word of greeting was God’s rich supply and glory. Paul had just written, “And my God shall fill every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (v. 19). No doubt this was the substance of his greetings to the saints. He wanted every saint to be greeted in Christ in this way.
In verse 21 Paul also says, “The brothers who are with me greet you.” The brothers who were with Paul certainly must have greeted the saints in the same way Paul did. This means that they greeted the believers not with their best regards, but with the assurance of God’s repayment and with His glory.
We may even say that Paul and those with him greeted the saints in Christ Jesus with the entire contents of the whole book of Philippians. This means that Paul and the others greeted them with all the words in this book. The very fact that Paul simply said to greet every saint in Christ, not specifying in what way the saints should be greeted, implies that he greeted them with all the points covered in this Epistle. Hence, in verse 21 Paul was actually saying, “Greet every saint in Christ according to all the things I have written in this Epistle.” Any saint who would not receive all these points could not have a share in Paul’s greeting. Those who would participate in his greeting must first enjoy all the points covered in this Epistle. These points were Paul’s best regards sent to them. Paul’s best regards to the saints were that they would live Christ, magnify Christ, take Christ as their pattern, hold forth Christ, count all things loss in order to gain Christ and be found in Him, pursue Christ, lay hold of Christ, and do all things in Christ. Seen in the context of the whole book, Paul greeted every saint with all the profound aspects of the experience of Christ.
A further indication that this was Paul’s concept in sending greetings to the saints is that in verse 21 he uses the expression in Christ Jesus. This phrase implies the contents of the whole book, for, as we have pointed out again and again, this book deals with the experience of Christ and in Christ. Paul wanted the saints to be greeted in the very Christ whom we live, magnify, take as our pattern, hold forth as the word of life, and pursue. In reading verse 21 we should be impressed not only with the words every saint, but especially with the expression every saint in Christ Jesus. Paul and those with him greeted the saints in Christ Jesus with the whole contents of the book of Philippians.
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