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APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philippians 4:23)

Paul concludes this letter and seems to be certain that they will be reading this letter before the church. Here he uses the plural form of your and the singular form of spirit. Thus, including all but making it personal.

The (χάρις charis) grace of the Lord Jesus Christ – Paul concludes this letter with these simple words. For the believer, the grace of God is actualized and made effective for all our needs in Jesus Christ.[1] Grace is offered to man with the distinct purpose of accomplishing for man what he cannot accomplish for himself. It is not a reward for what we have done; it is a gift given to rescue us from our own moral failure.

Paul uses the full title/name for our blessed savior. This speaks of the fullness of who He is. The word “Lord” (Greek Kurios) refers to a master or an owner, one who has the authority or authoritative power, the one from whom the directions and instructions are given and who is to be obeyed, the one who has the dominion over and exercises his lordship in relation to that-which his title of “Lord” or “Master” is being associated. “Jesus” means “God saves / Jehovah (Yahweh) the Savior.” The Lord Jesus Christ was given the name “Jesus” because he is the one who carried out God’s will to make it available for people to be saved. We see this in Matthew 1:21 – “She will bear a Son; and you shall call his name Jesus, for he himself will save his people from their sins.” Finally, we have “Christ” (Greek Christos), which means the “anointed one” or “Messiah.” The Messiah was the promised Prophet, Priest, and King. These were the three special anointed offices given in the Old Testament. Jesus is our Master, Savior, and Messiah.

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

Paul ends the letter with his desire that the believers who were reading/hearing this letter would have God’s special gift through His special Son with them.

We summarize this final chapter with the glorious provision in verse 13 – “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Through him who strengthens me, he teaches that Christ empowers believers to live in God’s will.

Therefore, we leave this letter from the imprisoned apostle, written in thanksgiving and challenging the believers to have joy in the midst of adverse circumstances.

Young Christians

More in-depth Insights

The first-century Christians in Philippi were considerably poor. Nevertheless, they gave of themselves and what little they did have and demonstrated admirable love for other fellow believers. (Phil. 1:3-5, 9; 4:15-16) In concluding his inspired letter to them, the apostle Paul declared: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” He highly praised them for their authentic interest in proclaiming the good news as well as their warm-hearted, loving interest in the well-being of each other. – Phil. 1:3-5; 4:15-16.

[1] Goerge Author Buttrick, ed., The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, ed. Goerge Author Buttrick, Vol. 2, 4 vols. (Nashville, Tennesse: Abingdon Press, 1962). Page 465.

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