4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! 2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. (Philippians 4:1-3)
Paul exhorts and commands, “Stand firm” (v. 1). However, because we are weak, it is difficult for us to stand on our own. We may be able to stand, but it’s difficult to keep standing without falling. As before, another celebrity suicide followed. I think there are various reasons such as mental exhaustion and loss of mental balance.
Here Paul says, “Stand firm,” but he is not saying that you should do it on your own, but he is exhorting you to stand firm “in the Lord” (v.1) In the Lord means “in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, those who believe in Jesus can be said to be “in the Lord.” In English, the word in is used, such as in the Lord and in Christ. In the Lord, in Jesus. The opposite of In is out. It means “outside”. This is “outside the Lord Jesus Christ” and there is no relationship between me and Jesus Christ. On the other hand, to be in the Lord and to be “in the Lord” means that we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. I think that being in the Lord means “being in Jesus and receiving strength from the Lord Jesus” and standing firm.
If we are only interested in this earthly thing, if our mind is set, it will be difficult to stand still. The apostle Paul wrote, ” Our citizenship is in heaven ” (Philippians 3:20). And Colossians 3:2 says, think not of things on earth, but of things that are in heaven. When we turn our eyes from this earth to heaven, and when we turn our eyes from ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, we face various difficulties, but we can live with hope. We may fall, but we can get up. Because Jesus gives us the strength to stand up.
Paul refers to the members of the Philippian Church as “my joy and crown” (v. 1). A crown is given to the winner in a competition like the Olympics. Some in the Philippian church were walking against the cross, but there were also Christians who walked by faith in Jesus Christ and followed Paul’s example and lived on the cross and were victorious. Paul wanted them to be careful not to continue to be swept away by the values of this world, and not to follow false examples.
The Philippian church also had problems, but Paul encouraged and strengthened the Philippian church. Paul must have heard the current situation of the church from Epaphroditus, who had been sent from the Philippian church. He was saddened by the discord between the two sisters (v. 2). So he recommends. “Please agree.” Here, too, the words “in the Lord” are added.
Matching is not easy. Relationships often break up. It is the same for Christians and churches. Therefore, Paul does not say to unite in your own strength. Be united “in the Lord,” he wrote. Look up to the Lord Jesus Christ and imitate His humility and obedience, Paul urges us to unite in the example of the Lord Jesus, who humbled himself to follow the cross.
It says, “O true co-workers, please help these two women. They are the ones who fought with me in spreading the gospel” (verse 3). I don’t know why these two fell out because he didn’t write down the reason, but these two are not people who are against the cross, but they are Christians who love the Lord Jesus, live on the cross, and burn. They were doing their best in the work of evangelization and the service of the church. But maybe they had a disagreement over methodology, and they had a fight.
I don’t know who the “true collaborator” is here. In another translation, it is translated as “Suzugosu” (person’s name). There may have been a person with that name that Paul asked, and speaking of true collaborators, the people of the Philippian church may have known who it was. .
It is Clement, whose name is written in the Book of Life. We know that a man named Clement was in the Philippian church. His name was written in the Book of Life. The Book of Life is the book in heaven. God has a “book of life” in heaven, and the names of those who believe in Jesus Christ will be written in this book.
In other words, having a citizenship in heaven means having our name written in the Book of Life. If our name is not written in this book, we cannot enter heaven. Of course, apart from Clement, there is no doubt that the names of many people in the Philippian Church were written in the Book of Life.
Paul’s co-workers were in the Philippian church. They had devoted their lives to the work of evangelization. They gave theirr time, they gave their energy, they gave their money. They fought alongside Paul. And each of them will be rewarded by God in heaven with a crown for the victors.
There was an evangelist and revivalist named Charles Finney who was very active in America in the 19th century, and he had a co-worker named Daniel Nash. Through his intercessory prayers, he greatly assisted Finney in his ministry. Nash’s old tombstone reads: “Daniel Nash His Charles Finney Prayer Co-worker” His name is unknown, but for creating a revival by Charles Finney and preaching the gospel to millions, God called Daniel Nash was used. Daniel Nash, who is in heaven now, will suffer the same reward as Charles Finney.
Charles Finney (1792-1875)
The Philippians are not named in the Bible. However, in the midst of persecution, there were people who cooperated with Paul and risked their lives to do the work of preaching the gospel and the work of the church. They are unknown people on this earth. But they may be famous in heaven. Angels were probably talking about them. “That person’s faith is really wonderful”. Paul’s co-workers who were in the Philippian church would have received the same reward from God in heaven as Paul did.
We may be obscure on earth, but we will be rewarded by God in heaven for our faithfulness in preaching the gospel and ministry of the church.
We are in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is important to walk in the Lord and build a more personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. By doing so, we can stand firm in the Lord Jesus Christ and be united in the Lord Jesus Christ.