Sermon: According to His Riches in Glory (Philippians 4:10–23)
At the very end of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, the apostle finally thanks the Philippians for their financial gift to him. Although thanking the Philippians for their financial partnership with him is one of the chief reasons prompting him to write this letter in the first place, he waits until the very end of this letter. Paul has needed to address many things in this letter to the Philippians, but he has not forgot to express his gratefulness for their generosity.
Of course, Paul would never addressing themes as significant as worldly possessions, financial stewardship, and generosity with a perfunctory thank you note. Instead, he takes this opportunity to expand the vision for generosity beyond what the Philippians might have already. Paul is not trying to squeeze more money out of the Philippians, and he does not even want to suggest that he was desperate for what they sent to him. Rather, he treats their giving along the same lines that he has addressed their wider spiritual growth in the gospel, as the work of God in them to will and to work.
In this closing section of the letter to the Philippians, Paul touches on several themes from this letter to place Christian generosity squarely within the context of sanctification—and also squarely under the provision of the grace of God.