Paul thanks the believers for their gifts and says goodbye

It is not the gifts themselves that Paul wants

Bible reference: Philippians 4:10-23

A word list at the end of each Bible *study explains words that have a star (*) by them. These are more difficult words.


In this letter, Paul has written about how to pray. He has said how important Christ is to him. He has written about Christ’s example and about how to grow as a Christian. And he has written about *believers who argue.

The *believers in Philippi had sent Paul a gift of money. Paul does not write about this until the end of his letter. He writes as if the gift were not important. But the gift showed what the *believers in Philippi thought about Paul.

So, because of this, the gift was really important to Paul.

The letter ends with some good thoughts from Paul and from the *believers who were with him.

Questions to ask

4:10 ~ Why can Paul thank God?

4:11-12 ~ Sometimes bad things happen to Paul. Sometimes good things happen. What is the ‘secret’ that he has learnt? Paul writes about some examples. What are these?

4:13 ~ Paul writes about his ‘secret’. Then he writes ‘I can do everything...’ What does he mean? Why can he write this?

4:14 ~ ‘You have been very kind to me’. Why was this important at this time?

4:15-16 ~ Paul writes about another time when the *believers in Philippi were kind to Paul. When was this? What did they do? Why were they different from other Christians who knew Paul?

4:17 ~ What does Paul really want from the Christians in Philippi?

4:18 ~ Paul says that the gifts from the Christians in Philippi are like a person’s action. What is this action? What does God think about their actions?

4:19 ~ What is the promise in this *verse?

4:20 ~ What should *people always say?

4:21 ~ What last action does Paul ask the *believers to do?

4:21-22 ~ Who says ‘hello’ to the *believers in Philippi? Who says a special ‘hello’? How might these *people have heard the good news about Jesus?

4:23 ~ Paul will continue to pray for them. What does he pray?

Something to do

Think about what has happened to you in the last few weeks. How has God used other *people to help you? How has God used you to help other *people?

Think again about the ‘secret’ that Paul has learnt. And think about the *people or events that most often make you sad.

Write a short letter to the Christians in the place where you live.

Words to explain

believer ~ a person who knows and accepts Christ

people ~ men or women

prayer ~ what we say to God

study ~ words that help us to learn more about something

verse ~ (here) a small separate part of a chapter

See the other studies in this series: Explore Paul’s letter to the Philippians