Greetings And Grace
Today we finish our journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians. I wondered to myself all week while thinking about these last few verses if there was anything we could learn from Paul in a conclusion and farewell. I think there is.
First, we get to talk about greetings. Paul says to Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. Paul is leaving the Philippians by really emphasizing fellowship within the Philippian church. He says to greet Every saint in Christ Jesus. He doesn’t use the term all saints in Christ Jesus. Paul seems to be focusing on each specific individual rather than the broader all. Fellowship in Christ means that each individual in Christ is important. No one in the Church is more important or less important that another.
Next, Paul says that The brethren who are with me greet you. It would have been easy, once Paul was arrested, to abandon him and leave him to his fate. Instead, the church in Rome did the opposite. They visited him. Besides that, he had visitors from other churches like Epaphroditus who came to him during his time of need. Paul probably spent much of his time speaking with them and they sent their support of the Philippians back with Paul’s letter.
The final greeting of Paul is exciting news. Paul says that All the saints greet you especially those of Caesar’s household. Paul was hearing from the majority, if not all, of the saints, the brethren, in Rome. They couldn’t all come visit him, but those who did brought greetings. The entire church in Rome was hearing about the church in Philippi. They were sending their support through Paul to them. Specifically, though, were the saints that were in Caesar’s household. These were probably slaves of Caesar who had come to Christ. This had to be a shot in the arm to know that Christ was known by those in the house of Caesar. The focus of the entire letter has been the progress of the Gospel. How thrilling to know that it was progressing within the government of the empire.
Paul completes the letter by wishing The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Paul always ended his letters with grace. He began this one with grace. He doesn’t want the Philippians to forget that their faith depends on grace. They have done nothing to deserve their relationship with Christ. The didn’t work for it or earn it. It is simply the Lord’s unmerited favor.
So what are our takeaways from these two short verses?
- We need fellowship within our faith. We aren’t meant to be Lone Ranger believers. We are all connected by the Spirit. Without that fellowship, an important dynamic is missing from our lives.
- We should seek to encourage other believers. We don’t know what a word to someone will mean to them. Some people are just sitting there needing a word. Sometimes no one would even know it.
- The Gospel in powerful. It reaches all facets of life, from what the world considers lowly to what the world esteems.
- Grace transforms. It establishes the relationship with Christ, but it doesn’t end there. It continues to affect us long after our initial conversion to Christ.