When I was in my teens, our local church had a young energetic worship leader, announcement maker, and general MC (master of ceremonies) for our morning services, who was a bit naïve when it came to handling Scripture. I’m convinced that he loved to hear himself speak, and was also convinced that he thought HE was the “glue” that held our services together. Our Pastor was planning to speak on Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” So “Brother Tommy” decided to sermonize a little during his announcement time in anticipation of the pastor’s message. The following is a little clip from that sermonette: “I’m convinced from Philippians 4:13 that if God wanted me to, I could simply fly around this room like a bird or float like an angel… I can do ALL things through HIM who gives me strength!” (Needless to say, as a 14 year old picturing this guy floating around the sanctuary was pretty funny – I definitely got the look from my mother that I’d better not laugh out loud or there’d be no Sunday fried chicken for me!)
What does this verse say in its context?
How does its grammatical context explain what Paul meant?
What was Paul’s situation while writing this letter to the Philippians?
How does this situation influence the meaning of this verse?
Was “Brother Tommy’s” interpretation of Philippians 4:13 what Paul meant when he penned this verse?
RULE: No verse can mean “out of context” something different “in context.” That said, what is the meaning of Philippians 4:13?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.