Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 4: Living Out the Peace of God

Text: Philippians 4:1-23

Philippians Chapter 4

[1] Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

[2] I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

[3] And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

[4] Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

[5] Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

[6] Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

[7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

[8] Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

[9] Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard,  and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

[10] But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

[12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 

[13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

[14] Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

[15] Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

[16] For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

[17] Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

[18] But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of  Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

[19] But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

[20] Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

[21] Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.

[22] All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

[23] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


The final chapter of Philippians shows in a practical way what it means to have God’s presence in one’s life. It also suggests attitudes and behaviors that are consistent with God’s presence.

After some remarks concerning the immediate struggles of individuals at Philippi, Paul calls for people to rejoice in the Lord. He talks of living a moderate life because the Lord is at hand. He writes of the fact that we can pray about our needs rather than worry about them. He speaks of the peace of God and of concentrating one’s thoughts on pure and noble things. He calls believers to follow his example and tells them that the God of peace will be with them. Then, he discusses his own ability both to shrug off serious physical need and to keep material prosperity in perspective, attitudes that can only be acquired through God’s work in our lives. He also gives the promise that God will supply all needs. The person who lives in God’s presence experiences God’s peace and joy. He or she can also face life in the world with the assurance that this ever-present God can meet every need.

Points to consider:

* Paul calls for these people, whom he loves dearly, to stand fast in the Lord (Verse 1).

* Paul focuses his previous call to like-mindedness on two individuals in the church (Verse 2).

* Living near to God means living joyfully, peacefully, and nobly (Verses 4-8).

* We don’t have to worry; God really does pay attention to our prayers (Verse 6).

* God’s peace is linked to faith that prays rather than worries (Verses 6-7).

* We can control what we think about (Verse 8).

* A Christian’s thoughts aren’t only to be free from evil, but also to focus on good (Verse 8).

* Contributing to Christian work rightfully blesses the recipient (Verse 10).

* A victorious Christian life isn’t hung up on what material goods God does or doesn’t supply (Verses 11-12).

* The famous statement of Philippians 4:13 was made in the context of living with financial need. This isn’t to say that the truth of Philippians 4:13 only applies to financial matters, however.

* Contributing to Christian work--or even to the poor in Christ’s name--is a source of blessing in the life of the donor (Verse 17).

* God will supply all of our needs (Verse 19).

* Christ’s work has gained for us God’s material blessings as well as the spiritual blessings we usually think about (Verse 19).

Signs of God’s Presence

Rejoicing in the Lord (Verse 4)

Moderation because the Lord is at hand (Verse 5)

God’s peace (Verses 6-7)

Generosity (Verses 10 ff)

Ability to do all things (Verse 13)

Living above financial concerns (Verses 11-13)

Needs supplied (Verse 19)

Conditions for God’s Presence

Standing fast in the Lord (Verse 1)

Unity with other believers (Verse 2)

Prayer and faith leading to peace (Verses 6-7)

Worthy thought life (Verse 8)

Appropriate behavior (Verse 9)

The grace of Christ (Verse 23)


1. What is Paul’s instruction to believers in Philippians 4:1?

2. What does Paul urge of the two women he addresses in Philippians 4:2?

3. What are we to do, according to Philippians 4:4?

4. What should be our motives for Christian character, based on Philippians 4:5?

5. What reason does God give us for not worrying in Philippians 4:6?

6. Thinking about Philippians 4:7, is the peace of God limited to situations we understand and can control?

7. Reading Philippians 4:7 in light of the previous verse, what do we need to do to experience God’s peace?

8. How many different types of things does God call for us to think about in Philippians 4:8?

9. What are the categories of thought you counted for the previous question?

10. From Philippians 4:10, should we assume that those who don’t respond to our needs as we’d hoped don’t care?

11. Comparing Philippians 4:11 and 4:12, what were the circumstances in which Paul could be content?

12. Philippians 4:13 speaks of being able to do all things through Christ’s strength. What challenging area of life had Paul been speaking of just prior to saying this?

13. From Philippians 4:17, what was Paul’s primary desire with regard to the gifts that the Philippians sent him?

14. In the final verse of this chapter, what does Paul wish for the whole church at Philippi?


We do not earn God’s presence by doing right, or even by purifying our own hearts. He does the purifying as a gift and counts us as having done right when we believe in Jesus. Still, we find in the fourth chapter of Philippians that the Christian who experiences God’s peace, joy, and blessing is the one who seeks to please God even in the small details of life. It is impossible to have holy joy, holy peace, or holy power while being deliberately unholy oneself. Until we surrender to God, we will never know the fullness of what He offers. Have you, as a Christian, surrendered your life to Him?

This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.