3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.
3:15. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, this also God will reveal to you,
3:16. Nevertheless, whereunto we are come, that we be of the same mind, let us also continue in the same rule.
3:17. Be ye followers of me, brethren: and observe them who walk so as you have our model.
3:18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping) that they are enemies of the cross of Christ:
3:19. Whose end is destruction: whose God is their belly: and whose glory is in their shame: who mind earthly things.
3:20. But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ,
3:21. Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
Philippians Chapter 4
He exhorts them to perseverance in all good and acknowledges their charitable contributions to him.
4:1. Therefore my dearly beloved brethren and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
4:2. I beg of Evodia and I beseech Syntyche to be of one mind in the Lord.
4:3. And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4:4. Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice.
4:5. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.
4:6. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.
4:7. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
4:8. For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things.
For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, etc... Here the apostle enumerates general precepts of morality, which they ought to practise. Whatsoever things are true... in words, in promises, in lawful oaths, etc., he commands rectitude of mind, and sincerity of heart.
Whatsoever modest... by these words he prescribes gravity in manners, modesty in dress, and decency in conversation. Whatsoever just... That is, in dealing with others, in buying or selling, in trade or business, to be fair and honest. Whatsoever holy... by these words may be understood, that those who are in a religious state professed, or in holy orders, should lead a life of sanctity and chastity, according to the vows they make; but these words being also applied to those in the world, indicate the virtuous life they are bound by the divine commandments to follow. Whatsoever lovely... that is, to practise those good offices in society, that procure us the esteem and good will of our neighbours. Whatsoever of good fame... That is, that by our conduct and behaviour we should edify our neighbours, and give them good example by our actions. If there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline...
that those in error, by seeing the morality and good discipline of the true religion, may be converted. And finally, the apostle commands, not only the Philippians, but all Christians, to think on these things...
that is, to make it their study and concern that the peace of God might be with them.
4:9. The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you.
4:10. Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly that now at length your thought for me hath flourished again, as you did also think; but you were busied.
4:11. I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith.
4:12. I know both how to be brought low, 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.
4:13. I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me.
4:14. Nevertheless, you have done well in communicating to my tribulation.
4:15. And you also know, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only.
4:16. For unto Thessalonica also you sent once and again for my use.
4:17. Not that I seek the gift: but I seek the fruit that may abound to your account.
4:18. But I have all and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
4:19. And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
4:20. Now to God and our Father be glory, world without end. Amen.
4:21. Salute ye every saint in Christ Jesus.
4:22. The brethren who are with me salute you. All the saints salute you: especially they that are of Caesar's household.
4:23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE COLOSSIANS
Colossa was a city of Phrygia, near Laodicea. It does not appear that St. Paul had preached there himself, but that the Colossians were converted by Epaphras, a disciple of the Apostles. However, as St. Paul was the great Apostle of the Gentiles, he wrote this Epistle to the Colossians when he was in prison, and about the same time that he wrote to the Ephesians and Philippians. The exhortations and doctrine it contains are similar to that which is set forth in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
Colossians Chapter 1
He gives thanks for the grace bestowed upon the Colossians and prays for them. Christ is the head of the church and the peacemaker through his blood. Paul is his minister.
1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother:
1:2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus who are at Colossa.
1:3. Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
1:4. Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have towards all the saints.
1:5. For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,
1:6. Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
1:7. As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;