Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.Philippians 4:21(NASB)
Paul's epistles tend to follow a particular format. They generally begin with a salutation, a little word of encouragement, and the signature of the author - which sometimes defends his apostolic authority within the Body of Christ.
Following his initial greeting, he often offers blessings, prayers, and thanksgiving for various good and positive things with the Body of Christ which are worthy of commendation. This initial commentary generally introduces the theme on which the apostle will focus for the main body of his letter.
The majority of his epistles cover two categories. First, he covers doctrine that is especially relevant to the particular Church to whom he is writing, while the latter part of the epistle encourages them to put into practice the doctrine he has just been sharing.
Within the body of his letter Paul encourages his readers, both specific individuals and the wider Church congregation, towards appropriate Christian conduct and the need to mature in the faith and study the Word of truth. He frequently warns against false teachers, demonic doctrines, legalism, or carnality within the main section of his writings.
Philippines follows this general outline, with an exhortation towards humility of heart, unity in the Body, and the need to be Christlike... warning against evil workers, whom he describes as dogs, and exhorting the people towards a joyful, heavenly walk - while citing himself as an example to follow.
It is as Paul draws his letters to a close that he adds greetings from other saints of God and often introduces brief words of encouragement and succinct directives to pray, rejoice, give thanks, abound in good works, trust in God's supply, and glorify our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ - our great God and Saviour. We are not to be ashamed of the gospel of salvation which is the power of God unto all who believe, and we are to glory in the name above all name - Christ Jesus our Lord.
Mutual encouragement is also an important part of Paul's closing sections, and here in this verse, Paul sends greetings from the brethren who are with him... exhorting the Philippian believers to, "greet every saint in Christ Jesus." The fellowship of believers and genuine concern for the well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ is an important element of our Christian faith, and an area of Christian living which plays an important part in Paul's teaching.
May we pay heed to the letters of Paul which give such encouragement and instruction on growing in grace, living a victorious life, trusting in God, holding fast to the truth, and maintaining an unswerving focus on Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour. And in a world where the love of many has grown cold, may we delight to meet with our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus our Lord, and take every opportunity to rejoice with them that we are one in Him and that our names are written in heaven.
Heavenly Father, there is so much to learn from the epistles of Paul and the other apostles - even in the simple greetings at the beginning, and the gracious exhortations at the end. I pray that I may value all my brothers and sisters in Christ and delight to give and receive encouragement and support, as we 'gossip the gospel', rejoice in our salvation, and wait for the any-day return of our Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ, in Whose precious name I pray, AMEN.
Never miss a post