Human beings face different challenges every day. To Christians the scriptures act as their reference page of consulting. The question is, what of the non- believers? How do they overcome their challenges yet they dont read the scriptures for encouragement or hope. For so long, the words in the Bible have been used by people both Christians and non- Christians either intentionally or not. Sometimes the words we use might have different meaning but we dont know. Therefore, this paper will focus on the meaning and significance of the biblical scripture for instance, Philippians 4:21-23.
Philippians 4:21-23, says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The verse has different meanings; biblical and literal. First, the biblical meaning may be said to place all ones trust and hope in Christ. In this verse Paul saw that the people of Philippines suffered from different challenges and mostly they were not physical that could be solved by physical means but rather spiritual. Paul wrote this letter to them advising and encouraging them that they dont need to worry, Christ is there to carry their burdens so long as they called upon him.
In addition to the biblical meaning, the verse further explains that human beings do not have power of their own but rather their power comes from the Lord. Therefore, Paul used this verse to remind the people of Philippines that they had abandoned God and they started to consider themselves able without the assistance of God. During that time People of Philippines were experiencing different kinds of problems.
During those times that Paul wrote this letter to Philippines, most of people never believed in the true God of the Israelites. It was the period that the gospel started to spread out to other parts of the world. Most of these nations believed in different gods (polytheism). Paul wanted to convince them that there is only one God whom all people should serve and run to whenever they have problems (Gordon D, 1995). Most of the nations were experiencing problems and praying to their gods but they could not find answer. Therefore, Paul encouraged them that through Christ everything is possible and it is only through him that everyone can find deliverance.
Paul wrote this letter after his experience with Christ. Paul was known back there as Paulo who was the persecutor. He used to persecute those who claimed to be Christians. But after his encounter with Christ on his way to Damascus I his mission of persecution, he changed and became an apostle and started to spread the gospel as other apostles. Biblically, the verse means Christ has every power that anyone could ever posses. On his way to Damascus, his donkey was able to talk something that has never happened (Gordon D, 1995). This verse signified the experience Paul encountered with Christ when he changed.
The literal meaning on the other hand is that the lives of human beings are entirely controlled by the super natural powers. The super natural can destine and shape the lives of human beings. The fate of human beings is destined by the super natural. The verse signified the power that the super natural hold on human beings.
Nowadays, this verse can mean several things. For instance, when human beings face challenges in their daily activities the verse can be an encouragement that they should depend on Christ for consults. The verse signifies the dependency of Christians on Christ. It also means that people have been able to overcome the challenges because of Christ not by their own power.
The verse can be applied today in different occasions. First, when people are faced with challenges they need to turn to God for spiritual assistance. People face different challenges; some may be physical and may require physical solution. On the other hand some may be spiritual which physical solutions cannot be applicable. Therefore, Christians refer to the bible for reference to get spiritual healing.
Christians believe that one must have faith for this to be applicable. Therefore, the verse advises people to have total faith in Christ. Most of things in those days of Paul are still happening up to date (MacArthur ,2001).Therefore, biblical help can still be used. In addition, the gospel was to be spread all over the world and now that it has reached every place across the globe, it can be very useful. On the other hand there are some people who are non- believers the verse can the applied in this case to fulfill the apostolic mission that was to spread the gospel.
In conclusion, Philippians 4:21-23, is an encouragement and a motivational factor to those who feel depressed when faced with challenges they cannot solve. The paper has examined the meaning and significance of the verse based on the biblical perception and literal perception.
Fee, Gordon D (1995). Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing,
MacArthur, John (2001). Philippians MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Moody Publishers.
Silva, Moises (2005). Philippians. Baker Academic.
Snyman, A. H (2007). "Philippians 4: 10-23 from a rhetorical perspective." Acta Theologica 27.2: 168-185.
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