Being Able to Do All Things in Christ (2)
Phil. 4:12 I know also how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound and to lack. (13) I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me. (18) But I have received in full all things and abound; I have been filled, receiving from Epaphroditus the things from you [the Philippian church], a sweet-smelling savor, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 3:8 …that I may gain Christ (9) And be found in Him…
(Part 2 of 3)
My reason for dwelling on this matter is to point out that our circumstances are always sovereignly arranged by God. Sometimes His sovereign arrangement puts us in a low situation, and at other times in circumstances that are quite good. Paul realized that even though the supply had come from the church at Philippi, his circumstances were still in the hand of God. In God’s sovereign arrangement, the Philippian church did not send the supply until now. Perhaps they had the heart to send him a gift, but not the opportunity until Epaphroditus could come. When the opportunity was available, the Philippian believers sent a gift to Paul. This supply brought him out of the condition of humiliation, want, and abasement and set him on a peak. But he did not know how long that would last. Nevertheless, he had the assurance that he knew both how to be abased and how to abound, both how to abound and how to be in want. He had learned the secret; he had been initiated into the basic principles of Christ and the church.
In verse 13 we find a basic principle related to the apostle’s secret of sufficiency in Christ: “I can do all things in Him Who empowers me.” Paul was a person in Christ (2 Cor. 12:2), and he desired to be found in Christ by others. Now he declared that he could do all things in Him, in the very Christ who empowered him. This is an all- inclusive and concluding word concerning his experience of Christ. It is the converse of the Lord’s word concerning our organic relationship with Him in John 15:5: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”