You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:15-20
Giving and receiving in the body of Christ sends up the “fragrant aroma” of God’s love, like someone grilling steaks in the neighborhood, brewing coffee, or baking bread. It’s rewarded by God, not by parting with a few dollars from his infinite stash, but by providing for our every need in the manner in which he’s accustomed (“according to”). For example, does he transport you into his presence by sending a taxi, or his limousine? You get the picture. It’s all about sharing in the “affliction” of another man’s life.
Here are Paul’s points about giving:
It’s about sharing in the “affliction” of another man’s life.
It’s a two-way street (a “matter giving and receiving”).
It’s regular (“more than once”).
It’s unexpected (“even in Thessalonica”).
It’s about an ever-increasing profit in your “heavenly” account.
It’s generous (payment “in full”).
It’s well-pleasing to God (you’ve “done well”).
It’s sacrificial (and acceptable).
It’s reciprocal (“my God will supply all your needs” in return).
It’s done in a way that only God gets the glory (forever and ever).
A doxology is what you sing when you can only shake your head in wonder and amazement over what God has done.
After so compellingly communicating God’s truth in this letter, Paul offers the only fitting conclusion; a doxology.