DO and DO NOT – Book of Philippians 3:1a

Today we are starting in chapter three of Philippians continuing our study on how God expects us to conduct ourselves during this life on earth.

I believe that the Book of Philippians is a God inspired guideline for our walk and being in this world. And just as a reminder, the Book of Philippians is not the only book in the Bible to give advice for life. We have to take the whole of Scripture into consideration and it’s important to keep all of it in context.

Philippians 3:1a (NKJV)
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

Rejoicing in the Lord! Is this an easy task? Do we always rejoice in Him? How do we rejoice in Him?

We know that everything here on earth is temporary but heaven is eternal.

It seems difficult to rejoice when we go through hard or dark looking times. But then how do we define “rejoice” for ourselves? Does it mean to “be happy and laugh all the time”?

Let’s look at a few Scriptures where the Lord tells us to rejoice, and then compare them to the original Greek words to understand their meaning.

Philippians 3:1a (NKJV)
Finally, my brethren, rejoice [*G5463] in the Lord.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV) – Jesus speaking:
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice [*G5463] and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)
Rejoice[*G5463] in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice [*G5463]!

Luke 10:20c – Jesus speaking:
“but rather rejoice [*G5463] because your names are written in heaven.”

Romans 12:15 (NKJV)
Rejoice[*G5463] with those who rejoice [*G5463], and weep with those who weep.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17-18 (NKJV)
Rejoice[*G5463] always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Matthew 2:10 (NKJV)
When they [the wise men] saw the star, they rejoiced [*G5463] with exceedingly great joy.”

Acts 8:39 (NKJV)
Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing [*G5463].”

Luke 1:47 (NKJV)  [Marie said:]
And my spirit has rejoiced [*G21] in God my Savior.”

Acts 16:34 (NKJV)
Now when he [the jailer] had brought them [Paul and Silas] into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced [*G21], having believed in God with all his household.”

In the above mentioned verses we find two different Greek words for the English word “rejoice”.

The *Complete Word Study Bible explains their meaning as follows:

*G5463 – χαίρω * chairō * khah’ee-ro * A primary verb; to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: – farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice.

*G21 – ἀγαλλιάω * agalliaō * ag-al-lee-ah’-o * From ἄγαv agan (much) and G242; properly to jump for joy, that is, exult: – be (exceeding) glad, with exceeding joy, rejoice (greatly).

When we look at Marie and the jailer we understand that they were rejoicing (G21) in a different way. They just experienced something that brought them exceeding joy.

Can we determine that rejoice (G5463) means to be happy on the inside because we know our home is in heaven, we are children of God, and we can look forward to living in His kingdom for eternity? Rejoice in our heart even though we don’t feel like it on the outside?

I would like to quote William MacDonald who explains it very well in his “Believer’s Bible Commentary”:

“The Christian can always find real joy in the Lord, no matter what his circumstances may be. ‘The source of all his singing is high in heaven above.’ Nothing can really affect his joy unless it first robs him of his Savior, and Christian joy rides high over all the billows of life. Proof of this is found in the fact that Paul gives this exhortation from prison. Surely we can take the advice from such a man as he!”


With that in mind, can we say that there is spiritual joy and physical joy?
What do you think?
Feel free to leave me a comment; I would like to hear your thoughts on this.


May our hearts rejoice in the Lord always!

I hope this post is an encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.

Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


To God be the Glory!


In my next post we will continue with Philippians 3:3.

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