“Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.”
“Now you Philippians”
Paul called the Philippians by the name of their town. This is unusual (compare 2 Cor. 6:11; Gal. 3:1 [province]).
There is a contrast here. First, Paul commended the Philippians for their financial support (v. 14) while he was in jail. Then he acknowledged that they remembered how he received their gifts of 10 years before when they had first come to Christ. They knew that Paul gladly received their gifts.
Paul was making it clear to the Philippians that their generosity toward him was valid. He depended upon God (vv. 11-13), but God sends help by people. Paul recalled two previous situations by which they had supported him financially.
“that in the beginning of the gospel”
The Philippians were raw heathen when Paul and his team came to their city with the gospel. They had never heard the gospel. This is Acts 16 and 17 historically, about 10 years before his writing. Paul had to flee Philippi for his life. He went to Thessalonica.
“when I departed from Macedonia”
Macedonia was the province where the city of Philippi was located. He went from Philippi to Thessalonica. Paul was in Thessalonica but three Sabbath days. At the most, that would be less than a month. At the least, it could have been less than two weeks. Yet, after such a short time there, the Philippians sent two financial gifts to Paul while in Thessalonica. Thessalonica was a much larger city than Philippi. The Thessalonians had more economic resources. Yet, it was the Philippians who had the heart to support Paul. They gave out of gratitude to Paul for bringing the gospel to them.
Without the principle of giving, we cannot grow as we ought.
If we could preach the gospel to the world without any financial involvement, it would be a loss to both individuals and the church. We would be deprived of the spiritual growth that comes from giving to the cause of Christ. Have you checked your giving to see if it reflects spiritual growth in your life?