Philippians 4:15 – 17 Now you Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
‘Beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia.’ Philippi was the place of the decisive battle which ended the Roman republic, in 42 B.C. Amphipolis was the chief city when the Romans first took over the country, but after the battle at Philippi that ended the Roman republic, this city became more prominent.
Paul established the Philippian congregation here, hence the statement: “the beginning of the gospel” for the Philippians and it is also where the events of Acts 16:12-40 took place: Paul’s party met a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God and she was baptized with her household. Going up for prayers, Paul and Silas landed in prison when they rebuked the damsel possessed with a spirit of divination and when they worshipped at midnight, an earthquake loosened them. The jailkeeper wanted to kill himself for letting the prisoners flee, but Paul assured him nobody fled, and this led to his conversion as well as his household.
‘Thessalonica you sent once and again unto my necessity.’ Paul supported himself partly by working while starting the Thessalonian congregation and partly through help from Philippi (2Thess. 3:7-9).
‘Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.’ I do not say this to get a further gift from you, but to state facts, wanting you to bear fruit to be put to your account and rewarded in the day of Christ. This will be the fruit of the Spirit which is the sign of all true believers (Gal. 5:22-26). He never wanted their money, affection or praises, he just wanted them to serve God the Father through Jesus Christ – the only true indication of a true teacher of the gospel of Christ.
‘Your account’ – A clear reference to each man as having an account in heaven (Ps. 144:3; Heb. 13:17; 1Pet. 4:5). He is either storing up wrath by his deeds on record in heaven (Rom. 2:5) or he is storing up rewards (Rom. 14:1-12; 1Cor. 3:11-15; 2Cor. 5:10; Gal. 3:6). Even every idle (useless) word men will give an account of (Matt. 12:36). Every cup of cold water given or refused and the minutest details of life, as well as the major acts, will be judged (Matt. 6:1-18; 10:41-42; 16:27; Luke 6:23, 35; 1Cor. 3:8-15; 9:17).