An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 98 of 277
especially the last chapter, we see how Paul the independent (4:11 -13)
alternates with Paul the lowly (4:14 -16).  He is strong enough to endure and
to do all things through Christ, assuring the Philippians that he does not
'desire a gift': yet, immediately, he withdraws, lest he should wound their
feelings, and says, 'nevertheless ye have well done', and even goes so far as
to speak of their gifts in the same terms that God uses of the sacrifice of
Christ.  However, it is Paul, the independent, that has the last word, for he
says: 'But my God shall supply all your need' (Phil. 4:19).
Fellowship with a man of this calibre had to be real or it would be
repudiated.  See how scathingly he rejected the assistance of the Corinthian
church (2 Cor. 11:7 -10).  Paul could be melted by an act of pure Christian
charity, but he could scorch and wither the first approach of patronage.  We
may be certain that any who were honoured with his companionship were worthy
Suzugos: 'I entreat thee, also, true yokefellow' (Phil. 4:3).  It is
impossible to come to any conclusion regarding the identity of the believer
thus called 'Genuine yokefellow'.  Some have thought that Paul here speaks of
a sister in Christ, and the reference in the context to women who were
'fellowlabourers' with him in the gospel of Christ lends colour to the
suggestion.  Whoever it was, the title is a blessed one, and reminiscent of
the words of the Lord in Matthew 11.  In Philippians 4:3 the Authorized
Version uses the word 'labour with' and 'fellowlabourers', as though the
apostle used the same word twice, but this is not the case:
'And I entreat thee genuine yokefellow, help those women, who in the
gospel strove together with me (sunathleo), with Clement also, and with
other of my fellowworkers (sunergos), whose names are in the book of
life' (Phil. 4:3 author's translation).
Sunathleo occurs once more in Philippians 1:27:
'Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
that ... I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit,
with one mind striving together (sunathleo) for the faith of the
This does not necessarily mean 'preaching the gospel', it speaks of
'conversation' or 'manner of life' that 'becomes' the gospel; it speaks of
'affairs' and suggests that the women thus commended, had stood fast, and
taken their share in the witness, strengthening the hands of those who were
more actively engaged in public service, without which much of such service
would never have been accomplished.  The other word sunergos or 'fellow-
worker', is the more constantly used by Paul.  Priscilla and Aquila are
greeted with this title in Romans 16:3 and the intensely practical nature of
their fellowship is seen in verse 4, 'who have for my life laid down their
own necks'.  Urbane, also, is given this title (Rom. 16:9), and Timothy in
verse 21.  Twice the word is translated 'helper' and once literally
In 1 Corinthians 3:9 we read: 'We are labourers together with God',
where the English rather leads one to believe the meaning to be that he and
others were labouring together with God.  This, however, is not the meaning,
but rather, 'We are God's "workers together"; you are God's tillage; you are
God's building'.  Paul was the planter, Apollos was the waterer, and both
together were workers who belonged to the same God.  Titus also bore the