Have you ever wondered how Paul could say things like “Rejoice always, and again I say rejoice,” and actually do it? Well here in our text we come to the source, the fountain, the wellspring from which joy is constantly overflowing in the Apostle, and if we can discover this hidden source and trace it to its depths, perhaps joy can overflow in us as well.
For Paul, motivations matter, motivations are not unimportant, and having the right motivation is crucial for the one who is preaching, but all that notwithstanding, Christ being preached matters more, and in that we should rejoice.
Now because God is infinite and we are finite, there is no end to which our love can increase. So if God’s love is a vast and endless ocean, our love is the size of whatever cup, or bowl, or bucket that we can bring to that ocean, fill up and carry us.
Philippians is Paul’s happiest letter. It is full of prayers and joy and thanksgiving. There is a sweetness here that you do not find in Paul’s other letters.
As with most things, there are different views of when Paul wrote Galatians, but I think the most likely scenario is that he wrote it around 48 AD, from the city of Antioch, just before the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15.