1:1 Paul 1 and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the a bishops and deacons:
(1) The Paul's point in writing this epistle,
is to strengthen and encourage the Philippians by all means possible, not to
faint, but more than that, to go forward. And first of all he commends their
former deeds, to exhort them to go forward: which thing he says he fully hopes
they will do, and that by the testimony of their abundant charity. But in the
meantime he refers all things to the grace of God.
(a) By the bishops are meant both the pastors who
have the dispensation of the word, and the elders that govern: and by deacons
are meant those that were stewards of the treasury of the Church, and had to
look after the poor.
For your b fellowship in the gospel from
the c first day until now;
(b) Because you also are made partakers of the
(c) Ever since I knew you.
1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he
which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the d
day of Jesus Christ:
(d) The Spirit of God will not forsake you to the
very latter end, until your mortal bodies will appear before the judgment of
Christ to be glorified.
1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you
all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my e
bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers
of my f grace.
(e) A true proof of a true knitting together with
(f) He calls his bonds "grace", as
though he had received some singular benefit.
1:8 2 For
God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus
(2) He declares his good will towards them, in
addition showing by what means they may chiefly be strengthened and
encouraged, that is, by continual prayer.
1:9 3 And
this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and [in]
(3) He shows what thing we ought to chiefly
desire, that is, first of all that we may increase in the true knowledge of
God (so that we may be able to discern things that differ from one another),
and also in charity, that even to the end we may give ourselves to truly good
works, to the glory of God by Jesus Christ.
1:11 Being filled with the g
fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of
(g) If righteousness is the tree, and good works
the fruits, then the papists are truly deceived indeed, when they say that
works are the cause of righteousness.
1:12 4 But
I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things [which happened] unto me
have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
(4) He prevents the offence that might come by
his persecution, by which different ones took occasion to disgrace his
apostleship. And to these he answers, that God has blessed his imprisonment in
such a way, that he has by that means become more famous, and the dignity of
the Gospel by this occasion is greatly enlarged, although not all men are
happy with it, yet it has enlarged indeed.
1:13 So that my bonds h
in Christ are manifest in all the i
palace, and in all other [places];
(h) For Christ's sake.
(i) In the emperor's court.
1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing
confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the k
word without fear.
(k) The Gospel is called the word, to set forth
the excellence of it.
1:16 The one preach Christ of
contention, not l sincerely, supposing
to add affliction to my bonds:
(l) Not with a pure mind: for otherwise their
doctrine was pure.
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in m
pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and
(5) He shows by setting forth his own example,
that the end of our afflictions is true joy, and this results through the
power of the Spirit of Christ, who he gives to those that ask.
(m) Under a false pretence and disguise: for they
make Christ a cloak for their ambition and envy.
According to my earnest expectation and [my] hope, that in nothing I shall be
ashamed, but [that] with all boldness, as always, [so] now also Christ shall be
magnified in my body, whether [it be] by life, or by death.
(6) We must continue even to the end, with great
confidence, having nothing before our eyes except for Christ's glory alone,
whether we live or die.
But if I live in the n flesh, this [is]
the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
(7) An example of a true shepherd, who considers
more how he may profit his sheep, than he considers any benefit of his own
(n) To live in this mortal body.
8 Only let your conversation be as it
becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be
absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye o
stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the
(8) Having set down those things before in manner
of a preface, he descends now to exhortations, warning them first of all to
consent both in doctrine and mind, and afterward, that being thus knit
together with those common bonds, they continue through the strength of faith
to bear all adversity in such a way, that they allow nothing unworthy of the
profession of the Gospel.
(o) The word signifies to stand fast in, and it
is proper to wrestlers, that stand fast and do not move their feet back at
1:28 9 And
in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of
perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
(9) We ought not to be discouraged but rather
encouraged by the persecutions which the enemies of the Gospel imagine and
practise against us: seeing that the persecutions are certain witnesses from
God himself both of our salvation, and of the destruction of the wicked.
1:29 10 For
unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but
also to suffer for his sake;
(10) He proves his statement that persecution is
a token of our salvation, because it is a gift of God to suffer for Christ,
which gift he bestows upon his own, as he does the gift of faith.
Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear [to be] in me.
(11) Now he shows for what purpose he made
mention of his afflictions.