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Philippians One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Timotheus. Paul associated his young disciple Timothy with him in his letter to the church at Philippi probably because Timothy was with him when he first came to Philippi (Acts 16:1, 3, 11-12). Paul was in prison at Rome when he wrote Philippians (1:12-13), and Timothy apparently had been able to visit him there.

the servants. Paul did not, in this case, assert his authority as an apostle, as he did when addressing a church with serious problems (e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1), perhaps because he had nothing but commendation for the Philippian church. He and Timothy merely called themselves “bondslaves” of Christ.

Philippi. Philippi was the first city in Europe to hear the gospel and establish a Christian church. See Acts 16:9ff for the account. Paul had made at least one visit there later (Acts 20:1-6). His divine call to Greece was the initial reason why the gospel spread in Europe and not Asia.

Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Philippians 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

will perform it. It is neither our responsibility nor within our capability to maintain ourselves in a state of salvation. God began this work in us (Ephesians 2:8), and He will assure its continuance.

day of Jesus Christ. The “day of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; Philippians 1:10; 2:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:2) is the day when Christ returns for His people (John 14:2-3).

Philippians 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 bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

defence. “Defence” is the Greek apologia, a legal term referring to a formal defense as in a courtroom. Many modern evangelicals think the gospel does not need to be defended—just preached. Paul and Timothy knew better. The gospel was under attack in their day, and is even more so now, and it does need a sound defense. See also Philippians 1:17.

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Philippians 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

furtherance of the gospel. The Apostle Paul had the spiritual insight to realize that what seemed like great problems and difficulties such as being unjustly imprisoned, could—and would—be used by God to the “advancement” of the gospel. Rather than complaining or even quitting when the Christian life gets hard, the Christian should remember that God can make even “the wrath of man” to bring praise to Him (Psalm 76:10).

Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Philippians 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

defence of the gospel. This could read, literally, “an apologetic for the gospel” (see note on Philippians 1:7, above). The apostle Peter enjoined us to be ready always to “give an answer” (same Greek word, apologia), to anyone questioning why we believe the gospel (1 Peter 3:15).

Philippians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

rejoice. Paul could rejoice when Christ was preached, even when those so preaching were jealous of Paul's reputation and authority and were trying to undermine them. In this respect, he has set a remarkable example for modern preachers, evangelists and Bible teachers. See note on Philippians 4:4.

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Philippians 1:20 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.

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

gain. See also Philippians 1:23 (“to be with Christ ... is far better”) and 2 Corinthians 5:8 (“absent from the body ... present with the Lord”). Although death is still an enemy, and we normally want to continue in this life as long as possible, we need not fear death as believers in Christ, for God has assured us that even life in our immaterial spirit body after death is better than this present life, for Christ is there!

Philippians 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

Philippians 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Philippians 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Philippians 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

Philippians 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Philippians 1:27 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 stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

conversation. See note on Philippians 3:20. It is a different word from that translated “conversation” in 2 Corinthians 1:12 (q.v.).

becometh. A more modern way of saying this is: “Let your civic behavior be becomingly appropriate to your allegiance to the gospel.” One who professes salvation from sin and has received imputed righteousness should live in a victoriously godly life style.

Philippians 1:28 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.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

given. This normal Christian experience of being persecuted in some way or other for our Christian testimony has actually been granted (literally “graced”) to us as a privilege! “We suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17). “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12). “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also, with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13).

Philippians 1:30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.