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* FEB >3 1908 * 

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The Epistle of Paul 








s /BY 

James F. Holcomb, D.D. 

North India Presbyterian Mission. 


The text used is taken from the American Standard Edition 
of the Revised Bible 

Copyright, 1901, by Thomas Nelson & Sons, New York 


Alpheus H. Holloway, D. D. 

OF Salisbury, Maryland, 
Companion of my boyhood and College days, 

this contribution to the understanding of 

Paul's Letter to the Philippians, 

is affectionately inscribed. 


Pliilippi, situated eight miles inland from Neapo- 
lis, at the head of the ^^ga?an Sea, and visited by Paul 
on his second missionary journey, is interesting as 
,being the first city in Europe to which the Gospel 
was carried by an apostle. It is, moreover, a place 
of peculiar interest on accoimt of Luke's detailed 
and vivid account, in the sixteenth chapter of the Book 
of the Acts, of what occurred there in connection with 
the work of Paul and his associates. 

Renan's description of the road from Neapolis to 
Pliilippi may give us a somewhat overdrawn picture, 
but doubtless it contains a considerable measure of 
reality. Referring to Paul and his company as they 
started from the port towards the famous inland city, 
he says. "They ascended the paved and cut slope in 
the rocks which overlook Neapolis, crossed the little 
chain of mountains which forms the coast, and 
entered the beautiful plain in the centre of which 
stands detached upon a projecting promontory of 
the mountain, the city of Pliilippi. Everything indi- 
cated habits honest, serious, and amenable. One felt 
himself to be in a centre analogous to that in which 
the poetry of Virgil was created. The evergreen 
plain was favorable for the various culture of vege- 
tables and flowers. Splendid fountains springing 


from the foot of the mountain of shining marble 
which crowned the city, spread, when properly direc- 
ted, shade and freshness. The thickets of poplars, 
willows, of fig trees and cherry trees, and wild vines, 
exhaled the sweetest odors, and scented the brooks 
which abounded on all sides. Moreover, the meadows, 
which were overrun or covered with large roses, ex- 
hibited troops of heavy white-eyed buffaloes, with 
enormous horns, their heads just out of the water; 
whilst the bees and the swarms of black and blue 
butterflies flitted from flower to flower. Pangieus, 
with its majestic summits covered with snow till the 
middle of July, lay stretched out as if it would touch 
the city across the morass. Beautiful ranges of moun- 
tains bounded the horizon on all the other sides, dis- 
covering only an opening through which the sky dis- 
appeared, and showing in the clear distance the basin 
of Str;^anon." 

There is also much of historic interest connected 
with Philippi as a locality, and especially in the 
events which there transpired in the centuries imme- 
diately preceding the Christian Era. The springs 
which gushed forth from the mountain that over- 
looked it gave to the ancient town the name Crenides 
(the little fountains). This town, which originally 
belonged to Thrace, was seized and fortified by Philip 
of ]\Iacedon in the latter part of the fourth century, 
B. C. It was then named by him Philippi, and be- 
came a Macedonian city. In Philip's time the valley 
in Avhich a part of the new town was built became a 
busy mining camp, for one of the neighboring moun- 
tains had become famous for its rich reefs of gold 
and silver. The newly found wealth which ]\Iount 
Pangieus contained was turned to great account by 
King Philip in extending his dominion. ''This gold 
of Crenides," says a French w^riter, "spread itself 
over Greece, preceding the phalanx like an advance 
guard, and opening more gates that the battering- 
rams and catapults. 

r vi 1 


Perseus was the last of the ^Macedonian Kings, his 
territory havins^ come under the dominion of Home in 
168 B. C. 

The situation of Philippi was such as to make it 
inevitably a place of distinction. The pass in the 
mountains near by naturally attracted the attention of 
road builders under different governments, until at 
length that great Roman thoroughfare — the Via 
Egnatia — was made, which ran from Xeapolis on the 
^ga?an Sea to Dyrrachium on the Adriatic, and 
passed through Philippi. 

The position of Philippi on the Egnatian Road 
accounts for that great double battle being fought 
there in B. C. 42, which decided the destiny of Rome 
by the overthrow of the Republican oligarchy and the 
establishment of the empire in its stead. There the 
armies of Octavius (subsequently Augustus) and 
jMarcus Antonius were arrayed against those of 
Brutus and Cassius. Cassius with his troops was 
encamped on ]\Iount Panga?us south of the town, while 
Brutus with his forces held the slopes on the north, 
these positions having been chosen for the purpose 
of guarding both sides of the pass on the Egnatian 
Road. Cassius was first overpowered, and after hold- 
ing his ground two days longer Brutus was also de- 
feated. Each of these conquered generals was at his 
own mandate put to death on the battle field by a 
fellow soldier, preferring death to the ignominy 
to Avhich, had they chosen to live, they would have 
been subjected. 

The issue of this great struggle as far as Philippi 
was concerned Avas its advancement, for Augustus 
elevated it to Colonial dignity, under the title Colonia 
Augusta Julia Victrix Philippensis, the name Julia 
in this title showing that the colony was founded to 
commemorate the victory of the cause of Julius Caesar 
at Philippi. 

A Roman Colony was, as far as an outpost of the 
empire could be, a miniature Rome. None but those 

\ vii 1 


who were the possessors of Roman citizenship could 
belong to it. Those who were chosen to form a new 
colony were sent forth by imperial authority. They 
marched to their destination in military form, they 
continued to speak the Latin tongue, and Roman coin 
was the currency they used. The chief magistrates 
of the colony received their appointment direct from 
the imperial capital, and in the exercise of both civil 
and military authority were independent of the pro- 
vincial governors in whose territories they resided. 
Luke is careful to speak of the magistrates of Philippi 
as prjetors or commandants, which shows hoAV famil- 
iar he was with the exact title which they assumed; 
and the sergeants mentioned by him were doubtless 
lictors who attended the magistrates, bearing fasces 
or bundles of rods, and this shows again how the mag- 
istrates of this colony were endeavoring to make the 
most of their position. AYe are thus made to see with 
remarkable vividness what kind of officials they were 
into whose hands Paul and Silas fell at Philippi. and 
what kind of authority it was of which these officers 
made use. We see also from Luke's narrative how 
high 'was tlie claim to preeminence which the city of 
Philippi put forth in asserting its right to be styled 
"the first of the district." If, as may have been the 
case, Luke was himself a resident of Philippi, may we 
not discover in his description of this place the pride 
which he took in his own city? 

It will be instructive to turn now to those verses 
(6-10) in the sixteenth of Acts to see how Paul was 
led- to go to Philippi. It had not been his plan at all 
to go there. Had he been able to carry out his o^\ti 
purpose, he would have gone from Antioch straight 
to Ephesus, the metropolis of the Great Roman prov- 
ince of Asia. That was the natural direction for him 
to take in continuing his journey from Antioch. He 
would be following a great trade route, ^vhich would 
lead him to the most important city in all Asia IMinor, 
a city in which he was subsecpiently led to spend three 

[ viii ] 


years — a longer period than he spent anywhere else 
in the ^^ilole course of his missionary life. But the 
time — God's time — had not yet come for him to go to 
Ephesus. Other places had in the meantime to be 
visited, and plans aft'eeting in the most far-reach- 
manner the whole after life of the apostle had first 
to be formed. Accordingly when Paul and Silas, 
accompanied by Timothy, had turned their faces 
towards Ephesus, and had got within the limits of the 
great province which they expected to traverse from 
east to west, lo, they were met w^ith an absolute 
prohibition of the Holy Spirit to speak the word in 
Asia. It is to be noted that they were not forbidden 
to travel in Asia. But what Avould it avail to go on 
to Ephesus, if on their arrival there they might not 
preach the Gospel? They therefore turned north- 
ward towards Bithynia ; and when they had arrived 
over against IMysia, and were close upon the boundary 
of the province w^hich they intended to enter, the 
Spirit of Jesus, we read, suffered them not to go into 
Bithynia. They then turned towards the ^Egtean Sea 
and we read, that neglecting ]\Iysia, because it was 
a part of the province of Asia, in the whole of which 
territory they had been forbidden to preach, they 
came down to the coast at Troas. And why Avere they 
there ? The meaning of the divine prohibitions which 
had encountered them on the w^ay from Antioch were 
all made clear, when at Troas they met Luke the phy- 
sician, a Macedonian, and a Greek scholar, who was 
probably led to Christ at that time. It was necessary 
according to the plan of God, that Paul should find 
at Troas this man, who Avas ever after to be so service- 
able to him, and hence the apostle had not been 
allowed to tarry on his way to that place. AYe know 
that Luke joined the company of Paul and Silas and 
Timothy at Troas, and went with them to Philippi, 
for in the Book of the Acts, which he afterwards 
Avrote, we find the word "we" occurring for the first 
time in the 16th chapter, 11th verse. AYas he the man 

r ix 1 


-of ^lacedonia, whom Paul saw in tlie vision, probably 
in the night following the day when he met Luke? 
We are indebted for this snggestion to Professor Eam- 
say, whose book. "St. Panl the Traveller and the 
Roman Citizen, ' ' throws so mnch light on the life and 
work of the great apostle. ' ' Come over into Macedonia, 
and help ns, " was the earnest invitation given to Paul 
and his companions by the man of Macedonia, whom 
the apostle saw in the vision. Whether Luke was a 
resident of Philippi or not, he evidently desired that 
Paul and his friends should go first to that important 
city. It seems probable that Luke remained in Phil- 
ippi after Paul and Silas and Timothy had left for 
Thessalonica, and it does not appear that Luke joined 
their company again for a considerable time. It is 
not until the 20th chapter, 6th verse, of the Acts, that 
we find Luke using the word ''we" again. And it 
is worthy of notice that this was at the time when 
Paul and his companions were leaving Philippi after 
the apostle 's second visit to that place. 

That frequent communications with the Philippian 
Church were maintained by Paul, there can be no 
doubt. How great his love for them, and his devotion 
to them, was, we see from the precious epistle which 
he sent to them by the hand of Epaphroditus during 
his first captivity at Rome. 

Did the apostle ever visit them again, as in this let- 
ter he expressed a strong expectation of being able to 
do? It is not unlikely that he was permitted to see 
his purpose fulfilled after his first trial, and his re- 
lease from imprisonment which was the result of it. 

The dominant thought of the "afternoon epistles" 
of Paul, as Professor Findlay calls the epistles of the 
captivity, is that of the believer's relation to his 
Saviour, his union with his Lord, his being in Christ 
as a member of his body, and Christ's living in him. 
To bring into its rightful prominence this thought, 
has been one of the chief purposes of the writer in 
preparing this commentary on the Epistle to the Phil- 

[ X ] 


To speak of Paul as having been kept in a dungeon 
during his first captivity in Rome, as is frequently 
done, is erroneous: for Luke says (Acts 28:16), 
"When we entered into Rome, Paul was suffered to 
abide by himself with the soldier that guarded him." 
Or, if we incorporate the marginal reading into the 
text, then the latter part of the verse will read thus, 
"the centurion delivered the prisoners to the Chief 
of the camp, but Paul was suffered to abide by himself 
with the soldier that guarded him. ' ' It would appear 
from this that special consideration was shown to Paul. 
Burrus, a humane man, was at that. time the Prefect 
of the camp, and the leniency shown to Paul by him 
may have been in some measure due to a statement of 
Julius in regard to the incidents of the voyage from 
Ca^sarea, in which the apostle bore so prominent a part, 
and besides Festus may have written favorably con- 
cerning him. Further, Luke narrates that after three 
days Paul called together those that Avere the chief of 
the Jews in Rome and explained to them why he was a 
prisoner in the hands of the Romans : and that they 
having expressed a desire to hear what he thought con- 
cerning the sect, as they called it, which had arisen 
among the Jews, and having set a day for hearing 
what he might have to say concerning it, "came to him 
into his lodging in great number. ' ' Manifestly, there- 
fore, Paul 's lodging was a prison only in the sense that 
he dwelt in it under a guard. 

Again we read (Acts 28:30) concerning this first 
captivity of the apostle that "he abode two whole 
years in his own hired dwelling." Furthermore this 
hired dwelling, whether it was the lodging previously 
spoken of, or not, must have been of sufficient 
size to admit of the apostle's living in it with a 
good degree of comfort, and, it may be, of his having 
with him those of his fellow-laborers who from time to 
time came to Rome and tarried for a season ; for Luke 



also states that he "received all that went in unto him, 
preaching' the kingdom of God, and teaching the 
things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. ' ' 

Neither the precise location of Paul's hired house, 
nor even the vicinity in which it stood, can with cer- 
tainty be pointed out, but it seems highly probable 
that it was situated somewhere Avithin or adjacent to 
the prietorian camp ; for in his letter to the Philip- 
pians the apostle says, "My bonds became manifest 
in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard." 
Paul was guarded day and night by a Roman soldier 
of the praetorian guard to whom he was bound 
by a coupling-chain. As the guard was* frequently 
changed, Paul had during the .period of his first im- 
prisonment at Eome a Avide opportunity of making 
Christ and his salvation known in the praetorian camp. 

During a recent visit in Rome we daily saw 
Castro Pretorio displayed on the street cars of one 
of the electric lines. These cars run to the canton- 
ment where now stand the barracks occupied by the 
Italian troops, infantry and artillery, stationed in 
Rome. It is the old praetorian camp of Paul's time, 
and more than once we rode out to this interesting 
spot. It is just outside the Colline Gate, northeast 
of the city, and is surrounded by a high wall, which 
looks as if it might have stood for centuries in a con- 
dition not greatly unlike that in which it is-noAV seen. 

There are extant in Rome authentic remains of Iavo 
houses in AAdiich in all probability Paul found hospi- 
tality and enjoyed Christian fellowship; in Avhich 
also, it is thought, meetings for Christian Avorship 
and for the unfolding of the Gospel AA^re held by him. 
When going to these houses he Avould of course be 
accompanied by the Roman soldier AA'ho at the time 
Avas guarding him, and to AAdiom he Avas chained. 

One of these houses Avas that of Pudens, AAiiich 
stands half Avay up the Yicus Patricius (Via del 
Bambin Gesii) on the southern slope of the Yirinal. 

The other belonged to Aquila and Prisca (Pris- 

[ xii ] 


cilia), and is situated on the spur of the Aventine, 
which overlooks the Circus ]\Iaximus, in what was in 
Paul's time the Jewish quarter of the city. 

Both of these houses have been designated from 
very early times and are still designated by churches 
bearing the names of the owners. Professor Lanciani, 
of Rome, states that the Avails of the identical house 
of Aquila and Prisca were discovered in 1776, close 
to the modern church of S. Prisca, but that no atten- 
ti(m was paid to the discovery, notwithstanding its 
unrivalled importance. 

It is interesting to know that at the present time, 
the Eev. Dr. Gray, the Scotch Presbyterian minister 
in Rome, is conducting excavations for the purpose 
of identifying the precise site of this house, funds 
for the purpose having been placed in his hands by 
friends interested in this ancient memorial. 





11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made 
a straight course tc» Samothrace, and the day fol- 
lowing to Neapolis ; 12 and from thence to Phil- 
ippic which is a city of Macedonia, the first of 
the district, a Roman colony: and we were in 
this city tarrying certain days. 13 And on the 
sabbath day we went forth without the gate by 
a river side, where we supposed there was a 
place of prayer; and we sat down, and spake 
unto the women that were come together. 14 
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of 
purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that wor- 
shipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord 
opened to give heed unto the things which were 
spoken by Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, 
and her household, she besought us, saying, If 
ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, 
come into my house, and abide there. And she 
constrained us. 

[ xiv ] 


16 And it came to pass, as we were going to 
the place of prayer, that a certain maid having a 
spirit of divination met us, who brought her 
masters much gain by soothsaying. 17 The same 
following after Paul and us cried out, saying. 
These men are servants of the Most High God, 
who proclaim unto you the way of salvation. 18 
And this she did for many days. But Paul, 
being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, 
I charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to 
come out of her. And it came out that very 

19 But when her masters saw that the hope of 
their gain was gone, they laid hold on Paul and 
Silas, and dragged them into the market])lace 
before the rulers, 20 and when they had brought 
them unto the magistrates, they said. These men, 
being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 
and set forth customs which it is not lawful for 
us to receive, or to observe, being Romans. 22 
And the multitude rose up together against 
them: and the magistrates rent their garments 
off them, and commanded to beat them with 
rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes 
upon them, they cast them into prison, charging 
the jailor to keep them safely: 24 who, having 
received such a charge, cast them into the inner 
prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were 
praying and singing hymns unto God, and the 

[ XV ] 


prisoners were listeniug to them; 26 and sud- 
denly there was a great earthquake, so that the 
foundations of the prison-house were shaken: 
and immediately all the doors were opened ; and 
every one's bands were loosed. 27 And the 
jailor, being roused out of sleep and seeing the 
prison doors open, drew his sword and was about 
to kill liimself, supposing that the prisoners had 
escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, 
saying, Do thyself no harm : for we are all here, 
29 And he called for lights and sprang in, and, 
trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and 
Silas, 30 and brought them out and said. Sirs, 
what must I do to be saved ? 31 And they said. 
Believe on tlie Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be 
saved, thou and thy house. 32 And they spake 
the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were 
in his house. 33 And he took them the same 
hour of the night, and washed their stripes ; and 
was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 
And he brought them up into his house, and set 
food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all 
his house, having believed in God. 

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent 
the Serjeants, saying. Let those men go. 36 And 
the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying. 
The magistrates have sent to let you go : now 
therefore come forth, and go in peace. 37 But 
Paul said unto them, They have beaten us pub- 
licly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and 

[ xvi ] 


liave cast ns into ])rison ; aud do they now cast us 
ont privily? nay verily; but let them come them- 
selves and bring us out. 38 And the Serjeants 
reported these words unto the magistrates : and 
they feared when tTiey heard that they were 
Romans; 39 and they came and besought them; 
and when they had brought them out, they asked 
them to go away from the city. 40 And they 
went out of the prison, and entered into the 
house of Lyclia: and when they had seen the 
brethren, they comforted them, and departed. 

[ xvii ] 


1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, 
-'-to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at 
Philippi, with the bishops and deacons : 2 Grace 
to you and peace from God our Father and the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

3 I thank my God upon all my remembrance 
of you, 4 always in every supplication of mine 
on behalf of you all making my supplication 
with joy, 5 for your fellowship in furtherance 
of the gospel from the first day until now; 6 
being confident of this very thing, that he who 
began a good work in you will perfect it until 
the day of Jesus Christ: 7 even as it is right 
for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, 
because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, 
both in my bonds and in the defence and con- 
firmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers with 
me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how I 
long after you all in the tender mercies of Christ 

[ xviii ] 


Jesus. 9 And this 1 pray, that your love may 
abound yet more and more in knowledge and all 
discernment; 10 so that ye may approve the 
things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere 
and void of offence unto the day of Christ; 11 
being tilled with the fruits of righteousness, 
which are through Jesus Christ, unto the glory 
and praise of God. 

12 Xow I would have you know, brethren, 
that the things irliicli happened unto me have 
fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel; 
13 So that my bonds became manifest in Christ 
throughout the whole priptorian guard, and to all 
the rest; 14 and that most of the brethren in 
the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are 
more abundantly bold to speak the word of God 
without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ 
even of envy and strife ; and some also of good 
will : 16 the one do it of love, knowing that I 
am set for the defence of the gospel: 17 but 
the other proclaim Christ of faction, not sin- 
cerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in 
my bonds. 18 AMiat then? only that in every 
way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is 
proclaimed; and therein I rejoice, yea, and will 
rejoice. 19 For I know that this shall turn out 
to my salvation, through your supplication and 
the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 20 
according to my earnest expectation and hope, 
that in nothing shall I be put to shame, but that 

[ xix ] 


with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ 
shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, 
or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and 
to die is gain. 22 But if to live in the flesh, — if 
this shall bring fruit from my work, then what 
I shall choose I know not. 23 But I am in a 
strait betwixt the two, having the desire to de- 
part and be with Christ ; for it is very far better : 
24 yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for 
your sake. 25 And having this confidence, I 
know that I shall abide, yea, and abide with you 
all, for your progress and joy in the faith; 26 
that your glorying may abound in Christ eTesus. 
in me through my presence with you again. 27 
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the 
gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see 
you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that 
ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving 
for the faith of the gospel ; 28 and in nothing 
affrighted by the adversaries : which is for them 
an evident token of perdition, but of your sal- 
vation, and that from God; 29 because to you 
it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not 
only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his 
behalf: 30 having the same conflict which ye 
saw in me, and now hear to be in me. 

2 If there is therefore any exhortation in 
Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fel- 
lowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and 

[ XX ] 


compassions, 2 make full my joy, that ye be of 
the same mind, having the same love, being of 
one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing 
through faction or through vain glory, but in 
lowliness of mind each counting other better than 
himself; 4 not looking each of you to his own 
things, but each of you also to the things of 
others. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also 
in Christ Jesus : 6 who, existing in the form of 
God, counted not the being on an equality with 
God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied him- 
self, taking the form of a servant, being made in 
the likeness of men; 8 and being found in 
fashion as a man, he humbled himself, l)ecoming 
obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the 
cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted 
him, and gave unto him the name which is above 
every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus 
every knee should bow, of things in heaven and 
things on earth and things under the earth, 11 
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus 
•Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

12 So then, my beloved, even as ye have 
always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but 
now much more in my absence, work out your 
own salvation with fear and trembling ; 13 for 
it is God that worketh in you both to will and to 
work, for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things 
without murmurings and questionings ; 15 that 
ye may become blameless and harmless, children 

[ xxi J 


of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked 
and perverse generation, among whom ye are 
seen as lights in the world, 16 holding forth 
the word of life; that I may have whereof to 
glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in 
vain neither labor in vain. 17 Yea, and if I am 
offered upon the sacrifice and service of your 
faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all: 18 and 
in the same manner do ye also joy, and rejoice 
with me. 

19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Tim- 
othy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good 
comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have, 
no man likeminded, who will care truly for your 
state. 21 For they all seek their own, not the 
things of eJesus Christ. 22 But ye know the 
proof of him, that, as a child servefk a father, so 
he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. 
23 Him therefore I hope to send forthwith, so 
soon as I shall see how it will go with me : 24 
but I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall 
come shortly. 25 But I counted it necessary to 
send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fel- 
low-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messen- 
ger and minister to my need; 26 since he 
longed after you all, and was sore troubled, be- 
cause ye had heard that he was sick: 27 for 
indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God 
had mercy on him ; and not on him only, but on 
me also, that I might not have sorrow upon sor- 

[ xxii ] 


row. 28 I have sent him therefore the more 
cliligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may 
rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 
Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; 
and hold such in honor: 30 because for the 
work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazard- 
ing his life to supply that which was lacking in 
your service toward me. 

O Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. 
^To write the same things to you, to me indeed 
is not irksome, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware 
of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware 
of the concision : 3 for we are the circumcision, 
who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in 
Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh : 
4 though I myself might have confidence even 
in the flesh: if any other man thinketh to have 
confidence in the flesh, I yet more: 5 circum- 
cised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the 
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as 
touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 as touching 
zeal, persecuting the church; as touching the 
righteousness which is in the law, found blame- 
less. 7 Howbeit what things were gain to me, 
these have I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea ver- 
ily, and I count all things to be loss for the excel- 
lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : 
for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and 
do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, 

[ xxiii ] 


9 and be found in liinij not having a righteous- 
ness of mine own, even that which is of the law, 
but that which is through faith in Christ, tlie 
righteousness which is from God by faith: 10 
that I may know him, and the power of his resur- 
rection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, be- 
coming conformed unto his death ; 11 if by any 
means I may attain unto the resurrection from 
the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained, 
or am already made perfect: but I press on, if 
so be that I may lay hold on that for which also 
I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. 13 Breth- 
ren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: 
but one thing I do, forgetting the things which 
are behind, and stretching forward to the things 
which are before, 14 I press on toward the 
goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in 
Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as 
are perfect, be thus minded : and if in anything 
ye are otherwise minded, this also shall God 
reveal unto you: 16 only, whereunto we have 
attained, by that same rule let us walk. 

17 Brethren, be ye imitators together of me, 
and mark them that so walk even as ye have us 
for an ensample. 18 For many walk, of whom 
I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, 
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 
19 whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly, 
and whose glory is in their shame, who mind 
earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in 

[ xxiv ] 


heaven ; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ : 21 who shall fashion anew 
the body of our humiliation, tliat it may he con- 
formed to the body of his glory, according to the 
working whereby he is able even to subject all 
things unto himself. 

A Wherefore, my brethren beloved and longed 
^for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the 
Lord, my beloved. 

2 I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to 
be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yea, I be- 
seech thee also, true yokefellow, help these 
women, for they labored with me in the gospel, 
with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow- 
workers, whose names are in the book of life. 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always : again I will say, 
Rejoice. 5 Let your forbearance be known 
unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In 
nothing be anxious ; but in everything by prayer 
and supplication with thanksgiving let your re- 
quests be made known unto God. 7 And the 
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, 
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in 
Christ Jesus. 

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are 
true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatso- 
ever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things 
are of good report; if there be any virtue, and 

[ XXV ] 


if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 
The things which ye both learned and received 
and heard and saw in me, these things do : and 
the God of peace shall be with you. 

10 Bnt I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now 
at length ye have revived your thought for me ; 
wherein ye did indeed take thought, but ye 
lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in 
respect of want : for I have learned, in whatso- 
ever state I am, therein to be content. 12 I 
know how to be abased, and I know also how to 
abound: in everything and in all things have I 
learned the secret both to be filled and to be hun- 
gry, both to abound and to be in want. 13 I can 
do all things in him that strengtheneth me. 14 
Howbeit ye did well that ye had fellowship with 
my affliction. 15 And ye yourselves also know, 
ye Philippians. that in the beginning of the gos- 
pel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church 
had fellowship with me in the matter of giving 
and receiving but ye only ; 16 for even in Tlies^ 
salonica ye sent once and again unto my need. 
17 Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for 
the fruit that increaseth to your account. 18 
But I have all things, and abound: I am filled, 
having received from Epaphroditus the things 
that came from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a 
sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. 19 
And my God shall supply every need of yours 
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 

[ xxvi ] 


20 Now luito our God and Father he the glory 
for ever and ever. Amen. 

21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The 
brethren that are with me salute you. 22 All 
the saints salute you, especially they that are of 
Caesar's household. 

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with 
your spirit. 

[ xxvii ] 


Paul and Timothy, bondservauts of Christ Jesus, 
to all the saints in Christ Jesus — all those who belong 
to the bod}^ of Christ, and are therefore holy in God's 
sight — Avhich are at Philippi, with the overseers and 
deacons : grace to you and peace from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Always in every supplication of mine for you all, 
making as I do the supplication with joy, I thank 
my God for all my recollection of you ; for instance, 
I thank God for the recollection of that Sabbath, 
just after our arrival in Philippi. when I met some of 
you for the first time at the place of prayer by the 
river-side : I thank God for the recollection of Lydia 's 
attention to the Word as I spoke, and the subsequent 
baptism of herself and her household: I thank God 
for the conversion and baptism of the jailor and his 
family, and their great joy on becoming a household 
of God: I thank God for the hospitality so kindly 
extended by Lydia to me and Silas and Timothy and 
Luke ; and for the very compassionate treatment 
afterwards received by me and Silas at the hands of 
the converted jailor; I thank God for the assistance 
of Clement and others in heralding the glad tidings, 
and for the very energetic cooperation with me and 
Clement and other fellow-workers on the part of 
Euodia and vSyntyche, and for all that all of you 

[ xxviii ] 


and others also have since done in furtherance of the 
Gospel ; yes, for this blessed fellowship I thank (jod. 
Your unfailing- sympathy and your hearty and sub- 
stantial support as I have gone on with the work of 
world-Avide evangelization have caused to be im- 
planted in my heart the firm persuasion of this thing- 
as a verity, that the good work in which you have 
been engaged in fellowship with me hitherto is of 
God, and that he who liegan this good work in you 
will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ, by which 
I mean the day of his return to this world. Even as 
it is right for me to entertain this opinion of you all, 
so I express it, because I have you in my heart, all 
of you as being* partakers with me of grace, both in 
my bonds and in the defence and advancement of the 
Gospel. You have by the help of God been fellow- 
sufferers with me, as well as fellow-laborers, during all 
the time that has elapsed since I have known you in 
the Lord. Though I have gone so far as to say that 1 
have you in my heart, what I have said is true, for 
God is my witness how I long after you all in the 
tender mercies of Christ Jesus. But when I spoke 
of having you in my heart, I should rather have said 
that in the heart of Christ I long for you.^ And 
when I make supplication for you, as I have said, this 
I pray, that your love for Christ, and for his image 
wherever it is seen, and your love for his cause, and 
all that represents him on earth, may abound yet 
more and more, in connection with a wider and 
deeper knowledge, and a broader and clearer discern- 
ment — a w^ider knowledge of God's plans and pur- 
poses, a deeper actjuaintance with the principles of 
the Gospel, and a broader and clearer discernment of 

' Thus (lid Paul exhibit the perfect union which existed 
between himself and Christ. His heart and Christ's heart 
were ever beating in unison with each other. As Dr. Lightfoot 
observes, ' ' Paul had no yearnings ajiart from his Lord. His 
heart throbbed with the heart of Christ." "T live," said the 
apostle, ' * yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. ' ' 

[ xxix ] 


right means and worthy objects, right means to be 
used in furtherance of the Gospel, and right objects 
upon which to expend l)oth sympathy and effort. A 
broad and clear discernment, I say, is necessary, in 
order that you may prove the things that differ, and 
approve the things that are excellent. Love abound- 
ing more and more in knowledge and all discernment 
is, I feel, essential to your character, if you would 
be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ, 
and if you would be filled with the fruit of righteous- 
ness, which is b}' Jesus Christ, and only through 
union with him, and consequent partaking of his 
righteousness, resulting in righteousness of life, unto 
the glory and praise of God. 

Now I would have you know, brethren, that the 
things which happened unto me here in Rome as pris- 
oner in the Lord (Eph. 4:1), have turned out rather 
unto the progress of the Gospel, that is, have rather 
helped than hindered the advancement of the Gospel. 
AVhat has resulted from my imprisonment is this, 
that throughout the whole imperial guard — the entire 
pnttorian cantonment — and among all the rest of 
those who have become acquainted with my circum- 
stances, my bonds have become manifest in Christ. 
All have come to understand that I am a prisoner of 
Christ Jesus on behalf of the Gentiles (Eph. 3:1). 
And they have learned even more than this in regard 
to me, namely, that I am not only a prisoner of the 
Lord, but a prisoner in the Lord. They have come to 
know not only that the Lord is with me, but that 
Christ, in whom I am, and who is in me, is also im- 
prisoned here. And most of the brethren, gaining 
confidence through my bonds in the Lord, are abound- 
ing in courage and fearlessness in speaking the Word 
of God.2 

- Notice here Paul 's brotherly feeling towards all who bore 
the name of Christ. He does not exclude from his fraternal 
regard that minority in the Christian community at Rome, 

XXX ] 


But as to the work which is jioin^i- forward here — 
the work of making- Christ and his salvation known — 
I am bound to say that the canse of Christ is suffer- 
ing greatly from the way in which the Gospel is pre- 
sented. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy 
and strife. They are envious of my success in evan- 
gelizing the Gentiles. They seek as partisans to 
destroy my work and my influence. And some there 
are who preach Christ of good will. They fully 
recognize my special apostleship. Knowing that for 
the defence of the Gospel I have been placed of 
God in the position Avhicli I am privileged to hold, 
they are devoted to me and to the cause for Avhich I 
am suffering. The other party, though calling tl^^^m- 
selves Christians, proclaim Christ in a factious spirit, 
denying that I have been divinely commissioned to do 
the Avork which I am doing, declaring that I am really 
a subverter of the cause of God, and seeking to stir up 
the most virulent conflict between Jewish and Gentile 
Christians. They do not sincerely seek to advance the 
kingdom of Christ, having no good motive in preach- 
ing Christ, but rather being intent only upon raising 
up affliction for me in my bonds. They seek to make 
capital out of my present condition. They would 
aggravate my deprivation, that so they might obtain a 
triumph over me. 

AVhat then is the outcome of all this? There is 
only this result, that in every way, whether in pre- 
tence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and therein 

who sought to exclude him as a Christian teacher, not to say 
as an apostle of Christ; who were ignorant, misguided, preju- 
diced Judaizers, and whom he cannot helj) characterizing else- 
where in his letter as dogs, evil-workers, and the concision (mere 
mutih^tors of the flesh), as he warns his Gentile l)rethren 
against them. They are still counte/1 by him here as brethren, 
though grievously erring ones, and really not deserving to be 
named as such. Rather, however, than exclude them altogether 
from the Christian fraternity, he is willing to imply that they, 
too, might be regar<led in some sense as l^rethren, by s]»eaking 
of those who were true as most of the brethren. 

( xxxi ] 


I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.^ For I know that this 
violent opposition to me personally shall tnrn out to 
my salvation through yonr supplication which will 
obtain for me the needed supply of the Spirit of Jesus 
Christ,^ according to my earnest expectation and 
hope, that whatever happens I shall in nowise be put 
to shame, but as invariably heretofore, so in the pres- 
ent emergency also, with all boldness of speech on 
my part Christ shall be magnified in my body whether 
my life is spared or whether I am put to death. For 
I have no other purpose in living than to glorify the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and if he chooses to bring my life 
soon to an end, that will only be gain to me. Since 
the; summing up of all the joy of my existence is 
Christ, what can death bring to me but the highest 
happiness? But if to live longer in the Hesh be my 
appointed lot, and if this means for me, as it assur- 
edly does, fruit of work — more work, and conse- 
quently more fruit — then what I should choose, were 
choice left to me, I know not. As I think of it, and 
ask myself the question, What would you choose? I 

^ It was better that Christ should be proclaimed as the 
Heaven-sent Saviour, though proclaimed only in pretence, than 
that his Messiahship should be impugned. Though Paul was 
denounced, yet his Master and Eedeemer was not spoken 
against. The apostle could sincerely rejoice in this. At the 
same time the free and unrestrained Gospel, as Paul i3reached 
it, was being proclaimed by others in Rome; and this preach- 
ing of the Gospel in truth and love would counteract the teach- 
ing of those who Avhile they declared Christ to be the Saviour 
sent of God, insisted that the Gentiles who accepted him should 
be circumcised. Further, the preaching of the Judaizers would 
not have the effect upon the apostle which his enemies desired, 
for their aim would be frustrated through God 's grace bestowed 
upon him in answer to his own prayers and the prayers of 
others on his behalf. 

■* The apostle wrote this concerning himself in the same con- 
fidence with which he said to his beloved Philippian brethren 
concerning themselves near the close of this letter, ''And my 
God shall supply every need of yoiu's according to his riches in 
glory in Christ Jesus. ' ' 


[ xxxii ] 


find it impossible to come to a decision. But I am 
in i\ strait betwixt the two things — c(mtinuing to live 
here, or entering npon that state which is the goal 
of all my hopes — for I have the irrepressible yearning 
to depart and be with Christ, and the desire to be 
with him whom my soul loves is in itself overpower- 
ing, because it is so very far better to be with Christ 
than to remain here, if only my own highest welfare 
and deepest happiness are concerned; yet when I con- 
sider the alternative condition of abiding here a 
little longer where I can be useful in ministering to 
the needs of the members of Christ's body still in this 
world, I cannot choose to go away. Inexpressibly pre- 
ferable in itself would it be to depart, but it is good 
to stay here for Christ's body's sake. Yes, because 
yet to abide in the tiesh is more needful for your 
sakes, I am content here to abide. There is work for 
me to do, there is fruit of work for me to get, and the 
opportunity which only this life affords for work for 
Christ must be improved. And because I am per- 
suaded that Christ still has work here for me to do, 
I cannot but feel confident of this, that I shall con- 
tinue with you all, and especially for these two 
objects, to aid the progress of your faith, and to in- 
crease your joy in believing. This ulterior purpose 
will also be served by my continuing with you, that 
your glorying and rejoicing in Christ Jesus in me 
may aliound through my presence with you again. If 
the o])position to me Avhieh is now so strong should 
result in my life being cut short, and in your being 
deprived of my presence again, this might occasion 
glorying over my defeat on the part of my adversa- 
ries, which may God graciously prevent. 

But let me now as your helper in the Lord give you 
this one word of exhortation : whatever may be in 
store for me, and whatever your circumstances may 
be, behave as citizens of Heaven in a manner worthy 
of the Gospel of Christ, never forgetting what such 
citizenship means, what honor it confers, and what 

[ xxxiii I 


privileges and immunities it ensures ; so that whether 
I am permitted to go and see you, I may in that case 
as the result of my own observation be greatly 
cheered, or Avhether I be absent I may then hear this of 
you, that united in spirit you stand firm in the spirit- 
ual combat, and that with one soul you are striving 
like unto athletes in unison with the faith of the Gos- 
pel ; and that you are not at all affrighted by the ad- 
versaries; which fearlessness on your pRvt is sure to 
be in the view of your enemies an omen of their 
defeat, yea, a manifest token to them of their perdi- 
tion, but of your salvation, and that token they will 
recognize as coming from (xod ; for this high privilege 
hath been granted to you by God, ^ in the behalf of 
Christ, as honoring and gioryifying him, not only to 
1)elieve on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Yes, 
it is your inestimable privilege to be enlisted in the 
same conflict which you witnessed in me when I was 
a sufferer for Christ's sake in Philippi, and which 
you are now hearing of in me as Christ's prisoner 
here in Rome. 

You have seen how at the beginning of my letter 
I saluted all the saints that are at Philippi as saints 
in Christ Jesus. You understand how intimately 
you are related to Christ individually as believers in 
him, and how closely you are connected with one 
another in him. If there is therefore on account of 
your oneness in Christ any ground for an exhortation, 
if there is on this account any incentive to love one 
another, if because of closest relationship to one 
another in Christ there is any fellowship of spirit, 
and if for this reason there are found in your hearts 
any tender mercies and compassions, then let me urge 
yo'u to fill to the full my cup of joy, by being of the 
same mind in respect to the things of highest interest, 
by having the same entire devotion to Christ and the 
same tender aft'ection for one another, by being as 
Christians united and harmonious, by being so truly 
of one accord that that which will l)e uppermost in 

[ xxxiv ] 



every mind will not l)e tliouglit for self, but concern 
for the common welfare. Yea. let there l)e among you 
as Christians the same lofty and ennobling thoughts, 
let your love for one another tlow forth as from one 
heart, let there be among you sweet and holy concord, 
let your common inheritance in Christ cause you to 
feel an all-absorbing interest in one another. Let 
nothing- be done by you in a partisan or ostentatious 
spirit, but everything Avith that humbleness of mind 
which will show that you esteem others more highly 
than yourselves: let each of you have an eye not to 
his own interests exclusively, but also to the interests 
of others ; let there be indeed such a mind, such 
a disposition, in you as was also in Christ Jesus, 
although he was the Son of the Highest: yea, seek to 
have in you that mind which was in him, who existing 
before his manifestation in the flesh and from all 
eternity in the form of God, regarded not his being 
on an equality with God a thing to be tightly grasped 
as though it could not in any manner be let go, but 
emptied himself, taking the form of a bondservant, 
being manifested in the likeness of men : and being 
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, be- 
coming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the 
cross. On which very account God highly exalted him, 
and gave unto him the name which is above every 
name ; that in the name of Jesus every knee should 
bend, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and 
things of the nether world,"' and that every tongue 
should confess that Jesus Christ is supreme Lord, to 
the glory of God the Father. 

So then, my beloved, having before you the example 
of Christ's humiliation, and seeing how he who first 
emptied himself and then huml)led himself for your 
sakes has been exalted, even as ye have always shown 

' That is, ill recognition of the supreme majesty and media- 
torial autliority of the inf-arnnte Saviour the whole universe 
should (1(1 him homaji'e. 



an obedient disposition whenever I have held up be- 
fore yon the pattern of Christ and exhorted yon to 
imitate him, so now not only as inflnenced by my pres- 
ence among yon, not only as yon wonld do if I were 
with yon speaking to yon words of enconragement 
and cheer, bnt mnch more in my absence, seeing that 
the greater necessity for personal exertion is laid 
npon yon becanse of my inability to help yon by my 
presence, work out each and all of yon your own sal- 
vation with fear and trembling; act independently 
of all human aid, as yon may well do, since in any 
case it is God who worketh in you both to will and to 
work, for his good pleasure, that is for the accom- 
plishment of his own most gracious purpose. Do all 
things without murmurings and questionings, so that, 
unlike the Israelites, of whom Moses in his song ^ says. 
They have dealt cornipthj with him, tliey are not his 
children, it is their blemish; they are a perverse 
and crooked generation, ye may be blameless and 
harmless, children of God without blemish in the 
midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among 
whom while holding forth the Word of life ye shine 
as luminaries in the world. Inasmuch as ye are the 
fruit of my work in Philippi, I urge you to apply 
yourselves diligently to the work of perfecting your 
own salvation, and by a spotless example and through 
the manifestation of the Word of truth to seek to 
enlighten and turn to God those around you who are 
still in ignorance and darkness, in order that as your 
spiritual father I may have whereof to glory in the 
day of Christ that I did not before your eyes run the 
Christian race in vain, neither labor in vain. Yes, 
when I was among you, you saw how strenuously I 
was running the Christian course, and you remember 
how unceasingly I toiled en your behalf. I left 
nothing undone which would promote your spiritual 
welfare, and now with death threatening me I do not 

See Deut. 32 : 5. 

[ xxxvi 


feel the least disposition to elinii' to my life, since by 
laying- my neck npon the block I may the more 
effectively testify concern in, ii' the Gospel of the g'race 
of God. 

Shonld my life be taken from me, it will be joy- 
fnlly given, and it will be my special joy to feel that 
you are associated with me in entire devotion to 
Christ and his cause. You, in devoting yourselves to 
Christ and his service, have been acting as a holy 
priesthood, offering up si)iritual sacrifices acceptable 
to God through Jesus Christ, and if I am called to lay 
down my life for Christ as his apostle specially 
deputed to minister to you Gentiles the manifold 
grace of God, I shall esteem it the highest privilege so 
to do. Yea, if my life blood is pourecl out as a libation 
upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I shall joy 
and felicitate myself therein; and in like manner do 
ye. I pray you, rejoice and congratulate me on the 
high honor l)estowed upon me. 

It is impossible for me to go to Philippi at present, 
l)ut I hope in the Lord Jesus, apart from whom no 
good can be accomplished, to send Timothy shortly 
unto you, not only that I may then tell you through 
him more about myself, and may hearten you by letting 
you know more of the Lord's gracious dealings with 
me, but that I also may be of good comfort when I 
know your state. I shall send Timothy, hard as it may 
be for me to let him go, for at present I have with me 
no one of like mind and spirit with him, no one who is 
interested in you as he is, and no one who would 
represent me as he will, in fact, there is no one else 
left here now who would be genuinely concerned for 
your spiritual interests, for Tychicus, and Onesimus, 
and Aristarchus, and Mark, and Justus, and Epaph- 
ras, and Luke " are all absent from Rome. There are 

' All these seven brethren were with the apostle in Rome 
when he Avrote his letter to the Colossians. See Colossians 4: 

r xxxvii 1 


indeed other Christian brethren here, but they are not 
fit to be sent to yon as my messengers, no not one of 
them, for sadly I have to say it, they are one and all 
seeking- their own things, not the things of Jesus 
Christ. But as for Timothy ye know his tried char- 
acter, how that as a child with a father, so he served 
with me in furtherance of the Gospel. Him therefore 
I hope to send speedily, so soon as I shall know how 
it will go with me. But though not at all sure what 
the end will be as regards myself, I trust in the Lord 
that I myself also shall come shortly. But not Avilling 
to. delay giving you any comfort which I could give 
at once, I considered it necessary to send to you 
Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and 
fellow-soldier, and moreover one who came to me as 
your messenger and as a minister to my need; and I 
was the more ready to despatch him to you quickly, 
since he was longing to see you all, and was greatly 
distressed, because ye had heard that he was sick : for 
indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had 
mercy on him; and not on him only, but also on me, 
that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow. I have 
sent him therefore the more eagerly, that, when ye see 
him again in restored health ye may rejoice, and that 
hearing of your joy over him I may be the less sorroAv- 
ful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy ; 
and hold such servants of God in honor: because it 
was on account of the work of Christ that he came 
nigh unto death, having risked his life to supply that 
which was lacking in your service toward me. 

Finally, my brethren, while saying to you farewell, 
I exhort you to be full of joy in the Lord.^ To write 

^ After penning or causing to be penned this word of fare- 
well, the apostle seems to have been interrupted, and -when the 
writing or dictation was resumed, instead of concluding his 
letter as he had apparently intended to do, with an acknow- 
ledgement of the gifts received from Philippi, with salutations 
from himself and others, and his apostolic benediction, he 
evidently felt compelled by circumstances which seem just then 

[ xxxviii ] 


to you the same things, which I have before said to 
you, to me indeed is not irksome, but for you it is 
salutary. I do not count it a trouble to me, if it is 
])eneficial to you. Beware of the dogs, beware of the 
evil workers, beware of the concision : for we are the 
true circumcision, the circumcised in heart, who are 
rendering religious service not in the spirit of bond- 
age and fear, but by the help of the Spirit of CTod 
given unto us, enabling us to cry, Abba, Father; and 
we i>iory in Christ Jesus ; and have no confidence in 
the tiesh, in which dwelleth no good thing: though 
I myself being the Jew that I am, might be one who 
had confidence also in the flesh, in the flesh as well as 
in Christ, like the Judaizers : if any other person 
thinks he may trust in the flesh, I have yet more reason 
to do so : I am an eighth-day one in circumcision, 
from the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, 
a Hebrew of HebrcAvs ; so much as regards my inter- 
est in the Abrahamic covenant, and in reference to 
my lineage : now as to my personal career : in respect 
to observance of the law, I was a Pharisee: as touch- 
ing zeal, I devoted myself to persecuting the Church ; 
as regards righteousness, which I thought to obtain 
by endeavoring to keep perfectly all the precepts of 
God's law, that righteousness which I considered 
myself to have earned, and therefore looked upon as 
my own, as to that kind of righteousness, I was found 
blameless. Xo one could laj^ to my charge either 
errors of omission or faults of commission, so perfect 

to have occurred either at Eome or Philippi, and which had 
troubled him greatly, to record or to have recorded the severe 
words of warning against the Judaizers which immediately 
follow, and which finally led him to lengthen his epistle so 
considerably, and to say so much in regard to himself, and to 
say perhaps more than he had intended to say in regard to the 
gifts which Epaphroditus had brought to him. How else can 
we so well explain the connection or rather disconnection of the 
two sentences which form the first verse of the third chapter 
of this epistle? 

[ xxxix 


did I seem to be in the sight of men. Howbeit what 
things were once considered gains or profits for me, 
these have I in my reckonings counted as loss for the 
sake of Christ. Yea, verily, I even count all things 
to be loss on account of the excellency of the know- 
ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered 
the loss of all those things, and do count them but 
refuse (mere offal), in order that I may gain Christ, 
and may be found in him. a member of his body, not 
having a righteousness of mine own. even that which 
is of the law, such righteousness being wholly un- 
attainable, since no one is able perfectly to keep the 
Commandments of God; no, not having as a ground 
of hope a righteousness which God could not accept, 
but having that righteousness which is obtained 
through faith in Christ, that righteousness which is 
from God, a gift to him that believeth: yea, I count 
all things to be loss on account of the surpassing 
worth of knowing him Avhom I have believed, and 
of knowing the power of his resurrection, and of 
knowing the fellowship of his sufferings, by becom- 
ing, if I may be, conformed unto his death ; if by any 
means I may attain unto the resurrection from the 
dead, the resurrection of those that are Christ's at 
his coming. I desire to be clearly understood in what 
I have said. I have spoken in regard to my longings 
and my hopes. I would not have you think that I 
consider myself to be already all that I desire to be, 
or to have obtained all that I desire to obtain. No, 
not that I have already obtained that which I seek 
for, or that I am already made perfect. But what am 
I as a Christian noAv doing, and what are my inmost 
thoughts about myself? I will tell you. I am run- 
ning the race set before me. I have not yet reached 
the goal, therefore the prize which I am striving for 
is not yet in my hands. No, I have not yet reached 
the goal, but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold 
on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ 
Jesus. Brethren, believe me. I do not consider myself 

. [ xl ] 


yet to have laid hold of the prize : but one thing I am 
intent upon, forgetting the things which are ])ehind, 
and stretching forward to the things which arc ])efore, 
I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high, 
the upward, calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

I It is necessary to pause here in order to ascertain 
the real character of some of those whom the apostle 
was addressing, else we shall fail to perceive his mean- 
ing in the words which follow. Besides the Judaizers 
who gave the apostle so much trouble, there were the 
Antinomians who caused him equal anxiety. The 
Judaizing Christians of Paul's day were f(mnd at one 
extreme of unchristian thinking and acting, Avhile the 
Gentile Antinomian Christians were found at the 
other extreme. These denied that the moral law was 
binding on Christians, affirming that faith alone "was 
necessary to salvation. Accepting Paul's doctrine of 
salvation by grace without the works of the law, some 
of them went to the extreme of saying, ' ' Since we are 
saved by the free and unmerited favor of God, and 
God is glorified by the bestowment of his grace, and 
glorified the more by the largest measure of its 
bestowment, let us sin that grace may abound." There 
had been such characters among the Christians in 
Kome, as we see from Paul's Epistle to the Romans 
(Ch. 6:1, 15), and from the words of Peter and Jude 
(2 Peter 2:1, 2, and Jude 4), we conclude that Rome 
was not the only place where they were found. There 
may have been some in the Christian community at 
Philippi who were inclined to take refuge in Paul's 
rejection of Judaism in order to find a justification 
for such loose living as was characteristic of heathen- 
ism. At all events there were there those who needed 
the clearest Gospel teaching and the plainest warning 
even from such an one as Paul to prevent them from 
adopting the most erroneous views, and from plung- 
ing headlong into the most pernicious practices. It 
would seem that the apostle had in mind a class of 
persons who made a boast of being perfect as Chris- 

r xii 1 


tians through reliance upon the grace of Christ, while 
living lives which grievously dishonored the name 
they bore, when he sought to impress upon the Phil- 
ippians the fact that he did not consider himself to be 
perfect, by saying to them emphatically that with 
all the energy of soul which by God's help he could 
put forth, he was pressing on in the Christian race. 

Perhaps in the words of the Epistle which we are 
now to take up, the Philippians would discover a 
delicate touch of reproachful irony, and certainly 
they would not fail to perceive the plain hint which 
the apostle gave that some among them were seeking 
to be conformed to this world, rather than to be trans- 
formed by the renewing of their mind, that they 
might prove what is the good and acceptable and per- 
fect will of God — even that they should become like 
Christ the beloved Son in whom the Father is well, 

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus 
minded. And if in anj^thing ye are otherwise minded, 
if ye find that while adhering to my teaching, 
ye are unlike me in earnest endeavor to secure sal- 
vation and become Christ-like, even this your mistake, 
which if not remedied will surely result in your entire 
destruction, will God, if you truly desire to be guided 
and guarded by him, reveal unto you. Only, I as one 
of you, and as one yet struggling for the prize, must 
not fail to say this — whereunto we (I say not ye) have 
attained, let us walk by that same rule — the rule of 
progress. Let us in the first place and by all means 
be certified that we have really made a start in follow- 
ing Christ. And if we have indeed started in the 
way with him, let us walk straight on in the same path. 

Brethren, I am sincerely desirous of your highest 
welfare, as ye well know. By example as well as by 
precept I desire to help you onward in the heavenly 
way. I therefore make bold to say to you, who are 
not ignorant of what my life has been, Vie with each 
other in being imitators of me, and carefully observe 

[ xlii ] 


them that so walk even as ye have, not me only, but 
1'imothy, Epaphroditus and others as examples. Ob- 
serve, I say, Christ's true disciples, for many who call 
themselves Christians walk not rightly, whom I told 
you of often, and tell you of now even with tears, 
those enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end, as 
clearly foreshadowed as anything can be, is perdition, 
whose real God is their Heshly appetite, and whose 
glory is in their shame, who are wholly absorbed in 
earthly thiiigs. By the grace of God such are not 
our lives. For, so far from being like them are we, 
that we are enabled truly to say of ourselves that 
this earth is not our country nor our home ; we are 
but strangers and sojourners here; our real citizen- 
ship is in heaven, from whence also we look for the 
Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Verily he will soon 
appear here again, and Avhen he comes he wdll come 
TO judge the earth. But not as Judge do we wait 
for him, but as Saviour, who will come to complete 
his work in us; who then will remodel the body of our 
humiliation — this earthly tabernacle in which we are 
subject to temptation and sorrow and sutfering — and 
to this end shall it be fashioned ancAv, that it may be 
conformed to the body of his glory — his risen and 
glorified body — according to the working of the 
mighty power which is his, enabling him even to sub- 
ject all things unto himself. 

Wherefore, my brethren, beloved and longed for, 
]ny joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, even so 
as by precept and example I seek to persuade vou to 

I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the 
same mind in the Lord — to let go their minor differ- 
ences and to be at peace with each other, seeing them- 
selves to be one in the Lord, and to possess in common 
so glorious an inheritance in Christ. And I have an 
exhortation for him also, who is so highly esteemed 
by you, and is again among you after a sojourn here 
which served to endear him more than ever to me. 

[ xliii 1 


Yea, I beseech thee also, Epaphroditus, and I knoAV 
that thou wilt do what I now request, true yokefellow 
as thou art, help these women, Euodia and Syntyche 
to a reconciliation, and assist them in every way in 
serving Christ, for I remember how effectively they 
strove along with me in making known the Gospel 
of Christ, with Clement also, and the rest of my 
fellow-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 

Be full of joy in the Lord always : again I will say. 
Be full of joy. Let your forbearance, your concilia- 
tory, forgiving spirit be known unto all men. Let 
there be no self-assertion nor contention of anj^ kind 
among you. Let this thought influence you as it 
ought, that the Lord is at hand. Do not have any 
anxieties, let nothing harass you: but in everything by 
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your 
requests be made known unto GJod. Pour out your 
hearts unto God. Be thankful unto him and bless his 
name. And then as a sure result the peace of God — 
the peace which God gives — overtopping all that is 
highest in human conception, shall as a sentinel keep 
guard over your hearts and your thoughts in Christ 
Jesus. In Christ Jesus, I say, for it is only by real- 
izing our oneness with Christ, and the consequent 
truth that Christ lives and reigns in us, that we can 
know how it is that the peace of God exercises such 
guardianship over our hearts and our thoughts. 

Finally, lirethren, whatsoever things are true and 
genuine, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever 
things are just and upright, whatsoever things are 
pure and spotless, whatsoever things are lovely and 
endearing, whatsoever things are gracious and. win- 
ning, if there be any real excellence, and if there be 
anything worthy of praise, take thought for these 
things, yea, ponder them carefully. The things which 
ye both learned of me and accepted, which ye not only 
heard of in me, but saw in me, those things put into 
practice. And the God of peace shall be with you. 

I indeed rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at 

[ xliv ] 


length you have put fresh life into your thought fur 
me. That all along in your thoughts you did indeed 
have a care for me, I doubt not, but as to sending 
relief to me, you had no opportunity. But why have 
I expressed myself thus as to your thought on my 
behalf, and your lack of opportunity.^ It is not that 
I speak in respect to my need. No, not at all ; I have 
not known want. What I have had has been enough 
for me. What I have not had has given me no con- 
cern. For I have learned in whatsoever state I am, 
therein to l)e content. I know how to be abased and 
not be distressed. And I know also how to abound 
without being injured, without becoming through the 
enjoyment of an abundance of bodily comfort dis- 
qualified for the cheerful endurance again of an 
entirely changed condition, which might indeed be 
regarded as a state of deprivation and suffering, but 
which God's grace enables me to look upon as that 
state which under the circumstances can be no other 
than the very best state for me at the time, because 
God has in his wisdom so ordered it. In everything 
and in all things — in each particular and in all the 
circumstances of God's arrangement for the supply 
of my temporal need — have I learned the secret both 
in regard to being filled and to being hungry, both in 
regard to aboTUiding, and to being in want, in regard 
to enjoying either in the one case or in the other the 
same eriuanimity. The secret is a contented mind. 
Not in my own strength, and not separate from Christ, 
but in him who strengtheneth me, I can do all things. 
I can heartily enjoy as much as any one an abun- 
dance of the good things of this world, and I can as 
heartily engage in my daily work in the midst of 
]>rivation and want, as well as when surrounded with 
tn-ery comfort which this world can supply. I could 
have got on well enough without any of the things 
which you so thoughtfully provided for me, if the 
Lord had not put it into your hearts to care for me 
as you have so kindly done. Howbeit yon did well 

[ xlv 1 


that just at this time and in this way you had fellow- 
ship with my affliction. ]\Iost clearly I recognize the 
good providence of God in your thought for me, and 
my heart is full of thankfulness for what you did for 
my relief. I well remember, and can never forget it 
and you yourselves also know, for you can call to 
mind, ye Philippians, that after I had left Macedonia 
at the time when I was beginning to preach the Gos- 
pel there, no church had fellowship with me in the 
matter of giving and taking aid but ye only. Though 
for good reasons I would not accept aid from others 
(See 2 Cor. 11: 7-12), I did take it from you, and I 
remember thankfully how you helped me repeatedly. 
For even before I left IMacedonia when I was in Thes- 
salonica, ye sent relief to me once and again. In Thes- 
salonica I was indeed hard pressed ( See 1 Thess. 2 : 
9), and your gifts to me then were most timely. But 
why do I mention these things ? Is it that I have now 
any desire to make drafts on your liberality? By no 
means understand me thus. It is not that I am seek- 
ing for the aid which you are so ready to bestow. I 
do indeed desire nothing for myself, but I desire some- 
thing for your benefit, and that something is this — 
the fruit that increaseth to your credit. No, I neither 
need nor desire anything for myself, but I do desire 
for you the recompense Avhich God bestOAVs, the credit 
which will be given to you, and which will increase 
to your benefit with each fresh proof of your love 
for me. I indeed have all things noAV and abound, 
I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the 
things which came from you — an odor of fragrance, 
a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. And 
know ye that my God shall supply every need of 
yours according to his wealth in glory in Christ Jesus. 
You have supplied all my wants, and my God on my 
behalf will recompense you by supplying all your 
wants. Thus our fellowship with one another's needs 
brings us into fellowship with God. And how blessed 
this is, when we rememlier that it is through and in 

[ xlvi ] 


Christ Jesus ! Because I am your brother in Christ 
you are kind to me. And on account of what you 
have done for me because you and I are members one 
of another in the body of Christ, God will reward you. 
Now unto our common God and Father be the jsrlory 
unto the ages of the ages. So may it be. 

Salute for me every saint in Christ Jesus who is in 
Philippi. The brethren who are with me salute you. 
All the saints here in Rome salute you, especially they 
that are of CcTsar's household. 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ he with your 

[ xlvii 


I. 1. Paul — The title of apostle is omitted in this 
epistle as in the epistles to the Thessalonians, and to 
Philemon. Paul's apostleship was fully recognised by 
the Philippian and Thessalonian Churches : it would 
therefore have been superfluous for him to have made any 
reference to the relation which he sustained to them 
officially. Though he was honored by them as a divinely 
commissioned apostle, yet he was nearer and dearer to 
them as a brother in the Lord. It was as natural as 
it was appropriate for Paul in writing to the Macedonian 
Churches to omit all reference to his apostleship, because 
of the warmly affectionate and mutually trustful relations 
which existed between them. In striking contrast to the 
tone of Paul's letters to 1>he Macedonian Churches is the 
style of his epistle to the Galatians. By them his 
apostolic authority was called in question, and as a 
consequence of this his doctrine was depreciated. He 
therefore addressed them as an apostle, and took pains 
not only to assert most strongly, but to prove in- 
disputably, that he was an apostle of God. 

But why did Paul in writing to two of his spiritual 
sons — Timothy and Philemon — adopt in the one case the 
style of authority, and in the other simply that of a 
friend and brother '? It is easy to understand why Paul 
did this, if we look at the contents of these letters. 

[ 1 ] 

CH. I. V, 1.] NOTES. 

Though in addressing Timothy he speaks of him as his 
** true child in faith," thus making him to feel that 
he was writing to him as a father, yet as his main object 
in addressing him was to counsel and direct him in his 
work as the overseer of the Church in Ephesus, he 
thought it fitting that he should write not only in 
a paternal spirit, but also with apostolic authority, 
in order that his words might have with his spiritual son 
the greatest possible weight. Therefore in his first 
epistle to Timothy be began thus, " Paul, an apostle of 
Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our 
Saviour." And similar to this is the beginning of his 
second letter to his beloved son, " Paul, an apostle of 
Christ Jesus through the will of God." But Paul wrote 
to Philemon with a different object, entirely unconnected 
with his apostleship. Therefore to have written to him 
in an ofiicial capacity, would not only have been alto- 
gether out of harmony with the tender ties which bound 
together the aged saint and his ever grateful spiritual 
son, but would have deprived him of the weightiest 
appeal on behalf of Onesimus which he had it in his 
power to use. 

and Timothy, — In all except two of the nine epistles 
of Paul to the Churches Timothy appears with more or 
less prominence. And out of the four epistles of Paul to 
individuals two were written to Timothy, the second of 
these two being the last of all the letters of Paul which 
have come down to us. At the beginning of his first 
letter to Timothy Paul addresses him as " My true child 
in faith," and at the beginning of his second letter he 
calls him ** My beloved child." In the epistle to 
Philemon Paul speaks of Timothy as " our brother," and 
in the first epistle to the Corinthians the apostle calls 
him his " beloved and faithful child in the Lord." 

The names of Paul and Timothy are coupled together 
also in the salutations with which the apostle commences 
his second letter to the Corinthians arid his letters to the 
Colossians and to Philemon. Timothy's name is also 
associated with the names of Paul and Silvanus in the 
apostle's letters to the Thessalonians. 

[ 2 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 1. 

In bis second epistle to the Corinthians, and in his 
epistle to the Colossians, the apostle after uniting 
Timothy's name with his own in the opening salutations, 
continues to associate his fellow-worker with himself by 
the use of the pronouns " we " and " our." This is the case 
also in the letters addressed to the Thessalonians, in 
which the a^postle in his introductions unites the names of 
Silvanus and Timothy with his own. But in all that 
follows the salutations in the epistles to the Philippians 
and Philemon, Paul writes in his own name alone. The 
reason for this is found in the letters themselves, which 
being in the one case largely, and in the other entirely, 
of a personal character, are altogether unique among the 
epistles of Paul. 

Timothy probably belonged to Lystra in Lycaonia, and 
it is likely that Paul met him there on his first mission- 
ary journey through Southern Galatia. That he then 
became a disciple seems probable from the fact that he 
is spoken of as such on the occasion of Paul's second 
visit to L^'stra. He is further described as " the son of a 
Jewess that believed." It is also mentioned that his 
father was a Greek. That he bore a good character both 
in Lystra and in Iconium is another thing which is 
stated in the same connection concerning him. x\cts 
xvi. 1, 2. The probability that he had been a disciple 
from the time of Paul's first visit to Lystra is confirmed 
by the statement (Acts xvi. 3) that " Him would Paul 
have to go forth with him." From the second letter 
which Paul wrote to him we learn of " the unfeigned 
faith " which dwelt not only in his mother Eunice, but 
in his grandmother Lois. Paul in his first letter to 
Timothy speaks of prophecies which had led the way to 
him. The fulfilment of the hopes which all these things 
had raised in Paul's heart concerning him had made 
Timothy yevy precious to the apostle as a brother and 
fellow-servant in the Lord. He went with Paul to Philippi, 
and was his most constant fellow-laboiler ever after. 
Paul cherished for aM his brethren in Christ the sincerest 
affection, but in his great heart his son Timothy held 
the warmest place. 

[ 3 ] 

CH. I. V. 1.] NOTES. 

servants — Bondmen or slaves. This is Paul's favor- 
ite way of speaking of himself and his fellow- workers. 
Thus he gave expression to the truth of his and their 
entire devotion to the service of their Lord. To call 
himself Christ's bondman was the same as saying, 
" Whose I am, and whom I serve." To Christ's servant, 
" His will is the one law, his work the one service, his 
example the one pattern, his approval the continuous 
aim, and his final acceptance the one great hope." — 

of Christ Jesus — the name Christ Jesus was not a 
mere name to Paul. To him Jesus was the Messiah, in 
whom all the hopes of the Old Testament people of God 
were centred. Therefore to be in truth what Paul and his 
fellow-workers called themselves — bondmen of Messiah 
Jesus — expressed for them the highest privilege which 
they could enjoy on earth. 

to all the saints — In God's sight all true believers are 
saints. It was characteristic of Paul to consider all to 
be the children of God who professed to be followers of 
Christ, and as the children of God, born from above, 
they were to be esteemed as holy. 

in Christ Jesus — In these words Paul expresses the 
highest truth in regard to the relation which those 
sustain to Christ who are his bondmen, and saints of God. 
To be in Christ Jesus means more than simply to belong 
to him. It is to be most closely related to him, even as 
the vine branch is to the vine stock, to be so united to 
him as to be a part of him, even as the vine branch is a 
part of the vine. It is to be one with him, and inseparable 
from him. The state of being in Christ is therefore of 
necessity a sanctified state. Being one with him by 
being in him, we must be holy as he is holy. 

"Ye," wrote Paul to the members of the Corinthian 
Church, " are the body of Christ, and severally members 
thereof." I Cor. xii. 27. To understand what this 
means, it is necessary to study carefully Paul's own 
exposition of this truth in I Corinthians xii. 12. Here 
Paul says, " As the body " (the human body) is one, and 
hath many members (the head, the feet, the hands, the. 

[ i ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 1. 

ears, the eyes, etc.), and all the members of the body, 
being many, are one body; so also is Christ." What 
Christ? Not Jesus Christ, for if this Christ is under- 
stood to be Jesus Christ, then Paul's comparison is 
meaningless. The Christ here meant is not, therefore, 
Jesus Christ, but tliat Christ, of which Jesus Christ is the 
Head, and of which, the Church of Jesus Christ, compris- 
ing many members, is the Body. Believers in Christ 
cannot be said to be the Body of Christ or of Jesus 
Christ, except as Christ or Jesus Christ is understood to be 
the Head of that Body which Paul in I Cor. xii. 12 calls 
Christ. Into what intimacy of union with Christ they w^ho 
believe in him and are his are brought, is seen from this 
fact that the Divine Saviour and his redeemed people form 
one Body, to which Paul gives the name of Christ. 
Should it not therefore be possible for Christ to be 
seen in all those who call themselves Christians ? To 
behold the Christian ought to be the same as beholding 
Christ, for to be in Christ, and to be a saint in consequence 
of being in Christ, is the real significance of being a true 
Christian. In Christ's sight the believer in him does not 
stand alone. Before God he stands only in Christ, and 
thus he should stand before the world. Christ should 
ever be recognised in all the members of his Body. 
But that he may be recognised in his people they must 
be Christ-like. "Holy unto the Lord" should be so 
clearly stamped upon the life of every Christian that it 
could not fail of being " known and read of all men." 
The inferences which we have drawn from the truth that 
the believer in Christ is in him, are equally and perhaps 
more forcibly deducible from the complement of the same 
truth so often expressed in Paul's epistles, namely, that 
Christ is in the believer. 

that are at Philijy})i, — To all the saints in Christ 
Jesus that were at Philippi Paul sent his Christian 
salutation. He thus greeted all those without any excep- 
tion that at Philippi owned allegiance to the Lord Jesus 
Christ. He would not exclude one of them from the 
community of God's saints. The same disposition and 
desire to include in the holy family of God all who pro- 

[ 5 ] 

CH. I. V. 1.] NOTES. 

fessed to be Christians, rather than to exclude from this 
select society a single one upon whom the name of 
Christ had been named, is seen also in the salutation 
with which the apostle begins his second epistle to the 
Corinthians. Thus it runs, " Unto the church of God 
which is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in the 
whole of Achaia." 

witJi the bishops — The word translated "bishops" 
means simply overseers. It is thus translated by Bishop 
Moule in his " Philippian Studies." It would be a 
mistake therefore to read into it the office of the modern 
diocesan. The bishops or overseers of that time were 
officers of the local Churches. The Philippian Church 
was strong enough to have a staff of such presbyters or 
elders. Bishops or overseers and presbyters or elders 
are the same ministers under different designations. 
This is shown from Acts xx. 17, 28. In Acts xx. 17 
mention is made of Paul's calling to him at Miletus the- 
elders or presbyters of that local Church ; and in Acts 
XX. 28 he thus addresses them — " Take heed unto your- 
selves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath 
made you bishops (or overseers), to feed the church of 
the Lord which he purchased with his own blood." 

and deacons : — These were officers of the Churches, 
appointed or ordained to deal with the temporal needs of 
the congregations, but their duties were not confined to 
temporalities. The origin and institution of the diaconate 
are described in Acts vi. 1-6. The deacons, like the 
elders or overseers of the Churches should be spiritual 
men, because their work even in administering temporal 
affairs is spiritual work. The qualifications necessary to 
the proper discharge of the duties of bishops or presby- 
ters, and of deacons, are described in I Timothy iii. 1-13. 

2. Grace to you and i^cacc — The grace or free favor of 
God is the fountain and source of all blessing ; while 
peace is the effect of its outflow. This is the usual form 
of greeting in Paul's epistles. The exceptions are found 
in his letters to Timothy and Titus. In the former the 
form is. " Grace, mercy, peace ; " while in the latter it is 
." Grace and peace." 

[ 6 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 2, 

from God our Father and the Lord Jesses Christ. — 
These words are found also in the salutations in the 
epistles to the Komans, Corinthians, Ephesians and Phile- 
mon. The variations in the other epistles of Paul are 
as follows : — In Galatians : " From God the Father and 
our Lord Jesus Christ." In Colossians : " From God our 
Father." In I Thessalonians the entire salutation is, 
" Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of 
the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus 
Christ : Grace to you and peace." In II Thessalonians : 
" From God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." In 
I and II Timothy : " From God the Father and Christ 
Jesus our Lord." In Titus : From God the Father and 
Christ Jesus our Saviour." 

3, I thank my God — Paul's salutations are almost 
invariably followed by thanksgivings. 

By a change in the order in translating verses 3-5 
the meaning of the Greek can, we think, be made clearer 
than it is in our English versions. Adhering to the Greek 
construction of this passage, we translate thus : Ahuays 
in every suirphcation of mine for you all, making {as I do) 
tile supiplication ivith joy, I thank my God for all my 
remembrance of you, [especiaUy) for your felloivshiio in 
furtherance of the Gosfel from the first day until now. 
Unless we thus translate the passage, the full force of the 
explanatory clause in the fourth verse cannot be express- 
ed, as the definite article preceding the word supplication 
at the end of the verse refers back to the same word at 
the beginning of the verse. It should be noticed that 
the preposition in the third verse, translated " upon" in 
the Authorised and Eevised versions, is the same preposi- 
tion that is translated " for" at the beginning of the fifth 
verse. That the verb, translated " I thank," is followed 
twice by the same preposition would seem to show that it 
has in both places the same signification . This is DeWette's 
view, and also that of Eadie, whose explanation of 
the construction of the passage is, that Paul first ex- 
presses his thanks for or on account of his whole 
remembrance of the Philippian Christians, and that he, 
after inserting a parenthetical clause, goes on to mention 

[ 7 ] 

CH. I. V. 3.] NOTES. 

the element in that recollection which caused his special 
thanksgiving, namely, their fellowship with him in 
furtherance of the Gospel. "The third verse," says 
Dr. Eadie, " looking to the past, points out the ground 
or occasion for the thanksgiving — his whole remem- 
brance ; while verse four shows how it expressed itself 
in prayer, verse five gives more fully its solid foundation, 
and verse six, glancing into the future, shows how the 
feeling (of thankfulness) was intensified by the apostle's 
persuasion about them." 

upon all my rememhYance of you, — 'We have above 
expressed our opinion that the preposition here translated 
" upon " should be translated for. Paul's whole 
remembrance of the Christians at Philippi was pleasant, 
and therefore a cause for special thanksgiving. How 
blessed the fellowship which in every particular always 
causes thankful recollection ! 

4. ahvays in every sui^plication of mine on behalf of 
you all — This shows how frequent Paul's supplication 
for the Philippian Christians was, and how in every 
supplication which he presented to God for them, he 
expressed his thankfulness on account of them. 

maMng my supplication ivith joy, — There is no word in 
the Greek text corresponding to the pronoun "my" in 
the English Eevised version, but there is the definite 
article before the word "supplication," which should be 
translated the. To remember the members of the 
Philippian Church, and to make supplication for them at 
the throne of grace, was ever a joy to the apostle. 

5. for your felloioship in furtherance of the gospel — 
Paul's remembrance of the Philippians would not have 
been what it was, if they had not been interested in the 
work which he was doing, and if their interest in it had 
not been sufi&cient to lead them to give him active and 
efficient assistance in carrying it forward. There is no 
reality in our professed devotion to Christ and fellowship 
with him and his people, if we are doing nothing and do 
not care to do any thing in furtherance of the Gospel. 
If we are in truth identified with Christ by virtue of 
union with him as members of his Body, we shall also be 

[ 8 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 5. 

identified with him in devoted service for the completion 
of his Body the Church, and for the edification of those 
•who with us are members of that Body. 

One of those who had greatly aided Paul at Philippi 
was Epaphroditus, who at the time when this letter was 
written was with Paul at Rome. See chapter ii. 25-30. 
In chapter iv. 3 Paul calls him a " true yokefellow." 
Another fellow-worker was Clement, mentioned in this 
letter, chapter iv. 3. Euodia and Syntyche, incidentally 
mentioned in chapter iv. 2, 3, had wrought energetically 
with Paul and Clement and other fellow-workers there. 

from the first day until now : — The co-operation of the 
Philippians with Paul in furtherance of the Gospel began 
on that first day when some of them met the apostle for 
the first time at that memorable " place of prayer " out- 
side the walls of Philippi " by a river side," and when 
Lydia, after she had w^ith a heart which the Lord opened, 
given heed unto the things which were spoken by Paul, 
and had with her household been baptised, besought the 
apostle and his companions, saying, " If ye have judged me 
to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide." 

6. being confident of this very thing, that he loho began 
a good ivorh in you icill perfect it until the day of Jesus 
Christ : — The good work here referred to seems to be 
the work which God put it into the hearts of the 
Philippians to do in co-operating wdth the apostle and his 
fellow-laborers in efforts to further the Gospel through- 
out all Macedonia and Achaia. Concerning the Thes- 
salonians, who were like minded with the Philippians, 
Paul said, " From you hath sounded forth the word of 
the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every 
place your faith to God-ward is gone forth ; so that we 
need not to speak any thing." Thus did the Macedonian 
Christians co-operate with the apostle in extending the 

Though it is true that God's work of grace begun in 
any heart is carried forward by him to completion, yet 
that is a subject which does not seem to be primarily re- 
ferred to in the passage before us, though this passage is 
generally quoted in proof of that truth. 

[ 9 ] 

CH. I. V, 6.] NOTES. 

*' The day of Jesus Christ " here referred to is undoubt- 
edly the day of his return to this world. The same day 
is referred lo in the tenth verse of this chapter, and also 
in the sixteenth verse of the second chapter. The 
Christians of apostolic times kept this day in viev^, and 
anticipated it as near at hand. And for believers of 
every age, is it not practically near at hand ? Should 
not our position, like that of the early Christians, be one 
of waiting for Christ's return '? Those who can be truly 
described as " waiting for the revelation of our Lord 
Jesus Christ," are those who at the same time are seek' 
ing so to serve and glorify Christ that they may at his 
appearing be found to have " come behind in no gift." 

7. even as it is right for me to he tlms minded on 
behalf of you all, — The apostle felt fully justified in 
entertaining the opinion of the Philippians which he 
expressed in the sixth verse, because he had been con- 
vinced that they were partakers with him of grace — the 
grace that accompanies, or belongs to, salvation. He had 
the same feeling concerning all of them, because in 
every case there existed the same solid ground of 

An ellipsis must here be supplied, in order to make 
clear the connection between this clause and the one 
which follows it ; and it may be supplied thus : " even as 
it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all," 
so I express my conviction concerning you, 

because I have you in my heart, — The Christians at 
Philippi had become so endeared to Paul that they were 
numbered among his heart treasures. Between them 
and the apostle there existed a mutual endearment. As 
Paul had them in his heart, so they had him in their 
hearts. The Greek text indeed may be construed so as 
to convey either of these meanings, for the words can be 
translated either, " I have you in my heart," or " you have 
me in your heart," though the order of the words, as well 
as the context, points to the translation in our English 
versions as most probably the correct one. The trans* 
lators of the Authorised version as well as the Eevisers of 
that version in both the English and American editions, 

[ 10 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 7. 

however, thought it well to put down the alternative 
translation of these words as a marginal reading. Can 
it be a mere accident of composition that the text was so 
constructed by the apostle as to be capable of conveying 
both of these meanings ? 

inasmuch as, both in my bonds and in the defence and 
confirmation of the gospel, — The basis of the conviction 
which Paul entertained concerning the Philippian 
Christians was the hearty service which they had render- 
ed in seeking to extend to others the blessings which they 
had received. The love of Christ had constrained them 
to work for Christ. They had been thoroughly identified 
with the apostle both in the furtherance of the Gospel 
and in suffering on its behalf. Their service, moreover, 
as the apostle specially testifies, had been most efficient, 
for by them the Gospel had received both the staunchest 
defence and the most indubitable confirmation. 

And what shall be said of those Christians in our day 
who are not like the Philippians ? Are they worthy to 
bear the Christian name, who do little or nothing to 
extend to others the blessings of the Gospel, through 
whose testimony the Gospel receives no worthy defence, 
and by whose lives its truth obtains no sure confirm- 
ation ? 

ye all are i:)aYtahers witJi me of grace. — The secret in 
regard to the bond of union which existed between 
Paul and the Church at Philippi was that they were all 
partakers together of the grace of God. " Apart from me 
ye can do nothing," said Jesus to his disciples ; and this 
is abundantly proved in the case of those who profess 
to belong to Christ, but give no evidence of being 
partakers of his grace. Those who are partakers of 
Christ are partakers of the grace that is in him. Every 
true disciple of Christ ought to be strong in his grace. 
Therefore Paul said to Timothy, " Thou therefore, my 
child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ 
Jesus." The grace tbat is in Christ Jesus is in him for 
us who are in him. What Paul said to the Philippians 
(ch. iv. 13) about himself, they too were able to say 
for themselves, " I can do all things in him that 

[ u ] 

CH. I. V. 7.] NOTES. 

strengtheneth me," for the grace of God had roade them 
strong as workers and as sufferers for Christ. 

8. For God is my luitness, lioio I long after you all 
— The apostle's interest in his fellow-believers at Philippi 
was so sincere that he could appeal to the Searcher of 
hearts to substantiate the truth of his declaration that he 
felt the intensest longing for their spiritual welfare and 

in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus. — These words 
take us into the very depths of the truth that Christ and 
his people are one and inseparable. Such indeed is this 
oneness, that Christ's yearnings may be said to be theirs, 
and their yearnings the yearnings of Christ. As Dr. 
Lightfoot well remarks, " Paul had no yearnings apart 
from his Lord. His heart throbbed with the heart of 
Christ." Paul does not here employ a mere metaphor, 
any more than he does in Galatians ii. 20, when he says, 
*' I have been crucified with Christ ; and it is no longer I 
that live, but Christ liveth in me." In regard to the 
experience of Paul, Bishop Moule says, " The ^lan of 
the Cross is also, for him, the Lord who is exalted to the 
throne of heaven, and is also so related to the writer (of 
the epistle to the Philippians) that Paul is "in Christ 
Jesus," with a proximity and union which enters into 
every thing. '' In Him " are included the very actions 
of the disciple's mind and the experiences of his heart. 
He is the Lord who lives in the inmost being of His 
servant, and who yet is also expected to return from the 
heavens, to transfigure the servant's very body into 

9. And this I jjray, — Having before spoken of the 
supplication which he was accustomed to make on their 
behalf, he now mentions the contents of his prayers for 
them, that they by being made acquainted with the 
character of his petitions, may know how solicitous he is 
for their advancement in the divine life, especially in the 
direction of their being endowed with increased fitness 
for the very highest Christian service. 

that your love may ahomid yet more and more — The 
love here intended is love for Christ, and love for all 

[ 12 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 9. 

that represents him on earth — love for all \Yho bear his 
likeness, and love for his cause which embraces world- 
wide evangelisation, and consequently demands heart- 
felt sympathies as extensive as the needs of the whole 
human race. The scope for abounding Christian love, 
which this lost world affords, is therefore wellnigh in- 
finite. We understand then how it was that the apostle 
prayed for the Philippian Christians, that their love 
might abound yet more and more. 

in kuoiuledge and all discerninoit ; — The loving mind 
needs to be well-informed and clear-sighted. If it is 
ignorant and w^rongly influenced, it will blunder and 
become entangled in all sorts of errors. As to the kind 
of knowledge and discernment which was essential to 
good judgment and practical usefulness in the case of 
the Philippian Christians, and which is alike necessary 
for ourselves, we may learn much from the prayer of 
Paul for the Colossians (see Col. i. 9-11). Here we 
find that that knowledge which is of paramount im- 
portance to Christ's servant is the knowledge of his will. 
Paul said the same thing to the Ephesian Christians (see 
Eph. V. 17). " Wherefore be ye not foolish, but under- 
stand w^hat the will of the Lord is." *' That ye may be 
filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual 
wisdom and understanding," was the apostle's petition 
for the Colossian brethren. It was not enough for them 
to have some understanding of God's will. Nothing 
would suffice for them but this, that their knowledge of 
the Lord's will should be full. Therefore the apostle 
prayed that they might be filled with this knowledge. To 
enable the Colossian Christians to attain to the know- 
ledge of the Lord's will in its fulness, ordinary wisdom 
and understanding would not avail. Therefore he prayed 
that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will 
in all S'lnriUial wisdom and understanding. Spiritual 
wisdom and spiritual understanding are as different from 
worldly wisdom and merely intellectual understanding as 
light is from darkness. What the Greeks understood 
by the word " sophia," translated wisdom, was mental 
excellence, which is indeed an excellent thing, but at the 

[ 13 ] 

CH. I. V. 9.] NOTES. 

same time it is an excellence which is of little utility in 
the Christian life and in Christian work unless it is 
allied with spiritual understanding. And so we see why 
the two things — wisdom and understanding — are linked 
together as they are in the Scriptures. Not mere mental 
excellence, nor mere intellectuality, however brilliant, is 
sufficient to enable any one to discover the spiritual 
signiftcance of the divine Word. For this a spiritual mind 
and heart are essential. Spiritual wisdom and under- 
standing are acquirements and endowments which become 
ours only as we are taught and enriched by the Spirit of 
God. God through his Word reveals his will to his 
servants ; on whom, to qualify them for receiving the 
knowledge of his will, he has first bestowed the " meek- 
ness of wisdom." 

10. So that ye may approve the things that are excel- 
lent ; or as the marginal reading is, so that ye may 
distinguish the things that differ ; — Approval of the things 
that are excellent implies disapproval of the things which 
in God's estimation are not to be accounted excellent, 
however good they may to the people of the world 
appear to be. Only those who possess the spiritual 
faculty can distinguish the things that differ, can judge 
between what is truly excellent and what is radically 
evil. And even for those who have spiritual wisdom and 
understanding, experience is of great value ; for the 
author of the epistle to the Hebrews speaks of those " who 
by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern 
good and evil." Growth in spiritual wisdom and under- 
standing is doubtless the result of having the senses 
exercised in such discernment. " Love without guidance," 
remarks Dr. Eadie, " might form unworthy attachments, 
and retard the very interests for the promotion of which 
it had eagerly set itself. It must understand the Gospel 
in its purity, and learn to detect unwarranted additions. 
It must have tact to distinguish between the real and the 
seeming, between the claims of an evangelist and the 
specious pretensions of a Judaizer. And thus if that 
love which (in the case of the Philippians) had shown 
itself in fellowship in furtherance of the Gospel, grew in 

[ H ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V, 10. 

knowledge and power of perception, they would be 
pure ; their affection ruled by intelligence would have but 
one desire, to defend and confirm the Gospel, in 
participation of the apostle's own grace ; and they would 
give no offence, either by a zeal which in its excess forgot 
the means in the end, or cherished suspicions of such as 
did not come up to its own warmth, or could not sympa- 
thise with its favorite modes of operation or expression." 

that yc may he sincere and void of offence unto the day 
of Christ ; — To be sincere is to be pure, like that which 
when it is viewed in the sunshine is found clear and 
spotless. To be sincere, if we may here learn a lesson 
also from the derivation of this English word, is to be 
sine cere, without wax, like drops of honey, which, as 
they trickle from the comb, are wholly free from 
impurity. Those who are void of offence are those who 
have in them nothing which ought to offend. The w^ords, 
"unto the day of Christ," teach us that we should ever 
try to be such as we would like to be when we shall 
appear before the all-seeing Eye at the Judgment. 

11. being filled loith the fruits of righteousness , — Trees 
of the Lord's planting and nourishing should bear only 
such fruits, and they should bear them abundantly and 
constantly. See Ps. i. 3 and Ps. xcii. 12-14. 

ichich are through Jesus Christ, — Christ and his people 
being one, united as are the vine-stock and its branches, it 
is through Christ that fruit is brought forth. " He that 
abideth in me, the same beareth much fruit : for apart 
from me ye can do nothing." Dr. Lightfoot remarks, 
" The apostle means (by righteousness) righteousness in 
Christ, as contrasted with ' righteousness by law' : compare 
iii. 9. Only so far as the life of the believer is absorbed 
in the life of Christ, does the righteousness of Christ 
become his own. Thus righteousness by faith is inti- 
mately bound up with the life in Christ ; it must in its 
very nature be fruitful ; it is indeed the condition of 
bearing fruit." 

unto the glory and j^raise of God. — " Blessed be the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath ])lessed us 
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (or 

[ 15 ] 

CH. I. V. 11.] NOTES. 

I'elationshijJs) in Christ : even as he chose us in him 
before the foundation of the world, that we should be 
holy and without blemish before him in love : . . . . to 
the praise of the glory of his grace." Eph. i. 3-6. 

The best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture, and so 
the prayer of Paul for the Colossian Christians (Col. u 
9-11) shows us what Paul desired for the saints in 
Philippi : for to be filled with the knowledge of God's will 
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding produces the 
same results as love abounding more and more in 
knowledge and all discernment : and so the Philippian 
followers of Christ, like the Colossian, would be enabled 
to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, would 
bear fruit in every good work, would go on increasing in 
the knowledge of God, and so would be strengthened with 
all power, according to God's glorious might, ur*^o all 
patience and, if need be, unto joyful long-suffering for 

12. Noio I iDOuld have you hioio, brethren, — Probably 
the Philippians had expressed through Epaphroditus 
their desire to have information about what had happened 
to Paul at Eome, and in regard to the outcome of these 

that the things ivhich happened tmto me — The apostle 
doubtless refers to the privations of his imprisonment — - 
all that was included in what in the next verse he speaks 
of as "my bonds." 

have fallen out rather unto the progress of the Gospel; — 
Paul's confinement and the restrictions which it imposed 
upon him, had not retarded, but on the contrary had 
helped forward the Gospel. As it was with Paul in his 
Boman prison, so it was with John Bunyan in the Bed* 
ford jail. Bunyan's greatest usefulness grew out of his 
imprisonment. And we have as one of the fruits of 
Paul's imprisonment this priceless epistle to the Philip- 
pians. Well may we say with the Psalmist, " Surely 
the wrath of man shall praise thee." "All things work 
together for good to them that love God," Paul had said 
to the Roman Christians when from Corinth he wrote 
to them, and afterwards in the imperial city itself both 

C 16 ] 

NOTES. [oh. I. V. 12. 

he and they saw this truth marvellously conlirmed. 
" All these things are against me," said Jacob in 
his distress, but in God's own time he was made to see 
how wrongly he had interpreted God's dealings with him. 

13. &o that viy bonds became manifest in Christ — 
\Yhat became manifest to all was that Paul was in bonds 
for Christ's sake, and not only this, but that Christ was 
imprisoned with him, because Christ was in him and he 
was in Christ. Paul w^as ever setting forth the truth of 
the Christian's oneness with Christ, and those who 
visited him in his coniinement, as well as the soldiers 
who guarded him, as one by one they were chained to 
him, were so indoctrinated by him that they were 
impressed with the fact that what he taught them w^as no 
wild fancy, but a living reality. All came to understand 
that Paul was suffering hardship for the Gospel, and for 
no other reason. Ostensibly, as witnessed by his chain, 
he was a malefactor, as he said to Timothy in writing to 
him. But to all who became acquainted with him, it was 
manifest that he was not an evil-doer. And so far from 
being cast down by the indignity which was put upon 
him, he even gloried in it, because the very hardship 
which he was enduring only served to bring him into 
closer companionship with Christ. His happiness was 
so real that it could not be concealed, and the secret of it 
he could not keep to himself. His bonds were most 
blessed JDonds, because they w^ere bonds in Christ. The 
consequence was that others came to see this, and Paul's 
Saviour became theirs also. 

througJiout tJie icliole i)Ycetorian guard, — The imperial 
guard at Eome consisted at first of 10,000 selected 
troops, and was afterwards increased to 16,000. The 
Emperor Augustus organised it, and his successor 
Til:>erius established it in the fortified camp where it was 
at the time of Paul's imprisonment. This body of troops 
was Paul's immediate parish during the two years that 
he spent there, and his wide opportunity of evangelising 
was improved to the utmost as one after another of the 
soldiers of the guard was placed over him. This im- 
prisonment was far from being rigorous, as he was 

[ 17 ] B 

CH. I. V. 13.] NOTES. 

permitted to live in bis own hired dwelling within the- 
military camp, and to receive all that went in unto him. 
There his time was spent in preaching the kingdom of 
God, and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus 
Christ. This he did with all boldness, none forbidding 

and to all the rest ; — Through the soldiers who came 
in contact with him, and especially through those of them 
who by his ministry became Christians, and also through 
the Christian residents of Eome who visited him, he- 
became well known throughout the entire city ; and that 
which was everywhere shown concerning him was 
precisely that which he desired to have manifested (for 
by it the Gospel of salvation through Christ was publish- 
ed), namely, that he was a prisoner in Christ ; a prisoner 
indeed, but seen to be most highly honored in having the 
privilege of suffering in union with One who endured the 
cross for him. 

14. and that most of the brethren in the Lord, — It is 
worth while in passing, to notice how Paul speaks by 
implication concerning the minority of the Christian 
community in Eome. That minority consisted of the 
Judaizers, who were seeking to hinder and destroy bis- 
work, by denying that he was an apostle, and so virtually 
excluding him as a Christian teacher. He still reckoned 
them as brethren, though grievously erring ones, and not 
worthy to be counted as such. Eather, however, than 
exclude them altogether from the Christian fraternity, he- 
prefers to imply that they too may be regarded in some 
sense as brethren, by speaking of those who were true 
as the greater number of the brethren; though after- 
wards in this letter (iii. 2) he does not hesitate to 
characterise these same persons as dogs, evil-workers, 
and the concision, as he, without mentioning them more 
particularly, warns his Gentile brethren against them. 
Here we behold most distinctly a beautiful picture of 
Paul's brotherly feeling towards all who bore the name 
of Christ. 

bei7ig confident through my bonds, — The words " in the 
Lord" seem to belong to this clause, rather than to the 

[ 18 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 14, 

preceding one. If this be the case, the sentence should 
read thus : " Being confident through my bonds in the 
Lord." Paul in the preceding verse had just said that 
his bonds had become manifest as bonds in Christ, in 
other words, it had been made clear that he was a prisoner 
in the Lord. (See Eph. iv. 1.) It was this character of 
Paul's bondage, this condition of the prisoner in the 
Roman camp, that caused so many of the Roman 
Christians to wax confident. That the apostle was full 
of joy and strength was, they saw, due to the fact that 
Christ was in him strengthening him, cheering him, and 
so working in him mightily. Paul's doctrine of the 
" mystical union " was proved before their eyes to be no 
mere myh. 

are more abundantly bold to speak the ivord of God 
without fear. — Seeing the courage of Paul, and knowing 
the cause of it, they too became courageous. They w^ere 
exceedingly stimulated by w4iat they saw him to be, and 
they spoke the Word of God fearlessly. " The sight of the 
apostle inspired them with his own heroism. It might 
have been feared that his bonds w^ould make his friends 
more wary, lest they should incur a similar fate ; but so 
far from such an ignoble result, there was a positive 
revival of courage and zeal among them ; their labors 
multiplied in number, and increased in boldness, and 
thus the apostle's circumstances had resulted rather to 
the furtherance of the Gospel." — Eadie. 

15. Some indeed loreach Christ even of envy and 
strife ; — These were the Judaizing teachers, who were 
envious of Paul's success in evangelising among the 
Gentiles, and who manifested a bitter spirit of partisan- 
ship. Their efforts were put forth in favor of circum- 
cision, and consequently against Paul as a subverter of 
divinely instituted rites and customs. 

and some also of good luill : — This good will had special 
reference to Paul. It recognised that he was a divinely 
appointed apostle, and that those who had been ])rought 
to Christ by him were seals of his apostleship. It mani- 
fested the fullest sympathy for him in his toils and in his 
trials. Those who w^ere his friends and fellow-workers 

[ 19 ] 

CH. I. V. 15.] NOTES. 

were, as we have seen, largely in the majority. (See 
verse 14.) 

16. the one do it of love, knowing that I am set for 
the defence of the gospel ; — The apostle goes on to men- 
tion the motives with which the two parties preached 
Christ, and the relations towards him in which they stood 
respectively. The one party were prompted by love. 
Love to Christ, and love to all men, was with them the 
ruling motive. And with reference to the apostle, they 
had truth on their side, being fully persuaded that he 
had been divinely appointed to do the work which 
ill spite of all difficulties and in the face of the virulent 
opposition which had risen up against him he was 
doing so successfully. These dealt truly with the 
Gospel, because they were " speaking truth in love." 
(See Eph. iv. 15.) 

17. but the other proclaim Christ of faction, — The 
marginal reading sets forth the character of this party 
with unhesitating distinctness, characteristic of Paul. 
This reading is, *' hut they that are factious proclaim 
Christ." The primarj^ object of these preachers was 
to raise up a party against the apostle, and by doing 
this to strengthen their opposition to him. While the 
one party were worthy heralds of the truth, the other, 
acting from partisanship, were only empty proclaimers 
of the Gospel. Their message was vitiated by their 
motive, and so there was an element of contradiction 
between the truth which they uttered in preaching 
Christ, and the incentives which actuated them in their 
work. In II Cor. xi. 13, these preachers who tried to 
undo the work of Paul, are thus described : " Such men 
are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning them- 
selves into apostles of Christ." 

not sinccrelu, — Their preaching of Christ was charac- 
terised by impureness of principle and sordidness of pur- 
pose. Their teaching was to the end that those who 
accepted Christ and were at the same time circumcised, 
could make a fair show in the flesh, and escape persecution 
for the cross of Christ ; for the antagonism of the Jews 
against Christians was largely due to the fact that the 

[ 20 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 17. 

Gospel as preached by Paul meant the abolition of those 
Mosaic rites which under the new dispensation had been 

thinking to raise 2ip affliction for me in my bonds. — " To 
make my chains gall me," is a phrase by which Dr. 
Lightfoot forcibly expresses the apostle's meaning. How 
unworthy of the professed followers of Christ was such 
conduct ! Says Dr. Eadie, " They did God's work in the 
devil's spirit." Chrysostom, concerning their malevolent 
activity, exclaims, " O, the cruelty ! O, the devilish 
energy !" " The race of such workers did not become 
extinct with the expiration of the apostolic era, for Calvin 
bad occasion to write feelingly thus : " Paul assuredly 
says nothing here, which I mj'self have not experienced. 
For there are men living now who have preached the 
Gospel with no other design, than to gratify the rage of 
the wicked by persecuting pious pastors." Has the gener- 
ation of such ecclesiastical agents yet altogether ceased ? 

18. Wliat then ? — The apostle raises this question in 
order that by answering it he may show how his opposers 
had been foiled in their attempts to make void his claim 
to a special apostleship, and how during the long con- 
tinuance of the deprivation to which he had by his im- 
prisonment been subjected, and how in spite of all the 
obstacles which it had encountered, God's work had 
greatly prospered. 

only that in every icay, ichether in 2)i'etence or in truth, 
Christ is proclaimed; — Whatever means the Judaizers had 
used in opposing Paul, and from whatever motives they 
had wrought, there had resulted from all their factious 
endeavors only this, that Christ had been and continued 
to be proclaimed as the Heaven-sent Saviour. In the 
promulgation of the Gospel by the Judaizers, Christ had 
never been spoken against. The true Messiahship of 
Jesus of Nazareth had never been impugned. Nor, in 
spite of all that had been said against Paul himself had 
his traducers succeeded in inflicting any permanent injury 
upon his character or his claims as an apostle. 

and therein I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. — Well might 
the apostle in this letter to the Philippiaiis exhort them 

[ 21 ] 

CH. I. V. 18.] NOTES. 

thus : " Eejoice in the Lord always : again I will say, 
Eejoice." Wonderful indeed w^as it that the work of 
the devil, and his emissaries the Judaizers, should cause 
such joy to God's persecuted servant. 

19. For I knoio that this shall turn out to my salva- 
tion, — The end was not yet ; but the apostle had good 
reason to be assured that God would in the future, as in the 
past, care for his own cause and protect his bondservant. 

through your stcpplication and the supphj of the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ, — -The apostle felt no disposition to remain 
a merely passive instrument through whom God might 
work out his own gracious designs. On the contrary he 
felt deeply the necessity of doing himself what in this 
very Epistle (ii. 12. 13) he exhorted the Philippians 
to do for themselves, namely, the necessity of working 
out his own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing 
at the same time that it was God w4io worked in him 
both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. Circum- 
stances will not of themselves turn out to any one's 
salvation. But God will make any and all circumstances 
work together for our good, if we ourselves work 
together with God. 

Paul valued most highly the prayers of his fellow- 
Christians on his behalf. The prayers of the Philippian 
Church and of other Churches, at this crisis of his career 
must have been an unspeakable solace and support to 
him, while they for him, as well as he for himself, sought 
at the throne of grace what he most needed — the constant 
and bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

20. according to my earnest expectation and hope, — The 
one Greek word here translated " earnest expectation" is 
found only in one other place in the New Testament, viz., 
in Eomans viii. 19, where the same writer speaks of the 
earnest expectation of the creation as waiting for the 
revealing of the sons of God. It therefore expresses the 
sense of eager longing. The apostle eagerly longed to 
see the issue of his present trial ; and in this state of mind 
his hope could be no other than a confident hope, a hope 
w^hich he himself described in his letter to the Eomans 
(ch. V. 5), as a hope that " putteth not to shame." 

[ 22 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 20. 

that in nothincj shall I be imt to shame, — That when 
the test, whatever it may be, by which my faith and hope 
are to be proved, shall be applied, I may not be found 
false to the name I bear, or to the Gospel which I have 
preached to others. 

but that ivltJi all boldness, as alioaijs, so voiu also Christ 
shall he magnified in mi/ body, — The Christian boldness 
of speech and action which the apostle hoped he would, 
be enabled to manifest in the crucial experience which 
he anticipated, could be only that boldness, coupled with 
■quiet confidence, with which Christ by his grace would 
endue him, for he trusted that Christ would be magnified 
in him. It seems clear that the apostle looked forward 
to bodily suffering as a possibility, or perhaps more likely 
as a probability ; and so he made special mention of his 
body — that part of him, which equally with his spirit, 
possessed membership in Christ, and was a temple of the 
Holy Spirit. 

The apostle in writing to the Corinthians (I Cor. vi. 
19, 20) had specially emphasised the truth that God 
•ought to be glorified in the body of the believer in Christ. 
In this passage in the Eevised Version the words, "and 
in your spirit, which are God's," are omitted, as not be- 
longing to the text. As therefore the passage ends with 
the words, "Therefore glorify God in your body," emphasis 
is placed upon the body. 

whether by life, or by death. — To the Eomans Paul had 
■said, *' Whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; or 
whether we die, we die unto the Lord : whether we live 
therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." It was therefore in 
accordance with his own teaching, that he expressed the 
confident hope with reference to himself that whether he 
lived or died, God would be glorified in him. 

2L For to me to live is Christ, — The complete identi- 
fication of the believer in Christ with his Lord is the 
truth which Paul realised, and expressed in these words. 
^\^e may learn what is here meant, by a reference to Gal. 
ii. 20, where the apostle says, " I have been crucified with 
'Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in 

[ 23 ] 

€H. I. V. 21.] NOTES. 

Often when we are going about among the villages in 
India, the children who see us coming, cry out, " Isa 
Masih ! " (Jesus Christ !) This is because the name of 
our Saviour is so often mentioned in our preaching. 
They have learned so little about iis that they do not even 
know our names, but when they see us, at once the 
Name which they have so often heard from us comes 
to their lips, and they shout, " Isa Masih ! Isa Masih ! " 
Would not those who were acquainted with the apostle 
Paul, who understood his character, who were eye- 
witnesses of the life which he lived, who listened to the 
words which he spoke, or heard him pray, be likely to be 
reminded of Christ himself when they saw him ? How 
could it be otherwise, when he was so Christ-like, and 
when he could say, " To me to live is Christ ? " 

A boy in our mission school at iVllahabad when asked 
by his teacher to give the meaning of these words in the 
Bible lesson — " Enoch walked with God," answered, " It 
means to walk as Mr. Wray walks/' Mr. Wray was one 
of our missionaries at that time, one who could not speak 
Hindustani very fluently, but he lived the life of Christ, 
and so preached the Gospel most effectively. He was 
known and read of all as a God-like, Christ-like man. 

Dr. Eadie, in his excellent commentary on Philippians, 
asks, "May not the words of Paul, 'To me to hve is 
Christ,' be thus expanded — the preaching of Christ the 
business of my life ; the presence of Christ the cheer of 
my life ; the image of Christ the crown of my life ; the 
spirit of Christ the life of my life ; the love of Christ the 
power of my life ; the will of Christ the law of my life ; 
and the glory of Christ the end of my life ? Christ was 
the absorbing element of his life. If he travelled, it 
was on Christ's errand ; if he suffered, it was in Christ's 
service ; when he spoke, his theme was Christ ; and when 
he wrote, Christ filled his letters." Such indeed was the 
life of Paul. His life was a commentary upon his words — 
" To me to live is Christ." 

and to die is gain. — As far as life vras concerned, it 
would be gain for Paul to die. He would not cease to 
live when he died, for the life which is hid with Christ in 

[ 21 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. r. 21. 

God can never end. "I came," said Jesus, " that they 
(my sheep) may have life, and may have it abundantly " 
(or, *' may have abundance of it"). The abundance of 
Ufe is enjoyed in heaven as it cannot be in this world. 
" In thy presence is fulness of joy; in thy right hand 
there are pleasures for evermore." Ps. xvi. 11. To come 
into possession of this abundance of life makes it infinite 
gain for the believer in Christ to die. As far as knowl- 
edge was concerned, it would also be gain for Paul to die. 
It was he who said, " Now we see in a mirror, darkly 
(or, in a riddle) ; but then face to face : now I know in 
part ; but then shall I know even as also I have been 
known (known fully) :" I Cor. xiii. 12. It would be gain 
for Paul to die, because his conflict with the devil and sin 
would then be at an end. In this world while serving 
Christ and battling with the powers of evil, Christ was in 
Paul the hope of glory (Col. i. 27), and he was in Christ 
an heir of glory (Eom. viii. 17). It would be gain for him 
to die, because then his hope of glory would be realised 
in fruition, and he would then come into the possession 
of his inheritance as an heir of God and a joint-heir 
with Christ. How blessed would he be, when Christ's 
prayer for him would be answered by his introduction 
into that glory which was Christ's before the foundation 
of the world, and when he would be made to realise 
that it was all his as much as it was Christ's, because 
he was Christ's and Christ was his, and that it would 
be his own eternal possession, because Christ and he 
would remain for ever one and inseparable ! 

22. But if to live in the flesh, — if this shall bring fruit 
from my tcork, — This is the translation of the American 
Eevisers. In the English Eevision, the translation is, 
" But if to live in the iiesh, — if this is the fruit of my 
work." The Authorised Version is, " But if I live in the 
flesh, this is the fruit of my labor." These different 
readings are attempts to bring out the meaning of the 
Greek in a translation ; but the sense of the original 
cannot be clearly expressed without the employment of 
a paraphrase. The literal rendering of the latter clause, 
which consists of four Greek words, would be, "This to 

[ 25 ] 

CH. I. V. 22.] NOTES. 

me is fruit of work." But this needs explanation. The 
whole clause may be paraphrased thus, ' But if to live 
longer in the flesh be my lot, this for me will mean fruit 
of work, more work for Christ, and consequently more 
fruit.' An extension of life would give further oppor- 
tunity to serve Christ, and this service would not be 
without results to the glory of God, nor without reward to 
his servant. 

tlien what I shall choose I know not. — As suggested by 
the American revisers, this might be put in the form of 
question and answer, thus — then what shall I choose ? 
I know not. 

23. But I am in a strait hetioid the tico, having the 
desire to depart and be with Christ ; for it is very far 
better. — On the one side the apostle viewed the advantage 
of living longer in this world, for the sake of the oppor- 
tunity he would have of doing more here for Christ and 
his blood-bought Church ; and on the other hand the 
attraction of being with Christ in glory presented itself. 
To die would be "to leave the imperfect society of earth 
for the nobler fellowship of the skies ; to pass from service 
involving self-denial, tears, and suffering, to the crown 
which cannot fade ; to rise above the process of discipline, 
involving constant watchfulness and prayer, to a perfect 
assimilation to his Divine Master." — Eadie. To depart 
and be with Christ would be very far better, because it 
would be the siimmum bonum of existence. In II Cor. iv. 
17, the apostle when contrasting the fleeting character of 
temporal things with the realities of eternity, labors to 
express the thought with which the inspiration of the 
Holy Spirit filled his contemplative imagination. ** Our 
light affliction," says he, "which is for the moment, 
worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal 
weight of glory." And in the same connection he adds 
this expression of certitude concerning the things not yet 
seen, but to be revealed, " We know that if the earthly 
house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building 
from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the 
heavens." Is it any wonder that Paul longed to depart 
^nd be with Christ '? 

[ 26 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 24. 

24. yet to abide in the fJesli is more needful for your 
sa'ke. — Personal considerations were not to be weighed 
against usefulness in the service of others. Though as 
far as he himself was concerned, it would be better by 
far to depart and be with Christ in glory, }et because 
•Christ was also on earth in those members of his Body 
w^hich were yet in the flesh, for their sakes and for 
'Christ's sake he was not only willing, he even preferred 
to abide here for a longer season. It was a privilege 
w^iich only this life afforded to minister to the spiritual 
needs of those for whom Christ died, and as the apostle 
wrote this letter his heart went out to his dearly loved 
brethren in Christ in Philippi, and he longed to be of 
further service to them before he died. 

25. And having tJiis confidencf^, I 'knoir that I shall 
abide, yea, and abide witJi you all, for your ijrofjress and 
joy in the faith ; — The confidence which the apostle 
speaks of possessing, was the persuasion which he had 
that his abiding longer in the flesh would be profitable to 
his brethren. When Paul said, " J know that I shall 
abide, yea, and abide with you all," he did not perhaps 
mean that he spoke with prophetic certitude, but that he 
possessed a strong personal conviction as to the course 
which events would take. It was not simply that he 
might enjoy fellowship with his brethren that Paul 
desired to abide longer with them, but that he might be 
useful to them in promoting their advancement in the 
divine life, and their joy in the Christian faith. To know 
what Paul desired on behalf of his brethren, w^e have 
only to look at his pravers for them. See Eom. xv. 13 ; 
Eph. i. 16-20 ; Col. i."^ 9-11. Nothing more distinctly 
indicates progress in the Christian life than joyousness 
in believing and resting in Christ. How often in the 
Psalms we find the petition offered that Jehovah would 
make his face to shine upon his servant. And w^hen in 
answer to prayer God's favor is thus bestowed, ought 
not his servant's face to shine in response to the favor 
which shines upon him from above ? When Paul pointed 
out to the Galatians what the fruit of the Spirit is, in his 
•enumeration of particulars he puts down love at the 

[ 27 ] 

CH. I. V. 25.] NOTES. 

head of the list, and next mentions joy. In that wonder- 
fully comprehensive supplication for the Roman Chris- 
tians, recorded in his letter to them (ch. xv. 13), the 
apostle prayed that the God of hope would fill them with 
ail joy and peace in believing, and this was to the end 
that they might abound in hope, in the power of the 
Holy Spirit. And in this epistle to the Philippians, the 
key-note, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, is joy. At the 
beginning of his letter the apostle told the Philippians 
that the supplication whjch he was constantly making 
for them was made loith joy. In the third paragraph 
(ch. i. 18), he wrote, ** I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice'' 
In the fourth paragraph (ch. ii. 2), he said to them, 
" Fulfil ye my joy J' A little further on (ch. ii. 17, 18),. 
he said, " I joy and rejoice with you all : and in the same 
manner do ye also joy and rejoice with me." In the next 
paragraph he speaks of sending to them Epaphroditus, 
that when they see him again, they may rejoice, and he. 
tells them to receive him in the Lord with all joy. In 
the middle of the epistle (ch. iii. 1), he wrote, " My 
brethren, rejoice in the Lord," and shortly after, he 
prefaced an exhortation to them with the words, '* My 
brethren beloved and longed for, my joy and crown." 
Again before he closed his letter, he exhorted them thus, 
" Bejoice in the Lord always ; again I will say Bejoice. 
And yet once more before he reached the end of his- 
epistle he said to them, " I rejoice in the Lord greatly." 
When we remember that this letter was dictated by one 
whose hand was bound with a chain in a prison, albeit 
that prison was his own hired dwelling in the Eoman 
camp, truly wonderful it is for the tone of joy that is- 
heard all through it. 

26. that your glorying mail abound in Christ Jesus in 
me through my presence tcith you again. — None would 
rejoice more than the Philippian Christians on account 
of Paul's being set at liberty. The proper sphere of 
their glorying, should the apostle be restored to them, is,, 
however pointed out. They should not glory in him 
except as they gloried in Christ Jesus in him. Then 
their glorying might abound. " He that glorieth, let him 

[ 28 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 26. 

glory in the Lord," wrote Paul to the Corinthians. I Cor. 
i. 31. That the Philippian Church was privileged to 
enjoy again the presence of the apostle seems certain 
from I Tim. i. 3, if as is probable the letters to Timothy 
are of a later date than the epistle to the Philippians, 
being written during the period of the apostle's second 
captivit5^ The Dean of Gloucester in the New Testament 
Commentary for English Headers, says, " Some time after 
the tirst imprisonment at Rome, and consequently beyond 
the period included by St. Luke in the Acts, St. Paul 
must have left Timothy behind at Ephesus, while he 
pursued his journey towards Macedonia." Again, Dr. 
•T. H. Bernard, in his Commentary on the Pastoral 
Epistles in the Cambridge Greek Testament Series, says, 
" The Pastoral Epistles do not fit into the life of St. Paul 
as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. They presuppose 
a period, of activity subsequent to the imprisonment in 
Rome mentioned by St. Luke. They indicate certain 
events in his life which are not mentioned and for which 
no room can be found in the Acts. I Timothy and Titus 
tell us of missionary enterprise of w^hich we have no 
record in that book, so that they imply his release from 
his (tirst) captivity." 

27. Only — " The adverb ' only ' at the beginning of this 
verse gives oneness to the advice which follow^s, placing 
it by itself in solitary prominence." Its force may be 
thus brought out : Whatever may befall me, whether I 
live or die, this one thing alone look to, I pray you. 

let your manner of life he worthy of the (jospcl of 
Christ : — The marginal reading of the Revised Version is, 
"Behave as citizens w^orthily." It behooved them all as 
citizens of the City of God, and born from above, to 
manifest such conduct as w^ould be consonant wnth their 
high calling as children of God, and with the spirit of 
the Gospel of God which they professed to obey. The 
metaphor employed by the apostle in the use of the verb 
translated 'behave as citizens' would strike the Philip- 
pians with great force, since Philippi enjoyed the distinc- 
tion of being a Roman colony, and Roman citizenship 
was something in w^hich those who wej'e privileged to 

[ 29 ] 

CH. I. V. 27.] NOTES. 

possess it greatly prided themselves. The use of this- 
word by Paul would give added emphasis to his exhorta- 
tion, from the fact that he himself, a Eoman citizen, was 
writing to them from the imperial capital. The apostle- 
desired them to feel that the possession of heavenly 
citizenship by them w^as an infinitely greater honor than 
any earthly privilege ot rank could possibly be, and he 
w^ished them to show their appreciation of it by living as- 
those whose citizenship is in heaven should do. 

that, loliether I come and see you or he absent, I may 
hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, icitli 
one soul striving for the faith of the gospel; — Here the 
figurative reference is to the combats which were 
witnessed in the Roman amphitheatre. The Christian 
life is represented as a conflict, and the apostle exhorts- 
the Philippian Christians to hold their ground against all 
adversaries. He addresses them not as individuals, but 
as a community having a common interest to defend, and 
he exhorts them to show a united front to their opposers..' 
Since their vital union in Christ bound them together in 
closest bonds, the apostle could well urge them to stand 
firm in one spirit, and to strive with one soul against 
their common enemies. He desired to see them, or hear 
of them, if he should not have the privilege of seeing them, 
as an unbroken phalanx arrayed on the side of the 
Gospel, not only contending for the faith of the Gospel, 
but also in entire unison icitli the faith of the Gospel. 
An exhortation thus worded would doubtless have in a 
high degree the effect, \vhich Paul desired, of putting the 
Philippian Church upon its mettle, as it would help them 
to realise the position which they should take up and 
maintain. The apostle exhorted the Ephesians in like 
manner, but using metaphors of a different kind, which 
would doubtless be as effective in their case, as those 
were which he employed in writing to the Philippians. 
SeeEph. vi. ]0— 17. 

28. And in nothing affrighted by the adversaries: — The 
definite article here used pointed to the adversaries of the 
church in Philippi not only as real, but as w^ell-knowm 
personages. These enemies, wdiether Je^vs or Pagans, 

[ 30 ] 

NOTES. [CH. I. V. 28. 

or both, must have been of a very mah'gnant type, for 
their onsets were well calculated to terrify the less cour- 
ageous members of the Christian community. Hence 
the apostle expressed the hope that they would all be 
found standing their ground without flinching in the least 
in the presence of their foes, however ferocious they 
might appear. 

whicli is for them an evident token of i)erdition, — Which 
fearlessness on your part is and will be a clear indication 
to them of their impending destruction. It would seem 
from the apostle's language that he had heard of fearless- 
ness on their part already displayed, with its accompany- 
ing effect as spoken of by him. 

but of your salvation, — By the fearlessness of Christ's 
people in the face of persecution, a two-fold indication 
would be given to their adversaries, namely, of their own 
perdition on the one hand, and of the salvation of Christ's 
followers on the other. 

and that from Hod ; — It would be shown clearly by the 
fearlessness of God's people that God was with them, yea 
moreover, in them of a truth. As Bishop Moule well re- 
marks, the apostle does not say that the fearless conduct 
of the Philippians would logically prove the truth of the 
Gospel to themselves or others. It would, however, be 
a practical indication of the ruin of the foes, and of the 
triumph of the friends and defenders of the truth. The 
more the Church acted in the spirit of calm, united 
decision, the more the final issue of the conflict would be 

29. because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of 
Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his 
behalf : — Suffering for Christ was to be regarded not as a 
hardship inflicted, but as a high privilege bestowed, upon 
them. Faith in Christ is a priceless gift of God (Eph. ii. 8), 
and along with this is to be classed the honor of being 
allowed to sufl'er on Christ's behalf. It was a mark of 
special favor towards "a chosen vessel," when Christ 
said to Ananias concerning Saul of Tarsus, " I will show 
him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake." 
And there is abundant reason to believe that the apostle 

[ 31 ] 

CH. I. V. 29.] NOTES. 

Paul ever esteemed it a great and precious privilege to 
sutt'er with and for his Lord. 

30. having the same conflict whicJi ye saio in me, and 
noio hear to he in me. — Paul would have them understand 
that they were now enlisted in the same contest in which 
they saw him engaged in Philippi on the occasion of his 
lirst visit to that city (see the account of it in Acts xvi. 
19-40), and in which he w^as then contending at Rome, as 
this letter, and the hearer of it, (Epaphroditus) would 
inform them. 


1. If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, — 
The words ** in Christ" have the same meaning here as 
elsewhere in the epistles of Paul. They import the union 
which exists between Christ and those who are his — the 
mystical union, as it is called, for want of a better defini- 
tion. The compact Greek phrase, translated "exhortation 
in Christ," needs to be expanded in English, in order that" 
its meaning may be clearly elucidated. It may be done 
thus, — in connection with the clause in which it stands : 
If on account of your oneness in Christ there is any ground 
on w^hich to base an exhortation. Dr. Lightfoot gives 
the meaning in these words : ''If your experiences in 
Christ appeal to you with any force." 

if any consolation of lore, — Dr. Lightfoot takes the 
meaning of the Greek word translated " comfort" in the 
Authorised Version, and " consolation" in the Revised 
Versions, to be rather " incentive or encouragement," and 
there seems to be good reason for preferring the secondary 
to the primary meaning of the Greek word in this place ; 
for in I. Thess. ii. 11. the two Greek verbs correspondiog 
to the nouns translated " exhortation" and "consolation" 
in the American Revised Version, are found in conjunc- 
tion, and are there translated " exhorting" and "encour- 

It may be here remarked that if " exhortation" and 
**■ encouragement" are correct renderings in Philippians 
ii. 1, as we think they are, then the translation of the 
same words in I Cor. xiv. 3 should be " exhortation and 

[ 32 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V, 1. 

encouragement," instead of "comfort and consolation" 
in the English Revised Version, and the word "encourage- 
ment" should take the place of the word "consolation" 
in the same clause in the American Revised Version, in 
which we have alread}^ the word " exhortation" instead 
of " comfort." 

The meaning of the second clause of the verse on 
which we are commenting may then be expanded thus : 
' If your oneness in Christ furnishes any incentive or 
encouragement to love one another.' Dr. Lightfoot gives 
the meaning in these words : "If love exerts any 
persuasive power upon you." 

if any felloivsJiii) of the Spirit,— li here the definite 
article preceded the word sjnrit, as is usually the case 
when the Holy Spirit is intended, that would indicate 
that the Spirit of God was meant in this place, but in the 
absence of the definite article it is open to the translator 
to write siJirit rather than Sjnrit ; and sinrit rather than 
the Siyirit seems to accord better with the sense of the 

if any tender mercies and comjxcssions , — The sense of 
this clause seems to be, 'If your oneness in Christ produces 
any tender affections and compassionate yearnings.' 

Thus by the use of Four Ifs or Hypotheses the apostle 
presented to the Philippians Four Facts or Reahties in 
Christian Experience, namely : 

(1) Their Oneness in Christ. 

(2) The Incentive or Encouragemet of Love, found 

in this Oneness. 

(3) Fellowship of spirit, caused by this Oneness. 

(4) Tender Mercies and Compassions, resulting from 

this Oneness. 

2. make full my joy, — Having thus prepared the way 
for an exhortation, the apostle appealed to the Philippians 
in these words : "Fulfil ye my joy," as in the English 
Revised Version, or "Make full my joy," according to the 
American Revised Version. The apostle had already in 
this letter made mention of the joy with which he 
remembered the Philippian Church in his prayers. He 

[ 33 ] C 

CH. II. V. 2.] NOTES. 

now exhorts them to help him to an experience of 
fulness of joy in them. 

that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being 
of one accord, of one mind ; — In what way they can make 
his joy in them complete the apostle thus points out. 
Oneness in Christ he tells them should cause them (1) to 
think alike, to be likeminded, to have common sympa- 
thies ; (2) to have the same love, a mutual love, to be 
not only of one mind but of one heart ; (3) to be united 
in soul, to be entirely harmonious in the spirit's deepest 
feelings ; (4) to be actually of one mind, to think as 
though their individual minds were but one, and so to be 
absorbed in thoughts one for the other. 

Thus the apostle presented Four Fruits which should 
be exhibited in the lives of the Philippians as the pro- 
duct of their Oneness in Christ. 

(1) Likemindedness. 

(2) Mutual Love. 

(3) Unison of Soul. 

(4) Oneness of Mind, causing Self-abnegation. 

These four fruits, it should be observed, correspond 
to the four facts or realities mentioned in the first verse. 

The apostle having thus dextrously laid the foundation 
for an exhortation in the presentation of four realities in 
Christian experience ; and having mentioned the four 
fruits which their four-fold experience should produce, 
and thus cause his joy in them to be made full, proceeds 
with a Four- fold Entreaty in the third, fourth and fifth 

3-5. doing nothing through faction or through vain- 
glory, but in loivliness of mind each counting other better 
than himself ; not looking each of you to his oion things, 
hut each of you also to the things of others. Have this 
onind in you, lohich luas also in Christ Jesus : — It should 
be noticed that the four points of Paul's exhortation cor- 
respond to the four facts or realities of Christian experi- 
ence set down in the first verse, and to the four-fold 
fruitage to be expected from oneness in Christ, as set forth 
in the second verse. The Four Lets of the third, fourth 

[ 34 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 3-5. 

and fifth verses correspond to the Four Ifs of the first 
verse. They are as follows : — 

(1) Let nothing be done through faction or through 
vainglory. x\t the time when Paul wrote this letter he 
was having in Rome a painful experience of the w-orking 
of faction among professed Christians. See Ch. i. 17. In 
his epistle to the Romans (Ch. ii. 8) Paul says that they 
who are factious " obey not the truth, but obey unright- 
eousness." There were such characters in Rome among 
those who called themselves Christians. Those w4:io are 
vainglorious are essentially selfish, and so are given to 
" provoking one another," and to " envying one another." 
See Gal. v. 26. 

(2) Let each in lowliness of mind count other better 
than himself. Those w^ho are " tenderly affectioned one to 
another," will be found " in honor preferring one ano- 
ther." See Rom. xii. 10. They wdll subject themselves 
one to another in the fear of Christ. See Eph. v. 21. 

(3) Let each of you look not to his own things, but 
each of you also to the things of others. To the Romans 
Paul wrote (Rom. xv. 1, 2j, " We that are strong ought 
to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please our- 
selves. Let each one of us please his neighbor for that 
which is good, unto edifying." " The Philippians w^ere 
not to consult each his own interests, but to cherish 
mutual sympathy, and engage in mutual co-operation. 
They were not to disregard their own things on pre- 
tence of caring for each other's — for unless they had 
first cared for their own things, they w^ere not quali- 
fied to care for the things of others. Undue curiosity 
and impertinent meddlings are far from the apostle's 
thought, but he requires a holy solicitude and warm fel- 
low-feeling — not absolute self-abnegation, but a vivid sub- 
stantial interest in the spiritual welfare of others. It is not 
myself alone or in isolation, as if others did not exist, but 
myself wdth them and they with me, in earnest brother- 
hood and love. My object must not be simply to out- 
strip them in religious attainment, but to bring them and 
myself to a higher stage of Christian excellence. Though 
love seeketh not her own, still she has her own." Eadie. 

[ 35 ] 

CH. II. V. 3-5.] NOTES. 

(4) Let this mind be in you, which \Yas also in 
Christ Jesus. **Let this mind be in you" (Authorised 
Version), or "Have this mind in you" (Eevised Versions), 
refers back to the fourth specification — that ye be " of one 
mind" — under the heading, " Make full my joy." The 
verb in different forms is the same in both places. 

The Four Facts or Eealities of Christian experience 
mentioned by the apostle, and the Four-fold Fruitage 
which he indicates as the right result of union with 
Christ, we may now Imk together in Four Corollaries or 
Inferences, as follows : — 

(1) Oneness in Christ, producing likemindedness, 
should cause in Christ's followers an entire cessation of 
factious action and vainglory. 

(2) The Incentive of love, or Encouragement to love 
one another, found in this Oneness, should produce 
mutual love among all who are Christ's, so that in low- 
liness of mind each will count other better than himself.. 

(3) The Fellowship of spirit caused by this Oneness 
should create Unison of soul, so that no member of 
Christ's Body will look only to his own things, but each 
member will look also to the things of his fellow-members. 

(4) The Tender Mercies and Compassions which 
naturally grow out of this Oneness should produce oneness 
of mind amoog the members of Christ, should cause them 
to have in them that mind which was also in Christ 
Jesus, resulting in them in such self-elfacement as was 
manifested in Him. 

6. ivho, existing in the form of God, — The word 
translated " existing " has reference to pre-existence. 
What is here referred to is the essential being of 
Christ, corresponding to the idea embodied in the 
name Jehovah—" I AM THAT I AM." Ex. iii. 14. 
It is the existence defined by John at the beginning of his 
Gospel — " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word 
w^as with God, and the W^ord was God." It is further 
described by John as self-existence in these words — " In 
him was life." John i. 4. Again in his first epistle the 
apostle John speaks of it thus : " That which was from 
the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we 

[ 36 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 6. 

have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld and our 
hands handled, concerning the Word of life (and the life 
was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and 
declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with 
the Father, and was manifested unto us) : that which w^e 
have seen and heard declare we unto you." I John i. 1-3. 
The expression, " in the form of God," implies the 
Divinity of Christ ; " not the external accidents, but the 
essential attributes" of Deity. In conformity to this idea 
the framers of the Nicene Creed declared Christ to be 
" God of God." x\s the subsequent phrase " the form of 
a servant," which is the antithesis of the phrase, " the 
form of God," implies Christ's true humanity, so this 
expression implies his true divinity. -■' " If ' the form of a 
servant,' implied that Christ was not really man, or not 
really a servant, ' the form of God,' would imply that he 
was not really God. The several expressions must have 
a similar interpretation. And if, therefore, Christ was 
not really man, Christ was not really God ; and w^iat 
then was he? Neither man, nor God, is a conclusion 
for which no heretic is prepared. All admit that he was 
God separately, or man separately, or God and man 
conjointly. And therefore the expressions, * form of 
God,' ' form of a servant,' must mean literally God, and 
literally a servant ; otherwise Christ w^as neither divine 
nor human, but a phantom of both, and therefore a 
nothing." ■-■'" St. Paul speaks of the Mediator in three 
different states ; a state of glory, when he was ' in the 
form of God ;' a state of humiliation, when he assumed 
• the form of a servant ;' a state of exaltation, when there 
was given unto him the name which is above every name. 
It is further evident that the state of glory preceded the 
state of humiliation ; so that Christ must have pre-exist- 
ed in the form of God, and not have begun to exist when 
appearing on earth in the form of a servant. Indeed the 
apostle is inculcating humility, and enforcing his exhor- 
tation by the example of the Saviour." The same idea 

• Note. — From Cauon Melvill's " Golden Lectureship " discourse 
on Philippians ii. 8. 

[ 37 ] 

CH. II. V. 6.] NOTES. 

is expressed in II Cor. iv. 4, where the apostle speaks 
of Christ as " the iraage of God," He is the true repre- 
sentation of God. Christ himself could therefore say, 
" He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." 
Likewise the author of the epistle to the Hebrews de- 
scribes Christ as the Son of God, in whom God hath 
spoken unto us, whom he appointed heir of all things, 
through whom also he made the worlds, who is the 
effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his sub- 
stance. Heb. i. 1 — 3. 

counted not the being on an equality luith God a thing 
to he grasped, — " He did not look upon equality with 
God as a prize which must not slip from his grasp." 
Lightfoot. The phrase " the being on an equality with. 
God," no less than the expression "existing in the form 
of God," is intended to set forth the real Divinity of our 
Lord, for the two expressions are parallel and synony- 
mous. The Jews perfectly understood the claim to be 
divine which Christ put forth, as is seen from their 
complaint against him, that he " called God his own 
Father, making himself equal with God." 

7. hut emptied liimself, taking the form of a servant, 
heing made in the likeness of men ; — Of what did Christ 
empty himself ? Not of " the form of God," nor of "the 
being on an equality with God," in the sense of his 
essential divinity. The Jews would not have charged 
Christ with blasphemy, if they had not clearly understood 
that he claimed to be divine. He said unto them, " I 
and the Father are one," and when on account of this 
they took up stones to stone him, he said unto them, 
" Many good works have I showed you from the Father ; 
for which of these works do ye stone me ? The Jews 
answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but 
for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, 
makest thyself God." -John x. 30-33. And yet it was 
the form of God, of which Christ emptied himself, but 
only in the sense that he allowed his divinity to be ob- 
scured by the veil of his humanity. As the Son of man 
" he had the same essential glory, the same real dignity 
he ever had " as the Son of God; but in "taking the form 

r 38 1 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 7. 

of a servant" he emptied himself of the " GodUke 
majesty and the visible glory" which he had from all 
eternity "in the form of God." Dr. Lightfoot remarks 
that he "emptied, stripped himself of the insignia of 

The difference between the forms of the verb here used, 
the form "existing" in the sixth verse, and the forms 
"taking" and "being made" in the seventh verse, 
should be noticed, for the former is indicative of per- 
manence, while the latter are expressive of change. 

" The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but 
to minister, and to give his life a rambon for many " 
(Mat. XX. 28), and that he might do this, he took on 
him the form of a slave. He emptied himself when he 
thus stooped to serve. Christ took "the form of a ser- 
vant" by " being made in the likeness of men." The ex- 
pression " being made in. the likeness of men" is to be 
carefully noted. It indicates, says Bishop Ellicott, that 
Christ though a perfect man, was still not a mere man. 
Though he "became flesh" most truly, so that his 
humanity was as real as that of any other human being, 
yet his divinity was ever being manifested as he " went 
about doing good" among men. " The Word," says the 
apostle John, " became flesh, and dwelt among us (and 
we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the 
Father), full of grace and truth." John i. 14. 

■■'- " We are told that Christ ' emptied himself,' so that 
* though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor ' 
(II Cor. viii. 9). It must be blasphemous to speak of 
properties of Godhead as laid aside, or even suspended. 
But Christ ' emptied himself ' of the glories and the 
majesties to which he had claim, and which, as he sat on 
the throne of the heavens, he possessed in unmeasured 
abundance. Whatsoever he was as to nature and essence, 
whilst appearing amongst the angels in the form of God, 
that he continued to be still, when, in the form of a ser- 
vant, he walked the scenes of human habitation. But 

* Note. — From Canon MelvilFs " Golden Lectureship " discourse 
on Philippians, ii. 8. 

[ 39 ] 

CH. II. V. 7-] NOTES. 

then the glories of the form of God, these for a while he 
altogether abandoned. If indeed he had appeared upon 
earth — as, according to the dignity of his nature, he had 
a right to appear — in the majesty and glory of the 
Highest, it might be hard to understand what riches had 
been lost by divinity. The scene of display woald have 
been changed. But the splendor of display being un- 
shorn and undiminished, the armies of the sky might have 
congregated round the Mediator, and have given in their 
full tale of homage and admiration. But, oh, it was 
poverty that the Creator should be moving on a province 
of his own empire, and j^et not be recognised nor confess- 
ed by his creatures. It was poverty that, when he walked 
amongst men, scattering blessings as he trode, the anthem 
of praise floated not around him, and the air was often 
burdened with the curse and the blasphemy. It was 
poverty that, as he passed to and fro through tribes 
whom he had made, and whom he had come dowm to re- 
deem, scarce a solitary voice called him blessed, scarce 
a solitary hand was stretched out in friendship, and scarce 
a solitary roof ever proffered him shelter. And when 
you contrast this deep and desolate poverty with that ex- 
uberant wealth which had been always his own, whilst 
heaven continued the scene of his manifestations — the 
wealth of the anthem-peal of ecstasy from a million rich 
voices, and of the solemn bowing down of sparkling 
multitudes, and of the glowing homage of immortal 
hierarchies, whensoever he showed forth his power 
or his purposes — ye cannot fail to perceive that, 
in taking upon him flesh, the Eternal Son descended, 
most literally, from abundance to want; and that, 
though he continued just as mighty as before, just 
as infinitely gifted with all the stores and resources of 
essential divinity, the transition was so total, from the 
reaping -in of glory from the whole field of the universe, 
to the receiving, comparatively, nothing of his revenues 
of honor, that we may assert, without reserve, and with- 
out figure, that he who was rich, for our sakes became 
poor. ' In the form of God,' he had acted as it were, 
visibly, amid the enraptured plaudits of angel and arch- 

[ 40 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 7. 

angel, cherubim and seraphim. But now, in the form 
of man, he must be withdrawn from the dehghted in- 
spections of the occupants of heaven, and act, as power- 
fuhy indeed as before, but mysteriously and invisibly, 
behind a dark curtain of flesh, and on the dreary plat- 
form of a sin-burdened territory. So that the antithesis, 
* the form of God,' and ' found in fashion as a man,' 
marks accurately the change to which the Mediator 

In order to perceive how salvation was wrought out 
for us through a divine plan executed by the hand of a 
Mediator, it is necessary to gain a clear understanding of 
the constitution of this Heaven-sent Mediator. "A 
mediator," the inspired apostle tells us, ** is not a medi- 
ator of one" (Gal. iii. 20), the meaning of which is that 
he must partake of the nature of each of the parties 
between whom mediation is to be made ; so that it was 
necessary for Christ the Son of God, appointed from all 
eternity to be man's Redeemer, to become incarnate, 
that he might be on a level with man, while still retain- 
ing his equality with God. Therefore the apostle, in 
announcing that there now is such a Mediator as was 
required, lays emphasis upon the fact that he is man. 
"There is," says he, "one God, one mediator also be- 
tween God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus, who 
gave himself a ransom for all." 

8. and being found in fashion as a man, — Dr. Lightfoot 
in commenting on this clause well observes that what is 
emphasised in the words here used is different from what 
is indicated in the expressions of the preceding verses. 
In those verses the apostle dwells on the contrast 
exhibited between what Christ ivas from the beginning 
and what he became aftenuards ; while here the com- 
parison is between lohat he is in himself, and ivJiat he 
was in the estimation of men. The result of his " being 
found in fashion as a man " was that which the prophet 
Isaiah described : " He hath no form nor comeliness ; 
and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should 
desire him. He was despised, and rejected of men ; . . . . 
as one from whom men hide their face he was despised ; 

[ 41 ] 

CH. II. V. 8.] NOTES. 

and we esteemed him not." Is. liii. 2, 3. *" Though he 
was, all the while, God, God as truly, as when, in the 
might of manifested Omnipotence, he filled infinite space 
with glorious masses of architecture, still he so restrain- 
ed the hlazings of Divinity that he could not, in the same 
sense, be known as God, but wanted the form whilst 
retaining the essence. He divested himself, then, of the 
form of God, and assumed, in its stead, the form or 
fashion of a man. Heretofore, he had both been, and 
appeared to be God. Now he was God, but appeared as 
a man. The very being who had dazzled the heavenly 
hosts in the form of God, walked the earth in the form 
and fashion of a man. Such, we think, is a fair account 
of the particular phraseology which St. Paul employs. 
The apostle is speaking of Christ as more than man. 
Had Christ been only man, how preposterous to say of 
him, that he was * found in fashion as a man.' What 
other fashion, what other outward appearance, can a 
mere man present, but the fashion, the outward appear- 
ance of a man ? But if Christ were God, and yet 
appeared as man, there is perfect accuracy in the state- 
ment that he was ' found in fashion as a man ; ' and 
we can understand, readily enough, how he who never 
ceased, and could not cease to be God, might, at one 
time, manifest divinity in the form of God, and, at 
another, shroud that divinity in the form of a servant." 

he humbled himself, — This is a further act of conde- 
scension and humihation on the part of Christ, following 
his emptying himself by the assumption of human nature 
in taking the form of a slave. As the order of the Greek 
words shows, the emphasis here is, as Bishop Ellicott 
points out, on the act, and not on the subject ; whereas in 
the previous expression, '' emptied himself," the empha- 
sis is on the subject. Although Christ is spoken of as 
humbling himself after he had emptied himself, yet this 
further step in his humihation is not to be regarded as the 
greater one in his condescension; for, as Dr. Eadie re- 

* Note. — From Canon Melvill's "Golden Lectureship" discourse 
on Philippians, ii. 8. 

[ 42 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 8. 

marks, " The descent from the throne to the manger is 
infinitely greater than the step from the m.anger to the 
cross." "•' There %Yas an act of humiliation, such as mortal 
thought cannot compass, in the coming down of Deity, 
and his tahernacling in flesh. We may well exclaim, 
Wonder, heavens, and be astonished, earth, when 
we remember that he whom the universe cannot contain, 
did, literally, condescend to circumscribe himself w^ithin 
the form of a servant ; and that in no figure of speech, 
but in absolute, though mysterious reality, ' the Word 
became flesh,' and the Son of the Highest born of a 
pure virgin. We shall never find terms in which to 
embody even our own conceptions of this unmeasured 
humiliation ; whilst these conceptions themselves leave 
altogether unapproached the boundary lines of the won- 
der. If I could climb to Deity, I might know what it was 
for Deity to descend into dust. But forasmuch as God 
is inaccessible to all my soarings, it can never come 
within the compass of my imagination to tell up the 
amount of condescension ; and it will alw^ays remain a 
prodigy too large for any thing but faith, that the Creator 
coalesced with the creature, and so constituted a Mediator. 
This was the humiliation in the assumption of humanity. 
Bat after humanity had been assumed, when Christ w^as 
'found in fashion as a man,' he yet further humbled 
himself ; so that, over and above the humiliation as God, 
there was an humiliation as man. The Son of God 
brought himself down to the level of humanity. But the 
humiliation ended not here. There was yet a lower 
depth to w^hich this first humiliation did not necessarily 
carry him. 'Being found in fashion as a man, he hum- 
bled himself.' " 

becoming obedient — We divide the clause, " becoming 
obedient even unto death," into two parts, because the 
words, "becoming obedient," seem to indicate the man- 
ner of Christ's humiliation as a man, while the words, 
" even unto death," show the extent of this humiliation. 

* Note. — From Canon Melvill's " Golden Lectureship " discourse 
on Pliilippians, ii. 8. 

[ 43 ] 

CH. II. r. 8.] NOTES. 

The words, " becoming obedient," are then, we think, to 
be understood as explanatory of the manner in which 
Christ as man " humbled himself." We understand the 
expressions, "born of a woman, born under the law," 
that is, becoming human, and becoming subject to the 
law, to mark separate and distinct stages of the humilia- 
tion of the Son of God, for it was humbling for the Law- 
maker, even after his assumption of human nature, to 
place himself in the position of one from whom obedience 
to the law was required. Hear him before his advent in 
the Hesh saying to his Father in the Psalm (Ps. xl. 6-8), 
*' Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; mine 
ears hast thou opened : burnt offering and sin offering 
hast thou not required (as in themselves satisfactory). 
Then said I, Lo, I am come ; in the roll of the book it is 
written of =me (or, prescribed to me) : I delight to do thy 
will, my God ; yea, thy law is within my heart." 
Mark especially the words, " Mine ears hast thou opened, 
(or, pierced for me)." The ears of the bond-servant were 
pierced in token of his entire submission to the will of his 
master, as we learn from Exodus xxi. 5, 6. "If the 
servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife and 
my children ; I will not go out free : then his master 
shall bring him unto God (or, the judges) and shall bring 
him to the door, or unto the door-post ; and his master 
shall bore his ear through with an awl ; and he shall 
serve him for ever." Christ became such a bond-servant, 
as we learn from the Psalm, for he is there de- 
scribed as having his ears (both of them) pierced by his 
Father, in token of his entire submission to his will. 
That he did this gladly, that he dehghted in this sub- 
mission, and in doing all that this position demanded of 
him, detracts nothing from the humiliation to which as 
man he submitted himself. The author of the epistle to 
the Hebrews speaks of Christ's learning obedience by the 
things which he suffered prior to his being nailed to the 
cross. " Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up 
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears 
unto him that was able to save him from death, and 
having been heard for his godly fear, though he was a 

[ a 1 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 8. 

Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he 
suffered, and having been made perfect, he became unto 
all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." 
Hebrews v. 7-9. From the beginning Christ knew himself 
to be the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the 
world, so that day by day until he came to the cross he 
was being taught in the school of suffering and was 
learning obedience — "becoming obedient" more and 
more, until he was made perfect. Even as a child Christ 
was learning the lessons of obedience which the author 
of the epistle to the Hebrews speaks of. When he was 
found in the temple at Jerusalem, sitting in the midst of 
the teachers of the law both hearing them and asking 
them questions, and his mother said to him, " Son, why 
hast thou thus dealt with us ? behold, thy father and I 
sought thee sorrowing ? " he said in reply, " How is it that 
ye sought me ? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's 
house (or, busied in the things of my Father, that is, in 
learning his will)?" To the Jews, wdao thirsted for his 
blood, he said, " He that sent me is true : and the things 
w^hich I heard from him, these speak I unto the world. 
When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye 
know that I am he (or, who I am), and that I do nothing 
of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these 
things. And he that sent me is w^ith me ; he hath not 
left me alone ; for I do always the things that are pleasing 
to him." These w^ords w^ere spoken to the Jews in 
answer to their question, " W^ho art thou?" And the 
same spirit of the obedient servant breathed all through 
his last recorded intercessory prayer to his Father. See 
John xvii. This was the Servant w^hom the Father ever 
upheld; his chosen, in whom his soul dehghted ; upon 
whom he put his Spirit ; who was meek and lowly in 
heart ; who was himself teachable and Heaven-taught, so 
that he could well say, Learn of me ; who did not cry, 
nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the 
street ; who did not break the bruised reed, nor quench 
the dimly burning wick ; who was so strong in divine 
strength that he could not fail nor be discouraged, till 
he had set justice in the earth — the Servant spoken 

[ 45 ] 

CH. II. V. 8.] NOTES. 

of by Isaiah the prophet long before he came to this 
world in the flesh to show himself to be all that was 
predicted of him. See Isaiah xhi. 1 — 4 ; Matt. xi. 29. It 
was because Christ as our Mediator was absolutely sub- 
ordinate to the Father, so that he was obedient to him in 
all things, that he ever called himself " the Son of man," 
rather than the Son of God. By taking to himself this 
title, which while it indicated his thorough identification 
with mankind, at the same time distinguished him from 
all others of the human race, he declared himself to be the 
humblest of servants, because he was in reality the most 
submissive and the most obedient of all. " Even as the 
Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to 
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." The 
last lesson which Christ learned in the school of suffering, 
and which prepared him for the cross, was the bitterest 
of all, and it is to this especially that the author of the 
epistle to the Hebrews refers in the passage above quoted.. 
This lesson was learned in Gethsemane. How deeply 
Christ was plunged in grief, as the time of his death 
drew near, may be seen in his " agony and bloody sweat" 
in the garden, as he thrice repeated the prayer, " Father, 
if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." But deep 
as was his grief, equally deep and complete was his 
acquiescence in his Father's will, expressed in the words 
which he added to his final petition, " Nevertheless not 
my will, but thine be done." 

even unto death, — HhQ^Q words tell us the extent of the 
humiliation to which Christ condescended as a man. As 
it is appointed unto all men once to die, so Christ as our 
Mediator, our Substitute, our Passover, could enjoy no 
exemption from the common lot of lost humanity. As 
our Saviour, it was absolutely necessary that he should 
die, for he could in no other wise become our life. He 
himself said, " Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth 
and die, it abideth by itself alone ; but if it die, it beareth 
much fruit;" and he knew himself to be such seed-corn. 
It would not have pleased the Father to bruise him — the 
Son in whom he was well pleased — if it had not been 
necessary for him to do so. It was dire necessity that 

[ 46 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 8. 

caused the utterance of those prophetic words concerning 
the slaughter of God's own Messiah — Zech. xiii. 7, 
"Awake, sword, against my shepherd, and against the 
man that is my fellow, saith Jehovah of hosts : smite the 
shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered ; and I will 
turn my hand upon the little ones," that is, to gather 
them into my fold. Not one of Christ's sheep could have 
entered the heavenly fold, had he not given his life for 

But the truth must not be lost sight of, that in the 
humiliation of Christ an a man, even unto death, he was 
absolutely solitary and alone in his experience. By this 
we do not mean merely that his suffering was greater 
than that of any other man could be, because of the fact 
that he was not mere man ; but that inasmuch as he 
was "holy, f^juileless, undefiled, separated from sinners," 
it was humility unspeakable for him to die at all. And 
here again we get a glimpse of Christ w^hich will help 
us to understand the infinite, inexpressible value of his 
sacrifice for us. -'-"Who was this mysterious man of 
\vhom it can be said that he humbled himself in dying ? 
Who can that man be, in whom that w^as humility which, 
in others, is necessity ? Has there ever been the individ- 
ual amongst the natural descendants of Adam, however 
rare his endowments or splendid his achievements, how- 
ever illustrious by the might of heroism, or endeared by 
the w^armth of philanthropy, of whom w^e could say that 
it was humility in him to die ? It were as just to say 
that it w^as humility in him to have had only five senses, 
as that it was humility in him to die. The most exalted 
piety, the nearest approaches to perfection of character, the 
widest distances between himself and all others of the 
race ; these, and a hundred the like reasons, would never 
induce us to give harborage, for an instant, to the thought 
that a man stood exempt from the lot of humanity, or 
that it was left, in any sense, to his option whether or 
no he w^ould die. And, therefore, if there be a strong 

* Note. — From Canon Melvill's " Golden Lectureship " discourse 
on Philippians, ii. 8. 

[ 47 ] 

CH. II. V. 8.] NOTES. 

method of marking off a man from the crowd of the 
human species, and of distinguishing him from all who 
bear the same outward appearance, in some mightier 
respects than those of a mental or moral superiority, is it 
not the ascribing to him what we may call a lordship 
over life, or the representing him as so literally at liberty 
to live, that it shall be humility in him to die ? We hold 
it for an incontrovertible truth, that, had St. Paul said 
nothing of the pre-existent glory of our Mediator, there 
would have been enough in the words, ' He humbled 
himself, becoming obedient unto death,' to satisfy un- 
prejudiced minds that a mere man, such as one of our- 
selves, could be no just description of the Lord Christ 
Jesus. If it were himiility in the man to die, there must 
have been a power in the man of refusing to die. If, in 
becoming ' obedient unto death ' the man ' humbled him- 
self,' there can be no debate that his dying was a 
voluntary act ; and that, had he chosen to decline sub- 
mission to the rending asunder of soul and body, he 
might have continued to this day, unworn by disease, 
unbroken by age, the immortal man, the indestructible 
flesh. We can gather nothing from such form of expres- 
sion, but that it would have been quite possible for the 
Mediator to have upheld, through long cycles, undecayed 
his humanity, and to have preserved it staunch and un- 
broken, whilst generation after generation rose, and 
flourished and fell. He in whom it was humility to die, 
must have been one who could have resisted, through a 
succession of ages, the approaches of death, and thus 
have still trodden our earth, the child of centuries past, the 
heir of centuries to come. We plead for it as a most 
simple and necessary deduction, and we deny altogether 
that it is a harsh and overstrained inference, from the 
fact that the man Christ Jesus humbled himself in dying, 
that the man was more than man, and that a nature, 
higher than human, yea, even divine, belonged to his 
person. We can advance no other account of such an 
act of humility." 

yea, the death of the cross. — Christ's crucifixion marks 
the lowest step in his humiliation, the deepest degree of 

[ 48 ] 

;^OTES. [CH. II. V. 8. 

bis de,^^adation. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews 
speaks of the shame to which Christ was subjected in 
the endurance of the cross. " Who endured the cross," 
says he, "despising shame/' Heb. xii. 2. He was not 
only treated as the meanest of men in being thus put to 
death, but by being placed upon the middle cross, be- 
tween two thieves, was designated as the chief malefactor. 
Thus most fully and literally was the prophecy of Isaiah 
concerning him fulfilled, '• He was numbered with the 
transgressors." Is. liii. 12. But great as was the 
condescension of the Prince of life in consenting to lay 
down his life at all, that which cost him the most unutter- 
able sorrow, the unfathomable agony of Gethsemane, 
was not the mere manner of his death, though that in 
itself was heart-l)reaking enough, nor was it the amount 
of physical pain which he underwent in being crucified ; 
that must have been the least of the items which made 
up the totality of his suffering : that which grieved him 
at his heart the most, and caused him more than all 
else to shrink from the death appointed him, was the 
imputation to him, the Holy One of God, of sin, yea, of a 
world's guilt. 

'•The death of the cross," writes Dr. Eadie, " w^as one 
of special torture and disgrace. [Tnder Eoman law% it 
was infiicted only on slaves and the vilest class of male- 
factors. A death of glory may excite ardor, but death on 
a gibbet is revolting. Some forms of violent death are 
sudden and almost painless, but the cross was the means 
of intense and protracted torture — a thousand deaths in 
one ; and then to be treated as a felon, to be hanged on a 
tree by heathen hands and under a sentence of public 
law, — the shame was worse than the agon3\ The sun 
would not gaze upon the scene, and the sky covered itself 
in sackcloth. Aaron ascended to the summit of ]\Iount 
Hor, and calmly expired at God's bidding. Moses climbed 
the hills of Moab, and, descending into some lonely inner 
valley, put off in the divine presence his earthly taber- 
nacle. But so far did God's own Son carry his obedience, 
that he shrank not from scorn and anguish, for he was 
reviled as a blasphemer and taunted as an impostor and 

[ 49 ] D 

GH. II, V. 8.] NOTES. 

traitor during the trial that led him to death ; ay, and 
that death was the doom of a felon, and he was stripped 
and nailed in nakedness to the cross, amidst hooting and 
execrations, gibes and merriment, as if he had been the 
veriest wretch and criminal in all Judea. And this victim 
of sorrow and persecution, of the fury and sport of men, 
seized and killed so wantonly and cruelly by them, nay, 
killed by the cross, as if any other form of death would 
have been insufhcient to mark their sense of his base- 
ness — this man, so hanged upon a tree, w^as originally 
* in the form of God,' and ' counted not the being on an 
equality with God a thing to be grasped.' " 

It is said that when Christ was dying, the darkness 
which was over the whole land extended to Egypt, and 
that an Egyptian sage, reflecting upon so remarkable a 
phenomenon, exclaimed, " Either nature is dissolving, or 
a god is perishing." 

The apostle said to the Corinthians (IL Cor. viii. 9), 
" Ye know the grace (gift) of our Lord Jesus Christ, that" 
though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor ;" 
and these words throw light upon what he wrote to the 
Philippians upon the same subject, inasmuch as they 
enable us better to understand what it was for him who 
existed in the form of God, first to empty, and then 
to humble himself ; for they are clearly intended to teach 
us that we cannot know how impoverished and abased 
Christ became on earth as the Son of man, until we 
see how rich he was in heaven from all eternity as the 
Son of God. 

While "existing in the form of God," Christ was rich 
in life. Therefore it was that concerning him in regard 
to his pristine state, the apostle John could say with 
emphasis, " In him was life." Even when on earth as 
the Son of man, his life was his own, and at his own 
disposal, as he himself said to the Jews, for he was 
still the Son of God as well as the Son of man. " I lay 
down my life," said he, " that I may take it again. No 
one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself, 
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it 
again." Knowing that Christ was God as well as man, 

[ 50 ] 

NOTES. [CH. ri. V. 8. 

'even when he hung upon the cross, Peter said to his 
•cruciliers, that he whom they had killed was no other 
than " the Prince of Ufe." 

While " existing in the form of God," Christ was rich in 
p02ver. His was the almightiness by w^hich the universe 
was built, for " all things were made through him ; 
and without him was not any thing made that hath been 
made"; and even when on Calvary he was by the shed- 
ding of his blood making ' purification of sins' for us, 
he, the " Mighty God," was " upholding all things by the 
'^'ord of his power." During his earthly ministry he was 
ever manifesting divine power in redemptive acts, 
though he never wrought a miracle for the purpose of 
exempting himself from the common lot of dependent 

When " existing in the form of God," Christ was rich in 
love Hear him saying in the book of Proverbs, " Jeho- 
vah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before 

his works of old When he marked out the foundations 

of the earth, then I was by him, as a master workman ; 
and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before 
him." Prov. viii. 22-30. He endured the hiding of 
his Father's face amidst the agony of the cross, but 
he was never more acceptable to his Father than when 
he was overshadowed by the aw^ful darkness which 
caused him to cry, " My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ?" He could ever say, as once he did 
say, " He that sent me is with me ; he hath not left me 
alone ; for I do always the things that are pleasing 
to him ;" and it was because as he expired upon the 
cross he could say of his atoning w^ork, " It is finished,'* 
that he could with filial trust also say, " Father, into thy 
hands I commend my spirit." At his baptism, and 
again on the mount of transfiguration, he heard his 
Father's voice saying, " This is my beloved Son, in 
whom I am w^ell pleased." 

When " existing in the form of God," Christ was rich in 
glory. All the glory of heaven was his. Hear him in 
his last intercessory prayer for his disciples saying, 
" Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given 

[ 51 ] 

QH. II. V. 8.] NOTES. 

me be with m^ where I am, that they may behold my 
gloiy, which thou ha^t given me ; for thou lovedst me 
before the foundation of the world." 

When " existing in the form of God," Christ was rich in 
holiness. He came from lieaven as " the Holy One of 
God," and in his incarnate state was recognised as such 
even by an unclean spirit. 

When " existing in the form of God," Christ was rich in 
all the attributes of Deity. 

So rich was Christ when " existing in the form of God"; 
yet he became poorer than the foxes which have their 
holes, and the birds of the heaven which have their 
nests ; for the Son of man had not where to lay his head ; 
and in order that he might redeem us from the curse of 
a righteous law he became even a curse for us. 

9. Wherefore also God hirjhbj exalted him, — We see in 
Christ's humiliation and subsequent exaltation the ful- 
lest exemplification of that assurance of God's Word 
which Christ more than once uttered, '• He that hum- 
bleth himself shall be exalted." It was not only fitting 
that Christ's exaltation should follow his humiliation ; 
his elevation followed as a necessary consequence of his 
abasement. Therefore it behooved also that the height 
of his exaltation should correspond to the depth of his 
humiliation. " Infinite condescension merits highest 
glory. Nothing could be lower than the degradation of 
the cross, nothing higher than the mediatorial crown." 

and gave unto liivi the name ichich is above every 
name ; — -Unto him as the Son of man was the name 
given, for as Dr. Lightfoot points out, the verbs here 
used are employed with reference to the subordinate 
position which the Son of God assumed. In Eph. i. 
17-21, the apostle says that the God of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Father of glory, when he raised Christ from 
the dead, " made him to sit at his right hand in the 
heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, 
and power, and dominion, and every name that is 
named, not only in this world, but also in that which 
is to come : and he put all things in subjection under his 

[ 52 ] 

, NOTES. [CH. II. V. 9. 

feet, and jjave him to be head over all things to the 
chui'ch, which is his bod5% the fulness of him that 
iilleth all in all," that is, made him, as Head of the Chinch, 
supreme in the whole universe. And the author of the 
epistle to the Hebrews, mentioning the Son of God as the 
person in whom prophetic revelation had culminated, 
speaks of him as having been appointed heir of all things, 
as the person through whom God made the worlds, as 
being the effulgence of God's glory, and the very image 
of his substance, and as upholding all things by the word 
of his power ; and then he goes on to state that he, ** when 
he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right 
hand of the Majesty on high ; having become by so much 
better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more 
excellent name than they." 

10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should boWy 
of tilings in heaven and things on earth and things under 
the earth, — From the connection in which the name 
Jesus is here used, this name would appear to be " the 
name vrhich is above every name." And from the juxta- 
position in which the words, " a more excellent name," in 
Heb. i. 4, and the words, " my Son," in the following verse, 
occur, this distinguishing title would with equal likelihood 
appear to be " the name which is above every name." 
It is impossible therefore to say that this, or that, or any 
other name, is with particularity thus referred to. Nor 
is it necessary to understand that any particular name is 
intended by the designation, "the name which is above 
every name. ' A name, any name, is lowered or elevated, 
degraded or exalted, by the character of the person who 
bears it. By the living of noble lives, and by the per- 
formance of heroic deeds, the commonest names are gilded 
with grace, honor and dignity. The name Jesus was a 
common one among the Jews before Christ's time and in 
his day, and if Jesus of Na/areth had done nothing more 
than other Jews who had borne this name had done to 
make it distinguished, it would not have been lifted above 
the common level. But the life and death of this Jesus 
have given to this name an eminence such as no other 
name can ever have. And so it is with the title " My 

[ 53 ] 

CH. II. -17. 10.] NOTES, 

Son," which distinguishes above all other sons Him to 
whom God in a special manner applied it. So well pleas- 
ed did God the Father become with his Son Jesus, the- 
Christ, that he not only exalted him above the angels, 
but an everlasting throne, the throne of the Highest, was 
given to him. *' Th}^ throne, O God, is for ever and ever,"^ 
said God the Father to his Son. The name Jesus and 
the title Lord are now and will ever be synonymous. 
When the prostrate persecutor Saul hearing a voice, not 
of earth, speaking to him, inquired, " Who art thou, 
Lord," the answer came, " I am Jesus." 

When it is said, " that in the name of Jesus every knee 
should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and 
things under the earth," what is meant is that universal, 
homage shall be paid to him. Such homage will be paid' 
to Jesus on the day of judgment. " To this end Christ 
died and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the 

dead and the living For we shall ah stand before 

the judgment-seat of God. For it is written. As I live, 
saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow." "The judg- 
ment-seat of God" is the reading of thePievised Version, 
but this does not change the meaning of the Scripture in 
this place. It only makes clear that Christ is God, for no 
other than God could be " Lord of both the dead and the 

Those who will bow the knee to Jesus on the day of 
judgment will do so in sincere acknowledgment of his 
divine authority and sovereignty. How important, there- 
-fore, it is that all who will then appear before him should 
begin on earth to bow the knee to him in sincerity!" 
- What a travesty upon serious worship is that bow- 
ing at the name of Jesus, which, consisting only of 
ritualistic ceremony, is not in the least indicative of 
submission of heart and of true allegiance to the Lord 
Jesus Christ I 

11. and that every tongue should confers that Jesus 
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — -Wlien the 
apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost said, " Let all the 
house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath 
made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye cru- 

[ 54 1 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 11. 

cified," he stated that by the resurrection of Jesus these 
two facts had been made clear, namely, first; that Jesus 
was no other than Jehovah, and secondly, that he was the 
Messiah, of whom the prophets had spoken. And with 
such convincing power did the Holy Spirit bring these 
truths home to those who heard them, that " they were 
pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and the rest of 
the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do ?" Again, Paul, 
in his epistle to the Romans, says, " If thou shalt confess 
with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy 
heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be 
saved." Thus according to Paul also, the risen Jesus was 
to be acknowledged as Jehovah the living God, and 
trusted in as a Divine Deliverer, in order to the obtaining 
of salvation. To the Corinthians also Paul said, " We 
preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord (or Jeho- 
vah), and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 
Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of 
darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the 
knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 
So in this passage in Philippians, the meaning is, that 
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, 
to the glory of God the Father. 

As a confirmation of the correctness of this interpreta- 
tion of the texts above cited, we have only to quote a 
passage from the prophet Isaiah, as follows : " Who 
hath showed this from ancient times ? who hath declared 
it of old ? have not I, Jehovah ? And there is no God 
else besides me, a just God and a Saviour ; there is none 
besides me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends 
of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else. By 
myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from my 
mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto 
me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Only 
in Jehovah, it is said of me, is righteousness and strength ; 
even to him shall men come; and all they that were 
incensed against him shall be put to shame. In Jehovah 
shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." 

12. So then, my beloved, even as ye have alicays 
obeyed, — The Philippian Church had from the commence- 

[ 55 ] 

CH. II. V. 12.] NOTES. 

ment of its history shown a beautiful spirit of obedience, 
which was the reason why so strong a bond of affection 
existed between them and the apostle. They had been 
obedient to the will of God, as his will had been made clear 
to them by the teaching of his servant Paul. The motive 
to continued obedience they would perceive to be of the 
strongest possible character, since the apostle had just 
mentioned the obedience of Christ for them even unto 
death, yea, the death of the cross, together with his con- 
sequent exaltation, in which his people who suffer with 
him will be participants with him. Eom. viii. 17, and 
II Tim. ii. 12. Obedience is a distinguishing mark nf 
the children of God, which was exemplified in a remark- 
able degree in Abraham, the father of the faithful, and 
the friend of God. 

not as in my presence only, hut noio much more in my 
absence, — The presence of Paul among them would 
greatly stimulate them, but the presence of Christ, 
with them should stimulate them most of all ; and the 
absence of such aid as Paul's presence might afford, 
ought to have the effect to lead them to rely more un- 
reservedly upon Christ, for after all they were to follow 
Paul only as he followed Christ. 

While individual Christians and organised Churches 
should value most highly all the subordinate helps which 
God provides, yet when they have none but God to 
help them, they should instead of being discouraged, be 
rather encouraged to go forward and put forth even 
greater exertions in all well-doing, rememberincj Christ's 
words, " Lo, lam with you all the days." Paul's en- 
forced absence, due to his imprisonment, would give 
great weight to his exhortation to them to work out their 
ovm salvation even as he was then working out his 

The pastor of a large London Church, on returning to 
his people after an enforced absence, said, " If I were to 
begin to tell you of all the lessons I hope I have learnt 
in my absence from you, L should keep you here far into 
the night. I have felt that this enforced absence from 
you has been blessed to both of us. It has taught us to 

[ 56 ] 

NOTKS. [CH. II. V. 12. 

depend more entirely upon God. Ifc has taught me to 
feel that my hand must he clasped in His hand, and 
that my feet must be planted on the Kock. J received 
when away a letter from a young man in my congre- 
gation which touched me very much. He had been 
passing through a period of great perplexity, and if I had 
been at home he would have come to me for advice. 
As it was he was forced to go to God alone, and he 
wrote to tell me of the perfect blessing that had come 
to him through this seeking of God. ' I thank Him 
for your absence,' he said." 

Is there not a lesson here for those who depend so 
much on protracted meetings and conferences, and on 
what they call evangelistic or revival meetings for help, 
rather than upon direct help from God through the 
study of his Word and through secret prayer ? Are not 
the ordinary means of grace, the regular Sabbath ser- 
vices of the sanctuary, the week-day prayer-meeting, and 
family worship, too much disparaged by many ? Is not 
that precious assurance of Christ — " Where two or three 
are gathered together in my name, there am I in the 
midst of them" — too little valued? When two thus 
meet together, do the two always know that not two 
only, but three are there? And when not even two can 
thus meet, can no prayer-meeting be held ? Does not 
Jesus say, '* But thou, when thou prayest, (or, if thou 
wouldst pray) enter into thine inner chamber, and 
having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, 
and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense 

woi'k out your own sal cat ion ir ith fear and trembling ; — 
Salvation is God's work, but it is not wrought in those 
who would remain passive under God's hand, like 
machines which are moved only as power from without 
is applied to them. Human beings are free moral agents, 
responsible for their actions, and God treats them as 
such. When Jehovah said to the house of Israel, " As 
the clay in the potter's hand, so are ye in my hand," be 
went on to say to them these things also, " At what instant 
I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a 

[ 57 ] 

CH. II. V. 12. j NOTES. 

kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy 
it ; if that nation, concerning which I have spoken^ 
turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I 
thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall 
speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to 
build and to plant it ; if they do that which is evil in my 
sight, that they obey not my voice, then I will repent of 
the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them." It is 
thus made evident that God's use of the parable of the 
potter and the clay in the word which he gave to his 
prophet to speak to the house of Israel, was intended to 
show them that they had in their own hands the making 
of their own destiny. See Jeremiah xviii. 5-12. Christ's 
obedience even unto death, yea, the death of the cross, 
procured a free, full and everlasting salvation for us, but 
whether it becomes ours or not depends on whether 
we are willing to obey Christ or not, for he became unto 
all them that obey him the Author of this salvation. 
Heb. V. 7-9. We shall neither be saved, nor will our 
salvation after our acceptance of Christ as our Saviour be 
perfected, unless we put forth, and continue to put forth, 
our own efforts to obtain salvation, and to make our 
calling and election sure. The spirit in which these 
exertions should be put forth and maintained is set forth 
in this exhortation of Paul to the Philippians. The 
spirit of obedience begets distrust of self, and this is 
coupled with an earnest purpose to do the will of God 
in humble reliance upon his help. We see this well 
exemplified in the Corinthian Christians. See II. 
Cor. vii. 15. 

13. for it is God icJio wovlceth in you — Without God's 
working in us our working would be utterly vain and 
futile ; therefore Paul gives as a reason for our working 
out our own salvation, that it is God who worketh 
in us. The verb here used is the one from which the 
English word energy is derived. The meaning therefore 
is that God's power is employed on our behalf and 
produces results ; in other words, God works in us 
effectively. This is the word used in Gal. ii. 8, where 
Paul says, " He that wrought (or energised) for Peter 

[ 58 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. v. 13^. 

unto the apostleship of the ch*cumcision, wrought (or 
energised) for me also unto the Gentiles." 

botJi to will and to icor'k, — These words are added for 
the purpose of showing that God's work is not merely 
supplementary to man's, but is, on the contrary, initia- 
tive, continuous, completive, that is, the w^hole work of 
salvation is God's from the beginning to the end. The 
very first impulse on man's part to will is of God, 
and all the subsequent effective efforts of man in working 
out his own salvation are due to the efficiency which God 
himself inspires in man. 

fo7- his (jood pleasure. — It is all '* according to the good 
pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his 
grace, which he freely bestow^ed on us in the Beloved." 
Eph. i. 5, 6. 

14. Do all tilings tcitliout murmurings and question- 
ings ; — Paul's meaning (as the words which follow make 
ciearj is, ' Be not like the Israelites in the wilderness, who 
murmured and complained against God ? They should 
never give way to discontent, on account of any of God's 
dealings with them ; nor to unbelief, as if God were 
not faithful and true. 

15. that ye may become blameless and harndcss,—Oi 
the two qualifying terms here used, the former evidently 
refers to character in the estimation of others, while the 
latter is employed in reference to intrinsic worth. The 
apostle expressed the desire that they might approve 
themselves as entirely void of blameworthiness, and 
(what would be a still greater virtue) void also of all evil. 
Thus in an eminent degree would their Christ-likeness. 
appear. The same high standard of character to which 
in the second chapter, verses 2-5, they are exhorted 
to attain, is again set before them. 

children of God without blemish in tlie midst of ct 
crooked and perverse generation, — The full force of the 
apostle's words in this and in the preceding clause 
cannot be perceived without recalling w-hat in the 
estimation of God the Israelites were, as their character 
is described by Moses in his song in Deut. xxxii. 5 : 
*' They have dealt corruptly with him, they are not 

[ 59 ] 

•CH. II. V. 15.] NOTES. 

his children, it is their blemish (or, a blot on them) ; they 
are a perverse and crooked generation/' With the clearest 
reference to all these particulars laid to the charge 
of Israel by Moses, the apostle expresses his desire for 
the Philippians, that they may be blameless and harmless 
(literally without faults or defects, and unmixed or un- 
adulterated), that they may be children of God, that 
they may be without blemish, and, in the midst of a 
•crooked and perverse generation, not themselves perverse 
and crooked. 

among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, — The 
apostle wished them to be like the great lights in the 
firmament, liindnaries enlightening the darkness which 
but for them would enshroud their part of the world. 
" They that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament : and they that turn many to righteousness 
■as the stars for ever and ever. Dan. xii. 3. A lamp 
placed on a stand shineth unto all that are in the house. 
Even so Christians should let their light shine before men, 
that they may see their good works, and glorify their 
Father who is in heaven. Matt. v. 15,16. If any professed 
Christians are not what Christ says his people are — 
*'the light of the world," then do they not show them- 
selves false to their profession '? 

16. JiGlding forth the word of life ; — The way for 
Christians to illuminate the spiritual darkness which is 
around them is to hold forth in the midst of it the Word 
of life. "Thou hast the words of eternal life," said 
Peter to his Lord ; and taking these words he held them 
forth to others, and they became in his use of them 
*' spirit and life." How marvellously and with what glori- 
ous results he held them forth on the day of Pentecost ! 
What a luminary was Chrysostom, the golden-mouthed 
preacher, as he was called, when the people of Antioch 
before whom he held forth the Word of life felt constrained 
to say of him, " Better would it be for the sun not to 
shine than for Chrysostom not to teach !" The holding 
forth of the Word of life, whether in the pulpit or out of 
it, whether by the ordained preacher, or by any other of 
Christ's servants, is the one instrumentality which God 

[ 60 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 16. 

has appointed to be used for the enlightenment of men,, 
and the conversion of souls to Christ. " He that hath my 
word," said God by the prophet Jeremiah, ** let him 
speak my word faithfully. What is the straw to the 
wheat? saith Jehovah. Is not my word like fire? saith 
Jehovah ; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in 
pieces?" Paul exhorted Timothy thus: "Preach the 
word ; be urgent in season, out of season ; reprove, rebuke, 
exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." When 
on account of the persecution which arose about Stephen 
all the disciples who were in Jerusalem were scattered 
al)road throughout the regions of Judiea and Samaria, what 
did they? "They went about preaching the word." 
Though it is not specifically stated, it is nevertheless 
highly probable that the occasion when the risen Christ 
appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, was that 
one when on a mountain in Galilee he said to the assembled 
disciples, "All authority hath been given unto me in 
heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disci- 
ples of all the nations." Not alone the eleven apostles, 
but all the brethren were commissioned to preach the 
Gospel, and thus hold forth the Word of life. There 
exists, no doubt, the need for organised Christian missions, 
but above this need is the special one— that of a " univer- 
sal Christian mission," that is, a mission comprising all 
of Christ's disciples. In his last recorded intercessory 
prayer for his disciples, Christ prayed not for a select few 
alone, but for all his people, saying, " Sanctify them in 
the truth : thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into 
the world, even so sent 1 them into the world." Previous- 
ly in this prayer he had said, "I have given them thy 
word." With this word they were to go and enlighten and 
lead to Christ their fellow-men still sitting in darkness. 
They were to bear witness to the truth. The followers of 
Christ do not appreciate their privilege as individuals, or 
recognise th6ir personal obligation to their Saviour, if 
they allow themselves to be lost sight of in the 
general work of the Church, or if they relegate to their 
ministers the work of evangelising their fellow-men, 
as if it were theirs alone. Bishop Westcott well says, " If 

[«i ] 

'CH. II. V. 16.] NOTES. 

only every Christian would have the courage to confess 
what he has found in his faith, simply and soberly, with- 
out affectation and without reserve ; if, that is, our 
apostles were multiplied a thousand fold ; we should not 
wait so sadly, sodoubtingly, as we do, for the last triumph 
of Christ : we should rejoice to hasten his coming, 
v>'hen he shall return in glory, the same Jesus who died 
and rose from the dead : we should, in a sense which we 
have not yet felt, know him and the power of his re- 

that I may have lohereofto glory in the day of Christ, — 
The apostle Paul seems ever to have wrought with the 
day of judgment in view, and he had glorious anticipa- 
'tionsof what in reference to himself and his fellow-workers 
would then be manifested. He told the Corinthian 
Christians that as they had acknowledged, though but 
partially, that they gloried in him and his fellow-workers, 
even as he and his fellow-workers gloried in them, so he 
hoped that they would continue to glory unto the end, 
even to the day of the Lord Jesus (II. Cor. i. 13, 14). To 
them he said, " Each man's work shall be made manifest : 
for the day (that is, the day of judgment) shall declare it, 
because it is revealed in fire, and the lire itself shall prove 
each man's work of what sort it is." I. Cor. iii. 13. And 
again he said to them, " With me it is a \evy small thing 
that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: 
yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing 
against myself ; yet am I not hereby justified : but he that 
judgeth me is the Lord. Wherefore judge nothing before 
the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to 
light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest 
the counsels of the hearts ; and then shall each man 
have his praise from God." I. Cor. iv. 3-5. 

that I did not run in vain neither labor m vain. — If the 
Philippian Christians should continue to the last day 
to be what they had been from the first day of Paul's 
acquaintance with them, that is, if they should continue 
to he seen as luminaries in the world, holding forth the 
Word of life, then he would surely have whereof to glory 
in that day,- that he had not run in vain neither labored 

[ 62 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 16. 

in vain on their behalf. Continuance in well-doing is that, 
and that only, which ensures against failure in the Chris- 
tian course. " We are become partakers of Christ, if we 
hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the 
end." Heb. iii. 14. 

The apostle wrote to the Philippians in the same 
spirit in which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews 
(who may have been Paul) wrote to his Jewish brethren 
in Christ : " God is not unrighteous to forget your work 
and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that 
ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister. 
And we desire that each one of j^ou may show the same 
diligence unto the fulness of hope even to the end : that 
ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through 
faith and patience (endurance or continuance of labor) 
inherit the promises." Heb. vi. 10-12. 

Paul likens his efforts for the spiritual welfare of the 
Philippians to the severely strenuous exertions of the 
Grecian youth who contended for prizes in the Isthmian 
games. The apostle made frequent reference to these 
contests in his epistles. See Acts xx. 24 ; Eom. ix. 16 ; 

I. Cor. ix. 24-27 ; Gal. ii. 2 and v. 17 ; Phil. i. 27, 30 and 
iii. 12-14 ; Col. i. 29 and ii. 1, 18 ; I. Tim. iv. 7-10 and vi. 

II, 12 ; II. Tim. ii. 5 and iv. 7, 8; Heb. xii. 1. 

It is interesting to notice that Polycarp in his epistle 
to the Philippians uses the same metaphorical expression 
as Paul in reference to the Christian life. " All of you 
obey the w^ord of righteousness," says he, " and practise 
true endurance, which you have seen exemplified before 
you not only in ])lessed Ignatius, Zosimus and Eufus, 
but in others of your own body, and in Paul himself and 
the other apostles. You know that they all did not run 
in rain. They have gone, in the path of faith and 
righteousness, to their promised place, beside the Lord 
with whom they suffered." 

17. Yea, and if I am offered (poured out as a drink- 
•oifering) u])on the sacrifice and service of your faith, — 
The word translated ' yea' has here a reflexive force, 
and the apostle's meaning may be thus paraphrased : 
' My labor for you has indeed been severe, but if I shall 

[ 03 ] 

CH. II. V. 17.] I^OTES. 

be called to do more than I have hitherto done, even to- 
shed my blood foi' you'. In the metaphor which the 
apostle here uses, the Philippian Christians are pic- 
tured as priests engaged in otfering a sacrifice, and the 
reference is probably, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, to a. 
heathen rather than a Jewish sacrifice, which, as the 
Philippian Christians were, many of them, converts from 
heathenism, would appeal to them forcibly. The sacrifice 
which they are represented as ottering is their faith in 
Christ, or their service for Christ as a manifestation of 
their faith. Paul, making still further use of a metaphor 
derived from the custom of the heathen, represents his- 
own life-blood as a libation poured out upon the sacrifice 
of the Philippians. 

J joy, and rejoice icith you all : — I rejoice in this as a 
privilege, and 1 congratulate you all as having a part 
with me in manifesting devotion to our common Saviour. 

IS. and in tJie same manner do ye also joy, and rejoice- 
with me. — I ask you likewise to rejoice in the privilege" 
of serving Christ which is afforded you, and to congrat- 
ulate me on the high privilege of dying for the Gospel's 
sake, if it shall please Christ to bestow upon me such an 
honor. We have the testimony of tradition that Paul 
did receive this honor ; and thus the Philippian Chris- 
tians would have in the death as well as in the life of 
their spiritual father an example of loyalty to Christ which 
might W'cU stir up in them like consecration to the 
service of the Gospel. And if in the hearts of the 
Philippian Christians, why not in ours also '? 

19. But I hope in the Lord Jesus.— The conjunction 
* but,' in connection with Paul's proposal, possibly 
indicates a connection with the words 'in my absence' in 
verse 12; or the connection may be with the paragraph 
just ended. ' But notwithstanding that my death is 
a possibihty, my hope is that I may be able to send 
Timothy to you shortly.' In the same manner, in verse 
24, Paul expresses his confidence in the Lord, of being 
able shortly to come unto them himself. Paul expresses 
no hope or trust except in the Lord. He realised that 
he was a part of Christ, a member of his body, and so he 

[ 64 ] 

- NOTES. [CH. II. V. 19. 

would not put forth an act or feel an impulse apart from 
Christ. " The Christian is a part of Christ, a member of 
his body. His every thought and word and deed pro- 
ceeds from Christ, as the centre of volition. Thus be 
loves in the Lord, he hopes in the Lord, he boasts in the 
Lord, he labors in the Lord, etc. He has one guiding 
principle in acting and in forbearing to act. ' Only in 
the Lord' (I. Cor. vii. 39)." Lightfoot. Such indeed is 
the Pauline Christian. And is not this the model for 
all Christians ? 

to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may he 
of good comfort, when I know your state. — As you will be 
comforted when you hear from me in reference to my 
circumstances, so I also hope to be comforted when I 
learn what your situation is. 

20. For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly 
(genuinely) for your state. — The word "truly " may also be 
understood to mean naturally, like a parent. As Timothy 
was associated with Paul in the establishment of the 
Philippian Church, and as he had from the beginning 
shared Paul's solicitude for their welfare, and visited them 
from time to time, he would have, like the apostle, a 
parental feeling towards the Philippian Christians. 

When Paul wrote from Eome his letter to the Colos- 
sians he had with him no less than seven other brethren 
of Timothy's stamp. One of them was Tychicus, whom he 
spoke of as '* the beloved brother and faithful minister 
and fellow-servant in the Lord." He had Onesimus, 
" the faithful and beloved brother," whom he had 
begotten in his bonds. He had Aristarchus of Thessalo- 
nica, who had been a companion in travel, and was then 
a fellow-prisoner with him. He had Mark, the cousin of 
Barnabas, whom he had once regarded as unfaithful, 
but w^ho now possessed his entire confidence. He had 
Jesus, called Justus, from Corinth. Of these five men he 
says in his letter to the Colossians, " These only are 
my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that 
have been a comfort unto me." But before closing 
his letter he mentions two others. One of them was 
Epaphras, whom he speaks of as a " beloved fellow- 

[ 65 ] E 

CH. II. V. 20.] NOTES. 

servant," and " a faithful minister of Christ," and of whom 
he says that he was always striving (agonising) for 
them (the Colossians) in his prayers, that they might 
stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God ; 
and he further says concerning him, " I bear him witness 
that he hath much labor (labor in prayer) for you, 
and for them in Laodicea, and for them in Hierapolis." 
And along with Epaphras he mentions Luke, " the 
beloved physician." But all these seven must have 
been absent from Home when Paul w^rote his letter 
to the Philippians. 

21. For they all seek their own, not the things of 
Jesus Christ. — Paul here speaks of those who were with 
him and might have been sent to Philippi, if they 
had been fit to go. At the close of this letter, when Paul 
is sending their salutation to the Philippians, he merely 
says, " The brethren that are with me salute you," 
He could not have said less, if he mentioned them at 
all. The difference between such a notice of those 
who were with him at this time, and the individual 
and affectionate mention which he made of his compan- 
ions when he w^rote to the Colossians, not far from 
the same time, is very suggestive. All the brethren who 
were with Paul were clearly disqualified for such a com- 
mission as that with which Timothy was entrusted, for 
the reason that they were distinguishing between their 
own things and the things of Christ, as though they and 
Christ were not one, and their interests and Christ's were 
not identical. How clearly their disqualification for such 
a service as that which Timothy was sent to perform 
appeared to Paul, is seen from the sharp contrariety in 
which he places their un-Christian selfishness, and the 
devotion to Christ which ought rather to have character- 
ised them. " They all seek their own, not the things of 
Jesus Christ." 

22. But ye hnoio the 'proof of him, that, as a child 
serveth a father, so he served loith me in furtherance of the 
gospel. — To have such testimony concerning him given 
by Paul, what an honor this w^as to Timothy ! Then too, 
the PhiHppians knew that what Paul said was true, for 

[ 66 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 22. 

the service of which Paul spoke had been rendered before 
their eyes in PhiHppi. 

At the time when Paul sent Timothy from Ephesus via 
Macedonia (Acts xix. 22) to Corinth, he said in his letter 
to the Corinthians (I Cor. iv. 17), which would reach 
them before the arrival of Timothy, this concerning his 
true and trusted son in the faith : " I have sent unto 
you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the 
Lord, who shall put you in remembrance of my ways 
which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in 
every church." So thoroughly imbued with the apostle's 
teachings even concerning the deepest truths of the 
Gospel was Timothy, that the apostle could feel fully 
assured concerning him that he would truly and faith- 
fully remind the Corinthian Christians of what he had 
himself taught them. Having expressed this assurance 
in the early part of his letter, he again near its close 
(Ch. xvi. 10) refers to Timothy's visit thus: "Nov/ if 
Timothy come, see that he be with you without fear ; for 
he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do." 

When on his second missionary journey Paul had been 
conveyed from Beroea to Athens, his anxiety for the 
Thessalonian Christians was such that he could not for- 
bear sending back to Thessalonica his sole companion, in 
order that he might ascertain what their circumstances 
were, and might establish them and comfort them. This 
companion whom in writing to the Thessalonians he 
speaks of as ** our brother and God's minister in the 
gospel of Christ, " was his beloved son Timothy. How 
satisfactorily he did what Paul sent him to do we learn 
from these words of the apostle, contained in his lirst 
letter to the Thessalonians : " When Timothy came even 
now unto us from you, and brought us glad tidings of 
your faith and love, and that ye have good remembrance 
of us always, longing to see us, as we also to see you ; 
for this cause, brethren, we were comforted over you in 
all our distress and atiliction through your faith : for now 
we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord " (I Thess. iii. 6-8.) 

Paul's final estimate of his " beloved child " is given in 
his second letter to him, written on the eve of his own 

\ 67 ] 

CH. II. V. 22.] NOTES. 

anticipated martyrdom. The lustre of Timothy's noble 
Christian character then shone forth more brilliantly 
than ever, contrasted as the picture was with the dark 
background of many faithless ones described by the 
apostle as holding a form of godliness after they had by 
their un-Christian and even diabolical characteristics 
denied the power thereof (II. Tim. iii. 1-8). " But," says 
Paul concerning Timothy (verse 10), " thou didst follow 
my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, 
patience, persecutions, sufferings." 

23, 24. Him therefore I hope to send forthivith, so soon 
as I shall see hoiv it will go ivith me .• hut I tnist in the 
Lord that I myself also shall come shortly. — The apostle's 
trial before Nero was evidently near at hand, and 
whatever its issue might be, he was prepared for it 
(II. Tim, iv. 6) ; but he had a confident expectation of 
lieing released from his imprisonment, in which case hiS' 
intention was to pay a visit to Philippi as quickly as 
possible. That this hope was realised seems very proba- 
ble, as already remarked (see note on Ch. i. 25). Timo- 
thy, however, he hoped to send to them without delay^ 
on the termination of his trial. 

25. But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaph' 
roditus, my brother and felloiv-icorker and felloic -soldier, 
and your messenger and minister to my need ; — Nothing is 
known of Epaphroditus beyond the information given 
concerning him in this letter. Although Epaphras is 
an abbreviated form of Epaphroditus, yet there is no 
proof of what has been suggested as a probability, that 
the Philippian Epaphroditus is the same as the Colossian 
Epaphras, but on the other hand such an identity is 
highly improbable, because not only were Philippi and 
Colossae widely separated, but Epaphroditus seems to 
have been as truly one of the Philippians as Epaphras 
was one of the Colossians (see Col. iv. 12). Besides the 
name in either form was a very common one. 

It is delightful to think of these two men bearing 
the same name, the one from European Philippi, and 
the other from Asiatic Colossae, alike devoting them- 
selves heart and soul to the furtherance of the Gospel, 

[ -68 ,] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 25. 

both alike dear to Paul, both visiting him in his impris- 
onment at Eome, probably at different times, and both 
tarrying with the apostle for a season, engaged with him 
day and night in the most earnest prayer and work. 
What comfort they must have brought to the aged Paul 
in his confinement, and what help they must have re- 
ceived from him ! 

Bishop Lightfoot remarks that Paul's three words 
descriptive of Epaphroditus — '* brother and fellow-worker 
and fellow-soldier," are arranged in an ascending scale, 
denoting common sympathy, common w^ork, common 
danger and suffering. And Bishop Ellicott speaks of the 
three climactic designations employed by the apostle 
to set forth the threefold relation in which Epaphroditus 
stood to him. He was Paul's brother in the faith, Paul's 
fellow-worker in preaching and propagating the faith 
in Christ, and Paul's fellow-soldier in maintaining and 
defending the faith. 

Epaphroditus had undertaken the long journey to 
Eome as the bearer of certain gifts which the Philippian 
Church desired to send to the apostle for the purpose 
of relieving as far as they could the discomfort of his 
prison life. He was welcomed by Paul not only as a 
brother greatly beloved, a true yoke-fellow and a brave 
defender of the Gospel, but as a messenger of the loved 
Church at Philippi, and as one who had come in their 
stead to minister to his need. The things which he 
brought are spoken of by the apostle in this letter (Ch. 
iv. 18) as "an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, 
well-pleasing to God." To acknowledge the receipt of 
these gifts, and to express his high appreciation of them 
as tokens of the unfailing love of the Philippian s for 
him, was one object of his writing this letter. Epaphro- 
ditus seems to have been the bearer of this letter, on his 
return journey to Philippi. The reasons why Paul con- 
sidered it necessary to send him back to Philippi at this 
time are mentioned in the following verses. 

26-30. since he longed after you all, and teas sore 
troubled, because ye had heard that he teas sick : for indeed 
he 2UIS sick nigh unto death : but God had mercy on him ; 

[ 69 J 

CK. II. V. 26-30.] NOTES. 

and not on him only, hut on me also, that I might not hare 
snrroiu iiiDon sorrow. I have sent him therefore the more 
diligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and 
thai I may he tlie less sorroivful. Receive him therefore in 
the Lord ivith all joy ; and hold snch in hovor : hecaiise 
for the iDork of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding 
his life to supply that which was lacking in your service 
toward me. — Epaphroditus while in Eome had devoted 
himself to the work of Christ so unsparingly that he had 
fallen dangerously sick. He had hazarded his life in his 
attempt to do not only what on his own account he 
desired to do, but what as a representative of the 
Philippian Church he felt anxious to accomplish. He 
had desired to make up as far as possible by his own 
increased exertions that which was lacking in the help 
which his fellow-Philippians would gladly have rendered 
to Paul, if they too could have been present with him, but 
which on account of their absence they were unable to- 
give. The severe illness which befell Epaphroditus 
afforded the Philippians an opportunity to evidence the 
high esteem and Virarm affection in which he wa.s held by 
them ; for when they heard of his prostration and suffer- 
ing in that far away city, they were deeply grieved, and 
anxiously hoped for his speedy and safe return to Philippic 
And their anxiety for his recovery, coupled with their 
earnest desire to see him again as soon as he might be able 
to face the homeward journey, begot in him a like longing 
to see and be with them, and also sore trouble because 
they had been so grieved for him. Paul therefore be- 
cause he grieved with them, despatched him to them at 
the earliest possible moment, rejoicing greatly on account 
of the joy with which they would welcome him. And in 
this letter which Epaphroditus took to them from him^ 
they were told not only of the great mercy which God 
had shown toward his servant in sparing his life, but 
toward the writer also, that he might not have sorrow 
upon sorrow. Paul also reminded them of the treasure 
they possessed in having in their fellowship and united 
service for Christ such an one as Epaphroditus, whose 
companionship with him in Rome had so greatly strength- 

[ 70 ] 

NOTES. [CH. II. V. 26-30. 

ened the bonds of love between them. And he did not 
forget to exhort them to hold such a servant of Christ in 
the highest honor. 


1. FinaUij, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. — By the 
use of the word translated ' finally,' found in several of 
his letters, the apostle seems to indicate that he is about 
to bring his writing to a close. After writing, "Finally, 
brethren, farewell," in his second epistle to the Corin- 
thians, the apostle closes with a very few words of 
exhortation and salutation, followed by his apostolic bene- 
diction. In like manner the word ' finally ' occurs near 
the end of the last chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians. 
But in each of the epistles to the Thessalonians, a large 
part of the epistle follows after the occurrence of the word 
'finally,' as is the case in the epistle to the Philippians. 

The word translated "rejoice," means also "farewell," 
and it would be so translated, as it is in II. Cor. xiii. 11, 
if it w^ere not followed by the words " in the Lord." 
"This wordcombines," says Bishop Lightfoot, "a parting 
benediction with an exhortation to cheerfulness. It is 
neither 'farewell' alone, nor 'rejoice' alone." In his 
commentary on this epistle Dr. Lightfoot paraphrases 
the words thus: "And now, my brethren, I must wish 
you farewell. Rejoice in the Lord." 

"Rejoice in the Lord," or Be full of joy, says the 
apostle. For Paul there was no other joy than joy in 
the Lord. In Him he lived, in Him he walked, in Him 
he wrought, in Him he loved, and how could he rejoice 
but in Him, who was his " All?" 

After penning this exhortation, or causing it to be 
penned, the apostle seems to have been interrupted ; and 
when the writing or the dictation was resumed, instead 
of concluding his letter, as he had apparently intended 
to do, with an acknowledgment of the gifts received from 
Philippi, with salutations from himself and others, and 
his apostolic benediction, he evidently felt constrained by 
circumstances which seem to have occurred just then 
at Rome, or very recently at Philippi, and which had 

[ 71 ] 

CH. III. V. 1.] NOTES. 

annoyed him greatly, to record the severe words of 
warning against the judaizers, which immediately follow, 
and which led him finally to lengthen his epistle so con- 
siderably, to say so much in regard to himself, and to 
say perhaps more than he had at first intended to say in 
regard to the gifts which Epaphroditus had brought to 
him. How else can we explain the connection or rather 
the disconnection of the two sentences which are in- 
cluded in the first verse of the third chapter of this 
epistle ? 

To lurite the same things to you, to me indeed is not 
irksome, hut for you it is safe. — " The same things," here 
referred to, seem to be warnings like those which he pro- 
ceeds to give them in the following verse. He seems to 
imply that he had previously written to them similar 
words, but we have no knowledge of any previous letter 
written to the Philippians by him, beyond the mention 
which Polycarp in his letter to the Philippians makes of. 
" letters " which the apostle had written to them. See 
the third paragraph of his epistle. An interesting dis- 
sertation on '' Lost Epistles to the Philippians" by Dr. 
Lightfoot, can be seen in his commentary on this epistle. 

2. Beioare of the dogs, heicare of the evil workers^ 
heioare of the concision : — The Judaizing Christians, true 
to the character which the apostle here gives them, were 
ever seeking to "bite and devour" (G^l. v. 15) their 
Gentile fellow-believers. These teachers, here called 
" evil workers," are called by the apostle in II. Cor. 
xi. 13 " deceitful workers." Deceit is always and only 
evil. Their dissembling led them to seek to appear as 
true apostles, while they altogether repudiated the 
apostleship of Paul. Hence the apostle calls them 
** false apostles. . . . fashioning themselves into apostles 
of Christ." Preaching circumcision, when circumcision 
was done away by faith in Christ and by baptism 
into Christ, they were really mere mutilators of the 
flesh, Paul desired that the Philippians should be 
on their guard against all such workers, however earnest 
and zealous they might be, and so in these plain-spoken 
words he warned them against them, as he had pre- 

[ 72 1 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 2. 

viously warned the Corinthians and the Galatians, as 
also indirectly the Ephesians and the Colossians. 

3. for we are the circumciswn, — " He is not a Jew," 
said Paul to the Romans, "who is one outwardly ; neither 
is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh ; but he 
is a Jew who is one inwardly ; and circumcision is that 
of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise 
is not of men, but of God (Rom. ii. 28, 29). Thus does the 
apostle describe spiritual circumcision, which ever was 
and is a distinguishing mark of the true Israel of God. 
Here also we quote a remarkable passage from the Old 
Testament, " Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, 
that I will punish all them which are circumcised in 
uncircumcision .... for all the house of Israel are 
uncircumcised in heart (Jer. ix. 25, 26)." 

iclio iDorship by the Syirit of God, — " As many as are 
led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye 
received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear ; but ye 
received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, 
Father (Rom. viii. 15)." 

and glory in Christ Jesus, — The meaning of this clause 
is clear, but additional light may be thrown upon it by 
referring to a passage in Jeremiah (Jer. ix. 23, 24), 
which the apostle seems to have had in his mind when 
hf^ penned these words. Paul quotes in I. Cor. i. 31, the 
substance of the prophet's words in the above passage, 
after setting forth the Christian's ground for glorying 
in conformity with the meaning of the prophet. The 
passage in Jeremiah is as follows : " Thus saith the 
Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither 
let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich 
man glory in his riches : but let him that glorieth glory 
in this, that he hath understanding, and knoweth me, 
that I am Jehovah who exerciseth loving kindness, 
justice, and righteousness, in the earth : for in these 
things I delight, saith Jehovah." In the passage in 
I. Cor. i. 26-31, which closes with a reference to the 
words of Jeremiah, the apostle after requesting the 
Christians of Corinth to take cognisance of the fact in 
reference to their calling, that not many wise after the 

[ 73 ] 

CH. III. V. 3.] NOTES. 

flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, had been con- 
verted : but that God had chosen the foolish things of 
the world, that he might put to shame them that were 
wise, and weak things of the world, that he might put to 
shame the things that were strong ; and the base things 
of the world, and the things that are despised, yea, and 
the things that are not, that he might bring to nought 
the things that are ; that no flesh should glory before 
God ; then says, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who 
was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness 
and sanctification, and redemption ; that, according as 
it is written. He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 

We who glory in Christ Jesus, said Paul to the Philip- 
pians, are the true circumcision, because we, of God's 
great mercy and grace, are in Christ Jesus, who, in 
fulfilment of God's design to glorify himself in his Son and 
in his people through him, was made everything unto us. 
" Christ is all, and in all ;" therefore do we glory in him. 

a'tid have no confidence in the flesh .- — Filled with Christ, 
we are necessarily emptied of self. Finding every ex- 
cellence in him, we have turned entirely to him. Possess- 
ing in him every ground of confidence, our trust is in 
him, and in him alone. We can have no confidence in 
the flesh, because in our flesh dwelleth no good thing : 
we can have all confidence in Christ Jesus, because he is 
full of grace and truth, and because we have received 
of his fulness, grace for grace, and continue to receive 
from the same source the same bountiful and inexhausti- 
ble supplies, 

4. though I myself might have confidence even in the 
flesh : — Even in regard to the most distinctive and there- 
fore most valued Jewish rite, and in reference to that 
time element in connection with the administration of 
this rite, which gives to it its highest value ; and in 
respect of other matters, of nationality and lineage and 
tribal connection and ancestry ; and as regards my re- 
lation as a Jew to the law of Moses, and my religious 
zeal, and my personal ceremonial righteousness ; in 
regard to all these particulars, I might well boast, if I 
felt any inclination to have confidence in the flesh. 

[ 74 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 4. 

if any other man tUin'ketli to have confidence in the 
flesh, I yet more : — In reference to some of the above 
particulars, Paul felt that he could boast above all others, 
if he were so inclined. To the Galatians he said, '* I 
advanced iu the Jews' religion bej'ond many of my own 
age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly 
zealous for the traditions of my fathers." Gal. i. 14. 

5. circwncisecl the cirjhtli day, — This was according 
to the terms of the covenant which God made with 
Abraham. " He that is eight days old shall be circum- 
cised." Gen. xvii. 12. It was also according to a spe- 
cific commandment communicated to Israel through 
Moses. See Lev. xii. 3. He was therefore a child of 
the covenant. Native Jews who were thus circumcised 
were distinguished from both Ishmaelites and proselytes, 
the former being circumcised after the thirteenth year, 
and the latter in mature age. Concerning the circum- 
cision of the former, see Josephus Ant. I. 12. 2, 

of tlie stock of Israel, — To the Eomans Paul wrote, " I 
also am an Israelite (Rom. xi. 1). As his circumcision on 
the eighth day pointed him out as neither proselyte nor 
Ishmaelite, so his being '* of the stock of Israel " showed 
that he was not descended from proselytes or Ishmaelites 
or Idumeans. He was a scion of the stock of him who 
was made "A Prince of God," when his name was changed 
from Jacob to Israel, and so had the closest connection 
with " the commonwealth of Israel." He belonged to- 
the "Israel of God" — God's covenant people, ** whose," 
said Paul to the Eomans, '* is the adoption, and the glory, 
and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and 
the service of God, and the promises ; whose are the 
fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh." 
Eom. ix. 4, 5. 

of the tribe of Benjamin, — Benjamin, " the son of the 
right hand," was, along with Joseph, a child of "beau- 
tiful and well-favored" Eachel, Jacob's favorite wife; 
and he possessed this further distinction that he was born 
in the land of promise, and within sight of Bethlehem. 
When Moses before his death blessed the children of 
Israel, he said concerning Benjamin, " The beloved of 

[ 75 ] 

€H. III. V. 5.] NOTES. 

Jehovah shall dwell safely by him ; he covereth him all 
the day long, and he dwelleth between his shoulders." 
The tribe of Benjamin gave to the Israelites their first 
king. When the separation took place among the twelve 
tribe? of Israel, Benjamin alone remained faithful to 
Judah. " This tribe had from the earliest times held 
the post of honor in the armies of the nation. ' After 
thee, Benjamin' was a battle cry of Israel." Lightfoot. 
The tribe of Benjamin could boast of having within its 
territory the holy city Jerusalem and the one temple of 
Jehovah. After the captivity the tribe of Benjamin 
returned with Judah to its original seat in Palestine, 
which was not the case with the northern tribes of the 
house of Israel. It may also be mentioned that '* at a 
very early date the prediction in Jacob's blessing of 
Benjamin (Gen. xlix. 27), 'In the morning he shall 
devour the prey and at night he shall divide the spoil,' 
was applied to the persecuting zeal and later conversion 
of St. Paul." 

a Hehreio of Hebreius ; — At the very highest source of 
the race to which Paul belonged we find this patronymic, 
'Hebrew,' for in Gen. xiv. 13 we read of "Abram the 
Hebrew." There were Grecian Jews as well as Hebrew 
Jews, and the latter held themselves superior to the 
former, for while the latter, wherever born, were carefully 
educated according to Hebrew traditions and customs, 
.and rigidly retained their ancient tongue, the latter 
assimilated themselves more or less to the habits and 
thoughts of other nations, and used the Greek tongue, 
from which they were called " Hellenists." It is from 
this standpoint that we find Paul defending himself as a 
Hebrew of Hebrews in Acts xxii. 3, saying "I am a Jew, 
born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city 
(Jerusalem) at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according 
to the strictest manner of the law of our fathers." He 
would have been brought up very strictly in the place of 
his birth, had he remained there, but he had enjoyed the 
greater privilege of being brought up in Jerusalem, and at 
the feet of the most distinguished doctor of the Jewish 
law. In the record of the days immediately following 

[ 76 J 

NOTES. [CH. III. r. 5, 

Pentecost we read that *' there arose a murmuring of the 
Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows 
were neglected in the daih' ministration " of reUef, show- 
ing how the distinction was maintained between the two 
classes, even after they had been baptised in the name of 
Jesus Christ. The hostihty which was aroused by the 
preaching of Stephen was from the Grecian Jews with 
whom Saul in his opposition to the work of the apostles 
identified himself (Acts vi. 9 and viii. 1). Later on in 
connection with the mention of Saul's preaching in 
Jerusalem after his conversion, we read of his speaking 
and disputing against the Grecian Jews. Again in show- 
ing how the Hebrew Jews were distinguished from the 
Grecian, we read in regard to those that were scattered 
abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen, 
that they travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and 
Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews, 
that is. Hebrew Jews, for the statement which follows 
is that there were some of them, men of Cyprus and 
Cyrene, who when they were come to Antioch, spake 
unto the Grecian Jews also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 
It would ill become one who could not speak the Hebrew 
language to call himself a Hebrew, much less " a Heb- 
rew of Hebrews," but as Paul had every advantage as 
a pupil of the great Gamaliel, he was able to speak 
Hebrew fluently. See Acts xxi. 40 and xxii. 2. In 
his writings Paul quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures^ 
and translated his quotations for himself. Paul was also 
familiar with the Greek language and literature. The 
Chiliarch was astonished to find that this Hebrew could 
speak Greek. Acts xxi. 37. The Athenians must have 
been equally amazed to hear him on the Areopagus quo- 
ting from one of their own poets. Acts xvii. 28. Had 
Paul not been the Hebrew he was, he could not in 
his apostolic work have confuted the Judaizers as he 
did, and had he not been at home as a Greek-speaking 
Jew, he would not have been qualified as he was to do 
bis Heaven-appointed work as the apostle of the Gentiles. 
as touching the Imc, a Pharisee ; — Up to this point Paul 
had spoken of his inherited privileges. What he has 

[ 77 ] 

jCU. III. V. 5.] NOTES. 

further to say about himself, he says from a purely 
religious point of view. The Pharisees were not only 
loyal to orthodox Judaism ; they were intense religionists. 
They were enthusiasts, and many of them were fanatics 
in religion. They dogged the steps of Christ as fault- 
finders and persecutors during all his ministry. The 
name Pharisee is prol^ably derived from the verb pdrasli, 
meaning to separate. The Pharisees were the " separ- 
ated" ones, or separatists. They were characterised 
by their devotion to the Mosaic law — this law, however, 
as overlaid and interpreted by wellnigh interminable 
traditions, which had to a very great extent the effect of 
nullifying the law itself. Paul appears to have allied 
himself with the extremists among the Pharisees, who 
were known as " Zealots." To the Galatians he wrote 
thus of his past life : " I advanced in the Jews' religion 
beyond many of mine own age among my countrymen, 
being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my 
fathers." To King Agrippa Paul said, '' After the strait- 
est sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." Before the 
council at Jerusalem he said, "Brethren, I am a Phari- 
see, a son of Pharisees." Nothing could be made clearer 
than this fact which he by his reiterated statements 
concerning himself set forth, that he had been " out and 
out" a Pharisee. 

6. as touching zeal, persecuting the church; — "Be- 
yond measure I persecuted the church of God, and made 

havoc of it (devastated it)." Gal. i. 13. "I am 

not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the 
<}hurch of God." I. Cor. xv. 9. "I persecuted this Way 
unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both 
men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me 
witness, and all the estate of the elders : from whom 
.also I received letters unto the brethren, and journeyed 
to Damascus to bring them also that were there unto 
Jerusalem in bonds to be punished." Acts xxii. 4, 5. 
" I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that 
believed on thee : and when the blood of Stephen thy 
witness was shed, I also was standing by, and consent- 
ing, and keeping the garments of them that slew him." 

[ 78 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 6. 

Acts xxii. 19, 20. It is to be noted that the word in the 
last verse just quoted, which is translated "consenting," 
means approving. In the Authorised Version the same 
word is translated ** have pleasure " in Kom. i. 32. 
Saul's guilt in approving of the stoning to death of Ste- 
phen is brought more prominently to view in Acts. viii. 1. 
On Paul's own authority he himself seems to be put 
down in this record as the chief of the murderers of 
Stephen. Those who actually threw the stones may have 
acted more or less blindly, but he was acting intelli- 
gently, and taking pleasure in what was being done with 
his sanction. What Paul had said to the crowd from the 
castle stairs in Jerusalem he afterwards reiterated before 
king Agrippa in Cyesarea : " I verily thought with myself 
that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of 
Jesus of Nazareth. And this I also did in Jerusalem : and 
I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having 
received authority from the chief priests, and when they 
were put to death I gave my vote against them. And 
punishing them oftentimes in all the synagogues, I strove 
to make them blaspheme ; and being exceedingly mad 
against them, I persecuted them even unto foreign cities." 
In this was literally fulfilled what Jesus had said, 
" They shall put you out of the synagogues : yea, the 
hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you shall think 
that he otfereth service unto God." John xvi. 2. 

as touching the righteousness ivhAcli is in the laiu, 
found blameless. — By the righteousness which is in the 
law, Paul meant that righteousness which is the result 
of rendering perfect obedience to the law, and which 
meets with its own reward, according as it is written, 
"Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judg- 
ments : which if a man do, he shall live in them." 
Lev. xviii, 5. In his epistle to the Romans, Paul thus 
refers to the w^ords of Scripture just quoted, '• Moses 
writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which 
is of the law shall live thereby." Rom. x. 5. If it w^ere 
possible for any man to keep the whole law and not 
offend in any particular, he would earn a righteousness 
which he could call his own ; and on account of this 

[ 79 ] 

CH. III. l\ 7.] NOTES. 

personal righteousness life would be his of right. Paul 
had once been blind enough to think that by his own deeds 
he had fulfilled the conditions necessary to entitle him to 
live before God. Like the young ruler who said to Christ, 
"All these things have I observed from my youth up. 
What lack I yet?" he considered himself "blameless" 
before the law of God. When Paul says of himself that 
he was ** found blameless," his meaning is that he had 
shown himself to be such, even in respect of being free 
from sins of omission. He had not only observed all 
the prohibitions of the law, but he had fulfilled all the 
requirements expressed in its positive commands. In all 
respects he was in his own estimation " found blameless." 
In all that the designation ' Pharisee' could be considered 
as standing for, Paul was perfect. 

7. Hoiubeit ichat things ivere gain to me, these have I 
counted loss for Christ. — What sort of things were gains 
to me, or the sort of things which were gains to me, 
namely, such things as I have enumerated, these have I 
counted loss, that is, I no longer regard them as my assets 
in my account with God, I take no account of these 
whatever; in fact, I regard them as utterly valueless, on 
account of, or for the sake of Christ. 

8. Yea verily, and I count all things to he loss for the 
excellency of the hioivledge of Christ Jesus my Lord :— 
This statement is similar to that in the seventh verse, the 
only difference being that it is stronger, and is introduced 
with great emphasis. There he said, "what things;" 
here he says, " all things." There he said, " I have 
counted;" here he says, " I count," showing the continu- 
ance and permanence or finality of the reckoning which he 
had made. There he simply said, " on account of Christ ; " 
here he says, " on account of the excellency of the knowl- 
edge of Christ Jesus my Lord." It was the revelation 
of Christ to him which had produced this entire revolu- 
tion in his thoughts. And he could not speak of the knowl- 
edge of Christ which had come to him without calling it 
"the excellency of the knowledge of Christ." Moreover 
the expansion of the single term Christ into the 
expression " Christ .Jesus my Lord," showed that Christ 

I 80 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 8. 

had become to Paul not merely what he became to 
Thomas when he exclaimed, " My Lord and My God ! " 
but intinitely more. 

for u'hom I suffered the loss of all tilings, and do count 
them hut refuse, that I may gain Christ, — Here the word 
" all " translated " all things " is accompanied by the 
definite article, and so refers back to the "all things" 
of the preceding clause, and to "what things" in the 
previous verse. The loss which Paul suffered was the 
loss of those things in the possession of which he had 
formerly prided himself. The loss here spoken of was a 
"confiscation," as Dr. Lightfoot expresses it. The 
apostle here gives his present estimate of those things 
which he formerly valued so highly. They are now but 
despicable refuse, or offensive offal. The confiscation of 
Paul's formerly so precious property had resulted in a 
great gain, and the gain which had accrued to him 
would be an ever-increasing one. Paul could now 
say, * Christ is mine,' but as his Christian course was 
not finished, he chose rather to speak of Christ as a 
prize, the obtaining of which was a blessedness which 
awaited him. 

What could be finer than this from Bishop Hall : " To 
gain Christ, to lay fast hold upon Him, to receive Him 
inwardly into our bosoms, and so to make Him ours and 
ourselves His, that we may be joined to Him as our 
Head, espoused to Him as our Husband, incorporated 
into Him as our Nourishment, engrafted in Him as our 
Stock, and laid upon Him as a sure Foundation." 

" The term * Christ ' seems to denote Him in every 
aspect, and to win Him is to enjoy Him in every aspect. 
It is to have Him as mine, and to feel that in comparison 
with such a possession all else may be regarded as truly 
loss. To the apostle, Christ was so identified with the 
truth, that when he gained Him he gained the highest 
knowledge ; so identified with life, that when he gained 
Him he was endowed with the noblest form of it ; and so 
identified with spiritual influence, that when he gained 
Him his whole nature was filled with power and glad- 
ness." Eadie. 

[ 81 ] F 

CH. III. V. 9.] NOTES. 

9. and be found in him, — When ? At Christ's second 
appearing, to which Paul looked forward with fervent 
and boundless expectation. Christ had been revealed in 
him, when he first appeared to him, and as Christ and 
he were henceforth one and inseparable, he anticipated 
the joy of being found in him when he should see him. 
And he goes on to explain what his hope was as to the 
condition in which he would then be found. 

not having a righteousness of mine oion, even that tvhich 
is of the latv, — This was his supposed obedience thereto, 
which now seemed to him to be but " filthy rags." " We 
are all become as one that is unclean, and all our right- 
eousnesses are as filthy rags (Authorised Version), or, as 
a polluted garment (Eevised Version)." 

b2it that ivJiich is through, faith in Christ, the right- 
eousness which is from God. by faith : — When Paul ex- 
pressed the hope of gaining Christ, and of being found in 
him, not having his own righteousness, but that which is 
through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from 
God by faith, he declared his expectation that while he 
would be justified through faith in Christ, this also 
meant that when he as a believer in Christ would be 
found in him, he would in him stand justified before 
God. This then explains the two expressions found in 
Gal. ii. 16, 17, "justified by faith in Christ," and "justi- 
fied in Christ." The believer in Christ being inseparable 
from Christ by reason of his union with him, his justifi- 
cation while set forth as the result of his faith, is also 
the necessary consequence of his standing as a new 
creature in Christ, "It is only by becoming one with 
Christ, that Christ's righteousness can become our right* 
eousness." Lightfoot. 

10. that I may know him. — In our English Versions 
the construction of the passage of which this clause forms 
a part, from the eighth to the eleventh verse inclusive; 
is such as to lead one to suppose that in each of the 
clauses translated, "that I may gain Christ," " be found 
in him," " that I may know him," " I may attain 
unto the resurrection from the dead," the same 
Greek forms of moods and tenses are to be found ; 

[ 82 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 10. 

which, however, is not the case. The forms of the 
verbs translated " may gain," " be found," that is, 
may be found, and " may attain " are all subjunctives, 
whereas the form of the verb which is translated " may 
know," is not a subjunctive, but an infinitive preceded 
by the article in the genitive case. This is significant, 
and its significance seems clearly revealed when we 
study the connection of the passage throughout ; for this 
infinitive form of the verb preceded as it is with the article 
in the genitive case, is evidently linked with the genitive 
form of the word translated knowledge in the eighth 
verse, while the portion of the text which intervenes 
may be regarded as a parenthesis. We would then 
translate the passage as follows : "Yea verily, and I count 
all things to be loss for (or because of) the excellency 
(the surpassing worth) of the knowledge (which I have 
obtained) of Christ Jesus my Lord : [for whom I have 
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but 
refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, 
not having a righteousness of mine own, that which is of 
the law, but that w^hich is through faith in Christ, the 
righteousness which is from God by faith] : (the surpass- 
ing worth, I say) of knowing him, and the power of his 
resurrection, etc. Such extended parentheses are quite 
in the style of Paul's writing, but sometimes his meaning 
cannot be made entirely clear in a translation without 
supplying words not in the ttxt. The necessity of sup- 
plying any words is avoided by translating the verb in 
the infinitive mood as if it were a subjunctive, as our 
English translators did, and they have given us a 
translation which reads smoothly, but thereby the sense 
of the passage has been obscured. And the reader 
will observe that the smoothness in the translation 
disappears when in the reading of the passage, the 
parenthetical clause, beginning with the words " for 
whom," and extending to the end of the ninth verse, is 

This translation of the infinitive form of the verb ' to 
know' preceded by the article in the genitive case, as 
given in our English Versions, is defended by Bishop 

[ 83 ] 

CH. III. V. 10.] NOTES. 

Ellicott, but against it and in favor of the other translation, 
given above, are Winer, De Wette and others. 

and the yoioer of his resicrrectioii, — This and the follow- 
ing clauses are explanatory of the way by which the 
apostle sought to realise more and more of the excellence 
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. He had 
died with Christ on the cross, as he told the Galatians 
(Gal. ii. 20), and his crucifixion with Christ meant cruci- 
fixion to sin. The risen Lord lived in him, as he also 
said to the Galatians in the same connection, and this 
meant in him " newness of life." These realities of the 
Christian life (for Paul's experiences were not solitary) 
the apostle sought to impress upon the Eoman and 
Colossian Christians in his letters addressed to them. 
" Are ye ignorant," said he to the Eomans, " that all we 
who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into 
his death ? " As Christ died and was buried, so we who 
were baptised into him were through baptism into death 
buried along with him. " Buried with him in baptism " 
were we, said he to the Colossians ; but in this same 
baptism, went he on to say to them, *' ye were also raised 
with him through faith in the working of God who raised 
him from the dead." To the Eomans also Paul explained 
that union with Christ in his death and burial through 
their baptism into him, meant also, through this same 
baptism into him, their union with him in his resurrection. 
And then he went on further to explain that they and he 
who had thus become united with the likeness of Christ's 
death, should also be united with the likeness of his 
resurrection, that is, they should become like Christ their 
risen and glorified Lord. Therefore after saying to them 
that they should no longer be in bondage to sin, but 
should be wholly released from it, even as Christ was 
released from the dominion of death and the grave, he 
exhorted them thus : " Even so reckon ye also yourselves 
to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." 
And to the same purpose Paul exhorted the Colossians, 
saying to them, " If then ye were raised together with 
Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is 
seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the 

[ 84 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 10. 

things that are above, not on the things that are upon 
the earth. For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ 
in God. When Christ, our life, shall be manifested, then 
shall ye also with him be manifested in glory. Put to 
-death therefore your members which are upon the earth ; 
, . . seeing that ye have put off the old man with his 
doings, and have put on the new man, that is being 
renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that 
created him." 

It was in accord with this teaching and exhorting of 
others that the apostle in writing to the Philippians gave 
•expression to the yearning of his own heart that he might 
through experiencing in his life more and more of the 
power of Christ's resurrection, realise to a greater and 
greater extent the surpassing value of his glorious 

and the felloicship of his sufferings, — The apostle of the 
Gentiles early learned that what God had at the time of 
his conversion said to Ananias concerning him, namely, 
^* I will show him how many things he must suffer for my 
name's sake," was said in love, and in token of God's 
special favor to him, for he soon came to know that suf- 
fering for Christ served to unite him more closely to 
Christ, and so to make him more Christ-like. Accord- 
ingly he w^rote to the Corinthians, " As the sufferings of 
Christ abound unto us, even so our comfort also aboundeth 
through Christ." This he remarked concerning himself 
and all other Christians ; and then with special reference 
to those to whom he was then writing, he added, ' Our 
hope for you is stedfast ; knowing that, as ye are par- 
takers of the sufferings, so also are ye of the comfort." 
At the time w^hen he knew not what day he might be 
led forth from his Eoman prison to be beheaded he wrote 
to his beloved child Timothy as follows : " Eemember 
Jesus Christ, risen from the dead .... according to my 
gospel : wherein I suffer hardship unto bonds, as a male- 
factor ; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I 
■endure all things for the elect's sake, that they also may 
obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal 
glory. Faithful is the saying : For if we died with him, 

[ 85 ] 

CH. III. V. 10.] NOTES. 

we shall also live with him : if we endure, we shall reign 
with him." 

The apostle Peter, and James the brother of the Lord, 
both of whom, if the traditions concerning them are true, 
suffered martyrdom, each in a signal manner for the sake 
of Christ, were imbued with the same feelings which 
Paul had in relation to sufferings which Christians were 
called to endure as Christians. Peter, full of sympathy 
for his suffering brethren, wrote thus to them, "Beloved, 
think it not strange concerning the fiery trial among you, 
which Cometh upon 3^ou to prove you, as though a strange 
thing happened unto you : but inasmuch as ye are par- 
takers of Christ's sufferings, rejoice ; that at the revela- 
tion of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. 
If ye are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are 
ye; because tbe Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God 
resteth upon you. For let none of you suffer as a 
murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in 
other men's matters : but if a man suffer as a Christian, 
let hira not be ashamed ; but let him glorify God in this 

In the same manner James the Just also wrote to the 
same persecuted brethren of the dispersion, emphasising 
the privilege of suffering which the}" for Christ's sake 
were undergoing : " Count it all joj, my brethren," said 
he to them, " when ye fall into manifold trials ; knowing 
that the proving of your faith worketh patience. And let 
patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect 
and entire, lacking in nothing. Blessed is the man that 
endureth trial ; for when he hath been approved, he shall 
receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to 
them that love him." 

Among the passages in Paul's epistles which bear upon 
this subject is a very remarkable one, found in Col. i. 24,. 
which must not be passed over. " Now I rejoice, " says 
the apostle, " in mj^ sufferings for your sake, and fill up 
on my part that which is lacking of the afflictions of 
Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the 
church." What are "the afflictions of Christ," of 
which Paul here speaks ? What does he mean when 

[ 86 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 10. 

he speaks of "that which is lacking" in Christ's 
afflictions ? What connection was there between Paul's 
suii'erings and Christ's afflictions, and how could 
his sufterings be spoken of as the complement of 
the afflictions of Christ ? We cannot perceive what 
Paul's meaning in this passage is until we clearly 
understand his teaching concerning the great musterion, 
of which he so often speaks, and concerning which he 
says so much. Of this vnisterion (secret) he speaks in 
the passage which immediately follows the words we are 
considering. " Whereof (that is, of which Church, just 
spoken of as Christ's Body) I was," says he, " made a 
minister, according to the stewardship of God which was 
given me to you-ward, to fulfil the word of God, even the 
musterion which hath been hid for ages and generations ; 
but now hath it been manifested to his saints, to whom God 
was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory 
of this musterion among the Gentiles, which is Christ in 
you the hope of glory." The English word ' mystery ' 
as a translation of the Greek word musterion is misleading. 
In a Greek lexicon of New Testament words, which I 
now have before me, I find the word m-usterion defined as 
" a matter to the knowledge of which initiation is neces- 
sary ; a secret which would remain such but for revela- 
tion." Paul who uses this word so often does not use it 
without telling us what riches of meaning it contains. 
It is sufficient for our present purpose to take the defini- 
tion of this term which the apostle gives in the closing 
words of the passage in Colossians which I have just 
quoted. " Which (musterion),'' says he, *• is Christ in 
you." All those who are united to Christ by faith are 
spoken of in the epistles of Paul as being " in Christ;" 
and the counterpart of this truth is, that Christ 
is in all those who by a living faith are joined to him. 
For want of a better name to denote the intimate union 
which exists between Christ and his people, the term 
''mystical Pinion'' is used, the word mystical being 
derived from the Greek word musterion ; but in reference 
to this term what the apostle says must ever be borne in 
mind, namely, that the musterion which was hidden for 

[ 87 ] 

CH. III. V. 10.] NOTES. 

ages and generations has now been manifested to God's 
saints, to whom he has been pleased to make known its 
meaning, the principal part of which is that Christ is in 
them, which truth, he tells us, reveals the riches of its 

We can now with this light to guide us seek for 
answers to the questions above stated, the first of which 
is, What are the afflictions of Christ, spoken of by Paul ? 
Christ as embodied in his people is to be thought of as 
still on earth, and therefore when his people are afflicted, 
Christ in them is to be thought of as bearingj these 
afflictions, which afflictions, on account of his oneness 
with his people, are most truly his. This explains 
what Jesus meant when his voice arrested the perse- 
cuting Saul of Tarsus, saying, " Saul, Saul, why 
persecutest thou me ? " When Saul recognised the fact 
that a divine voice had spoken to him, and inquired, 
*• Who art thou. Lord ? " the answer came, " I am Jesus 
whom thou persecutest." Again, we see that Paul when 
writing to the Eomans recognised the fact that Christ 
was still a sufferer in this w^orld, in saying, "If so 
be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified 
with him," Whenever, then, any one of Christ's people 
suffers for Christ's sake, Christ himself in that servant of 
his is a sufferer. And was it not thus before Christ's 
advent, even as it has been and continues to be, since in 
bodily form he left this world, though God's people 
of old understood not, as we now understand the 
meaning of his Word spoken to them ? Hear Isaiah 
the prophet saying, " I w411 make mention of the loving- 
kindness of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah 
hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness towards the 
house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them accord- 
ing to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his 
lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely, they ai-e my peo- 
ple, children that will not deal falsely : so he was their 
Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the 
angel of his presence saved them : in his love and in his 
pity he redeemed them ; and he bear them, and carried 
them all the days of old." Is. Ixiii. 7, 9. 

[ 88 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 10. 

What the apostle meant when he spoke of that 
which was lacking in Christ's atiiictions, was that other 
aifiictions than those which he endured in the days of 
his flesh remained to be borne by him as he, embodied 
in his people, would bear them, so long as any of the 
members of his Body, the Church, should be found in 
this world. 

There is the most intimate connection between the 
afHictions which Christ is now enduring, and those suffer- 
ings which his people are bearing for his sake, since in the 
one case it is Christ in them who is aiiflicted, and in the 
other it is they in Christ who suffer. The sufferings are 
in fact identical, on account of the oneness of the sufferers. 
Hence the sufferings which those who are in Christ en- 
dure can as Paul teaches us be considered the comple- 
ment or filling up of the afflictions which remained to be 
endured by the members of Christ's Body still in the 
world after the Saviour's return to glory. 

Is it any wonder that Paul considered it a privilege — 
yea, the very highest of privileges — to suffer for Christ, 
after such a revelation of his oneness with Christ had 
been vouchsafed to him ? Can we wonder that the aged 
*' prisoner of Christ" at Eome, who was himself so joyfully 
suffering for Christ, wrote to his child Timothy in the last 
communication which he sent to him, " Suffer hardship 
wuth the gospel ; " and again, " Take thy part in suffering 
hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus ;" and 
yet again before closing his letter, " Suffer hardship, 
do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry." Timo- 
thy was not physically strong, and Paul did not forget his 
"often infirmities;" but spiritual strength was what he 
most needed for the endurance of hardship for Christ, as 
Paul well knew. Therefore when he said to him, " Suffer 
hardship with the gospel, " he added to his exhortation 
this qualification, " according to the power of God." 
Then again before repeating the exhortation, he said, 
" Thou therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace 
that is in Christ Jesus." 

becoming conformed unto his death ;— Paul longed for 
■complete identification with Christ in his sufferings, 

[ B9 ] 

CH. III. V. 10.] NOTES. 

and therefore desired to die such a death as Christ died. 
As Paul, while he lived, bore branded on his body the 
marks of Jesus, so he hoped that, by the manner of his 
death, the marks of Jesus would be even more distinctly 
branded upon him. We cannot doubt that Paul gloried 
in being able to write to Timothy, " I am suffering hard- 
ship unto bonds, as a malefactor," for he realised that 
there was in this a high degree of blessedness. A still 
higher degree of blessedness, however, would be realised 
by his suffering hardship unto death as a malefactor, for 
thus would his entire assimilation to Christ in suffering 
be attained. 

11. if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection 
from the dead. — Above in speaking of his gaining Christ,, 
the apostle had joined the thought of gaining him with 
the thought of his being found in him at the resurrection, 
showing that he felt that only the resurrection day would 
prove that he had in reality gained Christ. That day 
was the day on which the victory he had won in the 
battle with sin and Satan would be declared. That was 
the day toward which as a goal he was running the 
Christian race. It was not the general resurrection to 
which Paul looked forward with such earnest expectation. 
That will be to some " the resurrection of life," while to 
others it will be ''the resurrection of condemnation." 
John v. 29. It was that resurrection, which to all who 
shall participate in it will be the resurrection of life^ 
called in Luke xiv. 14, " the resurrection of the just," 
and in Kev. xx. 5, **the first resurrection," to which 
Paul looked with such eager interest. It was revealed 
to Paul as well as to John that blessed and holy is he 
who hath part in this first resurrection ; for by the spirit 
of revelation it was given to Paul to declare that at that 
time the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a 
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the 
trump of God, and that then the dead in Christ shall rise 
first, and also that then those who are alive, who are left,, 
shall together with the dead in Christ be caught up in the 
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and to be thenceforth 
for ever with him. I. Thess. iv. 16, 17. 

[ 90 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 11. 

To complete the exposition of this clause it is necessary 
to point out two things of deepest interest in connection 
with the Greek text. The first of these is that in the 
Greek, for example in I. Cor, xv. 42, the general resur- 
rection is spoken of as simply " the resurrection of the 
dead ; " whereas the resurrection of Christ and of those 
who are his is described as "the resurrection from the 
dead," or "the resurrection that is from the dead," 
implying a separation of some from others among the 
dead, and a selection, from among the dead, of those who 
are worthy to be first raised up. But that which calls 
for special notice in this connection is the fact that, in 
the clause before us, the utmost emphasis which the 
Greek language enabled the apostle to employ is here 
called into requisition by him in speaking of that resur- 
rection which was to him the goal of all his aspirations. 
Not only does the definite article 'the' both precede and 
follow the word resurrection in this place, but the 
preposition 'from,' which is connected with the word 
' dead,' is also joined to the word resurrection to strengthen 
it. Thus was redoubled emphasis used by Paul to set 
forth the grandness of that attainment which he antici- 
pated would be realised by him on that day when Christ 
should appear the second time without sin unto salvation, 
and when he, a sinner saved by grace, should appear with 
him in glorj*. 

12. Not that III ave already obtained, — The apostle did 
not wish to be misunderstood ; therefore he restated his 
case. He did not wish the Philippians to think of him 
as circumstanced otherwise than they were. He, like 
them, was yet running the Christian race. He had not 
yet obtained the prize. 

or am already made ])erfect : — In the whole history of 
the human race only one man had been made perfect 
w^hile on earth. He, the single exception, on account of 
having been made perfect, became unto all them that 
obey him the author or cause of eternal salvation. Paul 
was like him, but the likeness was not yet perfect. 
Greater likeness to Christ was what he was ever striving 
after, but there was yet a great distance between him and 

[ 91 ] 

•CH. III. V. 12.] NOTES. 

Christ to be overtaken. When the most Christ-hke man 
on earth was so far from saying that he had akeady been 
made perfect, who else is there that can truthfully say., 
'* I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ?" 
Perhaps the apostle John was as Christ-like as Paul. 
And what has he to say on this subject? Is he any the 
less emphatic than Paul in disclaiming perfection for the 
life which he was living? Here is the most decided 
pronouncement of this, like Paul, Heaven-taught man, 
in reference to this matter. "This," says he, "is the 
message which we have heard from him, and announce 
unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at 
all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and 
walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth : but 
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have 
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his 
Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no 
■sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to 
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unright- 
-eousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make 
him a liar, and his word is not in us." 

hut I i)res8 on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for 
tvhich also I icas laid hold on by Christ Jesus. — In order 
to feel the force of the apostle's language in this passage, 
it is necessarj^ to understand the metaphor which he here 
employs. Before Paul's eye when he penned these words 
was the picture of the runners in the foot-race in the 
-Grecian amphitheatre. At the end of the stadium, or 
<50urse marked off for the contestants, stood the winning- 
post, on which was hung the wreath to be given to him 
who first reached the goal. Those to whom Paul was 
writing were as familiar as he was with the scenes 
which were called up by a reference to the Corinthian 
games. Paul's metaphorical language therefore present- 
•ed most vividly to the minds of the Philippians the fore- 
most runner in the race as he was nearing the end of the 
course and about to lay hold upon the crown. Like him 
am I, was the apostle's meaning, when he said to them, 
I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that prize that 

[ 92 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 12. 

is before me. That prize was salvation — the salvation that 
is in Christ Jesus. To stop short of the goal would mean 
to lose the prize. To relax his efforts would mean to en- 
danger his prospects. Therefore he pressed on with un- 
flagging ardor. Using the same figure in writing to the 
Corinthians, Paul said, " I therefore so run, as not uncer- 
tainly." No element of uncertainty could be allowed to- 
dim his hope. That must remain as bright as any 
effort of his could make it. Therefore his struggle 
must continue to the end. But the thought of his 
laying hold on the prize brought to his mind an- 
other thought w^hich w^as to him most encouraging 
and comforting, namely that of Christ's having laid 
hold on him ; without which laying hold on him on 
the part of his Saviour, his own laying hold on Christ 
would be but a vain effort. God's gifts and God's calling 
are not repented of, as Paul said to the Eomans. 
Therefore his hope of eternal life and salvation rested 
upon a firm foundation. Paul often recounted how Christ 
had laid hold on him at the time of his conversion, how 
as he was drawing near to Damascus and was breathing 
out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the 
Lord, that same Lord stopped him ; how by a light out 
of heaven which suddenly shone round about him he was 
stricken to the ground ; how through a voice speaking to 
him Jesus was revealed to him ; how he surrendered 
himself to Christ, and becam^ at once a new creature in 
him. All this was recalled as he wrote to the Philippians 
and said to them, "I was laid hold on by Christ 

13. Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid 
Jiold : — The apostle desired to bring this matter home to 
the PhiUppians, and especially to any of them who might 
be affected by antinomian influences, and who might be 
inclined to rest upon past experiences and feel secure. 
* Once saved, for ever saved, w^iatever the life after 
conversion may be,' is a soul-destroying creed. Paul did 
not wish that any of the Phihppians should hold to such 
a belief. Therefore with all the force of his example 
he sought to prevent them from becoming lax in 

[ 93 ] 

CH. III. V. 13.] NOTES. 

their Christian lives. Brethren, said he, I count not 
myself yet to have laid hold. Salvation is not mine even, 
if now I cease to strive to gain the crown. The prize is 
given only to those who press on to the end of life for 
the pm^pose of secm-ing it. No, I have not yet reached 
the goal. 

but one thing I do, forgetting the things lohich arc 
behind^ and stretching foriuard to the things lohich arc 
before, {14) I press on toward, the goal unto the prize of the 
high calling of God in Christ Jesus. — The construc- 
tion of the Greek in these verses seems to indicate 
that the " one thing " in the thirteenth verse is 
the prize described at the end of the fourteenth verse. 
In a free translation the meaning may be express- 
ed thus: 'Not yet indeed is the prize in my grasp: 
but for this one thing — the prize of the high call- 
ing of God in Christ Jesus — I press on in the race 
toward the goal, forgetting indeed the things that are 
behind, and stretching forward to the things that are 
before.' According to the metaphor the things that were 
behind were the stages of the course already passed ; 
and the things that were before were the steps that re- 
mained to be taken before the apostle's course should be 
finished. That portion of the course which absorbed all 
the attention and called forth all the exertion of each 
competitor in the race in the Grecian amphitheatre was 
the portion which at any stage of progress still remained 
to be done. 

15. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, he thus 
minded: — The word here translated "perfect" is the 
same as that which in I. Cor. xiv, 20 is rendered " men." 
*' Brethren," said Paul to the Corinthians, " be not 
children in mind : howbeit in malice be ye babes, but 
in mind be men." Babes and children are immature, 
while persons who have grown to manhood and woman- 
hood have usually at the same time attained to 
a good degree of intelligence. The members of the 
Corinthian Church had not yet attained to Christian man- 
hood and womanhood. In spiritual understanding they 
were yet babes. In his first letter to them, speaking of 

[ 94 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 15. 

having visited them, and of the condition in which he 
then found them spiritually, the apostle wrote as follows : 
^' And I, brethren, could not (when I came to you) speak 
unto you as unto spiritual (persons), butfl was obliged to 
speak unto you) as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. 
I fed you wnth milk, not with meat ; for ye were not yet 
able to bear it (or to assimilate it) : nay, not even now are 
ye able; for ye are yet carnal." It is plain that what hin- 
dered their growth in spiritual understanding was their 
carnality, which engendered jealousy and strife, and 
caused them to walk after the manner of the people of the 
world. See I. Cor. ii. 1 and iii. 1-3. Having thus as- 
certained the meaning of the w^ord translated " perfect," 
as the apostle sometimes used it, we return to the 
text before us, and following the order of the words 
in the Greek, translate thus : ' As many then (in the 
Philippian Church) as are men, that is, persons of mature 
understanding, let us be thus minded.' Let us, as is 
proper, entertain the view of the Christian life which, as 
illustrated by my own example, I have now presented 
to you. The apostle well knew that there were those in 
the Church in Philippi (and it is not improbable that they 
comprised the majority) who would with heart and soul 
respond to his exhortation. At the same time his 
language implied that not all in the Philippian Church 
might, from want of knowledge and experience, be entirely 
prepared to coincide with him in his view of what the 
Christian race demanded, especially in respect to the 
strenuousness upon which he laid such particular em- 
phasis. It is not improbable that some of the Philippians 
were influenced to a greater or less extent by the Juda- 
izing teachers in their midst, whose insistance upon the 
necessity of adhering to Mosaic ceremonies, could only 
have the effect of creating a worldly and un spiritual 
disposition of mind, as it would, in so far as they were 
affected by it, lead them away from Christ. Yet in regard 
to these the apostle could not but hope that his exhor- 
tation, enforced4Dy his example, would not be entirely in 
vain, since they too entertained the highest regard for 
him as a Heaven-sent teacher. 

[ 95 ] 

CH. III. V. 15.] NOTES. 

That the word here translated " perfect " in our English 
Versions was used by the apostle in the sense which we 
usually attach to it, and that as thus used it was meant 
to convey " reproachful irony," as Dr. Lightfoot supposes, 
we cannot believe, since such a meaning would be out of 
harmony with the context, and does not accord with the 
idea which the tenor of the epistle throughout leads us 
to form concerning the character of the Philippian Chris- 
tians. Dr. Eadie's view seems to be the correct one. 
He says, " The perfect ones, among whom, by the idiom he 
employs, he (the apostle) places himself, are those who 
have burst the fetters of intellectual and spiritual 
bondage ; who have made some advancement in the 
divine life ; who are acquainted with the higher forms of 
truth, and are no strangers to the impulses and powers 
of divine grace ; who are the circumcision ; who, by the 
Spirit, worship God ; who are conscious of union with 
Christ, of possessing righteousness through faith in him, 
and some measure of conformity to him, and who cherish 
through him the hope of a happy resurrection. The per- 
fect one was only in the w^ay of being perfected ; none 
knew his imperfection so much, or felt it so deeply, and 
therefore he strove with quenchless ardor to move fleetly 
onward to the end of the race, and obtain the crown. 
The imperfect are those w^hose minds had not been 
able so fully to rise above all confidence in the flesh ; 
who still thought circumcision might not be wholly with- 
out value ; w^ho would scruple to count all such things 
dead and positive loss, but hankered after some of them ; 
and who, in formally renouncing them, secretly or un- 
awares clung to them, and might not distinctly compre- 
hend the freeness, adaptation, and perfection of that right- 
eousness which is through the faith of Christ. Thev 
could not be perfect runners in that course which the 
apostle has traced, for they had not laid aside ' every 
weight.' They were entangled at every step, and progress 
was impeded." 

and if in anything ye are othenvise minded, this also shall 
God reveal unto you : — To be " otherwise minded" means 
to be of a mind contrary to that which the apostle had 

[ 96 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 15. 

showed them was his ; and that would at once appear to 
those who were thoughtful and prayerful to be a very 
serious difference indeed. If the apostle was right, as 
they could not doubt, then they were certainly wrong in 
being otherwise minded. The apostle was undoubtedly 
divinely guided and impelled, and therefore it would 
behoove them also to seek guidance and constraint from 
the same divine source. The apostle sought to lead in 
the right way those whose minds had in any degree been 
wrongly influenced, but he knew that until God himself 
should reveal unto them the truth, they would never be 
able to perceive it. In his light alone would they be able 
to see light. 

16. only, ivhereunto ivc have attained, hy that same 
rule let us loalk. — The apostle continued to class himself 
with those whom he was seeking to lead in the way of 
Christian progress. They could not fail to be impressed 
with the fact that Paul's attainments in the knowledge of 
Christ and in the experience of salvation were marvellous, 
and also that the greatness of his Christian attainment 
was due solely to this, that he had walked by a rule 
which Christ himself had shown him. How reasonable 
then it would appear even to the erring Philippians that 
they should seek to walk as their apostolic teacher w^as 
walking, and leading the way for them. 

17. Brethren, he ye imitators together of me, and mark 
them that so toalk even as ye have us for an ensample. — 
What Paul had already virtually expressed in speaking of 
his own aspirations and exertions as a follower of Christ, 
he now utters in direct and plain words of exhortation. 
" Brethren," said he, " vie with each other in imitating 
me." Those among the Philippians who were half- 
hearted and lax as Christians would be touched by the 
apostle's addressing them as his brethren. It is beauti- 
ful to see how Paul, after placing himself in the fore- 
ground as worthy of imitation, immediately withdraws 
from that position by associating with himself, as examples 
to be copied, those who had been his devoted partners in 
work in Philippi. The quick transition from " me " to 
" us" is characteristic of the fervent and yet profoundly 
humble apostle. 

[ 97 ] G 

CH. III. V. 18.] NOTES. 

18. For many icalk, of luhom I told you often, and 
noiu tell you even iveeping, that they are the enemies of the 
cross of Christ : — These were the people against whom he 
had already in this letter warned the Philippian Church, 
saying, " Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil- 
workers, beware of the concision," See Ch. iii. 2. 
In connection with the giving of this repeated warn- 
ing he told the Philippians that the repetition of it 
was not irksome to him, and the reason was that he 
. deeply felt the necessity of it. Often had the warning 
been repeated, he now reminds them, as he recurs again 
to the painful subject. How very painful it was for him 
to say what he felt bound to say again, his tears of sorrow 
could testify. , It may be that some of his tears had fallen 
upon the paper on which this letter was written, and if 
so, the stains thus caused would bear witness to the truth 
of what he said as to the deep feeling which his words ex- 
pressed. These Judaizers (for he doubtless referred to 
them) while professing to trust in Christ for salvation 
and calling themselves Christians, were in truth Christ's 
enemies, yea, enemies even of his cross ; for if what they 
said was true, that it was necessary to be circumcised in 
order to be saved (See Acts xv. 1), then virtually 
circumcision took the place of Christ as a Saviour. They 
were indeed enemies of the cross, who persuading their 
disciples to be subjected to the law of Moses, caused 
their hold upon Christ to be weakened, if not entirely 
severed ; for by so doing they declared the sacrifice 
offered on Calvary to be insufficient, if not absolutely 
superfluous, and so made God's plan of salvation by 
grace to be a thing of nought. 

But there was another phase of this judaizing opposition 
to the Gospel which rendered its promoters extremely 
obnoxious in the view of Paul and those of his fellow 
Christians who were striving to lead holy lives. While 
advocating submission to the requirements of the Mosaic 
law, it was in practice antinomian, and consequently 
pernicious to the last degree. Jude, a brother of James 
and of Jesus, in addressing those whom he speaks of as 
" beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ," 
seems to have had before him as his main object in writing. 

[ 98 ] 

NOTES, [CH. III. V, 18. 

his letter, to sound an alarm concerning those antinomian 
sectaries. Beginning his warning epistle he thus writes, 
" Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto 
you of our conamon salvation, I was constrained to write 
unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the 
faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints. For 
there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were 
of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation, un- 
godly men, turning the grace of our God into lascivious- 
ness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." 
The freedom from bondage to the law which Paul pro- 
claimed as the prerogative of those who accepted Christ as 
their Kedeemer (Gal. iii. 13 andv.l.) was by these false 
teachers turned into license to sin. ' We are saved by grace' 
said they ; * let us therefore sin, that grace may abound.' 
See Eom. vi. 1. These perverters of the Gospel of 
Christ (see Gal. i. 7) made slanderous reports concerning 
the preaching of Paul and his fellow-laborers, affirming 
that they said, ' Let us do evil, that good may come' 
(Eom. iii. 8) ; and thus by falsifying the apostle's state- 
ments tbey sought to make even him a countenancer of 
their evil ways. It was safe to predict, as the apostle did, 
the certain condemnation of these " evil-workers," not- 
withstanding that they called themselves Christians. 
This the apostle did by saying concerning them, " Whose 
condemnation is just." Paul called them "false breth- 
ren " (Gal. ii. 4), " false apostles, deceitful workers," 
even saying of them that they fashioned themselves into 
apostles of Christ, and adding that this was no marvel, 
since even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light 
(II. Cor. xi. 13, 14). How perilous Paul felt it to be to 
have such opposers, against whom it was necessary to 
be ever watchful, may be seen from the catalogue of his 
trials which he gives in II. Cor. xi. 23-27, in which 
among the perils which he encountered he mentions 
"perils among false brethren." Concerning such as 
these Paul wrote to Titus when he was at work 
the Cretans: " There are many unruly men, vain talkers 
and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, whose 
mouths must be stopped ; men who overthrow whole 
houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy 

[ 99 ] 

CH. III. V, 18.] NOTES. 

lucre's sake. One of themselves, a prophet of their own, 
said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons. 
This testimony is true. For which cause reprove them 
sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving 
heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who 

turn away from the truth They profess that they 

know God ; but by their works they deny him, being abom- 
inable, and disobedient, and unto every good work repro- 
bate " (Titus i. 10-16). Their character and motives are 
thus described by the apostle in his letter to the Galatians : 
*'As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they 
compel you to be circumcised ; only that they may not 
be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For not even they 
who receive circumcision do themselves keep the law ; 
but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may 
glory in your flesh." They were as far as possible from 
glorying in the cross of Christ, although they were pro- 
fessed followers of Christ ; which led the holy apostle, 
who realised how wide and deep the gulf was which 
separated them from him, to say, " But far be it from me 
to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through which the world hath been crucified unto me, 
and I unto the world." The apostle Peter in his old age, 
writing a second general letter to his brethren in the 
Lord, thus warns them against those who, like the false 
prophets of Old Testament times, would be sure to lead 
many astray. *' There shall be," said he, " false teachers, 
who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying 
even the Master that bought them, bringing upon them- 
selves swift destruction. And many shall follow their 
lascivious doings ; by reason of whom the way of the 
truth shall be evil spoken of. And in covetousness shall 
they with feigned words make merchandise of you : whose 
sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their de- 
struction slumbereth not." 

The full force of the words, " the enemies of the cross of 
Christ," cannot be expressed without placing the utmost 
emphasis on the definite article which precedes the word 
enemies. '* Many walk," says the apostle, " whom I 
often told you of, and whom I now tell you of even 
weeping, the enemies of the cross of Christ (or, those 

I 100 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 18. 

enemies of the cross of Christ)." Paul evidently meant 
to point out the antinomian Judaizers as the very worst 
enemies of the cross of Christ. And it is as necessary in 
our day, as it was in the apostle's, that it should be 
clearly understood that those Christians are indeed 
enemies of the cross of Christ, yea, its worst enemies, 
" who see not in it the evil of sin, so as to forsake it," 
who notwithstanding their profession of loyalty to 
Christ, remain strangers to the attractions of his cross, 
who will not submit to the authority or conform them- 
selves to the example of him who died upon the cross for 
them. Those who are willing to be pardoned, but have 
no desire to be sanctified, not only have no claim to the 
shelter of the cross, but they deserve to be pointed out in 
the most unmistakable manner as the very worst enemies 
of the crucified Son of God, if they profess to look to him 
for mercy, but refuse his sanctifying grace — that grace of 
God which hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 
instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness 
and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously 
and godly in this present world ; looking for the blessed 
hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our 
Saviour Jesus Christ ; who gave himself for us, that he 
might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto him- 
self a people for his own possession, zealous of good 
works. Titus ii. 11-14. 

19. whose end is im'dition,—Oi these same " false 
apostles, deceitful workers," who were " fashioning them- 
selves into apostles of Christ," the apostle said to the Rom- 
ans, "Whose end shall be according to their works," which 
end could only be perdition, since those who live in sin, 
die also in sin, and are consequently destro^'ed. Those 
who like the Romans, before their conversion to Christ, 
and like the antinomian Christians of Paul's day, present 
the members of their bodies as servants to uncleanness, 
and to iniquity unto iniquity, must perish, for the end of 
those things is death. " The land which hath drunk the 
rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet 
for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receiveth blessing 
from God : but if it beareth thorns and thistles, it is reject- 
ed and nigh unto a curse ; whose end is to be burned." 

[ 101 ] 

CH. III. V. 19.] NOTES. 

luhose god is the belly, — Gluttony, here mentioned as 
one form of excess which was descriptive of antinomian 
Christianity, may be taken as a type of sensual appetites 
generally. " Of whom (or of what) a man is overcome, 
of the same is he also brought into bondage." II. Pet. ii. 19. 
" To whom ye present yourselves as bondservants unto 
obedience, his bondservants ye are whom ye obey." 
Eom. vi. 16. Therefore as to those bondservants of sin, 
against whom the apostle was warning the Philippians, it 
could be truly declared that they were as far as possible 
from having Christ as their Saviour ; for their god was 
their belly. 

aiid tuhose glory is in their shame, — " The unfettered 
liberty of which they (antinomian Christians) boast, thus 
perverted becomes their deepest degradation." Light- 
foot. " These are they," said Jude, "who are hidden rocks 
in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds 
that without fear feed themselves ; clouds without water, 
carried along with winds; autumn trees without fruit, 
twice dead, plucked up by the roots ; wild waves of the 
sea, foaming out their own shame ; wandering stars, for 
whom the blackness of darkness hath been reserved for 
ever." Jude 12, 13. 

luho mind earthly things. — On earthly things, rather 
than on heavenly, their minds were set. Wholly fleshly 
were those whom the apostle was describing, as their 
lives showed; " for they that are after the flesh do mind 
the things of the flesh," as " they that are after the Spirit 
the things of the Spirit." As Paul plainly impHed in his 
exhortation to the Colossians, they who have been raised 
from the dead together with Christ, do seek the things 
that are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand 
of God. They do set their mind on the things that are 
above, not on the things that are upon the earth. From 
which it follows that those of whom Paul was speaking to 
the Philippians had never been quickened with Christ, but 
were dead through their trespasses and sins. 

20. For our citizeiiship is in heaven; — These words are 
to be closely connected with the exhortation of the apostle 
in the seventeenth verse. * Follow us,' is the apostle's 
meaning, ' rather than the false teachers, who would lead 

[ 102 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 20. 

you to destruction. Our commonwealth is not on earth ; 
it is in heaven. Our interests are all there, not here. The 
ties by which we are bound are not earthly, but heavenly. 
The great attraction for us heavenwards, is that Christ 
is there. Follow us then, if you would be wise, if you 
would be happy, if you would be saved, if you would have 
a home on high, if you would, like us, even now possess 
citizenship in heaven ; for we are able now to say, not 
merely this, that we hope to go to heaven when we must 
leave this world, but this, our citizenship is in heaven, 
yea, even now we are sitting together in heavenly places 
and enjoying heavenly relationships in Christ Jesus.' 

whence also ive icait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus 
Christ : — When Jesus was leaving the world, he said to his 
disciples, " Little children, yet a little while I am with you. 
Ye shall seek me : and as I said unto the Jews, whither 
I go, ye cannot come ; so now I say unto you." And 
when Simon Peter asked him, ' Lord, whither goest thou '?' 
Jesus answered, " Whither I go, thou canst not follow me 

now ; but thou shalt follow afterwards In my father's 

house are many mansions ; . . . . I go to prepare a place 
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come 
again, and will receive you unto myself ; that where I 
am, there ye may be also." As surely as Christ once 
came from heaven to earth, and was here in our stead 
once offered as the Lamb of God to bear the sins of 
many, so surely shall he appear here on earth a second 
time apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto 
salvation. It is because of these blessed assurances 
written in God's Word that Paul and his fellow- believers 
were in their day, and that we also are now, waiting for 
the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul 
wrote to the persecuted Thessalonians to comfort tbem 
in their afHictions, he contrasted what the condition of 
their persecutors would be with that which would be 
their own happy state, in that day when the Lord Jesus 
should be revealed from heaven with the angels of his 
power in flaming fire. Vengeance would then be ren- 
dered to them that had not known God, and that had 
not obeyed their Lord Jesus. These would suffer 
punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of 

[ 103 ] 

CH. III. V. 20.] NOTES, 

the Lord and from the glory of his might ; while those 
whom they had afflicted would enjoy the recompense 
of rest along with all those who had in like manner 
suffered. How restful Christ's appearing will be to his 
saints, may be inferred from this further word which 
the apostle wrote to the Thessalonians for their comfort, 
that when the Lord Jesus shall again appear, he shall 
come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at 
in all them that believed. Mark the language. The 
apostle does not say that in that day Christ shall be 
glorified before his saints and be marvelled at by all them 
that are his; but that he shall then be glorified in his 
saints, and be marvelled at in all them that believed. 
That which will occasion exceeding joy to the saints of 
God in that day will be their realisation of their oneness 
with their Lord, Christ in them and they in him as never 
realised before. Then will the completed Body of Christ, 
the Church, united to her Head, be marvelled at and 
admired by wondering angels, and the greatest wonder 
of all will then be this, that the Divine Saviour is and 
will forever be so greatly glorified in his redeemed 

21. luho shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation^ 
that it may he conformed to the body of his glory, accord^ 
ing to the ivorhing luhereby he is able even to subject ail 
things unto himself. — This mortal body of ours is called 
the body of our humiliation. It is such as a consequence 
of sin. Sin it is which brought death into the world 
and all our woe. Through sinful indulgences and uncon- 
trolled passions, through unforeseen accidents and volun- 
tary conflicts, through innumerable maladies and multi- 
form sufferings, and finally by death either natural or 
violent, this our earthly tabernacle is subjected to dishon- 
or. But if you and I have been born again and adopted 
into God's family, if we are Christ's, these bodies of ours 
are to be fashioned anew. At Christ's appearing we shall 
come forth in an altogether new fashion, the fashion of 
the immortals. It will be the fashion not of angels, nor 
yet a fashion altogether new in heaven, for Christ has worn 
it ever since his ascension to glory. We shall be Hke him. 
We are to be reclothed by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. 

[ 104 ] 

NOTES. [CH. III. V. 21, 

He shall fashion anew the body of our humiliation, yea, 
so fashion it that it will be conformed to the body of his 
glory, according to the working whereby he, our Almighty 
Saviour, is able even to subject all things unto himself. 
This same apostle who tells us these things in the 
epistle to the Philippians wrote on this subject to the 
Corinthians by inspiration as follows : " There are also 
celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial," that is, the terres- 
trial are not more real than the celestial : " but the glory 
of the celestial bodies is one and that of the terrestrial 
bodies is another," that is, the glory of the one, the 
celestial, is vastly different from that of the other, the 
terrestrial. Just as " there is one glory of the sun, and 
another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars ; 
for one star differeth from another star in glory." "So 
also," says the inspired apostle, "is the resurrection of 
the dead. It (the body of our humiliation) is sown (a bare 
grain) in corruption ; it is raised in incorruption : it is 
sown in dishonor ; it is raised in glory : it is sown in 
weakness ; it is raised in power : it is sown a natural 
body ; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural 
(or physical) body, there is also a spiritual body," incon- 
ceivable by us, it may be, but no less real on that account. 
'• And as is the heavenly," that is, the spiritual body, 
" such are they also that are heavenly." And as we have 
borne the image of the earthy, we who are Christ's, so 
surely " we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." 
The disciples before whom Christ was transfigured on the 
mount, got some idea as to what the Saviour's now glori- 
fied body is like. We read that " his face did shine (not 
as a star, nor as the moon, but) as the sun," and that 
" his garments became white as the light." And in 
evidence of the correspondence which will exist between 
glorified saints and their glorified Saviour, we have this 
word of Jesus himself : Then (at that harvest time in the 
end of the world, when the angels will be the reapers) 
shall the gathered saints, the righteous ones, shine forth 
like their Divine Eedeemer, as the sun in the Kingdom 
of their Father. See Matt, xiii, 43. 

As to the matter of Christ's subjecting all things unto 
himself, on this subject also we have a two-fold comment 

r 105 ] 

CH. III. V. 21.] NOTES. 

of the Scripture itself. In I, Cor. xv. 20-28, it is said, "Now 
hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of 
them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by 
man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in 
Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But 
each in his own order : Christ the first-fruits ; then thej- 
that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, 
when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father ; when he shall have abolished all rule and all 
authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all 
his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be 
abolished is death. For (as it is written in the Psalm) 
He put all things in subjection under his feet .... And 
when all things have been subjected unto him, then 
shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did 
subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.'* 
In the first chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians the 
apostle unfolds the same truth, as he prays for those to 
whom he is writing : "That the God of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of 
wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him ; having 
the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know 
what is the hope of his calling (what you who have been 
called into God's kingdom are privileged to hope for), 
what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the 
saints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power 
to us-ward who believe, according to that working of 
the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ, 
when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit 
at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all 
rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every 
name that is named, not only in this world, but also in 
that which is to come : and he put all things in sub- 
jection under his feet, and gave him to be head over 
all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of 
him that filleth all in all." 

[ 106 ] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. V. 1. 


1. Wherefore, my hrctlircn beloved and longed for, my 
joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my beloved. — 
'< Wherefore," that is, since you are citizens of this heav- 
enly commonwealth, since the Son of the Highest is 
your Sovereign Potentate, since your King is your Saviour, 
and you are to be sharers in all his glory, even by being 
in body fashioned like unto his glorious body, •* so stand 
fast in the Lord," that is, as I by the pattern which 
through God's grace I am trying to set before you, and 
as I through the force of that divine truth which I have 
presented to you, now exhort you to do. United as you 
are to Christ by faith in him, so stand fast in him, abide 
in him, in him be firm, resisting through his strength all 
endeavors of your adversaries to draw you away from 
him. Turn not my joy into grief — my joy over your 
salvation into grief for your ruin. Deprive me not of my 
crown — the crown which I look forward to receiving 
from Christ when I present you as saved ones before 
him. My brethren, cherished in my heart, longed for in 
my prayers, be stedfast in the Lord, my beloved. Thus 
by tenderest expressions of sincerest affection — by his very 
heart-strings, did Paul seek to bind to Christ and establish 
in his grace his dear Philippian fellow-Christians. 

2. I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of 
the same mind in the Lord. — After uttering a heart-felt 
and yearning entreaty for those in general who were in 
danger of slackening their adherence to the Gospel, as 
he had preached it to them, Paul now m.akes bold to 
address by name two women in the Philippian Church, 
who had formerly been his valued fellow-laborers in 
Philippi, and to exhort them to put away the differences 
which had separated them, to come together and be 
affectionately interested in each other, as those who are 
sisters in Christ should do. " Let there be no strife, I 
pray thee, between thee and me, and between my herd- 
men and thy herdmen ; for w^e are brethren," said 
Abraham to Lot, his kinsman. If the ties of ordinary 
kinship should bind men together, how much more should 
kinship in Christ unite them ! It is useless to speculate 

[ 107 ] 

OH. IV. V. 2.] NOTES. 

as to whether these wo^aen were ladies of rank or not, or 
whether like Phoebe in the Church in Cenchreae they were 
deaconesses or not, as we have no information on these 

3. Yea, I beseech thee also, true yokefellow, hel]j these 
luomen, for they labored ivith me in the gospel, with 
Clement a,lso, and the rest of my felloiv-ioorkers, zvhose 
names are in the book of life. — Epaphroditus, the bearer 
of this letter, is doubtless appealed to here. He was a 
highly esteemed member of the Church in Philippi, and 
Paul's thus appealing to him to help these women to 
adjust their differences, would prepare the way for his 
using his good offices to bring about a reconciliation be- 
tween them on his arrival at his home. Epaphroditus 
had perhaps brought to Paul in Eome the sad tidings of 
dissension between these women, whose falling-out would 
be as much a grief to him as to the apostle. The apostle 
and Epaphroditus alike were most anxious that the 
breach between these former fellow-workers should be 
healed, as it not only affected seriously the peace of the 
Church, but also hindered the prosperity of the work of 
Christ in Philippi. Nothing, we may be sure, pleases 
Satan more than quarrels between Christians. Clement, 
here mentioned, had been another prominent worker 
with Paul at Philippi, and had wrought with these women 
in furtherance of the Gospel, but we know nothing con- 
cerning him beyond what is said here. To recall his 
faithful labors and to make special mention of him was a 
pleasure to the apostle. For the comfort of other 
fellow-workers, not all of whose names may have been 
remembered, the apostle was so thoughtful concerning 
them as to say that their names were all recorded on 
high in God's book of life. Nothing that any of us do 
here in his name is forgotten of God. 

4. Bejoice in the Lord always : again I ivill say, Be. 
joice. — This exhortation to the Philippians is a testimony 
to the ever abounding joy in the heart of Paul. To the 
Corinthians he wrote, " We are pressed on every side, 
yet not straitened ; perplexed, yet not unto despair ; 
pursued, yet not forsaken (or left behind) ; smitten down, 
yet not destroyed." In the same letter after enumera- 

[; 108 J 

l^OTES. [CH. IV. V, 4. 

ting his trying experiences, he says, " I am filled with 
comfort, I overflow with joy in all our affliction." This 
was his condition when he was writing to the Philip- 
pians. He himself was rejoicing in the Lord, rejoicing 
greatly though a prisoner in Rome, and he desired that 
the Philippians should likewise be joyful in the Lord. 
The word here translated ** rejoice," has a double meaning. 
It combines, as before remarked, in note on iii. 1, " a 
parting benediction with an exhortation to cheerfulness." 
See the full note on the word in that place. 

5. Let your forbearance be hioicn unto all men. The 
Lard is at hand. — For the word " forbearance," or 
"moderation" in the Authorised Version, "gentleness" 
is given in the margin of the Revised Versions. Gentle- 
ness or mildness is the opposite of contentiousness, and 
is so expressed in Titus iii. 2. " Put them in mind .... 
not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all meekness 
toward all men," and likewise in I. Tim. iii. 3, we find 
the contrast, " gentle, not contentious." "The wisdom 
that is from above is," James tells us, " first pure, then 
peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated." Those who are 
genuinely good will be gentle, and will treat even their 
servants with gentleness. See I. Pet. ii. 18. " Meek- 
ness and gentleness " were marked traits of Christ's 
character, and should be manifested in the conduct of 
his followers. IL Cor. x. 1. The nearness of Christ's 
appearing should ever exert a restraining, and at the 
same time a constraining influence upon us, checking 
every evil impulse, and impeUing us to speak and act as 
in the presence of our Lord. 

6. In nothing be anxious ; but in everything by 'prayer 
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be 
made Icnotvn unto God. — As to anxieties, have them not ; 
be rid of them, if you have them. Why should you be 
harassed with cares, when God is caring for you ? Such 
was the reasoning of Peter when he exhorted all those to 
whom he was writing to cast all their anxiety upon God ; 
and it is instructive to note that in the same connection 
this apostle indicates that a good way by which to drown 
our own cares is to be occupied in doing what we can to 
reHeve the anxieties of others. •' Gird yourselves," said 

[ 109 ] 

CH. IV. V. 6.] NOTES. 

he, " with humility to serve one another .... Humble 
yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God, that he 
may exalt you in due time ; casting all your anxiety 
upon him, because he careth for you." I. Pet. v. 5-7. 
While exhorting the Philippians to " have no anxieties," 
Paul pointed out the means to be used in order that they 
might get rid of them. They were to take their 
anxieties to God in prayer and supplication. And so 
we find Paul explaining what Peter meant, when he told 
his brethren to cast all their anxiety upon God, namely^ 
to do it by prayer and supplication ; while Peter explains 
what Paul meant, when he said, " In everything by 
prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your 
requests be made known unto God," that is, when you 
have thus taken your anxieties to God, you are to leave 
them with him, and so cease to bear the burden of them 
yourselves. In reference to what matters are we to go to 
God in prayer and supplication, making our requests? 
Paul's answer is, * In every matter, in everything, great 
and small.' No matter how small the thing is which 
gives us anxiety, we should take it to God. We may even 
beseech God to give us relief, when any sort of matter is 
troubling us. It is our privilege to supplicate God in 
prayer to remove any and every burden of anxiety. 
And knowing how ready God is to succor us, w^e should 
ever approach him in prayer with thanksgiving. 

7. And the peace of God, ivhich ixtsseth all understand^ 
ing, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ 
Jesus. — Such will be the result of your taking to God by 
prayer and supplication w^ith thanksgiving every thing 
that threatens to mar your peace, and of your letting 
your request be made known to him concerning it. The 
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will like 
a sentinel on duty be made to guard your hearts and 
your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Your hearts and your 
thoughts in Christ Jesus will be guarded from any intru- 
sion of the tempter. The apostle spoke from experience 
of habitually doing what he exhorted the Philippians to 
do, and from experience of having that continually done 
for him, which he assured the Philippians God would 
under the same conditions do for them. 

[ no ] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. V. 7, 

The words "in Christ Jesus " are not to be passed over 
as unimportant. The translation " through Christ Jesus,' 
as in the Authorised Version, mistakes the meaning alto- 
gether. Christ is the channel through which the peace 
of God flows to those who experience it. He Himself is 
'* our peace," but that is not what is meant here. The 
deep experience which Paul enjoyed of having his heart 
and his thoughts guarded by the peace of God, which 
passeth all understanding, was due to the fact that he 
most truly realised his oneness with Christ. Paul knew 
that Christ lived in him, that Christ's heart throbbed in 
his heart, that in his thoughts Christ himself was think- 
ing ; and it was this knowledge that enabled him to 
realise how perfectly his heart and his thoughts were 
guarded. The peace of God was not like a sentinel 
guarding from without ; it was within, creating an ex- 
perience which was inexpressible, because it surpassed 
all understanding. 

8. Finally, brethren, — The apostle now intends bring* 
ing his letter to a close, as he had intended to do when 
before he wrote the word " finally." See Ch. iii. 1. The 
word translated " finally " could as well be rendered, ' As 
to the rest.' Paul had some things yet to say, though 
he did not intend to add very many words. 

whatsoever things are true, ivJiatsoever things are 
honorable, tvhatsoever things are just, ichatsoevcr things 
are imre, tvhatsoever things are lovely, tvhatsoever things 
are of good rei^ort; — The apostle here summarises the 
excellencies which are universally approved by mankind^ 
and which ought ever to be distinguishing marks of the 
Christian, since he, when truly reflecting the character of 
his Lord and Master, is the highest style of man. By 
the things that are true are meant those that are real 
and genuine, straightforward and reliable, those things 
that are as far removed from falseness and disguise as 
the east is from the west. By the things that are honor* 
able are meant those that are dignified and decorous, 
worthy of nobility, fit to be called Christian in the 
highest sense. By the things that are just are meant 
those that are truly righteous, and cannot be impugned. 
By the things that are pure are meant those which are 

[ 111 ] 

CH. IV. V. 8.] NOTES. 

entirely free from baseness, those which ate transparent 
and stainless. By the things which are lovely are meant 
those which are amiable and endearing. By the things 
which are of good report are meant those which are 
gracious, winning and attractive. The word " whatso- 
ever," used six times in this passage, shows how 
inclusive of all things that are good, and how exclusive 
of all things that are evil, the religion of Christ is. 

if there be any virtue, and if there he any j^raise, think 
on these things. — If virtue exists that is worthy of the 
name, if, measured not by human standards, but by the 
divine standard, there really is such a thing as goodness ; 
and if there be any praise worthily earned and worthily 
bestowed, if by mortals a heavenly plaudit can be won ; 
then take account of these things. It was as far as 
possible from the apostle's thought to suggest that virtue 
in its highest and best sense did not exist, or that such 
goodness as would meet with God's approval was not 
attainable ; he sought rather to set before the minds of 
the Philippian Christians the lofty claims and rightful 
demands of the religion of Christ. He would have them 
see what the character of the Christian should be and 
might be, how highly Christian excellence deserved to be 
esteemed for its own sake, and how earnestly and deter- 
minedly it should be striven after, in order that by its 
exemplification before men those not yet Christians 
might be led to follow Christ. The model which the 
apostle portrayed, how worthy of imitation it is ! To be 
distinguished for probity and integrity, to be so true that 
those who know you will remark concerning you that 
you are true through and through ; to be pointed out as 
one of God's noblemen ; to be righteous before men, like 
Zacharias and Elizabeth, *' walking in all the command- 
ments and ordinances of the Lord blameless ;" to be so 
pure that the tempter could not find any thing in you up- 
on which to lay hold, to have a heart so full of abhorrence 
of every thing that is ignoble, that you would be utterly 
incapable of doing any mean thing ; to be so void of ill- 
nature and malevolence, and so full of kindliness and 
charity, that all who knew you would be constrained to 
love you ; to possess and to manifest a character in which 

[ 112 ] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. v. 8. 

graciousness would be so combined with goodness as to 
draw to you irresistibly those who should come in contact 
with you : if the Christian religion could after this 
manner be widely endorsed, how mightily it would be 
commended to the world I That there have been and are 
in the world such exponents of the working of God's grace 
in human hearts cannot be denied. 

9. TJie tilings which ye both learned and received and 
heard and saiv in me, these things do.- — The Philippians 
knew so well how the grace of God had been magnified 
in Paul, that they could have no thought of his giving 
expression to egotism as he thus addressed them. They 
who are known to be such as are well-pleasing to God 
cannot but be approved of men. It is true that even 
that which is good in God's people is sometimes evil 
spoken of. So it was with Paul. But his behavior was 
ever so seemly, that wherein he was spoken against as 
an evil-doer, his good works gave the lie to the accusa- 
tion. Paul had practised in the sight of the Philippians 
those things which he had preached to them, and there- 
fore with a boldness which carried with it virtue's 
incontrovertible commendation he could say to them, 'The 
things which ye both learned of me and accepted, which 
ye not only heard of in me, but saw in me, these things 
put into practice.' Practice should ever accompany 
preaching and profession, else our words of exhortation 
will be but vain words. 

and the God of i^ieace shall he icith you. — x\bove (see 
verse 7) the apostle had said, " And the peace of God. . 
. . . shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ 
Jesus," that is, if in everything by prayer and suppli- 
cation with thanksgiving you let your requests be made 
known unto God, and by so doing rid yourselves of all 
anxiety. Here he tells the Philippians that the same bless- 
ing will be with them, if they translate their knowledge 
and their faith into works. The assurance is the same as 
in the seventh verse, though the expression is varied. 
Those who experience in their hearts " the peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding," have with them the 
presence of " the God of peace." 

[ 113 ] E 

CH. IV. V. 10.] NOTES. 

10. But I rejoice in the Lord greatly^ that noiv at 
length ye have revived your thought for me ; loherein ye did 
indeed take thoiight, but ye lacked opportunity. — After a 
considerable interval the apostle had again received 
tokens of the thought which he knew the Philippians 
ever took concerning him. Doubtless along with the 
gifts which had come to him he had received assurances 
that he had not been forgotten, although circumstances 
had prevented their doing for him w^iat they had had it 
in their hearts to do. In his second letter to the Corin- 
thians the apostle refers to his having received from 
Macedonia supplies according to his need. See II. Cor. xi. 
9. It is not unlikely that these had come in part, if not 
in whole, from the Church in Philippi. It brought no 
ordinary joy to the apostle to be again remembered by 
his dear Philippian friends. "I rejoice greatly," says 
he. It was not a merely momentary joy w^hich he felt, 
for he writes these words after some time had elapsed 
since he received the gifts. He rejoices as greatly when 
writing these words as he did on the day when Epapb- 
roditus arrived from Philippi. It is to be noticed that 
he speaks here of rejoicing " in the Lord." Concerning 
this Dr. Eadie remarks, *■ His was a Christian gladness. 
The gift was contributed in the Lord, and in a like spirit 
he exulted in the reception of it." 

11, 12. Not that I sfeak in respect of want : for I have 
learned, in ivhatsover state I am, therein to be content. I 
know hoiD to he abased, and I know also hoio to abound : 
in every thing and in all things have I learned the secret 
both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to 
be in want. — We cannot do better here than to transcribe 
from the paraphrase which precedes these ' Notes,' the 
following : ' I must explain that in w^hat I have just said 
I make no reference to any want, for I have not known 
want. What I have had has been enough for me. What I 
have not had has given me no concern : for I have learned, 
in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content. I know 
how to be abased, and not be unhappy ; and I know also 
how to abound, without being spoiled — without becoming 
through the enjoyment of an abundance of comfort dis- 

[ 114 ] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. V. 12. 

qualified for the cheerful endurance again of an entirely 
changed condition, which might he regarded as a condi- 
tion of deprivation and suffering, but which God's grace 
would enable me to look upon as that condition which 
under God's good providence could be no other than the 
very best condition for me at the time, because God had 
in his wisdom so ordered it. In everything and in all 
things — in each particular and in all circumstances of 
God's arrangement for the supply of my temporal need 
— have I learned the secret both to be tilled and to be 
hungry, botb to abound and to be in want, to enjoy 
whether in the one case or in the other the same equanim- 
ity. The secret is a contented mind.' 

If, as is supposed by some, perhaps not without a good 
degree of plausibility, Paul through inheriting property, 
was in his old age in comparatively attkient circumstances, 
which contrasted strongly with his straitened state when 
he was obliged to toil with his hands night and day to 
procure sustenance for himself and his fellow-workers, 
this does not at all affect what he says in regard to his 
having learned in whatsoever state he was, therein to be 
content. The meaning contained in the word " what- 
soever" shows what an advanced stage Paul had in 
time past reached in the school of Christ. 

13. I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me. — 
If Paul had not said this here, and if he had not in so 
many other places in his epistles spoken of his intimate 
relation to Christ, his union with him, his being in Christ 
and Christ's being in him, we should have no clue to the 
secret of that deep and undisturbed contentment of which 
he speaks. The secret is here fully disclosed. Paul 
understood clearly enough that apart from Christ he 
could do nothing, while as a part of Christ he could do 
all things. In these words of Paul the living branch of 
the living vine of Christ's parable is vocal. What the 
fruit-bearing branch is able to do, it does on account of 
the life that is in it because of its union with the vine- 
stock. P^ven so it is with him who by faith is joined to 
Christ. " I am the vine, ye are the branches," said 
Christ to his disciples. " He that abideth in me, and I in 

[ 115 ] 

CH. IV. V. 13.] NOTES. 

him, the same beareth much fruit." The reaHsation by 
us of ouu oaenesB with Christ will enable us to say what 
Paul said. If we are iu Christ, we ought to be strength- 
ened in the grace that is in him. See II. Tim. ii. 1. 
When thus strengthened in all power according to the 
might of his glory, we shall bear fruit in every good 
work. Col. i. 10, 11. 

14-20. Hoichcit ije did loell that ye had fellon'sliip with 
my affliction. And ye yourselves also Icnoiv, ye Philip- 
pians, that in the beginning of the gospel, ichen I departed 
from Macedonia, no church had fclloiDship with me in the 
matter of giving and receiving but ye only ; for even in 
Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. Not 
that 1 seek for the gift ; hut I seek for the fruit that in- 
creaseth to your account. But I have all things, and 
abound : I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus 
the things that came from you, an odor of a siveet smell, 
a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. And my God 
shall supply every need of yours according to his riches 
in glory in Christ Jesus. Notu unto our God and Father 
be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. — From the para- 
phrase which precedes these * Notes,' we transcribe as 
follow^s : * I could have got on quite w^ell without any of 
the things which you so thoughtfully provided for me, 
if the Lord had not put it into your hearts to care for me as 
you have so kindly done. Nevertheless ye did well, that 
just at this time and in this way ye had fellowship wdth 
me in my troubles. Most clearly I recognise the good 
providence of God in your thought for me, and my heart 
is full of thankfulness for what you did for my relief. 
I well remember, and can never forget it, and ye your- 
selves also know, for ye can call to mind, ye kind-hearted 
Philippians, that after I had left Macedonia at the time 
when I was beginning to evangelise among you, no 
Church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving 
and taking aid, but ye only. Though I would not for 
good reasons accept help from others (see II. Cor. xi. 
7-12), I did take it from you, and I remember thank- 
fully how you helped me repeatedly. For before I left 
Macedonia, even when I was in Thessalonica, ye sent 

[ 116] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. V. 14-20. 

relief to me once and again. In Thessalonica 1 was 
indeed hard pressed (see I. Thess. ii. 9), and your gifts 
to me then were most timely. But why do I say all 
this ? Is it that I have now any desire to make drafts 
on your liberality '? By no means understand me thus. 
It is not that I am seeking for the aid which you are so 
ready to bestow^ I do indeed desire nothing for myself, 
butl desire something for your benefit, and that something 
is this — the fruit that increaseth to your credit. No, I 
neither need nor w^ant any thing myself, but I do desire 
for you the recompense which God bestows, the credit 
which will be given to you, and which will increase to 
your benefit with each proof of your love for me. I 
indeed have all things now and abound. I am filled, 
having received from Epaphroditus the things that came 
from you— an odor of fragrance, a sacrifice acceptable, 
well-pleasing to God. And know ye that my God shall 
fully meet every need of yours according to his wealth 
in glory in Christ Jesus. You have supplied all my 
wants, and my God on my behalf wuU recompense you 
by supplying all your wants. Thus our fellowship with 
one another brings us into fellow^ship wath God, and how 
blessed it is when we remember that it is through and 
in Christ Jesus. For Christ's sake, for me as a brother 
in Christ, you are kind to me. And God for Christ's 
sake, for what you have done for me because j'ou and I 
are members one of another in the Body of Christ, will 
reward you. Now unto our common God and Father 
be the glory unto the ages of the ages. So may it be.' 

21. Salute every saint inChrist Jesus. — The apostle's 
salutation is an individual one, as befitted the relation- 
ship which existed between himself and the Philippians. 
He knew^ them personally and intimately, and the strong- 
est attachment existed between him and them. The 
members of the Philippian Church were regarded by 
Paul as his brethren and sisters in Christ, and in 
addressing them he so worded his salutation as to express 
the high esteem in which they as individuals were 
held by him. The agreement in the wording of Paul's 
opening and closing salutations to the Phihppians is 

[ 117 ] 

CH. IV. V. 21.] NOTES. 

worthy of notice. The apostle addresses the epistle 
" to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi ; " 
and in closing his epistle he says to those, without 
naming them (presumably the officers of the Church), 
in whose hands his letter would first be placed, 
" Salute every saint in Christ Jesus." In regard to his 
fellow-believers in Christ two thoughts were ever present 
to the apostle's mind, one of which was, that as behevers 
in Christ there exisied between them and their Saviour a 
vital union, and the other was in reference to that 
character which belonged to them by virtue of their 
union with Christ as members of his Body. In Christ 
they were saints. 

The brethren that are with me salute yon. — The contrast 
between the persons mentioned here and in the next 
verse as sending their salutations is remarkable. These 
are called brethren simply, while those are spoken of as 
saints. The actions of these, as described by the apostle 
(see ch. ii. 21) were not the actions of saints, and so 
they were not mentioned as such. Though called 
brethren by the apostle, they were in reality unworthy 

22. All the saints salute ^/oz^.— These were those who 
were not so immediately associated with the apostle, but 
who belonged to the Church in Rome. Some of their 
names are doubtless mentioned in the last chapter of the 
epistle to the Romans, written several years before Paul 
went to Rome. We read (see Acts xxviii. 23, 24) 
that soon after Paul's arrival in Rome, the Jews dwelling 
there came to him into his lodging in great number, to 
whom he expounded the truth concerning Jesus the 
Messiah, and that while some who listened to the 
apostle's argument and testimony continued to disbelieve, 
there were others who believed the things which he 
declared. These from the time they accepted Christ as 
their Saviour were numbered among the Christians in 
Rome, and they must have been included among those 
who at the time when Paul wrote to the Philippians sent 
to the Church there their salutation, and whom Paul 
speaks of as saints. 

[ 118] 

NOTES. [CH. IV. l\ 22. 

Especially they that are of Ccesafs household. — Ciesar's 
household comprised a very large number of freedmen 
not only resident at Rome, but scattered throughout the 
(•mpire, holding a very great variety of offices, including 
alike those of the highest functionaries and those of the 
lowest menials. A very interesting essay upon this subject 
by Dr. Lightfoot can be found in his commentary on this 
epistle. Some of these freedmen connected with the 
household of the Emperor may have been among those 
mentioned in the last chapter of the epistle to the 
Bomans as saluted by the apostle, and others may have 
become Christians after the apostle's arrival in Rome. 

23. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be witJi your 
spirit. — The church at Philippi is here regarded as l)eing 
of one soul, in accordance with the apostle's exhortation 
in this letter. See ch. ii. 3. Paul's benediction was 
not written as a mere formulary. His whole heart 
entered into it, and it was intended to reach the inner- 
most being of those to whom his letter was sent. 

[ 119] 




Dr. J. A.cjar Beet, in the closincr sentences of an 
essay published in The Expo.silor, January 1S89, thus 
wrote : 

"Willi a gift I the letter to the Phili])piansj 
infinitely more precious than that he brought from 
Phili[)pi, Epaphroditus starts on his homeward jour- 
ney. The joy caused by his return, and the effect of 
this wonderful letter when first read in the Church 
at Philippi, are hidden frcmi us. And we may almost 
say that with this letter the Church itself passes from 
our view. To-day in silent meadows (juiet cattle 
browse among the ruins which mark the site of what 
was once the flourishing Roman colony of Philippi, 
the home of the most attractive Church of the apos- 
tolic age. But the name and fame and spiritual influ- 
ence will never pass. To myriads of men and women 
in every age and nation, the letter written in a dun- 
geon at Rome and carried along the Egnatian Way by 
an obscure Christian nu^ssenger, has been a light 
Divine, and a cheerfid guide along the most rugged 
paths in life. As T wafch and myself rejoice in the 
brightness of that far-shining light, and glance at 
those silent ruins, I see fulfilled an ancienf ]>rophecy: 
The grass withcrfth, the 'flower fadeth: hid Ihe word 
of our God shall stand forever/' 

In the third sentence of the above ]iaragra])h. Dr. 
Beet considerately used the word "almosf." With 
the letter of fhe apostle Paul to the Philii)i)iaiis the 
Church at Pliili|)pi has not altogether i)ass('d from 

I 121 1 


onr view. From the article Philippi in Hastings' 
Bible Dictionary we take the following: ''At the 
beginning of the second century the Church at Phil- 
ippi emerges once more for a moment into the light of 
history, when it received a visit from one apostolic 
father, and a letter from another, sometime in the 
reign of Trajan, i. e. before A. D. 117. Ignatius, 
Bishop of Antioch, was condemned to death as a 
Christian, and sent in charge of a guard of soldiers 
to be thrown to the beasts at Rome. His route, as we 
know from his epistles, lay through Philadelphia, 
Smyrna, and Troas. Thence, like Paul, he must have 
crossed to Neapolis, and so reached Philippi (his 
guards were probably making for one of the Adriatic 
ports by way of the Egnatian Road), since the 
Church at Philippi 'welcomed' and 'escorted' him, 
and on his departure wrote two letters, one to the 
Church at Antioch, consoling them for the loss of 
their Bishop, and one to Poly carp, of Smyrna, asking 
for copies of as many as i)ossible of the letters which 
Ignatius had written in Asia Minor. Polycarp's an- 
swer is his letter to the Philippians, the sole source of 
our knowledge of this episode of Philippian history." 

"It is not impossible," adds this writer, "that this 
rer{uest of the Philippians was the origin of the col- 
lection of the Ignatian letters and of their x^reserva- 
tion for later ages." 

The only other scraps of history pertaining to the 
Church at Philippi are the names of some of the 
Bishops among the subscribers to 4th and 5th century 
councils: Porphyrins at Sardia in 344, Flaviano at 
Ephesus in 431, Sozon at the Latrocinium of Ephesus 
in 449 and at Chalcedon in 451 A. D. 

The epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians is sub- 

[ 122 ] 


Polyearii mid the elders who are with him, to the 
Church sojourning' in Philippi, mercy and peace from 
God and onr Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I. I rejoiced to hear that ye received and escorted 
on their way the saintly followers of Christ whose 
fetters are their diadems; and that the root of your 
faith, famous from the befiinnino-, still bears fruit 
unto Jesus Christ, who died and was raised again for 
us ; in whom though ye never saw him, ye believe with 
joy unspeakable, being saved l^y grace and not by 

II. Therefore be strenuous. Serve God and for- 
sake all vain and erroneous teaching. Believe on him 
who raised Jesus Christ to be the judge of (|uick and 
dead, subjecting all things to him. He will raise us 
also, if we obey his cimimandments, and remember 
the warnings of Christ, who bade us do as we wc^dd 
be done by, and promised the kingdom of heaven to 
those who follow after righteousness. 

III. I write these things, not of my own motion, 
but in answer to your invitation. I am not e(|ual to 
the blessed Paul who taught you both in |)ei-s(m and 
by letter. Prom his letters you may learn to build 
yourself up in faith, hope, and love. Faith is the 
mother of us all: love leads the way, and h(»i)e follows. 
Observing these ye will fulfill the connnandnumt. 
Whosoever has love is far from sin. 

[ 123 ] 


IV. Above all things avoid eovetousness. We 
brought nothing into the world and can carry nothing 
out. Let us therefore put on the armor of righteous- 
ness. Teach your wives to live in faith and love and 
purity, cherishing their husbands, and showing kind- 
ness to all men, and to train their children in godli- 
ness. Let the widows pray without ceasing and avoid 
all malice and eovetousness, remembering that they 
are God's altar, and that the offerings there made are 
scanned by his all-seeing eye, which the most secret 
thoughts cannot escape. 

V. Let us remember that God is not mocked, and 
let us walk holily. The deacons must be blameless, 
not tale-bearers nor covetous, but sober, compassion- 
ate, diligent, after the pattern of Christ, who was the 
chief of deacons. We must please God in the present 
life, that he may bestow upon us the future life. 
They that are true citizens of Christ's Kingdom 
now shall themselves be Kings with him hereafter. 
The younger men also must be chaste and restrain 
their passions. Lust warreth against the spirit. No 
profligate person shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
Let them also be subject to the presbyters and deacons. 
The virgins, too, must keep their conscience blameless 
and pure; 

VI. The presbyters also must be tender and pitiful, 
bringing home the strayed sheep, watching over the 
sickly, taking care of the widow and orphan and the 
poor man. Let them have regard to what is good in 
the sight of God and men, shunning all unrighteous- 
ness and malice, abstaining from eovetousness, not 
credulous or harsh in their judgments of others, as 
conscious of their own inflrmities. We must forgive, 
if Ave would be forgiven; for all alike will stand 
before the judgment-seat of Christ. So then let us 
serve him in all godliness, according to the teaching 
of the Apostles and the Prophets, holding aloof from 
all false brethren and hypocrites and deceivers. 

VII. He who disallows the incarnation is Anti- 

l 124 ] 


Christ; he who rejects the testimony ot* the Cross is 
of the devil ; he who denies the resurrection and the 
judjiment is of Satan. Flee from all false teaching; 
be instant in fastini*' and ])rayer; entreat God to de- 
liver you from temptation. The spirit may be willing, 
but the iiesh is weak. 

VIII. Let us cleave steadfastly to Jesus Christ our 
hope. He bore his cross patiently ; he was without sin 
and without guile; he suffered all things for our 
sakes. Let us therefore follow him aiul suffer gladly 
for his name, if need be, for he has given us an exam- 

IX. Therefore be obedient and practice patient 
endurance such as ye saw in Ignatius and Zosimus 
hnd Rufus and others from among yourselves, yea in 
Paul himself and in the other apostles. All these 
have won the prize. They have gone to their own 
place: for they loved not the present world, l)ut him 
who died and rose for us. 

X. Follow the example of Christ. Be firm in the 
faith; be kindly, aff'ecticmate, and helpful one to 
another. Despise no man. Do good while you can. Sub- 
mit one to another. So live, that your good works 
may be manifest to the Gentiles, and that Christ's 
name may not be blasphemed through you. Teach 
all men to be sober, even as ye yourselves walk. 

XL I grieve exceedingly over your pres])yter Val- 
ens, that he should so forget his office. Avoid covetous- 
ness. Abstain from all evil. How can a man teach 
others, when he is unable to govern himself? Covet- 
ousness is idolatry. The covetous man shall be 
judged as a Gentiie; whereas the saints shall them- 
selves judge the world, as Paul teacheth. Not that I 
am aware of any such fault in you, among wh(mi Paul 
labored and of* whom he boasted in all the Churches 
at a time when we Smyrna'ans were not yet converted 
to Christ. I greive greatly for Valens and his wife. 
(Jod grnnt them true re])entance. Treat ye them 
with moderation, and rcsloi'c Ihem as erring nicinbcrs, 

f 125 1 


that your whole body may be made whole. So doing, 
ye shall edify yourselves. 

XII. You are versed in the Scriptures far beyond 
myself. Remember therefore how these Scriptures 
warn you not to give way to anger. Blessed are ye 
if ye remember this. May God the Father and the 
Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, build you up in 
faith and truth and gentleness and patience and chas- 
tity, and grant to you and to us our portion among 
the saints, with all those who shall believe on our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for all saints. Pray for 
kings and rulers, for you persecutors, for the enemies 
of the Cross, that your fruit may be seen and ye may 
be perfect in Christ. 

XIII. I have been asked by you and by Ignatius 
to allow our messenger to carry your letter to Syria. 
I will do this — either myself or the delegate whom I 
shall send on your behalf as well as on ours. I have 
also attended to your other request, and sent you 
such letters of Ignatius as I had in my possession. 
They are attached to this letter. You will find them 
highly profitable, for they teach faith and patient 
endurance and are in all ways edifying. In return 
do ye communicate to me the latest news of Ignatius 
and his companions. 

XIV. This letter will reach you through Crescens. 
I commend him to you now, as I have done heretofore. 
His conduct with us was blameless, as doubtless it will 
be with you. Welcome his sister also, when she meets 
you. Farewell all of you in Christ. Amen. 

[ 126 ] 

Date Due 


6 10 '3i 


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