From The Work of God's Children
THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS
The Philippians were the first among the Macedonians converted to the faith. They had a great veneration for St. Paul and supplied his wants when he was a prisoner in Rome, sending to him by Epaphroditus, by whom he sent this Epistle; in which he recommends charity, unity and humility and warns them against false teachers, whom he calls dogs and enemies of the cross of Christ. He also returns thanks for their benefactions. It was written about twenty-nine years after our Lord's Ascension.
Philippians Chapter 1
The apostle's affection for the Philippians.
1:3. I give thanks to my God in every remembrance of you:
1:4. Always in all my prayers making supplication for you all with joy:
1:5. For your communication in the gospel of Christ, from the first day unto now.
1:6. Being confident of this very thing: that he who has begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus.
1:7. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart; and that, in my bands and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my joy.
1:8. For God is my witness how I long after you all in the tenderness of Jesus Christ.
1:9. And this I pray: That your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding:
1:10. That you may approve the better things: that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ:
1:11. Filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
1:12. Now, brethren, I desire you should know that the things which have happened to me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel:
1:13. So that my bands are made manifest in Christ, in all the court and in all other places.
1:14. And many of the brethren in the Lord, growing confident by my bands, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.
1:15. Some indeed, even out of envy and contention: but some also for good will preach Christ.
1:16. Some out of charity, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
1:17. And some out of contention preach Christ not sincerely: supposing that they raise affliction to my bands.
1:18. But what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion or by truth, Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
1:19. For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
1:20. According to my expectation and hope; that in nothing I shall be confounded: but with all confidence, as always, so now also, shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.
1:21. For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain.
1:22. And if to live in the flesh: this is to me the fruit of labor. And what I shall choose I know not.
This is to me, etc. . .His meaning is, that although his dying immediately for Christ would be his gain, by putting him presently in possession of heaven; yet he is doubtful what he should choose, because by staying longer in the flesh, he should be more beneficial to the souls of his neighbors.
1:23. But I am straitened between two: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better.
1:24. But to abide still in the flesh is needful for you.
1:25. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith:
1:26. That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus for me, by my coming to you again.
1:27. Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind laboring together for the faith of the gospel.
1:28. And be terrified in nothing by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God.
1:29. For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him:
1:30. Having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me and now have heard of me.
Philippians Chapter 2
He recommends them to unity and humility, and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
2:1. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the spirit, if any depths of commiseration:
2:2. Fulfill my joy, that you be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment.
2:3. Let nothing be done through contention: neither by vain glory. But in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves:
2:4. Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's.
2:5. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
2:6. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
2:7. But emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
Emptied himself, exinanivit. . .made Himself as of no account.
2:8. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
2:9. For which cause, God also has exalted Him and has given Him a name which is above all names:
2:10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
2:11. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
2:12. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only but much more now in my absence) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
With fear, etc. . .This is against the false faith, and presumptuous security of modern sectaries.
2:13. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His good will.
2:14. And do all things without murmurings and hesitations:
2:15. That you may be blameless and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation: among whom you shine as lights in the world.
2:16. Holding forth the word of life to my glory in the day of Christ: because I have not run in vain, nor labored in vain.
2:17. Yea, and if I be made a victim upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and congratulate with you all.
2:18. And for the selfsame thing, do you also rejoice and congratulate with me.
2:19. And I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy unto you shortly, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know the things concerning you.
2:20. For I have no man so of the same mind, who with sincere affection is solicitous for you.
2:21. For all seek the things that are their own not the things that are Jesus Christ's.
2:22. Now know the proof of him: that as a son with the father, so has he served with me in the gospel.
2:23. Him therefore I hope to send unto you immediately: so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
2:24. And I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come to you shortly.
2:25. But I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow laborer and fellow soldier, but your apostle: and he that has ministered to my wants.
2:26. For indeed he longed after you all: and was sad, for that you had heard that he was sick.
2:27. For indeed he was sick, nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him. And not only on him, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
2:28. Therefore, I sent him the more speedily: that seeing him again, you may rejoice, and I may be without sorrow.
2:29. Receive him therefore with all joy in the Lord: and treat with honor such as he is.
2:30. Because for the work of Christ he came to the point of death: delivering his life, that he might fulfill that which on your part was wanting towards my service.
Philippians Chapter 3
He warns them against false teachers. He counts all other things loss, that he may gain Christ.
3:1. As to the rest, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not wearisome, but to you is necessary.
3:2. Beware of dogs: beware of evil workers: beware of the concision.
3:3. For we are the circumcision, who in spirit serve God and glory in Christ Jesus, not having confidence in the flesh.
3:4. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more:
3:5. Being circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews. According to the law, a Pharisee:
3:6. According to zeal, persecuting the church of God: According to the justice that is in the law, conversing without blame.
3:7. But the things that were gain to me, the same I have counted loss for Christ.
3:8. Furthermore, I count all things to be but loss for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but as dung, that I may gain Christ.
3:9. And may be found in him, not having my justice, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ Jesus, which is of God: justice in faith.
3:10. That I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings: being made conformable to his death,
3:11. If by any means I may attain to the resurrection which is from the dead.
3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.
3:15. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, this also God will reveal to you,
3:16. Nevertheless, whereunto we are come, that we be of the same mind, let us also continue in the same rule.
3:17. Be followers of me, brethren: and observe them who walk so as you have our model.
3:18. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping) that they are enemies of the cross of Christ:
3:19. Whose end is destruction: whose God is their belly: and whose glory is in their shame: who mind earthly things.
3:20. But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ,
3:21. Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
Philippians Chapter 4
He exhorts them to perseverance in all good and acknowledges their charitable contributions to him.
4:1. Therefore my dearly beloved brethren and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
4:2. I beg of Evodia and I beseech Syntyche to be of one mind in the Lord.
4:3. And I entreat you also, my sincere companion, help those women who have labored with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.
4:4. Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice.
4:5. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.
4:6. Be nothing solicitous: but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.
4:7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
4:8. For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever modest, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovely, whatever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things.
For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, etc. . .Here the apostle enumerates general precepts of morality, which they ought to practice.
Whatever things are true. . .in words, in promises, in lawful oaths, etc., he commands rectitude of mind, and sincerity of heart.
Whatever modest. . .by these words he prescribes gravity in manners, modesty in dress, and decency in conversation.
Whatever just. . .That is, in dealing with others, in buying or selling, in trade or business, to be fair and honest.
Whatever holy. . .by these words may be understood, that those who are in a religious state professed, or in holy orders, should lead a life of sanctity and chastity, according to the vows they make; but these words being also applied to those in the world, indicate the virtuous life they are bound by the divine commandments to follow.
Whatever lovely. . .that is, to practice those good offices in society, that procure us the esteem and good will of our neighbors.
Whatever of good fame. . .That is, that by our conduct and behavior we should edify our neighbors, and give them good example by our actions.
If there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline. . .that those in error, by seeing the morality and good discipline of the true religion, may be converted. And finally, the apostle commands, not only the Philippians, but all Christians, to think on these things. . .that is, to make it their study and concern that the peace of God might be with them.
4:9. Do the things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace shall be with you.
4:10. Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly that now at length your thought for me has flourished again, as you did also think; but you were busied.
4:11. I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content therewith.
4:12. I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound (every where and in all things I am instructed): both to be full and to be hungry: both to abound and to suffer need.
4:13. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
4:14. Nevertheless, you have done well in communicating to my tribulation.
4:15. You also know, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only.
4:16. For unto Thessalonica also you sent once and again for my use.
4:17. Not that I seek the gift: but I seek the fruit that may abound to your account.
4:18. But I have all and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, an odor of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
4:19. May my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
4:20. Now to God and our Father be glory, world without end. Amen.
4:22. The brethren who are with me salute you. All the saints salute you: especially they that are of Caesar's household.
4:23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.