Those who desire that Christ may be magnified in their bodies have a holy indifference whether it be by life or death and may rejoice in all their tribulations as Christ’s witnesses, knowing that the Word of God cannot be imprisoned and that through things do not turn to their comfort in this world, by God’s grace, they will be made to turn to the salvation of others.
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
Philippians 1:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:2 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:3 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:4 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:5 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:6 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:7-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:9 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:10-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:12-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:14 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:15 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:16-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:21-30 – J. Vernon McGee
Philippians 1:1-11 – Rejoice in Growth and Seek Increase
It is exceedingly difficult to compress this Epistle, which is the tenderest and most personal of them all. Every word merits consideration; every paragraph is full of linked sweetness long drawn out. In the opening verses we are taught that we may further the gospel, not only by direct efforts, but by helping those who, like the Apostle, are devoted to its spread. From the early beginnings of their friendship, this Church had never faltered in its loving gifts, which Paul sought to repay with prayers on their behalf. He regarded them as comrades fighting the same enemy, on the same field, and sharing in the same grace.
The Apostle’s confidence that whatever God begins will have its perfect end, Philippians 1:6, is very reassuring. This is what we need, though we must not take it for granted apart from faith and prayer. Each of the Epistles has its “collect,” its comprehensive prayer offered in the name of Christ. This one is especially beautiful. Abounding love will lead to increased knowledge; and this to quicker discrimination between things that differ, however similar they may appear; and this, in turn, to freedom from blame and offense. And all will result in the fruit of a holy life, pleasing to Jesus and bringing glory and praise to God. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Philippians 1:12-21 – “To Live Is Christ, and To Die Is Gain”
It was a matter of comparative indifference to Paul what happened to himself so long as the gospel progressed, because the extension of the gospel meant the growing glory of Jesus. He was quite content to be in bonds, if only by his chains he might gain access to new realms, hitherto untrodden, for proclaiming his Lord. He could even view with equanimity the envy and strife of some, if Jesus might be named to those who had never heard of Him, He was prepared to live or to die, that Jesus might be magnified. He was willing to remain for a little longer outside of heaven, if that would better serve the cause he loved. His main argument for consistency of life on the part of his converts was that the success of the gospel might not be impeded. It seemed good to suffer, if only it were on the behalf of Christ. Oh that we might experience a similar absorption in the great interests of the gospel!
It is clear from this paragraph that death is not an unconscious sleep. It is gain. It is a loosing from anchorage so that the soul may go forth on the broad ocean of God’s love. It does not interrupt our conscious fellowship with the Lord. The moment of absence here is the moment of presence there. To die is therefore gain. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Philippians 1:22-30 – Privileged to Suffer in Christ’s behalf
Our “manner of life” is all-important (2 Timothy 3:10). In the open day and in the hours of darkness it must be worthy of the gospel. We must show ourselves to be of a heavenly tone and temper, as citizens of that “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Lady Powerscourt used to say that she dwelt in heaven, but came down for a few hours each day to do her work on earth, returning home at night. Clearly, then, our dress, accent, and behavior should betray us as strangers and pilgrims who can well endure the discomfort of the inn or the troublous experiences of the place of our sojourn.
Notice that remarkable expression, For unto you if is given in the behalf of Christ… to suffer, Philippians 1:29. This is an added honor conferred on us by our Lord. The King gives us the opportunity of lying in the stocks with Him, of standing at the same pillory, and of being crucified on the same Calvary. But those who have drunk of His cup shall share His throne. When earth and heaven shall pass away, His fellow-sufferers shall be His chosen body-guard and attendants in a world where all shall love and honor Him. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Philippians 1:29—Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ… to suffer.
The child of God is often called to suffer, because nothing will convince onlookers of the reality and power of true religion as suffering will do, when it is borne with Christian resignation and fortitude. And how great the compensations are!
He can keep in such perfect peace. He can make lonely times, when no one is near the couch, to be so full of sweet fellowship and communion. He can put such strong, soft hands under the tired limbs, resting them. He can give refreshment to the spirit when the body is deprived of sleep.
Every one cannot be trusted with suffering. All could not stand the fiery ordeal. They would speak rashly and complainingly, So the Master has to select with careful scrutiny the branches which can stand the knife; the jewels which can bear the wheel. It is given to some to preach, to others to work, but to others to suffer. Accept it as a gift from his hand. Look up and take each throb of pain, each hour of agony, as his gift. Dare to thank Him for it. Look inside the envelope of pain for the message it enfolds. It is a rough packing-case, but there is treasure in it.
And can you not minister to other sufferers? Can you not dictate letters of comfort, or pray for them, or devise little alleviations and surprises for those who have not what you have? Suffering is on Christ’s behalf; it must, then, be intended as part of that great ministry for the world in which He, with his saints, is engaged. There is a sense in which all suffering, borne in the spirit of Calvary, helps men, not in the way of atonement or propitiation, of course, but by the exhibition of the power of God’s grace in the sufferer. —Our Daily Homily