Philippians Front Matter


“Dr. Merida has produced a commentary that is faithful to the text, sensitive to voices of the past, and full of practical applications. Here we see exegesis and applications wedded in a beautiful and Christ-exalting way. This is the work of a pastor-scholar writing for the church within the church.”

Edgar Aponte, Director of Hispanic Leadership Development and Instructor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Tony Merida has accomplished a rare achievement! His commentary on Philippians is skilled without being stuffy, clear without being simplistic, and at its core you will find a scholar’s mind and a preacher’s heart. He has provided a great gift to pastors and students of the Word.”

Bernie A. Cueto, campus pastor and assistant professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, Palm Beach Atlantic University

“While many commentaries are written by scholars for scholars, Tony Merida and Francis Chan’s Exalting Jesus in Philippians is written for preachers by preachers. (Two of the most prominent ones at that!) Like their sermons, Merida and Chan’s commentary is informative and conversational, humorous and convicting. They seamlessly transition from a quip about Quarterback Tom Brady to a quote by New Testament scholar Gordon Fee, from a joke by comedian Jim Gaffigan to a citation of St. Cyprian. Sections of the commentary are punctuated with devotional questions to help readers reflect and discuss, which makes this book not only a priceless resource for pastors but also a viable option for small groups. In addition to their insights as preachers, Merida and Chan share Paul’s fervent heart for church planting and his profound heartache for the lost, which provides a fresh, extraordinary perspective on Philippians.”

Joseph R. Dodson, Associate Professor of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University

“This commentary, like all in this series, does not disappoint. Tony faithfully takes us to the text, equipping us to faithfully take the text to our churches and to our streets. Exalting Jesus in Philippians will be a high-caliber addition to your arsenal as you joyfully seek to make Jesus known to all people in every circumstance as we look to the day when ‘every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord,’ to the glory of God the Father.”

Mike Hanafee, pastor, Restoration Church, Detroit, Michigan

“This commentary on Philippians is a gift to pastors because it blends qualities rarely combined in commentaries: faithful text-work, careful application, and winsome communication. Tony and Francis stay anchored to Scripture, model a heart for people, and most importantly, keep their eyes on Jesus. As preachers, we should always do the same, and this commentary will serve us well.”

C. J. Mahaney, senior pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville

“Precise and diligent exposition of God’s Word must remain a core value of God’s people if the church is going to continue to fulfill God’s purposes. This commentary will strengthen and encourage that value among the churches for years to come. It does an excellent job of unpacking the riches of Philippians in a way that is clear, Christ exalting, and gospel saturated. Filled with helpful illustrations and thoughtful applications, I am confident that this will be a powerful tool in the hands of those who love God’s Word and desire to handle it rightly.”

Kevin Peck, Lead Pastor of the Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas


Dedicated to Adrian Rogers and John Piper. They have taught us to love the gospel of Jesus Christ, to preach the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, to pastor the church for which our Savior died, and to have a passion to see all nations gladly worship the Lamb.

—David Platt, Tony Merida, and Danny Akin

March 2013


Just as Paul opens up by thanking God for the Philippians, I, too, want to express my gratitude to God for several gospel partners.

Thank you, Imago Dei Church, for being such a joy to pastor. The elders count it an undeserved privilege to shepherd such a Bible-loving, missionary-minded congregation. It was a joy to study Philippians with you.

I’m also indebted to Samuel Rogers, Ben Palka, and BreAnna Lewis for helping me put the finishing touches on the commentary.

To my bride, Kimberly, and our five children, thank you for your constant love, support, and prayers. May God continue to bless us as we seek to exalt Jesus together.

Finally, I want to say thank you to Sandra Schmid for tracking down the audio files of Francis Chan’s sermons through Philippians. I was greatly edified and blessed by these messages. I have incorporated many of Francis’s ideas into the body of the commentary. When a personal illustration is used, I try to identify to whom it is referring (me or Francis). Thank you, Francis, for the joy of partnering in this venture. I pray that this commentary will be used in the multiplication of disciples around the world, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tony Merida


Augustine said, “Where Scripture speaks, God speaks.” The editors of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series believe that where God speaks, the pastor must speak. God speaks through His written Word. We must speak from that Word. We believe the Bible is God breathed, authoritative, inerrant, sufficient, understandable, necessary, and timeless. We also affirm that the Bible is a Christ-centered book; that is, it contains a unified story of redemptive history of which Jesus is the hero. Because of this Christ-centered trajectory that runs from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, we believe the Bible has a corresponding global-missions thrust. From beginning to end, we see God’s mission as one of making worshipers of Christ from every tribe and tongue worked out through this redemptive drama in Scripture. To that end we must preach the Word.

In addition to these distinct convictions, the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series has some distinguishing characteristics. First, this series seeks to display exegetical accuracy. What the Bible says is what we want to say. While not every volume in the series will be a verse-by-verse commentary, we nevertheless desire to handle the text carefully and explain it rightly. Those who teach and preach bear the heavy responsibility of saying what God has said in His Word and declaring what God has done in Christ. We desire to handle God’s Word faithfully, knowing that we must give an account for how we have fulfilled this holy calling (Jas 3:1).

Second, the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series has pastors in view. While we hope others will read this series, such as parents, teachers, small-group leaders, and student ministers, we desire to provide a commentary busy pastors will use for weekly preparation of biblically faithful and gospel-saturated sermons. This series is not academic in nature. Our aim is to present a readable and pastoral style of commentaries. We believe this aim will serve the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Third, we want the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series to be known for the inclusion of helpful illustrations and theologically driven applications. Many commentaries offer no help in illustrations, and few offer any kind of help in application. Often those that do offer illustrative material and application unfortunately give little serious attention to the text. While giving ourselves primarily to explanation, we also hope to serve readers by providing inspiring and illuminating illustrations coupled with timely and timeless application.

Finally, as the name suggests, the editors seek to exalt Jesus from every book of the Bible. In saying this, we are not commending wild allegory or fanciful typology. We certainly believe we must be constrained to the meaning intended by the divine Author Himself, the Holy Spirit of God. However, we also believe the Bible has a messianic focus, and our hope is that the individual authors will exalt Christ from particular texts. Luke 24:25-27,44-47 and John 5:39,46 inform both our hermeneutics and our homiletics. Not every author will do this the same way or have the same degree of Christ-centered emphasis. That is fine with us. We believe faithful exposition that is Christ centered is not monolithic. We do believe, however, that we must read the whole Bible as Christian Scripture. Therefore, our aim is both to honor the historical particularity of each biblical passage and to highlight its intrinsic connection to the Redeemer.

The editors are indebted to the contributors of each volume. The reader will detect a unique style from each writer, and we celebrate these unique gifts and traits. While distinctive in their approaches, the authors share a common characteristic in that they are pastoral theologians. They love the church, and they regularly preach and teach God’s Word to God’s people. Further, many of these contributors are younger voices. We think these new, fresh voices can serve the church well, especially among a rising generation that has the task of proclaiming the Word of Christ and the Christ of the Word to the lost world.

We hope and pray this series will serve the body of Christ well in these ways until our Savior returns in glory. If it does, we will have succeeded in our assignment.

David Platt

Daniel L. Akin

Tony Merida

Series Editors

February 2013