SUMMARY.--Like-mindedness Commended. Lowliness Enjoined. The Lowliness and the Exaltation of Christ. Working Out Their Own Salvation. Becoming Lights in the World. The Relations of Paul and Timothy. Epaphroditus and His Sickness.
12, 13. Wherefore, my beloved. From the contemplation of Christ's glory, the apostle turns to the lessons needed by the Philippian church. Work out your own salvation. While Christ is our Savior, and the author of our salvation, we must accept him and work together with him. Hence the Holy Spirit says, "Save yourselves" ( Acts 2:40 ), and "work out your own salvation." Unless we do our part Christ cannot save us. With fear and trembling. With constant anxiety not to fail. 13. For it is God which worketh in you. God works in the converted person by his word and Spirit. His Spirit is a helper. It does not destroy our free will, for we may resist it ( 1 Thess. 5:19 ). Both to will and to work. God shows his will by his word and spirit and work in us. We ought to heed it. We can work in harmony with the divine will, or we may reject to our damnation. His good pleasure. As seemeth best to him.
14-18. Do all things without murmurings. Without complaining. Some persons pass their lives complaining. 15. The sons of God. Those of so high estate ought to be harmless, blameless, and in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, a wicked world, they should shine as lights by their pure and holy lives. 16. Holding forth the word of life. Always preaching Christ in word, in life, and in deed. That was their work. Unless they did this they were a failure. That I may rejoice. Unless they had done so he would be made to feel, in the day of Christ, the day of accounts, that his labor at Philippi was in vain. 17. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice, etc. He is willing to die as a sacrifice for Christ, martyred because he has preached the gospel to the Gentiles, if it will be an encouragement to their faith. He will even rejoice in death if it will help the cause of Christ. The imagery used was familiar to those who had so often seen victims sacrificed as offerings in the heathen temples. 18. Rejoice with me. Like me, rejoice in the prospect of death, if thereby Christ may be glorified.
19-24. I trust in the Lord Jesus. Through the help of the Lord. To send Timothy. His companion at Rome at this time, his beloved convert and fellow-laborer. See notes on 1:1. That I may be of good comfort. When he returns from visiting you and shows me your state. 20. For I have no man like-minded. No one else is here with me who will so well represent my feelings and views when he visits you. 21. For all seek their own. Others, who were at hand, were more mindful of their own interests than of Christ's cause. We infer from this that of his faithful fellow-preachers none were in Rome save Timothy. 22. Ye know the proof of him. You have seen him and know him. Timothy had more than once visited Philippi before this ( 2 Corinthians 2:9 2 Corinthians 13:3 ). As a son with a father. Timothy was his convert, and showed him a tender reverence. 23. So soon as I shall see, etc. As soon as there is some decision in his case, showing whether he will be released, or what may be his fate, he will send Timothy. 24. But I trust. Yet he expects by the Lord's help to be released, and to visit them himself. See note on 1:25, 26.
25-30. Epaphroditus. He will now send back Epaphroditus, the messenger they had sent to Paul with their offerings, one who had been so welcome, a "brother, and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier." 26. For he longed after you all. Was very desirous to see you. Full of heaviness. Heart-sickness. He had been sick. We thus learn that their messenger had a serious sickness while in Rome. Of course the news of this caused great anxiety at home. 27. God had mercy on him. He was "nigh to death," but God in his mercy spared him. Sorrow upon sorrow. His death would have been a great sorrow to Paul, who had already many sorrows. 28. I sent him therefore the more diligently. Because his brethren at home were so anxious about him. Their joy in seeing him will be a joy to Paul also, so that he will be the less sorrowful over his absence. 29. Receive him. Give him a glad welcome. Hold such as he in high reputation. 30. Because. Because it was his work for Christ, his refusal to spare himself, his supreme anxiety to supply by his own service the absence of the church, which brought on his sickness.