SO THAT YOUR PROUD CONFIDENCE IN ME
MAY ABOUND IN CHRIST JESUS THROUGH MY COMING TO YOU AGAIN:
2:16, 2:17, 2:18, 3:1, 3:3; 4:4, 4:10; Song 5:1; Jn 16:22;16:24,
2Co1:14; 5:12; 7:6)
so that you may have
still further grounds for boasting in Christ because of me, when once
again I come to visit you. (Barclay)
and that you on your part may have in me fresh cause for boasting in
Christ, when you see me present among you once more. (Lightfoot)
you can look forward to making much of me as your minister in Christ
when I come to see you again! (Phillips),
In order that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus through me by
reason of my personal presence with you again. (Wuest),
that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will
overflow on account of me (NIV),
when I visit you again, you will have good reason to take great pride in
Christ Jesus because of me. (CEV),
that your boasting may
abound in Christ Jesus through me by my presence again with you.
that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus
Christ by my coming to you again (NKJV)
So by coming to you
again, I want to give you even more reason to have pride in Christ Jesus
with me. (GWT)
So that - This phrase marks a
specific purpose, the giving to the Philippians saints of an abundant
ground for boasting.
(kauchema) is the result of boasting. This verse is
somewhat difficult to understand in the NASB translation. The old ASV
(1901) is easier to understand:
that your glorying may abound in
Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.
A T Robertson emphasizes that
"In Christ Jesus” (see all NT
uses of this phrase below) as the basis
for the glorying"
"it looks as if the pronoun “your” points to their
glorying in Paul. But in the original (Greek) the
case may be the objective, and the presence of the article with “glorying”
indicates that the meaning is, “the glorying in you [that is, “his
glorying in them”] may abound in me in Christ Jesus.” Either meaning is
The idea seems to be that
the saints in Philippi would glory, boast or exult because the one who
had taught them about Christ would be with them again and that their
"proud confidence" or exulting would ultimately be
in Christ Jesus,
the Source of true joy
for all believers.
Thus the NIV translates it as
"your joy (literally "your boasting") in Christ Jesus will overflow
on account of me".
The BBE offers a well worded compromise
"So that your pride in me may be
increased in Christ Jesus through my being present with you again."
Expositor's comments that
"The emphasis is not on the action itself, but
on the basis for it. As the Philippians would experience the progress
and joy that Paul's labors among them would produce, they would have new
and greater reasons for overflowing with joy. This reason for glorying
(their "proud confidence") would be found "in
Christ Jesus," Of course,
but its immediate occasion would be "on account of me" (en emoi), said
Paul. His ministry among them would enable them to see more clearly the
riches of their salvation in Christ."
"Through his being spared for longer life and service on earth, the
Philippians would have added cause for rejoicing in the Lord when he
would visit them once again. Can you not imagine how they would throw
their arms around him and kiss him, and praise the Lord with great joy
when he would arrive at Philippi?"
"Through the mercy and grace of Christ, if he (Paul) was spared, his
deliverance would be traced to Christ, and they (saints in Philippi) would rejoice together in One (Christ Jesus) Who had so
mercifully delivered him. Their joy would not only be that he was
delivered, but that he was permitted to see them again."
(surpass, overflow) (4052)
be in excess, overflow and is a favorite of Paul in this epistle to the
Philippians (Phil 1:9, 26; 4:12, 18). The point is, as Paul lived on
fruitfully, their joy and confidence would continue to overflow because
of Christ’s working in him, not because of anything he himself did by
his own ability. Paul wanted their proud confidence, glorying or
exultation to continually overflow, to exceed a fixed number or measure,
to exist in abundance and to be over and above. A synonym we might use
today would be the "abundant" Christian life. Do you have a mentor like
Paul who was gone for some time and now has returned with the result
that you are now overflowing with exultation to Christ Jesus?
Perisseuo - 39x in 35v - Matt
5:20; 13:12; 14:20; 15:37; 25:29; Mark 12:44; Luke 9:17; 12:15; 15:17;
21:4; John 6:12f; Acts 16:5; Rom 3:7; 5:15; 15:13; 1 Cor 8:8; 14:12;
15:58; 2 Cor 1:5; 3:9; 4:15; 8:2, 7; 9:8, 12; Eph 1:8; Phil 1:9, 26;
4:12, 18; Col 2:7; 1 Thess 3:12; 4:1, 10.
The NAS renders perisseuo
variously as - abound(10), abounded(1), abounding(1), abundance(2),
abundant(1), better(1), cause(1), cause*(1), excel(2), has an
abundance(1), have an abundance(3), have more than enough(1), having
abundance(1), increasing(1), lavished(1), left over(4), leftover(1),
live in prosperity(1), make...abound(1), overflowed(1), overflowing(2),
Wuest notes indicates that
Jesus is the Sphere in which these blessings are enjoyed, the Sphere in
the sense that He made them possible through the blood of His Cross, and
in the sense that He is the joy of the believer’s life, the One who
completely satisfies. Paul is the human instrument through whom God
works to bring these joys to the Philippians by means of his personal
presence with them again." Christ Jesus ultimately is the only One in which we
should boast (1Cor 1:31)
In Christ Jesus
- 51x in 50v in the NAS - Acts 24:24; Rom 3:24; 6:11, 23; 8:1f, 39;
15:17; 16:3; 1 Cor 1:2, 4, 30; 4:15; 15:31; 16:24; Gal 2:4, 16; 3:14,
26, 28; 5:6; Eph 1:1; 2:6f, 10, 13; 3:6, 11, 21; Phil 1:1, 26; 2:5; 3:3,
14; 4:7, 19, 21; Col 1:4; 1 Thess 2:14; 5:18; 1 Tim 1:14; 3:13; 2 Tim
1:1, 9, 13; 2:1, 10; 3:12, 15; Philemon 1:23
The boasting of the Philippian
saints did not center on Paul, but had Christ as the Object, for He was
the One Whose Person, righteousness, and salvation were continually
emphasized by Paul for their focused attention and their comfort. These
saints would rejoice with overflowing if and when Paul returned to them
but even then their rejoicing
as has been repeatedly emphasized would ultimately be in Christ Jesus.
Henry reminds us
All our joys should terminate in Christ. Our joy in good ministers
should be our joy in Christ Jesus for them, for they are but the friends
of the bridegroom, and are to be received in His name, and for His sake.
[word study] from para
= with + ousia =being = the participial form of the
verb eimi = to be) literally means a "being
beside" or a presence. Parousia in the NAS is translated
"coming" 22 times and as "presence" twice.
Parousia - 24x: Matt 24:3, 27, 37, 39;
1 Cor 15:23; 16:17; 2 Cor 7:6f; 10:10; Phil 1:26; 2:12; 1 Thess 2:19; 3:13;
4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess 2:1, 8f; Jas 5:7f; 2 Pet 1:16; 3:4, 12; 1 John 2:28. NAS =
denotes both an arrival and a consequent presence with. For instance, in
a papyrus letter a lady speaks of the necessity of her parousia
in a place in order to attend to matters relating to her property there.
In the present context it speaks of the personal presence of Paul as it
does later in this same letter (Php 2:12).
Parousia is better known as the word which describes the
coming of the Lord Jesus and in this latter context it refers to both
His coming for His Church and to His second Advent at the end of the
Great Tribulation (Click
of Christ "for more discussion of "parousia"
Click here for comparison of
Day of the Lord, Day of Christ)
F B Meyer...
THE MANNER OF LIFE
WHICH BECOMES THE GOSPEL
A Time of Suspense.
The Apostle had been in suspense; on the one
hand, the supreme interest of living was that he might know and serve Christ; on
the other hand, to die would be gain because it would usher him into an
existence with wider horizons and opportunities. Which of the two to choose had
thrown him into difficulty and suspense. Finally, however, he had come to the
conclusion, that, in all probability, the hour for striking his tent, weighing
his anchor, and departing to be with Christ had not come, and that he would have
still to abide in the flesh, staying at his post, maintaining his witness on
behalf of the Gospel, and bearing the burden and weight of the Churches which
looked to him as their father. As far as he was concerned, it was infinitely
better to go to be with Christ, but for the sake of the work that needed him, he
realised that it was more necessary to remain with his fellow-believers, as
their comrade and helper, so as to promote their progress in the knowledge of
God, and their joy in believing.
How to Live Meanwhile.
He counted, therefore, with almost absolute
certainty that he would return again to Philippi, and already he seemed to hear
their shouts of rejoicing as he disembarked at the quay, and was welcomed by the
membership of the Church which had come down to Neapolis to greet him. In order
that that glad hour might be a sky without clouds, that there might be nothing
to jar on the greatness of their mutual gladness, he urged that their
conversation (lit. their citizenship) should be worthy of the Gospel of Christ,
so that whether he came to see them or was compelled still to be absent, he
might hear good tidings of their steadfastness, unity, undaunted courage, and
willingness to suffer.
The word conversation is the rendering of a
Greek word, which is familiar to us in the terms "police," "politics,"
"politicians." Its primary reference is to cities and city life. The Apostle
thought of the Philippian disciples as citizens. They were citizens of Rome in
the first instance, but they were also citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Later
on in this Epistle he says, "Our conversation (lit. citizenship) is in heaven."
Is not this true of us all? Much as we glory in our earthly citizenship, we have
more to glory in when we remember that we are under a Divine Sovereign, that we
owe allegiance to Heavenly laws, and that we have burgess rights in the City of
God. This, Macaulay tells us, in his eloquent description of the Puritans, was
their pride and boast, and it may be ours. We desire a better country, that is,
an heavenly, and believe that God has prepared for us a city. We confess that we
are pilgrims and strangers on the earth, because we greet from afar the
Celestial City, the home of God's elect.
The word, in the course of usage, obtained a wider significance than
citizenship, and refers to the manner of life which is incumbent on all those,
who by faith have become children of the Jerusalem which is above. We have daily
to live in a manner which becomes our high calling and great profession.
We must be Steadfast.
"That ye stand fast." It is comparatively
easy to mount up with wings, to run without wearying, and even to walk without
fainting, but the hardest matter is to stand fast. Not going back, not yielding
to the pressure of circumstances, not cowering before the foe, but quietly,
resolutely, and determinedly holding our ground. This note rings through the
Apostle's writings. "Having done all," he cries, "see that ye withstand in the
evil day, and stand" (Eph. 6:13-14). In this Epistle, we shall find him bidding
his brethren "stand fast in the Lord" (Phil. 4:1). Evidently, in his judgment,
steadfastness was of supreme importance in the make-up of character.
It is good to begin, but it is better to keep on steadily to the end. It is much
when the young soldier, well equipped for battle, steps out into the early dawn,
with the light shining upon his weapons, but it is more important far, if, in
the late afternoon, he is found standing in the long thin line, resisting the
perpetual onset of the foe. We are told of Daniel, that he "continued" (Dan.
1:21). This, perhaps, is the greatest tribute to him, that through decades he
did not swerve from his loyalty to God, or devotion to the high interests which
were committed to his charge. The men that are steadfast in their loyalty to
truth, in their prosecution of duty, in their holding the post assigned to them
by the providence of God, are those which leave the deepest impression on their
contemporaries. It is not the flash of the meteor which the world really wants,
but the constant radiance of the fixed star. What though the storm beats in your
face, and every effort is made to dislodge you, though it seems as if you were
forgotten in that lone post of duty, still stand fast: the whole situation may
depend upon your tenacity of purpose, the campaign may be decided by your
holding your ground without flinching. If the Master has put you as a light on
the cellar stair, never desert that post because it is lonely and distasteful,
and because the opportunity of service comes rarely. To be found doing your duty
at the unexpected moment, when His footfall is heard along the corridor, will be
a reward for years of patient waiting.
We must Preserve the Spirit of Unity.
"In one spirit, with one mind (R.V. soul)
striving together (lit. wrestling) for the faith of the Gospel." The idea of the
Apostle is derived from the ancient games, when men might wrestle side by side
against those of another city or nation. We put each other in good heart when we
stand and strive shoulder to shoulder. The regiments which are drawn from the
same locality, are most likely to give a good account of themselves in the
battle. Every care should be taken to guard against the outbreak of
misunderstanding and jealousy, for these, more than anything else, will induce a
spirit of disunion, which is the sure precursor of failure.
In the Home.
To use the illustration of our Lord, the
homes that are united are irresistible in their impact upon men, the household
which is divided against itself cannot stand. So it is with the alliances,
leagues, and parties of human politics; so it is with the army, with federations
of operatives, or in the administration of the affairs of state. Directly there
are suspicions, jealousies, envies; so soon as men are alienated by the spirit
of faction and intrigue; directly parties are for themselves rather than for the
In the Church.
In Church life, it is of course necessary
that each should preserve his individuality. Each stone in the foundation of the
New Jerusalem must flash with its own lustre. Each star must shine with its own
glory; each ray in the prism must be itself, or the pure beam of light cannot be
produced. The very glory of our common Church life is in the play and mutual
interaction of different temperaments, dispositions, and character. A dull
uniformity is much to be feared. "If the different members of each Church were
similar, if all held the same views, all spoke the same words, all viewed truth
from the same stand-point, they would have no unity, but would be simply an
aggregate of atoms--the sand pit over again." But amid all these differences
there may be a true unity, the different notes may make one splendid burst of
music, the different regiments may be animated by a common heroism, the crowd of
Medes, Parthians, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Cretans and Arabians, Jews and
Gentiles, may make one Church, of whom it may be said "They continued with one
accord in the temple, and in breaking bread at home." Whatever we do as members
of Christian organisations, we should lay stress upon the things in which we are
agreed, and refuse to be alienated over inconsiderable matters, about which we
We must Show Courage in the Presence of our Enemies.
"In nothing affrighted by the adversaries,
which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and
that from God." The adversaries include the virulent hate of Jews who dogged the
footsteps of the Apostle, and sought to overthrow his work, and the strong
hatred of the Gentiles, which showed itself in the cruel scourging and
imprisonment to which Paul and Silas had been subjected ten years before. The
origin of the word translated affrighted, suggests the behaviour of a horse when
it becomes scared, springs aside, or dashes off wildly. It is an expression of
panic and dismay; as if one should say, "It is vain to resist, the enemy is too
In point of fact, our adversaries bluster much, but effect very little. They
come near to us, as Goliath to David, threatening the terrible things that they
are prepared to perpetrate for our undoing, but when they discover that we
manfully hold our own, they recoil as the waves from the rocks and cliffs of the
shore. It seems, sometimes, as though the ocean would prevail, the mighty waves,
mountain high, come towering towards the coast, but within a moment there is
nothing to show for their fury but a mass of foam. It was so with the Spanish
Armada, when with loud defiance it was hurled against Elizabeth; it was so with
the long strife that followed the burning of John Huss and Jerome at Prague,
when all Europe arrayed itself against their followers in vain. "Lo the kings
assemble themselves, they pass away together; they saw it and then were they
amazed; they were dismayed and were stricken with terror; trembling took hold of
them there, and pain as of a woman in travail; with the east wind Thou breakest
the ships of Tarshish."
Courage Becomes God's Servant.
Undaunted courage becomes the servant of God.
It shone in the faces of the three young men, who told the king that they would
not bow down to his graven image. It inspired the apostles, who told the
Sanhedrin that they must obey God rather than men. It flamed forth in Luther's
lonely stand against the papacy. "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley," said
Latimer, "and play the man, we shall this day light such a candle, by God's
grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." In these words was
evidence of the undaunted courage which has never failed to animate the martyrs
of Jesus. It is impossible to ordinary flesh and blood, but, by faith, we may
receive the lion-heart of Him, who is not only the Lamb as it had been slain,
but the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
We must Accept Suffering as a Gift from God.
"To you it hath been granted in the behalf of
Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer in His behalf; having the
same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." How greatly these
words must have encouraged the Philippian Christians! They realised that the
Apostle looked upon them as fellow soldiers in the same fight as that in which
for a life-time he had been engaged. Their steadfastness and victory at Philippi
would make his own resistance easier, just as his heroism in Rome sent a thrill
of courage and hope into that far distant city. They were comrades, fellow
soldiers, entrusted with similar responsibility on behalf of the dear Lord who
was leading the fight.
Our Victories are Our Lord's.
The same thought was in the mind of the
Master, when, on the return of the seventy from casting out a few demons, He
said, "I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven." He encouraged them by
reminding them that their victories were His. So is it always. There is not a
single lad at whom shoes are thrown in the bedroom by his school-fellows,
because he says his prayers beside his bed; there is not a girl who brings on
herself the derisive epithets of her fellow factory hands, because she reads her
Testament in the dinner hour; there is not a single working man who endures
obloquy and reproach, the hiding of his tools, and exclusion from the
companionship of his fellow workmen, because he dares to rebuke their
blasphemous and impure conversation, who is not sharing in that same conflict,
which is always raging between heaven and hell.
Suffering for Christ's Sake is a Gift.
In that conflict suffering is inevitable, but
let us dare to recognise that suffering for Christ's sake is a gift. "It is
given to you on behalf of Christ." He entrusts money to some, learning to
others, gifts of speech and organisation to others, but to some, who may well
stand in the inner circle, He gives the prerogative to suffer. Accept your
suffering as a precious gift from His hand, and dare to believe that in and
through it all, you are filling up that which is behind of His own suffering,
for His Body's sake, which is the Church. You are being admitted into His
Gethsemane to watch with Him, your suffering is precious in His sight, and will
have a distinct and undoubted effect in hastening the advent of His Kingdom. (F.
B. Meyer. The Epistle to the Philippians)