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Philippians Chapter 1

Paul writes with Timotheus (Timothy) to the believers, (v1) blessing them in the Holy Trinity by allusion to grace (The Holy Spirit) from the Father and Jesus Christ. (v2) Paul gladly remembers them always (v3) in all his prayers (v4) with joy for their fellowship with him in the truth of the gospel (from the beginning of their faith until the writing of this epistle.) (v5) Paul is confident that the Lord will bring their salvation in eternal life by the Holy Spirit to complete fullness ready for the return of Jesus Christ. (v6) Paul writes it is "meet" for him to think it - it is good, being surely expected by Paul because not only does he have them in his heart - but that for their sake is he in imprisonment (for the furtherance of the gospel and its defence and manifestation amongst them) - they show the very same grace that the Lord has shown Paul. (v7)

Paul states that God knows how greatly Paul expects their salvation, yearning for them in prayer and hope as previously mentioned within the body of Christ (Paul uses the word bowels - to emphasise that he yearns for the same purpose as Christ - their complete salvation.) (v8) Paul prays specifically for them to be increased in the knowledge of God and in all judgement as to the truth of God's gospel (v9) that they may discern those things that are excellent - (as to the promises of God, for instance His second coming;) as well as of those good works both of God in the gospel and for their repentance that they be blameless in the day of Christ's coming. (v10)

Paul continues instructing them that he prays they be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are the work of the Holy Spirit; (gifted them because of Jesus) for the glory and praise of God. (v11). The Holy Spirit works to bring us into eternal life under grace so that thanksgiving (enabled by a covering of our sins) might work to greater glory for God than would His wrath poured out on the disobedient children we surely were (or still are).

Paul asks that they understand that the things befallen him have occurred to further the spread of the Gospel, (v12) So that whilst a prisoner in Rome Paul's service to the gospel is known in the palaces and other places of authority. (v13) Because of this liberty to preach - many others have been made bold to spread the gospel in Rome (v14). Even to provoke people to spread the word of the gospel in opposition, spreading it all the same - others in thanks for the good news. (v15) The former opposing the gospel preach Christ not with the truth of grace but of rebellion against the state and have sought to add hardship to Paul's imprisonment. (v16) But the teaching of the true gospel is done in the knowledge that Paul is in palaces with authority to defend the gospel, being its chiefest voice amongst those that govern in Rome. (v17) Paul can not question the fact that this imprisonment has benefited the spread of the gospel there - whether preached by pretence or in its truth, Christ is preached all the same and Paul is made glad and will be glad always for this. (v18)

Paul knows that through their prayers he will be justified in his imprisonment, and the supply of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of Christ will win out - (for only the gospel in its truth will be manifested by His works). (v19) That is the hope and expected outcome of Paul, that the true gospel will find acceptance and increase so Paul can confidently defend it without fear of reprisal or failure. (as always) So whether he is released or executed Christ's gospel will be much furthered by Paul's imprisonment. (v20)

For to be free is to further the gospel in life as serving Christ, but to die a prisoner is Paul's personal gain. (v21) If he survives, the increase of the gospel is Paul's reward but he does not know which he would prefer. (v22) For Paul will be satisfied equally with either life or death; having a desire to die and be raised with Christ, which is far better than life now, for all those with a reward in God. (v23) Although Paul does admit it is better for others that he be preserved alive in Rome. (v24) Knowing this Paul expects he will be released, (or left alive) so as to further the gospel and his joy in the realised faith of the believers. (v25)

We can extend by perfection again here... it is better for Paul to remain alive - and when the day arrives for his trial it will rest upon the prayers of believers.. Paul expects that Jesus has had many requests to save Paul's life - but Paul is comforting them in their prayers all the same with the knowledge that it would be far better for the gospel to be boldly preached. Preached freely from an outpouring of the Holy Spirit amongst the believers so that Paul can either continue its defence in bonds within the palace, or be released and further the gospel even more elsewhere. Whilst Paul may be happy to die, he is confident that he will further the gospel either way, and he being alive is a better way as than in death (for the moment). Better God's kingdom be known to have come (by His Christ) and have an ambassador in Caesar's palace than for it to have seemed to have died with Him.

Therefore Paul's confidence is that the thanksgiving of their answered prayers to Jesus Christ might be found to be far greater when Paul is released and is free to come to them again. (v26)

Now Paul has informed them of how the gospel has been furthered by his bonds, he asks them to continue in good behaviour and repentance so that when he comes, or is made mindful of their state by another he may hear that they all obey the ministration of the same Holy Spirit, following as one body the true faith of the gospel. (v27) He tells them not to be fearful of their opposition from jews or false teachers, the jews see this fear as an indicator of guilt and sin, though the fear shows the believers they are saved; (v28) not least because opposition from jews was shown to Christ Himself - and therefore those called to believe on Him will also be opposed for the truth's sake. (v29) Wherefore to the believers their adversaries are set against them by jealousy, as they were to Paul when He was free and also now they preach against Christ as written before in this epistle. (As those preaching the gospel is contentious.) (v30)


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