- Philippians 2:16-20
- Phil 2:16 (KJB)
- Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of
Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
- Holding forth - Holding fast, hold upon, or retain
- Vain - Empty, worthless, or ineffective
- Paul continues from verse 15 that we shine as lights in the world
because we continue to hold fast to the word of life. This may have a dual
meaning, it may mean holding on to the Lord Jesus Christ and holding on to
the written word of God. In both instances, Paul is advocating the maturing
of the Philippian Christians by holding fast to the Lord Jesus Christ
through the written word of God which is the Gospel message. Paul was
looking forward to rejoicing with these Philippians on the day the Lord
returns but for now he wants to ensure that he has not run in vain, that is,
wasted his time on people who have disregarded the Gospel message and have
not grown in the faith. He is not doubting their salvation but he wants to
make sure they have engaged in the growth process so they will become strong
Christians and be strong witnesses to others. It does no good to bring
Scripture to Christians who will not grow but choose to remain as spiritual
children all their life. One of the most important reasons for growth is so
a Christian would not be snared into following a false gospel. With maturity
comes the ability to discern between the true and false. Christians who will
not read have no advantage over those who cannot read.
- Phil 2:17 (KJB)
- Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service
of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
- I be offered - To be poured out like a drink offering
- Sacrifice - An offering or a thing sacrificed
- Service - Ministry or a public service
- In the beginning of this chapter, Paul had written of the self-denial of
the Lord Jesus Christ and here Paul is stating to the Philippians that he is
willing to be poured out like a drink offering in the service of ministry to
them. This shows the full involvement that ministry requires. It is not
something which is entered into lightly. Paul rejoiced at the fact that he
would be willing to be deeply involved in the life and maturation of the
Philippians. His desire was to see them grow and become much stronger in the
faith and if it required his life as a living sacrifice to accomplish it,
then he was glad to do it. (Rom 12:1
KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which
is your reasonable service. When we look at
the term “living sacrifice” it is almost an oxymoron because a sacrifice was
killed and not left alive. As Christians it is our responsibility to be dead
while living. We are to be dead to the things of the world and the old life
while alive unto God and alive in His service.
- Phil 2:18 (KJB)
- For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
- Paul did not want the Philippians to fell any sorrow at his situation.
He was willing and ready to be poured out and he already wrote to them that
he would consider that a great gain since he would be with the Lord Jesus
Christ. He wanted them to rejoice with him and not to be sorrowful if they
heard of his death for the sake of the Gospel. At this time though he was
hoping they rejoice with him for the marvelous future and life the Christian
will have with Christ for all eternity.
(1 Th 4:13 KJV) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which
have no hope. The world will sorrow because they
have no hope but the Christian, being spiritually alive, shall never taste
death, as soon as our physical bodies die, we are at home in Heaven with the
Lord, more alive than we could ever imagine.
- Phil 2:19 (KJB)
- But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I
also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
- May be of good comfort - Be of good courage
- State - Your account or about you
- The Apostle Paul was always concerned about the Christians he was
involved with. If he was unable to visit them, he would send a trusted
associate to visit them and bring back a report to him. Paul had considered
Timothy so close that he called him his son in the faith.
(1 Tim 1:2 KJV) Unto Timothy, my own son
in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus
Christ our Lord. He trusted Timothy to give him an
unbiased report of the state of the Philippian church.
- Phil 2:20 (KJB)
- For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for
- Likeminded - One of like soul, mind, or spirit
- Naturally - Genuinely or sincerely
- Here Paul gives a testimony of the magnitude of Timothy’s spirit. Paul
trusted him to care for the Philippians as he would if he was coming to see
them. This is a great testimony of Timothy’s Christian character that he
could be trusted to truly perform in the same manner that the Apostle Paul
would have. It gets you to do an introspection of our own faithfulness.
Would we go the extra mile or would we do the minimum and call it acceptable
ministry? Many are willing to hand out tracts but how many are willing to do
the follow up?