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1: If there be therefore any consolation - In the grace
of Christ. If any comfort - In the love of God. If any
fellowship of the Holy Ghost; if any bowels of mercies
- Resulting therefrom; any tender affection towards each other.
2: Think the same thing - Seeing Christ is your common
Head. Having the same love - To God, your common Father.
Being of one soul - Animated with the same affections and
tempers, as ye have all drank ill to one spirit. Of one
mind - Tenderly rejoicing and grieving together.
3: Do nothing through contention - Which is inconsistent
with your thinking the same thing. Or vainglory - Desire of
praise, which is directly opposite to the love of God. But
esteem each the others better than themselves - (For every one
knows more evil of himself than he can of another:) Which is
a glorious fruit of the Spirit, and an admirable help to your
continuing "of one soul."
4: Aim not every one at his own things - Only. If so, ye
have not bowels of mercies.
6: Who being in the essential form - The incommunicable
nature. Of God - From eternity, as he was afterward in the form
of man; real God, as real man. Counted it no act of robbery
- That is the precise meaning of the words, - no invasion of
another's prerogative, but his own strict and unquestionable
right. To be equal with God - the word here translated equal,
occurs in the adjective form five or six times in the New
Testament, (Mt 20:12,Lu 6:34,Joh 5:18,Ac 11:17,Re 21:16).
In all which places it expresses not a bare resemblance, but a
real and proper equalitg. It here implies both the fulness and
the supreme height of the Godhead; to which are opposed, he
emptied and he humbled himself.
7: Yet - He was so far from tenaciously insisting upon,
that he willingly relinquished, his claim. He was content
to forego the glories of the Creator, and to appear in the
form of a creature; nay, to he made in the likeness of the
fallen creatures; and not only to share the disgrace, but to
suffer the punishment, due to the meanest and vilest among
them all. He emptied himself - Of that divine fulness, which
he received again at his exaltation. Though he remained full,(Joh 1:14), yet he appeared as if he had been
empty; for he veiled his fulness from the sight of men and angels.
Yea, he not only veiled, but, in some sense, renounced, the glory
which he had before the world began. Taking - And by that very
act emptying himself. The form of a servant - The form, the
likeness, the fashion, though not exactly the same, are yet
nearly related to each other. The form expresses something
absolute; the likeness refers to other things of the same kind;
the fashion respects what appears to sight and sense. Being
made in the likeness of men - A real man, like other men. Hereby
he took the form of a servant.
8: And being found in fashion as a man - A common man, without any
peculiar excellence or comeliness. He humbled himself - To a still greater
depth. Becoming obedient - To God, though equal with him. Even unto
death - The greatest instance both of humiliation and obedience.
Yea, the death of the cross - Inflicted on few but servants or slaves.
9: Wherefore - Because of his voluntary humiliation and
obedience. He humbled himself; but God hath exalted him - So
recompensing his humiliation. And hath given him - So
recompensing his emptying himself. A name which is above
every name - Dignity and majesty superior to every creature.
10: That every knee - That divine honour might be paid in every
possible manner by every creature. Might bow - Either with love or
trembling. Of those in heaven, earth, under the earth - That is,
through the whole universe.
11: And every tongue - Even of his enemies. Confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord - Jehovah; not now "in the form of a servant," but
enthroned in the glory of God the Father.
12: Wherefore - Having proposed Christ's example, he exhorts
them to secure the salvation which Christ has purchased. As ye
have always - Hitherto. Obeyed - Both God, and me his minister.
Now in my absence - When ye have not me to instruct, assist, and
direct you. Work out your own salvation - Herein let every man
aim at his own things. With fear and trembling - With the utmost
care and diligence.
13: For it is God - God alone, who is with you, though I am
not. That worketh in you according to his good pleasure - Not for
any merit of yours. Yet his influences are not to supersede, but
to encourage, our own efforts. Work out your own salvation - Here
is our duty. For it is God that worketh in you - Here is our
encouragement. And O, what a glorious encouragement, to have the
arm of Omnipotence stretched out for our support and our succour!
14: Do all things - Not only without contention,(Php 2:3), but even
without murmurings and disputings - Which are real, though
smaller, hinderances of love.
15: That ye may be blameless - Before men. And simple
- Before God, aiming at him alone. As the sons of God - The God
of love; acting up to your high character. Unrebukable in the
midst of a crooked - Guileful, serpentine, and perverse generation
- Such as the bulk of mankind always were. Crooked - By a corrupt
nature, and yet more perverse by custom and practice.
17: Here he begins to treat of the latter clause of (Php 1:22).
Yea, and if I be offered - Literally, If I be poured out.
Upon the sacrifice of your faith - The Philippians, as the other
converted heathens, were a sacrifice to God through St. Paul's
ministry, (Ro 15:16). And as in sacrificing, wine was poured
at the foot of the altar, so he was willing that his blood should
be poured out. The expression well agrees with that kind of
martyrdom by which he was afterwards offered up to God.
18: Congratulate me - When I am offered up.
19: When I know - Upon my return, that ye stand steadfast.
20: I have none - Of those who are now with me.
21: For all - But Timotheus. Seek their own - Ease, safety,
pleasure, or profit. Amazing! In that golden age of the church,
could St. Paul throughly approve of one only, among all the
labourers that were with him? (Php 1:14,17). And how many do
we think can now approve themselves to God? Not the things of
Jesus Christ - They who seek these alone, will sadly experience
this. They will find few helpers likeminded with themselves,
willing naked to follow a naked Master.
22: As a son with his father - He uses an elegant
peculiarity of phrase, speaking partly as of a son, partly as
of a fellowlabourer.
25: To send Epaphroditus - Back immediately. Your
messenger - The Philippians had sent him to St. Paul with their
26: He was full of heaviness - Because he supposed you
would be afflicted at hearing that he was sick.
27: God had compassion on him - Restoring him to health.
28: That I may be the less sorrowful - When I know you
30: To supply your deficiency of service - To do what you
could not do in person.