12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence
only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear
This thought began in the first chapter where Paul pointed out that work
and suffering in this world goes with being a Christian, but the result is
"But I would that ye should understand, brethren,
that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the
furtherance of the gospel," and,
"For unto you it
is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to
suffer for his sake, having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now
hear to be in me."
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings,
Remember, you are the sun and moon, guiding lights, to a wicked and perverse nation. Make certain that your behavior is that of a child of God.
Paul may be may alluding to those towers which were built at the entrance of harbors, on which fires were kept during the night to direct ships into the port. Genuine Christians, by their holy lives and conversation, are the means of directing others, not only how to escape those dangers to which they are exposed in human life, but also of leading them to eternal safety and rest.
[That I have not run in vain] When I am with Christ, I will rejoice to see that my work and suffering were productive.
17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith,
I joy, and rejoice with you all.
The price of such productivity may be his life. Paul, considering their faith and testimony to be an offering to God, states that his martyrdom, if it should occur, would be the libation (drink offering), i.e. wine poured upon a sacrifice. Should I be thus offered I shall rejoice, and you should also rejoice, that I am counted worthy of this high honor.
19 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.
[But I trust in the Lord Jesus] He is the governor and director of all events, being above all in principality and power; and I humbly hope that I shall be spared a little longer so that I may send Timothy to you.
[When I know your state[ By the correct information which I shall receive from Timothy.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
[For I have no man likeminded] Epaphroditus, his companion in labor and messenger from Philippi, was on his way home because he had been ill and the Philippians were concerned. There was none other, save the youthful Timothy, who shared Paul's zeal and affectionate concern for the Philippians.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
[How it will go with me] The apostle was now in captivity; his trial appeared to be approaching and he was doubtful of the result; though he seems to have had a general persuasion that he should be spared.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Historical information drawn from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from Amazon.com
This page updated 10/12/2006Copyright (C) 1999,2004,2006 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved