“Being confident of this very thing, that [He] which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:”

         “Being confident”
         Literally:  “Being persuaded.”  “I’m sure of this;” or, “Since I am confident.”   

         This Greek word (pepoithōs) rendered as “being persuaded” is in the perfect tense:  emphasizing an action of Paul’s that was completed in the past with a continuing effect.  When he wrote this epistle he had been in the past, and still was, confident of what he continued to write in verse 6.  He had established this confidence in the Lord in the past, and nothing had happened to shake that confidence. 
         There shall be nothing lacking on God's part to support you; and to make you wise, holy and happy; and bring you at last to His kingdom and glory. This is strong language. It means to be fully and firmly persuaded or convinced (comp. Luke 16:31: “Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead;” that is, they would not be convinced. Acts 17:4; 28:24; Heb. 11:13).  It means here that Paul was entirely convinced of the truth of what he said. It is the language of a man who had no doubt on the subject.

“that He which hath begun a good work in you”
Literally:  “That the [One] having begun in you a good work.”  The “good work” here refers to godly living, or true piety. This is called the
work of God; the work of the Lord; or the work of Christ, comp. 2:30; John 6:29; (I Cor.  15:58; 16:10). 

         Paul affirms here that that work was begun by God. It was not by their own agency or will. John 1:13. It was on the fact that it was begun by God, that he based his firm conviction that it would be permanent. Had it been the agency of man, he would have had no such conviction, for nothing that man does today can lay the foundation of a certain conviction that he will do the same thing to-morrow. If the perseverance of the Christian depended wholly on himself, therefore, there could be no sure evidence that he would ever reach heaven.
        Any work that God begins, He will surely finish–“In that day I will perform against Eli all {things} which I have spoken concerning his house:  when I begin, I will also make an end” (I Sam. 3:12).  Not even men begin a work at random. Much more the fact of His beginning the work is a pledge of its completion.  So as to the particular work here meant, the perfecting of their fellowship in the Gospel (1:5 Psa. 37:24; 89:33; 138:8 John 10:28-29 Rom. 8:29, 35-39; 11:1-2; Heb. 6:17-19 James 1:17; Jude 1:24). As God cast not off Israel forever, though chastening them for a time, so He will not cast off the church (Deut.  33:3; Isa. 27:3; I Pet. 1:5).  Paul’s confidence was not founded on the surety of the Philippian church; rather, it was founded upon the surety of  eternal
God Himself.

        IN YOU:  (Gr.-en humin)—It is significant that Paul uses these words.  Although God works through individuals to accomplish His will, His primary work is in the individual believer as He changes the believers attitudes and motives into those which pleasers Him.

“will perform [it]
Literally:  “Will complete [it]; will continue to do it.”–It is an older and more literal sense of carrying through.  CONSUMMATING would express the idea, but popular useage has identified it with “do.” 

         “Hath begun (Gr.-enarxanenos)—will perform,” (Gr.-epitelesei)These two words occur together (II Cor. 8:6; Gal. 3:3).  Both were used of religious ceremonials.  The Greek word (epitelesei), means that He would carry it forward to completion; He would perfect it.  It is an intensive form of the word, meaning that it would be carried through to the end. It occurs in the following places: Luke 13:32, ”I do cures;” Rom. 15:28, “when I have performed this;” II Cor. 7:1, “perfecting holiness ;” II Cor. 8:6, “so he would also finish in you;” Phil. 1:11, “perform the doing of it;” Gal. 3:3, “are ye now made perfect by the flesh;” Heb. 8:6, “when he was about to make the tabernacle;” Heb. 9:6, “accomplishing this service;” and I Pet. 5:9, “are accomplished in your brethren.”

The word occurs nowhere else in the N.T.; and here it means that God would carry on the work which He had begun to completion. He would not leave it unfinished. It would not be commenced, and then abandoned. This would or could be “performed” or “finished” only.
1.      By keeping them from falling from grace, and
2.      By their ultimate entire perfection.

“until the day of Jesus Christ”– (Gr.-achris hemeras Iesou Christou)-The day when Christ shall so reveal Himself as to be the great attractive object, or the day when He shall appear to glorify Himself, so that it may be said emphatically to be His day.  That day is often called “His day,” or “the Day of the Lord,” because it will be the day of His triumph and glory. It refers here to the day when the Lord Jesus will appear to receive his people to himself-the day of judgment. We may remark on this verse, that Paul believed in the perseverance of saints.

It would be impossible to express a stronger conviction of the truth of that doctrine than he has done here. Language could not be clearer, and nothing can be more unequivocal than the declaration of his opinion that where God has begun a good work in the soul, it will not be finally lost. The ground of this belief he has not stated in full, but has merely hinted at it. It is based on the fact that God had begun the good work. That ground of belief is something like the following.
It is in God alone. It is not in man in any sense. No reliance is to be placed on man in keeping himself. He is too weak; too changeable; too ready to be led astray; too much disposed to yield to temptation.

2.      The reliance, therefore, is on God; and the evidence that the renewed man will be kept is this:
          a.     God began the work of grace in the soul.
          b.     He had a design in it.
               It was deliberate, and intentional; it was not by chance, or hap-hazard; it was because He had some object that was worthy of His interposition.
          c.     There is no reason why He should begin such a work, and then abandon it.
It cannot be because He has no power to complete it, or because there are more enemies to be overcome than He had supposed; or because there are difficulties which He did not foresee; or because it is not desirable that the work should be completed. Why, then, should He abandon it?

         d.     God abandons nothing that He undertakes.
There are no unfinished worlds or systems; no half-made and forsaken works of His hands. There is no evidence in His works of creation of change of plan, or of having forsaken what He began from disgust, or disappointment, or want of power to complete them. Why should there be in the salvation of the soul?

         e.      God has promised to keep the renewed soul to eternal life.
                 See John 10:27-28,29, Heb. 6:17-20. Comp. Rom. 8:29,30.

Paul is seeing the life of every believer as a sacrifice ready to be offered to Christ.  It is the same picture as the one that he draws to the Romans 12:1-2 when he urges Christians to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.  On that day when Christ Returns, it will be like the coming of a king.  On such a day, the king’s subjects are required to present him with gifts to mark their loyalty and to show their love and loyalty.  The only gift which Christ Jesus desires from us is ourselves.  Therefore, our supreme task is to make our lives fit to be offered to Him.  Only the grace of God can enable us to do that.

In this passage, the idea of Christian Partnership is strongly stressed.  There are certain things which Christians do share.
1.       Christians are Partners in Grace.

          They are people who owe a common debt to the grace of God.
2.      Christians are Partners in the Work of the Gospel.
They not only share a common gift, they also share a common task; and that task is the furtherance of the Gospel.  In verses 7-8 Paul uses two words to express the work of Christians for the sake of the gospel.  He speaks of the defense and the confirmation of the gospel.
         a.      The defense (Gr.-apologia)—means its defense against the attacks which come from the outside.  Christians must be ready to be defenders of the faith and to give a reason for the hope that is in them.
         b.       The confirmation is the building up of its strength from within; the spiritual encouragement of fellow believers.
3.      Christians are Partners in Suffering for the Gospel.
Whenever Christians are called upon to suffer for the sake of the gospel, they must find strength and comfort in the thought that they are part of a great fellowship in every age and every generation and every land who have suffered for Christ rather than deny their faith.
4.      Christians are Partner with Christ Himself.
In verse 8 Paul uses a very vivid expression:  “I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ."” The literal translation is:  “I yearn for you all with the bowels of Jesus Christ.”  The Greek word for bowels is (Gr.-splagchnon)—which included the upper intestines, the heart, the liver and lungs.  The Greeks believed this to be the location of the emotions and affections.  So in affection, Paul is saying, “I long for all of you with the inner compassion of Christ Jesus.”  He is saying, “I love you as Jesus loves you.” 

“Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I believe in
[my] heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and [in] the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”

“It is meet for me to think this”
Literally:  “It is righteous for me to think this.”  It is right that I should think so, because I have you in my heart; in that, you live in my warmest love and most affectionate remembrance.

There is a reason why I should cherish this hope of you, and this confident expectation that you will be saved. That reason is found in the evidence which you have given that you are sincere Christians. Having evidence of that, it is proper that I should believe that you will finally reach heaven.  Why? He does not say, "Because of an eternal decree;" or, "Because a saint must persevere;" but, because I have you in my heart, who were all partakers of my grace.  That is, because ye were all (for which I have you in my heart, I bear you the most grateful and tender affection)

        MEET: (Gr.-dikaion)—This word means “right, righteous” or “just.”  It was right for Paul to think this way of these Philippian believers.  It would have been wrong for him not to think thus of them.

        THINK:  (Gr.-phronein)—This means more than just having a thought, or to suppose something regarding someone.  It means more of an attitude; of having a certain mind-set.  It shows Paul’s confidence in the Philippian believers, and this confidence accompanied the petitions he made for them.

“because I believe in [my] heart”
Literally:  “Because you all have me in [your] heart.”  The meaning is, that Paul was warmly attached to them, and had experienced many proofs of their kindness; and that there was, therefore, a propriety in his wishing for their salvation.

         Because you have set your hearts upon me in my bonds, sending Epaphroditus to minister to me in my necessities, (2:25), and contributing of your own substance to me, (4:14), sending once and again to me while I was in bonds for the defense of the faith, (4:15-16); those things which being a sweet savor, a sacrifice well pleasing and acceptable to God, (4:18), confirm my hope concerning you; especially when I find you yet standing firm under the like afflictions, having the same conflict which ye saw in me, when I was among you, (Acts 16:12,f)., and now hear to be in me, (1:30). Their conduct towards him, moreover, in his trials, had convinced him that they were actuated by Christian principle; and it was proper that he should believe that they would be kept to eternal life.
         It is interesting that in our day it is common to think of the heart as the seat of the emotions, this was not the case in Greek usage.  As already stated, the Greek considered the “bowels” to be the center of emotions.  They viewed the heart as the center of intellect, sensibility and will.

         “inasmuch as both in my bonds”
         Literally:  “because both in my bonds”–

        BOTH IN MY BONDS:  (Gr.-en te tois deomois mou)–The term, “inasmuch” is nowhere in the Greek text. Paul is saying, “While I have been a prisoner”-referring to the care which they had taken to minister to his wants, (4:10, 14,1 8).

“partakers of my grace.”
Literally:  “Sharers of the grace with me.”

         The meaning is, that as they had participated with Paul in the defense of the gospel; as in all his troubles and persecutions they had made common cause with him, so it followed that they would partake of the same tokens of the Divine favor.  He expected that the Divine blessing would follow his efforts in the cause of the gospel, and he says that they would share in his blessing. They had shown all the sympathy which they could in his trials; they had nobly stood by him when others forsook him; and he anticipated, as a matter of course, that they would all share in the benefits which would flow to him in his efforts in the cause of the Redeemer.
         These Philippian believers had been following Paul’s ministry and had faithfully prayed for him and had even contributed to his financial needs.  They considered his bonds to be their bonds, and his defense of the gospel to also be their defense of the gospel. To put it plainly, they seem to have experienced what Paul spoke of in I Cor. 12:26:  “Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member honored, all the membesr rejoice with it.”

         In these seven verses, an amazing expanse of theological truth has been introduced.  The words, “servants, saints, grace, peace, prayer, joy,” and Paul’s expression of confidence, thanksgiving and hope constitute a background for the rest of the epistle.

“For God is my record, how
{greatly} I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

         “For God is my record.”
         Literally:  “For God is my witness.”

I call God to witness that I have the strongest affection for you, and that I love you with that same kind of tender concern with which Christ loved the world when He gave Himself for it; for I am even ready to be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, (2:17).  My witness; I can solemnly appeal to Him.

                  RECORD:  (Gr.-martus)–that is, “witness.”

 how {greatly} I long after you all”
Literally:  “As I long after you all.” To see you; and how much I desire your welfare.   Paul’s longing for them was born of the Spirit who had produced the fruit of love in Paul’s heart. 

“in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Literally:  “In [the] bowels of Jesus Christ.”
As has already been pointed out, the Greeks believed this to be the location of the emotions and affections.  The Greek word rendered as “bowels”  (splagchnon),  literally meant, “inward parts,” or entrals,” and is used in that way in Acts 1:18:, referring to what happened to Judas. 

         However, its figurative use refers to the seat of the emotions, such as love and affection.  The noun form of the word always appears in the plural form in the KJV and has been translated as “tender mercy” once, ”inward affection” once, and “bowels” 12 times.  The verb form has the meaning of “have pity,” or “feel sympathy.”  So in effect, Paul is saying, “I long for all of you with the inner compassion of Christ Jesus.”  He is saying, “I love you as Jesus loves you.” 
         The allusion here is to the sympathy, tenderness, and love of the Redeemer; and probably the meaning is, that Paul regarded them with something of the affection which the Lord Jesus had for them. This was the tenderest and strongest expression which he could find to denote the ardor of his attachment.

         In effect, Paul is saying, “My yearning love (so the Greek implies) to you is not merely from natural affection, but from devotedness to Christ Jesus.” F.B. Meyer said of Paul, “The Apostle had gotten so near the very heart of his Lord that he could hear its throb, detect its beat; nay, it seemed as though the tender mercies of Jesus to these Philippians were throbbing in his own heart.” 
         Having the heart of Christ and His compassion transforms all human relationships; places love on a supernatural plane; enables us to love the unlovely, the unthankful and the indifferent and impels us to prayers.  This is the heart and compassion of God supernaturally implanted in the human breast..



“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and
[in] all judgment.”

“And this I pray”–This is the substance of all my prayers for you, that your love to God, to one another, and to all mankind, may abound yet more and more.

We pray for those whom we love, and whose welfare we seek. We desire their happiness; and there is no way more appropriate of expressing that desire than of going to God, and seeking it at His hand. Paul proceeds to enumerate the blessings which he sought for them; and it is worthy of observation that he did not ask riches, or worldly prosperity, but that his supplications were confined to spiritual blessings, and he sought these as the most desirable of all favors.  

        I PRAY:  (Gr.-proseuchomai)—The frequency of Paul’s praying is indicted by the fact that this word is in the present tense, emphasizing continuous action.  In effect, Paul is saying, “This I keep on praying.” 

“that your love may abound”
Literally:  “That your love may yet abound.”  

         Paul is specifying what he prayed for concerning these Philippian believers:  “That your love to Christ, may abound producing love not only to Paul, Christ's minister, but also to one another, which it did not altogether as much as it ought” (2:2; 4:2).  This really echoes Jesus’ words which he told His disciples as is recorded in John 13:35:  “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
         Abound in love to God; love to one another; love to absent Christians; love to the world. This is an appropriate subject of prayer.  We cannot wish and pray for a better thing for our Christian friends, than that they may abound in love. Nothing will promote their welfare like this; and we had better pray for this, than that they may obtain abundant riches, and share the honors and pleasures of the world.

          Love is the first fruit of the Spirit, without which all the other fruit loses its luster (Gal. 5:22-23).  It is the greatest of the three great virtues—faith, home and love (I Cor. 13:13)., and the indispensable quality to every spiritual gift.  Unfortunately, too often in listing theological fundamentals of the faith, love as a fruit of the Spirit is omitted.  The love for which Paul is praying is that which comes from the heart of God Who is omniscient, infinitely discerning, and fully aware of all the deficiencies of His creatures, and yet is impelled to love because He is a God of love.  Such love cannot be static,  but must abound.

“yet more and more”–That it may be like a river, perpetually fed with rain and fresh streams so that it continues to swell and increase till it fills all its banks, and floods the adjacent plains.

        IN KNOWLEDGE:  (Gr.-en epignosei)—Literally: “In full knowledge.” Know-ledge of doctrinal and practical truth.   The idea is, that he wished them to have intelligent affection. It should not be mere blind affection, but that intelligent love which is based on an enlarged view of Divine things-on a just apprehension of the claims of God.  

         The Greek word epignosis is an intensive form of the more common form for “knowledge,”  and refers to advanced knowledge.  Paul did not want the Philippians to remain at their present level of knowledge of the Lord; rather, he wanted them to advance (grow) in their love of Christ, that their love would grow greater every day, and he wanted their love to be expressed in accordance with this advancement of their knowledge.
         Paul was not impressed by those who had love or zeal without knowledge.  That love, which was merely a matter of sentiment, was to grow in knowledge, so they would be more and more able to distinguish between right and wrong.  Love is always the way to knowledge.  If we love any subject, we want to learn more about it; likewise, if we love someone, we want to learn more about that person.  If we love Christ, we will want to learn more about Him and His truth.  Love is always sensitive to the mind and heart of the one it loves.  If it blindly and blunderingly hurts the feelings of the one it claims to love, it is not really love at all.  If we really love Christ, we will be sensitive to His will and His desires; the more we love Him, the more we will instinctively shrink from what is evil and desire what is right.  Real love is not blind; it will enable us to see the difference between the false and the true.

“and [in] all judgment.”
Literally:  “And all perception.” Rather, “perception; perceptive sense.”

         The Greek word here rendered as “judgment,” (aisthesei) means, the power of discerning, or insight, and it has to do with the application of knowledge, which results in discernment.  Christians who are unable to discern are not mature and thus are not able to handle the solid food of the Word.   “Knowledge” and “perception” guard love from being ill-judged. Spiritual perceptiveness: spiritual sight, spiritual hearing, spiritual feeling, spiritual taste.
         Paul wished that their love should be exercised with proper discrimination. It should be in proportion to the relative value of objects; and the meaning of the whole is, that he wished their religion to be intelligent and discriminating; to be based on knowledge, and a proper sense of the relative value of objects, as well as to be the tender affection of the heart.

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