Main point summary
Paul has great joy and confidence in the Philippian church and he prays that they will continue to grow in true and godly love as well righteousness through Jesus Christ to the glory of God.
e I thank my God f in all my remembrance of you,
When ever you come to mind, I thank my GOD
Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ θεῷ μου ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Every single time I pray for you, my prayers are filled with joy
πάντοτε ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει μου ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν, μετὰ χαρᾶς τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος,
g because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
because you have been a steadfast partner from the time when you first received the gospel, even up to this very day
ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν,
And I am sure of this,
And I am certain and confident about this,
πεποιθὼς αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ὅτι ὁ ἐναρξάμενος ἐν ὑμῖν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐπιτελέσει ἄχρι ἡμέρας Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ•
that he who began h a good work in you i will bring it to completion at j the day of Jesus Christ .
That in the day when Jesus Christ returns in glory, God will complete the work that he has been working in you since the time you first received the gospel
It is right for me to feel this way about you all,
I am justified to have such confidence in you
Καθώς ἐστιν δίκαιον ἐμοὶ τοῦτο φρονεῖν ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν διὰ τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς, ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου συγκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας.
because I hold you k in my heart,
because i care so deeply for you
for you are all l partakers with me of grace, 1
Because you are partners the same grace that I have
both m in my imprisonment
not only in good times, but even in my imprissonment
and in n the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
you also defend and confirm the truth of the gospel even under hardship.
For o God is my witness,
God himself will confirm to you
μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ θεὸς ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ.
p how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
That I burn with Jesus' own affection for you
And it is my prayer
And I pray that
Καὶ τοῦτο προσεύχομαι, ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει
that q your love may abound more and more,
Your love would grow more and more
r with knowledge and all discernment,
not only in strength, but also with real knowledge and depth of insight
so that you may approve what is excellent,
So that you approve of those things that are good and excellent
εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα, ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ,
s and so be pure and blameless t for the day of Christ,
that will result in you being pure, and having nothing to fear when Jesus comes back to judge
filled u with the fruit of righteousness
Instead you will be like a thriving plant who naturally grows all kinds of righteousness
πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον θεοῦ.
that comes v through Jesus Christ, w to the glory and praise of God.
all this is from Jesus Christ and will result in glory and praise to God!
I may be reading a little of my theology into this verse. But I feel like the direction of this passage is one of seeing increasing love and fruit in the Philippian Church. It doesn't seem to me to mean the God started it, then walked away, and will finally finish when Jesus returns. Rather it seems that through Paul's prayer, God desires their continual sanctification which will be perfectly complete in the day of Christ.
Green text we see the declarations of Pauls delight and joy in the church in Philippi.
Blue text: We see that the source of Paul's joy in the Philippian's church is based in their faithfulness to the Gospel even under duress. They partnered with Paul even as he is in prison. Later we see that they also shared in his troubles.
We see his confidence in their steadfastness, and God's steady work in them.
His prayer is the outworking verse 6b: he expands what it looks like for God to continue to complete the work that began in them.
I recently changed this, though some may not agree. In verses 3-9 Paul repeats over and over how much he love them for they're partnership. I the midst of that, he expresses his confidence that God will complete the work which he began. Then in verses 10 and 11, he prays for those things what will bring about their steadfastness and sanctification. Namely, that their love grow in knowledge of God and wisdom. and that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness. If the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, then skewed affections can derail the whole project.
I thank my God
in all my remembrance
always ... ... ... making my prayer with joy,
in every prayer
for you all
because of your partnership
in the gospel
from the first day
And I am sure of this,
that he ... ... will bring it to completion
who began a good work
at the day
of Jesus Christ.
It is right for me
to feel this way about you all,
because I hold you
in my heart,
for you are all partakers ...
both in my imprisonment
and in the defense
of the gospel.
For God is my witness,
how I yearn for you all
with the affection
of Christ Jesus.
And it is my prayer
that your love may abound more and more,
and all discernment,
so that you may approve what is excellent,
and so be pure
for the day
filled with the fruit ... that comes
through Jesus Christ,
to the glory
I'm really struggling with verse 11. The NASB rendered filled as "having been filled." SO, is filled subordinate to that your love may abound? Making abounding love result from having been filled with the fruit of righteousness? OR is it a second way of praying the same thing, or a slightly different thing, mainly that: their love may abound AND in other words, they may be filled with the fruit of righteousness. I'm leaning toward the latter. Their love is to abound so that they may approve what is excellent, resulting in them being pure and blameless. That sounds a lot like being filled with the fruit of righteousness.
Paul has great joy and confidence in the Philippian church because of their faithful partnership with him in the gospel. God is the one who began the good work in you, and he is the one who will bring it to completion in the day of Christ. Paul prays for their continued growth in Godly love and righteousness through Jesus Christ to the glory of God. 1) We see Paul express his confidence and affection for the Church in Philippi over and over. He thanks God for them. He holds them in his heart. He yearns for them. I two places, roots this confidence and love for them in their partnership of the Gospel. Is Paul saying that they're saved because of their faithfulness? Answer: NO, This isn't to say that it is the reason for their salvation, but like we'll see further down. It is a fruit of the work that God has begun in them. Paul is rejoicing in their faithfulness. He sees it as a sign of God's faithful work in their hearts. Is there another place in the Bible that you see this idea? Maybe Matt 12:33 "...for the tree is known by it's fruit." 2) God is the one who began the good work in them, and he is the one who will bring it to completion in the day of Christ. This is their great hope, for themselves and for others. God is the author and perfecter of our faith. If God is the one who will complete what he began, there can be hope that their faith can survive the conflict that rages around them. Why might this give them hope for others who do not yet believe? Paul is a perfect example for them. Though it seems absolutely impossible that such hatred could be overcome, God is the one who begins the good work! 3) Paul prays for their continued growth in Godly love and righteousness through Jesus Christ to the glory of God. Does it seem strange to you, that after Paul expresses such confidence that God would complete his work in them he would pray for their love and righteousness to grow? They seem to be doing really well... God's sovereign work in their perseverance does not exclude their lives. Paul's confidence includes them living and loving and holding fast even in trials until they come face to face with Jesus. Vs. 9 Knowledge and wisdom here are not facts and figures, but in several commentaries is described as spiritual knowledge or "practical and experiential knowledge of God," and "depth of insight into his ways." We are not simply studying theological ideas, but seeking to know the object of those ideas, as a husband seeks to know his wife and not merely know the details about her. Vs.10 Knowing God and his ways allow us to approve what is excellent. To see what Paul means here, lets look at a verse later in the letter. Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." Paul wants the Philippians to approve of things that accord with loving God and his ways. this will lead to being blameless at the day of Christ, and the righteousness that they practice flows out naturally like fruit off of a plant. Do you see the picture here. The love of God is so internalized that is is who they have become. Application: 3) Lets apply going backwards. What can we do to so that our love abounds with intimate knowledge of God and insight into his ways? We can start like Paul. I love Paul's prayer for the churches! One great starting place is to pray biblical prayers for yourself and one another. Cry out to God that we might know him intimately Then we can pursue our God in his word. Rm 12:2 Joshua 1:8 Psalm 1 other verses? 2) Lest you think this is all on you to pray more and study harder, take hope and comfort in verse 6. Three things here: God is the beginner of the work, so we must be humble and thankful for his grace. He will bring it to completion. So while we are striving with effort, we only work in the strength that he supplies. He does so in the day of Christ. So we must be patient with ourselves and with one another. We will not arrive in perfection in this life, but we grow little by little until we see our joy in His face. 3)If you were writing a letter to yourself today, what would it say? What does the fruit say about the tree? Where ever you are right now, one thing is sure. Your should be a letter filled with the grace and love of Jesus's finished work on the cross. You may need correction if you're idle or maybe you need encouragement if you're beat down. Where ever you are today, let us turn to Jesus with confidence that he will complete what he has started in you. He has not abandoned you, even thought the conflict rage around you. Were going to pray, and after that, get with someone else and share some of the things you would write to yourself to encourage you in the faith.