Christians should think and feel deeply.
Christians should think and feel deeply.
Paul's Prayer Flows Out of His Deep Affection
Καθώς [ causal use, "because"; per Hansen ] ἐστιν δίκαιον ἐμοὶ τοῦτο φρονεῖν ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν
It is right for me to feel this way [ what does "this" refer to? ] about you all,
διὰ τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς,
because I hold you k in my heart,
[I've moved the Greek text around to fit the ESV] συγκοινωνούς [fellow-partners] μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας.
for you are all l partakers with me of [ the ministry of] grace, 1
[ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου]
both m in my imprisonment
[καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου]
and in n the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ θεὸς
For o God is my witness,
ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ.
p how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Καὶ τοῦτο προσεύχομαι, ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει
And it is my prayer [ seems Paul moves back to the idea of prayer in vs. 3 and here gives the content ] that q your love may abound more and more, r with knowledge and all discernmen t,
εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα,
so that you may approve what is excellent [cf. Phil 4:8–9)],
ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ,
s and so be pure and blameless t for the day of Christ,
πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
filled u with the fruit of righteousness that comes v through Jesus Christ,
εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον θεοῦ.
w to the glory and praise of God.
1. It is right for me to feel this way ... 1.a. because I hold you in my heart. 2. I hold you in my heart because you are partakers with me of grace, 2.a. you are partakers of grace in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 3. As God is my witness (truly!), 3.a. I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. In short: I feel "this way" because my heart yearns for you. My affections are great for you who have shared with me in grace, namely in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the gospel. Because of that, it is right for me to feel "this way" about you.
I. Paul's Affection for the Philippians (7–8) II. Paul's Prayer for the Philippians (9–11)
Perhaps this is an evidentiary ground. The evidence that he holds them in his heart is he yearns for them. So: I hold you in my heart because.... The evidence I hold you in my heart: I yearn for you. So, it's right for me to feel this way about you. What "way"? Thanking God for you with joy.
I love you because you've gone to war with me. The bond that is created between those who fight together is simply unexplainable.
What "grace"? Saving grace is certainly something they have shared in. However, it seems that something more specific is in view. Ministry, in general, is referred to as grace. Paul writes, " According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it " (1 Cor 3:10; cf. Gal 2:9). So, in a sense, being "partakers" of grace could refer to partnering together in the work of gospel ministry, which Paul perceives as a grace. More narrowly, Hansen notes it is specifically the grace of giving (cf. 2 Cor 8:7) and suffering (cf. Phil 1:29–30).
How do these two sections fit? It seems something like the following might be in order: 1) Because the Philippians have gone to war with Paul, being partakers of grace, Paul loves them deeply. 2) Paul prays for those whom he loves. What does he pray? a) Love may abound b) Love may about with knowledge and discernment c) For a purpose 1) Approve what is excellent and so be 2) pure and blameless 2a) filled with the fruit of righteousness RESULT The Glory and Praise of God
From the ESV Study Bible: "The first petition in Paul's prayer is that God would cause the cardinal virtue of love to abound more and more, and that it would be accompanied by knowledge and discernment so that the Philippians' love would find expression in wise actions that would truly benefit others and glorify God" (ESV Study Bible, 2280).
This seems to carry the idea of "above reproach," though the word isn't the same. It is used in Acts 24:16 as a reference to a clear conscience, and in 1 Cor 10:32 in regard to giving no offense. Thus, you have acted in a way that you know you are without fault and offended no one. This, I would think, is akin to the idea of being above reproach.