by Randy White Ministries Sunday, Mar 13, 2022

Session 3 | Phillippians 1:3-8

Philippians 1:3-8 | The Philippians, From Beginning to End

Verse 3 -- Black
Paul begins his message with this encouragement, showing that there is a deep love for the Philippians. At every remembrance of the Philippians, Paul had a thankful heart. The word remembrance is from the root μνεία [mneia], which is the root from which we get words like amnesia“a") and mnemonic. “every time something reminds me of you, I am grateful."

Verse 4 -- Black
Paul makes careful attention to include the Philippians in every prayer. Clearly this is a group of people for which he was very thankful.

Verse 5 -- Black
Paul's gratitude is because he and the Philippians had a fellowship in the Gospel. That is, a common gospel between them. There is no indication that this is anything other than the Gospel of our dispensation, of which Paul is the Apostle.
They had this from the first day until now. Of course, we must ask, from the first day of what? Our choices are limited:
  • From the first day Paul arrived in Philippi. Paul met Lydia on his first Sabbath“generalization" of first day.

  • “you have never abandoned the Gospel from the first day until now."

  • Literally from the first day of the *Mystery*. The problem with this is that the Jerusalem conference had already taken place prior to Paul's arrival in Philippi.

None of these are fully satisfactory. When compared to the only other use of the words first day, in Acts 20:8, one could argue a generalization of the term, and lean toward the first option as the best option.

Verse 6 -- Green
While Paul has been and continues to be talking about the Philippians, what he presents in this verse is doubtless true for all who also stand in the same fellowship in the gospel (v. 5).
Paul describes himself as being confident, a perfect participle, thus a condition he has had, continues to have, and will always have. Certainly, such confidence must be based in his confidence in God and not the Philippians.
Paul's confidence was that God is the One who had begun a good work and is the One who will perform it. This *performance of the good work** is done by God* and will be done until the day of Jesus Christ. What day is that? I believe it is the same as the day of Christ spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:2, which is the time of the Tribulation and beyond. But note carefully that Paul does not say that God will perform this work throughout the day of Jesus Christ but rather until the day of Jesus Christ. The word until carries the meaning (both in the Greek and the English) that the performance of the good work will cease when that day begins. This, of course, fits perfectly with a pre-tribulational rapture doctrine.
The Gospel in which we fellowship is one in which God performs the work (our own works not being allowed). After the rapture, the Gospel of the Kingdom comes into effect once again, and the labors of the law (both of Moses and of Christ) are the litmus test for salvation.
It should also be noted that this verse is not a support of Calvinism. God initiated the work in Philippi through the Macedonian call (Acts 16:9-10). The words, he which hath begun, are therefore in reference to God's work in Europe, not in God's individual work in our lives.

Verse 7 -- Black
The passion Paul had for the Philippians was meet (i.e.: righteous or appropriate). This is due to the fact that the Philippian church was partakers of my grace during times in which Paul was in bonds and when Paul needed a defense and confirmation of the gospel. While we are not given details, we know that the Philippian church was stalwart in their faithfulness to Paul.
How does this align with 2 Timothy 1:15, in which Paul says that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me? We believe that 2 Timothy was written just a couple of years after Philippians. First, it should be noted that the Philippians could have remained faithful all the way to the end of Paul's life and not have contradicted Paul's word in 2 Timothy, because Philippi was in Europe, and not in Asia. Second, it is a good reminder to us that Pauline truth, though rejected by the vast majority of those in Christian history, always had a following somewhere. The province of Asia sadly went toward Judaizing influences rather than Pauline truth, but Philippi stood strong in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.

Verse 8 -- Black
It is not surprising that Paul had such a deep love for the Philippians, for it is the one church that stood by him, financially and spiritually, in good times and bad.

New on Worshify