Philippians 1:8
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
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For God is my record - My witness; I can solemnly appeal to him.

How greatly I long after you all - To see you; and how much I desire your welfare.

In the bowels of Jesus Christ - The word "bowels," in the Scriptures denotes the upper viscera - the region of the heart and lungs: see the notes at Isaiah 16:11. That region was regarded as the seat of affection, sympathy, and compassion, as the heart is with us. 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.

For God is my record - 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, Philippians 2:17. For God is my record,.... Which is all one as swearing by him; it is in form of an oath, being a solemn appeal to him as the searcher of hearts, for the uprightness of his mind, the sincerity of his expressions, and the strength of his affections:

how greatly I long after you all; the common members, as well as the bishops and deacons, the weak as well as the strong believers, the poor as well as the rich; the apostle's respects were universal, and without distinction: he longed after their spiritual welfare, an increase of gifts and grace among them; he was their spiritual father, and he hankered after them; as parents after their children; he longed to see them, that he might enjoy their company and conversation, have communion with them, and impart some spiritual gift unto them: and this he did

in the bowels of Jesus Christ; not with an human and carnal affection, but with a Christian and spiritual one; with a love which came from Christ, and was in imitation of him, and on account of their being in him, loved by him, belonging to him, and being believers in him: it was in the most tender manner that he loved them, and was affected to them; the phrase denotes, that his love towards them was internal, in his heart, and was most tender and strong; and like to that tender concern Christ had for them, and which he stirred up in him.

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

(2) He declares his good will towards them, in addition showing by what means they may chiefly be strengthened and encouraged, that is, by continual prayer.

8. Confirmation of Php 1:7.

record—that is, witness.

in the bowels of Jesus Christ—"Christ Jesus" is the order in the oldest manuscripts. My yearning love (so the Greek implies) to you is not merely from natural affection, but from devotedness to Christ Jesus. "Not Paul, but Jesus Christ lives in Paul; wherefore Paul is not moved in the bowels (that is, the tender love, Jer 31:20) of Paul, but of Jesus Christ" [Bengel]. All real spiritual love is but a portion of Christ's love which yearns in all who are united to Him [Alford].

1:8-11 Shall not we pity and love those souls whom Christ loves and pities? Those who abound in any grace, need to abound more. Try things which differ; that we may approve the things which are excellent. The truths and laws of Christ are excellent; and they recommend themselves as such to any attentive mind. Sincerity is that in which we should have our conversation in the world, and it is the glory of all our graces. Christians should not be apt to take offence, and should be very careful not to offend God or the brethren. The things which most honour God will most benefit us. Let us not leave it doubtful whether any good fruit is found in us or not. A small measure of Christian love, knowledge, and fruitfulness should not satisfy any. 1:8 How greatly I long after you. Love you and long for your presence.

In the bowels of Jesus Christ. In the tender mercies of Jesus Christ (Revised Version). With a tender love like that of Christ.

Verse 8. - For God is my record - rather, witness (comp. Romans 1:9) - how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. The word σπλάγχνα, here rendered "bowels," means the heart, liver, etc.. he not the entrails. The expression is remarkable, and is well illustrated by Bengel's striking words, "Paulus non in Pauli, sed Jesu Christi movetur visceribus." "Not I, but Christ liveth in me." He is so united with Christ that he feels with the heart of Christ, he loves with the love of Christ.

God. See on

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son…

Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing …

Galatians 1:20 Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I lie not.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor …

how.

Philippians 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that …

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and …

2 Corinthians 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and you are strong: and this also …

Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ …

Colossians 2:1 For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and …

1 Thessalonians 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have …

2 Timothy 1:4 Greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I …

in.

Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of …

Isaiah 16:11 Why my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and my inward parts …

Isaiah 63:15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of your holiness …

Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke …

Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on …

2 Corinthians 6:12 You are not straitened in us, but you are straitened in your own bowels.

2 Corinthians 7:15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembers …

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels …

Philemon 1:12 Whom I have sent again: you therefore receive him, that is, my own bowels:

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, …

In the bowels of Jesus Christ (ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ Ιησοῦ)

Rev., better, in the tender mercies. Describing his longing, not as his individual emotion, but as Christ's longing, as if the very heart of Christ dwelt in him. "In Paul not Paul lives, but Jesus Christ" (Bengel) With tender mercies compare reins, Revelation 2:23, note.

1:8 I long for you with the bowels of Jesus Christ - In Paul, not Paul lives, but Jesus Christ. Therefore he longs for them with the bowels, the tenderness, not of Paul, but of Jesus Christ.
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