Philippians 2:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

King James Bible
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Darby Bible Translation
holding forth the word of life, so as to be a boast for me in Christ's day, that I have not run in vain nor laboured in vain.

World English Bible
holding up the word of life; that I may have something to boast in the day of Christ, that I didn't run in vain nor labor in vain.

Young's Literal Translation
the word of life holding forth, for rejoicing to me in regard to a day of Christ, that not in vain did I run, nor in vain did I labour;

Philippians 2:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Holding forth the word of life - That is, you are under obligation to hold forth the word of life. It is a duty incumbent on you as Christians to do it. The "word of life" means the gospel, called the "word of life" because it is the message that promises life; or perhaps this is a Hebraism, denoting the living, or life-giving word. The gospel stands thus in contrast with all human systems of religion - for they have no efficacy to save - and to the law which "killeth;" see the John 6:63, note, and 2 Corinthians 3:6, note. The duty here enjoined is that of making the gospel known to others, and of thus keeping up the knowledge of it in the world. This duty rests on Christians (compare Matthew 5:14, Matthew 5:16), and they cannot escape from the obligation. They are bound to do this, not only because God commands it, but:

(1) because they are called into the church that they may be witnesses for God, Isaiah 43:10.

(2) because they are kept on the earth for that purpose. If it were not for some such design, they would be removed to heaven at once on their conversion.

(3) because there are no others to do it. The frivolous ones will not warn the fools, nor will the proud warn the proud, nor the scoffer the scoffer. The thoughtless and the vain will not go and tell others that there is a God and a Saviour; nor will the wicked warn the wicked, and tell them that they are in the way to hell. There are none who will do this but Christians; and, if they neglect it, sinners will go unwarned and unalarmed down to death. This duty rests on every Christian.

The exhortation here is not made to the pastor, or to any officer of the church particularly; but to the mass of communicants. They are to shine as lights in the world; they are to hold forth the word of life. There is not one member of a church who is so obscure as to be exempt from the obligation; and there is not one who may not do something in this work. If we are asked how this may be done, we may reply:

(1) They are to do it by example. Everyone is to hold forth the living word in that way.

(2) by efforts to send the gospel to those who have it not. There is almost no one who cannot contribute something, though it may be but two mites, to accomplish this.

(3) by conversation. There is no Christian who has not some influence over the minds and hearts of others; and he is bound to use that influence in holding forth the word of life.

(4) by defending the divine origin of religion when attacked.

(5) by rebuking sin, and thus testifying to the value of holiness. The defense of the truth, under God, and the diffusion of a knowledge of the way of salvation, rests on those who are Christians. Paganism never originates a system which it would not be an advantage to the world to have destroyed as soon as it is conceived. Philosophy has never yet told of a way by which a sinner may be saved. The world at large devises no plan for the salvation of the soul. The most crude, ill-digested, and perverse systems of belief conceivable, prevail in the community called "the world." Every form of opinion has an advocate there; every monstrous vagary that the human mind ever conceived, finds friends and defenders there. The human mind has of itself no elastic energy to bring it from the ways of sin; it has no recuperative power to lead it back to God. The world at large is dependant on the church for any just views of God, and of the way of salvation; and every Christian is to do his part in making that salvation known.

That I may rejoice - This was one reason which the apostle urged, and which it was proper to urge, why they should let their light shine. He had been the instrument of their conversion, he had founded their church, he was their spiritual father, and had shown the deepest interest in their welfare; and he now entreats them, as a means of promoting his highest joy, to be faithful and holy. The exemplary piety and holy lives of the members of a church will be one of the sources of highest joy to a minister in the day of judgment; compare 3 John 1:4.

In the day of Christ - The day when Christ shall appear - the day of judgment. It is called the day of Christ, because he will be the glorious object which will be prominent on that day; it will be the day in which he will be honored as the judge of all the world.

That I have not run in vain - That is, that I have not lived in vain - life being compared with a race: see the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:26.

Neither laboured in vain - In preaching the gospel. Their holy lives would be the fullest proof that he was a faithful preacher.

Philippians 2:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
April 28. "For it is God which Worketh in You" (Phil. Ii. 13).
"For it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13). Sanctification is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fruit of the Spirit, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the prepared inheritance of all who enter in, the greatest obtainment of faith, not the attainment of works. It is divine holiness, not human self-improvement, nor perfection. It is the inflow into man's being of the life and purity of the infinite, eternal and Holy One, bringing His own perfection and working out His own will. How easy, how
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 28. "He Humbled Himself" (Phil. Ii. 8).
"He humbled Himself" (Phil. ii. 8). One of the hardest things for a lofty and superior nature is to be under authority, to renounce his own will, and to take a place of subjection. But Christ took upon Him the form of a servant, gave up His independence, His right to please Himself, His liberty of choice, and after having from eternal ages known only to command, gave Himself up only to obey. I have seen occasionally the man who was once a wealthy employer a clerk in the same store. It was not an
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Ascent of Jesus
'Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto Him the name which is above every name; 10. That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'--PHIL. ii. 9-11 (R.V.). 'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted,' said Jesus. He is Himself the great example of that law. The Apostle here goes on to complete his picture of the Lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

July the Fourth Emptying Oneself
"He emptied Himself." --PHILIPPIANS ii. 1-11. In Mr. Silvester Horne's garden a very suggestive scene was one day to be witnessed. A cricketer of world-wide renown was playing a game with Mr. Horne's little four-year-old son! And the fierce bowler "emptied himself," and served such gentle, dainty little balls that the tiny man at the wickets was not in the least degree afraid! And the Lord of glory "emptied Himself," fashioning Himself to our "low estate," and in His unspeakably gentle approaches
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Cross References
Isaiah 49:4
But I said, "I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the LORD, And My reward with My God."

1 Corinthians 1:8
who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:2
It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

Galatians 4:11
I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

Philippians 1:6
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:10
so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

Philippians 1:26
so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

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