|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:21-26 Death is a great loss to a carnal, worldly man, for he loses all his earthly comforts and all his hopes; but to a true believer it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery. It delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to possess the chief good. The apostle's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison; but between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another. Not between two evil things, but between two good things; living to Christ and being with him. See the power of faith and of Divine grace; it can make us willing to die. In this world we are compassed with sin; but when with Christ, we shall escape sin and temptation, sorrow and death, for ever. But those who have most reason to desire to depart, should be willing to remain in the world as long as God has any work for them to do. And the more unexpected mercies are before they come, the more of God will be seen in them.
Verse 25. - And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all. Being persuaded of this, that my life is needful for you; or, as others render, "And this I certainly, confidently know." The first translation seems preferable, for St. Paul's assurance does not seem to rest on direct inspiration, but on a calculation of probabilities. The apostles could not always foresee their own future (Acts 20:22). Bishop Lightfoot says, "The same word οϊδα is used Acts 20:25, where he expresses his belief that he shall not see his Asiatic converts again. Viewed as infallible presentiments, the two are hardly reconcilable; for the one assumes, the other negatives, his release. The assurance here recorded was fulfilled (1 Timothy 1:3); while the presentiment there expressed was overruled by events (2 Timothy 1:15, 18; 2 Timothy 4:20)." For your furtherance and joy of faith; for the progress and joy of your faith, that you may continually increase in faith and take delight in it. Joy is the key-note of this Epistle.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide,.... In the flesh, in the body, live a little longer in the world. These words must be understood either of a certain infallible knowledge, arising from a divine revelation, and a firm persuasion and confidence founded upon that which the apostle had, of his being delivered from his bonds, and spared a little longer for further usefulness among the churches; and accordingly some have thought that he was after this set at liberty, and travelled through several countries preaching the Gospel, and after that was committed to prison and suffered death; but of this there is no sufficient proof: or rather therefore of a conjectural knowledge arising from the present state of things, and his view of it; being willing to hope, and persuade himself that he should be delivered from his confinement, and his life be spared for the good of the interest of Christ, and the glory of his name; it being what his heart was set upon, and he was very desirous of:
and continue with you all; not only with the Philippians, but other saints, and other churches, who were dear to him, and he to them; though he may mean more especially these believers:
for your furtherance, or "profiting"; in divine and spiritual things, in the knowledge of Christ, and the truths of the Gospel:
and joy of faith; for the furtherance, or increase of that joy which faith is attended with, and which springs from it; for true solid joy springs from faith in the person, blood, righteousness, and atonement of Christ; and is what may be increased, and is often done by and through the ministry of the word, and the ministers of the Gospel; who do not pretend to a dominion over the faith of men, only to be helpers of their joy, as they sometimes are, as also of their faith, which as it comes by hearing is increased the same way. The phrase is Jewish; mention is made in the writings of the Jews (f) of , "the joy of faith",
(f) Zohar in Gen. fol. 113. 4. & in Exod. fol. 36. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. Translate, "And being confident of this."
I know, &c.—by prophetical intimations of the Spirit. He did not yet know the issue, as far as human appearances were concerned (Php 2:23). He doubtless returned from his first captivity to Philippi (Heb 13:19; Phm 22).
joy of faith—Greek, "joy in your faith."
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