|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-7 The highest honour of the most eminent ministers is, to be servants of Christ. And those who are not really saints on earth, never will be saints in heaven. Out of Christ, the best saints are sinners, and unable to stand before God. There is no peace without grace. Inward peace springs from a sense of Divine favour. And there is no grace and peace but from God our Father, the fountain and origin of all blessings. At Philippi the apostle was evil entreated, and saw little fruit of his labour; yet he remembers Philippi with joy. We must thank our God for the graces and comforts, gifts and usefulness of others, as we receive the benefit, and God receives the glory. The work of grace will never be perfected till the day of Jesus Christ, the day of his appearance. But we may always be confident God will perform his good work, in every soul wherein he has really begun it by regeneration; though we must not trust in outward appearances, nor in any thing but a new creation to holiness. People are dear to their ministers, when they receive benefit by their ministry. Fellow-sufferers in the cause of God should be dear one to another.
Verse 4. - Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy. Perhaps the first part of this verse is better joined with Ver. 3, "I thank my God... always in every prayer of mine for you all;" so Bishop Lightfoot The Greek word for "prayer" and "request "is the same, better rendered "my supplication," he as the R.V.; it implies not merely a lifting up of the heart to God, but an earnest entreaty for a necessary gift. We meet now for the first time with that "joy" which is the keynote of this Epistle. "Summa epistolae, Gaudeo; gaudete;" so Bengel, who continues, "This Epistle of joy well follows that to the Ephesians, where love reigns. 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy.' Joy gives life to prayer."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Always in every prayer of mine for you all,.... The apostle was a praying believer, and a praying minister: notwithstanding all his gifts, and graces, and high attainments, he was not above the work and duty of prayer, and in which he was sensible he stood in need of the assistance and direction of the Spirit of God, As soon as he was converted he prayed, and continued to do so without ceasing, as he himself directs; he was constant and assiduous at the throne of grace, and was concerned for others, as well as himself, for all the churches, and for this church, and all the saints in it,
Making request with joy; for what God had done for them, and continued with them. Requests are to be made known to God with thanksgiving. When we request a favour of him, it becomes us to return thanks for what we have received from him. Thanksgiving is a branch of prayer; as we have always mercies to ask for, we have always mercies to be thankful for.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. making request—Translate, "making my request."
for you all—The frequent repetition in this Epistle of "all" with "you," marks that Paul desires to declare his love for all alike, and will not recognize any divisions among them.
with joy—the characteristic feature in this Epistle, as love is in that to the Ephesians (compare Php 1:18; Php 2:2, 19, 28; 3:1; 4:1, 4). Love and joy are the two first-fruits of the Spirit. Joy gives especial animation to prayers. It marked his high opinion of them, that there was almost everything in them to give him joy, and almost nothing to give him pain.
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