Philippians 1:3
I thank my God on every remembrance of you,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3-8) In these verses St. Paul strikes that keynote of joy and confidence, which is dominant throughout the whole Epistle, and which is singularly remarkable when we remember that it was written in captivity, in enforced absence from the familiar and well-loved scenes of his apostolic labour, and with the knowledge of faction and jealousy, taking advantage of that absence. The words “joy” and “rejoice” occur no less than thirteen times in this short Epistle; they express what his own feeling is, and what he desires that theirs should be.

(3, 4) I thank my God . . .—These verses more accurately rendered will run thus: I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you at all times, in every prayer of mine for you all, uttering that prayer with joyi.e., with joyful confidence. The sense, however, is not materially altered. The emphatic earnestness of thanksgiving is seen in the reiteration which runs through the passage, and its absolute universality of scope is no less clearly marked. The closest parallel is again in the Epistles to the Thessalonians (see 1Thessalonians 1:2; 2Thessalonians 2:3), although in every Epistle, except the Epistle to the Galatians, there is an opening of thanksgiving.

Php 1:3-8. I thank my God upon every remembrance — Or mention, as μνεια equally signifies; of you — Whether before the throne of grace, or when conversing with my fellow-Christians. The clause may also be rendered, I thank my God for all your kind remembrance of me, namely, (as he partly at least means,) with respect to the supplies they had sent him. Always in every prayer of mine — He never failed, it seems, to pray for the churches when he prayed for himself; making request — That God would bestow on you an increase of every spiritual blessing; with joy — Joy peculiarly enlivens prayer. As love reigns in the epistle to the Ephesians, so does joy reign in this; the sum of the whole epistle being, I rejoice; rejoice ye. For your fellowship in the gospel — That you have united with us in embracing the gospel, and are joint partakers with us of its blessings; and so have fellowship also with all true Christians; from the first day — Of my preaching it among you; though soon attended with violent persecution, even with the scourging and imprisonment of myself and my fellow- labourer; and that you have persevered in the profession thereof from the time that you first embraced it. Or, the meaning may be, I thank God for your having received the gospel, from the first day of your receiving it until now. Being confident (and the grounds of his confidence are mentioned in the following verse) that he who hath begun a good work in you — Who hath not only done a good work for you, in justifying you, and giving you peace with himself through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1,) but has wrought a good work in you; in your minds and hearts, by enlightening and quickening, regenerating and renewing you after his image, Titus 3:5 : or, in beginning to sanctify you; will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ — Will carry it on till it come to perfection, and, at the second coming of Christ, issue in glory. Even as it is meet Δικαιον, just, reasonable; for me to think this of you all — To have this good opinion and confidence. Why? He does not say, because of an eternal decree, or because the saints must of necessity persevere; but, because I have you in my heart — I affectionately remember you; inasmuch as both in my bonds — In this my imprisonment; and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel — In what I do and suffer for its defence and confirmation; ye all are partakers of my grace — That is, you have manifested that you possess the same grace that I myself have, in that you have done and suffered the same things which I have done and suffered. Or, as the clause may mean, because you are sharers in the afflictions which God hath vouch-safed me as a grace or favour. In other words, It is just or reasonable for me to think this concerning you all, (namely, that you will continue in the grace of God,) because you have been and are joint partakers with me, both of grace and of the sufferings by which grace is tried and manifested: or, The sufferings you have endured, and the things you have done, have manifested both the reality and the greatness of your grace; and therefore I cannot doubt of your perseverance. For God — To whom I appeal for the truth of what I say; is my record — Bears me witness; how greatly I long after you all — How vehemently I love you, or long after your prosperity, in spiritual things; in the bowels of Jesus Christ — With such a sincere, fervent, and spiritual love as has been wrought in me by Christ, and resembles that love which he bears to his members. 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.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.I thank my God upon every remembrance of you - Margin, "mention." The Greek word means, "recollection, remembrance." But this recollection may have been suggested either by his own reflections on what he had seen, or by what he had heard of them by others, or by the favors which they conferred on him reminding him of them. The meaning is, that as often as he thought on them, from whatever cause, he had occasion of thankfulness. He says that he thanked his God, intimating that the conduct of the Philippians was a proof of the favor of God to him; that is, he regarded their piety as one of the tokens of the favor of God to his own soul - for in producing that piety he had been mainly instrumental. 3. Translate, "In all my remembrance of you." As in most of his Epistles, {viz. Romans 1:8 1 Corinthians 1:4 2 Corinthians 1:3 Ephesians 1:3 Colossians 1:3 1 Thessalonians 1:2 2 Thessalonians 1:3 2 Timothy 1:3} he begins with thanks to God; and here,

my God, i.e. whose I am, and whom I serve in the gospel of his Son, Acts 27:23, with Romans 1:9, whom the Jews and Gentiles do not so acknowledge.

Upon every remembrance of you; intimating that he ever bore them upon his heart to God with delight. I thank my God,.... After the inscription and salutation follows a thanksgiving, the object of which is God; to whom thanks is to be given at the remembrance of his name, and the perfections of his nature, and for all his mercies, temporal and spiritual. The apostle expresses his propriety and interest in him, calling him "my God"; thereby distinguishing him from all others, the nominal and fictitious gods of the Gentiles, and the idols and lusts of men's hearts; he was the God whom he served in the Gospel, by whom he was sent, and from whom he received all his possessions, and to whom he was accountable. He had a special, particular, covenant interest in him, had knowledge of it, and faith in it; and therefore could draw nigh to God with freedom, use confidence, plead promises, expect favours, and do all he did, whether in a way of prayer, or praise in faith, and therefore was acceptable unto God. This work of thanksgiving he was often employed in on account of these Philippians, even, says he,

upon every remembrance of you; that is, as often as I remember you, or make mention of you to God at the throne of grace, it being a customary thing with the apostle to mention by name the several churches, the care of which was upon him, in his prayers to God; see Romans 1:9; and so he used to mention this church; and whenever he did, it was with thankfulness. The Arabic version reads it, "for", or "concerning all your remembrance"; meaning of himself, and as if the sense was, that he gave thanks to God for their remembrance of him at all times, and particularly at that time, by sending him relief in his present circumstances. But the former sense is preferable.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 1:3 f. Comp. Romans 1:9; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:4; Colossians 1:3.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμ.] not: in every recollection, but, as the article requires: in my whole recollection of you, so that the sense is not: as often as I remember you (so usually, following Chrysostom and Luther), but: my remembrance of you in its entire tenor and compass is mingled with thankfulness towards God. On ἐπί with the dative, comp. Php 2:17. Maldonatus, Homberg, Peirce, Michaelis, Bretschneider, Hofmann, are mistaken in making ὑμῶν genitive of the subject (and ἐπὶ as stating the ground, 1 Corinthians 1:4): “that ye are constantly mindful of me,” or “on account of your collective remembrance” (Hofmann), which is supposed to imply and include the aid transmitted to him as a single μνεία. That for which Paul thanks God—and it is here, as in the openings of the other epistles, something of a far higher and more general nature—does not follow until Php 1:5.

μνείᾳ] is to be rendered in the usual sense of remembrance (comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Timothy 1:3), and not, as by van Hengel, in that of mention, which it only obtains in the passages—certainly otherwise corresponding

Romans 1:9, Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:4, by the addition of ποιεῖσθαι. In this case it is the μνείαν ἔχειν (1 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Timothy 1:3; Plat. Legg. vii. p. 798 A), and not the μν. ποιεῖσθαι, that is thought of.

πάντοτε] cannot belong to εὐχαριστῶ in such a way that the following ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει κ.τ.λ. should be separated from it and joined to the participial clause, as Hofmann[49] desires. It is true that πάντοτε down to ὑμῶν is closely linked with what precedes; but the connection is of such a character that πάντοτε already finds the befitting limitation through ἐπὶ πάσῃ τ. μνείᾳ ὑμῶν, and now by πάντοτε κ.τ.λ. can be announced, when the εὐχαριστῶ τ. Θ. μ. ἐπὶ π. τ. μν. ὑμ. takes place, namely, “at all times, in every request which I make for you all, thanksgiving towards my God is joined with my entire remembrance of you.” Negatively expressed, the sense up to this point therefore is: “I never (πάντοτε) make my intercessory prayer for you all, without always (πάντοτε, as in Romans 1:10, Colossians 1:4) in it associating thanks towards my God with my entire remembrance of you.” This does not render the πάντων inappropriate, as Hofmann objects, the fact being that the apostle constantly bears all his Philippians upon his heart, and cannot help praying for them all; he feels this, and expresses it. If we should, with Castalio, Beza, and many others, including Weiss, connect as follows: “whilst I at all times in all my praying for you all make the prayer with joy,” the expression ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος, as thus linked together, would be only a burdensome tautology. Instead of μετὰ χαρ. τ. δ. ποιούμ., Paul would have simply and naturally written the mere χαίρων. This applies also to the view of Huther, who (in the Mecklenb. Zeitschr. 1863, p. 400) substantially agrees with Weiss. Hoelemann incorrectly connects ὑπὲρ παντ. ὑμ. with εὐχαριστῶ (Romans 1:8; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:3). Against this it may be urged, that the otherwise too general ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει μου needs[50] an addition more precisely defining it; and the words ΜΕΤᾺ ΧΑΡ. ΤῊΝ ΔΈΗΣ. ΠΟΙΟΎΜ. which follow, show that the thought is still occupied with the prayer, and has it as yet in prospect to express the object of the thanks. Lastly, the article in τὴν δέησιν points back to a more precisely defined δέησις, the specification of which is contained in this very ὙΠ. Π. ὙΜ. Comp. Colossians 1:3.

As to the distinction between ΔΈΗΣΙς and ΠΡΟΣΕΥΧΉ (Php 1:9; Php 4:6), see on Ephesians 6:18.

On the emphatic sequence of ΠΆΣῌ, ΠΆΝΤΟΤΕ, ΠΆΣῌ, ΠΆΝΤΩΝ, comp. Lobeck, Paral. p. 56. Paul does not aim at such accumulations, but the fulness of his heart suggests them to him; comp. 2 Corinthians 9:8.

μετὰ χαρᾶς κ.τ.λ.] His heart urges him, while mentioning his prayer for them all, to add: “when I make with joy the (mentioned) prayer (τὴν δ.),”—a feature which is met with in the opening of this epistle only. Php 1:4 is not to be placed in a parenthesis (as by Luther), nor yet from μετὰ χαρ. onwards, for ΠΟΙΟΎΜ. is connected with ΕὐΧΑΡΙΣΤῶ (in opposition to Heinrichs), as containing the characteristic definition of mode for ΔΈΗΣΙς ὙΠ. ΠΆΝΤ. ὙΜ.

[49] According to whom Paul is supposed to say that “he thanks his God for their collective remembrance at all times, in each of his intercessory prayers making the request for them all with joy.” Thus, however, the apostle would in fact have expressed himself in a manner extravagant even to falsehood, because implying an impossibility.

[50] This applies also in opposition to Ewald, who attaches ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν, and to Hofmann, who at the same time joins ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει, to the participial clause. The participial clause only begins with the emphatically prefixed μετὰ χαρᾶς.Php 1:3-8. HIS THANKFULNESS, LOVE AND CONFIDENCE FOR THE PHILIPPIANS.3–11. Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Philippian Saints

3. I thank] So Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Philemon 1:4. St Paul’s thanksgivings for the two Macedonian Churches, Philippi and Thessalonica, are peculiarly warm and full. See Bp Lightfoot here. Observe the recognition in all these thanksgivings of God as the whole cause of all goodness in the saints.

my God] So Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 12:21; below, Php 4:19; Philemon 1:4. Cp. also Acts 27:23; Galatians 2:20; and below, Php 3:8. See too Psalm 63:1, and many other O. T. passages.—Profound personal appropriation and realization speaks in the phrase. And we are reminded that the salvation of the Church takes place through the salvation of individuals, and their personal coming to (John 6:37) and incorporation into Christ.

upon every remembrance] Lit. and better, in my whole remembrance; as in a habit rather than as in single acts. For such remembrance, and its expressions, cp. Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4.Verse 3. - I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. All St. Paul's Epistles, except those to the Galatiaus, 1 Timothy, and Titus, begin with a thanksgiving. In this Epistle the thanksgiving is especially warm and earnest; no cloud of doubt darkened the apostle's confidence in the Philippians; he pours forth his gratitude to God for their spiritual gifts fervently and without reserve. My God. The pronoun expresses the inner consciousness of personal relations with God; it reminds us of Acts 27:23, "God, whose I am, and whom I serve." Upon all my remembrance of you (as R.V.) is the more exact rendering. The remembrance (not mention)was continuous; he "had them in his heart," and that unbroken remembrance resulted in unbroken thanksgiving. Every remembrance (πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ)

Better, as Rev, all my remembrance.

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