Philippians 1:30
Having the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Having the same conflict, which ye saw in me.—The allusion is, of course, to the lawless scourging and imprisonment of Acts 16:22-24. How deeply this outrage impressed itself on the Apostle’s own mind we see, both by his conduct to the magistrates at the moment, and also by the allusion in 1Thessalonians 2:2, to the time, when “we had suffered before and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi.” Here he uses the remembrance to suggest to the Philippians that their struggle was only the same which he had borne, and borne successfully. Similarly in 2Timothy 3:10 (going back on the eve of death to the very beginning of his ministry to the Gentiles) he reminds Timothy of the persecutions “at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.”

1:27-30 Those who profess the gospel of Christ, should live as becomes those who believe gospel truths, submit to gospel laws, and depend upon gospel promises. The original word conversation denotes the conduct of citizens who seek the credit, safety, peace, and prosperity of their city. There is that in the faith of the gospel, which is worth striving for; there is much opposition, and there is need of striving. A man may sleep and go to hell; but he who would go to heaven, must look about him and be diligent. There may be oneness of heart and affection among Christians, where there is diversity of judgment about many things. Faith is God's gift on the behalf of Christ; the ability and disposition to believe are from God. And if we suffer reproach and loss for Christ, we are to reckon them a gift, and prize them accordingly. Yet salvation must not be ascribed to bodily afflictions, as though afflictions and worldly persecutions deserved it; but from God only is salvation: faith and patience are his gifts.Having the same conflict - The same agony - ἀγῶνα agōna - the same strife with bitter foes, and the same struggle in the warfare.

Which ye saw in me - When I was in Philippi, opposed by the multitude, and thrown into prison; Acts 16.

And now hear to be in me - In Rome. He was a prisoner there, was surrounded by enemies, and was about to be tried for his life. He says that they ought to rejoice if they were called to pass through the same trials.

In this chapter we have a beautiful illustration of the true spirit of a Christian in circumstances exceedingly trying. The apostle was in a situation where religion would show itself, if there were any in the heart; and where, if there was none, the bad passions of our nature would be developed. He was a prisoner. He had been unjustly accused. He was about to be put on trial for his life, and it was wholly uncertain what the result would be. He was surrounded with enemies, and there were not a few false friends and rivals who took advantage of his imprisonment to diminish his influence and to extend their own. He was, perhaps, about to die; and at any rate, was in such circumstances as to be under a necessity of looking death in the face.

In this situation he exhibited some of the tenderest and purest feelings that ever exist in the heart of man - the genuine fruit of pure religion. He remembered them with affectionate and constant interest in his prayers. He gave thanks for all that God had done for them. Looking upon his own condition, he said that the trials which had happened to him, great as they were, had been overruled to the furtherance of the gospel. The gospel had become known even in the imperial palace. And though it had been preached by some with no good will toward him, and with much error, yet he cherished no hard feeling; he sought for no revenge; he rejoiced that in any way, and from any motives, the great truth had been made known that a Saviour died. Looking forward to the possibility that his trial before the emperor might terminate in his death, he calmly anticipated such a result, and looked at it with composure.

He says that in reference to the great purpose of his life, it would make no difference whether he lived or died, for he was assured that Christ would be honored, whatever was the result. To him personally it would be gain to die; and, as an individual, he longed for the hour when he might be with Christ. This feeling is religion, and this is produced only by the hope of eternal life through the Redeemer. An impenitent sinner never expressed such feelings as these; nor does any other form of religion but Christianity enable a man to look upon death in this manner. It is not often that a man is even willing to die - and then this state of mind is produced, not by the hope of heaven, but by disgust at the world; by disappointed ambition; by painful sickness, when the sufferer feels that any change would be for the better. But Paul had none of these feelings. His desire to depart was not produced by a hatred of life; nor by the greatness of his sufferings; nor by disgust at the world.

It was the noble, elevated, and pure wish to be with Christ - to see him whom he supremely loved, whom he had so long and so faithfully served, and with whom he was to dwell forever. To that world where Christ dwelt be would gladly rise; and the only reason why he could be content to remain here was, that he might be a little longer useful to his fellow human beings. Such is the elevated nature of Christian feeling. But, alas, how few attain to it; and even among Christians, how few are they that can habitually feel and realize that it would be gain for them to die! How few can say with sincerity that they desire to depart and to be with Christ! How rarely does even the Christian reach that state of mind, and gain that view of heaven, that, standing amidst his comforts here, and looking on his family, and friends, and property, he can say from the depths of his soul, that he feels it would be gain for him to go to heaven! Yet such deadness to the world may be produced - as it was in the case of Paul; such deadness to the world should exist in the heart of every sincere Christian. Where it does exist, death loses its terror, and the heir of life can look calmly on the bed where he will lie down to die; can think calmly of the moment when he will give the parting hand to wife and child, and press them to his bosom for the last time, and imprint on them the last kiss; can look peacefully on the spot where he will moulder back to dust, and in view of all can triumphantly say, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."

30. ye saw in me—(Ac 16:12, 19, &c.; 1Th 2:2). I am "in nothing terrified by mine adversaries" (Php 1:29), so ought not ye. The words here, "ye saw … and … hear," answer to "I come and see you, or else … hear" (Php 1:27). And be heartened to partake with him in the like trials he sustained when amongst them, Acts 16:19-24, and which he now was enduring at Rome, Philippians 1:13; an example of suffering unto them, if they would but await the blessed issue of his agony. Having the same conflict,.... For it seems that the Philippians were now under persecution for the Gospel of Christ; but this was no new or strange thing; it was the same the apostle was under formerly, and at that time:

which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me; when he and Silas were at Philippi, and first preached the Gospel there, they were exceedingly ill used, and shamefully entreated; they were dragged to the market place, or court, were beaten and scourged, and put into the inner prison, and their feet made fast in the stocks, Acts 16:19; of all this the Philippians were eyewitnesses, and to which he here refers when he says, which ye saw in me; and now he was a prisoner at Rome, as they had heard, hence he says, "and now hear to be in me"; for they had sent Epaphroditus to him with a present, as a token of their love to him, and to support him under his affliction; and which he mentions, in order to animate them to bear their sufferings patiently for Christ's sake, since the same were accomplished in him, as well as in the rest of their brethren and fellow Christians in the world.

{11} Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

(11) Now he shows for what purpose he made mention of his afflictions.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 1:30. So that ye have the same conflict, etc., serves to characterize the ὑμῖν ἐχαρ. τὸ ὑπὲρ Χ. πάσχειν just asserted; and Paul’s intention in thus speaking, is to bring home to them the high dignity and distinction of suffering for Christ, which is involved in the consciousness of fellowship in conflict with the apostle. It is impossible, in accordance with the true explanation of what goes before (see on Php 1:29), to find in τὸν αὐτόν, that they have themselves sought their conflict of suffering as little as the apostle had sought his, but, on the contrary, have received it as a gift of grace from God (Hofmann). The participle might have been put by Paul in the nominative (instead of the dative), because ὑμεῖς was floating before his mind as the logical subject of the preceding clause. Comp. on Ephesians 3:18; Ephesians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 3:16; Php 3:19; Kühner, II. 2, p. 661 f. There is therefore neither a logical nor a grammatical reason, with Bengel, Michaelis, Lachmann, Ewald (comp. also Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 256 [E. T. 299]), to treat ἥτιςπάσχειν as a parenthesis,—a construction which would be only an injurious interruption to the flow of the discourse.

τὸν αὐτόν] namely, in respect of the object; it is the conflict for Christ (Php 1:29) and His gospel (Php 1:7).

οἷον εἴδετε κ.τ.λ.] as ye have seen it in my person (viz. whilst I was still with you in Philippi; see scenes of this conflict in Acts 16:16 ff.; comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:2), and now (from my epistle which is read out to you) ye hear in my person. Paul, in his epistle, speaks to the Philippians as if they were listening to him in person; thus they hear in him his conflict, which is made known to them in the statements of the apostle. This explanation is all the less unfitting, as Hofmann terms it (comparing the ἐν ἡμῖν in 1 Corinthians 4:6), since Paul must necessarily have assumed that the statements in the epistle regarding his sufferings would not fail to receive more detailed description in Philippi on the part of Epaphroditus. The rendering de me for the second ἐν ἐμοί, adopted by Peschito, Vulgate, Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, and others, including Flatt, is erroneous.Php 1:30. ἀγῶνα. For the fact, see Acts 16:19 ff. and cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:2. The metaphor has been prepared for by στήκετε and συναθλοῦντες. Cf. Epictet., iv., 4, 32 (quoted by Hatch, Hibb. Lects., p. 156), “Life is in reality an Olympic festival: we are God’s athletes to whom He has given an opportunity of showing of what stuff we are made”. ἀγών was constantly used in later Greek of an inward struggle. See some striking exx. from Plutarch in Holden’s note on Timoleon, xxvii., § 5.—ἔχοντες. A broken construction. It ought strictly to be dative agreeing with ὑμῖν. It can scarcely be taken as parallel with συναθλ. and πτυρ.—εἴδετε. See reff. above.—ἀκούετε. His Roman trial.30. Having &c.] The Greek construction, if strictly taken, points back to the first clause of Php 1:28, and leaves the intermediate words as a parenthesis. But it is much likelier that the construction here is free, and that this verse accordingly carries out the last words of Php 1:29 into detail.

conflict] Greek agôn, a word suggestive of the athletic arena rather than the battle-field. See above on “striving together,” Php 1:27. It recurs Colossians 2:1 (perhaps for the “wrestlings” of prayer); 1 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 12:1. Our blessed Lord’s great “Wrestling” in Gethsemane, His sacred “Agony,” is called by the kindred word agônia, Luke 22:44.

ye saw] in the streets and in the court-house at Philippi; Acts 16. One of the probable recipients of this letter, the Jailer, had not only “seen” but inflicted other sufferings in the dungeon.Php 1:30. Ἐχοντες, having) construed with ye stand fast, in nothing terrified, Php 1:27-28.—εἴδετε, you have seen) Acts 16:12; Acts 16:19-20.—ἐν ἐμοὶ, in me) who am not terrified.

—————Verse 30. - Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. These words are best taken with Ver. 27, vers. 28 and 29 being parenthetical. The apostle returns to the military or gladiatorial metaphor of a contest, ἀγών. He had himself been persecuted at Philippi (Acts 16:1 Thessalonians 2:2); now the Philippians heard of his Roman imprisonment, and were themselves suffering similar persecutions.



Conflict (ἀγῶνα)

An athletic contest. See on striving, Colossians 1:29, and compare striving together, Philippians 1:27.

Ye saw

In his sufferings at Philippi, Acts 16, see 1 Thessalonians 2:2.

Hear

Concerning my imprisonment.

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