Philippians 4:1
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
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(1) Therefore.—By this word, just as at the conclusion of the description of the “depth of the riches of the wisdom of God” (in Romans 11:33-36), or of the glorious climax of the doctrine of the resurrection (in 1Corinthians 15:50-57), St. Paul makes the vision of future glory to be an inspiring force, giving life to the sober, practical duties of the present time. For the faith, which is the root of good works, is not only “the evidence of things not seen,” although already existing as spiritual realities, but also “the substantiation of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1).

Dearly beloved and longed for . . .—The peculiar affectionateness of this verse is notable. It is curiously coincident with the words addressed years before to Thessalonica (1Thessalonians 2:19), “What is our hope and joy and crown of rejoicing? Are not ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .? Ye are our glory and our joy.” But it has just the addition natural to the yearnings of captivity: they are “longed for,” and that (see Philippians 1:8) “in the heart of Jesus Christ.” The “crown” is here the garland, the sign of victory in the apostolic race and struggle of which he had spoken above (Philippians 3:12-14). The crown of glory, of righteousness, and of life, is usually described as future (see 2Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10), and this is the case in the Thessalonian Epistle. Here, without excluding that completer sense, the reference is also to the present. The Philippians are St. Paul’s crown, as the Corinthians are his “seal” (1Corinthians 9:2)—at once the proof of His apostolic mission and the reward of his apostolic labour. In both aspects the present is the earnest of the future.



Php 4:1.

The words I have chosen set forth very simply and beautifully the bond which knit Paul and these Philippian Christians together, and the chief desire which his Apostolic love had for them. I venture to apply them to ourselves, and I speak now especially to the members of my own church and congregation.

I. Let us note, then, first, the personal bond which gives force to the teacher’s words.

That Church at Philippi was, if Paul had any favourites amongst his children, his favourite child. The circumstances of its formation may have had something to do with that. It was planted by himself; it was the first Church in Europe; perhaps the Philippian gaoler and Lydia were amongst the ‘beloved’ and ‘longed for’ ones who were ‘his joy and crown.’ But be that as it may, all through the letter we can feel the throbbing of a very loving heart, and the tenderness of a strong man, which is the most tender of all things.

Note how he addresses them. There is no assumption of Apostolic authority, but he puts himself on their level, and speaks to them as brethren. Then he lets his heart out, and tells them how they lived in his love, and how, of course, when he was parted from them, he had desired to be with them. And then he touches a deeper and a sacreder chord when he contemplates the results of the relation between them, if he on his side, and they on theirs, were faithful to it. It says much for the teacher, and for the taught, if he can truly say ‘My joy,’--’I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in the truth.’ And not only were they his joy, but they who, by their faithfulness, have become his joy, will on that one day in the far future, be his ‘crown.’ That metaphor carries on the thoughts to the great Judgment Day, and introduces a solemn element, which is as truly present, dear friends, in our relation to one another, little of an Apostle as I am, as it was in the relation between Paul and the Philippians. They who ‘turn many to righteousness shine as the brightness of the firmament,’ because those whom they have turned, ‘shine as lights in the world.’ And at that last august and awful tribunal, where you will have to give an account for your listening, as I for my speaking, the crown of victory laid on the locks of a faithful teacher is the characters of those whom he has taught. ‘Who is my joy and hope, and crown of rejoicing?’ Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming?

Now, notice, further, how such mutual affection is needed to give force to the teacher’s exhortation. Preaching from unloved lips never does any good. It irritates, or leaves untouched. Affection melts and opens the heart to the entrance of the word. And preaching from unloving lips does very little good either. So speaking, I condemn myself. There are men who handle God’s great, throbbing message of love so coldly as that they ice even the Gospel. There are men who have a strange gift of taking all the sap and the fervour out of the word that they proclaim, making the very grapes of Eshcol into dried raisins. And I feel for myself that my ministry may well have failed in this respect. For who is there that can modulate his voice so as to reproduce the music of that great message, or who can soften and open his heart so as that it shall be a worthy vehicle of the infinite love of God?

But, dear brethren, though conscious of many failures in this respect, I yet thank God that here, at the end of nearly forty years of a ministry, I can look you in the face and believe that your look responds to mine, and that I can take these words as the feathers for my arrow, as that which will make words otherwise weak go further, and may help to write the precepts upon hearts, and to bring them to bear in practice--’My beloved and longed for’; ‘my joy and my crown.’

Such feelings do not need to be always spoken. There is very little chance of us Northerners erring on the side of letting our hearts speak too fully and frequently. Perhaps we should be all the better if we were a little less reticent, but at any rate you and I can surely trust each other after so many years, and now and then, as to-day, let our hearts speak.

II. Secondly, notice the all-sufficient precept which such love gives. ‘So stand fast in the Lord.’

That is a very favourite figure of Paul’s, as those of you who have any reasonable degree of familiarity with his letters will know. Here it carries with it, as it generally does, the idea of resistance against antagonistic force. But the main thought of it is that of continuous steadfastness in our union with Jesus Christ. It applies, of course, to the intellect, but not mainly, and certainly not exclusively to intellectual adherence to the truths spoken in the Gospel. It covers the whole ground of the whole man; will, conscience, heart, practical effort, as well as understanding. And it is really Paul’s version, with a characteristic dash of pugnacity in it, of our Lord’s yet deeper and calmer words, ‘Abide in Me and I in you.’ It is the same exhortation as Barnabas gave to the infantile church at Antioch, when, to these men just rescued from heathenism and profoundly ignorant of much which we suppose it absolutely necessary that Christians should know, he had only one thing to say, exhorting them all, that ‘with purpose of heart they should cleave to the Lord.’

Steadfast continuance of personal union with Jesus Christ, extending through all the faculties of our nature, and into every corner of our lives, is the kernel of this great exhortation. And he who fulfils it has little left unfulfilled. Of course, as I said, there is a very strong suggestion that such ‘standing’ is by no means an easy thing, or accomplished without much antagonism; and it may help us if, just for a moment, we run over the various forms of resistance which they have to overcome who stand fast. Nothing stands where it is without effort. That is true in the moral world, although in the physical world the law of motion is that nothing moves without force being applied to it.

What are the things that would shake our steadfastness, and sweep us away? Well, there are, first, the tiny, continuously acting, and therefore all but omnipotent forces of daily life--duties, occupations, distractions of various kinds--which tend to move us imperceptibly away, as by the slow sliding of a glacier, from the hope of the Gospel. There is nothing so strong as a gentle pressure, equably and unintermittently applied. It is far mightier than thrusts and hammerings and sudden assaults. I stood some time ago looking at the Sphinx. The hard stone--so hard that it turns the edge of a sculptor’s chisel--has been worn away, and the solemn features all but obliterated. What by? The continual attrition of multitudinous grains of sand from the desert. The little things that are always at work upon us are the things that have most power to sweep us away from our steadfastness in Jesus Christ.

Then there are, besides, the sudden assaults of strong temptations, of sense and flesh, or of a more subtle and refined character. If a man is standing loosely, in some careless dégagé attitude, and a sudden impact comes upon him, over he goes. The boat upon a mountain-locked lake encounters a sudden gust when opposite the opening of a glen, and unless there be a very strong hand and a watchful eye at the helm, is sure to be upset. Upon us there come, in addition to that silent continuity of imperceptible but most real pressure, sudden gusts of temptation which are sure to throw us over, unless we are well and always on our guard against them.

In addition to all these, there are ups and downs of our own nature, the fluctuations which are sure to occur in any human heart, when faith seems to ebb and falter, and love to die down almost into cold ashes. But, dear brethren, whilst we shall always be liable to these fluctuations of feeling, it is possible for us to have, deep down below these, a central core of our personality, in which unchanging continuity may abide. The depths of the ocean know nothing of the tides on the surface that are due to the mutable moon. We can have in our inmost hearts steadfastness, immovableness, even though the surface may be ruffled. Make your spirits like one of those great cathedrals whose thick walls keep out the noises of the world, and in whose still equability there is neither excessive heat nor excessive cold, but an approximately uniform temperature, at midsummer and at midwinter. ‘Stand fast in the Lord.’

Now, my text not only gives an exhortation, but, in the very act of giving it, suggests how it is to be fulfilled. For that phrase ‘in the Lord’ not only indicates where we are to stand, but also how . That is to say--it is only in proportion as we keep ourselves in union with Christ, in heart and mind, and will, and work, that we shall stand steadfast. The lightest substances may be made stable, if they are glued on to something stable. You can mortice a bit of thin stone into the living rock, and then it will stand ‘four-square to every wind that blows.’ So it is only on condition of our keeping ourselves in Jesus Christ, that we are able to keep ourselves steadfast, and to present a front of resistance that does not yield one foot, either to imperceptible continuous pressure, to sudden assaults, or to the fluctuations of our own changeful dispositions and tempers. The ground on which a man stands has a great deal to do with the firmness of his footing. You cannot stand fast upon a bed of slime, or upon a sand-bank which is being undermined by the tides. And if we, changeful creatures, are to be steadfast in any region, our surest way of being so is to knit ourselves to Him ‘who is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,’ and from whose immortality will flow some copy and reflection of itself into our else changeful natures.

Still further, in regard to this commandment, I would pray you to notice that very eloquent little word which stands at the beginning of it. ‘ So stand fast in the Lord.’ ‘So.’ How? That throws us back to what the Apostle has been saying in the previous context. And what has he been saying there? The keynote of the previous chapter is progress--’I follow after; I press toward the mark, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are before.’ To these exhortations to progress he appends this remarkable exhortation: ‘So’--that is, by progress--’stand fast in the Lord,’ which being turned into other words is just this--if you stand still, you will not stand fast. There can be no steadfastness without advancement. If a man is not going forward, he is going backward. The only way to ensure stability is ‘pressing toward the mark.’ Why, a child’s top only stands straight up as long as it is revolving. If a man on a bicycle stops, he tumbles. And so, in the depths of a Christian life, as in all science, and all walks of human activity, the condition of steadfastness is advance. Therefore, dear brethren, let no man deceive himself with the notion that he can keep at the same point of religious experience and of Christian character. You are either more of a Christian, or less of one, than you were at a past time. ‘ So , stand fast,’ and remember that to stand still is not to stand fast .

Now, whilst all these things that I have been trying to say have reference to Christian people at all stages of their spiritual history, they have a very especial reference to those in the earlier part of Christian life.

And I want to say to those who have only just begun to run the Christian life, very lovingly and very earnestly, that this is a text for them. For, alas! there is nothing more frequent than that, after the first dawnings of a Christian life in a heart, there should come a period of overclouding; or that, as John Bunyan has taught us, when Christian has gone through the wicket-gate, he should fall very soon into the Slough of Despond. One looks round, and sees how many professing Christians there are who, perhaps, were nearer Jesus Christ on the day of their conversion than they have ever been since, and how many cases of arrested development there are amongst professing and real Christians; so that when for the ‘time they ought to be teachers, they have need’ to be taught again; and when, after the number of years that have passed, they ought to be full-grown men, they are but babes yet. And so I say to you, dear young friends, stand fast. Do not let the world attract you again. Keep near to Jesus. ‘Hold fast that thou hast; let no man take thy crown.’

III. Lastly, we have here a great motive which encourages obedience to this command.

People generally pass over that ‘Therefore’ which begins my text, but it is full of significance and of importance. It links the precept which we have been considering with the immediately preceding hope which the Apostle has so triumphantly proclaimed, when he says that ‘we look for the Saviour from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change the body of our humiliation that it may be fashioned like unto the body of His glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.’

So there rises before us that twofold great hope; that the Master Himself is coming to the succour of His servants, and that when He comes, He will perfect the incomplete work which has been begun in them by their faith and steadfastness, and will change their whole humanity so that it shall become participant of, and conformed to, the glory of His own triumphant manhood.

That hope is presented by the Apostle as having its natural sequel in the ‘steadfastness’ of my text, and that ‘steadfastness’ is regarded by the Apostle as drawing its most animating motives from the contemplation of that great hope. Blessed be God! The effort of the Christian life is not one which is extorted by fear, or by the cold sense of duty. There are no taskmasters with whips to stand over the heart that responds to Christ and to His love. But hope and joy, as well as love, are the animating motives which make sacrifices easy, soften the yoke that is laid upon our shoulders, and turn labour into joy and delight.

So, dear brethren, we have to set before us this great hope, that Jesus Christ is coming, and that, therefore, our labour on ourselves is sure not to be in vain. Work that is done hopelessly is not done long, and there is no heart in it whilst it is being done. But if we know that Christ will appear, ‘and that when He who is our life shall appear, we also shall appear with Him in glory,’ then we may go to work in keeping ourselves steadfast in Him, with cheery hearts, and with full assurance that what we have been doing will have a great result.

You have read, no doubt, about some little force in North-West India, hemmed in by enemies. They may well hold out resolutely and hopefully when they know that three relieving armies are converging upon their stronghold. And we, too, know that our Emperor is coming to raise the siege. We may well stand fast with such a prospect. We may well work at our own sanctifying when we know that our Lord Himself--like some master-sculptor who comes to his pupil’s imperfectly blocked-out work, and takes his chisel in his hand, and with a touch or two completes it--will come and finish what we, by His grace, imperfectly began. ‘So stand fast in the Lord,’ because you have hope that the Lord is about to come, and that when He comes you will be like Him.

One last word. That steadfastness is the condition without which we have no right to entertain that hope.

If we keep ourselves near Christ, and if by keeping ourselves near Him, we are becoming day by day liker Him, then we may have calm confidence that He will perfect that which concerns us. But I, for my part, can find nothing, either in Scripture or in the analogy of God’s moral dealings with us in the world, to warrant the holding out of the expectation to a man that, if he has kept himself apart from Jesus Christ and his quickening and cleansing power all his life long, Jesus Christ will take him in hand after he dies, and change him into His likeness. Don’t you risk it! Begin by ‘standing fast in the Lord.’ He will do the rest then, not else. The cloth must be dipped into the dyer’s vat, and lie there, if it is to be tinged with the colour. The sensitive plate must be patiently kept in position for many hours, if invisible stars are to photograph themselves upon it. The vase must be held with a steady hand beneath the fountain, if it is to be filled. Keep yourselves in Jesus Christ. Then here you will begin to be changed into the same image, and when He comes He will come as your Saviour, and complete your uncompleted work, and make you altogether like Himself.

Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, dearly beloved.

Php 4:1-2. Therefore, my brethren — The exhortation contained in this verse appears to be closely connected with the latter part of the preceding chapter, from which certainly it ought not to have been separated. It is as if the apostle had said, Since such a glorious change awaits all those who, in consequence of their faith in Christ, and in the truths and promises of his gospel, are citizens of heaven, and have their thoughts and affections placed there, let me exhort you to be steadfast in your adherence to that religion which is the foundation of all your glorious hopes. Dearly beloved and longed for — Whose welfare and happiness I earnestly desire; my joy and crown — Whose faith and piety give me now great joy, and I trust will be to the honour of my ministry in the expected day of final accounts, manifesting that I have not laboured in vain; so stand fast in the Lord — In your faith in Christ, and in your expectation of eternal life from him, as you have hitherto done, and as it becomes those to do who are so nearly related and so dear to him. I beseech Euodias, &c. — Macknight, following the order of the words in the original, reads, Euodia I beseech, and Syntyche I beseech; he repeats the word beseech twice, as if speaking to each face to face, and that with the utmost tenderness; that they be of the same mind in the Lord — That whatever cause of difference may have arisen between them, they would lay aside their, disputes for the credit of the gospel, which they both profess to believe. The apostle’s expression, το αυτο φρονειν, may be rendered to mind, or care for, the same thing; that is, as Whitby understands the apostle, to promote the success of the gospel as with one soul. For he thinks the apostle could not mean to exhort them to be of one judgment, because “no man can become of the same judgment with another by entreaty, but only by conviction.”

4:1 The believing hope and prospect of eternal life, should make us steady and constant in our Christian course. There is difference of gifts and graces, yet, being renewed by the same Spirit, we are brethren. To stand fast in the Lord, is to stand fast in his strength, and by his grace.Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for - Doddridge unites this verse with the previous chapter, and supposes that it is the proper close of the solemn statement which the apostle makes there. The word "therefore" - ὥστε hōste - has undoubted reference to the remarks made there; and the meaning is, that in view of the fact that there were many professed Christians who were not sincere - that the "citizenship" of all true Christians was in heaven, and that Christians looked for the coming of the Lord Jesus, who would make them like to himself, the apostle exhorts them to stand fast in the Lord. The accumulation of epithets of endearment in this verse shows his tender regard for them, and is expressive of his earnest solicitude for their welfare, and his deep conviction of their danger. The term "longed for" is expressive of strong affection; see Philippians 1:8, and Philippians 2:26.

My joy - The source of my joy. He rejoiced in the fact that they had been converted under him; and in their holy walk, and their friendship. Our chief joy is in our friends; and the chief happiness of a minister of the gospel is in the pure lives of those to whom he ministers; see 3 John 1:4.

And crown - Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:19. The word "crown" means a circlet, chaplet, or diadem:

(1) as the emblem of royal dignity - the symbol of office;

(2) as the prize conferred on victors in the public games, 1 Corinthians 9:25, and hence, as an emblem of the rewards of a future life; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4;

(3) anything that is an ornament or honor, as one glories in a crown; compare Proverbs 12:4, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband;" Proverbs 14:24, "The crown of the wise is their riches;" Proverbs 16:31, "The hoary head is a crown of glory;" Proverbs 17:6, "Children's children are the crown of old men."

The idea here is, that the church at Philippi was that in which the apostle gloried. He regarded it as a high honor to have been the means of founding such a church, and he looked upon it with the same interest with which a monarch looks upon the diadem which he wears.

So stand fast in the Lord - In the service of the Lord, and in the strength which he imparts; see the notes at Ephesians 6:13-14.


Php 4:1-23. Exhortations: Thanks for the Supply from Philippi: Greeting; and Closing Benediction.

1. "Wherefore"; since we have such a glorious hope (Php 3:20, 21).

dearly beloved—repeated again at the close of the verse, implying that his great love to them should be a motive to their obedience.

longed for—"yearned after" in your absence (Php 1:8).

crown—in the day of the Lord (Php 2:16; 1Th 2:19).

so—as I have admonished you.

stand fast—(Php 1:27).Philippians 4:1 Paul exciteth to steadfastness in Christ,

Philippians 4:2 and after some particular admonitions,

Philippians 4:3,4 exhorteth generally to religious joy,

Philippians 4:5 moderation,

Philippians 4:6,7 trust in God with prayer,

Philippians 4:8,9 and to every branch of moral goodness.

Philippians 4:10-14 He testifieth his joy in the care shown by the

Philippians for his supply in prison, though being

always content he was above want,

Philippians 4:15-17 and commendeth their former liberality to him, not

for his own sake, but for the good that would redound

to them from it.

Philippians 4:18,19 He acknowledgeth the receipt of their late bounty,

assuring them that God would both accept and reward it.

Philippians 4:20-23 He giveth glory to God, and concludeth with

salutations, and a blessing.

Therefore; this particle connotes that which follows to be inferred by way of conclusion from what he had premised in the close of the former chapter, in opposition to the shame of the earthly-minded, concerning the glory of the heavenly-minded.

My brethren; he affectionately owns them to be his brethren in the common faith, Titus 1:4.

Dearly beloved; those who, not being enticed by the insinuations of seducers, did adhere to him, had his sincere affections, Philippians 2:12.

And longed for; whose safety and felicity every way he most heartily desired, Philippians 1:8 2:26; with Romans 1:11 1 Thessalonians 3:6.

My joy; intimating how their faith and holiness did at present afford matter of rejoicing to him, Philippians 1:4,7,8, with 1 Thessalonians 2:19,20.

And crown; he was not ambitious of man’s applause, but accounted them his honour and glory, the great ornament of his ministry, whereby they were converted to Christ, (as elsewhere in Scripture a crown is taken figuratively, Proverbs 12:4 14:24 16:31 17:6), 1 Thessalonians 2:19; the reward which had some similitude with the honour they had who were victorious in a race, Philippians 2:16,17: as Jam 1:12 1 Peter 5:4 Revelation 2:10 Revelation 3:11.

So stand fast; he exhorteth them not barely to stand, but so to stand that they did not fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Hereupon he adds,

in the Lord; i.e. considering their relation unto Christ, they would derive power and virtue from him, into whom they were implanted, to persevere, conformably to his will, in Christian concord, till they were made like to him, Philippians 3:21, with Philippians 1:27 John 15:4,7 1 Corinthians 15:58 16:13 Galatians 5:7 Ephesians 6:11,14.

My dearly beloved; in whom looking upon them, (the more to fix them), he pathetically and rhetorically repeats his endearing compellation beloved.

Therefore, my brethren,.... Not in a natural but spiritual relation; having the same Father, being of the same family, and household of faith: seeing that on the one hand there were false teachers, who stand described by various characters in the preceding chapter, by whom they were in danger of being carried away from the simplicity of the Gospel; and on the other hand, such were the conduct and conversation of the apostle, and other true believers, and such were their expectations of Christ from heaven, and of happiness from him as there expressed; therefore he exhorts to steadfastness in him, and that under the most tender, affectionate, and endearing appellations; given in the uprightness of his soul, without any manner of flattery, to signify his strong affection for them, and to engage them to attend the more to what he was about to exhort them to; and which arose from pure love to them, an hearty concern for their good, and the honour of Christ Jesus:

dearly beloved: as belonging to Christ, interested in him, members of him, redeemed by him, and bearing his image; and as his brethren, and so not loved with a carnal, but spiritual love:

and longed for; to see them, converse with them, and impart some spiritual gift to them; being the excellent in the earth, as other saints, towards whom was his desire, and with whom was all his delight. These epithets are joined with the word "brethren", in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and read thus, "my dearly beloved, and longed for brethren"; and in the Ethiopic version, "our beloved brethren": to which are added,

my joy and crown; they were matter of joy to him, as he had reason to hope well of them; yea, to be confident that the good work was begun, and would be carried on in them; and that they had hitherto continued in the doctrine of the Gospel, and walked worthy of it; and they were his "crown", as they were seals of his ministry; and whom he valued more, and reckoned a greater honour and ornament to him, than the richest diadem, set with the most costly jewels and precious stones, and which he hoped and believed would be his crown of rejoicing another day; when he, with them, should stand at the hand of Christ triumphing, as victors crowned, ever sin, Satan, the world, death, and hell:

so stand fast in the Lord; or "by the Lord"; by his power and strength, which is only able to make to stand fast; saints are liable to failing, and would fall, were they not upheld with his right hand, and kept by his power; they only stand fast, as they stand supported by his strength, trusting in his might, and leaning on his arm. Christ is the only foundation where they can stand safe and sure; and such as are rooted and grounded, and built up in him, are established and stand; though they are still in need of being exhorted to hold the head, abide by him, and cleave unto him; to stand fast in his grace, exercising the graces of faith, hope, and love upon him; in the liberty of Christ, in opposition to the bondage of the law, false teachers were for bringing them into; and in the doctrine of faith, and not depart from it in any degree, nor give way in the least to the opposers of it, but continue steadfast in it without wavering, and which is chiefly intended here: so the Arabic version renders it, "so stand in the faith of the Lord"; both in the grace faith, and in the doctrine of it, and in the profession of both: see 1 Corinthians 16:13. The apostle bids them so stand fast; that is, either as they had hitherto done, or as they had him and others for an example; whose views, conversation, and behaviour, are described in the foregoing chapter:

my dearly beloved; this, which otherwise would be a repetition of what is before said, is by some connected with the former clause, and read thus, "so stand fast my dearly beloved in the Lord"; and contains a reason, both why they were dearly beloved by the apostle, because beloved in and by the Lord; and why it became them to stand fast in him, and abide by him, his truths, ordinances, cause, and interest.

Therefore, {1} my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and {a} crown, so stand fast in the {b} Lord, my dearly beloved.

(1) A rehearsal of the conclusion: that they bravely continue until they have gotten the victory, trusting in the Lord's strength.

(a) My honour.

(b) In that unification of which the Lord is the bond.

Php 4:1. Conclusion drawn from what precedes, from Php 4:17 onwards. We are not justified in going further back (de Wette refers it to the whole exhortation, Php 3:2 ff., comp. also Wiesinger, Weiss, Hofmann), because the direct address to the readers in the second person is only introduced at Php 4:17, and that with ἀδελφοί, as in the passage now before us; secondly, because the predicates ἀγαπητοὶστέφανός μου place the summons in that close personal relation to the apostle, which entirely corresponds with the words συμμιμηταί μου γίνεσθε in Php 4:17; thirdly, because ὥστε finds its logical reference in that which immediately precedes, and this in its turn is connected with the exhortation συμμιμηταί κ.τ.λ. in Php 4:17; and lastly, because οὕτω in Php 4:1 is correlative to the οὕτω in Php 3:17.[175]

ὥστε] accordingly; the ethical actual result, which what has been said of the ἡμεῖς in. Php 3:20 f. ought to have with the readers. Comp. Php 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

ἀγαπητοί κ.τ.λ.] “blandis appellationibus in eorum affectus se insinuat, quae tamen non sunt adulationis, sed sinceri amoris,” Calvin.

How might they disappoint and grieve such love as this by non-compliance!

ἐπιπόθητοι] longed for, for whom I yearn (comp. Php 1:8); not occurring elsewhere in the N. T.; comp. App. Hisp. 43; Eust. Opusc, p. 357. 39; Aq. Ezekiel 23:11 (ἐπιπόθησις); Psalm 139:9 (ἐπιπόθημα); Ael. N. A. vii. 3 (ποθητός).

στέφανος] comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:19; Sir 1:9; Sir 6:31; Sir 15:6; Ezekiel 16:12; Ezekiel 23:42; Proverbs 16:31; Proverbs 17:6; Job 19:9. The honour, which accrued to the apostle from the excellent Christian condition of the church, is represented by him under the figure of a crown of victory. Comp. στέφανον εὐκλείας μέγαν, Soph. Aj. 465; Eur. Suppl. 313; Iph. A. 193, Herc. F. 1334; Thuc. ii. 46; Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. p. 30; Lobeck ad Aj. l.c.; also στεφανοῦν (Wesseling, ad Diod. Sic. I. p. 684), στεφάνωμα, Pind. Pyth. i. 96, xii. 9, στεφανηφορεῖν, Wis 4:2, and Grimm in loc. The reference of χαρά to the present time, and of στέφ. to the future judgment (Calvin and others, comp. Pelagius), introduces arbitrarily a reflective distinction of ideas, which is not in keeping with the fervour of the emotion.

οὕτω] corresponding to the τύπος that has just been set forth and recommended to you (Php 3:17 ff.). Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Erasmus, Calvin, Bengel, and others, interpret: so, as ye stand, so that Paul “praesentem statum laudando ad perseverantiam eos hortetur,” Calvin. This is at variance with the context, for he has just adduced others as a model for his readers; and the exhortation would not agree with συμμιμ. μ. γίνεσθε, Php 3:17, which, notwithstanding all the praise of the morally advanced community, still does not presuppose the existence already of a normal Christian state.

ἐν κυρίῳ] Comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:8. Christ is to be the element in which the standing fast required of them is to have its specific character, so that in no case can the moral life ever act apart from the fellowship of Christ.

ἀγαπητοί] “περιπαθὴς haec vocis hujus ἀναφορά,” Grotius. In no other epistle so much as in this has Paul multiplied the expressions of love and praise of his readers; a strong testimony certainly as to the praiseworthy condition of the church, from which, however, Weiss infers too much. Here, as always (Romans 12:19; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Php 2:12; 1 Corinthians 10:14; Hebrews 6:9, et al.), moreover, ἀγαπητοί stands as an address without any more precise self-evident definition, and is not to be connected (as Hofmann holds) with ἐν κυρίῳ.

[175] In opposition to which Hofmann quite groundlessly urges the objection, that Paul in that case would have written περιπατεῖτε instead of στήκετε. As if he must have thought and spoken thus mechanically! The στήκετε is in fact substantially just a περιπατεῖν which maintains its ground.


Ch. Php 4:1-7. With such a prospect, and such a Saviour, let them be steadfast, united, joyful, self-forgetful, restful, prayerful, and the peace of god shall be theirs

1. Therefore] In view of such a hope, and such a Lord.

dearly beloved] Omit “dearly,” which is not in the Greek; though assuredly in the tone of the passage. The word “beloved” is a favourite with all the apostolic writers; a characteristic word of the Gospel of holy love. St Paul uses it 27 times of his converts and friends.

longed for] The word occurs here only in N.T., but the cognate verb occurs Php 1:6, Php 2:26, and cognate nouns Romans 15:23; 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 7:11. The address here is full of deep personal tenderness, and of longing desire to revisit Philippi.

my joy and crown] Cp. the like words to the sister Church in Macedonia, 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 3:9; and see 2 Corinthians 1:14. The thought of the Day of glory brings up the thought of his recognition of his converts then, and rejoicing over them before the Lord. Manifestly he expects to know the Philippians, to remember Philippi.

so] In such faith, and with such practice, as I have now again enjoined on you.

stand fast] The same verb as that Php 1:27, where see note. And here cp. especially 1 Corinthians 16:13; Galatians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8 (a close parallel, in both word and tone). The Christian is never to stand still, as to growth and service; ever to stand fast, as to faith, hope, and love.

in the Lord] In recollection and realization of your vital union with Him who is your peace, life, hope, and King. Cp. Ephesians 6:10, and note in this Series.

my dearly beloved] Lit., simply, beloved. His heart overflows, as he turns from the sad view of sin and misbelief to these faithful and loving followers of the holy truth. He can hardly say the last word of love.


“While the great motives of the Gospel reduce the multiplicity and confusion of the passions by their commanding force, they do, by the very same energy, expand all sensibilities; or, if we might so speak, send the pulse of life with vigour through the finer vessels of the moral system: there is far less apathy, and a far more equable consciousness in the mind, after it has admitted Christianity, than before; and, by necessary consequence, there is more individuality, because more life. Christians, therefore, while they understand each other better than other men do, possess a greater stock of sentiment to make the subject of converse, than others. The comparison of heart to heart knits heart to heart, and communicates to friendship very much that is sweet and intense.…

“So far as Christians truly exhibit the characteristics of their Lord, in spirit and conduct, a vivid emotion is enkindled in other Christian bosoms, as if the bright Original of all perfection stood dimly revealed.… The conclusion comes upon the mind … that this family resemblance … springs from a common centre, and that there exists, as its archetype, an invisible Personage, of whose glory all are, in a measure, partaking.”

Isaac Taylor, of Ongar; Saturday Evening, ch. 18.

Php 4:1. Ὥστε, therefore) Such expectations being set before us.—ἀγαπητοὶ, beloved) This word is twice used with great sweetness; first as at the beginning of the period; and then, for strengthening the exhortation.—ἐπιπόθητοι, yearned after, longed for) so he speaks of them in their absence, ch. Php 1:8.—στέφανός μου, my crown) Php 2:16.—οὕτω) so, stand ye, as ye now stand; comp. οὕτω, 1 Corinthians 9:24, note.—στήκετε, stand) Php 1:27.

Verse 1. - Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown. The apostle here, as in 1 Corinthians 15:58, urges the hope of a glorious resurrection as an incentive to steadfastness in the Christian life. He seems scarcely able to find words adequate to express his love for the Philippians; he heaps together epithets of affection, dwelling tenderly on the word "beloved." He tells them of his longing desire to see them, repeating the word used in Philippians 1:8. He calls them his "joy and crown" - his joy now, his crown hereafter. He uses the same words of the other great Macedonian Church in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, "What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye?" The Greek word for "crown" (στέφανος) means commonly either the wreath ("the corruptible crown," 1 Corinthians 9:25) which was the prize of victors at the Grecian games; or a garland worn at banquets and festivities. The royal crown is generally διάδημα. But στέφανος is used in the Septuagint for a king's crown (see (in the Greek) 2 Samuel 12:30; Psalm 20:4 (A.V., Psalms 21:3); Esther 8:15). The crown of thorns, too, which was used in mockery of the Savior's kingly title, was στέφανος ἐξ ἀκανθῶν, though this may possibly have been suggested by the laurel wreath worn by the Roman Caesars (see Trench, 'Synonyms of the New Testament,' sect. 23.). "The crown of life," "the crown of glory that fadeth not away," is the emblem both of victory and of gladness. Yet it is also in some sense kingly: the saints shall sit with Christ in his throne; they shall reign with him; they are kings ("a kingdom," R.V., with the best manuscripts) and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6). In this place victory seems to be the thought present to the apostle's mind. In Philippians 2:16 and Philippians 2:12-14 he has been comparing the Christian life with the course of the Grecian athletes. Now he represents his converts as constituting his crown or wreath of victory at the last; their salvation is the crowning reward of his labors and sufferings. So stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. So; that is, as ye have us for an example; or perhaps, as becomes citizens of the heavenly commonwealth. The same word (στήκετε) is used in Philippians 1:27, also in connection with the idea of citizenship. Philippians 4:1Longed for (ἐπιπόθητοι)

Only here in the New Testament. Compare I long for you, Philippians 1:8; and for kindred words see 2 Corinthians 7:7; Romans 15:23.

Joy and crown (χαρὰ καὶ στέφανος)

Nearly the same phrase occurs 1 Thessalonians 2:19. The Philippian converts are his chaplet of victory, showing that he has not run in vain, Philippians 2:16. For crown, see on Revelation 4:4; see on 1 Peter 5:4.

So stand fast

As I have exhorted, and have borne myself in the conflict which you saw and heard to be in me, Philippians 1:30.

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