According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always…
I. PAUL HAD AS EXPECTATION.
1. This seems natural if we regard his character and temper.
(1) He was a warm-hearted man, an intellectual man, a man, moreover, whose natural gifts had not been cramped but had a healthy development, and who had healthy cravings. While he did not think more highly of himself than he ought, neither did he think more meanly.
(2) He was a born leader, not fitted for service so much as for rule: finding few or none with dignity enough to compel his homage. A man of ambition, with a splendid secular career before him.
2. When Jesus spoke to him Paul found a Master, and at once a new object of expectation and hope was found.
II. THE EXPECTATION WAS THAT CHRIST WOULD BE MAGNIFIED IN HIM.
1. Notice the change of self-estimate. Had Paul joined some secular cause he would have regarded himself as conferring a favour: but when he joined the Church he only congratulated himself on finding mercy. This self-abnegation was because he found Christ all in all.
2. He expected that Christ would be magnified in his body: it seems more natural for us to think his spirit. But the body is the manifestation of the spirit. In the spirit Christ is felt, in the body He is seen. If the life is degraded Christ is not in the spirit.
3. He expected that Christ would be magnified in his body irrespective of time or circumstance, life or death. Christ's grace is sufficient for this.
III. OF THIS EXPECTATION HE WAS NOT ASHAMED BUT ENTERTAINED IT BOLDLY.
1. Some Christians feel ashamed of a bold, vigorous magnification of Christ. "What will the world say?"
2. Some Christians feel afraid to magnify Christ. "What will the world do?"
(A. J. Bamford, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.