Philippians 1:25, 26
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;…
He might be uncertain as to which he should choose, but he was fully confident as to what would befall him. Notice -
I. THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS CONTINUANCE WITH HIS CONVERTS. "And being confidently persuaded of this [that his life would be for their spiritual advantage] I know that I shall abide, and abide with you all." His knowledge was not necessarily derived from special revelation or from mere presentiment, but represents his firm personal conviction that he would survive his present imprisonment. His assurance was eventually fulfilled, as we know by his labors during the remaining years of his life. He knew that his times were in God's hands, and that the same Lord who foretold the manner of Peter's end would fix the time of his own end. He could feel he was immortal till his work was done.
II. THE EFFECT OF HIS CONTINUED LABOURS. "For your furtherance and joy of faith." The life of a minister is intimately associated with the spiritual comfort of his flock.
1. The apostle would be the means of increasing their faith.
(1) By his imparting of new truth;
(2) by his skillful application of old truth to new circumstances;
(3) by deepening the dependence of his converts on that Lord whom the twelve apostles once unanimously addressed with the words, "Increase our faith" (Luke 17:5);
(4) by imparting spiritual gifts (Romans 1:11).
2. The apostle would contribute to the joy of their faith.
(1) This joy is essentially connected with faith as its source; for the God of hope fills us "with all joy and peace in believing" (Romans 15:13).
(2) Faith in its fullness inspires a deep joy in proportion to its thorough realization of Divine realities and blessings. "In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable" (1 Peter 1:8).
(3) The apostle would thus promote their spiritual strength; for "the joy of the Lord" would become "their strength."
III. THE ULTIMATE DESIGN OF HIS CONTINUANCE. "That your matter for boasting [in the fact of your condition as Christians] may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my coming to you again."
1. The element of increase in Christian living and Christian privilege is in Christ Jesus; for it is in virtue of its connection with the head "that the body maketh increase of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:16).
2. The instrumental source of increase is "in me - through the apostle's continued labor.
3. It would be still more marked by his personal visits to his converts; for he would come to them in fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;