Priest and Sacrifice
Philippians 2:17-18
Yes, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.…

In the first place, he compares himself to a priest, and sets before us the conversion of the Philippians to the faith of the gospel, brought about by his preaching, and their piety as its consequence, under the image of a sacrifice. He speaks in the same way in Romans 15:16. In this mystical sacrifice the apostle was the high priest; the gospel was, as it were, the knife with which he spiritually immolated his victims. The Philippians converted to Jesus Christ were his victims; for as also the ancient priests consecrated to God the victims that they offered, so also the apostle, and all the faithful preachers of the gospel, lead and offer to the Lord those to whom they preach the word with effect. Besides, as the priests of old put their victims to death, so now do the ministers of the gospel in some manner immolate men who receive their preaching, making them die to the world and the flesh, drawing out of their hearts vain affections and lusts, in which their life consisted. And as for the ancient victims, they remained purely and simply dead, without receiving from the hand of the priest any kind of life instead of that of which he had deprived them. But it is not so with the men whom the ministers of the Lord immolate with the sword of His gospel. For instead of this miserable, earthly, and carnal life which they take from them, they clothe them with another that is holy and Divine, changing them by this mystical sacrifice from children of Adam into children of God, from old and perishing creatures into new and heavenly men. Besides this difference, there is still another. For whereas those poor animals, destitute as they were of reason and intellect, suffered death simply, without any act on their part; now the victims of Jesus Christ are only immolated when they knowingly and willingly receive the stroke of the gospel. Thus you see that the apostle here expressly mentions the faith of the Philippians, as it was through that they had been offered to God. From whence again a third difference arises between these two kinds of victims. For whereas the ancient victims remained entirely deprived of their being, without obtaining any new one; men now offered to God by the gospel, besides being made by it new creatures, become also themselves priests, to offer themselves henceforth to God, by a true faith, presenting their bodies to him in sacrifice (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5). And this is the reason that the Scripture honours with the name of sacrifices all those actions of their spiritual life which they practise in faith, as their alms giving, their repentance, their patience, their hymns, their prayers, and such like. St. Paul comprehends here all those spiritual oblations under the name of sacrifice and service of faith of the Philippians.

(J. Daille.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

WEB: Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice, and rejoice with you all.

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