Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers which are with me greet you.…
1. Paul. "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus." He salutes the Philippians individually. With a knowledge of many of them, he was interested in every one of them as contributing to the strength of the cause of Christ at Philippi. Besides this general salutation by letter, to be read before the assembled congregation, there would be special salutations, to be delivered privately by Epaphroditus.
2. Personal companions. "The brethren which are with me salute you." These companions are not mentioned by name. Timothy was the only available companion for Philippi. Some might be told off for other work. Others, although they showed selfishness, were not debarred from sending fraternal greetings.
3. Christians resident in Rome. "All the saints salute you." Although not acquainted with the Philippian Christians, they belonged to the same Christian brotherhood, were interested in the common cause, looked forward to the common home; and therefore they too sent their greetings.
4. Of Roman Christians one class singled out. "Especially they that are of Caesar's household." "Nero (the Caesar here referred to) Was a prince that as far surpassed others in infamy as Augustus did in royalty; a man who, if every soul beside himself in his household had been a saint, concentrated inhumanity and pollution enough in his person to have darkened all their virtue by the blackness of his unnatural crimes; a man that expended more ingenuity in contriving new modes of dishonoring humanity than most Christians have in serving it, and who earned the reputation of introducing into history as facts crimes so enormous and combinations of wickedness so revolting that but for him they would have been held too fabulous for the wildest fancy; a man that hunted up and down his vast domains to find some fresh species of murder, with exquisite and aggravated accompaniments to season it to his monstrous appetite, with the same eagerness that gluttons search out a fresh delicacy for a sated palate; a man that tried three different ways of butchering his own mother, and at last despatched her by a vulgar execution, in a petulant rage at being baffled so often; and who added the tyrant's caprice to the incendiary's, by undertaking at once to throw off the suspicion of his own agency in the diabolic conflagration of his capital, and to comfort his bloodthirsty temper by imputing the fire to the innocent Christians; who tortured his Christian subjects by unheard-of torments, dressing them in the skins of wild animals to provoke dogs to tear them to pieces, or wrapping their bodies in clothing smeared with pitch and then setting them on fire to light up the Roman night with their burning; a man, in short, that wrought so awful an impression of his attributes of superhuman atrocity on the minds of the believers that that a common rumor went abroad among them, after his horrible death, that he would return again alive to vex the world anew, and to be the antichrist of prophecy." In the household of Nero, including the highest functionaries and lowest menials, were found saints. Their saintliness shone out all the more against the neighboring blackness. And, with such blackness in their neighborhood, there were sure to be seen burning around them fires of persecution. To be saints, then, in Caesar's household required extraordinary courage and modesty, independence and constancy. "This saintliness is possible and is much wanted also wherever an adverse influence frowns on Christian purity or hinders Christian fidelity. For that bad influence may proceed from things not held in much suspicion - from a false social standard, from a set of surrounding associations hostile to holiness, from a dominant worldliness in a nation, or a city, or a college, or a literal household. Our Nero is self-love. The senses are the Caesars of all ages. The reigning temper of the world is the imperishable persecutor and tyrant of the faithful soul. And so in every home and street, seminary and dwelling, there are chances for the reappearing of saints in Caesar's household. Wherever a fearless man deems any bribe to do wrong an insult to his clean heart; wherever an incorruptible merchant refuses to conform to popular deceptions; wherever a righteous mechanic refuses to let down his performance to the standard of superficiality; wherever an honest statesman stands above his party the moment his party cast away their principles; wherever a self-commanding woman dares to be a rebel against extravagance and insincerity; wherever a disciple of Christ is not ashamed to own and praise that holy Lord, by whom only he has forgiveness, though unbelieving associates taunt and ridicule; - there we behold saints of Caesar's household."
II. BENEDICTION. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." The blessing invoked is grace, or unmerited favor. It is invoked, as belonging to him who, from his saving work, has the right to dispense it to his people. It is invoked on their spirit; for from the spirit as the center must blessing go forth upon the whole nature. - R.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.