Weekly Pulpit., J. Lyth, D. D
Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds…
I. THE COMMON INTEREST — "defence and confirmation."
1. They sympathized with the apostle in his trials. These trials arose not out of political or moral offences, but out of his defence and propagation of the gospel. The Philippians made common cause with him, supporting him by gifts and prayer. The true character of Christianity is seen here. When the Jews are in sackcloth and ashes, Esther is pleading their cause; when Peter is in prison, the disciples are praying for his release. The Church is one in adversity as well as prosperity; one in prison as well as in heaven. Remember that as you think of missionaries, and your persecuted brethren in the home, workshop, etc. (Hebrews 13:3).
2. They seconded the apostle's efforts by their lives and labours. They lived the gospel he preached. Their sympathy was deeper than attachment to his person, or admiration of his character. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." "See how these Christians love one another," was the evidence wrung from minds full of animus. No power can shake the gospel when firmly rooted in the life of the Church. Sceptics may as well scoff at the light of the sun as ignore the gospel of the life and character.
II. THE MUTUAL LOVE AND ESTEEM WHICH THIS SERVICE PRODUCES — "I have you in my heart;" as we say of a friend, "He has a warm place in my heart."
1. It was a great love.
2. Constant love. The old adage "out of sight, out of mind," was not true here.
3. Increasing love. Many streams dry up, but "let brotherly love continue."
III. THE COMMON SOURCE OF BLESSEDNESS — "partakers with me," etc.
1. By the one sacrifice of Jesus they were saved from sin. There is but one fountain opened for sin.
2. The example of Jesus led them all in the right way. With one accord all believers "show forth the praises of Him who hath called them," etc.
3. His presence was their one source of inspiration. Daily communion with Jesus kept their zeal burning, and their work advancing.
4. His coming was their only hope.
(Weekly Pulpit.)Observe —
I. WHAT A FAITHFUL MINISTER DELIGHTS TO THINK OF IN HIS FLOCK: That they will be —
II. WHY HE DELIGHTS TO THINK SO. Because —
1. He loves them.
2. Labours for them.
3. Suffers for them.
(J. Lyth, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
WEB: It is even right for me to think this way on behalf of all of you, because I have you in my heart, because, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News, you all are partakers with me of grace.