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Philippians 3:15-16 Commentary
Philippians 3:15 Let us
many as are
also to you (NASB:
Amplified: So let those [of us] who
are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these
convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of
mind, God will make that clear to you also. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: Let all of you who have graduated in the school of
Christ have the same attitude of mind to life. And if anyone is
otherwise minded in any way, this too God will reveal to him.
KJV: Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:
and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this
NLT: I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on
these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make
it plain to you.
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: All of us who are
spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if
at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the
attitude which God is leading you to adopt.
As many therefore as are spiritually mature [in a relative sense], let
us be constantly of this mind. And if, as is the case, in anything you
are differently minded, and that, in an evil sense, this also will God
reveal to you.
As many, therefore, as are perfect -- let us think this, and if in
anything ye think otherwise, this also shall God reveal to you,
THEREFORE AS MANY AS ARE PERFECT HAVE THIS
ATTITUDE: hosoi oun teleioi touto phronomen (1PPAS): (Ro 15:1
14:20, Col 1:28 - note;
Jas 1:4 - note,
(Click John Macarthur's exposition
for the Prize)
Therefore (oun) as
Eadie says "introduces the inference based on a retrospect."
Edwards explains that...
All mature believers are to have
this same mindset. The therefore here also gives good support
that Phil 3:10, 11, 12, 13, 14 is basically speaking about being "mature." We see
here that one of the marks of being mature in the faith is that our
great goal in life is holiness, not happiness. No man can claim to be
a mature Christian if this isn't his primary goal! (Reference)
Thus in this section Paul is
exhorting those who are spiritually mature ("perfect") to hold the
same convictions as he does regarding the need to press on toward the
goal of Christlikeness. In the last half of this verse, Paul expresses
his recognition that some of the believers will not share his
attitude. The implication is that the reason they do not share his
attitude is because they are not spiritually mature.
As Steven Cole goes on to
To those who disagree with him,
Paul says, “Stay teachable and God will show you where you need to
As many as are perfect -
Eadie writes that...
The use of teleios is
striking, especially in contrast with teteleiomai in Php
3:12. There, he says—“Not as if I had taken the prize, or were already
perfected;” and now he says—“Let as many as are perfect,”...The
adjective has plainly a somewhat different sense from the verb. The
adjective refers to relative, but the verb to absolute perfection. The
one is predicated of him who is in the race and has made some
progress; and the other of him who has reached the goal and taken the
prize. Perfecti viatores, (Means something like - To do
thoroughly as a traveler) says Augustine, nondum perfecti
possessores. (Means something like - not yet to do thoroughly as a
possessor) The apostle's use of the term sanctions this idea. He
elsewhere speaks of two classes in the church —“babes and perfect
men.” 1Cor. 2:6; Ep 4:12, 13; He 5:13, 14. The terms nepios (Literally
= Not speaking, an infant, a minor) and teleios (mature) are in
contrast. See also 1Co 14:20. In the first passage referred to (Php
3:12), the allusion is to respective degrees or attainments in
“as many of us as are perfect,”
(is a phrase which leaves) it to each of themselves to determine
whether the epithet be applicable to him or not. The perfect ones,
among whom by the idiom he employs he places himself, are those who
have burst the fetters of intellectual and spiritual bondage;
who have made some advancement in the divine life; who are
acquainted with the higher forms of truth, and are no strangers
to the impulses and powers of divine grace; who are the
circumcision (Ed: I think he is speaking of heart circumcision
as in Ro 2:28, 29-note);
who, by the Spirit, worship God; who are conscious of union with
Christ, of possessing righteousness through faith in Him, and some
measure of conformity to Him, and who cherish through Him the hope of
a happy resurrection.
And perhaps, if we take in the
previous context, the imperfect are those whose minds had not
been able so fully to rise above all confidence in the flesh;
who still thought circumcision might not be wholly without value (Ed:
speaking of physical act); who would scruple (show reluctance on
grounds of conscience) to count all such things dead and positive loss
(cp Php 3:7, 8-note),
but hankered (possessed a strong or persistent desire) after
some of them; and who, in formally renouncing them, secretly or
unawares clung to them, and might not distinctly comprehend the
freeness, adaptation, and perfection of that righteousness which is
through the faith of Christ. They could not be perfect runners in that
course which the apostle has traced, for they had not laid aside
“every weight.” (cp He 12:1-note)
They were entangled at every step (cp 2Ti 2:3, 4-note),
and progress was impeded...
The language used by the apostle —hosoi
(as many as)—intimates that all were not teleioi (mature) in
the Philippian church; the idea of relative progress is therefore
involved. Nor does it, as Wiesinger objects, in any way give
countenance to self-esteem, for he neither names the teleioi,
nor points out precisely in what their perfection consists. On the
other hand, he classes himself among the teleioi, and yet he
has declared of himself that he was yet not perfected. In fact, the
perfect one was only in the way of being perfected; none knew his
imperfection so much, or felt it so deeply, and therefore he strove
with quenchless ardor to move fleetly onward to the end of the race,
and obtain the crown. For one may be perfect in aim, and yet be far
from realizing it. The perfection referred to was such a progress
as vividly showed defect; such a stage in the race as revealed most
painfully the distance lying still in front; such light which, as it
grew, served also to enlarge the circle of darkness round about it (Ed:
Compare Paul's self assessment as he approached the end of his life!
1Ti 1:15 "foremost" sinner!). (A
Commentary on the Greek Text - Online) (Bolding
Here the term teleioi means
relative perfection, not the absolute perfection so pointedly
denied in Php 3:12. Paul here includes himself in the group of
spiritual adults (see Heb. 5:13-note).
from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal) means
complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its
end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, in good
signifies consummate soundness, includes the idea of being whole.
Teleios does not refer to sinlessness but to spiritual
maturity. Teleios conveys the
ideas of reaching or accomplishing the goal for which we were saved
(ultimately Christ- likeness).
NET Bible note...
The adjective perfect
comes from the same root as the verb perfected in Php
3:12. Paul may well be employing a wordplay to draw in his opponents.
Thus, perfect would then be in quotation marks and Paul would then
argue that no one - neither they nor he - is in fact perfect. The
thrust of Php 3:1-16 is that human credentials can produce
nothing that is pleasing to God (Php 3:1-8). Instead of
relying on such, Paul urges his readers to trust God for their
righteousness (Php 3:9) rather than their own efforts, and at the same
time to press on for the prize that awaits them (Php 3:12, 13, 14). He
argues further that perfection is unattainable in this life (Php
3:15), yet the level of maturity that one has reached should not for
this reason be abandoned (Php 3:16).
Wuest helps understand how this
statement can be rationalized with the statement in (Phil
3:12 - note) explaining that in
Paul is speaking of a finished process and absolute spiritual
maturity beyond which there is no room for improvement, whereas in
Philippians 3:15 he is speaking of relative spiritual maturity where
there is room for development and growth. This is clear from the fact
that in the former verse (Php 3:12-note) he uses a verb in the
whereas in the latter, he uses a noun. Paul therefore exhorts the
Philippian saints who are spiritually mature to consider themselves so
only in a relative sense, and to remember that there is much room for
spiritual growth in their lives. The spiritual maturity spoken of here
is as we have seen, not a state of sinlessness or flawlessness, but
one of completeness, of a well rounded Christian character, a state
opposite to spiritual infancy.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Jamieson explains that those
believers who are perfect are...
full grown (no longer “babes”) in
the Christian life (Php 3:3-note, “worshipping
God in the Spirit, and having no confidence in the flesh”) 1Co
2:6, fully established in things of God. Here, by “perfect,” he means
one fully fit for running [Bengel]; knowing and complying with the
laws of the course (2Ti 2:5-note).
Though “perfect” in this sense, he was not yet “made perfect” (Greek)
in the sense intended in
namely, “crowned with complete victory,” and having attained absolute
Adam Clarke writes that...
The word teleioi, perfect,
is taken here in the same sense in which it is taken 1 Corinthians
14:20 (Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil
be babes, but in your thinking
imperative = be
continually becoming] mature [teleios = attaining to full development
as opposed to immaturity]. Be ye perfect-thoroughly instructed, deeply
1 Corinthians 2:6:- Yet we
do speak wisdom among those who are mature (teleios) among
those who are fully instructed, adults in Christian knowledge.
Ephesians 4:13 (note)
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of
the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature
which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
Hebrews 5:14 (note):
But solid food is for the mature (teleios), who because of
practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Here
teleios means those who are thoroughly instructed and experienced in
Let us therefore, says the apostle,
as many as be perfect-as have entered fully into the spirit and design
of the Gospel...
Have this attitude - The
question is "what attitude" is Paul referring to? We have already
mentioned it above, but to reiterate, if we observe the
we see that Paul has just referred to pursuing the prize of
Christlikeness (and all that is implied by this "race", the things he
had mentioned in the preceding passages)
Guzik writes that...
Those who are really mature will
have this mind. If they do not, Paul trusts that God will reveal the
necessity of having it. Paul has great trust in the ability of the
Lord to deal with His own people. He doesn't have the attitude that if
he doesn't convince them, they will never be convinced.
J Vernon McGee says...
In other words, have the same mind
as Paul. Get out on the racetrack with Paul and press on toward the
MacDonald explains that the
mature ("perfect") believers at Philippi
should share Paul’s willingness to
suffer and die for Christ and to bend every effort in the quest for
likeness to the Lord Jesus. This is the mature view of the Christian
faith. Some would call it extreme, radical, or fanatical. But the
apostle states that those who are full-grown will see that this is the
only sane, logical, reasonable response to the One who shed His
life-blood for them on Calvary. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
Have this attitude - An
exhortation to continually (present
tense) set your
mind on this. Keep on thinking this way, remaining focused on pursuing
the goal of Christlikeness and more generally having the mind Paul had
described in Philippians 3:7-14
where he began by explaining the things he had counted as loss for the
sake of Christ.
MacArthur adds a slightly
different aspect to the interpretation explain that Paul
could be referring to the mature
believers who were like-minded with him in this pursuit or he may also
have used “mature” here to refer sarcastically to the
Judaizers, who thought they had reached perfection.
from phren = literally the diaphragm and thus that which
curbs or restrains. Figuratively, phren is the supposed seat of
all mental and emotional activity) refers to the basic orientation,
bent, and thought patterns of the mind, rather than to the mind or
intellect itself (that is the Greek word nous). Phroneo
includes a person’s affections and will as well as his reasoning. In
other words phroneo refers not simply to intellectual activity but
also to direction and purpose of heart. Phroneo means to think,
set one's mind or heart upon something and denotes the whole action of
the affections and will as well as the reason. It describes a process
of evaluating a situation and on the basis of our evaluation of
adopting an attitude or disposition to act.
Paul is saying
to those who are mature to continually (present
careful consideration to what he has just stated. It is also notable
that the word phroneo is one of
those terms which is difficult to render in English because it
includes at once thinking and willing. It expresses not merely an
activity of the intellect, but also a movement of the will and thus it is both
interest and decision at the same time.
comments on the present tense...
volitive subjunctive of phroneo. “Let us keep on thinking
this,” viz. that we have not yet attained absolute perfection.
that phroneo is in the
(pertaining to volition or relating to the will, with
subjunctive approximating the sense of a command)
subjunctive... “Let us keep on
thinking this,” viz. (that is to say) that we have not yet
attained absolute perfection." (Robertson, A. Word Pictures in
the New Testament)
from the instance of
himself (Paul), imitating Christ, in loving condescension and
lowliness of mind, Php 2:3-note,
worshipping God in the spirit, and not having confidence in the flesh,
in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, Php 3:10-note,
pressing forward to absolute perfection, he here doth with himself
encourage as many rulers and ruled who were settled in the
fundamentals of Christianity, and who had made progress in holiness
("as many as are perfect"), to mind that main business of religion...“Be
thus minded;” he would have them to be so minded as he himself
was, in renouncing all carnal confidence, acknowledging their gradual
imperfection, and still to be striving and contending to a fuller
measure of holiness, till they come to be consummate in Christ.
(Matthew Poole's Commentary on the New Testament)
Spurgeon commenting on Php 3:15 says...
I admire that sentence. If any
brother has not reached a full knowledge of the truth, let us not
condemn him, or cast him out of our company, but say to him, “God
shall reveal even this unto you.”
If you are a true believer in
Jesus, be of this mind, always to be pressing forward to something
higher and better. If God has given you one form of perfection, press
onward to a much higher form of perfection. Seek continually to rise.
The eagle’s motto is, “Higher, Higher!” Let it be your motto too. Many
of God’s people do not believe that he can make them what he means to
make them, or, at least, they act as if they did not believe that he
can. They are not, apparently, conscious of what their privileges
really are, and are living far below where they might live in the
happy enjoyment of peace and power and usefulness. May God help us, by
his gracious Spirit, to know all of Christ that we can know, and to be
as much like Christ as we can be.
You have seen a man running very
fast. How he leans forward, as though he would send his heart before
him, and go quicker than his legs can carry him! So did the apostle
“press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus.” (Spurgeon
AND IF IN
ANYTHING YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE GOD WILL REVEAL THAT ALSO TO
kai ei ti heteros phroneite (2PPAI) kai touto o theos humin apokalupsei
25:8,9; Proverbs 2:3-6; 3:5,6; Isaiah 35:8; Luke 11:13; John 7:17;
presents, not a hypothetical case but a fulfilled condition or one
that is assumed to be true. That is, it is true that some of the
Philippians had a different attitude.
ei is followed by the indicative implying condition,
simply and purely, “if, as may be the case.” Ti (pronoun
indefinite accusative neuter singular - Tis = a
reference to someone or something indefinite, anyone, anything
[the most appropriate meaning in context]; someone) is the accusative
of reference, and that reference is certainly not to any essential
points of doctrine, but to aspects of truth or elements of spiritual
experience, which the apostle has been presenting. They might not see
those relations of truth so clearly as the apostle, and their
convictions might not be so profound, or their progress so rapid and
Commentary on the Greek Text - Online)
(heteros) is an adverb which is used only here in the NT and
means differently (in a different manner, not identically), otherwise.
And if in anything you have a
different attitude - In other words if you don't agree with what
Paul has just stated about pursuing Christlikeness.
the true idea is brought out simply
by the implied contrast ("you have a different attitude"). This
difference must be wrong, so far as it does not correspond with the
apostle's mind, and the amount of error is just in proportion to the
amount of difference; and that it is wrong, is also shown from the
apostle's expectation, that God would set them right ("God will reveal
that also to you"). The revelation which the apostle promises they
should enjoy, had for its purpose to remove such disagreement, and
bring them to his mind (cp 1Cor 4:16, 11:1, 1Th 1:6-note).
Commentary on the Greek Text - Online)
As alluded to above MacArthur
raises the possibility that the different attitude was
in fact the attitude of some that they had arrived at perfection,
which may have also been a jab at Judaizers in the midst of the
believers (cp the context - "enemies of the cross of Christ" -
Jamieson takes this latter
view writing that those with a different attitude refer to
having too high an opinion of
yourselves as to your attainment of Christian perfection. “He who
thinks that he has attained everything, hath nothing” [Chrysostom].
Probably, too, he refers to those who were tempted to think to attain
to perfection by the law (Gal 3:3): who needed the warning (Php 3:2-note), “Beware of
the concision (the circumcision),” though on account of
their former piety, Paul hopes confidently (as in Gal 5:10) that God
will reveal the path of right-mindedness to them. Paul taught
externally God “reveals” the truth internally by His Spirit (Mt 11:25;
16:17; 1Co 3:6).(Philippians
God will reveal - Paul is
saying if you don't agree, the only thing he can do is turn the case
over to God.
Eadie commenting on
revelation to the saints at Philippi says that...
Such spiritual enlightenment was
frequent in those times, when the written oracles of the New Testament
were not in circulation, and indeed is needed at all times, to give
the mind a just and abiding perception of the truth. Ps 25:9; 1John
2:20. It is plain, therefore, that the difference of view was not some
wilful and wicked misconception, or some wretched prejudice, adhered
to with inveterate or malignant obstinacy. It was rather some truth
not fully seen in all its bearings—some principle not so perceived as
to be carried out in all its details and consequences—some department
of duty which they might apprehend rather than appreciate — or some
state of mind which they might admire in the apostle, but did not
really covet for themselves. The apostle throws his own teaching into
the shade, and ascribes the coming enlightenment to God. He might have
taught them the necessary lesson, or it might be found in the previous
details of the chapter, or Epaphroditus on returning might be
commissioned to explain and enforce it; yet all might be insufficient,
and therefore the work is taken out of man's hand, and the needed
insight is declared to be the gift of the Father of Lights (Jas 1:17-note).
from apó = from + kalúpto = cover,
conceal, English = apocalypse -
see study of
English = apocalypse)
literally means to remove the cover from and so the idea is to remove
that which conceals something. Almost all of the NT uses have a
figurative use, especially to some aspect of spiritual truth that was
heretofore hidden but now has the "lid removed" so that it can be seen
Thus apokalupto means
to "take the
lid off", to remove the cover and thereby to expose to open view
that which had
heretofore not been visible, known
or disclosed. The
idea is to make manifest something previously secret or unknown.
conveys the idea of "taking
the lid off" and means to remove the cover and expose to open
view that which was
heretofore not visible, known or
disclosed. It means
to make manifest or reveal a thing previously secret or unknown. It
describes removing of a veil (an unveiling) or covering thus exposing
to open view what was concealed.
Apokalupto - 26x in 26v - Mt 10:26; 11:25,
27; 16:17; Lk 2:35; 10:21, 22; 12:2; 17:30; Jn 12:38; Ro 1:17, 18;
8:18; 1Cor 2:10; 3:13; 14:30; Gal 1:16; 3:23; Eph 3:5; Phil 3:15; 2
Thess 2:3, 6, 8; 1 Pet 1:5, 1Pe 1:12-note;
1Pe 5:1. NAS - reveal(5),
revealed(20), revelation is made(1). Below are some but not all of the
(see Luke 12:2) Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing
concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden
that will not be known.
11:25 (see Lk 10:21) At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the
wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
11:27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one
knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father
except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal
16:17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because
flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My
Father who is in heaven.
17:30 It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to
faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.
A T Robertson says that "It is a revelation from God, this God
kind of righteousness, that man unaided could never have conceived or
still less attained. In these words we have Paul’s statement in his
own way of the theme of the Epistle, the content of the gospel as Paul
understands it. Every word is important."
Vincent adds "Righteousness as an attribute of God was revealed
before the Gospel. Righteousness in this sense is a matter of special
revelation through the Gospel. The present tense describes the Gospel
in its continuous proclamation: is being revealed."
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy
to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us (What
See 1Jn 3:2-note)
1Corinthians 2:10 For to us God revealed them (What?
see 1Cor 2:9) through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things,
even the depths of God.
Comment: A T Robertson says that "Paul explains why this
is no longer hidden, “for God revealed unto us” the wonders of grace
pictured in verse 9. We do not have to wait for heaven to see them.
Hence we can utter those things hidden from the eye, the ear, the
heart of man."
1Corinthians 3:13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day
will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the
fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
1:16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among
the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,
Comment: Wuest - "The word apokalupto refers to the
disclosure of something by the removal of that which hitherto
concealed it, and refers especially to a subjective revelation to an
individual. A public disclosure of the Lord Jesus through Paul would
necessitate the fact that He had been previously hidden from public
knowledge, which is not the case, since He had already been preached
in the world. But He had been previously hidden from Paul, which
points to a subjective revelation of the Lord Jesus to Paul within
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
3:23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law,
being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
which (the mystery of Christ Eph 3:4 - that Gentiles are now welcomed
into His kingdom in equal standing with saved Jews) in other
generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been
revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the Day of the Lord will be
#3) will not come unless the apostasy comes first (#1), and the man of
lawlessness (#2) is revealed, the son of destruction (the
Antichrist)...6 And you know what restrains him (Antichrist) now, so
that in his time (kairos
= a specific segment of time determined by God Who Alone is sovereign
over time and history) he may be revealed...8 And then that
lawless one (Antichrist) will be revealed whom the Lord will
slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the
appearance of His coming;
(cp Ro 8:18-note
above, cp 1Pe 5:1-note)
who (believers 1Pe 1:3-note)
are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time. (When? What? When we see
Christ in glory and are like Him [glorification], then our salvation
will be completed.)
In sum apokalupto in the NT speaks of the
following entities which will be revealed - the meaning of the
acts of God (Mt 11:25, Lk 10:21), the secret of the Person of the Lord
Jesus (Mt 16:17, Jn 12:38), character of God as Father (Mt 11:27; Lk
10:22), the will of God for the conduct of His children (Php 3:15),
the mind of God to the prophets (of Israel, 1Pe 1:12, of the Church,
1Co 14:30; Ep 3:5), the gospel (Ro 1:17), the wrath of God (Ro 1:18),
the glorious Second Coming of Christ (Lk 17:30), the glory of Christ
and glorification of believers (Ro 8:18; 1Pe 1:5; 5:1), the eternal
value (or lack) of our "good deeds" (1Co 3:13), the Antichrist (2Th
2:3, 6, 8)
Apokalupto - 86x in the
- Gen 8:13; Ex 20:26; A number of the following uses refer to
"uncovering" nakedness! - Lev 18:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,
16, 17, 18, 19; 20:11, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Num 5:18; 22:31; 24:4, 16;
Deut 22:30; 27:20; Josh 2:19; Jdg 5:2; Ruth 3:4, 7; 4:4; 1 Sam 2:27;
3:7, 21; 9:15; 20:2, 13; 22:8, 17; 2 Sam 6:20, 22; 7:27; 22:16; Job
41:13; Ps 29:9; 37:5; 98:2; 119:18; Prov 11:13; 27:5; Song 4:1; Isa
3:17; 47:2; 52:10; 53:1; 56:1; Jer 11:20; 13:26; 20:12; Lam 2:14;
4:22; Ezek 13:14; 16:36f, 57; 21:24; 22:10; 23:10, 18, 29; Dan 2:19,
22, 28ff, 47; 10:1; 11:35; Hos 2:10; 7:1; Amos 3:7; Mic 1:6; Nah 2:7;
Here are a few very interesting representative uses of apokalupto
8:13 (Literal) Now it came about in the six hundred and first
year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was
dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering (Lxx =
apokalupto) of the ark, and
and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.
Numbers 22:31 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed) Then the Lord opened (Lxx =
apokalupto) the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord
standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all
the way to the ground.
Ruth 3:4 (Literal) “It shall
be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies,
and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he
will tell you what you shall do.”
1 Samuel 3:7 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed) Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord,
nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed (Lxx =
apokalupto) to him.
Psalm 98:2 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed) The Lord has made known His
salvation; He has revealed (Lxx = apokalupto) His righteousness
(Jesus - Jer 23:6, 2Pe 1:1) in the sight of the nations.
Psalm 119:18 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed)
Lxx = apokalupto) my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from
Daniel 2:28 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed) However, there is a God in heaven Who
reveals (Lxx = apokalupto) mysteries, and He has made known to
King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was
your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
Lamentations 2:14 (Figurative -
spiritual truth revealed) Your prophets have seen for you false
and foolish visions and they have not exposed (Lxx =
apokalupto) your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but
they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.
Comment: God's prophets (see Amos 3:7 below) must speak God's
Word as one of the functions of His Word of truth is to take the lid
off the lies and iniquity of the hearers. Why do they need to hear His
Word of Truth and Light? They are otherwise in spiritual darkness and
are deceived by their sin [see He 3:13].
(Figurative - spiritual
Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals
(Lxx = apokalupto)
His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.
secular Greek this word group (apokalupto and apokalupsis) was not an
especially religious word (other words were used in secular Greek to
designate divine revelation) but meant simply the disclosure of any
fact. It was used to mean "uncovering" as of one's head. It was used
to describe the "disclosing" of hidden springs.
To whom would God reveal the
truth? Or asked another more general way how is the will of God
revealed to believers?
Jesus alluded that one comes to know God's will not just by hearing
but by doing (obeying the truth one has heard)...
(First the condition)
If any man is willing to do (present
= not perfectly but as the general direction of one's life) His will,
(Then the promise) he shall know of the teaching, whether it is
of God, or whether I speak
from Myself. (John 7:17)
The psalmist David echoes
Paul's words about the Lord's desire and power to reveal His truth
reminding us that...
Good and upright is the Lord.
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in
justice, and He teaches the humble His way. (Who
is able to learn spiritual truth?
See C H Spurgeon's thoughts.
Do you have a teachable
heart? Do you tremble at His Word?
Isa 66:2, 5, Pr 28:14, Ps 119:161,
Ezra 9:4, 10:3) (Ps 25:8, 9-note)
Solomon echoes this truth
and places some of the responsibility on us writing...
For if you cry for discernment,
lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, and
search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will discern the fear
of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD (Jehovah)
gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Pr
2:3, 4, 5, 6 - see
Bridges - A Commentary on Proverbs)
Trust in the Lord with all your
heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways
acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Pr 3:5,6 -see
Bridges - A Commentary on Proverbs)
And James reminds us that...
if any of you lacks wisdom, let him
ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it
will be given to him. (Jas 1:5-note,
see the "condition" the assures fulfillment of this promise = Jas 1:6,
cp Jas 2:2b, Mt 7:7, 8-note)
Remember that as our Lord so
clearly taught, a critical dynamic in truly learning spiritual
truth is faithfully doing spiritual truth (obeying the truth
your Teacher, the Spirit, illumines, cp Jn 14:26)
If anyone is willing to do (present
tense = as
one's lifestyle = direction not perfection!) His will (most clearly
revealed in His Word of truth), he will know (ginosko = by
experience) of the teaching (didache),
whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. (John 7:17)
As Guzik puts it...
Paul has great trust in the ability
of the Lord to deal with His own people. He doesn’t have the attitude
that if he doesn’t convince them, they will never be convinced. (Philippians 3 Commentary
Ryrie paraphrases it...
If you don't agree, God
will give you light on the subject. (The
Ryrie Study Bible)
MacDonald comments that...
Paul realizes that not all will
agree with him in adopting such a dangerous philosophy. But he
expresses the confidence that if a person is really willing to know
the truth of the matter, God will reveal it to him. The reason we have
such an easy-going, complacent Christianity today is because we do not
want to know the truth; we are not willing to obey the demands of
ideal Christianity. God is willing to show the truth to those who are
willing to follow it.
Edwards explains that...
If their minds were set on anything
else, any other goal in life, God would reveal it to them. It would
seem that this revelation must come through the convicting ministry of
the Holy Spirit. It is comforting to know that when we get off the
track God will point it out to us so that we can get back on (Reference)
MacArthur explains that...
Those who refuse to heed Paul’s
message will hear that same message from God. He will correct them
through His Word, His Spirit, or through chastening. God will do
whatever it takes to make believers recognize their need to pursue the
prize of Christlikeness. He will also provide the resources they need
to do that (see note
2 Peter 1:3).
J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press
Barnes explains that God is
correct your erroneous opinions,
and disclose to you the importance of making this effort for the
prize. This is the expression of an opinion, that to those who were
sincere and true Christians, God would yet make a full revelation of
the nature of religion, or would lead them on so that they would fully
understand it. They who are acquainted with religion at all, or who
have been truly converted, God will teach and guide until they shall
have a full understanding of divine things. (Philippians 3)
let us keep living
same standard to
which we have
Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and
order our lives by that. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: Only we must always walk according to that standard
which we have already reached. (Westminster
Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the
same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Only let us remember one thing. Our footsteps must not swerve from the
line in which we have hitherto trodden.
It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we
have ourselves attained to. (Phillips:
Weymouth: But whatever be the point that we have already
reached, let us persevere in the same course.
Only one thing, so far as we have come, let us keep our lives in the
same path. (Eerdmans)
but to what we have come -- by the same rule walk, the same thing
US KEEP LIVING BY THAT SAME STANDARD TO WHICH WE HAVE ATTAINED: plen
eis o ephthasamen (1PAAI), to auto stoichein (PAN):
Ro 15:5 - note;
Gal 6:16; Ep 5:2-8
(Gal 5:7; He 10:38, 39
Re 2:4,5 - note;
- note) (Php 1:27-
Php 2:2 - note;
- note) (Click John
for the Prize)
However (nevertheless) - “even though there be those who are
otherwise minded” (Eadie)
(plen) means more than, over and above, hence, besides. In the
present verse Paul is saying now let me tell you one
more thing. Plen is a word that is often used at the
end of a paragraph to express a final thought.
To paraphrase Paul is
One more thing, by the way, let us keep living by that same to which
we have attained.
Vincent translates it
Notwithstanding the minor points in
which you may be otherwise minded. (Vincent, M. R. . Word Studies in
the New Testament. Vol. 3, Page 1-451)
Jamieson writes that...
The expectation of a new revelation
is not to make you less careful in walking according to whatever
degree of knowledge of divine things and perfection you have already
attained. God makes further revelations to those who walk up to the
revelations they already have (Ho 6:3).
living by the (same) standard
from stoichos = row, line,
rank; see word study of
= elements, basic foundational things like letters of the alphabet) is
literally to walk in line, walk in a straight line,
proceed in a row, to follow in someone’s footsteps. To keep in rank
and file. To march in in file or in battle order.
The word was used for movement in a
definite line, as in military formation or dancing.
means to behave properly, to conduct one’s life, to live in conformity
with some presumed standard or set of customs (cf Acts 21:24). To live
in harmony or agreement with, to live in conformity with (eg, with the
Spirit, as in Gal 5:25
is in the
which points to continual and habitual action in the believer's life.
Stoicheo - 5x in 5v
- Acts 21:24; Rom 4:12; Gal 5:25; 6:16; Phil 3:16. NAS =
follow(1), living(1), walk(2), walk orderly(1).
BDAG writes that stoicheo
to be in line with a person or
thing considered as standard for one’s conduct
let us, or we ought to, walk
in obedience to Christ, love to him and each other, according to the
light we have already received, trusting he would make known his mind
more clearly to us. Our using the light we have well, is the ready way
to have more: it behoves us, then, to live suitably to that degree of
the knowledge of Christ we have attained, 1 John 2:3–5 but still
within our lines, with regard to the same rule. (Matthew Poole's
Spurgeon commenting on Php 3:15 says...
Let us keep all the
good that we have received; let us not give up the truth that we have
learnt; let us not leave the way along which we have traveled so far;
and let us keep together, let perfect unanimity prove that the work of
grace is going on in one as well as in another.
There are some points upon which we are all agreed. There is some
standing-ground where the babe in grace may meet with the man in
Christ Jesus. Well, as far as we do see eye to eye, let us co-operate
with one another, let us have our hearts knit together in a holy
unanimity. “Let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same
thing.” There are some people who are always looking out for points
of difference; their motto seems to be, “Wherein so ever we differ,
let us split away from one another.” Their great idea is that by
dividing we shall conquer. The fact is that, by separating ourselves
from one another, we shall miss all hope of strength, and play into
the hands of the adversaries. (Spurgeon
Attained - Note that
this verb is phthano, not the Greek word rendered "attained" (katantao) in
We have attained
to precede someone, to come before or to anticipate (as used in 1Th 4:15-note).
Over time phthano begin to lose the idea of priority and to mean simply to
come to or to arrive at. The idea is to come to a particular state or
to arrive at a goal and so to attain it. In Mt 12:28 it
means to happen to someone.
Phthano pictures progress along a road to a certain point. Paul is thinking
of the Philippian saint's progress along the path of Christ-likeness.
His idea is, “so far as we have come.”
TDNT says that the...
The LXX uses phthano for a Hebrew
term meaning “to show oneself ready,” “to do quickly,” “to
accomplish.” In the
absolute the word means “to attain,” “to reach,” “to come to.” ... In
Philo we find the weaker sense “to attain to” or “to come before.” “To
come before” is the usual sense in Josephus.
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament. Eerdmans)
Phthano - 7x in 7v - Mt
12:28; Luke 11:20; Ro 9:31; 2Cor 10:14; Phil 3:16; 1Th 2:16; 4:15. NAS
= arrive(1), attained(1), come(3), first to come(1), precede(1).
Phthano - 20x in the
- Jdg 20:34, 42; 2Sa 20:13; 1Kgs 12:18; 2Chr 28:9; Ezra 3:1; Neh 7:73;
Eccl 8:14; 12:1; Song 2:12; Da 4:11, 20, 22, 24, 28; 6:24; 7:13, 22;
Paul means simply this that,
having come thus far, the thing to do is to go “in the same path” in
which we have been travelling so far. A needed lesson for Christians
weary with the monotony of routine in religious life and work.
Vincent explains that
Paul is saying in essence...
Whatever real Christian and moral
attainment you may have made, let that serve as a rule for your
further advance. The
character of this standard of attainment is illustrated by the words
be thus minded (KJV), and by those in Php 3:17
as ye have us for an example. The individual variations
are not considered. He regards rather the collective development, and
assumes the essentials of Christian attainment on the part of his
Richards writes that...
In Php 3:11-16, Paul looks again at
the idea of spiritual attainment. He himself has turned his back on
his own considerable accomplishments under law. He has tossed them
aside and considers them worthless. His goal now is simply to be found
and so to "attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Php 3:10-note)
This expression does not refer to the coming physical resurrection but
to Paul's present experience of a power for righteous living that can
be found only by faith and only as Jesus shares His own resurrection
life with the believer (cp Php 3:9-note;
This experience of power comes as we seek to follow Jesus and put into
daily practice whatever level of understanding and maturity we may
arrive at (phthano).
The picture that emerges as we
connect these passages is an exciting one. God does have a high
calling for Christians. But we attain it, not by self-reliant attempts
to live by the law, but rather by humble commitment of ourselves to
Jesus, asking and believing by faith that he will give us the power to
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Eadie commenting on this
verse writes that...
The spirit of the warning or
injunction is, that knowledge already enjoyed and proved in a
spiritual race, should not lie dormant because it is defective. It
needed not so much to be rectified, as to be supplemented. Therefore,
as far as you have its guidance, take it. Walk up to the light you
have, and you will get more. Walk with me so far as you discern the
common path, and at the point of divergence God shall rightly direct
you as to the subsequent course. He who employs what he has,
prepares himself for further gifts. When the morning bursts
suddenly on one wakened out of sleep, it dazzles and pains him; but to
him who on his journey has blessed the dawn, and walked by its
glimmer, the solar radiance brings with it a gradual and cheering
Commentary on the Greek Text - Online)
OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
THESE words suggest, that there is a great difference in the
attainments of Christian people; and in endeavouring to bring this
home, so that any who are laggard and sluggard may be quickened in the
path of holiness, we may regard this chapter as falling naturally into
a suite of some seven apartments, each of which leads to another, as
in so many of the picturesque and princely homes of England. May God's
Spirit help us to discover in which room we are already, and having
discovered it, to press on to the next.
The Disrobing Room. "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock
of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching
the law, a Pharisee; as touching zeal, persecuting the Church; as
touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for
Christ" (Phil. 3:5-7). In the grey light of the dawn, we see the young
Pharisee, decked out in all the paraphernalia of the dress of his
order. His are the phylacteries, his the broad borders covered with
texts, his the sacred cord as son of the law, over these the garment
of zeal, and over this again a robe that seems spotless--"the
righteousness of the law," in which he accounts himself to be
blameless. Around the room are burnished mirrors, and as he considers
his array in the grey light he imagines himself to be highly
commendable and likely to stand a good chance, not only in this world,
but in the next. He can only think these things because the light is
so dim. Were it brighter, he would descry blemishes in his fairest
The Two Pilgrims. Bunyan well describes such a man in his
picture of Ignorance. You may remember how the two older pilgrims
talked to the brisk youth as he walked beside them. They asked," How
will you fare at the gate?"
"I shall fare as well as other people," was the reply.
"What have you to show that will cause the gate to open, when you come
to it?" they inquired.
"I know my Lord's will; I have been a good liver all my life; I pay
every man his own; I pray constantly and fast; I pay and give alms; my
heart is a good heart; I will never believe that it is as bad as you
Bunyan's Own Experience. In his Grace Abounding John Bunyan
still further describes this condition:
"Now," he says after his outward amendment, "I was become godly; now I
was become a right honest man. Though as yet I was nothing but a poor
painted hypocrite, yet I was proud of my godliness. I betook me to my
Bible, and began to take great pleasure in reading, but especially
with the historical part thereof; for as for Paul's Epistles, and such
like Scriptures, I could not away with them, being as yet ignorant
either of the corruptions of my nature or of the want and worth of
Jesus Christ to save us." "The new birth did never enter into my mind;
neither knew I the comfort of the word and promise, nor the
deceitfulness and treachery of my own wicked heart. As for secret
thoughts, I took no notice of them."
Legal Righteousness Laid Aside. Whilst we stand gazing into
this room, the grey light grows into the morning, and beneath its
beams the young Pharisee, beholding himself in the mirrors around,
flings off first the blameless robe of his legal righteousness, then
strips off his zeal, then casts away his Pharisaic dress, puts aside
his reliance upon the ordinances of Hebrewism. After stripping off one
thing after another, as the revealing light shows how utterly sullied
and blemished his robes are, he tramples them beneath his feet, and
counts them as refuse and loss. He is horrified to think that if he
had not known the light which came from the risen Lord, he might have
gone forward to face the Great White Throne, and only then have
discovered his mistake.
Have you entered this room? Have you stood beneath the light of
God till you abhorred yourself? Have you come to see, with St.
Augustine, that the works in which you have been priding yourself are
"splendid sins"? Do you realise that, apart from the righteousness of
Jesus Christ, your righteousness is as filthy rags? Oh, soul, thou
wilt be as certainly lost as Ignorance was, who was carried to hell
from the very gate of heaven, unless thou too standest in the
revealing light of God, to show thee the insufficiency of anything and
everything apart from a simple dependence upon the righteousness of
The Robing Room. "And be found in Him, not having a
righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that
which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by
faith" (Phil. 3:9). "One day," says Bunyan, "as I was passing into the
field, and that too with some fear dashed on my conscience, fearing
lest yet all was not right, suddenly, this sentence fell upon my soul,
'Thy righteousness is in Heaven,' and methought withal, I saw with the
eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God's right hand: there was my
righteousness; I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of
heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame of heart
that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus
Christ Himself, 'The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever'."
In this, the robing room, the soul which had been stripped of all
dependence upon itself, its frames, its feelings, its good desires,
its alms, its prayers, its baptism, its conversion, its church
membership, and having put all these beneath its feet, receives from
the hand of God a perfected righteousness, the righteousness which is
from God by faith, a robe which the fingers of Christ have woven, a
justification which His blood has purchased, and which His hand
bestows to the open hand of faith.
Hast thou realised this? Hast thou attained unto this? Art thou
standing arrayed in this?--for in death, and judgment, and eternity,
nothing will avail thee but to be clothed in the perfect spotless
righteousness of Christ, who was made sin for us, though He knew no
sin, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him.
The Room of Intimate Fellowship with Jesus. "That I may know Him,
and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death" (Phil. 3:10). As we
look into that chamber, we find that hard by the entrance is a deep
grave-like aperture. It looks as though a tomb had been hollowed out
in the stone floor; beyond is a table on which the bread and wine
commemorate the body and blood of Christ; against the wall a rough and
heavy cross is planted; affixed to the wall are a scourge, and a crown
of thorns. The room, therefore, might seem forbidding, were it not
that a celestial light shines full upon the thorn-crown, and whilst we
look, it seems as though it were gleaming with jewels, as though the
topaz, jasper, carbuncle, and all manner of precious stones had been
caught amid the thorns, and become woven into its texture. Every day
the true-hearted soul must enter that room. We must never really get
beyond it in this life. It must constantly be our resort, that we may
know Christ and the power of His Resurrection.
The order of this verse appears to stand in the reverse direction to
our experience. It begins with knowing Him; then it passes to the
power of His resurrection, then to the fellowship of His sufferings,
and lastly, to conformableness with His death.
Conformable to the Lord's Death. With many, the reverse is the
way by which they are led. That is, they begin by being "conformable
to His death." Do you know what it is to lie down in that grave of
Christ, till the voices of the world's tumult and the throb of passion
subside, till you realise how little this world is, and how much
eternity? Have you attained to this? Have you become conformed unto
His death? What was that death? In its judicial aspect, an atonement
for human sin; but looking at it from the human and personal side it
was the bringing of every natural desire into absolute subjection to
the Will and Law of God--the desire to live, the desire for love, the
desire for popular adulation, and human friendship. From the earliest
of His recorded temptations, our Lord made this the rule of His Life.
He would not gratify the natural appetite of hunger until He was
certain of being in the line of His Father's Will. This is what the
Cross means, and this involved Calvary. If, then, our Master would not
make stones of the desert bread, to feed His natural hunger, because
the Father had not bade Him eat, we may not yield, even to what seems
natural, until our Father says we may. And if we carry out that
principle of subordinating everything to the will of the Father, we
shall certainly come to the Cross, and out of the Cross comes the
diadem of victory. You conform to His death, you eat of His flesh, you
drink of His blood, and then pass on to know the power of His
But as we have seen, the reverse is also true, and happy are they who
have experienced it. They begin by knowing Jesus in the most intimate
and blessed fellowship, and almost without realising it they are led
on to realise that they are walking with Him, not in the energy of
their own nature, but in the powers of His Resurrection. The Spirit of
Holiness, who raised their Lord from the dead, is doing the same for
them, they experience the mighty energies that emanate from the risen
Saviour, and in His strength walk on their high places. But in doing
so, they are brought in contact with the virulent hatred of their
fellows. As men hated the Master of the House, they hate those of His
household. The full tide of human opposition surges up against them,
as an adverse current which breaks in clouds of spray on the undaunted
progress of an ocean steamer. Presently the beast that ascendeth out
of the bottomless abyss makes war against them, and overcomes and
kills them, and their dead bodies lie in the street of the great city,
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was
crucified; but after three days and an half the Spirit of Life from
God enters into them, and they stand upon their feet, and they hear a
great voice from heaven saying unto them, "Come up hither." (See Rev.
11:6-12.) They know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, and are
made conformable unto His death, but they attain to His Resurrection.
They drink of His cup, and are baptised with His Baptism, and so come
to sit on His Throne.
The Room of High Endeavour. "Brethren, I count not myself yet to
have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are
behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press
on toward the goal, unto the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14). In this room are various pictures of
Alpine ascents, photographs of the high summits which other souls have
scaled. Around are the prizes that have been won in the arena by
successful conflict. On every side are the marks of achievement; and
in the midst of the room, unfurled as though it were soon to be
grasped and borne forth, is a banner with the "strange device,"
Excelsior! Everything, therefore, that betokens past achievement is
accounted but as the stepping-stone to still further effort. The soul
leaves behind it as a mere memory, the things which it has attained,
however great and beautiful in themselves, because some higher ascent
calls to it. Is this the attitude of your soul?
Have You Forgotten Some Things? Have you learnt to forget? Are
you living upon your past attempts, their failure, or success? for any
of these will cut the sinews of your strength. You must forget even
your sins, God forgets them, saying, Try again. You must forget your
innocence, the innocence of your childhood; purity tried by fire is
better. You must forget, also, your realised ideals. You must forget
things which have become dear to you, but which have hindered you,
clinging to you as barnacles to the bottom of the great steamer,
hindering its progress. You must forget all that, and from this day
must confess that you have not attained, that you are not perfected,
but are going to climb to the rare heights of Christ-likeness; always
doing what Christ would do, if He were in your place; always taking as
the sufficient question of your life, "What would Jesus do if He were
situated as I am?"
The Room of Compassion. "Many walk, of whom I told you often,
and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross
of Christ: whose end is perdition, whose god is their belly, and whose
glory is in their shame" (Phil. 3:18-19). There is a tear bottle here,
in which the tears of Christ were caught once, though long since they
have been transmuted into the pearls that glisten in His crown. But
that tear bottle is there for the tears of those disciples who have
learnt His compassion; for as the Redeemer wept, so do His redeemed
weep still, and say, even weeping, of others, "They are the enemies of
the Cross of Christ." May that compassion, like a fountain, send the
tears in rills from our eyes. God forbid that we should live in such a
world as this, without weeping over the enemies of the Cross; and it
should be borne in mind that the enemies of the Cross, here referred
to, are not those who have rejected Christ, but those who once
professed Christianity, and had the creed and reputation of godliness,
but in their heart of hearts, and in their lives, have denied the Lord
that bought them.
The Room of Expectant Hope. "Our citizenship is in Heaven; from
whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil.
3:20). This room has a window looking East; and it is so situated that
it is hardly possible to descry the river; for the view lies across
the river, to a fair and beautiful horizon; and the soul which has
passed through the earlier stages, stands with eye fixed, and every
nerve and muscle strained, looking for the dawn, whilst the morning
star shines clear in the sky. "We look for a Saviour." It is the saved
soul that waits for the Saviour. We are saved from the wrath of God;
we are being saved day by day from the power of sin; but, oh, we long
for Him who shall appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation!
The Room of Confident Anticipation. "Who shall fashion anew the
body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of His
glory, according to the working whereby He is able even to subject all
things unto Himself" (Phil. 3:21). To subject. Look at this. He who in
the second chapter was subjected, in this chapter subjects. You must
be subjected before you can subject.
(1) We confidently anticipate the moment when the body of our
humiliation, which has so often limited and hindered us in our work,
which has hungered and thirsted, fainted and grown weary, whose eyes
have failed, whose knees have faltered, and hands hung down, shall
exchange its corruption for incorruption, its mortality for
immortality, being transfigured into the likeness of the body of His
glory----ethereal, vigorous, incapable of fatigue but a perfected
instrument for a perfected nature.
(2) We anticipate much more than that. Death, thou shalt be subdued.
Grave, thou shalt be subdued. Sin, sorrow, pain, evil, ye shall be
subdued. The Lord comes to subdue you as we confidently expect. This
room enshrines masterpieces of art, commemorating the great past. That
picture is of the overthrow of Pharaoh; and that of the destruction of
Midian; and that of the defeat of those mighty Assyrian hosts which
menaced Hezekiah; and here are the cross and empty grave--symbols of
the victory of the Son of God over the world, the flesh, and the
devil. Yes! He shall overcome; it is His right. He shall subject all
things unto Himself; it is the Father's promise. The kingdoms of this
world shall become the kingdom of our God, and of His Christ, and He
shall reign for ever. Let us hasten unto the coming of that day of
B. Meyer. The Epistle to the Philippians - A Devotional Commentary)
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