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EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 20

Verse 20. According to my earnest expectation. The word here used occurs but in one other place in the New Testament. See it explained See Barnes "Ro 8:19".

The earnest desire and hope which Paul had was not, primarily, that he might be released; but it was that, in all circumstances, he might be able to honour the gospel, living or dying. To that he looked as a much more important matter than to save his life. Life with him was the secondary consideration; the main thing was, to stand up everywhere as the advocate of the gospel, to maintain its truth, and to exhibit its spirit.

That in nothing I shall be ashamed. That I shall do nothing of which I shall have occasion to be ashamed. That in these heavy trials, I may not be left to deny the truth of the Christian religion; that, even before the emperor, I may maintain its principles; and that the dread of death may not lead me to do a dishonourable thing, or in any way so to shrink from an avowal of my belief, as to give me or my friends occasion of regret.

But that with all boldness. By my speaking the truth, and maintaining my principles with all boldness. See Barnes "2 Co 7:4"; See Barnes "Eph 6:19, See Barnes "Eph 6:20".

 

Christ shall be magnified. Shall be held up to the view of man as the true and only Saviour, whatever becomes of me.

Whether it be by life. If I am permitted to live. He was not yet certain how the case would terminate with him. He had not been put on his trial, and, whether that trial would result in his acquittal or not, he could not certainly know. But he felt assured that, if he were acquitted, the effect would be to honour Christ. He would ascribe his deliverance to his gracious interposition; he would devote himself with new ardour to his service; and he felt assured, from his past efforts, that he would be able to do something that would "magnify" Christ in the estimation of mankind.

Or by death. If my trial shall result in my death. Then, he believed, he would be able to show such a spirit as to do honour to Christ and his cause. He was not afraid to die, and he was persuaded that he would be enabled to bear the pains of death in such a manner as to show the sustaining power of religion, and the value of Christianity. Christ is "magnified" in the death of Christians, when his gospel is seen to sustain them; when, supported by its promises, they are enabled to go calmly into the dark valley; and when, in the departing moments, they confidently commit their eternal all into his hands. The effect of this state of feeling on the mind of Paul must have been most happy. In whatever way his trial terminated, he felt assured that the great object for which he lived would be promoted. Christ would be honoured, perhaps, as much by his dying as a martyr, as by his living yet many years to proclaim his gospel, tie was, therefore, reconciled to his lot. He had no anxiety. Come what might, the purpose which he had most at heart would be secured, and the name of the Saviour would be honoured.

{c} "ashamed" Ro 5:5 {d} "as always" Eph 6:19,20 {e} "whether it be life" Ro 14:7,8

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