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EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 29

Verse 29. For unto you. Unto you as Christians. This favour is granted unto you in your present circumstances.

It is given. God concedes to you this privilege or advantage.

In the behalf of Christ. In the cause of Christ, or with a view to honour Christ. Or, these things are brought on you in consequence of your being Christians.

Not only to believe on him. It is represented here as a privilege to be permitted to believe on Christ. It is so.

(1.) It is an honour to a man to believe one who ought to be believed, to trust one who ought to be trusted, to love one who ought to be loved.

(2.) It is a privilege to believe on Christ, because it is by such faith that our sins are forgiven; that we become reconciled to God, and have the hope of heaven.

(3.) It is a privilege, because it saves the mind from the tortures and the deadly influence of unbelief —the agitation, and restlessness, and darkness, and gloom of a sceptic.

(4.) It is a privilege, because we have then a Friend to whom we may go in trial, and on whom me may roll all our burdens. If there is anything for which a Christian ought to give unfeigned thanks, it is that he has been permitted to believe on the Redeemer. Let a sincere Christian compare his peace, and joy, and hope of heaven, and support in trials, with the restlessness, uneasiness, and dread of death, in the mind of an unbeliever, and he will see abundant occasion for gratitude.

But also to suffer for his sake. Here it is represented as a privilege to suffer in the cause of the Redeemer—a declaration which may sound strange to the world. Yet this sentiment frequently occurs in the New Testament. Thus it is said of the apostles, Ac 5:41, that "they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." Col 1:24: "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you." 1 Pe 4:13: "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." Comp. Jas 1:2; Mr 10:30. See Barnes "Ac 5:41".

It is a privilege thus to suffer in the cause of Christ, because

(1.) we then resemble the Lord Jesus, and are united with him in trials;

(2.) because we have evidence that we are his, if trials come upon us in his cause;

(3.) because we are engaged in a good cause, and the privilege of maintaining such a cause is worth much of suffering; and

(4.) because it will be connected with a brighter crown and more exalted honour in heaven.

{e} "given in the behalf" Ac 5:41 {*} "of" "in respect to"

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