We have now reached the Epistle to the Philippians, which has been well called the epistle of love and joy. In it we see most of the inner character of the apostle; there was the utmost mutual love between him and the brethren at Philippi.
They were the most generous and faithful of the churches, and gave the apostle much joy. Should we not all aim to cheer the heart of our ministers by our zeal and liberality?
This delightful confidence is the crowning joy of the Christian life. If he who began the good work did not also carry it on we should be in a wretched plight, but, blessed be God, the work of grace is in the hands of one who never leaves his work unfinished.
The one point in which the Philippians failed was love and unity among themselves; for this Paul prayed, for it is of the first importance.
Sweet forgetfulness of self! So long as Christ is glorified, Paul minds not how he himself fares, nor what unkind motives towards himself may actuate other preachers. This is real Christianity.
He hoped that the spread of the gospel would call Nero’s attention to his case, and end his imprisonment one way or another, and little did he care whether he was set free by death, or by being allowed to resume his labours.
Philippians 1:25, 26
He would even stay out of heaven a while for their sakes. Oh, to live only to do good! This is to live indeed.
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.