9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all ||judgment;
10 That ye may ||approve things that ||are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Paul in writing this letter of encouragement made sure that the Philippians knew that He loved every one of them. They were all dear to his heart. He was instructing the Philippians to recognize their unity in the gospel of Christ as an accomplished reality. And to grow in their knowledge of God so that they can apply judgement to those things that they disagree over in being able to discern between that which is better and that which is best. And thus resolve their differences.
You know that where three Baptists get together you have 5 opinions - and typically four don’t count. Then people get torqued. That’s greek for “bent out of shape.” There is no scenario in human existence where people live in perfect harmony where every one agrees with every one else. This utopian idea is only in the imagination of people who simply do not understand being human, and that’s hard to understand.
I think that Paul recognizes this, and he prays this prayer that their love for the knowledge of God and being able to, with the mind of God be able to discern the better and the best of a situation and come together for the common purpose of spreading the Gospel.
Sometimes those decisions don’t go in the direction of the way that you might personally think best, because you might think that the results will turn out negative. Yet somehow, God working His way through His people, the Gospel is furthered in ways we cannot imagine.
Then Paul Launches into an explanation of his present situation. He explains that being in prison, and chained to a prison Guard has actually benefitted the Gospel.
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things (CONCERNING) which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of( HAVE RATHER FURTHERED) the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest (MADE KNOWN AND EVIDENT) in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, (MY BONDS MAKING THEM CONFIDENT) waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
The imprisonment of Paul was intended to shut him up. The enemies of Paul, and yes, Paul had enemies. People that were so vehemently against his preaching that they sought to take his life on a number of occasions, and went to great lengths to see that somehow or another he was prevented from spreading this good news. It didn’t matter anymore if people were jewish, or became jewish to be in right standing with God. Salvation was by grace through faith. I’m speculating here, but it seems to me the perception that somehow that being jewish was something special, and Paul seems to be preaching something that takes away from that. Now nothing further from the truth, Because Paul in the Book of Romans, when asking the question, “well what about the Jews? - is there anything left for them? And Paul goes on to say, “yes in every way.”
15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill:
16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;
17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.
Not only did Paul have outright enemies who were enemies of the Gospel, but Paul was demonstrating that because of the embarrassment of his situation, there were those about the confines of Rome who preached Christ, that is, were brothers in Christ, who were at odds with Paul preaching from selfish intent and at odds with and even jealous of Paul. But this imprisonment - intended to shut Paul up, God used to bring the Gospel into the very Household of Caesar right under Caesar’s nose, and all those around Rome were made bold to share the Gospel fearlessly. Even those who were jealous of Paul who preached contentiously. Even those whose intent was to make a name for them selves. But there others who shared the Gospel out of Love because everyone knew that the only reason Paul was in prison was because He Preached Christ. He wasn’t in prison for murder, or theft, or sedition. He was in prison because he was preaching the Gospel of Salvation by grace through faith it is a gift to those who would receive it.
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense (FOR SHOW) or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.
What about this? Should I be jealous of other people’s success even when that success is intended to be at my expense? According to Paul, no! And for the reason of..... (....)
19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that tin nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
This salvation is not his eternal salvation. We must be careful of the context of words. Words that we use to describe theological concepts are many times every day words used by common people in common situations. The word “salvation” in this context would be better translated “deliverance.” In that last phrase, we see that Paul already knew the potential outcome of his situation. he could either be released, or he would be executed. He had come to grips with either situation. He was torn between two desires.... the prospect of Dying and being with Christ;...He explains.....
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is ( FAR FAR BETTER/MUCH MORE) far better:
24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
We have evidence that seems to indicate that Paul was indeed released and he went on to several places as far away as Spain. Then he was arrested again, and then beheaded by the Roman Emperor, Nero.
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
The word “conversation” used by the King James is a pretty good word. None of the other translations