For Your Deliverance
For Your Deliverance
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
"for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance," (Philippians 1:19, ESV)
1. Paul, who had already suffered for his Lord Jesus in so many ways humbly asked for the prayers of the Philippians, that his deliverance may be ensured through their supplication.
"I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf," (Romans 15:30, ESV)
"You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many." (2 Corinthians 1:11, ESV)
"At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—" (Colossians 4:3, ESV)
"Brothers, pray for us." (1 Thessalonians 5:25, ESV)
" Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith." (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2, ESV)
2. The word help (supply) here gives us our English word chorus. Whenever a Greek city was going to put on a special festival, somebody had to pay for the singers and dancers. The donation called for had to be a lavish one, and so this word came to mean “to provide generously and lavishly.”
Paul was not depending on his own dwindling resources; he was depending on the generous resources of God, ministered by the Holy Spirit.
3. Paul was convinced that his chains would eventually result in his deliverance.
4. The Greek word translated “deliverance” here was used in different ways in the New Testament. It often meant spiritual deliverance—salvation, being born again.
Here Paul used the word to refer to either the final stage of his salvation or future vindication in a Roman court. It seems unlikely that he had his release in mind since in the next two sentences he wrote of the real possibility of his near death.
5. The bases on which the apostle’s assurance rested were the prayers of the saints and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. “Help” (epichoregias) carries the meaning of “support,” much as a ligament provides support in a physical body.
He knew he could count on the Philippians’ prayers, and also on the Holy Spirit’s ministry (cf. Rom. 8:26-27). (Used only here and in Eph. 4:16.)
6. Note that this glorious result will be brought about by means of two factors which because of their great difference in magnitude — the one human, the other divine — we would probably hesitate to place next to one another.
7. Your prayers … and … the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ! Yet, they certainly belong together: the very same Spirit which sustained Jesus Christ, the Mediator, in his trials, will cause all things to work together for good in the case of Paul also, and this in answer to the prayer of fellow-believers.
8. He declares that he is confident that the Lord will give them an answer to their prayers. The man who depends for help on the prayers of the saints relies on the promise of God. In the mean time, nothing is taken away from the unmerited goodness of God, on which depend our prayers, and what is obtained by means of them.
9. "For I know that" As some published the gospel with the view of rendering Paul pain and enticing his enemies, he tells them beforehand that their wicked attempts will do him no harm, because the Lord will turn them around for his good. Though they plot my destruction, yet I trust that all their attempts will have no other effect but that Christ will be glorified in me which is what I desire most.
10. For it is evident from what follows, that he is not speaking of the safety of the body. So where does this confidence on the part of Paul come from? It is from what he teaches in Romans 8:28. That all things contribute to the advantage of God's true worshippers, even though the whole world, with the devil, its prince, should conspire together for their ruin.