- Philippi was a city in Macedonia where the proconsul or governor of Macedonia lived. It is therefore the center of the executive faculty of that in us signified by Macedonia: burning adoration. It is necessary to stir up this fiery power in the man when he gets into negative states of consciousness. The vision of the man imploring, "Come over into Macedonia, and help us," is the discernment of this inner fervor, which needs stirring up. A certain fiery fervor is necessary in order to establish faith and persistency in barren, weak states of consciousness, such as those suggested by Phrygia, Galatia, and Asia. (cf. Acts 16:6-10.)
Paul’s Prayer for the Philippians1
1:3I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, 1:4always in every supplication of mine on behalf of you all making my supplication with joy, 1:5for your fellowship in furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now; 1:6being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ: 1:7even as it is right for me to be thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as, both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers with me of grace. 1:8For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus. 1:9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment; 1:10so that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ; 1:11being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
- Paul's purpose is to encourage. Paul (the word of Truth) first commends those who are seeking to live the Christ life and gives thanks for the spiritual progress they have already made. Then he affirms his faith that the good work already begun in them will be perfected, and he encourages them to persevere in it. Finally he gives further instruction as regards the importance of constructive thinking.
Paul’s Present Circumstances
1:12Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel; 1:13so that my bonds1 became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard, and to all the rest; 1:14and that most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word of God without fear.
1:15Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 1:16the one do it of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel; 1:17but the other proclaim Christ of faction, not sincerely, thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds. 1:18What then? only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and therein I rejoice,
yea, and will rejoice. 1:19For I know that this shall turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit2 of Jesus Christ, 1:20according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing shall I be put to shame, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. 1:21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.3 1:22But if to live in the flesh, --if this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not. 1:23But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better: 1:24yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for your sake. 1:25And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, yea, and abide with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith; 1:26that your glorying may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.
1:27Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you and be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit,4 with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel; 1:28and in nothing affrighted by the adversaries: which is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation, and that from God; 1:29because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his behalf: 1:30having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
- bonds. The one who notwithstanding his failure to surmount limitations keeps faith in the principles of Truth and courage to persevere in his efforts undiminished, is an example to those in need of courage to follow the Way.
- supply of the Spirit. The Spirit of Jesus Christ is infinite and omnipresent, but each one determines for himself the measure of his realization of it through earnest expectation and hope as well as prayer. The prayers of others for him also increase his receptivity to the Christ Spirit provided he is conscious of them and desires the help they bring him.
- to live is Christ and to die is gain. To teach Truth by example, as Jesus taught it in His works is truly to live. To heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, these are some of the greater works always present to be dealt with by man after the Christ method.
- stand fast in one spirit. Metaphysically, the exhortation to “stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving” signifies that the individual is to unify soul and spirit or to harmonize his powers in order to realize the “fulness of Christ.”
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks