Chapter 19 Exhortation to Unity

Philippians 4:1-3 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. (vv. 1-3) The long parenthesis of the third chapter concluded, the apostle again e...

Chapter 18 Heavenly Citizenship

Philippians 3:20—21 For our conversation [or, citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the [or, a] Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body [or, this body of our humiliation], that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body [or, the body of his glory], according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself, (vv. 20-21) The Greek word politeuma here rendered “conversation” means, as is now well-known, commonweal...

Chapter 16 Perfection in Two Aspects

Philippians 3:12-16 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded...

Chapter 15 Paul's Steadfast Purpose

Philippians 3:8-11

Yea doubtless, and I count all things [to be] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but [refuse], that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the out-resurrection from among the dead. (vv. 8-11, last part literal rendering)

It should be noted that many years of faithful witness bearing intervene be tween verse 7, which closed our last section, and verse 8, which opens this. Not only had Paul counted all things but loss for Christ when first he saw His glory on the road to Damascus, but the long arduous years since had brought in no change as to this. He still counted all things to be of no worth as compared with that which had so dazzled the vision of his soul—the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord. How different it is with many: fervent and self-sacrificing in their first love, how soon the fine gold of their devotedness becomes dimmed and their early freshness passes away! The world, which once seemed so worthless in view of the matchless glory shining in the face of the Savior, begins again to exercise attractive power when the heart has “begun to wax wanton against Christ.” It was blessedly otherwise with our apostle. Never for one moment did he go back on the great renunciation he had made when first won for that exalted Jesus whom he had ignorantly persecuted.

Chapter 14 Self-Confidence Set Aside for Christ

Philippians 3:4-7 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, (vv. 4-7) Paul’s own experience c...

Chapter 13 "Rejoice"

Philippians 3:1-3

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, (vv. 1-3)

Careful students of the epistles of Paul cannot but notice a peculiarity that frequently occurs in them. Having concluded the main part of his treatise, he seems about to come to an abrupt conclusion then suddenly is moved by the Spirit of God to launch out into an altogether different line of things, which comes in as a kind of a parenthesis before he actually finishes his letter. An instance of this may be seen in the epistle to the Ephesians by comparing the first verses of chapters 3 and 4. It is plain that all of chapter 3, after verse 1, comes in parenthetically, and in chapter 4 he concludes what he started to say. Here in Philippians we have a similar case: “Finally, my brethren,” he writes, “rejoice in the Lord.” Yet, when we come to 4:8 where he introduces his closing remarks, we again have the same expression: “Finally, brethren.” All of chapter 3 is a new subject, which, as we might think, he had no intention of discussing until pressed by the Holy Spirit to bring in a message for which we can truly thank God as we would have lost much precious ministry had it been omitted.


An Ironside Expository Commentary Originally published in 1920. Reprinted in 2007 by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc., P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Scripture quotations marked darby are from the Darby Translation. Scripture quotations marked rv are from the Revised Version of the Holy Bible (Church of England, 1885). Preface These notes have been jotted ...

Chapter 8 The Exaltation of the Man Christ Jesus

Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [or, of heavenly, earthly, and infernal beings]; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, (vv. 9-11) This is the glorious fulfillment of the prophecy of Psalm 110—a prophecy used by our Lord to confound t...

Summary of the Epistle

In Philippians, God has placed a glorious object before the saint, and enjoined a godly carelessness about all else, so that that object may be won. Sin is not mentioned in the Epistle. Joy and rejoicing are mentioned sixteen times. To be faithful is to be joyful. Devoted Christians who follow the Lord fully, are a rejoicing people. Philippians shews us how we are to apprehend that for which we are apprehended by Christ Jesus. It views the believer as pressing on towards the mark for

Chapter 4

“Therefore my brethren.” This verse properly closes chapter 3. It is the practical lesson that the Holy Ghost draws from the fact that we are looking for the Lord Jesus to come from heaven. Are you expecting such a Saviour? Do you live in the hope of being in His presence any moment, all together? “Therefore—stand fast in the Lord.” Do not give up your confidence, or slacken in your obedience. “Stand fast in the Lord,” He owns you, controls you: let His will alone be your law. ...
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