Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him,
Suffering in Behalf of ChristW.F. Adeney Philippians 1:29
Thoughts Suggested by His CaptivityR. Finlayson Philippians 1:12-30
A Call to a Four-Fold Manifestation of Spiritual LifeJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
A Life of Consistency, Unity, and CourageD. Thomas Philippians 1:27-30
A Minister's Desire on Behalf of His PeopleT. Woodroffe.Philippians 1:27-30
Christian CitizenshipJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 1:27-30
Christian Conduct is Made Up of Little ThingsPhilippians 1:27-30
Christian ConsistencyG. J. Procter.Philippians 1:27-30
Christian ConsistencyI. Spencer, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
Christian ConsistencyJ. Lyth, D. D., R. Treffry.Philippians 1:27-30
Citizens of HeavenA. Maclaren, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
CitizenshipJ. B. Norton.Philippians 1:27-30
Concord in the ChurchJ. Daille.Philippians 1:27-30
Conversation Becoming the GospelW. Cadman, M. A.Philippians 1:27-30
Conversation Becoming the GospelPhilippians 1:27-30
Conversation Becoming the GospelW. Jay.Philippians 1:27-30
Exhortation to UnityV. Hutton Philippians 1:27-30
Means in Aid of the Propagation of the GospelJ. Thomson, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
Ministerial SolicitudeT. Mortimer, M. A.Philippians 1:27-30
Stand FastJ. Daille.Philippians 1:27-30
Striving TogetherG. J. Procter.Philippians 1:27-30
Striving Together for the Faith of the GospelW. A. Snively, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
The Gifts of Faith and of SufferingR.M. Edgar Philippians 1:27-30
The GospelC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 1:27-30
Unity and ActionW. Leask, D. D.Philippians 1:27-30
Fellowship with the Martyrs and ConfessorsJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:29-30
Suffering for ChristH. W. Beecher.Philippians 1:29-30
The Christian's Life IsJ. W. Reeve, M. A.Philippians 1:29-30
The Gifts of GodJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:29-30
The Grace and Honour of SufferingR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 1:29-30
The Honor of Suffering for ChristPhilippians 1:29-30
The Mystery of SufferingMrs. Prosser.Philippians 1:29-30
The Privilege of SufferingT. Croskery Philippians 1:29, 30
The Service of SufferingJ. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Philippians 1:29-30
The Value of SufferingBishop Lightfoot., Professor Eadie.Philippians 1:29-30
Unto You it is Given to BelieveJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:29-30
Unto You it is Given to SufferJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:29-30

There is reason given, by way of encouragement, for their steadfastness in suffering. "For unto you it was freely given on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe upon him, but also to suffer for his sake."

I. THE DISPENSATION OF SUFFERING ASSIGNED TO THE SAINTS. Their sufferings fall not cut by chance. They are divinely ordered. They are even divinely given.

1. Their ability to endure these sufferings is the gift of Christ. "In the world ye shall have tribulation; in me ye shall have peace." "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

2. Their comforts in sufferings are the gift of Christ. Thus they are led to rejoice in tribulation, for he has sent his Comforter to dwell in their hearts.

3. The sufferings in question are profitable to themselves as well as honoring to the Lord. He doth not afflict willingly, but for our profit. Through our suffering we may glorify the Lord by encouraging and confirming the faith of others.

4. The sufferings will not be without, reward. "If we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:12). "Blessed are you when men persecute you... for great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:11, 12).

II. FAITH IN CHRIST MUST GO BEFORE SUFFERING FOR HIM, "Unto you it is given... to believe upon him."

1. Faith is God's gift, as it is the first effect of regeneration, which is God's work. Christ purchased for us, not merely salvation, but all the means thereunto. It is the Lord who opens our eyes, renews our wills, and persuades and enables us to accept Christ in the gospel.

2. It is by this faith we are enabled to suffer patiently. Without the shield of faith we could not resist the anger of persecutors. By faith we are made strong at the root like the seaweed that grows on the rock, no matter how much it may be lashed hither and thither by the ceaseless action of the waves.

III. ENCOURAGEMENT TO PATIENT PERSEVERANCE BY THE EXAMPLE OF THE APOSTLE. "Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." There must be a right spirit as well as a good cause to suffer for.

1. The similarity between the sufferings of the apostle and those of his converts.

(1) It was in the same place - Philippi. (Acts 16:19.)

(2) It was, probably, from the same adversaries, Gentiles and Jews.

(3) It was a conflict in both cases trying to flesh and blood.

2. The sufferings of the ministers of Christ ought to encourage their people to like patience and firmness. - T.C.

Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ



(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. A LIFE OF FAITH. This faith is —

1. The gift of God — "is given you."

2. A particular gift bestowed on a particular people, distinguishing them from all others. The Christian knows and enjoys what no one else does.


1. Christ's life was full of it, and so, therefore, is the believer's.

2. Some sufferings he shares with the humanity to which he belongs,

3. Some trials are peculiar to the Christian arising from


(2)the inherent difficulty of the Christian life;

(3)profession before the world;


(5)consistency in business, etc.;

(6)the opposition of the enemies of the gospel.

III. THE LIFE OF SUFFERING PROVES THE LIFE OF FAITH. Others are rebellious, or stoically resigned; the Christian bows out of love to Christ, and is supported by Christ in response to faith.

(J. W. Reeve, M. A.)

I. WHAT THEY ARE. The power to believe — to suffer.


1. Faith brings peace, joy, righteousness.

2. Patient suffering brings deliverance, conquest, glory.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. FAITH IS THE GIFT OF GOD. He supplies the ground, the means, the power.

II. IT IS GIVEN TO YOU. You can accept the ground, use the means, exercise the power.

III. HOW FAR HAVE YOU IMPROVED IT? You cannot reach the higher standpoint before the lower; every one has a measure of ability; therefore repent, believe.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

God gives you —




IV.The REWARD of suffering for Christ.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

It is said that men learned to despise pain before Christ. This is true. But where, save in Christian literature and history, do you find suffering converted into joy, esteemed as an honour, and borne as a badge of royalty. As a king grants charters and honours, so Christ as our Sovereign gives His disciples the privilege of faith and alliance to Him. And he still further honours them by permitting them to suffer on His behalf. Let us see what kind of sufferings are included in this charter.


II. ALL ARISING FROM THE EFFECTUAL PREACHING OF TRUTH, whether by ministers or private disciples. We are not to count the suffering which comes from our own headstrong rashness in speech or administration, but that which comes from a calm inflexible advocacy of the truth as it is in Jesus. For this it is an honour to suffer.

III. ALL WHICH ARISES FROM THE APPLICATION OF CHRISTIAN TRUTH to human disposition and conduct, to the manners of society, to the selfishness and injustice of men. Labourers in this harvest field will have their bosom full of sheaves, and their head crowned with thorns. Let a man have a conscience, and he will perforce find himself a warrior. What affinity is there between generosity and greed.

IV. ALL SUFFERING NOT OF THE NATURE OF OBLOQUY. All self-denials, watchings, labours, cares, weariness, incident to a life devoted to the cause of God. Those whose parish is the dungeon, the hospital, the purlieus of vice.

V. ALL CONSEQUENT UPON A STRIFE WITH SELF AND CIRCUMSTANCES for the purpose of augmenting Christian dispositions. Our internal conflicts are often greater than our external. What suffering is involved in our strife with the world, the flesh, and the devil; in our endeavour to be patient under sickness and misfortune, resigned in the midst of sorrows and bereavement.

VI. ALL ARISING FROM THE SERVICE WE PERFORM ON BEHALF OF OTHERS. Mothers with their children in hearing and up-bringing, friends, philanthropists. Conclusion: I remark in view of this exposition —

1. We are not to seek suffering on purpose. Suffering without moral impulse is of no account.

2. It is a shame for a man to entertain an ideal of Christian life which is ease and freedom from inconvenience.

3. All true education consists in preparation for and endurance of suffering Let parents see to this.

4. We may form a proper judgment of those who are called to labour for God Those prepared to regard suffering as an honour, and to count the victory as worth any price.

(H. W. Beecher.)

To this refiner's fire may doubtless be ascribed in part the lustre and purity of their faith as compared with other Churches.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)Persecutions only raked away the ashes, so that the spiritual flame was steady and brilliant.

(Professor Eadie.)

The men whom a general, at the critical moment of a great battle, specially appoints to hold the key of his position, or whom, in the assault of a besieged city, he sends on a "forlorn hope," are, by his choice of them for peril and probable suffering, marked out as in his judgment "the bravest of the brave." Their comrades, even while rejoicing in their hearts, it may be, that the selection has left themselves out, feel that those on whom the choice has fallen are honoured. Similarly, is there not "grace" shown in the choice made by the "Captain of salvation," when in His providence He calls this soldier of the cross, and that, to suffer or die under the standard? In the old persecuting times in our country, men who "bore in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus," in limbs crushed by the iron boot or torn by the rack — looking back in after days upon the patience which the Saviour had given them amid their anguish, and the increase of spiritual wisdom and energy which had come through the trial to themselves, and to some extent also to others, could not but esteem the suffering for Christ as a "gift of grace." When under sentence of death, good Bishop Ridley wrote thus to his relatives: "I warn you all, my beloved kinsfolk, that ye be not amazed or astonished at the kind of my departure or dissolution; for I assure you I think it the most honour that ever I was called unto in all my life. And therefore I thank God heartily for it, that it hath pleased Him to call me, of His great mercy, unto this high honour, to suffer death willingly for His sake and in His cause; unto the which honour He called the holy prophets, and His dearly beloved apostles, and His blessed chosen martyrs." And when the end came, and Latimer and he were burned at the same stake — whilst the persecutors could see only the flame which consumed the flesh, the faith of the martyrs could discern for themselves a chariot of fire waiting to bear them home to their Lord, and for their country a fire of pious zeal lighted up, which all the arts of the wicked one should never be able to put out. There was great "grace" there.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

Dr. Tronchin, talking one day with the son of Caesar Malan about his father, who was lying on his deathbed, said, "How often have I not heard even his friends say, when I spoke with admiration of the work of your father, 'Malan serves God with fire, courage, and perseverance, because the service which God requires of him is an active service, and consists in an activity which responds to his tastes and talents.' But wait before judging him definitely until God calls him to a passive service of suffering." God is doing this under our eyes at this hour, and under our eyes also His servant is found faithful.

(J. F. B. Tinling, B. A.)

One of the witnesses for the truth when imprisoned for conscience' sake in the days of Queen Mary, is said to have thus written to a friend: "A prisoner for Christ! What is this for a poor worm! Such honour have not all the saints. Both the degrees which I took at the University have not set me so high as the honour of becoming a prisoner of the Lord."

"Unaccountable this!" said the Wax, as from the flame it dropped melting upon the Paper beneath. "Do not grieve," said the Paper; "I am sure it is all right." "I was never in such agony!" exclaimed the Wax, still dropping. "It is not without a good design, and will end well," replied the Paper. The Wax was unable to reply at once, owing to a strong pressure; and when it again looked up it bore a beautiful impression, the counterpart of the seal which had been applied to it. "Ah! I comprehend now," said the Wax, no longer in suffering. "I was softened in order to receive this lovely durable impress. Yes; I see now it was all right, because it has given to me the beautiful likeness which I could not otherwise have obtained."

(Mrs. Prosser.).

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