Philippians 1:8
God is my witness how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Apostolic SolicitudeJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:8
Brotherly LoveWeekly PulpitPhilippians 1:8
Paul's Tender Regard for the PhilippiansW. Arnot, D. D.Philippians 1:8
Saints Longing for SaintsJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:8
The Bowels of Jesus ChristBishop Lightfoot.Philippians 1:8
The Consistency of Love of Man with Love of GodW. Arnot, D. D.Philippians 1:8
Universality of Christian LoveW. Arnot, D. D.Philippians 1:8
A Cheerful PrisonerFamily ChurchmanPhilippians 1:3-11
Blessed Remembrance and Joyful PrayersWeekly PulpitPhilippians 1:3-11
Christian RemembrancesJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11
Expression of InterestR. Finlayson Philippians 1:3-11
Happy MemoriesG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
My GodG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:3-11
Pleasant Memories and Bright HopesR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 1:3-11
Retrospect and ForecastJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 1:3-11
The Apostle's Intercession and AssuranceR.M. Edgar Philippians 1:3-11
The Introduction to the EpistleJ. Daille.Philippians 1:3-11
The True Spirit of PrayerJ. Lyth, D. D., J. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 1:3-11
Personal ChristianityD. Thomas Philippians 1:6-8
A Double Explanation of the Origin of This ConfidenceT. Croskery Philippians 1:7, 8
Aboundings of LoveA. Raleigh, D. D., J. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:7-11
Ministers Carry the Images of Their People in Their HeartsPhilippians 1:7-11
Reasons for Paul's ConfidenceWeekly Pulpit., J. Lyth, D. DPhilippians 1:7-11
The Apologetic Value of Paul's BondsPhilippians 1:7-11
The Fellowship of the GospelJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 1:7-11
The Heart of Paul and the Heart of ChristG. G. Ballard.Philippians 1:7-11
The Unifying Influence of Christian LoveThe StudyPhilippians 1:7-11

Even as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, and because in my bonds and in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye are all partakers with me of my grace. The apostle has found the objective ground of his confidence in the exclusively Divine source of the "good work;" but this confidence is justified at once by his own love to the Philippians and by their spiritual fellowship with him in sufferings and service.

I. LOVE INSPIRES CONFIDENCE. "I have you in my heart." Therefore, he says, it is right for him to cherish this confidence respecting them. It is the nature of love to have this confident hope, for it "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things' (1 Corinthians 13:7). The intensity of his love enhanced his confidence. The apostle's love was peculiarly tender. "For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ." The appeal to God marks the sincerity of his love. But its true origin, its pattern, its fervency, are only to be found in the bowels of Christ. The heart of the apostle throbs in unison with the heart of Christ.


1. They identified themselves with him "in his bonds by ministering once and again to his necessities and cheering him by their sympathies. They remembered him as an ambassador in bonds," as we are all bound to "remember them that are in bonds as bound with them" (Hebrews 13:2). They did it, too, at a time when Roman sympathy seems to have been sorely wanting. It is strange that.. he with a Church in the capital of the world, he should have been dependent upon the charity of the far distant Philippians.

2. They identified themselves heartily both with his defense of the gospel either before heathen magistrates or Jewish opponents, and with his positive establishment of the truth. There is a negative and a positive side in the great teaching office of the Church. - T.C.

God is my witness how greatly I long after you all

1. This appeal should not be made frequently, or on trivial occasions; but should be reserved for seasons of peculiar solemnity, as here. Paul wanted to give them an assurance of his regard such as would be their consolation when he was gone.

2. But though the parade of this witness should be spared, the consciousness of it should pervade all our life. It is easy to deceive our fellow man. It is healthful to be constantly reminded of an onlooker who is not mocked. His company, however, is shunned by many for good reasons. No man chooses the living God as his habitual company who is not reconciled to him through Christ.

3. What a blessed state to be in; to let all our affections towards our brethren flow and reflow in the Divine presence.

II. ITS SOURCE — "the bowels," — the strong compassion of Christ. From that fountain his own pity flowed.

1. He was free to testify, "In me dwelleth no good thing." True; no pity flowed from his cruel heart or dimmed his cruel eye when Stephen died. He was not at that time in Christ. From the memory of his former self he writes Titus 3:3.

2. Now the very love that glowed in the bosom of Jesus was communicated to His disciple. It was not a love of mere nature or an affection of party.

3. His new position gave him a new view and new affections. He had risen with Christ, and from the heavenly places the old divisions between Jew and Greek, etc., had disappeared, and one line only divided the race into two compartments, those who were in Christ Jesus and those who were not. He loved the whole, but rejoiced over the brethren with joy unspeakable.


1. Learn from the fact that he called God to witness it, that in order to get into communion with God it is not necessary to banish your brother out of sight. The law is that "he who loveth God, love his brother also."

2. The extent and distribution of his affection — "all." Probably they were not all alike attractive. The longing was one as it burned in Paul's heart; but it was many coloured as it streamed on a promiscuous congregation. Light is for all the same, but it becomes various as it falls on various surfaces.

(1)Little children. "Longing after" is more appropriate to infants than to others

(2)The young who are of understanding age. You have need of a compassion like Christ's.

(3)The burdened with care.

(4)The aged.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

Weekly Pulpit.
I. ITS SOURCES — "the tender mercies of Jesus Christ." Here the hardness of our hearts is melted. Sin has dried up the wells of sympathy, broken the family ties of mankind. Jesus collects the fragments, places them in the furnace of his love, and welds them together.

1. The restoration of the family likeness. When we see God the Father in each other, we begin to love one another. The spirit of Christ generates that love. When we meet in Christ we experience the first touch of heart. The ministry of the tender mercies of Christ quickens those who are dead in trespasses and sins.

2. On the basis of brotherly love human society is reconstructed. The branches touch each other in the vine. The whole fabric rests on the one corner stone, Christ. By the power of the Cross the clouds of selfishness are rolled back. The social instincts are sanctified to constitute universal society.

II. ITS ATTESTATION — "God is my witness." The evidence was an inward consciousness, and an outward life. Omniscience was the final court of appeal.

1. Love to the Church is an evidence of our conversion by the truth (1 John 3:14).

2. Through the Church we commune with God. The heavens declare God's glory, the earth His riches, the Bible His will, human experience in the Church His goodness. The historical side of religion administers to the spiritual. The wisdom of Paul, the zeal of Peter, the affection of John, bring God nearer to the heart. Every believer is a vessel of the Holy Ghost; and to drink of His experience is to commune with the Divine.

III. THE FUNCTIONS OF SPIRITUAL LONGINGS. Paul's supreme desire was to be near the Philippians, and to be of service to their growth. Thereby he would witness —

1. To the love of God.

2. Against the hatred of the sinful heart.

3. To the final society of the blest.

(Weekly Pulpit.)






(J. Lyth, D. D.)

is a prophecy that all saints are destined to be brought into one assembly. God will satisfy all the desires which He creates; He will feed the soul which He has made hungry; and as He has given us the spirit of true fellowship, so will He supply the means of its full enjoyment. Out of all this comes heaven. The good longing for the good; the creature yearning for the Creator; the redeemed sighing for the Redeemer; the dew of the morning trembling with the hope of being taken up by the infinite light: what is all this but the premonition of celestial life.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

He is a jealous God to the effect of commanding, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me;" but even in His own sight you may cherish to the full all your love of the brethren. The sun, at his rising, extinguishes all the stars of heaven, but not the flowers of earth; so when you get into the presence of God, none other is permitted to stand on a level with Himself, but into His presence you may boldly bring all your brethren of human kind. In His presence you may keep every affection that is inherited by nature or ingrafted by grace.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

A lamp lighted on the top of a pillar casts light on some objects, and a shadow on others; but the sun spreads day over all. The love that is grafted into Christ is universal; like His own. There is no respect of persons with God; and none with the godly as far as they act in character.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

The σπάγχνα are properly the nobler viscera, the heart, lungs, liver, etc., as distinguished from the enters, the lower viscera, the intestines. The σπλάγχνα alone seem to be regarded by the Greeks as the seat of affections, whether anger, love, pity, or jealousy.

(Bishop Lightfoot.)

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