Philippians has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible. I have usually read in in the NIV or NAS the Mirror Word version brings it to life even more. Francois Du Toit translates it not only accurately but it is poetic. Paul, even though he was under house arrest comes across with authority and strength. He writes not out of his circumstance but in his identity. Paul was once a persecutor of the Christians but now was the poster child for Christ. After his Emaus road conversion he changed his path 180 degrees. He was transformed from the inside out. He moved out of strength because he now knew his original identity. He knew who he was. He was no longer defined by what man thought of him or what he did or achieved. His identity was now defined by his relationship “In Christ.” He moved out of a place of knowing who’s he was.
2 Timothy 2:9-11
9 I might be in bonds, but the Word of God is not. (It might seem to some that my suffering contradicts what I preach, but it cannot! My ministry is measured by the word not by my circumstances. See Col 1:24)
10 This gives me more than enough reason not to quit. I desire for everyone to discover the fact that the life of their design is redeemed in Christ Jesus; this is the timeless intent of God. (The word eklegomai, ek, source, origin, and legomai from logos, word, thus the life of our design.)
11 The logic of God endorses our faith: we were included in his death and are therefore equally included in his resurrection.
Paul is moving and doing not out of a works or law mentality, instead he is not moved but compelled to share his experience, his joy, the revelation of who God says mankind is. Mankind was made in God’s exact image. We were made to be sons and daughters (immediate family). We are not pets or the black sheep of the family! We are his first born children.
My favorite verse in this chapter is the 21st. I have learned it as For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. In the Mirror Word it is Christ defines my life; death cannot threaten or diminish that.” I love the Christ defines me part. I cannot define myself let alone God yet he is the only one I want defining me! His only thouht of me is outside of time and space, there is no distance or delay and that view of me will be eternally as a righteous son.
Martyn Lloyd Jones was often heard saying “What’s true of Him, is true of you.” A paraphrase out of 1st John.
Philippians 1 (Mirror Word)
1 Paul and Timothy address all the saints in Christ Jesus in Philippi, including your leadership team, both the overseers and the deacons. (Overseer, episkopos, from skopos, “scope” to see the overall picture, diakonos, from diako, to run errands, to pursue; see Phil 3:14 )
2 The Father’s favor joins our lives inseparably in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
3 The thought of you always inspires me with joy and gratitude to God.
4. Praying for you is certainly not a job it is more like poetry; I joyfully anticipate the outcome of my prayers for you!
5 Our blissful participation in everything that the gospel communicates does not age. The freshness of our first encounter continues to this very day.
6 I possess an inward certainty about you, confident that he who is the initiator of the good work within you is also the one who executes its completeness as mirrored in Jesus Christ, who is the light of day. He is the fullness of time. (Initiator, enarche, to rehearse from the beginning. See Eccl 3:15, “that which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been!”)
7 I am not being presumptuous to be this persuaded about you. In the context of our redeemed innocence I cannot think of you any differently; I have you in my heart! Your committed friendship in my imprisonment is of great encouragement to me in our combined defense and confirmation of the gospel. We are in this together! We are joint participants in the same grace. My grace is your grace.
8 God knows my intense longing for you! It is with the tender affections of Jesus Christ!
9 It is my desire for each one of you, that the realization of love’s completeness in you will increasingly burst through all boundaries, and that every sphere of your relationship with others will be greatly impacted by your intimate acquaintance with love. (The word agape is a compound word from ago, which means to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep, and pao, which means rest! His love leads me into his rest; into the full realization of his finished work! Agape is Psalm 23 in one word. “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am.”
10 I urge you to examine this agape-love with the utmost scrutiny, just like when a diamond is viewed in the full sunlight to prove its flawless perfection. I dare you to take love to its ultimate conclusion! There is no offense in love, as evidenced in Jesus Christ who is the light of day. (If the diamond is flawless to begin with, every possible test will prove its perfection; how someone might respond to love’s initiative is not the point, love’s ultimate test was concluded on the cross. Truth does not become true by popular vote; someone’s ignorance or indifference cannot change the truth.)
11 You have been fully furnished with the harvest of your redeemed innocence and righteousness which Jesus Christ labored for! This is what the glorious intent of God is all about! His applause endorses the success of the cross!
12 I wish to encourage you dear friends that the opposition that I face, which was meant to defeat the gospel has only served to advance it!
13 The prison has become my pulpit! All the soldiers in the Governor’s guard and everyone involved in the palace have learnt about my message. They know that I am not their prisoner but that I am enclosed in Christ.
14 My imprisonment has also persuaded many believers in the Lord to speak the word with fearless courage.
15 Some slander the message and others speak with passion and delightful certainty.
16 There are those who wish to get mileage out of my predicament for their own agenda.
17 Others again are totally love driven and in full support with me in my defense of the gospel!
18 I am thrilled! Christ is the topic of conversation everywhere! Even the negative publicity continues to advertise him!
19 I can just see how the Spirit of Jesus Christ, like a conductor of music takes all of this together with your prayers and turn it into a concert that celebrates salvation! (The word, epichoregeo, comes from epi, a preposition of position, over, in charge, + chorus, choir, orchestra, or dance + ago, meaning to lead as a shepherd leads his sheep; thus, the leader of a dance or the conductor of music.)
20 My thoughts are not trapped in my head! They roam free in expectation that I will not be ashamed by any contradiction! My immediate circumstances do not distract from my message! I am convinced that our conversation now and always will continue to give accurate account of the magnificence of Christ. The message is incarnate in me; whether I live or die, it makes no difference. (The word, apokaradokia is a compound word with 3 parts, apo, away from, kara, head and dokeo, thought. The word parrhesia, from para, a preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to have sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection; and rhesia, conversation.)
21 Christ defines my life; death cannot threaten or diminish that.
22 To be alive now is to feast on the harvest of your faith! I cannot tell when I shall lift up the anchor of the flesh and sail away! It doesn’t really matter to me. (The word, aihreomai, from airo, to lift the anchor and sail away.)
23 I am often torn between these two thoughts. I have this strong yearning to step out of the confines of this body into the immediate embrace of Christ! Can you imagine the awesomeness of that!
24 Yet this gospel has my arm twisted and locked behind my back; I am therefore determined to remain in the body for your sakes. (The word, anagke, suggests to have the arm twisted and locked behind one’s back. See 1 Cor 9:16.)
25 I am certain that my time with you will inspire the happy progress of your pioneering faith!
26 The joy of our union in Christ knows no limits! We have so much reason to celebrate! I can just imagine the eruptions of bliss should I be there with you right now in person!
27 The one essential thing that would fully engage the focus of your earthly citizenship is the fact that your daily conduct communicates like value and gives context to the gospel of Christ! So whether I am present with you to witness your steadfastness with my own eyes, or absent, our spiritual union and single mindedness will be equally evident. (The word monon, points to that which is singled out as most essential; the word axios, means, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much. Psyche, Greek, pshuche, suggests consciousness, mental attitude, awareness. Paul desires to express an inseparable togetherness; sunathleo, athletic contest. Bicycle racing uses the term peloton; where the riders are strongest and fastest when they ride in the so-called “peloton”, which is a densely packed group of riders, sheltering in each others’ draft. In a mass-start race, most of the competitors usually end up in one large peloton for most of the race. The word is French, from a term that means rolled up in a ball.)
28 Your brave fearlessness in the face of every kind of obstacle is a sure sign to those who oppose you that their efforts are futile. Your triumphant attitude makes salvation even more apparent. (There is no counterfeit; God has no competition! Religion’s self-help programs of salvation do not threaten him!)
29 Because of the grace that you are gifted with in Christ, whatever you might suffer on behalf of him can never distract from what faith knows to be true about you!
30 Our faith is on exhibit in the same public arena; we are not spectators of one another’s endurance, but co-witnesses thereof. We mirror one another triumphantly. (The word, agon, refers to the place of contest, the arena or stadium.)