Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters. I hope many of you have been enjoying this look through the Bible as we study the Trinity. I had a friend describe it to me as a commentary on the Trinity. I’ll also state what I told him. I am being blessed just as much as I hope you are. This look through the Scriptures has been an eye-opening time for me. One thing you learn when you do any kind of teaching is that you learn more than you teach those you are teaching.
Tonight, we’ll be in the book of Philippians for the first time. We will definitely spend a lot of time looking at the Kenotic passage in the second chapter, which we will start tomorrow. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at verses 18b to 26 of chapter 1.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
Paul is overflowing with his obsession with Jesus in this one. Go through and look how many times Christ is referred to. This is all he can talk about in this chapter as he seeks to glorify Christ. There is much we can get out of this chapter by looking at it.
Note that we have first the Spirit of Jesus Christ. This could be a reference to the Holy Spirit or just a way of referring to the person of Christ. If the former, we have some inter-relationships in the Trinity being revealed. If the latter, then we have an idea of the omnipresence of Jesus.
Note also the exaltation of Christ in this passage. Paul wants Christ to be exalted above all be it in life or in death. This is also one of the interesting passages that shows our continued existence after death. Paul equates death with being in the presence of Jesus in some way. Do we know exactly what this way is? No. But we must believe it for the Scriptures speak it.
What is the result of his ministry? Fruitful joy in Christ Jesus. Once again, for Paul, it is all about Jesus. Now is this explicitly Trinitarian? No. But let us consider what drives a Jew to speak this much about someone who would be just a man. I can think of no such thing. It makes perfect sense to believe that Paul saw Jesus as God.
I hope this has been helpful. Tomorrow, we shall start looking at the kenotic passage.