Publication Date: 02-01-1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
Last week we said, “I rejoice and I will rejoice”, v. 18, the second phrase is introduced by the
contrasting Greek conjunction, ala, which is a very emphatic “but”. It should be translated “but I
will also rejoice”, referring to what is coming up. The reason is given in v. 19 and we will
include that phrase with v. 19.
1 : 19 my – literally means “to me” or “for me”. In other words, “shall turn to salvation for
me”. You could translate it “my salvation”, however, using the dative form makes it
much more emphatic – “salvation for me, or to me”.
salvation – wholeness; eternal life wholeness or renewed-mind wholeness. Here it is very
specific to his deliverance from bonds, because he was in bondage and their prayers and
the supply of the Spirit would eventually head to his deliverance from those bonds. The
word “salvation” is life in Aramaic, as it usually is. Receiving the Holy Spirit Today,
p. 287 of seventh edition, says “deliverance from bonds”. This is what this salvation is
For I know that this shall turn to my salvation occurs in Job 13:16. This is not a gnome, a
quotation or citation, but is similar to it and may be an illusion to that. It is very
interesting that in Job 13:16, Job is confronting his accusers and giving an answer of truth
in the face of accusation, “this also shall be my salvation”. Paul here is giving an answer,
of truth in the face of accusation. The Septuagint is even closer – “this shall turn to my
salvation”. The context is he is answering those miserable comforters, those accusing
him of this, that, etc. In v. 13 he says, “Hold your peace (shut-up) that I may speak, that I
may speak”. See Ephesians 4:15, practical section, speaking the truth in love. Here he
says “that I may speak”. We are to speak the truth in love.
Job 13:13-19 – no matter what happens I’m still going to maintain my own ways before God.
This shall be my salvation. If you don’t endeavor to maintain your ways before God you are not
going to get the wholeness, the deliverance from your bondage. But if you do, that will be or
turn to my salvation. A hypocrite is not even going to come before him. “If I hold my tongue, I
shall give up the ghost.” If I don’t speak the truth in love there is no hope for me. Now Paul, at
this point, was in bonds and if he were to keep his mouth shut there wouldn’t be too much hope
for him either. He had to maintain himself before God speaking the truth in love .
James 1:2-4. Job had patience and endurance but he still stayed faithful to God and His Word.
See James 5:11, “those that do endure are happy, you have heard of the patience of Job”. If you
stay on the Word and continue, God is there to deliver and help.
Luke 21:12-19 – even though it is referring to the latter days, the principles are there. Your
adversaries can’t stop it because God at work within you to do of His good pleasure is much
greater than all those opponents that oppose you on the field. God gives you the revelation. He
gives you the information, what to do about it when you need it no matter what the adversary
says. “... not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” In other
words, you take charge of your own life in patience. No matter what the adversary throws, you
are ready to stand and you have to have that patience to endure like Job did. So Paul did when
he was in prison, but he knew that because the gospel was being taught, even though some were
doing it out of love, some out of envy, he knew he would be delivered from prison. That is what
he is saying in this verse. If this is an illusion to Job, it certainly is a tremendous tie-in because
of Job’s decision to stand.
through your prayer – (Grk.) deēsis. Means request for a specific need.
of Jesus Christ – genitive of relation. The spirit which he made available, usage 2a, the
new birth. The spirit by Jesus Christ would be a genitive of relation or the spirit which
Jesus Christ made available is the essence of it.
supply – used of leading a chorus or supplying a chorus with all of it’s needs. Eph. 4:16,
following v. 15 “speaking the truth in love, may grow up”, is “From whom the whole
body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. . .”. That is
this word. You totally out-fit the chorus for whatever needs they have; or what makes the
body sing together; or what makes it harmonize. Each member working together, but the
supply is according to the effectual working in the measure of every part making increase
of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. But each member must speak the truth in
love for that supply to happen. Philippians says that supply is from the spirit. That is
where you get all the things supplied. Paul had a need to get deliverance from his bonds.
Their prayers and the supply from the spirit was going to be the cause of deliverance.
Not their good works, not the circumcision or uncircumcision, not any laws, not any good
deeds of any kind, but the supply of the spirit and their prayers. As you S.I.T. you make
intercession because it is the perfect prayer.
1 : 20 According to – sets the standard for bringing about the deliverance. If he were not
expecting that deliverance would he get it? NO. It would violate the law of believing.
earnest expectation – (Aram.) saki ; to expect, to lie in wait, to look for. (Grk.)
apokaradokia. Kara means head: a watching with the head erect; or outstretched as
from a look-out post; or when you wait in suspense. Apo, prefix, signifies the constancy
in that expecting or persistency of expectation. A concentrated intensity which ignores
other interests, in other words, the stayed mind. You ignore other things going on
because your mind is stayed on that thing you are expecting. The only other place this
word is used is Romans 8:19 where it says, “the creation earnestly expects the
manifestation of the sons of God”. Phil 3:13, the parallel section, Paul says “forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling”. He forgets the things behind
and reaches forth, stretching out with a stayed mind, an eager expectation. That is this
hope – the hope of the return. If you take your eyes off of that hope all other expectations
that you have for the move of the Word, your life, the ministry are going to fall by the
wayside. That is why the hope is so much a part of your eager expectations.
and in nothing I shall be ashamed – to be ashamed is to be disappointed in your
expectations. These are the feelings that attend the performance of a dishonorable deed.
When you do something that is not honorable you feel ashamed. You become disappointed
in your expectations.
boldness – (Grk.) means boldness of speech. Relates to speech. Eph. 6:19, 20 is same
root. You open your mouth with boldness of speech to make known the mystery of the
In Aramaic it is a phrase that means uncovered face , literally. Face (Aram.) ape – face or
presence where your face denotes your presence. When you use ape with different things it
changes the meaning because of their idiom. For example:
1. With a suffix on word, ape, it literally means our face, my face or your face.
Which means my presence before me, or your presence before you.
2. Beth on front of ape is in the face, in public, outwardly.
3. Daleth on ape is before or in the presence.
4. Lamed on front of ape is towards, to the face or about.
5. Words used in combination with ape:
luqval – before, in front of, in the sight of.
al – on the surface, on the face, in front of.
para – means door. So door of the face is the veil of the temple.
lachma – face food, bread of the face, shewbread.
yavsha – face of the dry land; shore.
masav – hypocrite. Means to take or receive. When you receive or accept the
face you are a respecter of persons, hence a hypocrite.
gla – boldness. Uncovered face or open face.
Literally, boldness is uncovered face, take the veil off.
body – put for his personal life. Figure of speech metonymy.
whether it be by life or by death – One author says it means totally, his entire existence is
aimed at one goal, whether in life or death. In other words, totally, completely, figure of
speech polar merismos - parts are enumerated that represent the whole. Polar merismos
is where the two extremes are given to represent the whole thing, life – death. This
represents his whole life.
Whatever he does is for Christ. Christ is magnified in his body, whether in life or death.
1 : 19 But I will also rejoice, for I know that this (proclamation of Christ) shall bring about
deliverance (from bonds) for me through your prayers (for my need) and the supply
which comes from the spirit (new birth) which Jesus Christ made available ,
1 : 20 according to my eager expectations and hope; so, I shall not be disappointed in my ex
pectations, but as it has always been, even so it is now, with all boldness of speech Christ
shall be magnified in my personal life, whether I live or die.
1 : 21 For to me. For takes the place of “to” in our literal. It’s for me not to me.
Are the Dead Alive Now?, p.31. the subject of this passage is the furtherance of the gospel in
v. 12. Some advance it out of envy, some out of love, but it still advances. Paul is thankful that
the Word of Christ is preached. In the verses we are considering, v. 12, 18, 25, 26, 27, that deal
with “die is gain”, the scripture is teaching the furtherance of the gospel. He is trying to build
the gospel in people’s lives. The truth of the gospel and it’s furtherance is set forth and taught
plainly in vs.13-18. As long as the furtherance of the gospel was for Christ’s sake it was
immaterial to Paul, whether it be by living outside prison or by his death in prison.
live – (Aram.) salvation or wholeness. His deliverance from bonds is life and to die is
gain. Both is gain, but they are Christ’s gain. Christ is going to be magnified in my
personal life no matter what happens. Figure of speech ellipsis: the first time it omits the
word “gain” and the second time it omits the word “Christ”.
gain – increase or profit. In Phil. 3:7, parallel section, it is gain to Paul.
1 : 22 this – refers to the work that I am doing, which is the furtherance of the gospel.
fruit of my labour - the furtherance of the gospel by preaching Christ
I wot – (Grk.) gnōrizō. On the surface in v. 21 it appears that Paul is in a dilemma as to
which choice to make. Translated sixteen times “to make known”, four times “to
declare”, one time “due to wit”, one time “certify”, one time “give to understand”, one
time “wot”. Clearly it means to make known. Paul did know what his choice was.
Context indicates that while Paul’s personal preference was in one direction, Paul’s
decision had to benefit others for Christ’s gain. He does not make it known though what
his choice is.
live in the flesh. Figure of speech metonymy. His personal life.
my labour – The work he is doing is the advancement of the gospel. Should emphasize
“my” because if he continues to live then the proclamation of the gospel is the fruit of
“my” labour. If he dies it would be the fruit of somebody else’s labour. Nevertheless,
the gospel will still continue to grow. Important to get it in the right context. If he dies it
would still continue to grow because of the foundation he set, he just would not be
personally involved in it. To the end he had instilled the greatness of the Word in their
hearts it would continue to grow and excel for a long time. If people gave up it wouldn’t
be Paul’s fault, but as long as he was alive he would be there to move them to keep
Psalms 116:15, “costly in the sight of God, is the death of one of His saints”. When an unbeliever
dies it doesn’t cost God anything, but when a believer dies that costs God something as
far as the work and furtherance of the gospel.
choose – See Heb. 11:25. Better to suffer in prison than to succumb to the Judeans who
said you have to do and teach something else. Got to put a little circumcision in with it.
Moses made a choice similar to this. Paul had to make a choice but he would not make
known what his choice was because it is none of your business. The martyrs went around
bragging how they were going to die for God.
1 : 23 Parenthetical. Figure of speech used as an addition to further explain the information
Therefore, v. 24 must read immediately after v. 22 for true sequence.
I am in a strait – (Grk.) sunechō twelve times. To be held in tightly or constrained. The
idea of compressing. Because of external situations Paul was constrained by reason of
three choices: 1) Christ’s gain, the furtherance of the gospel by his dying in prison;
2) Christ’s gain, the furtherance by his being out of prison with the believers (that’s what
the life represents); 3) Having a desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better
than the furtherance of the gospel in prison or out. It would be better to have Christ
return. Paul did not know whether to choose to live or to die, but he was faced with a
third alternative which was better, the return of Christ.
Paul concluded that it would be better for the believers for him to get out of prison, since the
parousia had not occurred.
depart – (Grk.) analuo. two times. Luke 12:36. “Return from the wedding.” Context is
the return of Christ for Israel and Philippians is the return of Christ for the Church. Both
used for the return of Christ. Analuo does not mean to depart from one place to another,
but to return to a place that was left earlier. This is the absolute meaning of the word
without any private interpretation.
1 : 24 to abide in the flesh – figure of speech metonymy. To stay alive.
1 : 21 For me to live (delivered from bonds) is Christ’s gain (advancement of the gospel), and if
I die (in prison) it is Christ’s gain (the gospel will still advance).
1 : 22 Yet, if I continue to live physically, this (advancement of the gospel) is the fruit of MY
labor (for which I am rewarded). I do not make known my personal preference,
1 : 23 (I am pressed between two (choices: dying in prison or living free from bonds) although I
have a great desire for the return and to be with Christ which is far, far better (than living
1 : 24 yet to stay alive is necessary for you.
1 : 25 abide and continue – synonyms. Continue is an intensified form of abide.
furtherance – word in v. 12, the increase. Aramaic reads for your own joy and the growth
of your own believing. If he is there he can continue to teach people.
1 : 26 rejoicing – boasting.
in Christ Jesus – fellowship
for me – can translate “in me”.
1 : 25 And I confidently know that I shall absolutely continue to remain with all of you for your
own joy and for the increase of your believing,
1 : 26 so that when I come to you again, your boasting in Christ Jesus in me may abound.
1 : 27 – 1 : 30 wrap up this section and lead into the next section saying there is a much better
way of doing it than divided out of envy and strife.
1 : 27 let your conversation – conduct yourselves as citizens. Very meaningful phrase to people
at Philippi. (Grk.) politeuō – to live as a citizen of a free state; to take an active part in
the affairs of state; or to exercise your citizenship.
In Roman Empire the free men were either citizens or strangers. Those in Italy and the colonies,
especially in the colonies with the Italic Right like Philippi, were called citizens. Rights and
privileges of citizens of Rome were highly treasured and guarded. At the time of Paul some of
the rights included: to vote; to hold public office; to own and transfer land; to protection from
torture and whipping; to judicial appeal. They were obligated to spend time in military if they
were called and, under certain circumstances, were obligated to hold public office. A duty
connected with citizenship was participation in affairs of the city and to uphold its laws.
becometh – worthy. (Grk.) axiōm. Used of that which is put on the opposite end of a
balance, a scale. Ephesians 4:1. So, exercise your citizenship balanced with the gospel
spirit – usage 6, spiritually.
one mind – soul.
striving together – athletic term. To contend together in the contest. (Grk.) sunathleō.
faith – family faith.
1 : 27 Only conduct yourselves as citizens worthy of the gospel of Christ, that, whether I come
and see you or I be absent from you, I will hear these things about you: that you are
standing firm spiritually with one soul, contending together (in the contest) for the family
faith pertaining to the gospel.
1 : 28 terrified – (Aram.) za – startled, shook, troubled. (Grk.) pturō – to frighten, to startle. If
you wanted to frighten someone in the east the custom was to spit. It was an insult.
Pturō used of timid horses. You are not excited by your opponents, which to them is
demonstration of perdition, but to you is salvation, wholeness.
1 : 29 suffer – means to be acted upon, to experience, whether its good or evil.
1 : 30 having the same conflict – athletic term. (Grk.) agōn.
1 : 28 And you should not be intimidated in any way by the antagonists. This is indeed a
demonstration of utter destruction to them but of wholeness to you. And this is from God
1 : 29 because it was given you in Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to experience
things on behalf of him,
1 : 30 having the same contest which you saw in me and now hear concerning me.
You’re in a contest. You have to have your life together. You can’t be frightened. Your op33
ponents don’t intimidate you. When you have that confidence in your fighting, you’re running.
That is a demonstration of destruction to them, but wholeness to you. It is from God because it
was given you in Christ. You have the potential spiritually, not only to believe but also to
experience things on behalf of him. You are fighting for him. Conduct yourselves as worthy of
your citizenship. So contend with like-mindedness. Speak the truth in love. Then it will move.