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believer has been so jettisoned by modern Christianity, that many are only too glad to
seize on this verse to support their unscriptural views. It can be said with certainty that,
for the believer in the N.T. there is no way out of the grave except by resurrection,
whether it is as the consummation of his certain hope, or an out-resurrection, a special
one in connection with his prize. Those who do not believe this conveniently stress
Phil. 1: 23 and forget Phil. 3: 11 "if by any means I may attain to the out-resurrection,
out from among the dead" (literally). This was the Apostle's great desire in chapter 3:,
and it does not express an opposite sentiment to 1: 23. The two must and do blend
together. To consider departing and being with Christ, apart from his longing for this
unique resurrection, shows a biased mind.
This is not the place to give a detailed exposition of II Cor. 5:, but the reader should
ponder it carefully and prayerfully and he will then see that the last thing Paul wanted
was the death state--for that was like being naked. He rather longed for "his house from
heaven", the permanent dwelling of the resurrection body in contrast to the temporal tent
of the present mortal one. Without such a resurrection, believers who had died were
perished (I Cor. 15: 18) another verse which the wishful thinkers conveniently ignore.
As to the timing of either the believer's resurrection or out-resurrection, we do not go
into here, having already dealt with this point elsewhere. Far too much has been made of
the timing rather than the certainty of these resurrections, and this timing is invariably by
inference rather than from the clear teaching of Scripture. As far as the experience of the
believer goes in these matters, it will be "death and sudden glory" for those who have
"fallen asleep in Christ". There is certainly no legitimate ground here for violent
disagreement or faction, and in these intensely dark and difficult days we need to take
heed and not allow the enemy to come in as the divider of the brethren, and so nullify the
Divine unities of Eph. 4: and the practical unity in service brought forward in
Coming back to the context of Phil. 1: 24, we have noted that the Apostle Paul put
any private desires of his own on one side, and considered the needs of his loyal
supporters at Philippi:
"And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, yea, and abide with you all, for
your progress and joy in the faith" (1: 25 R.V.).
Not only this, but he felt confident that he would be released from his prison, and be in
a position to visit them again (26). This would give them much joy. The A.V "rejoicing"
is too mild. Kauchema is really "glorying" (as R.V.), or better, exultation. What a rich
answer this would be to their prayers for the Apostle, and how it would thrill their hearts
to see him again in the flesh and share with him the spiritual riches in Christ!
Verse 27 commences a section of exhortation and example, and no notice should be
taken of the chapter break, for this section goes on to 2: 18.
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . . ." (1: 27 R.V.).