No. 2


There are two words that are of importance in studying Philippians, viz., "perfection" and "perdition." The latter word is rendered "destruction" in Phil. 3:19, "perdition" in Heb. 10:39, and "waste" in Matt. 26:8.

The atmosphere of Philippians is that of the arena; a prize is in view, which is specially associated with "the out resurrection" (Phil. 3:11). Four examples are given to encourage the believer to stay the course. First that of the Lord Himself (Phil. 2:5-11), then that of the Apostle (Phil. 3:4-10). In these examples, the death of the cross is indicated as the deepest depth to which it is possible to descend, followed, however, in each case by a most wonderful exaltation and glory. The two examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus indicate the spirit that must characterize all who would run this race, and suggest that where these things are lacking, small hope can be entertained of attaining the prize.

We sought to avoid the actual use of a cross in the Chart, but found it impossible. We trust that no one will be offended by this symbol, for the cross is essential to the crown. The Apostle, in 1 Cor. 9:24-27, supplies us with a full commentary upon the nature of a prize, and gives examples from Israel's history (as he does also in Heb. 3) to enforce the fact that all who are redeemed do not necessarily attain the prize.

The festoons that appear in the Chart are not for mere ornament, but are intended to suggest that the prize of the high calling is vitally linked with the teaching given under the various headings. It is not a matter of qualifying for salvation or for membership of the one body-that is all of grace, and can neither be won nor lost. Philippians is addressed to those who have believed, and urges them to "work out" the salvation which is theirs. They are assured that as they do so, it is God's good pleasure to "work in" all needed grace and strength.

For detailed exposition, the reader should consult the articles in Volumes VI. to XI. of The Berean Expositor on "The Hope and the Prize," or the book, "The Testimony of the Lord's Prisoner."


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