The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 39 of 211
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pp. 61, 62
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 diagram, 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 I 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 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 detail exposition, the reader should consult the articles in Volumes VI to XI on
"The Hope and the Prize", or the book, "The Testimony of the Lord's Prisoner".