| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 47 - Page 114 of 185 Index | Zoom | |
name--"Syzygos (comrade), truly so called", but no trace of such a name has been found
Clement is the name of a believer in the Philippian assembly otherwise unknown.
Some have tried to identify him with Clement, the bishop of Rome, but this is an unlikely
conjecture. The name was common in the first century and would be familiar in a Roman
colony like Philippi.
It is better not to guess, and one thing is sure--even though we do not know his name,
he was certainly not forgotten by the Lord, for his record was in the "book of life".
God's record in a `book' occurs in the Old Testament as well as the New (Exod.xxxii.32;
Psa. 69: 28; 139: 16) and in Luke 10: 20 the Lord bids His followers to `rejoice,
because your names are written in heaven'. The Revelation has a lot to say concerning
the record contained in `books'. Biblion occurs 19 times; and biblos five times in
connection with the `book of life'. The important thing to realize is though men forget
Christian virtues and service, God never does. He takes note and will praise and reward
at the last all that has been faithfully accomplished with His glory in view.
Paul now sounds a stirring note:
"Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, rejoice" (4: 4 R.V.).
Earlier on we noted that, in spite of the suffering and conflict, real and abiding joy was
possible. It is important to note that the ground of the believer's rejoicing is the Lord not
circumstances. These may indeed be adverse and perplexing, but the Saviour, Who is the
`same yesterday, today and for ever' is the solid Rock on which we can always rely and
in Whom we can constantly rejoice.
The Apostle now appeals for `moderation' or `forbearance' (verse 5 R.V.). It is not
easy to find an English equivalent for epieikes. Kindliness, thoughtfulness for others,
graciousness, yieldingness, are some of the shades of meaning it contains. 100: H. Welch
puts it beautifully when he says `grace alone can enable the believer to exhibit at the
same time inflexible tenacity, infinite gentleness, incorruptible loyalty, and a willingness
to yield to every legitimate claim made by others" (The Prize of the High Calling, p.183).
"The Lord is near." This is another reason given to show forth this Christian grace.
Some expositors read this as though it said `the Lord's coming is near', but parousia does
not occur in the context, nor is there any need to supply it. Psa. 145: 18 declares that
`the Lord is near to all them that call upon Him' and this has been always a consoling
truth. He is always near at hand to guide, strengthen, encourage and bless. Paul
"In nothing be anxious; but everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all
understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus" (4: 6, 7 R.V.).
Merimnao is translated in the A.V. `take thought" with the future in view six times in
Matt. 6: and is misleading, for wise provision for the future is right (I Tim. 5: 8). It is