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Philippians 1:7 – Participants of grace

07-12-2022 - Posted by Hans

According as it is just for me to be disposed in this way over you all, because you, having me in heart, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the evangel, you all are joint participants with me of grace

It is usually thought that Paul wrote this when he was imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28:30) or possibly the two previous years in Caesarea (Acts 24:27). In any case, from the beginning of Paul’s preaching to the Philippians, there had been a warm relationship between them (1:5).

It was only natural for Paul to be affectionate with the Philippians because they all carried him in their hearts constantly. They were his “participants of grace.” They actively supported Paul in his imprisonment, but also in his defense and affirmation of the Gospel.

From the Greek word for ‘accountability’ (= apologia) our word ‘apologetics’ is derived. It indicates the ability to parry attacks and provide evidence. Thus, Paul has answered himself before the Jews in Jerusalem and before the court in Caesarea (Acts 22:1; 25:16). He considered it a privilege (grace!) to do this, and the Philippians shared in Paul’s struggle. They stood firm for what Paul was putting forth. It still comes down to that!