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Philippians 1:8 – God is my witness

07-12-2022 - Posted by Hans

For God is my Witness how I am longing for you all in the compassions of Christ Jesus.

Paul’s association with the Philippians was not based on carnal connections. On the contrary. Many of the believers to whom he addresses were uncircumcised according to the flesh. They were part of the nations and not in a covenant relationship with God. But that had become irrelevant to Paul—he was reckoning from the rule of the new creation (Gal.6:15,16). The unity Paul cherished was based on their participation in the Gospel of God’s grace (1:5,7).

How could Paul convince his readers of the reality of his great desire for his readers, other than calling on God as a witness? For only He knew that Paul was not exaggerating.

The “compassions” spoken of here literally refer in Greek to the “guts” (the same word as in Acts 1:18). The entrails are regarded in scripture as the seat of feelings. A very obvious association. Because don’t we also associate feelings with that? The stomach turns. The breath is taken. The heart beats faster.  In short, we experience feelings very physically. Even with Christ Jesus, the resurrected one, that is the case!