Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 2
Like all the first Christian leaders, Paul carried out the most extraordinary efforts as he declared the gospel (the good news about Christ) – see 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. So, Paul reminds his readers that he did not do these things without a clear and definite purpose. He compares himself to a runner in a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). That runner runs for only one purpose: he wants to win the prize. If he fails to do that, he has run in vain.
Paul’s purpose when he declared the gospel was not merely to talk about religion. He was not trying to make himself popular or important. Rather, God sent him to declare that message so that people in many different countries would put their trust in Christ (Galatians 1:15-16, 2:2 and 2:7-9). That was the reason why Paul worked so hard for God.
However, when people trusted Christ, that was only the beginning of God’s work in their lives (1:6). It was necessary for those people to continue and to become strong in their relationship with God. A seed needs to grow into a strong plant that produces a harvest – otherwise, that seed achieves nothing by its life (Mark 4:1-20). So Christians need constantly to stand for the gospel, the word or message by which God gave life to their spirits (John 4:14). They should not hide it in themselves; instead, they should use it to help other people as God gives them the opportunity (Matthew 25:14-30). If Philippi’s Christians did that, then Paul did not declare God’s message among them in vain. Rather, God’s word achieved the purpose for which God sent it to them (Psalm 107:20; Isaiah 55:10-11).
Next part: Paul's life, as a 'drink-offering' (Philippians 2:17)
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© 2020, Keith Simons.