• “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;  yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,”-{Phil 1:23-25}

The word “Depart” was used of an army “to break up camp,” by pulling up the tent- pegs of a tent so they could begin their march. Death is pulling up the pegs of the tent for us to change location and be “be with Christ!” The word was also used of a ship that was tied to a dock with ropes, or anchored. When the ropes were untied, “loosed,unloose,” or the anchor pulled up the ship was free to set sail and fulfill its purpose. So when death comes it releases us to set sail to eternity to “be with Christ!” It was also a political term to set a prisoner free! Death will set us free from the weakness of these bodies to be with Him and have a new body and “be with Him!” The word was also used of farmers who unyoked and animal when their work was done. Don’y you love this,. When God has determined our work has done for Him, we lay down the burdens and go “be with Christ!” Paul’s “Desire” was to “Depart” and be with Christ and he was caught in between that “desire” and his desire to remain and be a help to others! What a beautiful picture of his heart from a difficult place where he was imprisoned, “shut in” but his heart’s desire was to “be with Christ,” but also his desire to Serve and benefit OTHERS for their spiritual growth!

The word “BETTER” means The highest rank. We often use words such as “good, better, the best” to describe the ascension of something. So here, the words speaks of that which is better than all else. It is THE Best, the Most Prominent, Superior…- to Be WITH The Lord Jesus Christ!

1- This is the Christian’s – DESIRE ” To Depart,”

2- This is the Christian’s– DESTINATION– “To Be WITH Christ.”

3- This is The Christian’s – DILEMMA– “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary FOR YOU that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue wit!h all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,”-{Phil 1:23-25}… he was OTHERS conscious and even in the hard and difficult place he found himself in, his concern was OTHERS…

 4- This Is The Christian’s – DEPOSIT – Their Life spent on and for Others Spiritual Growth.  “It is more Vital for YOUR SAKE That I Remain in the body…For YOUR Progress of Joy In The Faith.”


 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor: “- {v 22.} Paul was confident that God had a purpose for him, and that it was he may be Spiritual FRUITFUL. Not just living out his days and of no spiritual use to others, to be spiritually barren, but to be Fruitful. To be producing something of eternal value! Paul was convinced that if God wanted him to live, it would be that he be fruitful. Life was not about finding a “rocking chair” on the porch and seeing out your days, in retirement, tired and waiting for the sunset upon his life to come down and head off into that sunset. Not so, Paul had purpose for his life because God had purpose for him as he does for…you, me. There is no retirement in God’s economy, as long as you are breathing. You may retire from a physical job, but nor from God’s job as his Ambassador. God has purpose for you. Purpose that Paul continue laboring, and that not in vain, but to be fruitful, in his investing into the lives of these dear believers!  Paul says if he is to continue on living in this world, that he does so with purpose and is fruitful in his labor for the LORD.

What is spiritual fruit? Spiritual RESULTS!

And note it comes forth, he says, “from my LABOR!” It comes forth from his hard work! He worked at investing into the lives of others and as a result expected spiritual results! And God would see his labor would produce such! Paul now gives the PURPOSE for his remaining; “…continue with” (sumparameno–remain alongside to help)  for their spiritual growth in their joy and faith! He has a specific goal, and he writes to them to reveal what it is, he is “here for you,” but with specific Purpose- your progress in your JOY and FAITH. As they grow in their faith despite the opposition and resistance they will encounter, so they will grow in their Joy!

THINK- Do You have a specific PURPOSE you are seeking to Impart to other believers?

When you get together or communicate with them is it that having heard from you, watched you, received from you as Paul refers to in Philippians 4:9, that they may learn and grow in their joy and faith? Growing in their dependence, devotion and delight in the LORD!

Most of us don’t THINK like this, we tend to drift along with no PURPOSE when it comes to others and often settle for chicken dinner as “fellowship” and miss out imparting into each others life that which will mutually encourage in the progress of Christian faith and increasing joy as they seek to live out their lives in the midst of resistance, and at time hostilities! BE INTENTIONAL in  your Living! 

For many of us we are taken up with “guidance,” and for many that means, where we live, who we should live with, what we should work at, which school to go to etc, and we give great energy, at times anxiety over trying to figure out “the will of God.” While these are important, they are secondary in regards, it is more important that where we are, and who we are with, that we are seeking to fulfill what God would have us to be. At times we often place greater emphasis on trying to find out where we should be, rather than being who we should be to those whom we are with! It is important that we must ask Him to guide us into that which would please Him in these areas of location but don’t miss out on our vocation in serving others for His sake in the circumstances we PRESENTLY find ourselves in! His Word reveals to us what we should be concentrating on, as our vocation, in this case as with Paul that we would labor for to help other believers in their progress of  faith and joy! 

How are you coming alongside others to strengthen them in their faith and  seeking to increase their reasons for delighting in the Lord?


He communicated how? He was “shut in” but not “shut out.” He communicated how he felt by WRITING A LETTER. With all the social media in our world today we can communicate to those whom we are separated from by miles or otherwise, within seconds! Paul in chapter 4 verse 1 writes and conveys what he thinks of them, he calls them his “JOY and crown.” Twice he calls them  “Beloved.” He was not afraid to let them know what they meant to him. Why is it we often have to wait until someone dies before we stop and speak well of them? Paul also conveys his THANKS TO GOD for their “partnership in the Gospel” and for the sacrificial Gift they imparted to him {1:3-5;} He also writes, “…Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;  for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”-{4:14-20}

Paul CONVEYS through COMMUNICATING through a Letter; He didn’t wait until he got out of prison. Often we want our circumstances to change and “THEN” WE WILL DO SOMETHING. BUT WHAT IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT CHANGE? “Then” what? PAUL SAID HIS CIRCUMSTANCES HAD WORKED OUT TO ADVANCE THE GOSPEL IN 1:12 AND this he did through evangelizing v 13 and encouraging the believers to speak the Word of God without fear and it says this they did, because of his imprisonment. v 14. He being in that place and strengthened others and he also reached out to those beyond his circumstances through COMMUNICATING THROUGH A LETTER!

He Communicated to them;

* Through PRAYER -He SPECIFICALLY reveals  what he is THANKFUL to God for in lives and he begins with their Fellowship In The Gospel and Prayer for their Spiritual growth- Phil 1:9-11

* Through Revealing What they meant to him and his Affection for them and what they meant to him- 4:1-2

* Through Gently corrected them and asked they would reconcile the conflict- 4:3

* Through revealing Attributes of God to them. Aspects of His character to them. 1:8;2:9-11;4:23

* Through reminding them of His Promises– Phil 3:20;4:13,19

If you do a study and count how many verses there is in total in the book of Philippians and then read each chapter underlining what it says about the LORD you will see there are more  references to Him than verses! Paul is God intoxicated, and wants to bathe them with truth about Him. Indeed Paul reveals his master passion was “to know Him” better- 3:8,10.

You can do likewise. Communicate specifically what you are THANKING God for when you pray for them.

Share SPECIFICALLY what they mean to you.

Share Specifically some Truth about The LORD.

Share Gently, lovingly when correction is needed.

Share SPECIFICALLY  His Promises.

SHARE YOUR LIFE and PURPOSE to LIVE for Their well being in Progressing in Their faith and JOY!

BE INTENTIONAL…BE SPECIFIC! Paul did not wait until his circumstances changed but in his circumstances REACHED OUT, COMMUNICATED for the Spiritual well being of…OTHERS! What are you waiting for?

So…Until we “DEPART’- let us seek BY His power and Grace to FOCUS OUTWARD for OTHERS Benefit, and in the context for the BELIEVERS “…PROGRESS… AND JOY… IN THE FAITH.” That is truly Living, He looked out for their spiritual growth in the faith.


The word “PROGRESS” is also mentioned in verse 12 and it spoke of “pioneers” it was used of “wood choppers” who went ahead of an advancing army and cut through forests, and removed hindrances so the army could advance unhindered, not needing to slow down because a road  had been made by these men who went before them. Going forward and encountering Resistance. The Word was used of “wood choppers” who went ahead of the army to chop away a path way through woods etc so that the army who came behind would not have to slow down but could march on unhindered to their intended destination. Paul is saying that he would remain so that the believers could advance and grow in their faith, in their Gospel thinking, character and conduct under his ministry and this against obstacles that they would encounter from a world system opposed to Jesus Christ and also those within whom Paul mentions who were envious. Also they would have to face obstacles of their own flesh, the resistance that self in its various forms manifests such as fractured relationships which Paul speaks of in chapter 4. Anxiety also and wrong thinking which he shows how to change in 4:8… and new patterns to practice as a result of Godly Thinking- v9.

The Gospel would be opposed and its teaching, this is part of what they would encounter as will you, when you set out to follow Him. The world, the flesh and the devil, your opponents who will seek to hinder, resist, oppose. Paul wanted to impart his life, teaching{4:9} so that they may spiritually mature in their faith. And though they would encounter opposition, their progress always comes with a price  they can be assured they can advance in their faith and as they do so they will progress, advance with Joy.

Real progress in the faith is accompanied by genuine Joy, that inner gladness of heart, that deep down residing in the heart that all is well between you and the Savior. It is a satisfaction, delight that is not dependent on favorable circumstances, but independent of them and a result of His imparting His joy. Jesus said, “…I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.” His Joy also  strengthens you, – {Read John 16:22; Neh 8:10}. In the book of Philippians he mentions the words “joy, rejoice” throughout and gives reasons for that inner delight for the believer even in the tough place! {A good study for you is read and underline in each chapter joy, rejoice and make a list to see reasons he found joy in and use them as a list for you to Thank Him and rejoice in Him for!}

“… Are you serving for the progress and joy of others (v. 25)? Hanson points out that the words progress and joy are united by the same preposition and are both modified by the phrase “in the faith” (Letter, 91).

He adds, “Real progress in the faith will result in genuine joy in the faith” (ibid.).

In other words, these two go together: progress in the faith and joy in the faith (cf. Rom 15:13).

This is why Paul wants to stay on planet earth: so people can grow in their faith and grow in their joy.

He says something similar to the Corinthians: “I do not mean that we have control of your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand by faith.” (2 Cor 1:24) What a wonderful way to think about ministry: striving so that others may rejoice in all that is theirs in Christ. Can you identify with this mission? Do you think about living daily for the benefit of others’ progress and for the increase of their joy? This is another way we make much of Jesus. (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary – Exalting Jesus in Philippians) “-{Preceptaustin commentaries}

If You are still this side of “DEPARTING…” then SEEK to SPEND YOUR Life…DEPOSITING INTO OTHERS FOR their benefit. “…FOR THEIR PROGRESS of Joy In Their Faith..,” Whatever your place, be it pleasant or difficult… As Paul shares, You too, Do Have Purpose to Live On...to Benefit The Spiritual Well- being and Growth of OTHERS.

THINK About  what you are Seeking To DEPOSIT your Life into and to Gain from it. Is it Things or People, and to what end?” Deposit Your Life into Others, as in this context for Paul,

It was for the “progress,” which speaks of going forward against resistance at times for the spiritual growth of others walk of faith with the LORD and that their Joy, inner gladness, delight would increase in their journey. Deposit your life, why? “…For Jesus Sake!” {Read 2 Cor 4:5}

Paul was writing to others from a hard place, a difficult place, a confining place, “Shut In, But Not Shut Out” about expressing his love and concern for…OTHERS… His was the… UPWARD LOOK and as a Result,The…OUTWARD LOOK-  his genuine concern for Others! We all have one life to live. We all have something to share to help others in their walk. Keep Depositing your Life into Others, For Jesus sake!  Keep Denying yourself to Prefer others for their spiritual growth and joy in their faith! Good Job, Keep Going, HE is worth it!

 Until He Sends for you and death comes BE Deliberate, Investing your life for the spiritual development of fellow believers, for their joy in the faith and laboring to that end- In His Kingdom service. for His SAKE! – {Read 2 Cor 4:5}

 You have a Life, Now Continue to Live life to spiritually  benefit others for Jesus sake!