"To remain in the flesh is more needful for you..."
Text: Philippians 1:24
A HEART-WARMING CHOICE
The apostle was dearly loved by the Philippian Church. One of the reasons why they loved him may well be found in the following text.
“Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain
and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.”
a) It is a simple particle that may even be translated as “but”.
b) Paul had made his choice (if he had been given one).
i) He would have preferred to depart and be with the Lord Jesus forever.
ii) But he chose otherwise.
2. “To remain in the flesh is more needful for you”
a) Paul cared about the needs of the Philippians.
b) If it was more necessary (“needful”) for him to remain alive to help meet their needs, he would make that choice!
3. “Being confident of this”
a) The first time Paul used this word was in Philippians 1:6.
b) This was now the second time he wrote about being confident about being sure.
4. “I know that I shall remain and continue with you all”
a) The word “remain” is a simple word (Greek “meno”).
b) This word is sometimes translated “abide” (Abide in Me…John 15:4).
c) The word “continue” is a compound word (Greek “parameno”).
d) Paul expressed confidence that he would surely remain with the Philippians (this is the meaning behind the word “continue”).
5. “For your progress and joy of faith”
a) The word “progress” has the idea of “furtherance” or “advancement”.
b) He also desired to see the Philippians find joy in their faith.
c) These were good and noble goals Paul desired for the Philippians.
Paul’s expression of his choice to remain in the flesh must have deeply endeared himself to the Philippians. This was truly a beautiful expression of “the affection of Jesus Christ”.