Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:20

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:20   as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

From the previous verse Paul stated he expected deliverance. He now speaks of his expectations and hope of not being ashamed. Might the deliverance Paul speaks of in the previous verse be a deliverance from shame?

The next phrase seems to clear up the issue of Paul’s expectation of physical deliverance, since he is suggesting this deliverance may be accomplished by death.

Paul seeks to honor Christ in his body.

If I am reading this passage correctly, he is more concerned of experiencing shame than death. This is enlightening to me, since shame is not a topic we speak of in the modern church to often. Shame and courage are directly linked in this verse, and associated with the Messiah. To be courageous is to relegate shame to the rear. We all have areas of our lives that we have experienced shame, those times when we performed deeds we want no one to know of. Yet the Lord knows and forgives.

Paul is looking to avoid the need for forgiveness, through faith and courage. As death approaches Paul, he resolved to look to the Master for his strength.


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