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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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

3 thoughts on “Philippian Bits – 1:20

  1. Hi there, thanks for the follow!

    I read your devotion on Philippians 1:20 and wanted to say that I appreciate your effort to unpack the Scripture honestly and accurately.

    I think you’re right: the church today doesn’t deal well with the topic of shame. I have a hunch that, with this word, Paul is reminding his readers, and us, where our real approval must come from.

    In a nutshell, my approval comes from God, not from the world. When we allow ourselves to be ashamed of the things of God, we effectively seek approval from sinful things, the things of the world. This means we find our identity, value, and worth from things that do not have any ultimate meaning or lasting permanence.

    That’s why Paul says “I am not ashamed of the gospel” in Romans 1:17-18. For, in the Gospel, we have ultimate approval. That’s also why Jesus says we must not be “ashamed” of him, or he will be “ashamed” of us in the Judgment (see Matt 10:32-33).

    Thanks again for checking out my writing.



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