Magnifying Christ Always
Category : General
Philippians 1: 20 (KJV)
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
The expression ‘earnest expectation’ found only here and in Romans 8:19. It means the waiting with the head raised, and the eye fixed on that point of the horizon from which the expected object is to come. What a plastic representation! An artist might make a statue of hope out of this Greek term. The earnest desire and hope which Paul had was not, primarily, that he might be released; but it was that, in all circumstances, he might be able to honor the gospel, living or dying. To that he looked as a much more important matter than to save his life. Life with him was the secondary consideration; the main thing was, to stand up everywhere as the advocate of the gospel, to maintain its truth, and to exhibit its spirit.
The great truth evident in this verse was concisely stated by Boice: “Christ must be magnified in the bodies of those who believe in him, or he will not be magnified at all. God is not magnified in political movements, earthly cathedrals, temples or church houses, but in the bodies of Christians. “Ye are the temple of the Holy Spirit?’ God did not dwell even in the temple of Solomon (Acts 7:47,48). “Solomon in the prayer of dedication acknowledged that heaven and earth could not contain God, much less a building he had constructed. As Boice stressed: “Throughout history this truth has been perverted over and over. Men have often made the mistake of identifying the hand of God with the development of Reformation churches, the cause of democracy, the movement for prohibition, pacifism, or even rights. But God is not magnified in these … God’s hand is seen only in the lives of men who honor God.”
We see that, in cherishing hope, he does not give indulgence to carnal desires, but places his hope in subjection to the promise of God. “Christ,” says he, “will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.” By making express mention, however, of the body, he intimates that, amongst the conflicts of the present life, he is in no degree doubtful as to the issue, for we are assured as to this by God. If, accordingly, giving ourselves up to the good pleasure of God, and having in our life the same object in view as Paul had, we expect, in whatever way it may be, a prosperous issue, we shall no longer have occasion to fear lest any adversity should befall us; for if we live and die to him, we are his in life and in death. (Romans 14:8.) let us notice that he expresses the way in which Christ will be magnified — by full assurance.
In this passage the whole idea is of Christ in him; hence his body is spoken of as simply the tabernacle of the indwelling presence of Christ, and devoted only to “magnify” Him. He had the most confident expectation that God would stand by him, so that he should be enabled, with the utmost liberty of speech, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God; and, should he have the liberty of doing so, he was utterly regardless what the issue might be relative to himself. Whether life or death, was to him perfectly equal, and perfectly indifferent, providing Christ were magnified – his person, nature, doctrine, etc., shown to be, what they really are, most noble, most excellent, most necessary, and most glorious.
Have a Great and God filled Day