Chained Paul might be, this joyful prisoner of the Lord never wrote more warmly nor more wisely than in this letter to his friends in Philippi. Yet the apostle is not blind to faults, even of loyal brethren for whom he has a special affection. Evidently there was some dissension in this lively Christian community, due to personal jealousies and animosities. Unfortunately, the same can be just as true today. The Gospel is still at times preached from motives of selfish ambition and rivalry. All of us are still inclined to look after our own interests only. And fine Christian workers are still quarreling. This letter serves as a firm word of warning and a guide for right living.
“ ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.’” (Page 120)
“That kind of advice is seldom helpful. Instead he issues them with three difficult commands. First he commands them to be full of joy at all times; secondly, they are to be full of gentleness; and finally, they are to be full of prayer.” (Page 155)
“Christ took hold of him. The expression also implies that the Lord held on to him with a very firm grip. In fact, that grip was so strong that nothing was ever able to make Christ let go.” (Page 131)
“Faith in religious upbringing, valuable as such an upbringing is, cannot save us. Faith in religious ceremonies, helpful as they can be, can never earn us eternal life. Faith in good works, important as they are, cannot open up the way into heaven for us. It is only as we put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, and as we seek him, that we can be granted that gift of God’s righteousness.” (Page 125)
“They worship what gives them satisfaction. There are people like that today. Those who go to church to be noticed, or in the hope of receiving something that makes them feel good, are in some ways like these people.” (Page 141)
Commentaries. . . can be of great value. . . Most of all we need the help of those whose work is to feed, guard, and care for God's people week by week. Michael Bentley is just such an experienced pastor and teacher.
—R.C. Lucas, Rector of St. Helen's Bishopsgate, London
Once again, Michael Bentley displays his rare gift for communicating deep truths both clearly and simply. Easily accessible to the young believer, this commentary nevertheless contains insights that may well surprise and delight the busy pastor. Michael's relaxed, street-level style should not deceive us! This volume would make a seriously useful addition to any Christian's bookshelf.
—Jonathan Stephen, President-elect, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches