(Vs.14,15.) In the preceding verses Paul exhorts to us Christian unity, sincere love, humility and care, and concern for the needs and welfare of others. All good things which accompany salvation (whether civil, moral, or spiritual), no matter how disagreeable to our flesh, are to be done without murmuring against the will of God or disputing among ourselves.
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God," in the sight of men, not in the sight of God. In Christ we are blameless before God. In Christ we are sons of God. Paul is saym8 that our attitude, conversation and conduct before our brethren and the wicked of this world should be such that they cannot charge us with hypocrisy and insincerity. We are to be lights and examples to those about us, "that they may see our good works and glorify our Father" (Matt. 5:16). In short, let us speak and live as sons of God ought (Rom. 12:1,2).
(Vs. 16.) "Holding out and offering to men the word of life," the gospel of our Lord Jesus (1 Tim. 4:16; Titus 2:10). If these two things are present in and among you, then I have not laboured in vain and I will be able to rejoice with you in the day of glory. Your conduct and character reveal that you are one with Christ (sons of God) and that you are burdened and concerned that others come to know the Lord Jesus. Love for Christ and love for others will constrain us to please him and to evangelize them! (Matt. 22:36-40; Gal. 5:14).
(Vs. 17,18.) Paul had been the means God used to bring the Philippian believers to Christ. He also believed that he would be killed for preaching the gospel; thus he says, "Do not be sorrowful when you hear of my death and the pouring out of my blood for the sake of the gospel; but rejoice with me, for I am ready not only to be bound but to die for Christ's sake" (Acts 21:13; 5:41).
(Vs. 19.) Paul wished to send Timothy to visit the church (and preach to them) that he might know of their general spiritual welfare, how the gospel stood with them, how they kept the ordinances, how their ministers preached, etc. Notice how Paul proposes this: "I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy." Even the apostle Paul subjected his intentions, desires and plans to the will of our Lord! (Rom. 8:26: James 4:13-15).
(Vs. 20, 21.) This is a serious charge, but unfortunately true. Not all ministers are genuinely interested in the glory of Christ and the good of their congregations. Rather, they seek to advance their own interests. Timothy had a heart and soul like Paul's! He preached the gospel of God's glory and grace. He sought not his own comfort and praise, but he cared for the spiritual welfare of the people (Ezek. 34:1-6).
(Vs. 22-24.) "You know Timothy's value and worth. He was with me when I preached to you at the first. He was as a son to me in the labours of the Lord. I trust that I shall also be able to visit you." Our Lord uses his ministers to teach, set in order and lead his church. We are not to despise our true spiritual leaders, but to respect and follow them as they follow Christ (Eph. 4:10-16; Phil. 2:29).
(Vs. 25-30.) Meanwhile, before Paul or Timothy could come to preach and minister to them, Epaphroditus, one of their own ministers, would return to them. He had been sent to Rome with presents from them to Paul. While at Rome (or on the journey to Rome), he became ill and was at the point of death. Believers have natural bodies and are subject to illness the same as all men, but God had compassion on him and healed him (James 5:15,16).