Commentary on Philippians, 1:26 (Being an Example to Follow)

“24 yet to remain in the flesh is more necessary on account of you.
“25 And having this confidence, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,
“26 that your exulting may abound in Christ Jesus in me on account of my presence with you again.”

“exulting”  (Gr. kauchema – 2745)

Exultation, boasting, rejoicing.

“abound”  (Gr. perisseuo – 4052)

To overflow, to surpass, to exceed a fixed number or measure, over and above.

The Philippian Christians would be able to overflow with exultation on account of Paul’s presence among them again. The focus of their exulting would be Jesus, for He is to receive the glory in all things.

I believe their exulting would be threefold: 1) God’s mercy and power in securing Paul’s release from prison, 2) Paul’s fellowship, 3) The spiritual progress they would receive through his teaching. This idea of teaching and spiritual progress links what Paul said in the previous verse: “I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith.”

In Paul, or because of Paul’s ministry in their lives, the Philippians grew in their relationship with Christ. Because of Paul’s close walk with Christ, because of where he was spiritually, and because of his understanding of the things of God, he was able to make a significant difference in their lives.

Paul’s example here has always been a personal challenge for me. It’s my desire that “in me,” others would be benefited spiritually. In order to have that type of influence on others, I myself must be walking on a high spiritual level, one that is above reproach and pleasing to the Lord.

Paul’s release from prison showed God’s favor toward him. When we can see God’s favor upon someone’s life, it gives us reason and encouragement to follow their ways and to honor what they teach. When someone has the type of relationship with God that Paul had, it makes one take notice. It secures the attention and respect of those around him. If we as Christians are not walking with God as we should, people won’t respect us, and they won’t want to hear what we have to say. That applies to both Christians and non-Christians alike. For someone to “exult in Christ Jesus” on account of us, they must be able to see Him in us.