Focusing on Expectations
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (3:20–21)
The underlying motivation for pursuing Christlikeness is the hope of the return of Jesus Christ. Since Christ is in heaven, those who love Him must be preoccupied with heaven, longing for Christ to return and take them to be with Him (1 Thess. 4:17).
Paul had little interest in the comforts and pleasures of this world, as the following passages indicate:
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. (2 Cor. 4:8–10)
In everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. (2 Cor. 6:4–10)
Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? (2 Cor. 11:23–29)
This view led him to the conviction that made him write, “I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (1:23).
It is consistent for believers to have a heavenly focus, because our citizenship is in heaven. Politeuma (citizenship) appears only here in the New Testament, though Paul used the related verb in 1:27. It refers to the place where one has official status, the commonwealth where one’s name is recorded on the register of citizens. Though believers live in this world, they are citizens of heaven. They are members of Christ’s kingdom, which is not of this world (John 18:36). Their names are recorded in heaven (Luke 10:20; cf. Phil. 4:3; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 13:8; 21:27); their Savior is there (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16); their fellow saints are there (Heb. 12:23); their inheritance is there (1 Peter 1:4); their reward is there (Matt. 5:12); and their treasure is there (Matt. 6:20).
Though they do not yet live in heaven, believers live in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6); they experience to some degree the heavenly life here on earth. They have the life of God within them, are under the rule of heaven’s King, and live for heaven’s cause.
Paul’s reference to citizenship may have been especially meaningful to the Philippians, since Philippi was a Roman colony. The Philippians were Roman citizens, though obviously living outside of Rome, just as believers are citizens of heaven living on earth.
It is from heaven that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. To the disciples who watched as Christ ascended into heaven the angels said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). In John 14:2–3 Jesus Himself promised, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Because of those promises, believers are to be “awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7), and “to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come” (1 Thess. 1:10). Until He returns, believers “groan within [themselves], waiting eagerly for [their] adoption as sons, the redemption of [the] body” (Rom. 8:23).
The hope of Christ’s return provides believers with motivation, accountability, and security. In this promise there is positive motivation to be found faithful when He returns to reward believers; to be accountable to God for living lives that produce gold, silver, and precious stones instead of wood, hay, and straw (1 Cor. 3:12). There is a corresponding negative reality, as John wrote: “Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward” (2 John 8). Finally, the promise of Christ’s return provides security, since Jesus promised, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:39–40).
Believers are not to wait for Christ’s return with attitudes of passive resignation or bored disinterest. Instead, they are to eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers are not waiting for an event but a Person. Apekdechomai (eagerly wait) is often used to speak of waiting for Christ’s second coming (e.g., Rom. 8:19, 23, 25; 1 Cor. 1:7; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 9:28). It describes not only eagerness, but also patience.
As noted above, Christ’s return marks the end of believers’ struggling pursuit of the elusive prize of holy perfection, for it is then that He will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory. It is then that the eagerly awaited redemption of the body will take place (Rom. 8:23). It is “when He appears [that] we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). Until then, the new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) is incarcerated in the unredeemed humanness (“the body of this death”; Rom. 7:24) from which it longs to be liberated.
For believers who die before Christ’s return, death means the temporary separation of the spirit from the body. The body goes into the grave, while the spirit goes immediately into the presence of God (1:21, 23; 2 Cor. 5:6, 8). Heaven is currently occupied by “the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (Heb. 12:23). Those believers who live from Pentecost to the Rapture will have their spirits joined to their resurrection bodies at the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:15–17). The Old Testament believers and those saved during the Tribulation will receive their resurrection bodies at Christ’s second coming (Dan. 12:2; Rev. 20:4).
Christ will totally transform the bodies of all believers, each group at its appointed time (cf. 1 Cor. 15:22–23), to make them fit for heaven. Believers’ bodies will have a new schematic; they will be refashioned and redesigned. Christ will change the present body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory. Like Christ’s resurrection body, believers’ resurrected bodies will be recognizable. They will be able to eat, talk, and walk, but will not have the physical restrictions of our present bodies. After His resurrection Christ appeared and disappeared at will, even entering a room whose doors were locked (John 20:19). Paul gives the most detailed description of believers’ resurrection bodies in 1 Corinthians 15:35–49:
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
The combination of a redeemed spirit and a glorified body will enable all believers to perfectly manifest the glory of God. Sin, weakness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, suffering, doubt, fear, temptation, hate, and failure will give way to perfect joy (Matt. 25:21), pleasure (Ps. 16:11), knowledge (1 Cor. 13:12), comfort (Luke 16:25), and love (1 Cor. 13:13).
Salvation involves far more than mere deliverance from hell. God’s ultimate goal in redeeming believers is to transform their bodies into conformity with the body of His glory. They will “become conformed [summorphos; the same word translated conformity in v. 21] to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29; cf. 1 John 3:2). “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:49).
Their transformed bodies will permit believers finally to be the perfect creation God intends for them to be for the joy of perfect fellowship with Him forever. Describing heaven, John wrote, “I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them’ ” (Rev. 21:3; cf. John 14:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:17). Those bodies will also allow believers to see God. In the Beatitudes Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8), while John wrote that in heaven “there will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads” (Rev. 22:3–4). Believers’ resurrection bodies will also be perfectly suited for the eternal service they will render to God (cf. Rev. 7:15).
Lest any doubt Christ’s power to transform believers’ bodies, Paul notes that He will accomplish it by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Hupotassō (subject) means “to arrange in order of rank” or “to manage.” Christ will have the power to rule the millennial kingdom (Rev. 12:5, 19:15; cf. Isa. 9:6; 32:1; Zech. 14:9). By His power Christ will also transform the earth’s topography (Zech. 14:4–8) and the natural kingdom (Isa. 11:6–9). Paul’s point is that if Christ can subject the entire universe to His sovereign control (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24–27), He has the power to transform believers’ bodies into His image.
As they run the spiritual race (Heb. 12:1), believers must look to godly examples for inspiration and instruction. They must also look out for those enemies of the truth who would lead them astray. Finally, they must focus on the glorious hope that is theirs at the return of Christ—the transformation of their bodies into conformity with His. Then, regenerated fully in soul and body, they will be suited to eternal, holy glory and joy.
Our Blessed Hope
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the early days of the Christian church the doctrine of the last things had three great points of focus: the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the final judgment. Of the three the most significant was Jesus Christ’s return. This was the blessed hope of Christians; it was for this they prayed. With this thought they comforted one another in the face of sorrow, persecutions, death, and martyrdom. We can imagine that as they lay in prison, suffering and tormented, often near death, they looked for his coming and thought that perhaps in an instant and without warning Jesus would appear and call them home. As they entered the arena to face the lions or looked up to face their executioner, many would have thought with joy in their hearts, “Perhaps this is the moment in which Jesus will return; and even now, before the beasts can spring or the ax can fall, I shall be caught up to meet him.”
Unfortunately, in our day belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ has faded into a remote and sometimes irrelevant doctrine in many large segments of the Christian church. It is entirely possible that our present lack of courage and lack of joy flow from this attitude.
A Biblical Doctrine
We are told today by many, some of them within the church, that belief in the return of Jesus Christ is a preposterous doctrine or at best a “pie-in-the-sky” philosophy. But it is hard to see how any professing Christian can dismiss it.
The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned in every one of the New Testament books except Galatians and the very short books such as 2 and 3 John and Philemon. Jesus quite often spoke of his return. Mark records him as saying, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). Again, “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens” (Mark 13:26–27). John tells us that Christ’s last words to his disciples included the promise: “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2–3).
Paul’s letters are also full of the doctrine. To the Christians at Thessalonica he wrote, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thess. 4:16–17). Peter called the return of Jesus Christ our “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3). Paul called it our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). John wrote, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him” (Rev. 1:7).
It is the same in the verse that is our text in Philippians. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (3:20–21). In these verses and in many others the early Christians expressed their belief in a personal return of Jesus that was to be closely associated with the resurrection and transformation of their own bodies and a final judgment of individuals and nations. They acknowledged that their lives should be lived on a higher plane because of it.
The personal return of Jesus Christ should have a profound bearing on our own life and conduct. Lord Shaftesbury, the great English social reformer, said near the end of his life, “I do not think that in the last 40 years I have lived one conscious hour that was not influenced by the thought of our Lord’s return.” This conviction was one of the strongest motives behind his social programs.
If you are expecting the Lord’s return, then this conviction ought to alter your concern for social issues as well as other things. At the height of the racial crisis in the United States in the early 1960s, two signs hung on the wall of a restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. The first sign read, “Jesus is coming again!” The second sign directly below it said, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anybody!” The juxtaposition of the two signs was unintentionally humorous for at least two reasons. First, because they implied that the owner, who apparently was looking for the return of Jesus Christ, might refuse him service. Second, because the racial discrimination that was involved was incongruous in the light of Christ’s imminent return.
Are you looking for Jesus’ return? If you are motivated by prejudice against other Christians or others in general, whether they are black or white, rich or poor, cultured or culturally naive, whatever they may be—then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If you are contemplating some sin, perhaps a dishonest act in business, perhaps trifling with sex outside of marriage, perhaps cheating on your income tax return—then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If your life is marked by a contentious, divisive spirit in which you seek to tear down the work of another person instead of building it up—then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you. If you first protect your own interests and neglect to give food, water, or clothing to the needy as we are instructed to do in Christ’s name—then the return of Jesus Christ has not made its proper impression on you.
John wrote, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:2–3). The greatest consequence of belief in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ should be a purification of our conduct.
Hope in Suffering
Another consequence of a firm belief in the return of Jesus Christ should be a transformed understanding of suffering. For suffering strengthens our hope and makes our present fellowship with Jesus more wonderful. This is why Paul writes of the believer’s hope in Romans saying, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3–4). In Paul’s experience hope had transformed suffering, and suffering had intensified his hope.
The word “suffering,” which occurs in this verse, means any tribulation, persecution, or hardship—like that which Paul lists of himself in 2 Corinthians 11: beatings, imprisonments, stoning, shipwrecks, perils, weariness, thirst, and hunger. It includes the cruelest oppressions. The Greek word Paul used and its Latin translation carried the most vivid of images in Paul’s day. The Greek word was thlipsis, which means the kind of oppression that a conquered people would receive from a cruel conqueror. The Latin translation was based on the noun tribulum, which meant a threshing sled, and implied severe torture. A tribulum was generally several feet wide and five or six feet long and was studded with sharp spikes on the bottom; it was pulled over the grain on a threshing floor by an animal. The Latin word tribulare compared oppression to experiencing such threshing.
It is easy to see how the Christians thus conceived of their suffering. They knew themselves to be often pressed as wheat while the tribulums of the world passed over them. They knew the feel of the spikes and the lash of the flail. But they endured such suffering. They had learned that it was the way God separated the wheat in their lives from the chaff and made them more useful and more obedient servants.
All of God’s children learn this sooner or later. Certainly it was known by the persecuted prophet Jeremiah. What had persecutions done for Jeremiah? In Jeremiah 17 he intimates that they had actually drawn him closer to the Lord and strengthened him for his work. He is contrasting two types of people. The first is the person who trusts in human beings and thereby departs from the Lord. Jeremiah says this person “will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives” (v. 6). The other type of person is the one who trusts God and whose hope is in him. What is he like? Jeremiah says, “He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (v. 8). In other words, Jeremiah had found that suffering had strengthened his roots and had actually drawn him closer to the Lord.
All Christians should experience that. Tribulations will come. Job spoke truthfully when he said, “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7). But the Christian can have a hope in the midst of tribulation that transforms suffering and is strengthened by it.
Day of Judgment
Everything written up to this point has been encouraging. It has been intended for Christians. But there is a somber side for those who do not know Christ and who therefore do not expect him. Christ is coming; it will be a joy for Christians. But it will also mean the beginning of Christ’s judgments. These will be terrible for those who do not know him.
Christians acknowledge this every time they recite the Apostles’ Creed, for they say that Jesus shall come again from heaven “to judge the living and the dead.” Paul told the Athenians that God has “set a day when he will judge the world with justice” (Acts 17:31). In that day Jesus Christ will return to judge the nations, the false church, and individuals. Everyone will have to answer to him. Will you meet him as one judged righteous on the basis of our Lord’s death for sin and his gift of righteousness? Or will you meet him as one who trusts in your own human goodness and is therefore cut off from God’s presence forever?
It is my experience that people react in one of two ways to Christ’s judgment. Some simply disbelieve it, for they think that judgment is incompatible with the character of God. I mentioned something about the judgment of God on The Bible Study Hour once and received a letter from a woman who seemed greatly offended at the thought that a loving God could ever pronounce a judgment on anything. I wrote back asking her what she would think of a God who would let a murderer go on murdering throughout eternity, a thief go on stealing throughout eternity, a sexual pervert continue to violate other men and women throughout eternity, and other sinners to go on sinning. Certainly it is in the character of a loving and righteous God to stop such things. It may help some persons to think of the final judgment in this light and begin to find out what the Scriptures say concerning it.
The second reaction to the fact of God’s judgment comes from the unbeliever who has heard the offer of salvation by grace through the gospel but who prefers to deal with God’s justice. Pity the man who wants nothing from God but God’s justice! Justice will condemn a person to hell. The only hope for anyone lies in God’s mercy.
The result of seeking nothing but justice from God is seen in a story from the life of Abraham from the Old Testament. God told Abraham that he was about to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great wickedness, and Abraham had immediately begun to think about his nephew Lot and his family who lived there. He knew that they would also be destroyed in God’s judgment, so he began to reason with God. He said, “Will you also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous in the city; will you also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are in it? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” God said, “If there are fifty righteous persons in the city, I will spare it.” Abraham became worried at this point because he only knew of four righteous persons himself. They were Lot, Lot’s wife, and Lot’s two daughters. He began to doubt that there were fifty. So he said, “Suppose there are only forty-five? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” God replied, “I will spare the city for the sake of forty-five.” Abraham bargained with God until God had agreed to spare the city for the sake of ten righteous people. But even then Abraham had not reduced the figure far enough. So after God had removed Lot and his family from Sodom, his judgment fell upon the cities.
That is what happens when the Judge of all the earth does right! Humans are condemned by God’s justice. If you seek nothing from God but justice, you will be condemned at Jesus Christ’s return. Fortunately there is no need to meet him as Judge. For the One who is coming in judgment is also the One who once came as the Savior, to die for your sin, to bear your judgment, and to meet you thereafter as your Lord, your friend, and your bridegroom. You must decide how you will meet him. The decisions of this life affect the issues of eternity.
20 The recurrence of rare words in 3:20; 4:1; and 4:3 (appearing first in 1:27) marks 1:27–4:3 as a unit. The verbs in 1:27, politeuomai (“conduct yourselves [as citizens],” GK 4488; 1:27), stēkō (“stand firm,” GK 5112), and synathleō (“contending as one,” GK 5254), reappear in the same order: politeuma (nominal form, “citizenship,” GK 4487; 3:20), stēkō (“stand firm”; 4:1), and synathleō (“contended at my side”; 4:3). Paul also weaves the vocabulary from 2:6–11 into these verses and draws on that passage’s elevated style (Lincoln, 88–89), which suggests that he reaches the climax of his argument in this entire section (1:27–4:3).
Since we “eagerly await a Savior from [heaven]” (cf. 1 Th 1:10; 4:16; 5:23), that must be where the Christian’s Lord is now, and the Lord’s presence there is the reason why the Christian’s commonwealth is in heaven. By using the metaphor of a civic body, Paul reminds the Philippians that they are an outpost on earth of God’s kingdom in heaven. The metaphor evokes at least four points of comparison:
(1) Since Philippi was an outpost of Caesar’s empire, he leaves them to draw the contrasts. Caesar is not the savior, as imperial propaganda would want people to believe, but Jesus is. Paul may deliberately allude to popular names of Nero—“Lord” and “Savior”—to make the point that Caesar is not Lord.
(2) The metaphor evokes the rights and privileges of citizenship. Philippian Christians who may have been granted the honor of Roman citizenship will need to recognize that their heavenly citizenship is infinitely greater and to evaluate their status in the same way that Paul evaluated his status as a Jew. The least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than any in the kingdom of Rome. If they are dual citizens, their allegiance to the Lord of heaven is to outweigh all other commitments. If they are not legal citizens of any earthly city, then they should know that they are full citizens of a heavenly commonwealth, with all its perquisite rights and privileges. In this body of citizens, all members share full and equal rights.
(3) In Greek thought, a citizen should submerge his own interests and profit to that of the city. Paul’s metaphor reminds Christians that as citizens of heaven they should subordinate their self-interest to the welfare of the community to the point of self-sacrifice.
(4) Roman colonies were set up as “miniatures” of Rome (Gellius, Attic Nights 16.13.9) to foster the majesty of Roman culture, religion, and values. The Christian commonwealth has a different constitution and different laws, and Christians are to exemplify the values of the heavenly realm. Christ’s resurrection establishes a new city (polis) and an alternative political jurisdiction that challenges the values and the methods of the empire. The empire tyrannizes, enslaves, and crucifies its subjects. Christians are not to imitate the crucifiers but the crucified one. They are to accept suffering rather than to inflict it. If one is conformed to the kings of this world, one is conformed to a way of death; if one is conformed to Christ, one is conformed to a way that brings life.
In a world of conflicting powers, Christians await the Savior’s return to rescue them from death-dealing powers. They are not to place their trust in Caesar to protect them from enemy hordes and death through his military power but in God’s power to raise the dead and destroy death. Christ was obedient to death but now reigns with all power (2:6–11) and will come to effect the rescue and vindication of those who belong to him, as God effected the same for him (Lincoln, 107). Christians must wait patiently and faithfully for his return.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2001). Philippians (pp. 259–263). Chicago: Moody Press.
 Boice, J. M. (2000). Philippians: an expositional commentary (pp. 214–219). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 Garland, D. E. (2006). Philippians. In T. Longman III (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 248). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.