by Mike Ratliff
19 οἶδα γὰρ ὅτι τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν δεήσεως καὶ ἐπιχορηγίας τοῦ πνεύματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 20 κατὰ τὴν ἀποκαραδοκίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα μου, ὅτι ἐν οὐδενὶ αἰσχυνθήσομαι ἀλλʼ ἐν πάσῃ παρρησίᾳ ὡς πάντοτε καὶ νῦν μεγαλυνθήσεται Χριστὸς ἐν τῷ σώματί μου, εἴτε διὰ ζωῆς εἴτε διὰ θανάτου. (Philippians 1:19-20 NA28)
19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ 20 according to the earnest expectation of my hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all courage as always even now Christ will be magnified in my body whether through life or through death. (Philippians 1:19-20 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
What is this “bountiful supply” Paul is talking about and how can we “tap” into it ourselves as we stand firm in these Laodicean days? Let’s see…
The words “bountiful supply” in my translation of Philippians 1:19 are translating the Greek word ἐπιχορηγίας, which is a compound word comprised first of the root χορηγέω or chorēgeō, which is derived from χορηγως (not found in the New Testament), “the leader of the ancient chorus who supplied the chorus at his own expense.” The word χορηγως, in turn, is from χορός or choros, “the chorus, a dance,” and ἡγέομαι or hēgeomai, “to lead.” The prefix ἐπί or epi, “upon” gives us the fuller meaning of “further supply upon.” The KJV renders this word as “supply” while the ESV renders it as “help” in this passage. Taking that into account plus our word study, what does this tell us about what Paul was talking about coming to him through the Philippians’ prayers from the Spirit of Jesus Christ?
As we look at how this word was used in that ancient Greek culture, we see that whenever a Greek city was going to put on a special festival, someone had to pay for the singers and dancers. The donation had to be a generous one, so this word came to refer to a generous, lavish, bountiful supply. So, Paul didn’t depend upon his own weak, dwindling resources. He depended upon the mighty, unfathomable, generous , lavish, and bountiful resources God provided through the indwelling Holy Spirit which all in Christ have. The prayer Paul mentioned in this passage is vital and helpful, but our dependance for spiritual resources must be in Christ through the Spirit.
So, what are those practical resources all in Christ have through the Holy Spirit? He directs (Romans 8:14), calls to special service (Acts 13:2, 4), guides in service (8:27-29), illumines God’s Word (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), teaches the Word (John 16:13-14). empowers for service (Acts 1:8), produces Christlike character (Galatians 5:22-23), and makes all communion with God possible through prayer (Jude 20; Romans 8:26-27), worship (Philippians 3:3), and thanksgiving (Ephesians 5:18-20).
All in Christ have this same supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Let us revel in it as Paul did and thereby walk in personal holiness, circumspectly, full of the wisdom of the Lord with His discernment. His will be done.
Soli Deo Gloria!