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It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. (Philippians 1:7)
Paul here says that he is justified in these feelings for the Philippians because of their being partakers with him of grace. Paul says that he holds them in his heart – a wonderful place for us to have our Christian friends. The word used for partakers in this verse is the word we looked at as koinonia in verse 5, which has added a preposition, which intensifies the meaning in Greek. This makes it a very intense form of fellowship – the concept of being “wrapped up together” in the work of the gospel. The Philippians were well aware of tribulation and trials while sharing the good news with others. And in turn, they freely aided Paul in his work for Christ.
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It is right for me to feel thus about you all. Because of their partnership (1:5) in the gospel, Paul treasures his hope for them and his positive anticipation that they will be saved. It is found in the outward display of evidence that the Christians have given. Seeing and hearing of such evidence, Paul feels confident that eternal life awaits these ones.
Because I hold you in my heart. The Greek is most evident, which means that Paul was affectionately connected to the Philippians brothers and sisters. He had suffered many difficulties in his ministry, but he could depend on their kindness toward him. He had wished for their salvation. Their conduct towards him, additionally, in his many trials, had persuaded him that they were motivated by Christian love but also by principles and values. And thus, his heart (inner person) believed that they would receive eternal life. Paul, who studied under Gamaliel, was a serious student of the Hebrew Scriptures. Hope (תּוֹחֶלֶת tocheleth) in the Old Testament is rendered by a Hebrew verb that means to wait with the expectation that God will deliver faithfully. It is the grounds for feeling hopeful about the future.
Heart: (לֵב leb; καρδία kardia) In biblical Hebrew, the word for heart (leb) has twenty-four different meanings. Generally, it is a reference to the center of feelings. In many cases, in Hebrew, the heart here refers to the mind, the center of a person’s thoughts and emotions. The sense is the place of the person’s thoughts (mind), volition, emotions, and knowledge of right from wrong (conscience), translated by some as mind. However, it can refer to the whole person: the mind (knowledge), emotions (feelings), and awareness (knowledge or perception of a situation or fact).
In my imprisonment. Paul refers to the time when he had been a prisoner for the gospel, where in these ones cared for his needs. – Philippians4:10, 14, 18.
And in the defense. The Greek (ἀπολογία apologia) probably refers to his defense before the Roman Emperor Nero. Apologetics: (ἀπολογία apologia) The term literally means “to defend” and is used in the biblical sense to refer to ones who defend the Christian faith, the Bible, and God in speech or in written form. The Christian apologist attempts to prove that the Christian faith, the Bible, and God are reasonable, logical, necessary and right. – Ac 25:16; 2 Cor. 7:11; Phil. 1:7, 16; 2 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:15.
Paul had literally cleared himself from the charges that had been brought against him. Paul wrote to the Philippians in about 60–61 C.E. and to Timothy about 65 C.E., where he said, “At my first defense no one stood by me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.” It is possible that Paul here in 1:7 meant that on the occasion, which he had mentioned to Timothy, he had been abandoned by brothers and sisters that should have supported him. However, the Philippians demonstrated the depth of their love, giving him all the help they could. They may have sent some of their brothers and sisters to minister to his needs, to pray, and empathize with him during his trial. They likely assured Paul of the unwavering confidence of the entire congregation.
And confirmation of the gospel. In Paul’s struggles to defend the gospel and make it known, he knew that he could depend on their sympathy and partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. This was not likely words alone but action on his behalf, which is not fully known to us.
For you are all partakers with me of grace. Paul means that they have partnered and participated with him in his defense of the gospel. They saw Paul’s troubles and persecutions as their cause. Therefore, they were opened to being partakers with Paul of grace. Indeed, with all that Paul had to bear up under for the gospel, divine blessings were coming to him, and he let the Philippians know that they were going to be partakers with him. They had stood by Paul when others had abandoned him. Thus, he knew that they were to reap the benefits as well, which would go to Paul in his efforts in the cause of Jesus Christ. It should be noted that Paul, nor his fellow workers, ever carry out any of their responsibilities looking for benefits. It was carried out with a sense of godly devotion, love, and duty.
 The feeling of gratitude, a sense of favor bestowed upon the person. Ibid. Pg. 277.
 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. V, V vols. (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, 1983). Pg. 293.