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According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)
Paul’s confidence in the prayers and supply mentioned it was based not upon whim or fancy, but he says it was based on his earnest expectation and hope. The word in Greek (ἀποκαραδοκία apokaradokia) literally means a watching with an outstretched head. The image given of what he is saying is that he was totally absorbed in the person of Christ and was not concerned with anything that would hinder this absorption.
Paul contrasts shame and boldness in this statement. Paul desired that he not do anything that would bring shame to the name of Christ. Paul did not want to feel shame in this life or when he stood before Christ. The beloved disciple John mentions that it is possible for believers to feel shame at the appearance of Christ. We need to be concerned about this thought today. Many love prophecy studies, many are talking about the soon return of Christ, but most are not ready! Are they saved? Of course. But they will be ashamed at His appearing. How about you? Do you talk about His coming, or are you ready for His coming?
In each chapter of this book, we can see a verse that sums up the teaching that Paul is emphasizing. In this first chapter, we are looking at Christ – the PURPOSE of Life. So, the next verse is a good summary of what Paul is trying to say in this portion of his letter to the Philippians.
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According to my earnest expectation and hope. Again, the Greek word used here (ἀποκαραδοκία apokaradokia) occurs only in one other place in the New Testament: Rom. 8:19. It refers to the intensely desired expectation and hope, with a high confidence of fulfillment which Paul had. But not of his being released pers se, unless that was God’s will; rather, he had an eager desire, excited expectation that regardless of the circumstances, he would bring honor to the gospel in his life or death. His primary concern in life was to what was more important than his being saved from execution. To keep living on this life was secondary to staying steadfast as an advocate of the gospel with his integrity intact, that is, to maintain his godly devotion, uphold the truth, and display its spirit.
That I will not be put to shame in anything. Paul, in no way, wanted there to be any occasion to be ashamed. In these intense moments of persecution, even to the point of a horrendous execution, Paul had an eager desire, excited expectation that regardless he would never deny the truth of Christianity. Even standing before the Roman Emperor, he would maintain his faith, and that the threat of death or the carrying out of death, he would be honorable. He would never shrink back from the beliefs that he held, never needing to feel regret.
But that with all boldness. Bold; Boldness: This Greek word (τολμάω tolmaō) rendered “bold” means to be courageous enough to face persecution and hardships for the faith, to do more in the Lord. It means to dare, be bold, be courageous (Mt 22:46; Mk 15:43; Jn 21:12; Ac 7:32; Ro 5:7; 15:18; 1Co 6:1; Php 1:14; Jude 9) At the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, we find the believers praying for boldness. “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31) The Greek word (παρρησία parrēsia) translated “boldness” means to be outspoken, frank, and plain. However, boldness does not mean to be blunt or rude to those that are being evangelized. (Col. 4:6) Boldness is a quality or characteristic that Christians need to acquire through prayer and the Holy Spirit. (Luke 11:13; 1 Thess. 5:17) Jesus explicitly says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8) The imprisoned apostle Paul wrote from his incarceration: “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.” Paul spoke of his ministry in Thessalonica, “but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much conflict.” (1 Thess. 2:2) Paul closes out the book of Acts preaching in Rome, “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” – Acts 28:31.
Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body. Christ shall always be exalted in the view of the righteous-minded, receptive-minded as the One true and only Savior, regardless of whether Paul is set free or is falsely executed.
Whether life. If Paul ends up being found not guilty and released, in essence, receiving his life, Christ will be honored because he maintained his integrity. He will speak of it as God intervening on his behalf, having a new zeal for his ministry. And he knew that if given more time, he could carry out his ministry in such a way that it would greatly magnify Christ.
Or by death. If it is the case that Paul is found guilty and sentenced to death, then, still, he would maintain his godly devotion and bring honor to Christ. Paul did not fear death. And he also had an eager desire, excited expectation that he would be empowered to endure the pains of death in such a way as to show the enduring power of God and the importance of Christianity. When Christians evidence Christ during death, Christ is magnified. They can endure because the gospel sustained them with integrity, calmly departing, committing their life into his hands. Having such faith must have also brought him comfort. Regardless of how his trial ended, he could know that how he lived his life promoted Christ. Christ would receive the honor in his integrity as he died a martyr’s death or if his life went on into more years of proclaiming the gospel. Therefore, Paul was resolved to make either outcome honorable, possessing no anxiety.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Pp. 217-218
 1 John 2:28 (MSG) – “Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.”