Email headers have the helpful habit of identifying all the people who are involved in the communication. Greek letters were like that too.
Family relationships are, or should be, the strong girders around which society is built. In a way, gospel-friends are even more significant because they enable the growth of the church.
When we have done something successfully before, we might be confident to do it again.
Real love does not stop when difficulties arise.
Sentimental feelings and nice emotions can be described as love, but they are neither the essence of love nor its purpose.
The Christian life is no fairytale of undiluted bliss! Problems do come, and they are usually bigger than we want to deal with. So, when difficulties arise, we usually pray for them to be removed. (NIV)
It is strange that some of God's people can pretend to love while practicing hate, and even stranger that God might use them. Paul's imprisonment in Rome had opened a whole new debate about Jesus.
Paul is suffering in prison. Although he rejoices that his circumstances have provoked a much wider public debate about Jesus, he is not passive and waiting for the end - as a condemned man.
Persecution brings a mixture of thoughts about the future. Suffering's worst fear is that everything will be lost at death, and its worst delusion is that nothing in life is worthwhile any more.
Confident realism marked Paul's view of his uncertain future (cf Phil 1:12-24).
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