Philippians 2:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philippians 2:16, NIV: "as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."

Philippians 2:16, ESV: "holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain."

Philippians 2:16, KJV: "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."

Philippians 2:16, NASB: "holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."

Philippians 2:16, NLT: "Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless."

Philippians 2:16, CSB: "by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn't run or labor for nothing."

What does Philippians 2:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

An obedient believer is a person who holds fast to the gospel and the truths of God. When Paul wrote these words, the New Testament had not yet been completed or compiled. This is not an explicit reference to written Scripture, per se. Paul's reference to the "word of life" appears to point to Jesus, referred to as the word of life in 1 John 1:1.

Paul then adds that, when Christ returns, he wants to be proud. Paul wants to know that his efforts in Philippi were for a good cause, not a waste of time. This church was a bright spot in his ministry; he does not want them to fall to the sins of the world and destroy the good work he had invested in them. This concern is not about personal pride, but rather about investing his life into people who were productive in serving the Lord. Paul was already under much difficulty as a prisoner in Rome. He desired to take joy in the lives of those in the Philippian church rather than find discouragement that they might turn in disobedience toward Christ (Philippians 2:15).