1. 7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I haveyou in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.
    • I have you in my heart - again the close connection Paul has with this church is obvious
      • in my imprisonment - they sent Epaphroditis to minister to him Phili 2:25, 
      • they supported him financially
      • they helped him when he went before the courts to make defense of the gospel
    • "you all are partakers of grace” - These actions were evidence of grace at work in the lives of the people - and were a promise of future reward - a piece of Paul’s ministry was put on their ledger in heaven!
  2. 8For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
    • all the affection of Christ Jesus - literally the “bowels” or “inward parts" of Christ - The heart of Jesus for this church and these people had been put into Paul.  He carried the affections of Christ in his own heart!! OH Lord let this be my prayer!!! I want to love with YOUR love.
    • divine enablement to love supernaturally - yes Lord give me this grace!!
  3. 9And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
    • I love Paul’s prayers - He always prays for what is going on INSIDE his people. 
    • LOVE MAY ABOUND - this is love for Christ makes the most sense in this verse but love for Christ cannot stand alone.  It must be accompanied by love for men and Paul knew that so I think it is probably included.
      • The Word is agape - god’s own love poured into the human heart.
    • in real knowledge - epignosis - experiential knowledge - That we would KNOW God - that we would taste and smell and touch the living God and that experience of Him would birth fiery love in our hearts
    • Discernment - perception "which 'cuts through' hazy ethical (moral) matters to really 'size things up’ “ - this is the only place in scripture where this term is used
      • to know who God is without haziness
    • Love born of experience and marked by clarity