Salvation Meaning Not Being Put to Shame
Phil. 1:19 For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, (20) According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. (21) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he was in prison in a foreign country, far away from his homeland. Paul had good reason to worry and be sad. Since his circumstances were so difficult, he could have easily wept about his situation.
However, if Paul had been weeping instead of rejoicing, he could not have said, “For me this shall turn out to salvation.” If he had wept, he would not have experienced salvation in that environment. Suppose you were a Jew held captive in a Roman prison. Would you have rejoiced? I am sure we all would have felt sorrowful and homesick. But instead of weeping, Paul rejoiced in the Lord. For him, everything that happened turned out to salvation.
According to the context of these verses, salvation means that Paul was not put to shame in anything. Not only did he not feel shameful, but nothing caused him to be put to shame. Christ was magnified in Paul’s body. This magnification of Christ, spoken of in verse 20, is the very salvation mentioned in verse 19. This means that the salvation which was according to Paul’s earnest expectation and hope was that he would not be put to shame, but would magnify Christ in his body. Therefore, in verse 20 we have a definition of the practical enjoyment of salvation.
To enjoy this kind of salvation is to live Christ. This is the reason Paul says in verse 21, “For to me to live is Christ.” Paul’s sufferings did not put him to shame. Instead, they afforded him an opportunity to magnify Christ. If we
experience the salvation mentioned in these verses, then when we undergo suffering, we shall magnify Christ and not be put to shame. But if we are defeated by suffering, suppressed by it, and filled with worry, we shall be put to shame. But if we magnify Christ in sufferings, we shall experience this salvation.