Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
— Philippians 1:26
Paul uses two different Greek words for “coming” in these two verses. In verse 26, the word is “parousia,” which is used in reference to the process of the Lord’s coming and His presence with the believers (as in 1 Cor. 15:23), whereas the second word is the more common one, which was also used by the Lord to refer to His coming again (see, for instance, John 14:18).
I believe these two words open a window for us to see something of the relationship this church had with the apostle. Though he was absent, he was with them, and he would be with them again physically, for they had him in their hearts.
Adapted from Oneness and the One Accord, page 62.
Tomorrow: “Standing with the Apostle for the Gospel (6)”