2206b. That marriage is marriage, a hand is a hand, and riches are riches, that everyone understands and believes. But to believe that marriage is founded by God, that a hand is a hand created by God, and that the nourishment that I enjoy, and everything else I need is God’s creation and given to me by God, to believe that is not a work of mankind, but God’s work in mankind, that is something else. (p. 332).
700. The Lord’s Prayer binds people together, so that one prays for another and with another, for that reason it is strong and powerful, so that it banishes all evil and death itself. (p. 320).
2580. A good preacher should have these qualities and virtues: first, that he can teach well and properly; second, that he has a good head; third, that he is eloquent.; fourth, that he have a good voice; fifth, a good memory; sixth, he should know when to stop; seventh, he should be certain and diligent in his subject; eighth, he should put his life and limb, possessions and honor into it; and ninth, he should be willing to accept ridicule from everyone.
There is nothing quite so easily noticed and remarked about concerning a preacher than his mistakes. Even though a preacher may have a hundred good qualities, he spoils it all through one mistake–that’s how bad the world is. (p. 218).
As some of you know, I have been working on a Philippians commentary for the past several years. What a privilege it has been to live inside this rich letter and see my joy in Christ and his gospel deepen as a result. Philippians has much to say to us as believers today, so I have written this commentary to help pastors, missionaries, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and all Christians understand and apply it to their lives.
I am excited to announce that it has finally been released in the United Kingdom (the publisher, Christian Focus, is located in Scotland) and will soon be available here in the United States and internationally. You can order it through Amazon or ChristianBook.com.
Here are the endorsements:
Matt Harmon explains Paul’s letter clause by clause, traces Paul’s argument, reads Paul’s argument in light of the rest of the Bible, and applies the letter to people today. He reminds me of two of his professors when he was working on his PhD at Wheaton: Doug Moo and Greg Beale.
–Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis
Historically aware, exegetically astute, and theologically sensitive, Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is full of insight and ideas for those who want to understand this beautiful epistle. He is not simply up to date on recent scholarship, but digs deeply and appropriately into evangelical commentaries of the past too, to enliven and enhance his own exposition. His suggestions for preaching and applying Philippians are crisp, clear, and eminently useable. A new go-to resource for pastors and students!
-Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of Church Society and Editor of the NIV Proclamation Bible.
Our Lord calls his own to love God with all their heart, soul and mind (Mt. 22:37). This blend is seldom seen in commentaries, which tend to favor either the academic or the devotional. Authors write as believing pastors, or as detached scholars – which would seem to sunder what God has explicitly joined. Matt Harmon represents this happy marriage in his commentary on Philippians. Harmon has no less a keen eye for the particulars of the Greek text and academic illumination than he does for the splendorous and transforming truths that text communicates. It is clear that Matt has put the text under a microscope; it is just as clear that he is thrilled with the Savior and Gospel it reveals. This will now be my “go-to” book for teaching or preaching Philippians, joining Martin and Silva and Lightfoot and the others. I can’t commend Matt Harmon’s commentary on Philippians highly enough to pastors and students in all areas of church ministry and life. It is deep-rooted, solid, and broadly accessible. God grant that it receives the visibility and use it merits, to His glory and His church’s edification!
-Dan Phillips, Pastor, Copperfield Bible Church
Matthew Harmon has given us a fresh and faithful reading of Philippians that will be a powerful help to all who preach and teach the word.
-James M. Hamilton, Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is a model of good commentary writing: clear prose, adequate interaction with the array of scholarly perspectives, and helpful application. I commend his work to students, teachers, and preachers who seek better to understand this important letter of Paul.
-Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College
Matthew Harmon is a gifted and trustworthy guide for helping us to understand and apply this Pauline epistle of joy. This commentary strikes me as just the right combination of what most of us need: clear prose, sufficient background and lexical information (without overwhelming the read in technicalities), insightful theological analysis, and practical pastoral application. Pastors and laypeople alike can benefit from this finely crafted work.
—Justin Taylor, managing editor, The ESV Study Bible
This commentary is a study in clarity and balance. It is simple in expression, yet profound in insight. It is thorough in scope, yet selective enough not to overwhelm. It is informed by recent scholarship, yet avoids fruitless complexities. It draws on knowledge of ancient languages, yet makes its case in plain English. It is classic in its focus on God, Christ, and redemption, yet current in showing how a gospel from long ago is just as true and powerful today. In a word, this is a fine resource for serious students of Philippians in both church and college settings.
-Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO
Matthew Harmon’s commentary on Philippians is an outstanding work. We find careful exegesis and a clear explanation of the the text. The commentary is theologically rich, in terms of both biblical and systematic theology, and so there is more than a running commentary. Harmon also applies the text to readers in practical ways. Scholars, students, pastors, and teachers will profit significantly from this work.
-Tom Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
801. i have prayed to God for Him to spare me from dreams; they are deceitful and full of double meanings. He does not have to reveal to me any signs or supernatural powers; I cannot take on the responsibility of interpreting such things, nor is it necessary, for God has already given me His Word, which I now have. That is what I cling to, that is what I believe in. (p. 250).
2901b. Arrogant intellectuals are like Icarus, who wanted to fly high in the sky: as the old saying goes, if you want to travel too safely, don’t fly too high. If you fly too high, you will burn your feathers. (p. 117).
2459b. The most important lesson learned from theology is to be able to acknowledge Christ. That is something a teacher should never cease teaching from student to student.
Christ is friendlier than are we. When I can do something good for a friend, how much more would Christ merciful and good be! That is why Peter said [2 Peter 3:18]: “Grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” Namely, that He is the most righteous and most merciful, upon whom we alone depend. But Satan does an excellent job of clouding this knowledge and works within us so that we give more trust to someone who has friendly intentions toward us than we do Christ. (p. 416).
2038. When God lets wicked people live a pleasant life, I do not envy them, for the same thing is happening to them as in the case with pigs in their stall, which will soon be slaughtered. What Isaiah said is fitting: “Fatten them up Father, fatten them up for the slaughter (p. 413).
One of the things I most enjoy in teaching is tracing a biblical-theological theme from Genesis to Revelation. So when Brian McCrorie, the pastor of Heather Hills Baptist Church, invited me to come to his church’s leadership retreat and teach on a biblical theology of servanthood, I eagerly accepted.
So in the 75 minutes I was given, I attempted to show that because we failed to serve God in the way we were created to, God raised up servants to point forward to the ultimate servant Jesus Christ. Throughout redemptive history God gives the title “servant” to key figures such as Adam, Moses, Joshua, David, and the Isaianic servant, each of whom anticipates some aspect of Jesus’ identity.
Want to hear more? You can listen below and follow along with the handout:
1285. Faith is a great thing, and that is well illustrated by the Psalms. I know that my faith is limp, like the arms of a fur coat, when it comes to my own work. But when it comes to God’s Word, my faith stands no matter how weak it is; it is certain and does not fail. The Church and its faith stand by us, and they do a lot. Faith and the Lord’s prayer are great weapons against the devil. My little Lena and Hans also pray for me and many Christians (p. 406).