Phil. 1:8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.
Paul continues to share his feelings with the Philippians for he is a pastor at heart — one that has a deep connection to his congregation. So strong are his feelings that he calls God to be his witness, for it is God alone who can look into his heart and soul and testify to the depths of his longing. God alone is the one who knows how Paul feels about the Philippians.
What is also revealed is the three-way nature of the bond between Paul, the Philippians and Christ.(Fee 1995, 94) He is already foreshadowing the message of participation in the life of Christ, which unites us to God, but also to one another. He describes his longing as being filled with the “compassion” of Christ in this translation. In the Greek it says that his longing comes from the bowels of Jesus Christ. In the first century, the bowels were the deep seated place of feeling, love and emotions. This is …