“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.”
In verses 17 and 18, Paul presented himself as a prototype of service. His desire to see the smile of the Lord Jesus at the judgment seat of Christ was the reason for this service. Sitting in a Roman jail, he knew death as a martyr was a clear possibility for him.
“Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith”
The words “poured out” mean poured out as a libation. This is a figure from a sacrificial drink offering. Paul viewed his death as imminent. He was saying, “If I lose my life here in Rome, it will be for the furtherance of your faith.” He was willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to advance their faith.
Whenever we give our lives to Christ, we give Him the right to terminate it as it pleases Him. We may live to 80 years of age, or we may die at 30. The choice is God’s; that is His business.
The word “service” means religious service. It was used for the high priestly work of Christ (Hebrews 8:2-6). We get our word “liturgy” from this Greek word. Our ministry for Christ is a liturgy for Him.
“I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.”
Paul was saying, “If you hear that I am released, rejoice! If you hear that I have been executed, rejoice! It is the will of God that counts.” There is no joy outside the will of God. Some of us have to learn that lesson the hard way.
God has the right to our life and service.
Eve wanted her will, regardless of what the will of God was. She paid a terrible price for it. Some of us will pay the price for stepping out of the will of God. “I want her; I don’t care what the will of God is! I don’t give a hoot what the Bible says. I do not care whether this person is a Christian or not.” Paul was willing to die, if necessary, to do the will of God. A Spartan soldier’s mother would say as she gave her son his shield, “Son, either this or upon this.” Either fight or be carried back on the shield.