Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.
I. WHAT THE BELIEVER CAN LEARN WHEN CHRIST TEACHES.
1. To be content amidst the world's changes. What a changeful life was that of St. Paul's from the time he left his father's house for Gamaliel's school to his imprisonment at Rome. We are all subject to disturbing changes from increase or loss of wealth, friends, position, etc., and only in the school of Christ is there rest for the soul. The believer has "the unsearchable riches," so nothing can impoverish him; peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, so nothing can fatally disturb him; is "kept by the power of God," so nothing can harm him. He may, therefore, well be content.
2. To be submissive amidst the world's trials. We all encounter a good deal that humbles us, but that is very different from learning how to be abased. This knowledge takes away half its burden and bitterness. Christ teaches this by encouraging us to cast our burden on Him, and by strengthening that faith which produces conformity to Him.
3. To be heavenly minded amidst the world's enjoyments. "I know how to abound." Count up your mercies and your trials and see which abounds.
II. WHAT THE BELIEVER CAN DO WHEN CHRIST STRENGTHENS.
1. He can suffer the will of God.
2. He can vanquish his spiritual foes.
3. He can fulfil all his duties to God and man.
(W. Cadman, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.