For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order…
Faith is the standard-bearer in every spiritual conflict; and if the standard-bearer fall, then it is an evil day. If faith fails, everything fails: courage fails, patience fails, hope fails, love fails, joy fails. Faith is the root-grace; and if this be not in order, then the leafage of the soul, which shows itself in the form of other graces, will soon begin to wither.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.