Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
Today I would like to share with you a little bit about Paul and his desire to advance the gospel, regardless of his situation. I hope you enjoy the brief look into why Paul desired to share the gospel, and the heart with which he did it. This will be based off of Philippians 1:12-20 and ties into the September Evangelism Series at Peniel Ministries.
Background on Philippians
Advancing the Gospel
Ph. 1:12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[b] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Clear Vision and Purpose
Who cares why they do it? I do it for God
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Wow! Talk about slap in the face to some of us right there. To paraphrase: “Yeah, some people preach because they’re jealous. Some preach for good reasons. Those people do it out of love. The others are selfish and just want to cause trouble for me. But who cares? What really matters is that no matter why they do it, they’re preaching about God. And that is pretty awesome!”
Is it just me or is Paul pretty great? I don’t know how many times I have heard of, or even said myself, things like “they just preach because they like the sound of their own voice” or “their lives are so screwed up – they shouldn’t be preaching” or things like that. But what Paul says is just mind-blowing in how simple it is: “But what does it matter? The important thing is that…Christ is preached.”
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Worry about you. Don’t get so caught up in what everyone else is doing. Your job is to make sure that your life is on track, because you are a walking talking reflection of God on earth. So please. Put up a good face and walk the talk. But even if your life is screwed up and you aren’t doing things right, it’s still no reason to stop talking about God. As long as Christ is preached.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[c] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
We must keep supporting each other in prayer. We are but only human, and in much need of provision from one another. It is not only about unity in our fellowship and conversations, but support in prayer and anything else that we may need.
God working through us reaps the biggest reward, but it also comes at a price. Pray for courage, pray for strength and exalt Christ with your body.
Whether in life or death, let us live and die a reflection of the gift God has given to us. Let our chains and our suffering serve as advancements of the Gospel.