Today in Phillipians 1, we will cover a larger section, verses 12-20. Paul has moved from prayer to informing the Philippians of overwhelming joy despite his imprisonment.
Paul says in verse 12, “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,”
He doesn’t merely address his imprisonment without some implication on how they are to view their own circumstances, in light of his example.
Paul rejoices over these 4 assurances and gives them a detailed tour of his reasoning so that they too may come to the same joy.
1. News Spread
Paul’s concern isn’t that he’s being rumored about our pitied. Instead, his eyes are opening to all the many circles of influence which this imprisonment has brought.
He moves from those closest to him to all affected by his chains. This movement in the letter is like a camera lens, zooming out for a panoramic scope.
I. The whole praetorian guard.
II. Everyone else
III. Most of the brethren
IV. Proclaimers of Christ
Do we have this broadening concern in the midst of our hardships?
2. Good News Spread
Paul’s focus is now moving to examine all the ways his audience has been affected by the bad news to deliver the Good News of Jesus. Distinctions have to be made and motives exposed but Paul will declare the results joyous.
Not only have people come to faith due to the news of his imprisonment but they are now encouraged to share this faith with far more courage.
I. Envy and strife
II. Good will
Paul does not rejoice in the negative motives; he uses it for a negative example, to be clear. However, in the end, the exaltation of Jesus is the foremost important piece of information. This is the reason for rejoicing.
Do we resort to the of victim, feeling doubly oppressed, even at news of others being used of God to preach Jesus?
Paul feels security and safety in God to whom he has just prayed. This next point presupposes that the Philippians would be praying for their brother Paul just as he so faithfully lifted them up, teaching them how to pray.
Just listen to his confidence in verse 19:
Philippians 1:19 (NASB)
“for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,”
God does respond to prayer. He is the first who calls us to prayer.
I. Prayers of the saints
II. Provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ
Do we trust in the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Providence of God?
4. Christ Exalted
This is the ultimate expression of joy. No matter what happens, Jesus will be proclaimed. These three reasons all rest upon this solid rock.
Do we find ourselves in chains?
“God restore to us the joy of our salvation and renew right spirits in us in Jesus’ name, amen.”