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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-14-2014
Thoughts in Philippians - Ch.1:12-19
Paul Rejoiced That Christ Was Preached
Philippians 1:12 ¶ But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
The theme of this first chapter is Christ our Life. Throughout all of his epistles, the apostle Paul lets us know that the ultimate goal and achievement of this life is to be completely united with Christ (Php. 3:10; Ga. 2:20). What else really matters?
Paul found himself in a Roman prison and rather than complain, he rejoiced. His imprisonment was having such an effect that even some of Caesar’s household were believers.
Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
The Roman church was being persecuted for their faith. There is something about persecution that causes the gospel to spread. Because of the example of the apostle Paul and his patient endurance of hardship, others were emboldened to preach the gospel. Nobody wants to suffer and we in the western world seem to be immune from it. In the process we become self sufficient and lazy. But, things are changing. We see what’s happening in the Islamic world, where people are being killed when they won’t deny their Christian faith. Do we think it can never happen here. Think again.
Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
There were those in Rome called the Judaizers, who although they preached Christ, were zealous to have their converts follow the law of Moses. They hated the apostle for his opposition to circumcision as a means of obtaining salvation. They couldn’t cope with the simple idea that faith in Christ could replace the circumcision of the flesh. Folks today still have the same the reliance on works. Even though they may be preaching with the wrong motives, Christ is still being preached.
Philippians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
How does this apply to the church today? Do some preach for strife and debate and contention? Oh Yeah! However in the process, Christ is preached. The convert may have heard an incomplete message, but if he got the message of the cross, he was better off than not having heard that saving message at all. Once a person has responded to the message of the cross, the Spirit of God can finish the what He has started in that person (Php. 1:6; Jn. 14:26).
We obviously can’t agree with all the various doctrines that abound, but one thing that is desperately needed is dialogue. Some examples of this are Pricilla and Aquila reasoning the way of the Lord more perfectly to Apollos (Ac. 18:26) and Paul reasoning with the Jews of Thessalonica out of the scriptures (Ac. 17:1-2). If we can’t talk to those with whom we don’t agree, we’ll never accomplish anything. Many of the things that we argue about aren’t worth a hill of beans to start with and I believe that God is grieved with our divisions.
Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
Paul coveted the intercessory prayer of the saints for his release. Tradition tells us that he was indeed set free after 2 years but was subsequently arrested again and martyred. It didn’t matter to Paul. Whether by life or by death, Christ was exalted and magnified. Can we say the same?
Song: The Fountain of Blood
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. --C. S. Lewis
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Don and Marie Spooner
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