Paul’s Joy That Christ Is Preached
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters,[a] that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard,[b] knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers[c] here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message[d] without fear.
15 It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
I had said that I was just going to read until 15 but I found that it didn't really make sense to stop there. There is so much more being said about why they continue to preach. So, I went to verse 19.
I want to thank those who are doing this study with me whether you are commenting or not. It is so encouraging to have others reading with me! It makes me know that I have to read it because I have people holding me acccountable! Thank you so much Denise and Sarah for your great comments! Keep them coming!
So, we are going into verse 12:
*Everything that has happened to Paul so far has helped to spread the Gospel! That is so powerful! Think of everything going on or things that have gone on, trials and tribulations, persecutions, joys, EVERYTHING that happens to us helps to spread the gospel! Even the most terrible evil helps spread the gospel because the good always rises to the top. Look at 911. we as a country did not fold. We did not bow down to these people. Look at the way God was glorified in that situation. People helping people. Amazing!
vs. 13- Paul saw that his circumstances weren't as important as what he chose to do with them. He reached out to the Roman soldiers (the Palace guard) and he encouraged Christians who were afraid of persecution. W all have times of discouragement, but how we act during these times is how people see our Christianity. Our behavior reflects what we believe. We should show our faith the most in bad situations.
I personally had to repent a lot on this one when I was going through infertility. I was not the best Christian spokesperson. lol. I was very angry at the Lord and I let him know about it. I became very bitter and lived a very closed off life because of it. The hardest thing that I have ever done was to fall down on my knees and just finally say, " Lord, take it, take it away from me, carry it for me because I can't carry it anymore (the burden). " It took so much pain just to get to that point on my knees on my bathroom floor. Not something that I tell you with pride but I believe that sharing our struggles makes us stronger and that was definitely my hardest struggle ever.
vs. 13- Paul ended up in chains in prison because some Jews had him arrested for preaching the Gospel, but he appealed to Ceasar. (Acts 21:15-25) He was then escorted by soldiers to Rome where he was placed under house arrest while awaiting trial. At this time, proclaiming the Gospel was not considered a very serious charge. Later, however, it became deathly serious. Paul's house arrest gave him some freedom. He could have visitors, preach and write letters. For more on Paul's time in Rome, visit Acts 28:11-31.
vs.14-We are an encouragement by the way that we live. Speaking for Christ and living in faith encourages other believers to do the same. The people gained more from Paul being in prison. It made them bold and courageous with the Gospel.
vs. 15- Oh boy, this is all over the church today! Jealousy and rivalry. We can trace this back to Cain and Abel. One of my worst faults is jealousy and I hate it! I am competitive. I absolutely abhor that about myself. I fight it all of the time! There are a few people that I can get into a rivalry with if I let it happen (actually it's only 2 people) so I have to be on guard and not let things that are said make me angry and competitive!
15-16: Some preach with pure motives. As we all should!
17-18: Selfish ambition, not sincere, intending to make my chains more painful to me. Sticking it to him, making him more miserable, we shouldn't condone or excuse these motives but be glad that that the Gospel is preached! God won't condone or excuse these motives so we shouldn't worry. He has it under control. Just rejoice that the Gospel is being preached, regardless!
19: Paul knew that he could either be released or executed. He trusted Christ to work it out for his deliverance whatever his deliverance would be. Paul's prayer was that when he stood trial that he would speak for Christ and not be ashamed. That he would be bold for Christ and not timid. Whether he lived or died, to exalt Christ!
There is so much truth and application to my life right now in these few verses. God has really been speaking to me when I read the book of Philippians. I needed this book. I needed the strength that your friendship has brought to me. I needed godly women to do this study with and I believe that the Lord has brought the right ones to this study, just as I prayed. There may not be very many but that's okay. I believe that I am truly blessed by those who are participating. God is going to reveal some special things to us in this study! He has already shown me so many things about my life that I need to analyze and pray about and change!
Tomorrow we are going to read the rest of Chapter 1. vs. 20-30 and then we are taking the weekend off if no one has any objections! I will post about these verses tomorrow and then I will see you again on Monday!
Love to all,