A Gospel Perspective
Philippians 1:12-18 – A Gospel Perspective
In verses 12-18, Paul begins to show the Philippians how they should view his imprisonment from a gospel-perspective. The Christians in Philippi were distraught because they saw Paul’s imprisonment as a deterrent to the advance of the gospel. Why would God allow His most effective missionary to be chained down? This can’t be God’s will can it? Paul shows them that just the opposite is true (v. 12). Nothing can stop the advance of the gospel, not the stone walls of a Roman prison, the bronze breast-plate of a Roman soldier, the dry-wall of your office or the hard-hearts of those around you. Be confident in the power of the gospel!
When we hear of Christians suffering for their faith, we should pray for relief, yes, but we should also pray that they would have confidence that the gospel can advance through their suffering. Also, as we see others suffer for the Faith, we ought to ask God to embolden us through their example in our own gospeling. Which is what happened in Paul’s situation. “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much bolder to speak the word without fear.” (v. 14)
When you are evaluating suffering in your life and asking God for the purpose behind your difficulty, understand that the answer lies in three areas, His glory, our good and the advance of the gospel. As you make decisions in your life, ask, “What option will most advance the gospel?” Realize that no obstacle is too great for the gospel to overcome.
Rev. David Camera
River Oaks Presbyterian Church