Immediately we’re coming to Philippians 1:12-18, so let’s take the time to learn these verses.
Now I need you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has occurred to me has truly served to advance the Gospel. In consequence, it has change into clear all through the entire palace guard and to everybody else that I’m in chains for Christ. And due to my chains, many of the brothers and sisters have change into assured within the Lord and dare all of the extra to proclaim the Gospel with out concern.
It’s true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, however others out of goodwill. The latter achieve this out of affection, understanding that I’m put right here for the protection of the Gospel. The previous preach Christ out of egocentric ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they will fire up hassle for me whereas I’m in chains.
However what does it matter? The vital factor is that in each method, whether or not from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And due to this I rejoice.
That is the Philippian model of Romans 8:28, the verse that claims, “For we all know that each one issues work collectively for good for individuals who love the Lord and are referred to as in keeping with His objective. I’ve a ebook dedicated to that topic, and it’s entitled God Works All Issues Collectively for Your Good. Within the prologue, I wrote:
Issues can final a very long time, however they will’t final perpetually. Guarantees can, and God’s guarantees do… We reside in a world of catastrophes and calamities, and none of us is aware of what is going to occur subsequent. With out God’s oversight, our futures are like scraps of paper scattering within the wind. However underneath his oversight, they’re like pages of hope indelibly written by grace. The Scriptures train we’ve a God who turns issues inside out—all our perils and perplexities…. In Christ, we’ve an ironclad, unfailing, all-encompassing, God-given assure that each single circumstance in life will in the end prove effectively for these dedicated to Him.
Paul had written Romans 8:28 three or 4 years beforehand, however now he demonstrates it in his personal circumstances. I need to base my define on this message on verse 12, the place Paul wrote What has occurred to me has truly served to advance the Gospel.
I’ve three factors: 1. What has occurred to me; 2. Has truly served; and three. To advance the Gospel. Let’s start with this phrase: What has occurred.
What Has Occurred…
Years in the past, there was a tv sequence referred to as the West Wing, and in a single dramatic episode, an murderer fired on the President. He and several other of his workers have been wounded. Because the President appeared by means of the home windows of the hospital intensive care unit, he appeared surprised and easily stated, “Look what occurred.” It was such a easy sentence, nevertheless it expressed the shock we really feel when surprising issues happen.
None of us know what’s going to occur between now and this time tomorrow. An surprising cellphone name in the midst of the night time may change our lives. A damaging weapon may very well be unleashed someplace on the earth. We don’t know what’s going to occur to us personally and we don’t know what’s going to occur to us globally. The phrase “occur” implies the unpredictability of life.
Paul used this phrase thrice on this chapter:
- Verse 12: Now I need you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has occurred to me…
- Verse 19: …what has occurred to me will prove for my deliverance.
- Verse 27: What occurs, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
What had occurred to Paul?
I’ve described this beforehand as I gave the background of the letter, however we are able to sum it up by saying Acts 22 by means of 28 occurred. That phrase “what has occurred” is a reference to the final seven chapters of the ebook of Acts. In Acts 20 and 21, Paul was on his option to Jerusalem to complete his third missionary journey. He was anticipating his fourth. In actual fact, he had spent three months in Corinth planning it and writing to the Romans, telling them he was coming. That’s when he included Romans 8:28 in his letter to them. However when he obtained to Jerusalem, his presence provoked a riot. He was seized by the Romans, imprisoned in Caesarea for 2 years, after which put aboard a ship for Rome. The ship crashed in a storm, and Paul was beached on the island of Malta, the place he was bitten by a viper. Then he was transported as a prisoner to Rome the place he was underneath home arrest for an additional two years. That’s the place the ebook of Acts ends. Now my very own view is that Paul was lastly on the verge of his trial earlier than Nero, and later within the chapter he explains that he doesn’t know the result. And he stated it didn’t matter an ideal deal to him, for to reside is Christ and to die is achieve. However he appeared optimistic he could be let out.
That’s what had occurred!
What has occurred to you? Paul isn’t the one individual whose plans fell aside. He’s not the one one who has confronted hardship. All of us have! Maybe one thing has occurred to you that has taken the wind out of your sails, the bounce out of your step, the twinkle out of your eye, and the enjoyment out of your coronary heart.
Effectively, that brings us to our subsequent phrase: What has occurred to me has truly served….
… Has Really Served…
The phrase “truly” is the Greek phrase mallon, which implies on the opposite or somewhat or as a substitute of. In different phrases, “The issues which have occurred to me have—opposite to what individuals might need thought—turned out for good. That is implied by the phrase truly.
For instance, suppose you stated to me, “You have to be very drained.” I’d reply, “Really I really feel nice. I’m filled with power.”
So Paul is saying, “Individuals suppose what occurred to me has harm me and hindered the Gospel, however truly the precise reverse has occurred.”
What has occurred to me has truly served….
That’s an incredible phrase. What has occurred to me—all my seeming misfortune and delay and imprisonment—all of that has truly served…. The circumstances of my life have change into servants of Christ’s instructions.
Our circumstances bow earlier than Jesus. We might not be capable to management them, and chaos could seem to reign. However the Savior who turned water to wine and dying to life can carry a few mutation, a transfiguration, a reversal, an evolution of our circumstances. The Savior can flip our circumstances into His servants for the development of His kingdom.
That is a part of redemption.
Mariana Laskava is a missionary to Ukraine with Phrase of Life. She works in a Bible Institute close to Kyiv and coaches college students in evangelism. When the Russian Invasion began, she was given lower than an hour to evacuate. She fled with solely a small suitcase and ended up in Spain. Now she’s planning to return. She instructed a journalist:
Once you go right into a storm like battle, in case you have a detailed relationship with God, you undergo the storm holding on to one thing steady.
The feelings, the trauma that you simply undergo might be very damaging, however should you maintain on to God, the true Sturdy Tower, you possibly can know the Lord much more….
On this storm, we’ve been in a position to carry the gospel to many individuals. In locations the place they’ve been left with out houses, with out assets, 90% of the volunteers working in Ukraine are Christians.
The church buildings are filling up with individuals who don’t know Christ.
One church in Kiev that I do know effectively is holding the conferences exterior the church constructing, as a result of inside there may be room for about 80 individuals and there are providers the place they’ve over 300 individuals attending. They’re doing actions for youngsters, for ladies.
I’ve seen church buildings celebrating baptisms. So God is glorified even within the midst of the darkest hours of our nation.
And that brings us to the final phrase of the sentence: Now I need you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has occurred to me has truly served to advance the Gospel.
…To Advance the Gospel
That was all that was on Paul’s thoughts—advancing the Gospel. Are you aware that he used the phrase “Gospel” extra intensely in Philippians than in another of his 13 books. In different phrases, Philippians has 104 verses, and Paul used the phrase Gospel 9 occasions. When it comes to proportions and percentages, there’s a higher focus of the usage of this phrase than in his different letters. The ebook of Romans is his solely letter that makes use of the phrase “Gospel” extra, nevertheless it has sixteen chapters. Simply look right here in Philippians, chapter 1.
- In verse 5, Paul stated he was partnering with the church within the unfold of the Gospel.
- In verse 7 he stated he was in chains for confirming the Gospel.
- Right here in verse 12, he’s speaking about advancing the Gospel.
- In verse 14, he needs to proclaim the Gospel.
- In verse 16, he’s defending the Gospel.
- In verse 27, he needs the Philippians to reside in a way worthy of the Gospel… striving collectively for the religion of the Gospel.
Once I see his zeal for the Gospel, I’m ashamed of myself. I’m able to rededicate myself. How a lot does your zeal in life mirror Paul’s concern for the development of the Gospel?
And so he goes on to elucidate that what had occurred to him—his adversity—had truly served to advance the Gospel in two methods.
(1) The Pretorian Guard
Paul explains in verse 13 that due to his chains, the entire guard unit and everybody else round had heard the gospel and realized that Christ was the rationale he proudly bore his chains.
(2) The Emboldened Believers
Second, Paul writes that his chains empowered and strengthened his fellow believers so they could higher share their religion with all boldness and confidence.
Not too long ago I preached at First Baptist Church in Damaged Arrow, Oklahoma. My buddy, Dr. Matt Brooks and I have been wanting ahead to having lunch together with his household. However I realized that because of flight adjustments I’d been rebooked to Nashville by means of Austin, Texas. I needed to rush to the airport to make the sooner flight. However once I obtained to Austin, I realized the flight to Nashville had been canceled. Lastly they booked me to Charlotte, North Carolina. Once I obtained to Charlotte, the flight to Nashville was having mechanical issues, and we didn’t board till almost midnight when all of us passengers—and the crew too, I feel—have been nearly comatose. Once I boarded the flight, my seat was 1-A in top notch, however somebody was already sitting in that seat. I instructed the flight attendant I’d sit wherever, however he stated that I couldn’t sit wherever. I may solely sit in seat 1-A. I had anticipated a brief continuous flight, and as a substitute I spent numerous hours bouncing across the nation on flight after flight! However God labored all issues for my good and his glory, and due to my seat improve, I used to be in a position to share the gospel with an expert baseball participant whose uncle is a legendary corridor of fame baseball star. Reward God for a way He works all of it collectively! What has occurred truly served to advance the Gospel.