Sep 13, 2020. Philippians 1:12-14

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UNRELENTING WITNESS. Philippians 1:12-14. 09/13/20. #02.

Philippians 1:12-14 [New King James Version]

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole [a]palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Better
    • No one thought that Paul’s imprisonment was good
      • Paul was awaiting trial to possible be killed
      • Paul was out of circulation as a preacher
      • Paul was not a state criminal
    • Even though, like Joseph (Genesis 50:20), his enemies meant his jailing for evil, God meant it for good
      • Instead of axing the Gospel, it advanced it
      • God used the situation to spread the Word
    • Three benefits came from Paul’s imprisonment:
      • Paul gained a powerful new audience: the prison guards, who had influence in palace
      • Instead of gaining a reputation as a criminal Paul was known to be persecuted for preaching Christ (exposing more to message)
      • Paul’s chains and his boldness while jailed, emboldened new believers
  • Prison Pulpit
    • Paul was in prison and guards rotated watch over him
      • Being a captive, Paul witnessed to a captive audience (guards had to hear the Gospel)
      • As guards considered Paul’s words, many came to faith
    • As the guards came to faith, they took Gospel to others in the palace (stewards, chefs, maids,…)
      • The move to stop the Gospel, actually brought the Gospel into Caesar’s house
      • Paul was not deterred by jail or threats
      • Paul was able to speak to an audience unreachable by any other means
    • Paul saw his persecution as an opportunity
      • Romans 8:18-30 God uses the suffering of the believer as a testimony and the faithful sufferer bears fruit
      • We do not always know what the Lord is doing through our trials, but we must trust his leading
    • Persecution has 3 main purposes:
      • Proving the saint to show genuineness of faith
      • Working in others in new ways
      • Growth of faith and expansion of testimony
    • Both the guards and those who met Paul understood plight:
      • Paul was not a criminal (thief, murderer, rebel…)
      • Paul was in prison for his beliefs
      • Paul’s demeanor and deportment testified that he was an honorable man suffering for a genuine faith
  • Chain reaction
    • Before Paul’s imprisonment, many believers were fearful to witness, not wanting to suffer the wrath of the government
    • After Paul demonstrated courage and even joy of suffering for Christ, fearful believers were emboldened to witness
      • When believers bravely suffer with joy, other saints are greatly encouraged in their walk of faith
      • Once the fear of suffering and death are removed, a believer can reach his full influence (Matthew 11:28-30)
    • Three great enemies of faith: (1) laziness  (2) fear  (3) pleasure
      • Paul showed how to be confident in sharing faith
      • There is an eternal purpose in trials (beyond sight)
    • Instead of seeking why my suffering, a believer needs to seek what the Lord wants to do through the suffering
    • Faithfulness through trials will bear fruit in due season