Pressing  On

Philippians 1

 

Introduction 

Philippi was a leading city  in Macadonia. Paul arrived there on his second missionary journey and  established a church, which largely comprised of Gentiles(Acts 16: 12-40) 

It is evident from the  content of this book that Paul wrote this letter to the Philipians from prison. (Phil 1:13-14) 13 As a result, it has become clear  throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for  Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been  encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. 

When the Philipian church  heard of his imprisonment they sent him gifts. Paul was wishing to thank them  for the gifts, and was also taking the opportunity to advise them of his  circumstances. He was also encouraging the Philipians to stand firm, exhort them  to humility and commending Timothy and Epapharoditus. 

This church was a special  delight to Paul, because the members had responded in such an exemplary way when  he had collected funds for the church in Jerusalem. It is evident that Paul had  a great bond of love and confidence in them and that appeared to be unequalled  with any of the other churches. As a consequence this appears to be the most  personal of letters that he wrote. Paul has a lot to say about the gospel and  repeatedly points out its significance in his ministry. It is also significant  that Paul mentions the words “Joy” or “rejoice” which occur sixteen times in  this letter. He knew how to encourage when he himself had adverse  circumstances.

Precious Love Brings Persistent loyalty

Paul has kept in contact with the Philippians  since founding the church ten years earlier. Here is demonstrated relationship and loyalty. This is effective  when it stems from obedience, but when it comes from a heart of love it is more  effective, and is a pleasure for the participator.

It was with a heart full of praise when Paul  wrote, “I thank my God (not our, or your) in all my remembrance of  you.”  Paul had a personal intimate relationship with God.  

How is this level of  relationship born and nurtured?

  • Firstly by being born again
  • Getting to know about Jesus  Phil 3:10
  • Getting to know Him intimately Phil 3:10

 An intimate relationship is two ways. (Listening, benefits both parties) 

Paul goes onto write Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion  until the day of Christ Jesus. 

Why was Paul  confident?

  • He knew who was doing the work
  • He saw openly demonstrated in the Philippians lives their attitude and support.

 Therefore God was committed to complete that which he had commenced. 

Therefore if we walk  in the light of what has been revealed to us with right attitude God will  perform and carry out what He has started. 

Purpose in Problems  

Paul was not rapped up in his own circumstance, which would have  been very easy.

He says Phil 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or  defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me. 

Paul had an amazing attitude to persecution  and problems. He saw beyond the problem into the purpose. (Phil 1:13-21) 13 As a  result, it has become clear throughout the whole  palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains,  most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God  more courageously and fearlessly.

15 It is true that  some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The  latter do so in love,  knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing  that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.  18 But what does it  matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or  true, Christ is preached.  And because of this I rejoice.  

Yes, and I will  continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given  by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my  deliverance.  20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but  will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,  whether by life or by death. 

Paul saw the purpose and not the problem. He  understood that God was sovereign and saw beyond the present times to eternal  values. He didn’t know that his letters would be read and influence millions of  people. If he hadn’t been in prison, the letters wouldn’t have been written, or  influenced many to salvation. We don’t know in the now what might be in the  future. 

Satan meant it to harm us but God meant it for our good. 

We have been born for purpose.

Phil 1:29-30 29  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear  that I still have.  

God brought us to birth for eternity not  this life. This life is only our preparation. 

Paul said:- Phil 1:20-24  21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me.  Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be  with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I  remain in the body.

Paul recognised the outworking of God in his  life no matter what might happen to him. We are called to die, to self.

Persevering in Prayer and Praise 

His prayer for them is constant, (Phil 1:4) in all my prayers for all of you. Not  on the odd occasion, not selective but ALL.  

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous  man availeth much. When we pray in line with Gods divine purposes, we are  destined to see Gods answers. 

He also prays that they will be prepared for  the day of Christ?.

Phil 1:10-11 10 so  that you may be able to  discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the  day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of  righteousness that comes  through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.

Paul, wants to see God glorified by rich  fruits of righteousness demonstrated in their lives, but for the purpose of  bringing Glory of God. 

Paul recognises the effect of the  Philippians prayers. Phil  1:19-20 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ,  what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

Pressing into Proclaiming The Gospel 

Paul noting the gifts that the church has made in spreading the  gospel.  They have shared in his ministry. 

Phil 1:4-5 In all  my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel  from the first day until now, 

The Philippians are partners in  the spread of the gospel,  as they were in Thessalonica  (Phil.  4:15),  in Corinth  (Acts 18:5;  2 Cor.   11:7 -10), and now in Rome. Through their gifts and prayers   they were a vital link in  Paul's  ministry. They kept the life - line to Paul’s  missions open. Paul is thinking of their cooperation in the work of spreading  the Gospel.  They have given everything they have materially and spiritually for  the cause of Christ. This is true koinonia.  

Participation - Koinonia

Koinonia, is a having in common,  partnership, communion, fellow¬≠ship, sharing in common; that which is the  outcome of fellowship, a contribution. It means “fellowship,” “joint  participation,” “partnership,” these are various words we use to translate. koinonia.   

Here is a demonstration in Paul of a pure heart and a motive in  the support of those who preach the gospel. Phil 1:15-18.  15 It is true that some  preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am  put here for the defence of the gospel. 17 The  former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they  can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.  18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

It can be so easy to criticise the methodology or presentation of  Evangelists, but let us not forget that the scripture says:- 1 Cor 9:22 22 To the weak  I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible  means I might save some

Positive Pronouncements

Phil 1:27-28 27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in  a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will  know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign  to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved-and that by  God. 

  • So whatever happens, focus on our relationship with Jesus.
  • Submit to the Saviour
  • Stand firm in the unity of the spirit
  • Sound the clarion call of the gospel