Paul’s unshakable confidence in the Lord’s providence underpinned all that he wrote. Regardless of his circumstances, he focused on the well-being of the Church and the advancement of the Gospel. Under God’s sovereign hand, teaches Alistair Begg, stumbling blocks can be turned into stepping stones for the unfolding of His plan. Like Paul, we can remain optimistic even in the most dire of circumstances when we trust God’s purposes in our lives.
12I want you to know, brothers,5 that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard6 and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word7 without fear.
15Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice,
Even as a prisoner, the Apostle Paul remained confident about his direction and purpose in life: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” When pride and jealousy fostered division among the Philippian Christians, then, Paul redirected their focus to Jesus, the supreme example of sacrificial love. Passionate that all should share in God’s grace, he also provided principles to guide the Church in all generations as we set our sights on Him.
In Volume 1 of this series, Alistair Begg examines the loving, Gospel-centered partnership Paul enjoyed with the Philippians. Concerned that neither their fellowship nor their witness would be jeopardized, Paul promoted unity through humility, charity, and practical obedience. By trusting in God’s providence and promises, we too can learn to rejoice in all circumstances and display faith that is attractive to a watching world.
|Partners in the Gospel||Philippians 1:1-6|
|Feelings and Longings||Philippians 1:7-11|
|Christ is Preached||Philippians 1:12-18|
|Desires and Necessities||Philippians 1:18-26|
|Take a Stand||Philippians 1:27-30|
|Living in Harmony||Philippians 2:1-4|
|The Attitude of Christ||Philippians 2:5-8|
|Name Above Every Other Name||Philippians 2:9-11|
|Who is Doing What?||Philippians 2:12-13|
|Becoming Children of God||Philippians 2:14-18|
|That's What Friends Are||Philippians 2:19-30|
The Apostle Paul was in no doubt as to his direction and purpose in life. In the very heart of this letter to the Philippians, he makes his focus clear. "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" Throughout this letter, Paul urges upon these dear Philippian believers the need for them to be equally focused when it comes to the matter of living for Christ.
This series of studies will not only prove useful for the Christian who is seeking to get "back on track," but also to the local church that is seeking to discover its identity in Christ and fulfill the purpose God has for it. The problems that had arisen among Philippian Christians could not be allowed to jeopardize their enjoyment of one another’s company, nor their witness before the watching world. Like a skillful shepherd, Paul establishes them in the truths necessary to live for Christ.
|Righteousness From God||Philippians 3:1|
|I Want To Know Christ||Philippians 3:4|
|Christian Maturity||Philippians 3:12|
|Where Do I Belong?||Philippians 3:17-4:1|
|Love, Joy, Peace||Philippians 4:2|
|The Power of Proper Thinking||Philippians 4:1|
|Learning for Living||Philippians 4:8|
|The Secret of Contentment||Philippians 4:10|
|Spiritual Investing, Part One||Philippians 4:14|
|Spiritual Investing, Part Two||Philippians 4:14|