Scripture: Philippians 1:12-26
- In this passage, Paul provides a personal update to encourage the Philippians by his experiences and to provide an example for them to follow.
- Paul rejoices because the gospel is making progress.
- Paul's imprisonment affords an opportunity to evangelize Caesar's high-ranking guards.
- Paul encourages the Philippians by sharing how his chains and persecution have been turned for the advance of the gospel.
- Paul's rivals tried to created trouble on account of his imprisonment, but God turned it for good.
- Paul hoped for deliverance, but his heart's desire was that he wouldn't be put to shame, but that in his body Christ would be magnified.
- The paradox of Christian discipleship is that God calls us to suffering to magnify Christ's resurrection power.
- Paul suffered greatly for the gospel facing personal opposition, mobs, false accusations, shipwrecks, and imprisonment.
- Jesus' humility, and suffering brought about his exaltation (Philippians 2:5-11).
- If we want to know who God is, we need to meditate on the cross, with its humiliation, suffering, and power.
- Paul's singular passion to magnify Christ enabled him to say that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
- Though our bodies are marked by suffering and death, we will one day receive a glorified body. This is the Christian hope.
- The New Testament emphasizes the hope of the resurrection, giving little detail about the intermediate state, but Paul writes that he'll be “with the Lord.”
- Paul's hope under adversity is reflected in this exaltation: “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ.”
- As we become a people united in prayer, we can see the world as Paul saw it.
- We are to live in the provision and life of the Spirit who binds us to Christ and to one another.
- In prayer we rejoice and experience this communion bond in Christ.
- What was Paul's attitude toward 1) his imprisonment, and 2) the possibility of death?
- What do we learn about the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:5-10?
- What changes when we look at all our life circumstances through the lens of the gospel?
- How should we respond to those who preach the gospel out of envy and selfish ambition?
- Do we face our trials with joy and confidence of victory, as reflected in Paul's letter to the Philippians?
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit and prayer in gaining a right perspective on suffering as a Christian?
- How is the glory of Christ revealed in our sufferings?
- Do we focus on the negative, or do we see the good that God is bringing out of the trials in our lives?
- Is the overarching desire of my life that Christ be magnified?