Saturday, June 17, 2017


To the glory of God through Jesus Christ

Many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds." 1:14. The mature Christians in the Philippian fellowship who were called to preach or teach did so with extra vigor because they saw he was doing the right thing which inevitably lead them to praise the Lord in a stronger more sincere way. These particular teachers were not afraid of being thrown in prison because they observed Him and had extra boldness in obeying God. Wow this is the place to be and I'm glad the Apostle Paul did everything he could to explain his earthy plight which was nothing more than a heavenly design.

The term ... "Waxing confident in my bonds" means that Paul was actually able to be encouraged even though His enemies meant this for evil. Remember in the Old Testament Joseph told his brothers that you meant this for evil but God turned the whole situation around for good.

I have not been an angel in my life if you know what I mean but every time I endeavored to do something good for the Lord I eventually received opposing resistant evil from people that really did not like Christianity and God always turned it around for good in His way and in His timing. We ask why but God responds," I am going to do something greater because you were the recipient of evil and my plan is going to turn it around for good." The "Good" is usually multiplied many times over than the original commission from the Lord. At the very least these verses are a model for anybody out there reading this article in how God operates in a situation like this in our labor for Jesus Christ.

(15) "The one preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will. (16) The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely to add affliction to my bonds." Philippians 1:15-16. Why is Paul belaboring the point? Because what was happening was big in their world and he wanted to break down each point so there would not be any confusion.

Paul had enemies that wanted to undermine him but there were also people that admired Paul and desired to teach the gospel with the right motives. The enemies were described in the part of the verse that read ... "To add affliction to my bonds." There were others that saw Paul was suffering and preached really powerful sermons because the phrase ... "And some of good will." The Bible says, "But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel." These people that observed Paul standing up for the gospel through persecution became more bold and many converts came forward to accept Jesus Christ into their lives.

In the next verse Paul gives two motives that a person can have when they teach but he still was rejoicing at both scenarios for one reason. "What then notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and I therefore do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." 1:18.

Paul was saying that the people that had center stage teaching biblical precepts with the wrong motives were completely out of his jurisdiction and he knew that God was going to judge their erroneous reasons for doing what they were engaging in which was the right message with "Me" in their hearts instead of Jesus Christ. Paul was still rejoicing because people were still inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts. Of course he was even more glad in his spirit toward the teachers that had such conviction about themselves for the right reasons.

"For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." 1:19. In simple terms God can bring good out of evil. At the risk of repeating myself remember in the story of Joseph in the Old Testament he said to his brothers when in charge you meant this for evil but God turned it around for good. Paul knew that God was going to judge evil and turn his whole situation around for a Godly purpose. He was not blind to this but are we able to see this in our own life?

Notice the phrase,..."Through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." People in the Philippian fellowship were fervently praying to God that the gospel would be expanded through ministers presenting Jesus Christ to others but I don't even think they were expecting people teaching in pretense would win converts over to repentance. By the way the spelling of pretense was spelled different in the first century (Pretence).

"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." 1:20. This whole thing is all about giving glory to Jesus Christ. If we are a true Christian this is where our priority and empathies should be in our heart. It is not about us so in these broken down bodies the Son of God is supposed to get the honor but our soul has to be in the right heavenly pure place.

Paul talks about boldness in this verse but we are used to seeing this spirit in the flesh. A boss hammers down on an employee or a fist fight breaks out over there but in the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus Christ gets the honor and the glory. Christians get confused on what hope is but this is the answer. Our hope is to be in the glory of Jesus Christ. If this is truly our goal then this will become a reality in our lives. How many people have this aspiration in their life? Not many but on rare occasion we will be able to notice this in a Christian but we need to start with ourselves.

Notice in this verse Paul did not care if he lived or died because he knew this whole scenario was about the Lamb of God who died for our sins and this Apostle was just a vessel for God. If he lived he was going to labor if he died he was not going to suffer. Either way it was for Jesus Christ. That is why Paul was able to say, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 1:21.

The thanksgiving and praise should be at the center of our hearts and at the end of our lives. Notice how Paul went from flesh to spirit. He starts out explaining a very bad situation and now he is in the throne room of God giving praise and glory to Jesus Christ. We need to incorporate this principle in our lives. Yes we have lingering problems but can we see the whole blueprint of God and allow the Holy Spirit to have first place in our focus? When we are going through problems where is our empathies? Is it on our dilemma or do we want to end up thanking and praising God out of the ashes in the fire.

The Apostle Paul was willing to stay on earth to minister to others but knew that if he died no evil would be in the next life for him. Remember he is only speaking about himself.

If you don't know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior and Lord it would be wise if you invited Him into your heart by repenting of all your sins and asking Him to come into your life.

As you can see the wise believer incorporates his or her problems for the glory of God. How would you like to be walking with Jesus Christ in the middle of your issues while traveling through life? If you made that all important eternal decision then realize you now have an opportunity to give thanks and glory to God through Jesus Christ when you face issues, problems and dilemmas. This will give glory to God because often times our problems can become an idol in our life. Jesus Christ does not desire this for anybody. He is our Creator and wants to be first place in our life. Do not take life into your own hands because Jesus Christ wants to take our problems so the burden will not be on us. In return we end up praising God because that was the plan all along. What lifestyle sounds more appealing to you?

Love in Christ,
Bob D.

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