Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
It is important to remember God’s promise to His children in the book of Romans.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
There are many tragic events in our world. There are lost people who die and go to hell. That is a tragedy. The apostle Paul was directed by God to remind the saints in Philippi that his beating and imprisonment was not a tragedy. It was not a pleasant thing, but God used it to save the jailer and his family. This also opened the door for others to hear the Gospel, including those in government positions. It also gave opportunity for the false teachers to see that they could not stop God’s Word from being proclaimed.
God is not mean. He does not take pleasure in seeing His children suffer. He knows that wicked people will act out their wickedness in very cruel ways at times. He provides a right spirit in His children so that they can accept these things with a right attitude.
We know that the apostle Paul and Silas had a right attitude toward the suffering they faced at the hands of wicked people in Philippi. They were singing praises to God as they were sitting in stocks in the prison at midnight. They were not grumbling and complaining about their situation. They were willing to suffer as true servants of Jesus Christ. They understood that those who had beaten them were lost and headed for hell. They also understood that the jailer was a lost man. They were ready to speak the truth to all people. They understood that God was using the difficulties they faced for His glory.
In verse 13 we see that the Gospel was being manifest in the palace and in all other places. It would be good if we could proclaim the Gospel in Mr. Trudeau’s house and in Parliament as well as in all other places. God’s truth is what our country needs more than anything else. Those who have seen the news have noticed that things are heating up more in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Russia is speaking in a more aggressive manner. There is a great need for the Gospel to be proclaimed in that part of the world as well. Those who are saved need to pray for opportunities to witness to the many who are lost all around us.
In verse 14 we see that other brethren in the Lord were gaining in confidence as they saw how Paul dealt with his sufferings. As we see, they were becoming more bold in their witness. God does not want His children to be intimidated by the scoffers and others who are opposed to the Gospel. God wants His children to speak with conviction and help others to see the importance of His truth. True saints need to be bold knowing that they have been given a message from the only true and wise God.
Paul was reminded that there were those who were not led by God in what they were doing. The Word of God was still being proclaimed, but with the wrong spirit. We know that Jonah preached the message that God told him to preach. He did not want to see the Ninevites repent and trust in God. He wanted God to destroy them.
In our text, there were those who despised the apostle Paul. They were not interested in seeing people saved. They wanted to silence the apostle Paul.
There were others who preached Christ out of a heart of love. They knew the love of God in their hearts and they wanted others to know God’s forgiveness and peace as well. These also had a love for the apostle Paul. They understood that he was chosen by God to proclaim God’s Word to all. Paul had been a Pharisee at one time. He would have supported the Judaizers. However, he was saved and now he taught the truth and thus exposed the heresy of the Pharisees and the Judaizers. Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of mankind. Any other Gospel other than that which Jesus is the head of, is a false Gospel. Paul preached with boldness and the false teachers did not like that. They wanted to keep the people in bondage. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will set the repentant sinner free.
Paul understood that not all those who preach Christ have His love in their heart. God would deal with that. God will use His Word even through an ungodly witness. If the Word of God is clearly proclaimed, It is powerful. This does not mean that it does not matter how the preacher lives. It does matter. The point here is the power of the Gospel.
It is interesting to observe someone who will preach a powerful message in the flesh. They are so hardened against the truth, that they refuse to heed the message themselves.
In verse 18 Paul reminds the Philippians not be be discouraged by those who have wrong motives. The true Christian is not focused on getting those who are doing things in a wrong way. The true Christian is focused on proclaiming the truth. In doing that, he will be exposing the false teachers. We see that in the Lord Jesus Christ. He taught the people the truth and the Pharisees and Sadducees and Scribes and lawyers came to tempt Him. They had no interest in the truth but they were drawn to Him like a magnet. God was giving them opportunity to be exposed to the truth and if they would reject that, it would be used in judgment against them. Jesus addressed the false teachers as needed. He used them as an example of how not to live. His focus was on helping the people to know the truth and to see the blessing of walking in truth.
We need boldness in our ministry today. We need to be fully convinced of God’s truth and we need to point people to the truth. We do not need to find some common ground with false teachers. We need to reject them and their message and teach the truth with boldness. That is what the lost need to hear and see.
God always gives people a clear choice. He challenges people to choose life, to choose truth. He makes it abundantly clear that the truth is what man needs. He also warns very clearly of the consequences of rejecting the truth. Wise people choose to know and follow the Lord today.