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Summary: Paul is in love with the One who redeemed him; he's enthralled; 100% totally devoted. Paul teaches that he can rejoice when Christ is preached because it is Jesus who redeems mankind ... can we say the same about our life?

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“A Prisoner for the Gospel (Part 1)”

Philippians Sermon Series, Part 3

Philippians 1:12-18

Introduction

- Last time we saw several Paul’s heart in how he prayed earnestly for the church

- Part 1: Verse 9

-- That your love, that the very inner part of your being and who your are

-- Grow more and more as you grow closer to Christ every day

-- “Knowledge” deals with general principles (things that are taught to you)

-- But when he uses “insight” he’s referring to how it is applied in your life

-- Meaning: That we would learn how to apply love even more than before

- Part 2: Verse 10

-- To do the things that He has commanded us to do (see Great Commission)

-- Paul is calling us to be wise, to know how to apply the things of God daily

-- IMP: That we would KNOW how to use God’s word in application of living

-- APP: That we would learn how to love people like God loved us

- Now … what happens when you put Verse 9 and 10 together in life application?

-- Real simple … LOOK AT ME … “Love God, Love People”!

-- IMP: We should be persons faithful to our love for Him and to share Him

-- That when Christ appears, we would be found working and without blame

- Part 3: Verse 11

-- First, he prays that they’d (we’d) be filled with righteousness

- And that this filling would happen, “to the glory and praise of God”!

-- The Disciples felt this very same way: Acts 4:20, “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

- Paul’s prayer is because His affection is so great for the Body he must tell

- Today (and Wed), we will examine what it means to be a prisoner of the Gospel

- Read Philippians 1:12-18

∆ Point 1 – Preaching Strengthens the Church

- If you notice, Paul once again identifies himself as a prisoner of Christ

-- He is literally one who is enslaved by, or captured by, His Lord and Savior

-- But, the obvious question we’d ask is this: “Why?” Why would he do this?

- Well first, we need to understand the context in which he writes (v12)

-- “Brothers and sisters” refers solely to believers in Christ

-- The word used here is “adelphoi”; those who are parts of God’s family

- “Actually served” is a confirmation that what’s happening is a good thing

-- We’d immediately think of being a prisoner as something negative

-- It has negative connotations from our social climate because it is punishment

-- APP: Rather, Paul says it has served the HELP ADVANCE the ministry

- Why? Because (v13) the entire palace knows who he lives and serves

-- It has actually proven as an opportunity for him to witness for Christ

-- Imagine this: You are a Roman guard, faithful to Rome, charged with guarding

-- And ... day and night all you get to listen to is THIS NUT who loves Jesus!

- But even more so, Paul uses this as an opportunity to testify … constantly

-- It is not about him, or his situation, but who God is in his life

-- And yes … even as a prisoner who has no freedom, he is STILL free!

-- APP: If we could get a hold of this we’d stop worrying about others opinions

-- IMP: We’d stop worrying about “will so and so like me” and get to telling!

- Again, from last Sunday, churches don’t grow b/c there’s no partnership

-- The partnership is not horizontal; it’s VERTICAL as we partner with Christ

-- The work is His, the ministry is His, and we get the honor of serving Him!

- Now, watch this for a confirmation of who God is in Paul’s life

-- Re-read v14 with emphasis: “And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”

- Every time an angel appears to mankind we get the charge: “Fear not!”

-- Well, here we see the testimony of one man has strengthened the church to tell

-- We see that Paul is willing to do whatever it takes b/c of who Jesus is!

- Challenge: Where are we in this? Are we afraid? Do we hesitate?

-- Well if so … then ask yourself this: “Who do you serve?”

-- Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."”

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