Summary: Paul wanted the church to know, then and now, that if we remain in Christ, our trials will actually serve to "Advance the "Gospel".
A. Series of Phlippians
1. Book of Joy but misleading and should be “Joy Amidst Trial”
2. Paul (Acts 16.16) after expelling a demon spirit from a slave girl who made her masters money from her ability as a fortune teller, was arrested.
a. Owners accused him of inciting a riot
b. Beaten, whipped and from court to court
c. Being a Roman citizen, he had the right to appeal to Caesar and did so
3. Paul is under House Arrest where he has been for 2 years chained to a Roman Guard waiting to see Caesar.
4. Same time Paul wrote all of the Prison Epistles (Eph., Phil., Col., Philemon and if some say Hebrews (if he wrote Hebrews))
B. Series History
1. Part 1: Phil. 1.1-11 - “Partners In Christ”. We have a responsibility.
2. Part 2: Phil. 1.12-14 – “I Want You To Know!”
C. The Church’s Response
1. Obviously they heard of his plight
2. Sent letter & financial gift through Epaphroditus
D. The Question: “HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO BAD NEWS?”
(last week – as individuals – what about as a member of the church?)
1. Assume the worst or the best?
2. (stay hush hush) – then Get on the phone
3. Gather more information
4. Seek the Father!
E. The Philippian Church
1. Did NOT Scatter – Did NOT Ask Questions – They RESPONDED
2. Prayed (A praying church – remember it was started by a group of women praying)
3. Collected a special offering
4. Sent Letter of Encouragement and Gift to Paul
5. This Letter of Phil. Is a letter of thanksgiving & gratitude.
6. Amazing is the tone of extreme joy and rejoicing while Paul is in chains
READ FULL PASSAGE: PHILIPPIANS 1:12-14
** 2 LESSONS FOR US IN THESE AWESOME 2 VERSES:
1. God Is NOT Taken By Surprise
2. God (even in the church) Will Use The Chains
I. GOD IS NOT TAKEN BY SURPRISE
READ VERSE 12
A. Obvious They Were MisInformed to Some Degree
12- “I want you to know”
1. Think about what they were AWARE OF:
a. Arrest in Jerusalem for false charges
b. He was in prison for 2 years in Caesarea
c. Knew he could have been released but instead chose to appeal
d. He had appealed to Caesar (even though they were not sure why?)
e. He was no for 2 years in prison in Rome
2. They obviously Didn’t Understand (now I want you …)
a. Paul was their minister
b. Had an awesome ministry and reputation
c. Such a waste of talent
d. Surely God must have made a mistake?!
e. HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE THEY MUST HAVE FELT?
ILL: THIS PAST WEEK
1. Wed., I was studying our text for today
2. I had all this painful news on my mind (Ms. Virginia, Patsy, Judy, etc)
3. Some of our own people and their situations
4. Began to Pray
5. GOD IMMEDIATELY REPEATED VERSE 12 IN MY HEAD
6. Not 10 minutes later, I was talking with Cindy Cox
“I know I shouldn’t but sometimes I feel like God has really made a mistake”
7. (We all can relate) Verse 12
B. Let’s Examine The REAL STORY – THE REST OF THE STORY!
RE-READ VERSE 12 – He knew that just as he had earlier written in
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
C. Let’s EXAMINE What DID Happen
As Paul writes this passage, he is seeing some history in his mind. For example:
1. Acts 27.2 - Set sail
1. Acts 27:7,10,14 - Paul warns of storm
2. Acts 27.21-26 - Spirit tells Paul to relax
3. Acts 28.2,3,5 - Snake in Malta begins ministry
4. Acts 28.8-9 - Ministry in Malta
D. SUMMARY – PAUL KNEW AND HE WANTED THEM TO KNOW:
[SCR] 1. Phil 1:6 ‘he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion’
God Had a Plan – Not taken by surprise
God Had a Purpose – The Gospel would be advanced
God Had a Promise – He will accomplish his work in and thru us if we are available.
2. BUT – WE MUST REMAIN IN THE VINE
a. Satan wanted them & Paul to panic. Satan (the thief) wants them TO SCATTER just as he wants you at home, at work, at church TO SCATTER when THE CHAINS COME.
b. God’s Promise
[SCR] John 10:10 “the thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!”
[SCR] 3. READ VERSE 12
II. GOD USED THE CHAINS
Behind the scenes God had already been at work. Even while the church was collecting the money and Epaphroditus was in route – God was at work. LOOK AT VERSE 13