Joy In Christ Being Preached, Evans Olang

Posted on Updated on


Philippians 1:12-18, “12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”

Apostle Paul in my judgment had one of the most unique ways of expressing himself in things most of us would have negative response too. I can imagine how his enemies could not figure him out. Whatever they tried to do to him, they found only worked to his advantage. When left to preach, he spread the gospel like wild fire. When they tried to contain him by locking him up, that did not stop him but rather fueled the fire of the gospel, jailers were hearing the gospel, one in particular being saved in Acts 16. While Paul could be chained, the gospel he preached could not be chained. When they threatened to kill him, his response, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. What else would you do to him to diminish his joy? Absolutely nothing.

The apostle was a prisoner at Rome; and to take off the offence of the cross, he showed the wisdom and goodness of God in his sufferings. While our time people would be casting out demons, Paul rejoiced in his suffering. He says, vs. 12. “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel”. Not that it was preparing him for comfort or made him happy, but rather Christ was being magnified in the midst of it. These things made him known where he would never have otherwise been known; and led some to inquire after the gospel. He suffered from false friends, as well as from enemies. It’s interesting to note that Paul always thrived in adversity more than he did in comfort. That gave him such great joy.

The other thing that gave him joy was brethren taking courage from his boldness while in bonds. They became engaged in preaching the gospel with greater zeal than ever before without fear, Vs. “14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear”. Pastor Phil’s boldness to preach on the streets of New York City and the Bronx area has rubbed on me to fearlessly preach the gospel. I have witnessed him being ridiculed, heckled and threatened but that has never stopped him from preaching the gospel. Two of his buddies Ivan and Jose have gained boldness to preach on the streets because of what they see in him.

To add to his joy, he says, vs. 15-17, “15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel”. There are two classes here, those who preached Christ the right way with the wrong motive and in that he rejoiced. Paul would rather have the right gospel preached the right way by the wrong people than the right people preach the wrong gospel the wrong way. There were those who were envying Paul’s success, and striving to hurt him thereby. Now this would be a stumbling-block and discouragement to some. These were people who were secretly pleased when he was laid up in prison, that they might have the better opportunity to steal away the people’s affections to gain to themselves the reputation he had. As the gospel was not about him, he rejoiced that Christ was preached to which he responds in vs. 18 “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”

Is the joy you have the kind of joy that confuses your enemies? By that I mean, whatever they try to do to silence you has no effect on you, if anything, it’s advancing Christ where you are?. Many lose joy in the midst of suffering, can we trust Christ to make us joyous in the midst of what we go through to advance His kingdom?, Paul did and may we. Blessings Ev

Advertisements

If You Have Been Blessed By This Post, Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s