Philippians 1:12-30 – Advancing the Gospel

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In preparation for this week, I am struck once again by Paul wholehearted orientation to the gospel. Paul’s whole understanding of the world in rooted in the new reality of the gospel, and he perceives everything as an opportunity to be shaped deeper by the reality of Christ and to share with world the good news of God redeeming work accomplished through his Son. He understands gospel progress as both an internal (ie., spiritual growth) and external (ie., evangelistic) reality.

– through present circumstances—good or bad— the gospel is being advanced
– despite opposition with fellow Christians the gospel is being preached
– regardless of life or death, he will know and serve Jesus more deeply

In discussing his personal circumstances, Paul relates everything to the gospel and the advancement of the gospel in and through his life. He is compelling the Philippian church and us to have the same perspective, attitude and lifestyle.

I pray that this week the deeper significance of your circumstances—good, bad or indifferent— we be revealed to you as the gospel more fully resonates in and through you.

In preparation for worship together on Sunday:

– Read the whole book of Philippians again. Reflect on Paul’s love for his brothers and sisters, and their partnership in the gospel.
– Read this week’s section (Phil 1:12-30). “To live is Christ. To die is gain.” For Paul all of life is about the good news of Jesus being know and being shared. Jesus is everything.