Phil 1: 12 – 26

May 1, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment

is about how he is following Christ’s example

the happy prisoner

addresses their concern about his imprisonment

his imprisonment has turned out as a good thing for sharing the gospel

  • everyone now knows that he is in prison for the cause of Christ
    • praetorian guard
    • everyone else
  • has encouraged the brethren to be more bold in speaking the Word without fear

he could be released or executed (which he is really excited about either way) (see vs 21)

  • living for Jesus down here is fruitful gain for all of you and the Lord (see vs 22)
    • Dying down here, means departing to be what Christ, which is much better (see vs 23)
    • He does not view dying as the sacrifice , he views staying down here as the sacrifice !

(staying alive down here to serve others is the “sacrifice for the Lord”, and dying is the reward)

1:12 ¶ Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,

1:13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,

1:14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.

entire NT uses word gospel 94 times

Paul uses the word Gospel 72 times in his writings

Eph, Phil, Coll, Phil all written while he was in Roman jail 

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when you consider how small the book of Phil is compared to Romans

and the comparative frequency of gospel in that context , that high use!

then looking at the word joy

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Paul knows that his purpose is the gospel

that means his passion is the gospel

which means his priority is the gospel

Paul is going to tell us in this epistle that he is content, he has joy even while in prison … why ?

(because he can fulfill his purpose, enjoy his passion, and live out his priority no matter what the external circumstances)

1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

1:12 ¶ Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,

Paul has been arrested for his faith, been incarcerated, stood three trials in two years, and imprisoned for his faith in Rome.

he is in jail and telling others to rejoice with him while he is in a bad prison

(either he nuts or he is onto something we need to know about)

have you considered that a good measure of spiritual maturity is “what does it take to steal your joy”?

how easily are you distracted from your goal, your priority ?

Paul’s priority if the progress of the gospel, that is his master passion

Rom 1:15 “as much as is in me…”

Rom 15:20 “always been my ambition (passion)

why is this his priority ?

(it’s the only thing that could and did change him)

he has seen and experience it’s power

that changed his priority from destroying it to sharing it

Paul’s mindset is the key to his contentment

passion (result of understanding purpose)

predicament (as result of the passion)

perspective  (to explain and triumph over the predicament)

progress (4x)  G4297 (3x)

[Mounce Greek Dictionary]  

GK G4620 | S G4297   προκοπή   prokopē   3x

advance upon a way; met. progress, advancement, furtherance, Phil. 1:12, 25; 1 Tim. 4:15*


to go forth or forward; pro forward + gradi to step, go: cf. F. progrès. See Grade.]

 only used three times in NT

Philippians 1:12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has turned out to advance the gospel even more,
Philippians 1:25 So, convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,
1 Timothy 4:15 Continually practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that your progress might be visible to all.

also interesting to note that many scholars indicate that this word carries a note of progress through obstacles or opposition

what is your master passion and how easily can you get pulled off course from it ?

1:13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,

well known throughout the entire praetorian guard

the elite of the roman soldier masses

(the ss of rome)  (only 10,000 total)

guards to emperor and senators, protectors of the highest people in power of Rome

(these soldiers had privilege and access to basically anywhere in Rome, the emperor’s home and family for example)

imagine the roman christians praying some afternoon “if only we could get the gospel to the praetorians, they would take it into places we cant get into”

and God says “I’ll do that … Paul you are under arrest and chained to praetorian guards

(every 6 hrs, a new captive audience for Paul who’s purpose, passion, and priority is the prokope evangellion)

every try to share the gospel with some one who doesn’t care to converse and they walk off ?

(not this time, his audience is chained to him for 6 hrs)

verse 13 also says “and to everyone else” … the gospel is spreading through Paul’s prison ministry

1:14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.

jail is not an encouraging environment

(jail joke numbers)

it takes away freedom, it can destroy joy, it prevents hope

(depending on how you define freedom, find joy, and place your hope)

Paul recognizes that his predicament (as a result of his priority) has been used by God to progress the Gospel

(he understands that the chains on his ankles to restrict his physical movement are like jet engines to carry the evangellion to places he could never have gotten to himself)

in fact, the end of the letter indicates many of the household had in fact become christians

Phil. 4:22 aAll the 1bsaints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

Paul was not just witnessing to Praetorian guards, he was writing letters (paid for by the Roman govt)

this was his most productive time of ministry

Pauls confinement was God’s assignment

(and he had joy because he understood that)

many of us can feel like we are trapped, in prison …

(I cant change my life, I am trapped in these circumstances , these chains)

bad marriage, kids, job, family, finances , a set of responsibilities you didn’t sign up for(we have many forms of prison)

and many of us will go back to the day we gave our lives to God and said “I and yours”

(many of us actually meant “you are mine”  I don’t actually want your plan for my life, I want your blessing on my plan for my life

(I just want you to check it out and fix the little things I missed)

like making a blue print for your house and giving it to an architect after saying “design me a home”

which means make sure my plan will work.

if that is you, then the gospel is not your recognized purpose, it will not be your passion and it won’t be your priority

as long as you ignore your God given priority, you will likely, or quite often feel trapped

(unless one of two things happen:

  1. you adopt His purpose, surrendering your own)
  2. you have given up on any desire for fulfillment  and killed all passion for purpose

I would suggest not surrendering to the attack and adopt the one battle plan that is guaranteed victory 

a woman with 12 kids could certainly feel trapped with so many kids (this is not the blueprint I drew up)

Mrs Susanna Wesley certainly could justify her feeling entrapped raising 19 kids, two boys of which were named John and Charles

John Wesley theologian and evangelist, also a leader of the methodist movement, known for preaching outdoors for reaching the people

(15th child

Charles Wesley leader of the methodist movement wrote over 6500 hymns (including hark the herald angels sing)

18th child)

1. Samuel, nicknamed Sammy

2. Susanna

3. Emilia, nicknamed Emily

4. Annesley (twin)

5. Jedediah (twin)

6. Susanna, nicknamed Sukey

7. Mary, nicknamed Molly

8. Mehetabel, nicknamed Hetty

9. infant

10. John

11. Benjamin

12. infant (twin)

13. infant (twin)

14. Anne, nicknamed Nancy

15. John, nicknamed Jackie

16. infant

17. Martha, nicknamed Patty

18. Charles

19. Kezziah, nicknamed Kezzy/Kez

what is your passion (result of understanding purpose)

what is your predicament (as result of the passion)

what is your perspective  (to explain and triumph over the predicament)

purpose = passion = priority 

you are only as trapped as you imagine your self to be

you are as fulfilled as you see your self to be 

depending on which blueprint you cling to



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