The Furtherance of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Philippians 1:12 – But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

Here in Philippians the Apostle Paul wanted his brethren, the believers, to understand that the things that had happened to him, his being incarcerated and bound with chains, had actually helped the furthering of the Gospel. We may think that because Paul, the leader of the Christian movement was imprisoned, that many people would refute whatever his teachings were. However, the opposite happened. The Gospel, the good news became even more saturated in the societies where they were preaching Christ.

Philippians 1:13-14:
-13:  So that my bonds in {for} Christ are manifest {made clear} in all the palace, and in all other places;
-14:  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing {growing, working} confident by my bonds {to witness the Gospel}, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul’s “bonds in {for} Christ” had very little to do with his imprisonment, but rather related to the truth that Paul was bound in love for his Savior. “The palace” refers to the palace guards who watch over Paul. The truth that Paul taught, believed, and lived began blessing the guards who were in charge of watching over him. The Gospel also became manifested and clearly understood in many other places, although Paul was out of the way, because “wherein I {Paul} suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9). The Word of God can make people free regardless of any circumstance. Other believers were also beginning to preach Christ without any fear as Paul had taught them.

However:

Philippians 1:15-17:
-15:  Some indeed preach Christ even of envy {of Paul’s following} and strife; and some also of good will:
-16:  The one {ones who preach in envy and strife} preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
-17:  But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

This kind of sounds like today, for some are preaching Christ insincerely for money, and there are others who preach out of good will, who preach for the love of God and His healing Word.

Philippians 1:18 – What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Because God’s Word cannot be bound, one person or even one group of people cannot solely own it. That Christ is preached around the world is worthy of our rejoicing – it does not matter so much who is preaching it or exactly how they preach it – because God can then work in our hearts once the seeds of truth of His Word are planted (I Corinthians 3:5-9). When Christ is preached, then God’s Word can take root in our hearts and bring men and women, young and old into the salvation of God producing the furtherance of the Gospel.