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.

To Be Called His Saints

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There are seven Church Epistles – Romans through Thessalonians (I refer to these as the magnificent seven). All seven of these Epistles strengthen our fellowship with the heavenly Father. Romans is first and is the foundational doctrine teaching us how to commence walking with God in biblical understanding of our complete justification in Christ. I and II Corinthians are combined as one in this respect: they follow an underlying theme showing men and women how people error when they do not adhere to the practical teachings of Romans. Corinthians also teaches us how to strengthen and maintain our fellowship, union, and serenity with God.

I and II Corinthians are written to encourage the hearts and souls of Christian men and women (who have strayed from grace) back to believing the principles contained in the practical side of Romans chapters 12-16. Corinthians was written to Christian believers who were not following (walking) the principles revealed in Romans, either by not knowing them or by wrong teaching. Obviously, God knows that people inevitably will make mistakes because we are not perfect, and so God inspired the writing of I and II Corinthians to help inspire men and women back to right believing.  This biblical inspiration brings us safely into a way of life that God calls a “more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). Corinthians brings believers back into the fold (so to speak) so that they may live charitably as Romans details.

Contrary to some popular thought, I and II Corinthians was not merely written to a group of individuals who were living nearly 2000 years ago in Macedonia (today called Greece). This kind of wrong thinking would nullify our ability to believe in Corinthians, which has delivered to humanity some of the greatest instructions and inspirations ever recorded in God’s wonderful Word. A direct result of casting aside Corinthians has, through the years, caused multitudes of people to miss out on some of the most notable teachings and godly-inspired revelations that the world has ever known. Let us carefully read to whom Corinthians is actually addressed to:

I Corinthians 1:2:
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth {and}, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours {emphasis supplied}:

Corinthians, as well as all the other Epistles, are written to all believers who call upon the name of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-13), and this we have done. So the instruction, blessings, and deliverance contained in Corinthians is directly addressed to us today, for we are members of the Church of God. Thus we are members along with all of “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,” and we are called in verse 2, “saints.” A saint biblically means someone who is sanctified, and sanctified means “set apart,” and set aside for heaven, and that my friend is our predestination. Predestination does not mean that the things we are doing and the things we will do in the future are already decided by God, rather what it means is that God knows in advance where we will end up (heaven).

Being called a saint is our God-given right and is a privileged title we have as His sons and daughters, and so now we are sanctified and have the God-given right and pleasure to be called His saints, for we are heaven bound.