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.

Titus – Revealing Our Promise of Eternal Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Titus was a great believer and companion of Paul’s, and Paul wrote to him in an Epistle to strengthen his devotion toward God and toward God’s children.

Titus is a revelation from God through the ministry of Paul and as a revelation the Epistle reveals Christ as all of God’s healing Word does.

We as believers today can gain tremendous understanding from this wonderful Epistle that is interwoven throughout with the promise that we have eternal life.

Titus 1:1-3a:
-1: PAUL, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect {chosen}, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after {according to} godliness;
-2: In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
-3a: But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, . . .

The truth of God’s Word introduces to people “godliness” and godliness means a true and vital spiritual relationship with Him Who created all things. Having godliness in our lives increases our hope of eternal life, that our heavenly Father has promised even before the world began.

The “due times” are these days now, for this is the season of grace in which the promise of eternal life is available to anyone who will simply accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. God’s promise of eternal life is manifested today to people through the preaching {the proclaiming} of His Word.

Titus 2:11-14:
-11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men {by preaching},
-12: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
-13: Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
-14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Contrary to how I was taught, that Christians were a particularly weird type of people, the words “peculiar people” means people who have been placed over and above because we believe in spiritual matters, which causes us to be a special group of people who trust in God’s Word and have spiritual abilities to bring God’s written Word into reality by being persistent in our believing faith.  This is being “zealous of good works.” Because we live “soberly” which is to have and live by whole thoughts that come to us from His Word, we thus live “righteously” and “godly”!

Titus 3:3-8:
-3: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers {many} lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
-4: But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, {God is called our Saviour because He is the architect and Creator of the plan of redemption.}
-5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done {were we saved}, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration {a cleansing new birth that we have in Christ: I Peter 1:23}, and renewing of the Holy Ghost {holy spirit},
-6: Which {holy spirit} he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
-7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs {of heaven itself, with the riches of God and Christ: see Romans 8:17} according to the hope of eternal life {which God promised before the world began}.
-8: This is a faithful saying, and these things {above} I will that thou affirm constantly {that we believe what the Word of God gives to us in grace}, that they which have believed in God might be careful {anxious, excitedly blessed} to maintain good works {of walking in the steps of our Savior}. These things are good and profitable unto men {and women of God}.

Eternal life does not begin when this present life ends, but rather begins at the moment of our salvation, for we have already received God’s promise of salvation that He has been waiting to give since before the world began.

When we begin enjoying our lives immersed in God’s gracious Word, the more our abundant life with God in Christ becomes ever more pleasant and enjoyable in our day to day adventures with our God. In the present tense, God has given to us Our Promise of Eternal Life, which we can enjoy for eternity.