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.

Behold – Love

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not– I John 3:1. To Behold is to admire, to recognize, and to fathom the actual love bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father. We are called the sons of God; this is an all-inclusive noun for all the children of God, male and female, young and old. God, being our Father, has given to us His own characteristics, namely (from the above verse) His love, of which the world has never known because the world has never really known or understood the Father. Jesus said, O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these {referring to believers} have known that thou hast sent me- John 17:25, and Jesus made known God (John 1:18) as our righteous Father, and His love He has bestowed upon us and this love we are encouraged to BEHOLD. Where is the fear? Where is the shame? Where is the doubt? Undoubtedly – not in God’s loving words to us, and truly – not in our comfort of hope, and certainly – not in our never-ending future!” ~LMJ~

Gone We Are – Before the Thief Undertakes (The Day of the Lord Is Denied to You)

The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up- II Peter 3:10. The events of Jesus’ returning to earth are revealed in many Scriptures such as in Daniel, the Gospels, and Revelation. But this return should not be confused with our gathering and rising upwards, which is our expected hope. You see, Jesus’ literal return to the earth cometh as a thief in the night- I Thessalonians 5:2, totally unexpectedly. BUT, thankfully, we have been assured with the comfort of hope that we will be with Jesus (in heaven before II Peter 3:10 happens), and before he as the King of kings and Lord of lords returns to the earth, and oh, so thankfully that day will not overtake you as a thief- I Thessalonians 5:4. Thus, the day of the Lord cannot – will not – and is impossible to overtake you as a thief!” ~LMJ~

Glory and Praise to God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Paul wrote Philippians from prison; he was there simply because he made known God’s Word. We can be so blessed that today we are not cast into prison simply because of our beliefs. Paul was not put in prison just for a stay – they wanted him executed! As we know, he was eventually released to continue his mission of making Jesus Christ known to others so that others could also have the joys of walking with their Savior.

Philippians 1:8 – For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

God knew the heart of Paul, and when Paul said that God was his record, it is like our saying, “as God is my witness”; Paul’s desire was to preach and make known the Gospel to others even while in captivity. As God was Paul’s witness, God is also our witness today. “The bowels of Jesus Christ” represents their unity within the body of Christ. Paul was positive and hopeful that their standing with God was remaining strong even in his absence because they themselves were witnesses of Christ and Christ leads one to God.

Philippians 1:9 – And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge {of God and His healing Word} and in all judgment {in all discernment};

Paul prayed that their love may abound more and more, yet this was not simply a prayer to continue loving one another. Beyond that he prayed they would learn to love more and more the precious knowledge of God, for this knowledge can help the believers discern between good and evil, between light and darkness, and between that which is truth and what which may be in error. In Paul’s absence he was instructing the believers further into the ways of God so that they could stand together rooted and grounded in the Word.

Philippians 1:10-11:
-10:  That ye may approve {prove} things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
-11:  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

God gives us things that are truly excellent such as the promises of God, yet without the love of the knowledge of His Word, which is the knowledge of truth, believers cannot prove to themselves whether or not it was God Who blessed them, or if they simply were lucky enough to have a good day. The Bible reveals more than nine hundred promises. How many promises do we know, how many promises do we believe for, and how many do we receive? “Sincere and without offence” means that we can know and receive from God with a genuine heart of understanding and sincerity that it is indeed our God Who truly blesses us. We are “being filled with the fruits of righteousness,” by Jesus Christ. “Fruits” represent the product, the result of cultivating. The fruit of righteousness can be savored and enjoyed every day, for Christ is at work within our hearts and lives. As our love abounds in the knowledge of what God has given, and knowing that Christ is at work within, then we can spiritually offer up to our God spiritual fruits of our righteousness in glory and praise to Him, and this will indeed warm the heart of God.

Hebrews 13:15-16:
-15:  By him {Jesus Christ} therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips {spoken by those who are righteous} giving thanks to his name.
-16:  But to do good and to communicate {fellowship} forget not: for with such sacrifices {of glory and praise spoken to Him}, God is {very} well pleased.

Hope is Sort of Like

“Hope is sort of like having a life insurance policy underwritten by the bank of God (offices located only in heaven), and delivered to you by God’s agent, Jesus Christ, and you, yes, only you will be doing the collecting! Oh what a glorious day for you to anticipate, the day when you gather up all the dividends you have coming, and mind you – with accumulated interest – talk about a hope, talk about a rollover – wow – you will be rolling over with extreme joyfulness! Thus, we are encouraged to comfort one another with these words- I Thessalonians 4:18.~LMJ~