The Furtherance of the Gospel Phil. 1:12 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul’s life was the preaching of the gospel. He said, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” [1 Cor 9:16] So, everything he did was for the furtherance of the gospel. Yet, he had opposition to his preaching from the devil and from the religious crowd. As a result, he ended up in prison. It was from prison in Rome that Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians.
He told them in Phil 1:12 that getting “locked up” didn’t have the intended effect that his opposition had hoped. Instead of curtailing his ministry, his bonds were “manifest in all the palace, and in all other places,” [Phil 1:13]. His bonds worked for the furtherance of the gospel. The timid brethren were encouraged to become “much more bold to speak the word without fear,” [Phil 1:14]. And even Paul’s opponents, who were filled with “envy and strife,” [Phil 1:15] were preaching Christ, albeit “not sincerely,” [Phil 1:16]. As Paul said, “whether in pretense, or in truth,” [Phil 1:18] Christ was preached.
The question is, “What are you doing for the furtherance of the gospel?” Perhaps, you should be doing what the Philippians were doing to help Paul in the furtherance of the gospel.
They had fellowship with Paul in the gospel – Phil 1:5 – with your preachers and with your missionaries and with fellow preachers [Bible Conference] – they were not ashamed to be associated with Jesus Christ and Paul, Phil 2:14-18 – they shined together as lights in the world – they had a mutual joy – they had a common faith [Phil 3:16-17]
They spoke the word without fear – Phil 1:14 – they witnessed and preached boldly and fearlessly – what’s the worst thing that could happen to you [Phil 1:21] – tell your family [Dad’s Bible] – tell your friends – tell your neighbors – tell anyone who will listen
They prayed for Paul – Phil 1:19 – pray for your preachers, missionaries, each other, souls – Sunday morning and Wednesday are times when we do this together – pray with your family at home and pray alone
They strove together for the faith of the gospel – Phil 1:27 – with one spirit and with one mind, the saints in Philippi strove together for the gospel – to strive is to make great efforts and to try very hard – Phil 2:2-8 shows how they worked TOGETHER – we are praying even now how we are going to build off of FOM
They suffered for the Lord’s sake – Phil 1:29-30 – furthering the gospel is not easy work and often those who preach it suffer – Paul suffered but that put him in position to further the gospel – even the things that happen to you that make you think you are “finished” [like Paul in prison] may be the very things that God uses to open other doors.
They gave to support Paul’s work in the ministry – Phil 4:10-17 – this was not their tithe but rather an offering given to meet Paul’s “necessity,” [Phil 4:16]
Conclusion: fellowshipping, praying and giving are three of the greatest things we can do together for the furtherance of the gospel right now – witnessing is one of the greatest ways we can further the gospel personally – getting saved is the ultimate objective if you are lost – and if you have to suffer as a result of any of these, count it all joy because you have fellowship with the sufferings of Christ