Thursday, August 23, 2012

With All Boldness

For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:19-20)
Paul is under house arrest in Rome, but the gospel is being preached and the Lord Jesus is being exalted now more than ever. And Paul is very happy about that. Of course, he still desires to be released from his chains, to make a good case for the gospel and win a favorable verdict, not only before the Roman courts but also in the hearts of people everywhere. But he is not particularly concerned about his personal fate. He is ready to die, if need be, for the sake of the Messiah being proclaimed throughout the world.

What would be a tragedy for Paul is if he were somehow backed down from preaching the good news about Jesus. His desire is that, whatever happens, he will be completely bold in dealing with it. He has always been outspoken for the gospel and he does not want to be any less so now. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). What matters most to him is that Messiah be magnified by his life, or if he dies, by his death. But Paul has every confidence that he will indeed be delivered both from shame and a poor outcome, and he is encouraged in this by three things:
  • Messiah is being preached with boldness. That is what matters above all, that the Lord Jesus be magnified in every way.
  • The believers at Philippi, his partners in the gospel from the beginning, are praying for him. Prayer is key. “Be anxious for nothing,” will be his instruction, “but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
  • The Spirit of Jesus the Messiah, that is, the Holy Spirit, is supporting and supplying him with everything he needs. Perhaps Paul has in mind the instruction Jesus gave to the disciples for when they would find themselves in such a situation as Paul now faced: “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11).
Because of these, then, Paul is watching and waiting in confident expectation that everything will come out well.

Focus Questions
  1. Can you think of a difficult time when you were truly encouraged because you knew someone was praying for you?
  2. What supply do you think Paul might have received from the Holy Spirit? Do you believe that supply is available to you, too?
  3. Does the preaching of the gospel, the announcement that Jesus is Lord over all, fill you with expectation and confidence?

There is Always Joy!
There is Always Joy!
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Philippi
Bite-Sized Studies Through the Book of Philippians
by Jeff Doles

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