Writing to the Philippians “of the Gospel”

Text: Philippians 1:7

In the book of Philippians, Paul uses the phrase “of the gospel” eight times (NASB). On each occasion, he explains something about the gospel to them (and to us). In this lesson, we will see what Paul wrote “of the gospel” in the letter to Philippi.

Confirmation of the Gospel (1:7)

  • These brethren were “partakers of grace” with Paul through, among other things, the “confirmation of the gospel
  • How was the gospel confirmed? … through signs (Mark 16:20; cf. Acts 16:16-18)
  • God wants our faith to be based upon evidence (Hebrews 11:1)

Progress of the Gospel (1:12)

  • The Lord’s will was for the gospel to be preached to all creation (Mark 16:15) – even though Paul suffered imprisonment, the gospel continued to be spread (Philippians 1:12-14; cf. 2 Timothy 2:8-10)
  • The progress of the gospel should be a higher priority to us than our own wellbeing (2 Timothy 2:10)
  • Preaching despite imprisonment can lead others to believe the gospel (Acts 16:30-34) and can embolden others to speak without fear (Philippians 1:14)

Defense of the Gospel (1:16)

  • Paul was set for the defense of the gospel (Philippians 1:16-17) – implies that the gospel was under attack (imprisonment – Philippians 1:7,13-14)
  • Besides persecution, there will also be false teachers who attack the truth (Titus 1:9)
  • Not just apostles/preachers, but all Christians must contend for the faith (Jude 3)

Conduct Worthy of the Gospel (1:27)

  • It is certainly true that all have sinned (Romans 3:23) – also true that we are to consider ourselves as “unworthy slaves” (Luke 17:10)
  • However, we are also expected to live in a manner that is “worthy of the gospel
  • How? – please the Lord, bear fruit, engage in good works, grow in knowledge (Colossians 1:10)

Faith of the Gospel (1:27)

  • Related to two previous points – confirmation (faith is based upon evidence) and defense (stand firm and strive together for the faith of the gospel)
  • Another point on “standing firm” – remain faithful (Hebrews 10:35-39); guard against drifting into apostasy (Hebrews 2:1)
  • Also on “striving together” – help one another to remain faithful (Hebrews 3:12-13)

Furtherance of the Gospel (2:22)

  • Paul spoke of the help that Timothy had given him in his work in the gospel (Philippians 2:19,22) – he served with Paul in the spread of the gospel (Acts 16:1-5)
  • God expects us to work together – the local church is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)
  • The church functions best when every member is helping to support the work (Ephesians 4:16)

Cause of the Gospel (4:3)

  • There was evidently some strife between these two women (Philippians 4:2) – yet they both shared with Paul’s struggle in the cause of the gospel
  • Remember that the gospel is our cause (Mark 16:15) – the church’s mission is not to feed, clothe, entertain the world
  • Do not allow petty disagreements to hinder the cause of the gospel (cf. Philippians 2:2)

Preaching of the Gospel (4:15)

  • It is appropriate that this point comes at the end of this study – the gospel is spread by preaching (Mark 16:15; Romans 10:13-14)
  • Paul says that it is right for those who preach the gospel to be supported (Philippians 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 9:14) – but the gospel needs to be preached, even without support (Acts 18:1-4)
  • We must continue to preach the gospel without fear or compromise (2 Timothy 4:2-5)

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