Philippians 1:12-18
It Doesn’t Matter

Last week, we looked into the first chapter of Philippians.  I told
you as I began the message, that I was not sure how far I would
preach into the text or even how I would preach it—and I honestly
did not.  I also told you the reason why.  The reason was that there
was so much powerful truth contained in the text.  Tonight, I would
like for us to look at that selection of text again.

This whole chapter could be a single, three point sermon for a
preacher who knew how to say less.

I. \\#3-6\\ How Paul Prayed:
    A. \\#3\\ Paul prayed with a thankful heart.
    B. \\#4\\ Paul prayed with a joyful heart.
    C. \\#6\\ Paul prayed with confidence.

II. \\#7-11\\ What Paul Prayed for:
    A. \\#9\\ That their love would abound more and more.
    B. \\#10\\ That they would approve the excellent things.
    C. That they would be pure and without offense.

III. \\#12-30\\ What Paul wanted them to understand:

Phi 1:12  But I would ye should understand…

Remember Paul was in prison when he wrote this epistle.  For some,
then just like today, that would bring some harsh criticism.  Paul
wanted the people to know some things about him.  This is one of
those sections where Paul reveals his heart to those to whom he

I. \\#12-18\\ It doesn’t matter what happens to him, the gospel
    will be furthered.

Phi 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;

    A. Paul explained how that was happening in his current
        1. \\#14\\ Because of his bonds (chains), some had been
            emboldened to speak for Christ.

Phi 1:14  And many of the brethren in the Lord,
waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold
to speak the word without fear.

        2. \\#15-16\\ On the other hand, some were mocking Paul for
            his arrest.

Phil 1:15  Some indeed preach Christ even of envy
and strife; and some also of good will:
16  The one preach Christ of contention, not
sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my

            a. These folk were saying things like, "That Paul.  He
                got what he deserved. Preaching that Jesus was the
                Christ; that He died for sins; that He arose on the
                third day!"
            b. They meant these things to mock Paul.
        3. \\#18\\ However, either way, they were still telling
            others about Jesus!

Phil 1:18  What then? notwithstanding, every way,
whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is
preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will

        4. So Paul did not care that he was arrested or that some
            mocked him.
        5. He only cared that whatever happened to him, somehow the
            gospel must be shared.
    B. Two things:
        1. Not everyone could look on a situation like that.
            a. Paul was obviously looking on the bright side of a
                dark situation.
            b. Someone (Brother Gaston) told me today, "If you give
                some people a gold brick, their response would be,
                ‘It doesn’t glisten very much.’"
            c. Some people have the ability to look at all the
                eternal blessings of God and find a negative, while
                others can look at all of the attacks of the devil
                and see the positive.
            d. Paul was the latter.
        2. Not every has a name so closely linked to Jesus that such
            a situation would be true.
            a. Paul had lived such a life, that he knew if people
                talked about him, they would have to talk about his
                Jesus too.
            b. And not everyone does that either.
            c. Question: What do people think of when they hear your
                (1) I’m afraid that I need to do better in
                     associating myself with Jesus.
                (2) When my name is spoken, some probably think
                     legalist or dictator.
                (3) Some more graciously may think of preacher or
                (4) Some may think of a good man.
                (5) I would appreciate being thought of as a godly
                     man, a Scriptural man.
            d. But Paul had lived such a life that he knew when his
                name was spoken—even by those who hated him—they
                would also think of the name Jesus and His death,
                burial, and resurrection.

II. It didn’t matter what happened to him, Paul would live for Jesus.

Phil 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to
die is gain.

    A. Paul went on to explain what that meant:

Phil 1:22  But if I live in the flesh, this is
 the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose
 I wot not.
23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a
desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which
is far better:
24  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more
 needful for you.

        1. Paul did not know for certain what was going to happen to
        2. Neither did it matter all that much for whether he lived
            or whether he died, he would do it in a way that would
            bring honor and glory to Jesus.
    B. Paul was like most of us.
        1. Because he knew that staying on this plane would allow him
            to help others, he kind of wanted to stay.
        2. But he also knew that if God took him, there would be
            something in heaven he would do to bring glory to Jesus.
    C. Some important truths:
        1. As long as you are here, God has something for you to do.
        2. When God calls you home, your part in that task with be
            a. Maybe the task will be finished.
            b. If not, God has someone else who is to finish it.
        3. When you get home, you will get a new assignment.

III. \\#27-30\\ It didn’t matter what happens to him, Paul’s heart
      was for his people.
    A. He was not concerned about life, about being in bonds, or
        even what other people thought about him being in bonds.
    B. He cared about people, especially to whom he ministered.

Phil 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it
becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I
come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear
of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one
spirit, with one mind striving together for the
faith of the gospel;

    C. Notice what Paul desired for the people.
        1. \\#27\\ He wanted to hear that they stood fast (firm,
            strong, secure) in the Lord.
        2. He desired that they have one mind.  That would be the
            mind of Jesus.
            a. In four different epistles, Paul challenged the
                believers to have either one mind or the same mind.
            b. In the book of Philippians, he issued that challenged
                four different times.
        3. He desired that they strive for the faith of the gospel.
        4. \\#28\\ He desired that they not be frightened.

Phil 1:28  And in nothing terrified by your
adversaries: which is to them an evident token
of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that
of God.

        5. \\#29\\ He desired that they would suffer well for Jesus.

Phil 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf
of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also
to suffer for his sake;

        6. \\#30\\ He desired that they would see "this conflict" as
            he saw it.

Phil 1:30  Having the same conflict which ye saw
in me, and now hear to be in me.

            a. What conflict?  The one to live or die \\#23\\.
            b. It is not just important that we live well for Jesus.
            c. It is equally important that we die well for Jesus.
            d. One day you may find yourself in a situation that
                you do not like and do not understand.  You may ask,
                "God, why did you put me here?  Why don’t you just
                take me on home?"
            e. On that day, remember this passage.
                (a) As long as there is life, God has a purpose.
                (b) We must not let our limited sight and
                     understanding undermine that purpose.
                (c) Life like Jesus every day and when it is time,
                     pray God will give the grace to die like Jesus.

These were the things that Paul desired his church members understand
about him.  I pray that I will have the mind of Paul and that you
will have the mind of the Philippians.

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