TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 1:12-26
A real test of the realness and strength of the christian profession can be seen when one finds himself or herself pressured, provoked, or persecuted. Few people can handle sudden, unexpected changes in their lifes. Someone may disagree with us, say something offensive, or fail to do the right thing and it can completely throw many a christian's life out of balance. Yet Paul being imprisoned and his name was being dragged thru the mud, had victory in his heart.
The way you and I react to the adversities of life will determine largely the depth of our spiritual experience. How do we react to disease, death, difficulties of life? SO MANY CHRISTIANS ARE WEAK AND WITHOUT STRENGTH TO GAIN VICTORY IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY. But this victory is a matter which only you can decide. If you complain and murmur under trying circumstances it will dry up the fountain of your soul. But if you are content and remain faithful to God, you help yourself and encourage others to continue on no matter what the circumstances are!
The apostle Paul could withstand adversities arising in his life with victory in his soul for he looked upon them as being divinely sent or allowed to work good in his life! When faced with the thorn in the flesh, Paul testifies: (II Cor.12:10) "Therefore I tkae pleasure (to think well) in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong." Paul thought well or had the right attitude toward his adversity and his weakness resulted in strength.
Note that Paul came to Rome as a prisoner of the state, not as a free preacher. Yet by being a prisoner of the state, he did not have to pay for his passage to Rome. Even though Paul was imprisoned he had victory and joy in his heart. Let us examine why Paul had victory and gladness in his heart. Paul saw:
I. THE GREATER ADVANCEMENT OF THE GOSPEL (vs.12-13)
(vs.12) "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto mne have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;"
Paul victory in the face of adversity gave him the opportunity to spread the Gospel further into the ranks of evil. Note:
A. Paul Had An Opportunity to Preach as a Prisoner to Those
Whom He Probably Would Have Not Preached Too as a Free Man: Your hospital stay, your illness, your disease, your tragedy, can be overcome by seeing an opportunity to tell someone about Christ that normally you would not come in contact with. (Ex. Acts 16) Paul and Silas overcame the adversity of torture and prison experience with joy resulting in the the salvation of the Philippian Jailor.
B. Paul Was Bound That He Might Broadcast The Gospel:
1. Trouble Cannot Bind The Gospel:
2. Time Cannot Bind The Gospel: The Gospel is timely timeless. The Gospel came to me when I was desperately lost and needed salvation!
II. THE GROWING AGGRESSIVENESS FOR THE GOSPEL (vs.14-17a)
III. THE GOD APPOINTMENT TO THE GOSPEL (vs.17b)
IV. THE GUARANTEED ASSURANCE OF THE GOSPEL (vs.18-26)
Sermon From Steve Dagenhart- Pastor Calvary Baptist Church - Taylorsville, NC --USA