The Furtherance of the Gospel

Philippians 1:12-17 But I would you should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 

‘The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.’ My sufferings for Christ have furthered the gospel by provoking others to zeal for Christ (1:12-19). Everything we do must further the gospel in others’ lives (Mat. 5:16; 7:12), thus must our attitude always be like Christ’s was when He chose to lay His life down (1Pet. 2:21-23) even though He did nothing to please others, only that which God commanded (John 14:10).

‘Palace’ [Greek: praitorion] is the court in Rome where Paul was tried before Caesar. Here it refers to Caesar’s palace. The apostle’s defence caused his doctrines to be known in the palace and all other places (4:22).

‘Affliction to my bonds’ – from 2Timothy 1:16 we see that others were ashamed of Paul in chains. His life had been one of suffering and labour for Christ. Now from all appearances, he was abandoned by his friends and in the hands of ruthless men. He was in prison and in chains, yet he was triumphant overall and unshaken in his faith. He felt no evil and feared no man or devil. Sin had lost its power, death its sting, the grave its victory, and hell its torments. No murmuring came from his lips or bitterness from his heart. He was a man’s man and God’s faithful servant, ready to die for the cause of Christ and the gospel.