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‘As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.’ (Philippians 1:13)
Paul’s imprisonment in Rome is having positive results. ‘As a result’ of his imprisonment, Jesus was being glorified. Paul’s willingness to trust and honour Jesus is these dark times led to salvation in this unexpected place as we read in chapter four,
‘All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.’ (Philippians 4:22)
We show what’s important to us by how we will suffer for it. Just think about the hardship that people are will to endure for certain things - for beauty, for a ‘good body’, for a relationship, for a career, a sporting achievement… We are prepared to sacrifice time, health, money, even risk death for what they highly prize.
If we will not suffer for Jesus, we reveal that He is not very valuable to us. If, like Paul, we will endure for Him, we are like a light to the glory of Jesus.
Does our life ‘make clear that I am in chains for Christ’? In other words, how does your prizing Jesus above everything else, even your comfort and reputation, show the worth of Jesus?
And remember, Paul was in a unique position in Rome to influence people that no one else could reach. God has positioned you to show the worth of Jesus to those who are uniquely in your life.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – ADVANCING THE GOSPEL
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Opener/Ice-breaker (Please could we all do this, this week)
Who were influential in your becoming a Christian and what good lessons could we all learn from them?
Introduction - please share in your group
God is advancing the gospel in the world. His plans to take the gospel to the ends of the earth are unstoppable because they are God's plans! God uses us as he used the Apostle Paul.
'Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.' (Philippians 1:12-13)
Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Paul’s life is full of great difficulty as he sought to follow Jesus and spread the message of the gospel. Paul saw the difficulties of his life as a means by which God advances the gospel.
What difficulties do you have that you might see as barriers to sharing the gospel?
How could you view or approach your challenges differently so as turn them into opportunities to share the love of Jesus?
'And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.' (Philippians 2:14)