PHILIPPIANS 1:12-14 (7 OF 17)

by Ernest Easley

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Philippians 1:12-14 (7 of 17)
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
June 11, 1997

We're learning these Wednesday nights from the book of Philippians about "The Secret to Continual Joy." And before our time runs out look with me for just a few minutes to Philippians 1.

Paul had told the members of the church at Philippi that he was praying for them and then he told them what he had prayed. Paul's prison prayer is in verses 9-11. And it was from a prison chained to Roman guards that Paul says, "rejoice always. Again I say rejoice." What Paul had learned we need to learn and that is the secret of continual joy!

Well ... beginning in verse 12 ... we learn some more about the secret of continual joy.

Verse 12, "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel." You see ... Paul had learned that God takes opposition and turns it into opportunities!

Do you remember in our study of Genesis the account of Joseph? He told his brothers, "You meant it for evil but God meant it for good."

And now with Paul .. God turned Paul's prison and turned it into a preaching station in the city of Rome! And it resulted in the "furtherance of the gospel."

Do you see the word "furtherance?" It was a military word that referred to a group of pioneer woodcutters who were sent ahead of the advancing army to clear the way and open up roads. When they finished their work .. the army would then follow without interference.

Paul saw his imprisonment as an advance clearing of the way for others who would come later! Rather than seeing himself confined as a prisoner ... he realized that his circumstances really opened up new areas of ministry!

Verse 13, "so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ."

Just as God ...

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