Stand Strong In the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Paul and Timothy greeted the church Philippi with much love and peace because they have been in partnership with him in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He shares his heart with them and speaks on behalf of their kindness and good nature towards him and the Gospel.
As he shares his heart and encourages them to continue to do good, he makes a statement in Philippians 4:13 “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Paul Standing Strong
Paul went through a lot after he turned his heart towards the Lord. The day he met Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus was just the beginning of his eyes being opened to the truth and God used him in a mighty way. When he transformed into the image of Jesus and became a disciple he got fought on all sides but Paul did not complain. He thought of his trials to be a good thing. Listen to how he speaks to the Philippi church about him being imprisoned.
The Advance of the Gospel
12 I want you to know, brothers,[e] that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard[f] and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. 14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word[g] without fear.
Preaching the Gospel without Fear
Do you know there's a lot of people who are living in fear when it comes to speaking and living in the Gospel of Jesus Christ? They don’t want to look "religious" but the truth is they don’t want to be judged as a follower of Jesus Christ because they understand somewhat that you will suffer, you will be persecuted and they don’t want to live under that type of pressure. So privately they are living in fear to do what God has placed in their hearts to do.
"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Paul understood this very well and never fell into fear. He was just as radical for Christ as he was in the world. He did not care what happened to him. His heart was to be for Jesus and to exalt His name.
Paul continues to say:
15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Paul was saying some people have wrong motives in preaching the gospel, some people have good motives in preaching the gospel. Some understand his position in defending the gospel and they love both him and the gospel, while others do it out of self ambition to cause affliction to him while he was in prison but known of this matters, as long as Christ is proclaimed, He is happy and rejoices in this alone.
Paul continues to say:
To Live Is Christ
Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Walking In Courage
Paul knew he would be delivered by God and would not be put to shame, leaving him the courage to continue on his journey, knowing no matter what God was going to carry him through the end.
We need to have courage to walk, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus will never forsake as we should never walk in fear, wondering how will people judge me to be a follower of Jesus. We have to know in our hearts that this Gospel that is free to all is real and true.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Stand strong in the Lord! He is Great! He is worthy to be praised! There is no one like our God!
Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
Rev. Kathryn Gore