Posted: September 22, 2005
A Study of Positional Truths
We turn our
gaze upon another IN CHRIST phrase found in Philippians 1:12-13 which
says, “But I would ye 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.”
these verses deals with his lot in life. Let me remind us that to be IN
CHRIST does not always bring about a rosy lot in life. Let us not use
our lot in life as an excuse for not doing all to give out the message
of the gospel position we enjoy IN CHRIST. Let us not use our age,
financial status, family background, sorrows, job, or physical well
being as an excuse of our lot in life to hinder our ministry for Him.
We will see from this text that it will not float with the Lord.
behind this text is that Paul has been locked up for two years in a
Roman prison. He is chained 24 hours a day to a Roman soldier of
Caesar’s guard. Wuest Greek Word Study believed that Epahroditus had
told Paul that the church at Philippi had felt his imprisonment was
hindering his ministry. He tells them his lot has not hindered but
enhanced the ministry to a higher and deeper level.
us in verse 12 “But I would that you understand…” The word ‘would’
means to will a desired purpose. The word ‘understand’ means to
learn through experience. Paul’s purposed desire was for the church to
learn some things through his experience.
“…have fallen out…” in verse 12 has the idea of having come to
results. This imprisonment has brought furtherance to the gospel. The
word ‘furtherance’ is a picture word of a group of woodcutters
who go before an army company to cut a road through an impenetrable
forest. The army could not have gone through without the furthering
work of these woodcutters. Paul’s prison experience is a woodcutter in
the forest of hindrances to the furtherance of the gospel.
In verse 13
the word ‘bonds’ is referring to Paul’s imprisonment by the Roman
Empire. The word ‘manifest’ means to make clearly known and
plain to others. The word manifest refers back to Paul’s position IN
CHRIST and not his bonds. It was known clearly to everyone that Paul
was in prison because of his preaching of the gospel IN CHRIST.
Whenever one would ask, ‘How come you are in prison’ it led immediately
to a proclamation of the gospel. Oh, let us not use our lot in life
rather bad or good to hinder the telling of the story of our eternal
position IN CHRIST.
us this message of Christ is known throughout the ‘palace’. The
word ‘palace’ speaks of the royal guard of Caesar. Paul closes
Philippians with these words, “All the saints salute you, chiefly
they that are of Caesar’s household.” This tells us that many of
those who were chained to Paul during his two-year imprisonment have
come to know our Lord Jesus Christ.
take this opportunity to complain of his lot in life but to tell of the
God who caused his lot in life. In fact Paul said this gospel story
spread when he said “…and in all other places.” These soldiers
who were saved through Paul’s lot in life took the gospel to the corners
of the known world during their campaigns of battle.
remember the words of Horatio Spafford after losing two daughters on an
ocean liner in the Atlantic when he wrote,
“When peace, life a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea
billows roll, Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well,
It is well with my soul.”