Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition NLT - Flipbook - Page 80
P h i l i pp i a n s 1
in knowledge and understanding. 10For I want you to understand what really matters,
so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11May you
always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your
life by Jesus Christ*—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Paul’s Joy That Christ Is Preached
12And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters,* that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13For everyone here, including
the whole palace guard,* knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14And because of
my imprisonment, most of the believers* here have gained confidence and boldly speak
God’s message* without fear.
15It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about
Christ with pure motives. 16They preach because they love me, for they know I have been
appointed to defend the Good News. 17Those others do not have pure motives as they
preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make
my chains more painful to me. 18But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false
or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I
will continue to rejoice. 19For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of J esus Christ
helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.
Paul’s Life for Christ
20For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to
be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to
1:11 Greek with the fruit of righteousness through Jesus Christ.
1:12 Greek brothers.
1:13 Greek including all
1:14a Greek brothers in the Lord.
1:14b Some manuscripts read speak the message.
1:10 Paul prayed that the Philippian believers would have the ability to
differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial,
healthy and infirm. We ought to pray for moral discernment so we can
maintain Christ’s perspective on what really matters. In every situation,
consistently choosing the best course of action will yield tremendous
benefits for us and those around us. Always think about what will be
of lasting value. (See Hebrews 5:14, which also emphasizes the need
1:10 “The day of Christ’s return” refers to the time when God will judge
the world through Jesus Christ. We should live each day as though he
might return at any moment. If you knew it would be tomorrow, how
would that knowledge affect how you live today?
1:11 The “fruit of your salvation” includes all the character traits flow
ing from a right relationship with God. When we love Christ rightly, he
produces godly actions in us. This fruit of righteousness involves more
than kindness to other believers. It requires integrity in such areas as
our financial matters, our speech, family conflict, and relationships with
all kinds of people. (See Galatians 5:22-23 for the “fruit of the Spirit.”)
1:12-14 Being imprisoned would cause many people to become bitter
or to give up, but Paul saw it as one more opportunity to spread the Good
News of Christ. Paul realized that his current circumstances weren’t as
important as what he did with them. Turning his bad situation into a good
one, he reached out to the Roman soldiers who made up the palace guard
and encouraged Christians who were afraid of persecution. We may not
be in prison, but we still have plenty of opportunities to be discouraged—
times of indecision, financial burdens, family conflict, church conflict, or
the loss of our jobs. How we act in such situations will reflect what we
believe. Like Paul, look for ways to demonstrate your faith even in bad
situations, when your emotional reserves are almost depleted. Whether
or not the situation improves, your faith will grow stronger.
1:12 In the past, missionaries—those who spread the Good News—
would board ships to go to foreign lands and would not expect to see
their homeland shores again. Their g ood-byes were final, in terms of
earth time. There was no turning back. While air travel, digital messag
ing, and other technologies have made worldwide separation much
easier, pioneering with the Good News still requires a high sacrifice.
Paul passionately wanted others to discover the Good News of eternal
life through Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost would be. Pressing
through frontiers of spiritual darkness still requires pathfinders and
1 Cor 1:8
2 Tim 2:9
Eph 3:1; 4:1
2 Cor 1:11
Rom 5:5; 14:8
1 Cor 6:20
pioneers t oday—people who will reach neglected people or new people
groups. Pray for missionaries; support them; join them.
1:13 How did Paul end up in chains in a Roman prison? While he was
visiting Jerusalem, some Jews had him arrested for preaching the Good
News, but he appealed to Caesar to hear his case (Acts 21:15–25:12).
He was then escorted by soldiers to Rome, where he was placed under
house arrest while awaiting trial—not a trial for breaking civil law, but for
proclaiming the Good News of Christ. At that time, the Roman authorities
did not consider this to be a serious charge. A few years later, however,
Rome would take a different view of Christianity and make every effort to
stamp it out of existence. Paul’s house arrest allowed him some degree
of freedom. He could have visitors, continue to preach, and write letters
such as this one. A brief record of Paul’s time in Rome is found in Acts
28:11-31. The “whole palace guard” refers to the Praetorian Guard, the
elite troops who served at times as bodyguards for Roman emperors.
1:14 We don’t know what special gifts Paul had in prison, but we do
know that he used every opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus.
When we speak out for Christ or live faithfully for him during difficult
situations, we encourage others to do the same. Be an encouragement
to others by the way you live.
1:15-18 Paul had an amazingly selfless attitude. He knew that some
were preaching to build their own reputations, taking advantage of Paul’s
imprisonment to try to make a name for themselves. Regardless of the
motives of these preachers, Paul rejoiced that the Good News was being
preached. Some Christians serve for the wrong reasons. Paul wouldn’t
condone—nor does God excuse—their motives, but we should be glad
if God uses their message regardless of their motives. Have you been
judgmental about some preacher’s style or approach? Take another look
to see if God has used that person to bring others to Christ.
1:16-19 Paul could have become depressed, discouraged, or dis
illusioned. He could have wallowed in self-pity and despair. Instead,
he regarded his imprisonment as being appointed by God. In fact,
God had used Paul’s imprisonment in Rome to bring the gospel to
the center of the empire, as well as to give Paul time to write letters
that would one day end up in the New Testament and give us much
teaching and encouragement. The prayers of the Philippians and the
Holy Spirit helped Paul see his difficulties through new eyes. Do you
have difficulty accepting your station in life? Do you resent where God
has placed you? Although education and effort may enable us to take a