In Chains for Christ

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, August 23, 2019

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. 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 1:12-14

Most people prize their freedom to do as they please. We do not like restrictions and frown upon anything that limits our independence. That is why putting people in prison is used as a form of punishment.

Modern-day prison is far different then what Paul experienced. Paul was put in chains while he was in his prison cell because they did not want him to escape. He was not allowed to leave his cell for any period. Even while in his cell, guards were watching him so he would not escape.

Paul was in chains for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not commit any crime but was falsely accused by the religious leaders who wanted to kill him. Yet in verse 12, he told the Philippian Christians “that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel." God can at times allow you to go through a difficulty to advance the gospel. He does not always remove our burdens, as much as we may ask. Sometimes, suffering is an integral part of our ministry.

Are you using your misfortune to advance the gospel? Paul had a godly perspective on his prison experience. Perhaps, if you and I develop a godly perspective about our predicament, it would enhance our testimony for Christ. Your health crisis may be an opportunity to advance the gospel. Maybe, your financial crisis can be used to advance the gospel as well.

The point here is that we ought to rejoice always in the Lord, notwithstanding our circumstance. Whereas it is okay to lament our pain and suffering to God, we yet have to be a source of encouragement to other believers. As difficult as it can be at times, we have to find the courage to use our adversity to advance the gospel.

In verse 13, Paul says, “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.” Paul was revered and respected because of the way he conducted himself while in prison. He never stopped proclaiming the name of Jesus, even while he was in chains. The godliness that defined Paul’s character and conduct while in prison made it clear to the palace guard and everyone else that he was not a criminal, but someone who was targeted because of his belief in Jesus Christ.

In verse 14, Paul says that his imprisonment has emboldened Christians throughout the region to proclaim the gospel. When people see our faith in the midst of our fiery experience, they can become emboldened in their own faith. That is why it is so crucial for Christians to endure hardships with grace and faith.

Countless people volunteered to go to prison during the Civil Rights Movement because of Dr. King’s example. White and black people were hosed down in Alabama and Mississippi for marching for justice while Dr. King was in prison. His imprisonment emboldened students throughout this country to participate in the nonviolence movement. Many of those students were beaten with clubs and bitten by dogs, yet they marched for justice without fear because of the example of Dr. King.

Perhaps your battle with a major illness can help someone else to fight his or her dreaded disease with hope and confidence. Your courage in suffering might just be the inspiration someone needs to pull themselves up by their own bootstrap. Don’t ever forget that the experience of suffering can be a ministry given to someone by God for reasons they may never understand or appreciate. Yet if we remain faithful in our service to the kingdom of God as we go through, we will advance the gospel for Jesus sake.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, give us the courage to endure suffering with grace so we can advance the gospel in the midst of suffering.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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