Preaching through the book of Philippians has been a tremendous blessing in my own life. I get to see so many truths unraveled in the book, too many to preach on a given Sunday morning. We will be wrapping up Philippians Chapter 1 this Sunday. And as I bring it to a close I am completely sold out on the fact that you and I must put the gospel first in everything we do.
As we read Philippians 1:3-8, we see that we must put the gospel first at the center of our relationships. Paul states, “making my prayer with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now….” The relationship between Paul and Philippians was strong because they were both partnering in spreading the gospel of Christ.
The gospel was a priority in their prayer. In Philippians 1:9-11, Paul is praying “that their love may abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment…” Here Paul is praying that the Philippian believers would truly understand the love of God which saved them and would then in turn abound in their love for one another.
The gospel was central in the midst of adversities. We read in Philippians 1:12-18a, that Paul was under house arrest, but his imprisonment only led to the advancement of the gospel. Paul proclaimed the gospel to the palace guards and in turn to the household of Caesar resulting in many coming to saving faith. So, whatever adverse circumstances we go through, we must be mindful of the fact that the Lord is using those adversities to advance the gospel.
Lastly, in verses 18b-26, we see the gospel prioritized in Paul’s selfless commitment to his people. Though Paul wanted to depart and be with Christ, he was committed to the well-being of other believers. We see this time and time again as Paul did what was best for his people rather than what was best for him. Paul was convinced that God wanted him to be more involved in the spiritual welfare of his people. By using the gospel to help them with their sanctification, Paul was bringing glory to God. Are we concerned about the believers in our church? Or are we thinking about our comforts, our desires, our plans, our interests, our needs instead of doing what is best for our church? May we be a church that continually strives to make the gospel our priority!
~ Pastor Sam