Philippians 1:12-17

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

We have already seen -

I. PAUL'S OPENING GREETING - 1:1-2

We have also seen -

II. PAUL'S THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER - 1:3-11

We move on to -

III. PAUL'S CIRCUMSTANCES AND DESIRES - 1:12-26

Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

In verse 12 Paul returns to a discussion of the benefits of his imprisonment. Although it has certainly confined him, it has also provided him with opportunities to witness which he would not otherwise have had; and others have also had opportunities to proclaim the gospel as a result of Paul's imprisonment. In addition, Paul's imprisonment gave him opportunity to write four epistles which have enriched the lives of countless believers throughout the following centuries. It was at this time that he wrote not only Philippians, but also, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon.

But may indicate a mild contrast, or it may indicate a continuation of the thought and be understood as and or now.

I is the Apostle Paul, and would is wish or desire.

What Paul wishes is that ye should understand, i.e. that you (plural) Philippian believers should understand or should come to know.

Paul addresses his readers as brethren (i.e. as brothers) which implies that they were saved people and members of the family of God.

What Paul wishes them to understand is that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.

The things which happened unto me refers to Paul's arrest and imprisonment. By the time Paul wrote Philippians, he may very well have been imprisoned for as long as five or six years from the time he had been arrested in Jerusalem and taken to Caesarea where he was imprisoned for two years and then on to Rome where he was presently imprisoned. When Acts closes, Paul had already been in prison in Rome for two years. It may have been as much as one or two additional years beyond the close of Acts before he wrote this letter to the saints in Philippi.

Have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel indicates the result of the things which have happened to Paul.

Have fallen out is have come or have gone.

Rather, which means to a greater degree, to a higher degree, or more, is understood with have fallen out.

The things which have happened to Paul have resulted to a greater degree unto the furtherance of the gospel.

By furtherance Paul means progress or advancement.

Have fallen out . . . unto the furtherance means have resulted in furthering. What has been furthered is the gospel, by which Paul means the good news that Christ died on the cross in payment for sin, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day. Paul's imprisonment has been beneficial (rather than a hindrance) to the advancement of the gospel; and as a result, some people had heard the gospel message and been saved.

When things don't work out the way you think they should, remember the truth of Romans 8:28 , that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. You don't have to understand it. Just trust the Lord in the matter to accomplish His purposes, not only in your life, but also in the lives of others.

Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.

Verses 13-14 explain what Paul means that the things which happened unto him have resulted in furthering the gospel to a greater degree.

So that is with the result that.

My bonds, which refers to Paul's fetters, are Paul's bonds in Christ, which means that he has been imprisoned as a result of his having preached the gospel.

Are manifest is are visible, are clear, or are known.

In all the palace, and in all other places tells where Paul's bonds in Christ are known (or manifest). The palace is the praetorium, and there is a question regarding its meaning. In this passage it may refer to the imperial guard rather than to the residence of the emperor. Praetorium does mean the governor's palace in Jerusalem and Caesarea; but it is not used of the emperor's palace in Rome unless it is in this verse. It is also used to refer to the barracks of the provincial guard. It was customary for a prisoner to be chained to a soldier, and apparently Paul was no exception to this practice as Acts 28:16 indicates,

Acts 28:16 - And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered [i.e. permitted or allowed] to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him (emphasis added).

As one soldier from the imperial guard after another took his turn guarding Paul, it is not difficult to imagine that Paul witnessed to each one and told him of his circumstances and of his reason for being in prison. Furthermore, many unsaved Jews (and possibly some unsaved Gentiles) visited Paul. The soldiers to whom Paul was chained heard the discussions Paul had with these unsaved visitors, and over a period of time could not help but be impressed with Paul.

Acts 28:17-31 - (17) And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. (18) Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. (19) But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. (20) For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. (21) And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. (22) But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against. (23) And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (24) And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. (25) And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, (26) Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: (27) For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (28) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. (29) And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. (30) And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, (31) Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him (emphasis added).

The soldiers guarding Paul heard all these conversations. In addition, believers also had access to Paul, and the soldiers chained to Paul also heard their conversations with Paul and could not help but be impressed with these men and their testimonies. Timothy, Epaphroditus, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Jesus (called Justus), Epaphras, Luke, and Demas are mentioned as having visited Paul.

Was Paul the real prisoner, or was the soldier chained to him the real prisoner; a captive audience chained to Paul, even if only for a few hours at a time? He could not help but be favorably impressed by the Apostle Paul and by these saved men who visited him. As each guard in turn returned to his barracks, it is not difficult to imagine that he would have spoken with other soldiers about his experiences with Paul. It is also not difficult to imagine that some of the soldiers were saved as a result of their contact with Paul. Over a period of several years it is possible that some of these soldiers were transferred out of the imperial guard to other places in the empire and became missionaries, trained at the feet of the Apostle Paul, but actually sent forth and supported by the Roman government.

In all other places is in all the rest (of the places) or in the remaining (places) and implies that this is not the only place where Paul's bonds were well known. Word spread throughout Rome, including Caesar's household, and beyond. That the Word of God reached into Caesar's own household is made clear in Philippians 4:22 where Paul sends greetings from Caesar's household to the believers in Philippi. Philippians 4:22 says, All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. Caesar's household may refer to servants within Caesar's household, both slaves and free, or to members of the praetorian guard rather than to members of his immediate family.

Philippians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

This is another benefit of Paul's imprisonment.

Many is the majority, the most, the others, or the rest.

Of the brethren is of the brothers and implies that they are fellow believers and members of the family of God.

In the Lord appears in the Greek text between the brethren and waxing confident and can be understood with either. The comma after Lord in the King James translation suggests that the translators understood in the Lord as being better connected with brethren than with waxing confident. However, if they had placed the comma after brethren rather than after Lord, it would have been understood by the reader as being connected with waxing confident rather than with brethren. The reader is reminded that the punctuation was added later and is not inspired or inerrant. This means that in the Lord can be connected grammatically to either the brethren or with waxing confident. As translated, in the Lord tells where they are brothers. Of course, even if in the Lord were not connected with brethren, the meaning would still be the same. For this reason some expositors prefer to connect in the Lord with waxing confident rather than with brethren. Although this is grammatically possible, in the Lord seems to be implied with waxing confident just as it is implied with brethren, whether it is stated or not. Therefore, the reader should understand that in the Lord can be understood with either brethren or with waxing confident and implied with the other.

Waxing confident is having become confident, having become certain, or having become sure. Its tense indicates a state of being in the sense of being confident, being certain, or being sure. They had become confident at some time in the past and were still confident as a result.

By my bonds may be by means of my bonds or because of my bonds.

Are much more bold is dare even more, have even more courage, or are even more brave.

What they dare even more to do is to speak [i.e. to be speaking] the word [i.e. the gospel message] without fear [i.e. fearlessly].

Without fear implies that they were unafraid of any consequences which might come as a result of their proclaiming the gospel.

Philippians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will.

Verse 15 indicates how some of the Christian brothers were bold to speak the word without fear.

Some is indefinite regarding who the persons were and how many there were; yet, it is definite that some were doing this.

Indeed is emphatic.

What some do is preach Christ, which means that they are proclaiming or heralding Christ, i.e. they are openly proclaiming the gospel or good news about Christ.

Even is the word ordinarily translated and. Here, it is used to emphasize their motive in proclaiming Christ as being almost unbelievable.

Of envy and strife is because of jealousy and discord (or contention). These were not false teachers, such as the Judaizers in Galatians; rather, they preached the right message; but they did it with a wrong motive as if they were Paul's rivals.

Contrasted with this group which preaches Christ because of envy and strife is another group, also indicated by and some (or but some). Again, the readers are not told how many were doing this or who they were.

Also is the same word translated even in the previous phrase. It means that these people were also preaching Christ just as the first group was preaching Christ.

Of good will is because of good will.

The motive of the first group in preaching the gospel is jealousy and a desire to compete with Paul; whereas, the others are preaching Christ because they have a genuine desire to see people saved. What a contrast in motives!

Philippians 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds.

It was expressed in verse 15 that some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife, and the one refers to this first group mentioned in verse 15. One is actually plural and is understood as some.

Preach means are proclaiming, are solemnly proclaiming, are announcing, are declaring, or are making known.

What they are preaching is Christ, which implies that they preach the gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.

Apparently, they were accurately proclaiming Christ, but their motive was improper as of contention and not sincerely indicate.

Of contention is because of strife, because of selfishness, or because of selfish ambition and tells how they were preaching Christ. Their motive was that they were trying to do something which would promote themselves. They may have been jealous of the results Paul had experienced in his proclamation of the gospel. As a result they may have set themselves in competition with Paul in an effort to show him and others that they were just as good as he was and just as effective, as if to irritate or annoy him.

Not sincerely is used in the sense of not purely, which means that they have a mixed motive. Such a statement should drive all who proclaim the gospel to examine their motives for proclaiming it in order that their motives may be pure and remain pure. One can never trust his old sin nature, and he must remind himself from time to time that his heart is still deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked and that he cannot know it (Jeremiah 17:9 ).

Supposing means thinking or expecting.

What they are supposing to do is to add affliction to my bonds.

To add is to bring over or to bring upon.

Affliction is understood as oppression or tribulation.

To my bonds refers to Paul's fetters or imprisonment. Paul already has enough trouble just because he has been imprisoned. He does not need people who are preaching Christ out of contention, expecting and, perhaps, intending to add to his difficulties.

Philippians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

But the other is plural in the Greek text. After the word other, the reader should supply preach Christ from the previous two verses so that he understands it in the sense of but the other (preach Christ). Whereas the one was used in verse 16 to refer to the group from verse 15 that preached Christ out of envy and strife, the other in verse 17 refers to the second group mentioned in verse 15 that preached Christ of good will.

Of love is out of love or because of love. Love is the sort of love which gives itself completely on behalf of another without expecting anything in return. This group which preaches Christ out of love is a sincere group that loves the Lord and loves the Apostle Paul and has a pure motive in preaching Christ.

Knowing is understood as seeing, perceiving, or recognizing.

What they know is that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

I am set, where I is Paul means I am appointed or I am destined. It is Paul's expression that the reason God sent him in the first place was that he might defend the gospel.

For the defence of the gospel indicates that what Paul is going to defend is the gospel, the good news that Christ died on the cross for the sins of all humanity, that He was buried, and that He rose again from the dead the third day. If believed, the gospel will result in the forgiveness of sin and eternal life for the one who believes it. There were all sorts of people who would attack the gospel and attempt to discredit it, but Paul was going to defend it against their efforts.

Consistent with Paul's statement that he was set for the defense of the gospel was his practice recorded in Acts 28:23-24 and 30-31,

Acts 28:23-24 - (23) And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. (24) And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Acts 28:30-31 - (30) And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, (31) Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him (emphasis added).