We are continuing our walk through the book of Philippians looking for fulfillment. We are not looking for how to be happy. We are not looking for how to be rich or prosperous. We are looking for fulfillment—a sense of inner joy, purpose and satisfaction that is not passive or transient but is rooted deep in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Listen in to the next message in the series "Fulfilled."
So far in our journey through Philippians, the apostle Paul has introduced himself and shared his gratefulness to the Philippians as they have prayed and supported him during his imprisonment for the gospel. Last week we saw how Paul was counting on the prayers of the saints and the power of the Holy Spirit to get him through his ordeal, either by life or by death. But now our letter makes a huge turn. Paul stops focusing on himself and what he is going through and instead focuses on the Philippians and what they are going through. He is going to encourage them in their suffering and call them to “stand firm in one spirit” and “strive side by side for the faith of the gospel.” Listen in this morning on this encouraging message from Pastor Paul Davis in our Fulfilled series.
Just because Paul clearly sees how his chains are being used for God’s glory does not mean they were easy. Chains functioned both as a deterrent to escape as well as a torture device. The iron chafed and corroded the skin. The chains were often purposely made too small in order to cripple the prisoner. For food, Paul would have received his “solo fiscalis,” a daily prison ration too small to be healthy but large enough for the prisoner to survive. So how will Paul survive his captivity? In our passage this morning, Paul discusses how he thinks he will make it through his trial and imprisonment.
According to Acts 28:14–15, Paul was a bound prisoner; he was in chains in Rome. Paul could have viewed his imprisonment as a set back or as a hindrance to the gospel. But instead he saw his difficult situation as a way to further the gospel. In fact, Paul believed that his imprisonment actually advanced the Gospel. Through his imprisonment, he proclaimed a compelling message: “The gospel is so powerful, so essential, I am willing to spend my life in chains for it.”
The book of Philippians is God-breathed Scripture—profitable for doctrine, reproof and correction—but it is also a personal letter from Paul to a group of people he loved. Why does Paul love them so much? Paul’s love and joy for the Philippians flowed from their partnership in the gospel. As we walk through Philippians 1:3-11 we will begin to understand more of this partnership, or koinonia, that Paul experienced.
Discontent, frustrated, unhappy, dissatisfied, depressed, hopeless, numb, going through the motions…this is the way many describe their lives. The title of this series is “fulfilled.” What does it mean to find fulfillment? Can you have a fulfilling marriage or job? Where and how does one find fulfillment? The book of Philippians will be helpful in answering that question. Today we will be looking at the backstory of Philippians and the life of the Apostle Paul.