Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1

How Paul’s troubles made Christians bold

Philippians 1:14

While Paul was a prisoner, most of the Christians began to declare the message about Christ more boldly. That was an extraordinary reaction to danger. Usually, we would expect people to be too afraid that they might suffer in the same way.

Let us think about some of the reasons why the Christians declared the gospel, the message about Christ, so boldly.

(1) The most important reason is that God gave them the strength to do it. It is God who sends people to declare his message (Romans 10:14-15). They themselves are much too weak to do what God wants – so, they must depend on the strength that God gives (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

(2) Secondly, the Christians recognised that the gospel message is extremely important. Other people may consider it foolish, but the gospel has the power to save (rescue) people (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18-24). By it, God saves people from death, hell and the devil (Hebrews 2:14-15).

(3) The Christians respected God more than they were afraid of their enemies (Acts 5:29). The Bible often calls that attitude ‘the fear of God’ (for example, Psalm 34:9; compare Proverbs 29:25).

(4) The Christians realised that their troubles might soon make it difficult for them to declare the gospel. So, they saw that it was urgent to declare it. They used their opportunities well (Ephesians 5:15-16).

(5) Paul’s attitudes as a prisoner encouraged them. They saw that his troubles had not destroyed his trust in God. Rather, even as a prisoner, Paul remained strong and bold, and he continued to declare the gospel (Acts 28:16-31). They saw that God had given Paul the strength to stand for God in that situation. So, they too were able to trust God more. God had not disappointed Paul in his troubles; so they knew that God would not disappoint them either (Romans 8:31-39).

Next part: Right and wrong reasons to declare the gospel (Philippians 1:15-16)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.