Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1

What truly mattered to Paul?

Philippians 1:18

Many people even today think that Paul worked so eagerly because of his ambitions. They imagine that he wanted to establish himself as the powerful leader of an international organisation.

However, Paul himself constantly insists that none of that was true. He did not care about his own importance; he only cared to declare the gospel, God’s message about Christ (1 Corinthians 9:16-23).

Paul wrote the Book of Philippians as a prisoner; he knew that the government might soon order his death. In that difficult situation, he expresses his attitudes clearly. He did not care that certain other church leaders with wrong attitudes were trying to take his authority away. Paul’s own authority did not matter to him. The only thing that really mattered to him was the honour due to Christ. So, if those leaders with wrong attitudes were declaring the true gospel, Paul was pleased. Of course he was not pleased about their wrong attitudes or the fact that they were not sincere. He was pleased about the progress of the gospel. He was pleased about what God was doing. He was pleased that people would have the opportunity to hear the gospel message and to trust Christ.

Those were the truly important things in Paul’s opinion. So, in his difficult situation as a prisoner, the news of the progress of the gospel gave great joy to Paul. He did not care if he must suffer and die. He cared only about Christ and his (Christ’s) message, the gospel.

Next part: Prayer for Paul's 'salvation' (Philippians 1:19)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.