This week we will be studying Philippians 1, The Gospel. The chapter is broken down into three sections.
The three sections are fellowship of the gospel, the defense of the gospel, and living the gospel.
However to appreciate this chapter you must understand the writer. When Paul was saved on the Damascus road, his life was completely changed. He went from hating everything that had to do with faith in Christ, to being its chief spokesman. The gospel of Christ meant everything to Paul.
So how do we define the gospel? Simply put, it is the good news. A more complete definition is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-9.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
Let’s break this down. The gospel saves. It consists of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Not only that, but over five hundred people saw him after the resurrection. The gospel message has power.
After his conversion experience, Paul staked the rest of his life squarely around preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we think about Paul, we think about what he wrote. Each message is based on an aspect of the gospel message. It was his life’s work to proclaim the gospel to whoever would listen.
Keep this in mind as we study through Philippians 1.
May I be so bold to ask, is the gospel that important to us? Would we stake our lives, reputations, and condemnation of the world, to proclaim the gospel?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001