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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Three


Encouraging the Brethren


V.12 ** Paul has already been encouraging the Philippians thus far in his letter with his love for them, his thankfulness to God for them, and his joy and longing for them. At this point he is going to turn a corner, instead of talking about them, about whom does he begin to write?

Himself - Paul is going to use the details of his life and walk with Christ to encourage the hearts of the Philippians who had a tremendous concern for the apostle.

** What does he want them to know?

That his "circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel".

** What three words in that statement point out the fact that we do not know the role and impact of the events in our life each day, but God does?

"...have turned out..." While we might plan our strategies for each day, we have no idea what a day will produce - God on the other hand does! cf. Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:23-24

** What have we already learned about the specific circumstances in the life of Paul at the time of this writing?

He is in Rome, under house arrest around 62 A.D.
This was his first Roman imprisonment, after his third missionary journey. cf. Acts 28:16

** Even though Paul was in prison, in far away Rome, what word does he use to show his love for the Philippians in this verse?

"...brethren..." He will use that term eight times in this epistle, referring either to his beloved Philippians or the saints who are with him in Rome.
cf. Philippians 1:12, 14, 3:1, 13, 17, 4:1, 8, 21

** What might we be inclined to think would happen if the most effective evangelist of the day was thrown into a Roman prison?

It could silence the advance of the gospel!

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