Chapter One, Lesson Three
ENCOURAGING THE BRETHREN Page
** Was the gospel advancing prior to Paul's arrest?
Absolutely - this is after his third missionary journey. All of Asia-Minor
had heard and there were churches established throughout the region.
** So, what unforeseeable event has "turned out" because
of Paul's difficult circumstances?
There is now a "greater progress of the gospel".
As good as it had been going over the past twenty- five years, it was
now going even better!
cf. Acts 28:30-31
V.13 ** How extensively was Paul able to reach out with the gospel
of Jesus Christ while in a Roman prison?
His preaching had become "well known throughout the whole praetorian
guard and to everyone else".
** What was the praetorian guard, how big of an impact are we talking
This was the Imperial guard established by Augustus Caesar and numbered
9000 strong. You will remember from Acts 28:16 that Luke told us Paul
was guarded by or chained to a soldier 24 hours a day. The question
arises, "Who was who's prisoner?" Paul could not go anywhere,
but neither could the Roman guard during his watch. He had to listen
to Paul preach God's saving gospel. As one guard's shift would end,
a new one would take his place and Paul would simply start all over.
** Besides the guards, who else heard the gospel?
"...everyone else..." This is referring to the household
servants, cooks, gardeners, porters,
doorkeepers - anyone serving in Nero's house. cf. Philippians 4:22
** What an amazing impact this little man had on the unbelievers around
him, in seemingly undesirable circumstances. Why did Paul think he was
in prison, what was his view of these circumstances?
"...my imprisonment in the cause of Christ..." He knew that
his circumstances always had a heavenly purpose! He was encouraged and
was willing to be "Encouraging the Brethren" as he
shared God's view of this tremendous work. cf. Philippins 1:7, 2Timothy
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