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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Three

ENCOURAGING THE BRETHREN            Page 4

V.14 ** What impact did Paul's faithful witness for Christ have upon the lives of the brethren there in Rome, how did they respond?

"...most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment..." They found themselves trusting in Christ because they were so encouraged by the example set by the apostle.

** What was the natural by-product of their increased trust in the Lord?

They had "far more courage to speak the word of God without fear".
cf. John 16:33, 2Corinthians 5:6-9, Romans 10:17

When men tried to silence the gospel by arresting the preacher, God used it to multiply the effort a thousand fold and more!

V.15 ** Paul said "most of the brethren" were speaking the word of God, was everyone involved in the preaching of God's saving truth being driven along by pure motives?

No, some were "...preaching Christ even from envy and strife..." True Christians, with the true message, had gotten caught up in a popularity contest with Paul. The church in Rome was established before Paul's arrival, and the leaders were losing the attention of the flock to Paul. They responded sinfully with "envy and strife".

** How does Paul describe the motive of those who were speaking in Spirit and in Truth?

They were men who spoke "...from good will..."

V.16 ** What was behind their "good will"?

The love of Christ, "the latter do it out of love".

** What did they know about Paul that would have been very encouraging to him?

They knew he had been "appointed for the defense of the gospel." cf. Acts 9:15, 23:11 It must have been a source of great encouragement for Paul to "know" what others knew about him and the faithfulness it produced in their lives!

V.17 ** What was the sinful attitude behind those preachers that "proclaimed Christ" from envy and strife?

Their heart was filled with "selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives..."

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