SOAP: Philippians 1:18-30

SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:18-30

OBSERVATION: Paul doesn’t fear death – in fact he seems to embrace it, for it is to him preferable to life on this earth (v23) Yet again we see how other person focussed he is, when he states that for those he writes to, it is more beneficial for him to remain alive andfor God to work through him and his mortal body.

Paul delivers a great exhortation as well – for the people of Philippi to proceed in unity of spirit and truth (v27) in order to glorify God and honour the Gospel that they believe. Of particular note are calls to stand firm in the fact of opposition – it will not be easy to live according to the Gospel. A very noteworthy verse is v29, where Paul reminds the readers that their salvation in Christ is not just about mere belief, but about suffering for His sake, something that Paul knows full well about.

APPLICATION: I’d say this passage challenges me to rejoice in my sufferings, just as the previous reading did. But it takes suffering to a whole new level – to that of sacrificing one’s life for the Gospel. History is full of martyrs – would I boldly proclaim the Gospel with the knowledge that my life would be endangered by that, or would I suppress the truth in cowardice to protect myself? I need to stand firm, contend for the faith with all my fellow siblings in Christ, and be confident that whatever happens to my mortal body. my eternal deliverance is secured.

PRAYER: My prayer is that all believers would embrace and rejoice in the chance of suffering, not seeing it as a punishment, but as a building block of hope and strength in Christ. May the Lord comfort all those suffering for His sake, and encourage them further on towards the prize of eternal life.

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