Friday, September 7, 2012

"He Wouldn't Have Any Joy": MacArthur on Philippians 1:12-14

Sunday morning we'll be looking at Philippians 1:12-18 which reads:

12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. 15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; 16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will rejoice,
Regarding vs. 12-14 where Paul shares how his imprisonment has led to the progress of the gospel because God has opened new doors for ministry, even in his imprisonment, and it has strengthened the faith of other believers, even in his imprisonment.

Speaking, in this context, regarding Paul's joy, pastor Dr. John MacArthur had the following to say regarding joy; a theme which runs throughout the book of Philippians:

Now the key is to, notice in verse 18 this line, "I rejoice, yes and I will rejoice." Underline that in your Bible because that's what he wants them to know. He has a heart for them too. He doesn't want them needlessly worrying about him. Back in verse 4 he says, "My prayers even are filled with joy." Joy is the dominant attitude which he confesses. Chapter 2, "I rejoice," verse 17, "and share my joy with you all." Chapter 3 verse 1, "Rejoice in the Lord." Chapter 4 verse 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say rejoice." Don't be sad. Don't be sorrowful. Don't fret and worry. Rejoice, I am. The joy of ministry.

Now, beloved, would you please note that the joy of ministry in the life of Paul was unrelated to circumstances? If his joy was related to circumstances, he wouldn't have had any joy. If his joy was related to pleasures in this earth, he wouldn't have had any joy. If his joy was related to possessions in this world, he wouldn't have had any joy. If his joy was related to freedom in this life, he wouldn't have had any joy. If it was related to prestige, he wouldn't have any outward success, he wouldn't have any a good reputation, he wouldn't have any joy. But it was all related to something completely other than that. It was all related to the ministry and the joy in the ministry was, in the sense, absolutely indifferent to all other things.

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