Main point summary
Suffering in service of the gospel
Paul wanted the believers at Philippi to know that what has happened to him(namely his imprisonment) served to advance the gospel. 1. The gospel has become known to many , 2. Believers were emboldened. He expound this idea in the following verses:
I want you to know, brothers and sisters, 17 that my situation has actually turned out to advance the gospel: 18
I want you to know, brothers, 1 that what has happened to me has really x served to advance the gospel,
Γινώσκειν δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι τὰ κατʼ ἐμὲ μᾶλλον εἰς προκοπὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐλήλυθεν,
the gospel has become known to the imperial guards first
The 19 whole imperial guard 20
so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard 1
γενέσθαι ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πραιτωρίῳ
then to the rest, perhaps the rest of the household where Paul was detained, or the imperial guards' relatives
and everyone else knows 21
and y to all the rest
καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς πᾶσιν,
hence it has become known to them that Paul was imprisoned for Christ
that I am in prison 22 for the sake of Christ,
that z my imprisonment is for Christ.
ὥστε τοὺς δεσμούς μου φανεροὺς ἐν Χριστῷ
their confidence is in the Lord, or literally, reliance is in the Lord
and most of the brothers and sisters, 23 having confidence in the Lord 24
And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord
καὶ τοὺς πλείονας τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἐν κυρίῳ πεποιθότας τοῖς
Paul's imprisonment was used by God to embolden and gives confidence to the believers in preaching the gospel
because of my imprisonment,
by my imprisonment,
therefore the brethren become much more bold and without fear
now more than ever 25 dare to speak the word 26 fearlessly.
are much more bold a to speak the word 1 without fear.
περισσοτέρως τολμἀν αφόβως τὸν λόγον λαλεῖν.
Here, he concedes that not everyone preach Christ with the same motives, some out of envy
Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ from envy and rivalry,
b Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,
τινὲς μὲν καὶ διὰ φθόνον καὶ ἔριν,
but nevertheless there are still some who preach out of good will
but others from goodwill.
but others from good will.
τινὲς δὲ καὶ διʼ εὐδοκίαν τὸν Χριστὸν κηρύσσουσιν•
Some preach Christ out of love
The latter do so from love
The latter do it out of love,
οἱ μὲν ἐξ ἀγάπης,
Because they know Paul was imprisoned for that very reason.
because they know that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel.
c knowing that I am put here for d the defense of the gospel.
εἰδότες ὅτι εἰς ἀπολογίαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου κεῖμαι,
Other for selfish desires and malice
The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition,
The former proclaim Christ e out of selfish ambition,
ἐριθείας τὸν Χριστὸν καταγγέλλουσιν,
or negatively, not sincere
but because they just want to afflict Paul
because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment. 27
but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
οἰόμενοι θλῖψιν ἐγείρειν τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου.
In spite of this differing motives, what is the result?
What is the result?
Christ in every way
Only that in every way,
Only that in every way,
πλὴν ὅτι παντὶ τρόπῳ,
indirectly, in pretense
whether in pretense
whether in pretense
directly, in truth and sincerity
or in truth,
or in truth,
Christ is still being proclaimed, or used by God to advance the gospel
Christ is being proclaimed,
Christ is proclaimed,
therefore Paul rejoice
and in this I rejoice. Yes, 28 and I will continue to rejoice,
and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
καὶ ἐν τούτῳ χαίρω. Ἀλλὰ καὶ χαρήσομαι,
Q and A
Questions and Answers: I want you to know verse 12 1.Q. Why would Paul want them to know all these things he's about to unpack from (verse 12-30) 1.A. He wants them to know so that they may find the following (2:1): encouragement in Chirst comfort provided by love fellowship in the Spirit Affection or mercy 2.Q. For what purpose? (2:2a) 2.A. To complete Paul's joy 3.Q. How?(2:2b) 3.A. By the following: be of the same mind by having the same love being united in spirit having one purpose. that my circumstances have come rather for the advancement of the gospel verse 12 4.Q. What did some believers(referring to those who preach with wrong motives) expected from Paul's imprisonment? 4.A. That Paul will be afflicted and that they will gain more prominence over him. This one upmanship could render all their labor in vain and therefore hinder the advancement of the gospel. 5.Q. How is this a hindrance? 5.A. It is a hindrance in this way: By doing everything with grumbling or arguing(preaching from envy and rivalry), they become blameworthy and insincere, with blemish, therefore don't shine as lights in the world.(2:15-16) If this is the case then Paul will have ample of reasons to despair! But Paul will have none of it, because his imprisonment, have come rather to advance the gospel. He wants them not to be anxious about him, because his circumstances, rather than being a “hindrance” (proskopē) to the gospel, as they might well believe, have in fact led to its “advance” (prokopē). 6.Q. In what ways did the gospel advanced? 6.A. It advanced in the following ways: 1. It has become known to many ( verse 13 ) 6.1.Q. How? 6.1.A. By the ff: * having a ccess to people * showing that there's a Christ * showing that someone is willing to be imprisoned for this Christ 2. It emboldens believers to preach. ( verse 14 ) Even Christians who set themselves against Paul do not discourage him. The apostle, did not merely say that the gospel had continued to make progress in spite of adversity; rather, the adversity itself had turned out for the advancement of the gospel. Far from trying to evoke sympathy from his readers by expressing resignation, the apostle went out of his way to make sure that the Philippians did not grow overly concerned about him; indeed, he gave a glowing report of his ministry intended to produce joy in their hearts (v. 18). One should note, moreover, that implicit in this statement is a recognition of God’s sovereign workings in human affairs, though the point may seem veiled by the impersonal ἐλήλυθεν (elēlythen, “come about”). Paul stressed the ironic turn of events: some may have intended to curtail his ministry with chains, but, in fact, his imprisonment had led both to the evangelization of pagans (v. 13) and to the edification of believers (leading in turn to even greater evangelism, v. 14). We must focus on those two items, because they constitute the evidence set forth by the apostle to demonstrate his claim. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ from envy and rivalry (verse 15) 7.Q. Who are these people? 7.A. These are true brethren in the Lord They describe two kinds of evangelism, in terms of motivation, taking place in Rome in response to Paul’s imprisonment. They are surprising in part because nothing in verse 14 prepared us for this, and in part because of Paul’s description of the second group and his attitude toward them. The description itself is set forth in a nearly perfect chiasmus (ABB'A' pattern): A Some preach Christ because of envy and rivalry (verse 15) B Others out of goodwill or love (verse 15) B' The latter do so in love because they know my imprisonment is on behalf of the gospel (verse 16) A' The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they are causing affliction in my bonds (verse 17) The emphasis lies with the A/A' clauses, with those who are trying to inflict suffering on Paul. But even though it smarts personally, Paul will have none of it—the supposed affliction, that is. Rather (v. 18), he rejoices because Christ is proclaimed on all sides; for him “to live is Christ” (v. 21), hence his ability to rejoice.