May 20, 2019

No Matter What . . . A Study of Philippians
Week 2 Devotions written by Dr. Williamson

Philippians 1:12-14

Did we mention Paul was writing this letter from a prison cell in Rome? He didn’t know whether he would live or die there. Here’s the story.

Paul was in prison because he had been sharing the gospel—the good news of Jesus—with Gentiles. It upset many of the Jewish people (back in Jerusalem) to hear Paul was even talking to Gentiles about having a relationship with “their God.” And even more upset that Paul didn’t teach these Gentiles they must convert to Judaism to seal the deal (Acts 21:21). Because they were so upset with Paul, they accused him of bringing a Gentile into the temple (Acts 21:28), a blasphemous act to them. These Jews formed a mob and dragged Paul out of the temple, beat him, trying to kill him, until Roman soldiers arrived on the scene. The Roman soldiers arrested Paul and were going to flog him as punishment until they learned Paul was a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25-26). Paul, using his rights as a Roman citizen, appealed to Caesar, and thus was taken to prison in Rome.

Being imprisoned would cause many people to stop what they were doing. Not Paul. Paul saw his imprisonment as another opportunity to tell people about Jesus, to spread the gospel worldwide, including Rome. Knowing Paul shared the gospel, even while being persecuted, encouraged and emboldened other Christ-followers to also share the gospel.

What about you?