Sermon Outline for Sunday May 21, 2017 Having Contentment in the Advance of the Gospel Philippians 1:1-21

These notes are  preaching outline that was used for the sermon.  There may certainly be deviations from the written text.  Audio of the sermon may be found at



Our Text

Philippians 1:1-21  Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:  (2)  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (3)  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  (4)  always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  (5)  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  (6)  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  (7)  It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.  (8)  For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.  (9)  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  (10)  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  (11)  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.  (12)  I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,  (13)  so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  (14)  And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.  (15)  Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  (16)  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.  (17)  The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.  (18)  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,  (19)  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance,  (20)  as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  (21)  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God. Therefore, the journey of meeting this goal provides the greatest joy this world can offer.

The greater the opposition, the greater we display the awesomeness of God.

Recap of last week: Paul is in chains, in prison, writing to the Philippian church about the joy he has in partnership with them, despite what they might interpret as failure.

So Paul writes about two conditions that are upon his mind, and yet God is to be glorified within.

  1. Circumstances
  2. People

Circumstances (Prison/Chains)

The Sharing of the Gospel in the Royal Guard

12-14 Paul’s imprisonment has led to the sharing of the gospel where it never would have had an audience.

Paul is speaking of himself here, and yet, he is boasting in Christ.  I am where I am by His grace.

He does not tell us the details of why he is there, they don’t matter. (We often talk too much of our selves and the injustices done to us)

What does matter is the sharing of the gospel. The imprisonment, has not restricted him, but rather provided a freedom to share the message of Christ.


People (Detractors/haters/Pride)

Its Not a Popularity Contest

15-18 Trouble caused by detractors does not matter.

These detractors were not outsiders, false prophets, or the like.  Rather, what hurt most was they we fellow believers who preached the same message truthfully, and yet criticized Paul.

Some did preach the Gospel faithfully with love.

Others, judged Paul and worked in a one-upmanship manner.

Paul, did not consider their approval or their standards of success to be his goals. (See verse 18 and 21)

Paul’s consideration: Philippians 1:18  What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Ultimately His motivation is solely; Php 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Your life situations are always a gospel opportunity to learn its application and share its power.

The gospel gives joy. It is the foundational message of the church.  Jesus suffered and counted it worthy to go to the cross to glorify His Father.  You see, Jesus died, not just to save sinners, but to more explicitly demonstrate the person of God the Father.

Consider the eternal truth in Revelation

Rev_4:11  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Rev_5:9  And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

Rev_5:12  saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

We too ought to count it a blessing to be considered worthy to suffer for the gospel of Jesus.

I often use this word Glory.  What is it to glorify God?

It is to revel in worship of the true person of God.  Not making Him in our own image, physically or mentally.  But rather to consider with great joy four aspects of the person of Christ.

  1. Aspects of His character
  • Love
  • Wrath
  • Justice
  • Grace/Mercy
  • Goodness
  • Omniscience/Omnipotence

     2.  His Transcendence (otherness) His qualities that we cannot relate to.

  • Holiness- the purity of all He is and will ever be. Without sin and unable to entertain sin.

See, The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent

     3. His accomplishment/Faithfulness/history

  • Read the Old Testament
  • Creation alone and any study of science is vital to grasping the intricacies of detail that God orchestrates.
  • Job, 34 onward

     4. Hope

  • Where has He ever failed?
  • Where has He ever broken promise?
  • Where would you be without God?
  • Look to the promises that are yet to be fulfilled and have hope in Him, and thus live.


Paul’s hope was not in things of this world.  They failed to bring contentment.  What does matter in the Christian life, it our being centered upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here we are not distracted by the world but attracted to God.  Doing so rearranges out values, goals, and motives.  It will then produce the joy that we were created to have to be worshipers of God.  Worship, always includes spirit and truth, doctrine and emotion, direction and affection.

The gospel is not just for salvation, It is daily needed for sanctification.

  • Daily abide in Him as your source of joy and strength and values.
  • Daily, walk by the Spirit (Romans 8)
  • Deny self, take up the cross, and follow Him.

I see many, like me, affected by the crud of life.  The only way to contented joy is through Christ, look no further.

Paul, even though in chains and facing opposition, was centered upon Christ.  He was convinced, that his circumstances were not chains themselves but opportunities.  We can confidently know that

Php 1:6  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s