Principles In The Gospel

Title: Principles In The Gospel

Bible Book: Philippians 1

Author: Tom Hayes

Subject: Gospel; Christian Principles; Doctrine of the Gospel



Ten years had lapsed since Paul and his missionary band first visited Philippi. The church nucleus which was formed at that time had developed into a most unique body of believers. They were a special group and had a special place in the Apostle’s life, but he reminded them that every special blessing was rooted “in the gospel.” Much like the Roman Epistle, a gospel emphasis dominates the first division of this Philippian letter. In Romans, the message is very doctrinal, but here the gospel is set forth in a practical manner. The same power (see Rom. 1:16) is evident, but the principles in the gospel are accentuated.

I. Oneness In The Gospel

The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is a gospel of reconciliation. Not only are sinners joined miraculously to a righteous God, but all believers are united in one body, the body of Christ. Paul, the great veteran apostle, can identify with a rookie disciple like Timotheus (see 1:1). Saints, bishops, and deacons are all brought together in a collective sense (see 1:1). The spirit of oneness is most vivid in Paul’s opening words, in which he admits that the saints are in his mind (see 1:3), in his fellowship (see 1:5), in his “heart” (1:7), in his very soul (see 1:8), and in his fervent prayers (see 1:4; 9-11).

II. Outreach In The Gospel

There are no barriers to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. They could put Paul in prison, but they couldn’t lock up the gospel. In fact, his bonds brought about a “furtherance of the gospel” (1:12). The soldiers who came to Christ while being chained to him testified “in all the palace and in all other places” (1:13). Too, because of the Apostle’s sufferings, some of the weaker brethren had be-come “much more bold to speak the word” (1:14). In spite of some religious bigotry here and there, Christ was being preached, and Paul rejoiced that the good news was reaching out (see 1:15-18).

III. Offense In The Gospel

It was clear that Paul would stand in “defence of the gospel” (1:17) at any time. However, he declared

the gospel as the Christian’s offensive weapon. Whether in prison or out of prison; “whether by life or by death” (1:20); whether present with or “absent” (1:27) from the local fellowship; whether one or many suffer for Christ’s “sake” (1:29); the Lord’s people must “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (1:27). Instead of being “terrified” by the “adversaries” (1:28) and retreating, we must march forward “neath the banner of the cross.”

In a health-conscious society, the public benefits from modern technology in many ways. Whereas in years gone by it was necessary to take several pills to get varied results, now one pill may include all the needed ingredients. The multiple vitamin is a good example of this compressed potency. The gospel, or the “gos-pill,” is the only pill we need for spiritual health. It is heaven’s multiple vitamin!

May we take this divine prescription ourselves to offset the enemy

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