Gospel Lens

I have AWFUL eyesight. Without my glasses or contacts I am basically blind. When I wake up in the morning my first reach is for my glasses , just so I can see my alarm clock. My eyesight is horrible. One time I couldn’t find my glasses or my contacts case. I was so frustrated, but the moment I found my glasses behind the nightstand and put them on everything was clear. I could see clearly what was around me. I think that’s what Philippians 1.12-14 is all about.

The Scripture (Philippians 1.12-14 ESV)

[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.

Paul is writing to a great church. He’s writing to a church that he loves AND he’s writing from…PRISON. Paul is saying in verse 12 that him being in prison is actually a good thing. He’s telling this church not to pity him, but to see that prison is a good thing. Prison isn’t bad in Paul’s estimation because he’s viewing prison through lenses that see life differently. He’s viewing life and his circumstances through Gospel Lenses and that clarifies EVERYTHING that he goes through…even prison.

Paul has taken the chance to tell every guard that he’s had and every jailer who’s come by and all the prisoners that are around him about Jesus. He views his prison as a place where people don’t know Jesus and need to. He sees it as a place that is dark and need of light and he gets to bring the light there. I doubt that this is the natural inclination of people going to prison especially when you don’t deserve to be there. Paul didn’t fight, he didn’t complain, he just advanced the Gospel within the prison walls.

One More Thing

He didn’t just advance the Gospel on his own. His imprisonment made others more bold. Why? Not because he was in prison, but because of his VIEW of his imprisonment. He viewed it not as a sad circumstance and something to be depressed about, but as the next mission field that he was supposed to be on. This made others more bold to share the Gospel in their places of business, home, and life. Paul’s gospel-centered view made others more gospel-centered. Had he seen life through a self-centered lens he would definitely be down and depressed, I wouldn’t blame him, but he wouldn’t have inspired others to walk a gospel-centered path. Others wouldn’t have become more bold…I firmly believe EVERY circumstance and trial exists for the Gospel to advance. Find the way and advance it.