Do not be frightened by anything
Philippians 1:12-30
Stand firm. Strive side by side. Do not be afraid.
Audio from the author
Published March 3rd, 2016
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Paul ultimately has nothing to lose. His suffering is resulting in the spread of the Gospel, he has necessary work to do and he has no fear of death because for him it is only gain. He wants us to equally be "more than conquerers".
Philippians 1:12-30
I want you to know, brothers, 1 that what has happened to me [being persecuted, mocked, beat and imprisoned]
אַחַי, רְצוֹנִי שֶׁתֵּדְעוּ כִּי מַה שֶּׁקָּרָה לִי
has really x served to advance the gospel,
הָיָה דַּוְקָא לְטוֹבַת הַבְּשׂוֹרָה:
so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard 1 and y to all the rest that z my imprisonment is for Christ.
הָעֻבְדָּה שֶׁאֲנִי חָבוּשׁ בְּמַאֲסָר לְמַעַן הַמָּשִׁיחַ נִתְפַּרְסְמָה בֵּין כָּל אַנְשֵׁי מִשְׁמַר הַקֵּיסָר וְנוֹדְעָה לְכָל הַשְּׁאָר;
And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold a to speak the word 1 without fear.
וְרֺב הָאַחִים בְּבָטְחָם בָּאָדוֹן הִתְחַזְּקוּ עוֹד יוֹתֵר בִּגְלַל מַאֲסָרִי וְהֵעֵזּוּ לְדַבֵּר בְּלִי פַּחַד אֶת דְּבַר הָאֱלֹהִים.
b Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,
אָמְנָם יֵשׁ הַמַּכְרִיזִים אֶת הַמָּשִׁיחַ מִתּוֹךְ קִנְאָה וְתַחֲרוּת,
but others from good will.
אַךְ יֵשׁ הַמַּכְרִיזִים מִתּוֹךְ כַּוָּנָה טוֹבָה.
The latter do it out of love, c knowing that I am put here for d the defense of the gospel.
אֵלֶּה עוֹשִׂים זֺאת מִתּוֹךְ אַהֲבָה, בְּיָדְעָם כִּי מֻפְקָד אֲנִי עַל הֲגַנַּת הַבְּשׂוֹרָה;
The former proclaim Christ e out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
וְאֵלֶּה מַכְרִיזִים אֶת הַמָּשִׁיחַ מִתּוֹךְ תַּחֲרוּת וְלֹא בְּלֵב טָהוֹר, וְכַוָּנָתָם לְהוֹסִיף צָרָה עַל כְּבָלַי.
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
אָז מָה? הַתּוֹצָאָה הִיא שֶׁבֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ, אִם בְּהַעֲמָדַת פָּנִים וְאִם מִתּוֹךְ כֵּנוּת, הַמָּשִׁיחַ מֻכְרָז, וּבָזֺאת אֲנִי שָׂמֵחַ
Yes, and I will rejoice,
וְגַם אוֹסִיף לִשְׂמֺחַ,
for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance,
כִּי יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי שֶׁכָּל זֶה יָבִיא לִידֵי שִׁחְרוּרִי,
through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ
בְּעֶזְרַת תְּפִלַּתְכֶם וּבִתְמִיכַת רוּחַ יֵשׁוּעַ הַמָּשִׁיחַ;
as it is my eager expectation and hope i that I will not be at all ashamed,
וְזֺאת בְּהֶתְאֵם לְצִפִּיָּתִי הָעֲמֻקָּה וְתִקְוָתִי שֶׁלֹּא אֵבוֹשׁ בְּשׁוּם דָּבָר,
but that with full j courage now as always Christ k will be honored in my body, l whether by life or by death.
אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל עֺז, כְּתָמִיד כֵּן גַּם עַתָּה, יְרוֹמַם וְיִתְגַּדֵּל הַמָּשִׁיחַ בְּגוּפִי, אִם עַל־יְדֵי חַיַּי וְאִם עַל־יְדֵי מוֹתִי.
For to me m to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
הֵן, לְגַבֵּי דִּידִי, לִחְיוֹת פֵּרוּשׁוֹ הַמָּשִׁיחַ, וְלָמוּת פֵּרוּשׁוֹ רֶוַח.
If I am to live in the flesh,
אַךְ אִם לִחְיוֹת בַּגּוּף
that means fruitful labor for me.
– הֲרֵי זֶה בִּשְׁבִילִי עֲבוֹדָה פּוֹרִיָּה
Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. n I am hard pressed between the two.
וְאֵינֶנִּי יוֹדֵעַ בַּמֶּה לִבְחֺר. אֲנִי לָחוּץ עַל־יְדֵי הַשְּׁנַיִם.
My desire is o to depart and p be with Christ, for that is far better.
אֲנִי מִשְׁתּוֹקֵק לְהִסְתַּלֵק וְלִהְיוֹת עִם הַמָּשִׁיחַ, שֶׁכֵּן זֶה טוֹב הַרְבֵּה יוֹתֵר.
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
אוּלָם הִשָּׁאֲרוּתִי בַּגּוּף נְחוּצָה יוֹתֵר לְמַעַנְכֶם.
q Convinced of this, r I know that I will remain and continue with you all,
וּבִהְיוֹתִי בָּטוּחַ בְּכָךְ אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאֶשָּׁאֵר וְאַמְשִׁיךְ עִם כֻּלְּכֶם
for your s progress and t joy in the faith, so that in me u you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
לְמַעַן הִתְקַדְּמוּתְכֶם וְשִׂמְחַתְכֶם בָּאֱמוּנָה, וְאָז תַּרְבּוּ לְהִתְהַלֵּל בַּמָּשִׁיחַ יֵשׁוּעַ בִּגְלָלִי, בִּגְלַל נוֹכְחוּתִי שׁוּב עִמָּכֶם.
Only v let your manner of life be w worthy 1 of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you
רַק הִתְנַהֲגוּ כָּרָאוּי לִבְשׂוֹרַת הַמָּשִׁיחַ, לְמַעַן אֶשְׁמַע עֲלֵיכֶם – אִם בְּבוֹאִי לִרְאוֹתְכֶם, אִם בִּהְיוֹתִי רָחוֹק מִכֶּם –
x that you are standing firm in one spirit, with y one mind
כִּי עוֹמְדִים אַתֶּם בְּרוּחַ אַחַת
z striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
וְנִלְחָמִים בְּלֵב אֶחָד בְּעַד אֱמוּנַת הַבְּשׂוֹרָה,
and not frightened in anything by your opponents.
וְאֵינְכֶם פּוֹחֲדִים כְּלָל מִפְּנֵי הַמִּתְנַגְּדִים,
This is a a clear sign to them of their destruction, but b of your salvation, and that from God.
דָּבָר אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם הוּא אוֹת לַאֲבַדּוֹן וְלָכֶם אוֹת לִישׁוּעָה, וְזֺאת מֵאֵת הָאֱלֹהִים.
For c it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also b suffer for his sake,
הֵן לָכֶם נִתָּן, לְמַעַן הַמָּשִׁיחַ, לֹא רַק לְהַאֲמִין בּוֹ, אֶלָּא גַּם לִסְבֺּל לְמַעֲנוֹ,
engaged in the same d conflict that e you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
שֶׁהֲרֵי לָכֶם אוֹתוֹ הַמַּאֲבָק שֶׁבֶּעָבָר רְאִיתֶם אוֹתִי נֶאֱבָק בּוֹ וְכָעֵת אַתֶּם שׁוֹמְעִים כִּי אֲנִי נִמְצָא בּוֹ.
This is a statement that evokes an initial shocked response of "What?!? How do your persecutions and beatings and imprisonments advance the gospel of peace and salvation?!?" It seems first.
What is a manner of life that is worthy of the gospel of Christ? It is the following things (standing firm, striving side by side, not frightened...)
In God's economy, suffering is a calling that spreads the Gospel, and living in a worthy manner in the midst of suffering is a sign of your salvation and of your opponent's destruction. Philippians 1 sandwich: v12- Paul's suffering has (seemingly ironically) served to advance the gospel. v13-18- How is that? The word being spread through imperial guard, encouragement of believers, gospel being preached one way or another--all resulting in Paul's joy. v19-26 - "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Paul can't lose. He might be suffering now, but one way or another it's going to turn out good for him: if he continues to live (in suffering or not), he's got work to do. When he dies, be it now or later, even better! He goes home to be with Christ! v27-30 - So you all: live in a worthy manner (standing firm..., striving..., not frightened...). You living like this is a clear sign of both the destruction of the opponents of the gospel, as well as of your salvation. How? Because like Paul, you have been called to suffer for His sake, [and only those who "love God and are called according to His purpose" will be willing and able to live in a worthy manner and suffer for His sake] .
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.