7 June 2019
Strangely enough for a letter written from prison, the underlying theme of Paul’s letter to the Philippians is joy. Paul invites the church to be glad and rejoice with him. He encourages them to make his joy complete by being of the same mind.
He calls them ‘my joy’. He prays with joy. He rejoices in what they have done. And, above all, he calls them to rejoice in the Lord always. And adds, ‘Again I will say, rejoice!’ Why?
He has a marvellous perspective on life. ‘I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel!’ Far from diminishing his ministry, imprisonment has helped it in two ways.
Firstly, the imperial guard have discovered that he has been imprisoned for Christ. Secondly, the local congregation has become more courageous about proclaiming the gospel! His joy in Christ and his resurrection life was their inspiration!