The Joy of Life & Death in Christ
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Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
July 22, 2018
Central Passage
Philippians 1:18-26



Philippians 1:18-20 | Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 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.

Philippians 1:21 | For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


From his prison cell (probably in Rome), Paul wrote this letter to the church of Philippi. The Philippians, whose church began through Paul’s missionary journeys, sent the apostle some sort of gift to support and encourage him. This letter, therefore, is essentially an extended and heartfelt “thank you” note, filled with gospel teachings and exhortations. The primary command that is repeated throughout the epistle is to rejoice. Even if in prison or under persecution, Christ is still sovereign Lord so there is always a reason to rejoice.

Thus far, Paul has greeted the Philippians in the grace and peace of Christ, as servant of Christ. He then expressed his thanksgiving to God for their partnership with him in the gospel, his confidence that God will be faithful to complete that partnership at the day of Jesus Christ, and his prayer that their love would continue to abound more and more. Finally, he emphasized that God providentially used his imprisonment for the advancement of the gospel by making Christ known to the whole imperial guard and emboldening other Christians to proclaim Christ without fear.

In our present text, Paul’s thought now shifts from how the gospel has advanced to how he knows it will advance through his imprisonment. The apostle expresses here is great confidence that God will deliver (or save) him from prison, whether by life or by death. This passage is crucial not only for understanding the letter of Philippians but for understanding the apostle Paul himself. Paul’s ability to rejoice even in the face of suffering and death comes from this knowledge that whatever happens Christ will ultimately be glorified.


Read Philippians 1:18-26 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Philippians 1:18-26 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. What does Paul claim will be the means of his deliverance? How does this challenge the way that you view and respond to difficult circumstances in your life and in the lives of others?
  3. How would Christ be honored by Pauls life or death? Do you view life as sacrifice of fruitful labor for Christ? Would your death also be gain? Why?
  4. Like Paul, do you use your life for the progress and joy of others in the faith? In what ways can you center your life around helping others grow in maturity and joy?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?