Expository Thoughts: Philippians 1v18-25 – the Best Gospel Minsters Are Those Who Really Want to Be Somewhere Else

Rather than finding our identity in our ministry, and our value in our uselessness to others, we need to ensure that we find our identity in Christ alone.

Paul tells the Philippians that he wants to die but is willing to stay and serve, to enable them to progress in joy and faith (v25). I suspect that this is the opposite attitude to life and ministry of most of us. Paul wanted to die but was willing to stay and serve. I fear that we (and I include myself) more naturally want to stay and serve but are willing to die, if necessary, for the sake of the gospel. In the end our heart attitude reveals that we have a greater attachment to our ministry, and our commitment to the present world, than we do to Christ.

 

I was recently very challenged by Paul’s attitude toward his death and his ministry in Philippians 1v18-26. Paul is in prison awaiting trial and knows that he might lose his life. He is, however, confident that he will be delivered and released to continue his ministry amongst the churches.

He does not fear death, but rather welcomes it because he desires to “depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (v23). At the same time, he expects that he will “remain in the body” so that he can continue to serve the churches (v24).

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