Opening Prayer Thoughts
Praise and confession.
- Praise God for the good news of the gospel of new life in Christ. Praise God that the gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of those who believe. Romans 1:16
- Confess the sin of unbelief in the power of the gospel.
Doctrine for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 54 – What is required in the third commandment?
Answer – The third commandment requires the holy and reverent use of God’s name, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and works.
Comment – Most Christians understand that we are to use the name of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with conscious care. Many Christians however do not understand that that also applies to phrases which speak of God's attributes and works. For example, terms like; 'oh goodness', 'oh gracious me', ‘holy smoke' are misuses of words which speak of God's being and work and therefore should not be used.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Verse to memorise.
Philippians 1:6 - "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of Jesus Christ.”
Pray and ask for the Holy Spirit's help as you read God's Word.
Please read Philippians 1:12-18.
Notes written by Rev. Philip Dunwoody (Dervock RPCI) with slight amendments.
Ch 1:12-18, Joy in the Advance of the Gospel
By the end of the First World War, after three years of being stuck in the mud of the trenches, a remarkable new weapon was enabling the British Army and her allies to make advances on the battlefield. It was called the tank. With this new weapon, the Allies were able to advance. This military word means "to blaze a trail". In Philippians 1:12, Paul says that he has seen the "advance" of the gospel. He was writing these words while under house arrest in Rome, yet he is delighted to report that the gospel is spreading. How?
Firstly, through unexpected opportunities. The last few chapters of Acts give us the details (see Acts chapters 21-28), but Paul had arrived in the city of Rome as a prisoner. He probably wrote the letter of Philippians whilst chained to a soldier, who guarded him day and night. He wasn't free to go where he wanted or see the people he loved. But Paul hadn't huffed or complained. Instead, he says in verse 13 that all the soldiers who guarded him – and even some of the servants of Caesar – knew that he was a Christian. He spent his time telling whoever he met about Jesus! And so, the gospel advanced. We tend to avoid anything the least bit unpleasant. But when we do suffer, whether it's sickness, unemployment, loneliness, or even imprisonment, we can use it as an opportunity to be witnesses for Jesus.
Secondly, Paul says the gospel advanced through bold believers (verse 14). Other Christians in Rome became braver about sharing their faith when they saw Paul's example. In fact, he says some of these people shared the gospel for rather selfish reasons (verse 17). But Paul isn't worried about that. In verse 18, he says he rejoices in the advance of the gospel, however it happens. When we read the stories of Christian missionaries or preachers from the past, or of our brothers and sisters around the world today facing persecution, it should make us bold, brave, to play our part in the advance of the gospel.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 106A. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God that what often appears as a hinderance to the gospel is actually the means God has chosen for its advance. Pray that the Church would become more bold in her declaring of the gospel.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC