Philippians 1:12-18

Philippians 1:12-18

Philippians 1:12-18 conveys Paul’s passion in sharing the gospel. And how the message is delivered despite his imprisonment and the rivalry of other preachers.

In Philippians 1:12-18 Paul presents a positive attitude despite his circumstances

Difficult circumstances challenge your attitude. And this impacts how well you navigate those circumstances. Because they cause self-pity. Which makes your attitude worse. And piles on more self-pity that spirals down the drain of depression.


Think about a difficult circumstance you’ve experienced. What impact did your attitude have on how well you navigated it? How did it resolve? What part did your Christian faith play in getting you through it?

V. 12 What has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel

The Greek word for advance is prokopēn and means advancement in spite of barriers that hinder progress.

What barriers and hinderance does Paul mean? Well, he’s in prison. And sitting in a jail cell instead of out preaching is a hindrance and barrier to evangelistic progress. As well as an attitude killer that could easily plunge him into a downward spiral. But he refused to take that path and instead, made the most of his circumstances.

The Praetorium refers to the residence of the Roman governor and the Praetorian guard was a branch within the Roman military assigned to the security of the imperial family. Paul is under their supervision while he waits for his trial.

So he shares the gospel with the soldiers guarding him. And the captivity you’d expect to halt spreading the gospel becomes the expression that carries it forward.

Chains for Christ…

Furthermore, it grows clear his only offense is a passion for sharing the gospel message. You can almost imagine the soldiers exchanging prisoner updates during their shift change. “Good luck with the crazy preacher and his Jesus resurrection story.”

Do you see the irony? The amazing paradox of God’s truth? That a prisoner shares with his captors how to experience true freedom?

Philippians 1:12-18 demonstrates how Paul’s attitude positively influenced others

Hang around someone down in the dumps and they can drag you down too. But those with a positive outlook will lift you up. Provide encouragement in your difficulties. And that’s the approach Paul took.

V. 14 Are more bold to speak the word without fear

Paul’s determination to share the gospel and his enlistment of the Praetorium guard to serve in his salvation army was inspiring. It influenced other Christ-followers to share their faith as well.

And you have a sphere of influence too. Your family…friends…co-workers. Are all watching you. Taking some of your cues. Following your behaviors. Receiving your messages. What kind are you sending?

Of course, Paul’s boldness for Jesus Christ landed him in prison. Although we don’t face those dire consequences, our culture is growing increasingly hostile to Christ-followers. To God’s truth. And pushing us to make a public choice.

Will I stand up for Christ or bow before the culture?

Philippians 1:12-18 tells us about rivals with selfish motives.

V. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.

The Greek word for selfish ambition is eritheía which means self-seeking. It tells us not everyone sharing their faith did so with the same motives as Paul. It was true then and now.

Selfishness and rivalry are everywhere. Even In ministry. Between churches. Among church people.


What are some selfish ambitions you see within the church. How are rivalries played out? Describe your thoughts on what motivates them.

But aren’t we all on the same team? Yes. But we’re all still sinners. With different views on scripture, sense of God’s calling, and motives. Which aren’t always pure. Because–come on, be honest–we all struggle with selfish ambition.

And it taints our motives. Even in how and why we serve.

Is there motive you have that is not so pure right now? If so, confess it to God and seek his forgiveness.

Philippians 1:12-18 provides the antidote to self-seeking ministry and rivalry.

V. 18 whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

Paul affirmed the believers who shared their faith with pure motives and called out those with impure motives. But he didn’t judge, which gives us an example to follow. Instead, we should examine our own motives, ask God to purify our hearts, and commit ourselves to His service.

Keep in mind this wasn’t the first time people used religion for self-gain. Jesus’ response to temple money changers demonstrates God’s view towards religious opportunists.

And even though Paul recognizes the religious opportunists were personally attacking him, he didn’t let it drag him down into a ministry rivalry. But flipped it into something positive. How?

By keeping his eyes on the mission and glorifying God for the results rather than who gets the credit.

This should represent our primary ministry goal although it will present a major, ministry challenge. And yet, offer us the greatest reward and sense of satisfaction in the Kingdom of God.

Join me next week in a look at Philippians 1:19-25. Also, check out Finding Grace, my new Christian detective novel.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Philippians 1:12-18

Philippians 1:6-11

Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the good work God started among church members, encourages them to continue in the faith, and offers practical advice.

Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the idea of God’s work and presence in Christ-followers

V. 6 He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

What good work is Paul talking about?

My Background on the book of Philippians blog article introduces three people: Lydia an entrepreneur, a fortune teller slave girl, and a Roman jailor.

What do they have in common?

They all decided to follow Jesus when Paul shared the gospel with them. That’s the good work Paul talks about. Have you made that decision? When you do a spiritual transformation takes place in your life.

And your journey begins as a saint, which is described in Philippians 1:1-5. It’s an ongoing process of transforming into the image of Jesus. Paul is confident because the work of the Spirit is active and ongoing in the life of devoted Christ-followers who are molded into the image of Christ.

Read Galatians 5:22-23 to see what this transformation looks like.


Which of the fruits listed appear in your life? Which ones are lacking?

Paul is confident God will continue working in the life of the Philippian church. But reminds them it is an ongoing process in this life and only completed in the next.

Philippians 1:6-11 discusses the expression of God’s love in the life of Christ-followers

V. 9 I pray that your love may abound…

The Greek word for love in is agape and describes God’s unconditional love. It is the love God has for mankind. The love that motivated Him to offer His son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sin. And the love He expects Christ-followers to express towards others in an abundant, overflowing supply.

Agape love is better described by your actions–how you treat others–than your feelings for them. But your feelings–or affections–are for Jesus Christ. So you treat others with respect and in a loving manner to demonstrate your love for Christ.

Is there someone in your life God is nudging you to express agape love towards? Take a moment to pray for that person and ask God to reveal what agape love might look like in that relationship.

Philippians 1:6-11 advises the Philippian church how to live as disciples of Jesus

V.9 …more in knowledge and all discernment

The Greek word for knowledge is ginosko, which means to know and understand. And the Greek word for discernment is aisthanomai, which means to perceive and understand. But aisthanomai also includes the idea of judgment in decision-making. In other words, first you must know the difference between right and wrong and then exercise good judgement in applying it to life circumstances.

Take a moment to reflect on the two words. How have you demonstrated them in your own life?


Describe occasions when the two words synced together and when they did not.

V. 10 …approve the things that are excellent;

The Greek word for approve is dokimazo, which means to put to the test. It’s often used in relation to testing coins–determining what is genuine. And the Greek word for excellent is diaphoroteros, which means great, honorable, and what matters.

In other words, Paul encourages the saints to know God’s word, understand its meaning, and discern how to apply to the important matters in life.

V. 11 …being filled with the fruits of righteousness…

The Greek word for righteousness is dikaiosune and in this context implies your character and actions. Doing what’s right and pleasing in the eyes of God.

God’s Spirit transforms your character. One that strives to please God by knowing and properly applying His word. Which in turn, further transforms your character. It is never a straight, smooth line upward, but a jagged one of ups and downs. But through God’s power and by His grace, keeps ascending until you finally meet Jesus face to face.

Join me next week in a look at Philippians 1:12-18. Also, check out Finding Grace, my new Christian detective novel.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Finding Grace: A Christian Detective Novel

Finding Grace: A Christian Detective Novel

Finding Grace is a Christian detective novel. And this is the first chapter. Finding Grace is the second novel in a series that began with Soul Pursuit. Finding Grace and Soul Pursuit are both available on Amazon.


I sat in an upright positioned, recliner chair across from Charles and Deborah Miller who rigidly shared the couch. We were in a well-appointed living room in their Washington Township home, which was tastefully decorated in the latest fashions and highest standards of home design. 

There was a lever on the right side of the chair for reclining in different layout positions, a semi-layout for comfortable reading, and a complete layout for napping. And in between positions, if you weren’t fully committed to either and wanted to nap with an open book in your lap.   

I resisted the urge to pull the lever.

Relaxing before an uptight couple wasn’t a good idea. Not sure if they were uptight because of their situation or just in general.  

Maybe both.

They looked composed at the moment. Charles looked trendy in his business casual slacks and Polo shirt, while Deborah, tastefully put together wearing a dress and makeup, would fit right in at a Junior League luncheon. But I sensed they were tightly wound, like two coiled springs about to release. Might be good to avoid that.

Deborah’s hands were folded in her lap, but in a constant, wringing motion. Charles sporadically tapped his right foot on the carpet. Fast tapping for a minute and then slower, more purposeful the next. Fluctuating emotions in syncopated rhythm. His foot was the drum major. Keeping time to whatever tune was playing in his head.

They had invited me in, politely introduced themselves and asked me to sit. I was unsure who was supposed to start the conversation. I decided to let them, which led to an awkward silence. But now I felt obligated to it.

They called this meeting, and I was an audience of one. So, I wore my professional mask, inoffensive, non-committal, and politically neutral.  

Charles finally spoke.

“Our daughter is a freshman at the University of Dayton,” he said, “and we’ve lost contact with her. Haven’t heard from her in weeks.”

“Did she stop calling suddenly or gradually over time?” I asked.

“Gradually,” Charles answered.

“She’s a commuter,” said Deborah, “and at the beginning of the semester, she was home every night and most weekends. But as she made friends, she began staying with them on campus.”

“For campus social life,” I said.

“We expected her to engage socially,” said Charles. “That’s a part of college. At first, she called us regularly. But as the semester went on, it became less frequent. Until nothing.”

“Were you concerned when the calls became less frequent?”

“Not at first,” said Deborah. “Grace told us she was studying more on campus and joining campus activities. We thought it good she was becoming her own person.”

“When did you suspect things weren’t right?”

“We began to notice a difference in her when she came home,” said Charles.

“And one time when I called her at school, she was…out of it,” said Deborah.

“Like drunk or high?”

Deborah swallowed and looked at the floor. It was hard for her to admit. But she forced it out in a voice just slightly above a whisper.


“How long since nothing?” I asked.

“Six weeks,” said Charles.

“Was she dating anyone? Any reason to believe someone would hurt her?”

“No to both,” said Charles. “She’s a good kid. But she’s never had this much freedom over her schedule before.”

“And maybe it’s gotten a little out of control?”


“Did you file a missing person’s police report?”

“Of course,” said Charles.

He was getting defensive. Did he think I was questioning his commitment to being father of the year? I nodded in affirmation and widened the smile. A little less benign. A bit more sincere with a touch of empathy.

Of course, you’re father of the year. Husband too. Best boss ever. All-around good guy. And by the way, I accept check, cash, credit card and App payments.

“Routine investigation didn’t reveal anything,” he said. “At least nothing that indicated foul play. The detective told us college kids go through all kinds of adjustments. Especially freshmen. Said if we wanted something more thorough, we should consider a private detective.”

Charles tapped his foot faster and Deborah’s hand wringing turned white knuckled. More tightening. If they sprung now, they’d shoot through the ceiling.

Behind them on the couch, a large picture window presented a breezy Autumn day in Dayton, Ohio. The neighbor across the street was blowing leaves from his front yard to the curb, where a city truck would vacuum them up and haul them away for recycling. There was a sparse covering of leaves on the yard. The two large trees in the front yard were still over half-full. I congratulated myself for thinking half-full rather than half-empty. He could have waited longer to let more leaves fall before raking or blowing. But every homeowner was different. This one was probably a neat-freak extraordinary. Behind him, the yard was spotless. And he was halfway to the street with a neat line but was suddenly encountering two problems.

First, the leaves were slightly wet making them heavier and harder to blow. Second, he was blowing into a head wind. So, as the leaves launched into the air, they curled in the wind and floated back towards him, landing at his feet and even behind him. There was a rake leaning against one of the trees. An obvious solution. But he wasn’t having it. He had paid for this state-of-the-art technology and by golly, he was determined to use it.

Man and technology against nature. Old man and the sea. Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.

 Maintaining the neat line was growing difficult and it clearly agitated him as he sped back and forth, trying to keep it together and move forwards towards the curb. I could see a lot of agitation on both sides of the street.  

Dude, It’s okay. Use the rake. It’s not a sign of weakness.

But no. He was all in with the leaf blower. Except nature was blowing back and winning.

I refocused on Charles and Deborah.

“Assuming no foul play, any thoughts on what’s going on with Grace that might contribute to a disappearance?”

“She was struggling emotionally,” said Deborah.

Deborah’s hands reflected the intensity of her emotions. The higher the emotion, the greater the hand wringing. Was it her fault? Charles’s fault? Their fault?

“I…uh, our marriage has been struggling too,” said Charles.

“More like unraveling,” said Deborah.

“It’s taken an emotional toll on Grace,” Charles said. 

“What did you expect? Learning that all those nights you said you were working late…you weren’t working.”

His face clouded.

“So, you start an affair as revenge and that’s supposed to help?”

They separated a little further on the couch and turned slightly to face one another. I was neither a marriage counselor nor a referee but wished I had a whistle to call a time out. Another awkward silence. Except this one bristled and I braced for ugly.

The neighbor across the street was making progress. He was down to two especially stubborn leaves. Big, wet, broad leaves that clung stubbornly to the grass, and when he did get a pocket of air underneath, curled up into the wind and blew right back to him.

Only two leaves, Dude. Pick them up and walk them down to the curb.

But there was a principle here. A contest. He had established rules that must be followed. An unbreakable code. And apparently, picking up the leaves and carrying them to the street was a violation. He must win the battle with technology.

But his blower lacked the air power to overcome the wind. Rather than admit defeat, he grew angry and more determined. He started punching the blower at the leaves like that extra umph would make the difference. And somehow, it worked. Or maybe the wind just died down. But regardless, the two leaves scooted steadily towards the street, and I silently cheered for him.

C’mon, Dude. You can do it. Keep delivering those air punches. They’re working.

Finally, the remaining two leaves were on the pile. The man turned to survey the yard. Victory at last. While the couple I faced looked more defeated.

“Does Grace have friends on campus I can talk to?”

“Susan and Julie were girls she knew. Fellow Centerville High School graduates a couple of years ahead of her. She stayed with them several times.”

Charles handed me a piece of paper with the names of the two girls and their cell phone numbers. The air was thick with tension. And I said the only thing I could think of to ease it.

“I’ll find her for you.”

Click here to purchase a copy of Finding Grace on Amazon.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

Finding Grace: A Christian Detective Novel

The Fiction Novel Finding Grace

The fiction novel Finding Grace is a Christian Detective novel. It is the second book in my series that began with Soul Pursuit. The main character is Jack Sterling, a former Navy SEAL, who works as a private detective for Glenn Howard, a retired Brigadier General. The story takes place in Dayton, Ohio.

The fiction novel Finding Grace involves a plot to find a missing person

In Soul Pursuit, Jack confronts Christianity for the first time. He resists it at first, but eventually faces a spiritual crises and makes the decision to follow Jesus Christ. In Finding Grace, Jack begins to learn how to live out his new faith in daily life.

Jack is hired to find Grace Miller, a freshman at the University of Dayton who is missing. And judging by the leads he uncovers, her journey follows a degrading path of moral decline.

Can he find her? And if so, in what condition?

The fiction novel Finding Grace follows the theme of God’s grace

We all mess up. The Bible calls it sin. And clearly communicates God’s grace as the solution to sin. So talking about God’s grace offers people hope. But experiencing God’s grace is transformational.

And this theme of grace is explored throughout the novel through characters and dialogue.

It appears Grace is in trouble. Will she experience that transformational grace or is Jack too late?

The fiction novel Finding Grace involves a sub-plot about Paxco, LLC.

Soul Pursuit also introduces the mysterious Paxco, LLC. It is buying up all the property on his street and Jack wants to know why. But the novel ends with that mystery unsolved. However, in Finding Grace, Jack is determined to find out.

Because now, only two neighbors remain on his street. And one of them is receiving foreclosure notices from the bank.

But learning who the owners are turns out to be harder than expected. And a greater threat than to just his neighborhood.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and freelance copywriter. He publishes humorous Christian drama, books, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.

You Might Be A Binge Christian If

You Might Be A Binge Christian If

You might be a binge Christian if you demonstrate certain behaviors. What do I mean by a binge Christian? I’m mean part-time Christian commitment. Like a short-term sugar high. Consume lots of sweets for a short time period, take a long break, and binge again. A binge Christian exercises faith the same way. God and church in snatches. On and off. Hot and cold. Drop in and drop out.

You might be a binge Christian if you accept Jesus as your Savior but not your Lord

You’re all about God’s grace and salvation. Securing a Get-Into-Heaven-free card. But consider ongoing righteous living optional because it cramps your style.

What the world offers is fun and exciting. Following Jesus is about obeying rules. And rule following is a drag.

To be fair, Jesus does demand discipleship. And warns it may involve a cost. But those who truly follow Jesus obey him because they want to, not have to. And strive for faithfulness, not perfection. It’s where you discover the fruits of God’s Spirit…the good life we all really seek.

Salvation without Lordship presents another risk. Did you make a real commitment to Jesus or simply repeat the sinner’s prayer like a religious formula?

Because Jesus warned that some who are expecting a heavenly reward, will instead, receive an unpleasant surprise.

You might be a binge Christian if you attend church mostly on special occasions

You attend church faithfully every…Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day. Perhaps even more…like once a month. And sacrificially give some of your spare change for extra credit. To punch your “good works” card. And keep your religious toe in the water. Just in case.

Although you might increase to a level of “regular church attendance” when something goes wrong in your life and you need divine intervention. So you binge on church for several weeks until things work themselves out. Like paying spiritual penitence to God or driving a spiritual bargain.

If you help me, God, I’ll serve you in return. But only until things are going smoothly again.

You might be a binging Christian if you act like a spiritual consumer

Sundays are more about your “worship experience” than reverence before an almighty God. And you evaluate the Sunday sermon with a one to ten rating for it’s spiritually uplifting value. Rather than consider with an open heart what God is saying to you.

Of course, there are bonus points for personal application that you insightfully see lacking in others. Evaluate church ministries based on their spiritual benefit. And participate based on what you get rather than what you give.

While serving is more of a feel good exercise rather than genuine concern for others.

You could be a binge Christian if you compartmentalize your identity

We all play different roles in life–work, family, church, and social. And balance different expectations in each one. Fulfill different responsibilities. Manage different spheres of influence.

However, a Christian identity is fixed. You are in Christ. A Child of God. A follower of Jesus. And no matter what role you play, the character of Christ should be visible. The desire to imitate him apparent. If not–and there is little resemblance in your various roles–you should ask yourself why?

Because Christian character and integrity should look the same regardless of your role. And behavior consistently demonstrate your core beliefs. When you compartmentalize to the point of compromise, your identity is fleeting and superficial. And presents a schizophrenic lifestyle that eventually bleeds over.

Of course, no Christian gets it right all the time. That is not the point. And the bottom line question is not about your behavior. But who has your heart.

About Chip Tudor:

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and freelance copywriter. He publishes humorous Christian drama, books, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview.