Philippians 1:1 – 2: Greetings in Christ

Some of the most stirring things have been written by saints who have been in prison for
Christ. Scottish Puritan Samuel Rutherford who was imprisoned for his stand against the
divine right of kings wrote once, ‘I am well. My prison is a palace to me, and Christ’s
banqueting-house. My Lord Jesus is as kind as they call Him. Oh, that all Scotland knew my
case, and had part of my feast! I charge you, in the name of God, I charge you to believe.
Fear not the sons of men, the worms shall eat them. To pray and believe now, when Christ
seemeth to give you a nay-say, is more than it was before. Die believing, die with Christ’s
promise in your hand.’
The spiritual classic Pilgrim’s Progress written by John Bunyan was
written while he was in prison. Paul was another author who wrote from prison and out of
the sweet comforts that Christ gave him we have some very famous verses that have
sustained us through many difficulties. 1:20-21, ‘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.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain.’ 1:29, ‘For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only
believe in him but also suffer for his sake.’ 2:12-13, ‘Therefore, my beloved, as you have
always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out
your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you, both to will
and to work for his good pleasure.’ 3:8-11, ‘Indeed, I count everything as loss because of
the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss
of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
and be found in
him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes
through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
that I may
know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like
him in his death,
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.’
4:4, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.’ 4:11-13, ‘Not that I am speaking
of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how
to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have
learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things
through him who strengthens me.’ I am sure that out of your top ten favorite verses there
would be a verse from Philippians. Paul was known as the joyful prisoner and we see how
God brings comfort out of our troubles.