Shout to the Lord was written during a time when Zschech was struggling with money worries and the stresses of raising a young family "I wrote it when I was feeling discouraged. I felt I could either scream and pull my hair out, or praise God." She added: "The line "Nothing compares to the promise I have in you" was something I clung to when our circumstances seemed so bleak. I think that rings true with anyone going through tough times.”As part of our series in Philippians we are wanting to promote Bible study, the way we wanted to do that was using what is called the ‘Manuscript Study’ method.
This is a good way of studying the bible by yourself and can be particularly good with groups too.
As part of my preparation, I tend to do this anyway. This is what my version looked like for this week. For this series I am routinely comparing NIV and ESV and comparing them with the underlying Greek text … not because I am a Greek scholar, but that this is how I am slowly teaching myself.
The Manuscript Bible Study method encourages the use of Commentaries, but only when you have grappled with the text for yourself first. It helps you to engage with God’s word for yourself before relying on what others have thought.
Your Booklet has a lot of background information on this letter. Please make use of it, we hope you’ll find it useful.
Two immediate questions here:What has happened to Paul? And how has it served to advance the gospel?So, What has happened to Paul. Well, he is clearly in prison and most likely in Rome. But how did he get there?Via an arrest in Jerusalem and ultimately an appeal to Caesar (as a Roman citizen) it takes him the best part of 2 years to end up under house arrest in Rome awaiting an audience with Caesar who will rule on his case. This is Nero, already unpredictable and dangerous, and Rome is a nervous place with the whole empire aware that it was in uncertain times.Paul has been attacked, imprisoned, ridiculed, lied about, shipwrecked and a whole list of others 2 Cor 11 READ THISNow he is shackled to Roman prison guards, possibly 24 hours a day, and is on death row, awaiting a judgment from a man history has suggested was mad.So the next comment is a little unexpected … this has really served to advance the gospel!How Paul, how has this helped?
Well, Firstly, this has put Paul into contact with a very influential group of people right at the heart of the Empire.He is likely to be in prison for several years while awaiting his audience with Nero.The Imperial Guard, the word in the Greek is the praetorian which is a Latin word. It can mean a Roman Governors palace … but it can also mean THE emperors own Praetorian Guard, a 9,000 strong elite guard which were an ancient mixture of special forces, personal bodyguards, and secret police. Essentials government enforcers. And Paul is seeing between 4 and 6 of these men each day, literally being shackled to them … and do you think he isn’t talking?The rest, probably the palace officials.My imprisonment is for Christ. So not a criminal, nor a political prisoner … but he is there because of Jesus.At this point in history, Christianity is not yet illegal … that is what is under evaluation … Paul is lining up to make his defence in the highest court on the earth. What looked like a bad move in appealing to Caesar is giving all sorts of opportunities.
Plus, in Rome, a place where the church has struggled to make a foothold, this has had the effect of re-energizing the believers. At the end of this letter, Paul mentions that some of the believers are now members of Caesars household!But this begs the question why would people be so encouraged by Paul’s predicament?1) His Character. Self effacing, humbleHis Witness. Right in the centre of Empire, with many people of influence.His Attitude. God is in this. What others may have meant for harm, God can bring good out of it. He is in control, even when it looks like its going wrong. There is purpose in this.
He expands on this, also in an unexpected way.Amongst the believers are people who don’t think so much of Paul, they do not consider him as an apostle and who do not see God’s provision in his imprisonment.instead see God’s judgment and want to squash Paul’s influence on the church in Rome.Who might do this? Letter to the church in Rome was written about 5 years previously.Jews and Gentiles not getting on together.This might be the Jewish congregation, evangelizing for Jesus, but keeping separate from the gentiles.
What will he do with this?
Choose not to take offence, and decide to be joyful.READ FEEJoy is not an emotion, it is a state of mind, a choice.The philippians also had external pressures and internal turmoil. How would they resolve it? With the grace of God and through Joy.
Transcript of "20120122 - Joy in Suffering"
Spiritual Disciplines: Bible Study Starter Student Scholar
Manuscript Study:Plain text with no headings, verses or paragraphs.Single sided, double spaced, lots of room on paper.Read by yourself. Write on text. Use colours.Ask questions. Make comments. See connections.Share with 2-3 others. Then with larger group 10-12.
•Paul’s 2nd Journey•1st European church•Founded 48/49AD•Major Trading route•Roman Colony•Paul in Prison•Written 60/62AD
Chapter 1: 12-14Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has me has really served to advance thehappened to me has really served to advance the advance thegospel,
Chapter 1: 12-14Now I want you to know, brothers, that what hashappened to me has really served to advance thegospel, so that it has become known throughout the become known throughoutwhole imperial guard and to allto allrest that that mythe whole imperial guard and the the rest myimprisonment is for Christ.imprisonment is for Christ.
Chapter 1: 12-14Now I want you to know, brothers, that what hashappened to me has really served to advance thegospel, so that it has become known throughout thewhole imperial guard and to all the rest that myimprisonment is for Christ. And most of thebrothers, having become confident in the Lord bymy imprisonment, are much more bold to speakthe word without fear.
Chapter 1: 15-18Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,rivalry, but from good will. The latter do it out ofbut others others from good will. The latter do itout of love, knowingam put here for thefor the oflove, knowing that I that I am put here defencedefence of the gospel. The former proclaim Christthe gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry,out sincerely but thinking tobut thinking to afflictnot of rivalry, not sincerely afflict me in myme in my imprisonment.imprisonment.
Chapter 1: 15-18Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,but others from good will. The latter do it out oflove, knowing that I am put here for the defence ofthe gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry,not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in myimprisonment. What then?
Chapter 1: 15-18Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry,but others from good will. The latter do it out ofrivalry, but others from good will. The latter do itlove, knowing that I am put here for thefor the ofout of love, knowing that I am put here defencethe gospel. the gospel. The former proclaimof rivalry,defence of The former proclaim Christ out Christnot sincerely but thinking to afflict me in myout of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict meimprisonment. What then? then? Only that in way,in my imprisonment. What Only that in every everywhether in pretence or in or in truth, Christ isway, whether in pretence truth, Christ isproclaimed, and in that IIrejoice.proclaimed, and in that rejoice.