Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
April 13, 2014
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation [was] not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God [is] witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor [yet] of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
1901 ASV Translation:
2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as ye know, at Philippi, we waxed bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God in much conflict.
3 For our exhortation [is] not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 but even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness;
6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.
- I. The Irrepressible Proclamation.
- A. The point of 2:2 is that "persecution" did not stop Paul from continuing to proclaim the Gospel.
- 1. Paul had been previously subjected to "suffering". This is a general word with a large scope of concepts of "suffering". Pilate's wife said she had "suffered" in a dream. Jesus asked the two on the road to Emmaus if "the Christ" wasn't supposed to "suffer" all things including the crucifixion. Paul's reference is particularly to Philippi where he "suffered" a beating with "many stripes" and was then cast into prison unlawfully.
- 2. He had also been "insulted". This term also has a sliding scale of "insult" all the way from a verbal slur to having one's clothes stripped off.
- B. This is another "as you know" issue: keeping hope alive means not being deflected by whatever form opposition takes.
- C. The "in Philippi" phrase identifies the particulars of the issues of "suffering" and being "insulted" (as we already remarked upon in A1 and 2 above).
- D. "We were bold in our God". This is the ultimate root of godly boldness.
- 1. The word is used in contexts where the probability is that the "boldness" is going to lead to some pretty dire repercussions.
- 2. The word has a parallel concept in our language: "having the guts to do".
- 3. The "in our God" concept is most fundamental: God is the One Whose truth and participation gives "boldness" to those in need of delivering plain and dangerous speech/action.
- E. "To speak to you the Gospel of the God" makes the point that the "sound" that resulted in the progress of the Gospel was not cut off.
- 1. The use of lalew to identify the activity is unexpected. Generally this word focuses upon the fact that "sounds" were made (a trumpet can "speak" in this way). One naturally expects the use of lalew because it focuses upon the content of the thing(s) said.
- 2. But this is the point: Paul kept on making the kinds of noises that were very likely to get him into serious circumstances.
- 3. The problematic issue: "the Gospel of the God".
- F. "In much 'agony'" is a phrase that indicates the depth of the on-going conflict from demons and ungodly men against the spread of faith in the Gospel.
- II. The New Testament Significance.
- A. This irrepressible proclamation has its roots in two basic issues: the "stewardship" of each believer in regard to his/her "assignment" in the Body of Christ; and the "fidelity" to that stewardship of each believer in regard to the two questions of "Love" (What is Valuable?) and "Faith" (What is True?).
- 1. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 set the stage of "stewardship" and its required "faithfulness".
- 2. 1 Peter 4:10-11 reinforce this inescapable reality.
- B. Paul is being "core-central" in his unwillingness to allow any matter to dissuade him from fidelity to his "heavenly vision" as he declared to Agrippa (Acts. 26:14-19).
- 1. This automatically includes the persecution in Philippi, of which the Thessalonians are cognizant, and sets the stage for their own evaluation of whether, or not, they will press on to the Kingdom.
- 2. Inevitably, this "truth" challenges every believer to evaluate his/her "fidelity" to his/her own individual stewardship.
- a. In this light, 4:11 is an interesting exhortation for its focus upon the "daily" living issues of living "quietly" and "doing one's own business". Clearly Paul understood and believed that the exercise of one's "stewardship" of a spiritual gift was heavily dependent upon the nature of the specific gift (showing mercy is a lot different from being an apostle) and the nature of the demands of the gift upon one's daily time. Paul often found time to work with his hands to keep from being a burden upon the churches, but he also often had no time to do manual labor in keeping with the apostolic "it is not reason that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables" concept of Acts 6:2.
- b. The actual bottom line is one: will opposition and difficulty keep one from being faithful to God?