Paul is going to explain what the Philippians have been waiting for, which is a report on how he is doing personally, and if the gospel mission has failed. Yet Paul doesn't just give them details, but a whole theology on how to view our circumstances when they don't turn out as planned (cf. Gen. 50:20).
Paul's imprisonment might have seemed hopeless for the gospel to go out...but it hasn't! Instead, Paul has been able to evangelize Roman elites (v. 13), and encourage other believers by his joyful and faithful example (v. 14). The point for us is that we need to have a gospel perspective in our circumstances.
When we care about the gospel more than ourselves, we get to see all the ways God wants to use us in our daily lives. Only then can the Christian life be fully participated in, and real abiding joy can be found!
If the gospel is so important, how can I become a the kind of person who would represent it well? That's Philippians 1:9-11. In this single sentence (3 verses) Paul explains 3 things.
First, he explains how we should grow; we should be people which a mature and God-centered love.
Second, the 'why' we should is because we want our lives to have been honorable to Christ when he returns.
Third, Christ himself has promised this growth.
The same righteousness credited to us in salvation is promised to come from us in sanctification. What a blessing! Im so excited to get into this text with you all!
We're getting into the text of Philippians tonight with this thought: you can't just force yourself to be joyful (#nike). Joy is an attitude, not a feeling; but even attitudes need to be cultivated and grown. That's how Paul thinks of joy; as an attitude that naturally arises from considering the gospel. Specifically, consider 2 joys of the gospel: gospel partnership and gospel assurance (in Christ).
Too often, both believers and non-believers assume that Christian's live guilt-ridden, non-exciting, pleasure-denying lives...that's why I'm excited to start getting into the book of Philippians with you all! Because Paul explains the truth that, even in difficult circumstances and situations, the gospel of Christ guarantees a life of joy: because it guarantees life in Jesus himself!