Have you ever heard the old cliché, " whos yanking your chain". So, what does the idiom mean ?. Simply put, it means for the other person to leave the person who said it alone.
Well, this old idiom certainly doesn't apply to the Apostle Paul. Please read ( Philippians 1:12-30 ). For you see, this scripture passage finds Paul in prison, chained to the "praetorian guard. And in being so, Paul uses this opportunity, as he has done so many times in the past, to witness for Christ. Paul knew he was facing a great challenge, being chained in prison, but he took great caution not to alarm his friends. You see, Paul's main objective had always been to advancement of the gospel.
This group of imperial guards, distinct from the army or Roman police, was about 9000 strong in Rome. They had heard the gospel through their various members who had been assigned to Paul. The guards and Paul were chained together, with the chain length being about 4 feet long, making for a nice captive audience. So, yanking Paul's chain was a good thing. ( Philippians 1:13 )
How would you have felt, being in Paul's shoes, and being chained in a rustic old prison cell ? However, this circumstance failed to bother Paul, as he used this occasion to witness for the gospel. ( 1 Philippians 1:12 )
In this situation, Paul gave a good testimony of the many who were saved, as a result of his being in prison, bolding giving their own testimony. ( Philippians 1: 14 ) Some of the converts, however, were preaching Christ, out of a selfish motive, while other were preaching out of genuine love of the gospel. ( Philippians 1:15-17 ) Nevertheless, Paul said, regardless of the motive, he was rejoicing as the message of Christ was being heard. ( Philippians 1: 18 )
This brings me to a rather complicated question. Can unbelievers be saved, by the preaching of an unbelieving pastor ? I think so. As God states, in the scripture, that His word will not return void. ( Isaiah 55:11 ) And the scripture is alive and active. ( Hebrews 4:12 )
Although Paul was confined in this prison for two years, no final disposition of his case was given there. Please read ( Acts 24 ) Yes, nobody "yanked Paul's Chain". He continued his witness to all that would heard him. And he still had time to write this beloved book of Philippians.
As this chapter winds down, Paul pours his heart out in, ( Philippians 1: 20-23 )as he measures his life and his death against remaining alive to continue to be a witness for Christ. ( Philippians 1:24 )
What would you have done and what would you have said, being in chains for month on end ? What a testimony Paul must have had.
For the early church believers, times were hard. ( Acts 4: 1-3 ) ( Acts 4:18 ) Acts 4: 17 0 Acts 4:21) However, the gospel spread in spite of the persecution.
Legion has it that all the Apostles were martyred, with the exception of John who was exiled to the island of Patmos.
Paul's conversion ( Acts 9:1-31) marks a turning point in the fast growth of the early church. The story is told three times in Acts, once by Luke and twice by Paul (Acts 22:5-16 ) and ( Acts 22:12-18).
So, are you following Paul's foot-steps and witnessing for our Lord ? We all are commanded to do so, you see. ( Matthew 28:19-20 )( Acts 1:8 ) ( Isaiah 55:11 ) ( Romans 1:16 ) (John 12:32 )
Nevertheless, you may have doubts, as to how to witness for Christ. Simply put, just tell what Christ has done for you and how he changed your life. ( 1 John 1:1-3 ) You see, we who have been saved give testimony in two different ways, 1) by verbally talking about Christ and 2) in the way we live.
Remember, you are the only Bible some people will ever read.
Liken to Paul, who's on the end of your chain ? Is it a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker, or a family member? Have any of these individuals had need to "yank you chain", in order to get your attention to talk to them about Christ ?