Paul’s life circumstances when he wrote his letter to Philippi reveal he was in both literal and metaphorical chains. (See Philippians 1:12-20).
However, the life he lived out in those circumstances was far from chained!
In fact, you would be correct in saying that Paul lived an unchained life.
When everything seems to be against us, how is it possible to live an “unchained life?”
Ultimately, it comes down to two principles.
The unchained life finds rest in the larger purposes of God.
In spite of the difficult circumstances Paul found himself in, he rejoices in the fact that God is using them to “advance the Gospel” with the result that it has now spread to thousands of people. (Phil.1:13).
The unchained life is also committed to discovering the freedom Christ brings.
Paul mentions three times in Philippians 1 that he is “in chains” and specifically, “in chains for Christ.” (Phil.1:13)
Some see this as Paul referring to his relationship with Jesus – he gladly submits to His plan and will for his life; he is willingly chained to His Lord and Master, Jesus.
Encouraging us to rest in the larger purposes of God, Alfred Monod wrote:
If among the trials that you are called to bear, if everything seems attacked: body, mind, spirit; if all seems lost without remedy – well, accept this trial, shall I say, or this assemblage of trials, in a peculiar feeling of submission, hope and gratitude, as a trial in which the Lord will cause you to find a new mission. Rejoice in it as the beginning of a ministry of weakness and bitterness…which He will cause to abound in more living fruit then your ministry of strength and joy in days gone by ever yielded.
In the midst of pressures and difficulties, the unchained life lives freely and joyfully in Jesus!
“Because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.”
(The Apostle Paul, Phil.1:18)
Grace and peace,