1 Kirk Miller 1 December 4 th, 2011 Lake Drive Baptist Church Sunday mrning service Please turn t Philippians 1:27-30 Intrductin: Jesus lves me this I knw, fr the Bible tells me s. Fr Gd s lved the wrld, that He sent His nly begtten Sn, that whsever believers in Him shall nt perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). These are things many f us have all learned frm ur yuth, either when we were yung physically r yung spiritually. But have the truths f these wrds lst their impact n us? I can t tell yu hw many times I ve heard Christians talk abut the Gspel as simply elementary. They ll say, the Gspel is what yu need t knw in rder t be saved; but nce yu re saved, there are bigger and better things t mve nt. Bigger and better things t mve nt?... Dn t tell the angels that! Yu ll burst their bubble. 1 Peter 1:12 says that the angels lk in wnder at the Gspel. Nw if angels think the Gspel is smething t behld, smething t be in amazement f, smething t never mve n abut, I think the same shuld be true f us. Oh, but it s nt just the angels, peple. Ntice what Paul calls the Gspel in 1 Crinthians 15 what he delivered t the Crinthians f first r mst imprtance! The Gspel is the mst imprtant thing, and many f us wuld never deny that. But, Paul is nt writing t unbelievers here. Paul is writing t Crinthian believers. He is reminding believers f that which is still f first imprtance t them. This mrning I want us t cme t grips with what the Gspel means t us as believers. The Gspel 1 Crinthians 15:1-4 Nw I make knwn t yu, brethren, the gspel which I preached t yu, which als yu received, in which als yu stand, 2 by which als yu are saved, if yu hld fast the wrd which I preached t yu, unless yu believed in vain. 3 Fr I delivered t yu as f first imprtance what I als received, that Christ died fr ur sins accrding t the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised n the third day accrding t the Scriptures.... (NASB). The Gspel = The gd news that Christ died t save whever repents f, r turns away frm, their sin and trusts in Christ s finished wrk n the crss and resurrectin t save them frm Gd s just wrath due t their sin. As Paul says in Phil 3:9, nt having a righteusness f my wn that cmes frm the law [frm gd wrks], but that which cmes thrugh faith in Christ, the righteusness frm Gd that depends n faith. Read the text: 27 Only cnduct yurselves in a manner wrthy f the gspel f Christ, s that whether I cme and see yu r remain absent, I will hear f yu that yu are standing firm in ne spirit, with ne mind striving tgether fr the faith f the gspel; 28 in n way alarmed by yur ppnents which is a sign f destructin fr them, but f salvatin fr yu, and that t, frm Gd. 29 Fr t yu it has been granted fr Christ s sake, nt nly t believe in Him, but als t suffer fr His sake, 30 experiencing the same cnflict which yu saw in me, and nw hear t be in me. (NASB). Main prpsitin (27) LIVE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST! Intrduce t sermn pints:
2 2 Hw? Hw des ne live wrthy f the Gspel? What des this lk like? What des this entail? We ll be lking at manner in which ne is t live wrthy f the Gspel. Why? Why shuld ne live wrthy f the Gspel? What is the reasn r the mtivatin fr living this way? Having lked at hw ne is t live wrthy f the Gspel, we will lk at the slutin fr actually living this way. The setting f this text: (27) That whether having cme and having seen yu r being absent I may hear the things cncerning yu. Cnditin Whether present r absent. Absent. Currently imprisned (1:7, 12-13). Present. Paul said in verses 21-26, just prir t ur text, that he was culdn t decide whether he preferred t live, fr the sake f the Philippians, r die and be with the Lrd. But he was cnvinced it was mre necessary fr him t remain alive fr the Philippians sake that they wuld prgress spiritually in his cming t them. In ther wrds, Paul planned t visit the Philippians. This imperative t live wrthy f the Gspel finds itself directly after Paul shares this hpe t visit the Philippians. He states, in the meantime (while Paul s future, life r death, is yet t be revealed) they are t live wrthy f the Gspel. Purpse But whatever the case (either way, uncnditined), Paul says, That... I may hear the things cncerning yu. Paul has presented his situatin (12-26), and nw he wants t hear f theirs. He said that he seeks t visit them, giving them further reasn t rejice. But in the meantime, he wants t receive a gd reprt abut them and be able t rejice in them. 1) HOW? MAIN PROPOSITION: (27) Live wrthy f the Gspel f Christ. Only. NIV whatever happens. If there is n ther cmmand the Philippians grasp, He says, nly get a hld f this ne. This imperative encapsulates all ther imperatives f the Christian life. Live. KJV Only let yur cnversatin (???) be as it becmeth the gspel f Christ. This wrd carries with it the cncept f the manner in which ne lives in ther wrds, cnduct. Literally the idea is citizen cnduct. Phil 3:20 Our cmmnwealth [citizenship] is in heaven.
3 3 This descriptin f believers is cntrasted with the enemies f the crss f Christ (18-19) whse minds are set n earthly things. The believer s allegiance, n the ther hand, is t heaven, nt earth. Summary This is idea f living wrth f the Gspel, first entails living with ur allegiance t heaven and nt earth. Wrthy. Oxymrn We re nt wrthy f the Gspel and we will never be. Illustratin: A lw class citizen is invited t a special dinner with ryalties and high ranking fficials wh has dne nthing t make himself wrthy f this privilege. He wuld nt say, Well I m nt wrthy s why try and act wrthy and then shw up in rugged jeans and a t-shirt and cmpletely neglect using any manners. N, he wuld d well t attempt t dress himself as best he can fr the ccasin and use his abslute best manners. Likewise, we are nt wrthy f the call f salvatin we have received. But wuld shuld respnd in gratitude and, as Ephesians 4:1 says, walk in a manner wrthy f the calling with which yu have been called (NASB). Christians will never be wrthy f the Gspel r fully live wrthy f the Gspel. But having been saved by it, ur lives ught t reveal the salvatin that we have. Applicatin/summary: Are we living in light f the Gspel? Des the Gspel define the way in which we cnduct urselves? Are we, as Paul says in 2:12, wrking ur salvatin ut int every aspect f wh we are with fear and trembling? Are we cnducting ur lives in such a way that shws that we are citizens f heaven that ur allegiance is t heaven and nt earth? FOR BELEIVERS - We see that the Gspel is fr believers because it ught t define the believer s manner f life. PAUL S DESCRIPTION (the reprt that he desires t hear abut them): (27) That yu stand in ne spirit. Hly Spirit (NIV) r human spirit Human spirit. If he was referring t the Hly Spirit, he prbably just say the Spirit rather than the ne Spirit. The wrd ne seems strange an unnecessary if Paul is talking abut the Hly Spirit. In ne spirit parallels the fllw wrds, with ne sul, which isn t referring t the Hly Spirit. The cntext (2:1-4) has t d with unity. S the idea here is standing, being firmly grunded r established, in unity (as a church), having the same purpse, attitude, and mindset. 2:1-4 - Therefre if there is any encuragement in Christ, if there is any cnslatin f lve, if there is any fellwship f the Spirit, if any affectin and cmpassin, 2 make my jy cmplete by being f the same mind, maintaining the same lve, united in spirit, intent n ne
4 4 purpse. 3 D nthing frm selfishness r empty cnceit, but with humility f mind regard ne anther as mre imprtant than yurselves; 4 d nt merely lk ut fr yur wn persnal interests, but als fr the interests f thers. Living wrthy f the Gspel is living ut these verses. What this unity lks like The means f standing in ne spirit: (27) That yu stand in ne spirit, with ne mind (ne purpse, literally, with ne sul ) cntending fr the faith f the Gspel (28) and nt being frightened in anything by the nes ppsing. Paul assumes ppsitin. Paul assumes the fact that the faith f the Gspel is ffensive ( cntend and the nes ppsing ). The Gspel still is ffensive tday. Our culture desn t like t hear that they are sinners. They like t think they are naturally gd, and s they dn t like t be tld they deserve hell. They d rather blame all f man s prblems n his envirnment r sme chemical imbalance in the brain. And they dn t like when yu say that Christ is the nly way. They d rather believe all religins are essentially the same. And that Gd s lve means everyne will make t heaven eventually. Psitive means: (27) With ne mind (ne purpse, literally, with ne sul ) cntending fr the faith f the Gspel. The unity we are t have as a church is in cntending, striving, labring, ding battle fr the faith f the Gspel, literally, the belief system, the truths, f the Gspel. I find it interesting that Paul says t live wrthy f the Gspel cntending fr it, t cntend fr the very thing we are t strive t live wrthy f. But it makes cmplete sense: If the Gspel s wrth living fr, it s wrth cntending fr. If yu wn t cntend fr it, hw can yu say yu re living wrthy f it? By nt cntending fr it, yu say by yur actins it s nt wrth living fr. Negative means: (28) And nt being frightened in anything by the nes ppsing Nt being frightened. Being frightened is the ppsite f what Paul says t d, stand firm (in ne spirit) and cntend. If they re frightened, they re bviusly nt standing firm and cntending. In anything N exceptins. Hw many times d we like t make exceptins? i.e.,... They re mre intelligent than me.
5 5 They ll think I m weird r stupid. I dn t want t ffend them. The Gspel is ffense by nature a stumbling blck fr Jews and flishness t Gentiles (1 Cr 1:23). I ll just sugar cat it s they ll accept it. Applicatin/summary: Hw d we live wrthy f the Gspel? Striving side by side fr the Gspel withut reservatin, pulling back, being timid r frightened. Living wrthy fr the Gspel is cntending fr the Gspel. Are we as a church unified in this effrt, r can we becme mre likeminded and encurage ne anther t cntend fr the faith? D we have the ability t cntend fr the Gspel? Are we, as Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15, always being ready t make a defense t everyne wh asks yu t give an accunt fr the hpe that is in yu, yet with gentleness and reverence. FOR BELIEVERS: Because we are t live wrthy f it. But als, because living wrthy f it is t cntend fr it. Therefre, as believers we must never mve past the Gspel but shuld 1) always seek t learn mre abut it s that we might better cntend fr it, and 2) grw in deeper lve with it s that we might be mre bld in its defense. 2) WHY? The prblem Why shuld I live wrthy f the Gspel, that is, cntend fr it and face ppsitin? The slutin: Which is t them a sign f destructin, but yur salvatin. In ther wrds, the ppsitin Paul has spken f and the church s standing in ne spirit cntending fr the Gspel withut being intimidated by any f this ppsitin is a testimny t the church f its spiritual salvatin, but fr thse bringing the ppsitin, this all is an men f their ultimate spiritual destructin, eternal punishment in hell. Oppsitin and strife yu face in regards t yur relatinship t the Gspel and yur defense f it is a sign f yur salvatin and is therefre a blessing. And this is frm Gd. This This whle cmplex f things: 1) the ppsitin believers face, 2) their ability t be unified, cntend, and nt be intimidated, 3) this sign f their salvatin and their ppnents destructin are all frm Gd. In ther wrds, Gd s svereignty pervades the entire circumstance. All f this (1, 2, and 3) is frm Gd, that is it riginates with Gd. Paul says, Yu dn t believe me? Let me prve it t yu. And he des in verse 29. (29) Because t yu was graciusly given this n behalf f Christ (fr Christ s sake), nt nly t believe in Him but als n His behalf t suffer.
6 6 Belief is given by Gd, i.e.,... 2 Pet 1:1 Calls faith smething we have received. Eph 2:8 Faith is a gift f Gd. 2 Thes 2:13 Gd has chsen us frm the beginning t be saved thrugh faith. His pint is that Gd is svereign in the circumstance, i.e., belief. Suffering fr Christ s sake, likewise, is given by Gd. 1 Thes 3:3 The suffering we face is smething we have been destined fr. Graciusly given? It s much easy t grasp hw the granted f belief is a gracius thing than the granting f suffering. Slutin: The parenthesis f nt nly t believe : The granting f suffering is seen as a gracius in light f the existence f the gracius gift f belief. The gracius gift f belief that believers have received unbelievable utweighs any suffering we culd ever receive. Paul adds this phrase fr this very reasn. Fr Christ s sake What a privilege. The granting f suffering is gracius because, as we saw, it s a sign f ur salvatin. The granting f suffering is gracius because gracius results. Rm 5 Suffering prduces character. Phil 1:12-18 Paul ntes the gracius cnsequences f His wn suffering. Suffering in a cntemprary American cntext: We may nt face ppsitin the same way a first century believer did r the same way a believer in a cuntry where Christianity is illegal des. But, 2 Tim 3:12 says, that if we desire t live Gdly, we will face persecutin. We will face ppsitin, althugh it may nt replicate the ppsitin ther believers have faced and d face. Paul says, Philippians, this truth that suffering has been granted is nt just true fr yu. This has prven true t be in my life t. (30) Having the same struggle (yu are ging thrugh the same struggle) which yu saw in me (which they saw firsthand in Paul when he was with them) and nw yu hear abut me (that is, the struggle f Paul that they hear f via reprts abut Paul s situatin such as this very letter). Paul s implying that sharing with ther believers in the same struggle, having a fellwship f struggle in ther wrds, is t be an encuragement. Is this nt smewhat f a reference back t Paul s wrd, in ne spirit, in unity, cntending, struggling fr the Gspel? Summary: The prblem Why shuld I live wrthy f the Gspel, that is, cntend fr the Gspel and face ppsitin fr it? The slutin: The Gspel.
7 7 Because it s a sign f yur salvatin that yu ve been saved by the Gspel. Because yu haven t simply been dealt suffering, but yu ve als received the gracius gift f faith. In ther wrds, the Gspel is ur mtivatin t live wrthy f the Gspel by cntending fr it. When struggle t live wrthy f the Gspel, we are t lk t the Gspel. That is Paul s salutin. Cnclusin: Live wrthy f the Gspel f Christ. By letting the Gspel define the way yu live. By as a church in unity cntending fr the Gspel withut fear. Why? The Gspel. The Gspel is the slutin. It s ur mtivatin t live this way. Universalizable: In this passage Paul was really speaking t the Philippians situatin, hitting them right where they were at (talking abut suffering and cntending fr the Gspel in the face f ppsitin). But is it nt true that the principles f this text are universalizable (that is, nt just in reference t suffering and cntending fr the Gspel)? The Gspel ught t define the way we live. Live wrthy f the Gspel An imperative that entirely encmpasses what the Christian life is t lk like. What else can be said? The Gspel is the slutin t ding s. Nt just in reference t what we ve talked abut specifically tday (ppsitin, suffering, cntending fr the Gspel). But in all areas f the Christian life, i.e.,... Pride The Gspel humbles us. Lneliness The Gspel calls us t the cmmunity f the church. Racism In Christ, there is n Jew r Gentile. Legalism Because the Gspel says we can t earn Gd s favr by ur wn effrts. Antinmianism (saying, I can live hwever I want ) Because the Gspel frees us frm sins pwer and cmpels us t live differently. Get the big picture: LIVE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL (and all that entails) BY MEANS OF THE GOSPEL. That is the underlying principle in this passage. Let s pray