Summary: Part of a lengthy series I am doing in the book of Philippians.
HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN AND STILL ENJOY LIFE
A LIFE ENJOYED IS A LIFE SHARED Pt.6
Sunday March 10, 2008
Scripture Reference: Philippians 1:9-11
A. Last week as we continued our look into V.9-11 of chapter one we were talking about the results of this prayer Paul was praying for the Philippians church. He had told them that if they were growing in Christ likeness and in their understanding of God and in their ability to make good judgments then there would be some results, some effects of these things. So last week we looked at the first of these results and that is discernment. As we learned last week that word means the ability to “test and approve”. Once again as I stressed so much last week you really need to understand how necessary it is to connect V.9 with V.10-11. It is our becoming more Christ like that enables us to test and approve and what did Paul say we would test and approve of? He said that we would be able to test and approve what is BEST! As I said last week this is a HUGE point because I fear that far to often we test and approve what is OK or what is All RIGHT or what is we see as not being all that bad or wrong but this is not what Paul said will happen as we grow in knowledge and depth of insight.
1.  Let’s do something today shall we? Let’s take Jesus out of the Bible and let’s put Jesus smack dab in the middle of Chino California in March 2008. Let’s make Jesus REAL shall we? OK so now we are confronted with those immortal words again, “What would Jesus do?” What would Jesus do living in the situations you and I have to live in today? What would Jesus do if someone said to him,”Hey Jesus let’s stop by the liquor store and get a six pack of Bud and then we will go home and watch the football game.” How would Jesus respond, would he say, “Hey that sounds great, why don’t we get a case and invite a few more friends over”? Would he say, “You vile wicked person! How dare you even suggest such a thing, don’t you realize that real Christians don’t drink. You take one sip of that beer and you will go straight to hell.” Or would he say, “You know I am not sure that drinking beer or any other alcohol like this is the best thing for our witness to others. It’s not that drinking a beer is a sin but it just doesn’t seem to be the best witness. You know we are supposed to be salt and light and my Father said we were to be holy people, people who are set apart from those who do not follow me. I just don’t see this as the best way to show others what it means to live for God.” This really goes back to what I left you with last week in evaluating those attitudes we have towards this subject and others. When we test and approve what is best our standard of measure is the word of God, not Fox News or President Bush or Newsweek magazine.
Trans. Well I will never get through this passage if I don’t move on so let’s look at what I believe are the other three results of our growing in Christ likeness. Paul says that we will be able to discern what is best then he says that we will be pure and blameless. Let’s look at each of these words separately because they each have powerful meaning to our Christian lives. First of all the word pure means that you and I will be the REAL DEAL.
I. THE RESULTS OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY.
A. You Will Be The REAL DEAL.
1. The word “pure” means something that is genuine, something that is not a mixture of a bunch of different ingredients. We all know that there are times when a mixture of things is good. The fact is most of the foods we eat are a mixture of different ingredients. It is the mixture of those ingredients that makes for the special taste of the meal. I enjoy chili but what makes for great chili is the mixture of different ingredients. We also know that what makes for a great church is the mixture of different people. It is all the different gifts, abilities, talents, personalities and experiences that we bring to our church that gives us a unique flavor.
2. In food and in church a mixture of different ingredients is great, but it is not great when it comes to our individual spiritual lives. We talked about this a few weeks ago when we were looking at V.6, when we try to live our lives with one foot in the world and one foot in the faith we are both ineffective and unhappy. I have to once again ask you to make the connection between V.9 and these words. As we grow in our understanding of what God desires of us and then begin to live that way we become the REAL DEAL. Think about the people you admire whether they are Christians or not. My guess is that what you find appealing in many of these people is the fact that they are “pure” or they are the real deal. You may not agree with them but they are not trying to live two different kinds of lives. One of the things that kills our witness is when we try to be like Christ and then try to be like the world around us as well.