Summary: Paul shows us a simple and tremendous motto for life in verse 21 of this passage: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” The question before us is: Where are we in choosing to live for Christ? Do we prefer the world's offerings or God's?
“A Prisoner for the Gospel (Part 2)”
Philippians Sermon Series, Part 4
- Last time we saw Paul’s heart in how he prayed earnestly for the church
-- Re-read v14 with emphasis: “And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.”
- Challenge: Where are we in this? Are we afraid? Do we hesitate?
-- Well if so … then ask yourself this: “Who do you serve?”
-- Joshua 24:15, “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."”
- And in, v18 presents us with an interesting challenge to ponder …
-- “But what does it matter?” His word use here is very interesting: “So what”!
- 1) "In every way …"
-- His heart was to elevate the gospel.
-- God can even use carnality to advance the gospel, ref: "In every way"
- 2) “… whether from false motives or true”
-- They used Christ as a cover for their lust for power and "selfish ambition."
-- Paul did not condone this; he did approve of their preaching Christ
-- Salvation of souls was more important to him than some perceived rivalry
- 3) “… because of this I rejoice”
-- While I sit in jail I am rejoicing that Christ is preached
-- “The people who were trying to hurt him were contributing to his joy!”
- Tonight we will continue examining what it means to be a prisoner of the Gospel
- Read Philippians 1:19-26
∆ Point 1 – To Live is Christ
- Paul continues that he is grateful for what has and is happening to him
-- In v19 we see an honest confession of his life and his view on these events
-- “… Because you are praying and God is faithful, this TOO will be ok”
-- IMP: That is a tremendously honest view into his faith and his prayer life
- Not only is he asking (and reminding and thanking) those for praying for him
-- It is because of their faithfulness that these things happening are a good thing
- Now, watch v20 and how Paul turns his view to the things to come
-- “I eagerly expect” … Based on past experiences, I can say for sure
-- “And hope” … because my hope is Christ and not on this world
-- “I will in no way be shamed” … my life is to be lived for Christ, always
- Paul is not asking to be honored and glorified by men of this Earth
-- It is his hope that because he is faithful, God will be pleased with his life
-- APP: Ask yourself each day: “Is my God pleased with me?” (Challenge)
- Additionally (v20) I don’t expect that I shall escape the fate of death
-- It is my prayer that I would live with integrity and have courage for Christ
-- APP: That Christ would be exalted in my body (life) whether I live or die