Summary: This is an exposition of Philippians 1.21-26.
Christ is the Explanation of Existence
Or “Do you have a good reason for living?”
Text: Phil 1.21-26.
1. The questions of existence: Questions of origin, Questions of purpose, and questions of destiny. Or to put it more popularly: Who am I? Why am I here? Is this all there is?
2. Existentialism says that we are the product of blind chance. Evolutionary forces acting in the vacuum of senseless nature accidentally formed the conditions for life and we just “ happened”. The leading proponent of this philosophy during the last century was Jean-Paul Sarte, at the end of his life he told Pierre Victor: "I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.“… then he died.
3. Materialism says that the only eternal truth is matter, there is nothing spiritual. Live your life with no regrets, go for the gusto. In the words of Malcolm Forbes; “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Near the end of his life Forbes looked to a friend after viewing the great pyramids of Egypt and asked; “Will anyone even remember me when I am gone?”
4. There are those who look to fame to provide purpose for their lives. Mohammad Ali, arguably the greatest boxer of all time, certainly according to him he was, said recently in his shaking voice; “I had the world, and it wasn’t nothing…” Fame, they say is fickle. Recognize any of these names: Owen D. Young, Pierre Laval, Hugh S. Johnson, James F. Byrnes, Mohammed Mossadegh, Harlow Curtis? You should; these are all people who have been designated as "Man of the Year" by Time magazine.
5. Some people seek to answer the question of existence by seeking power. Politicians all over the country woke up Tuesday morning wondering what reason they had to go on, most of them were republicans this year, but that varies. Other people seek pleasures. We call them hedonists, really they are merely self-centered. Joe Thiesman, former NFL quarterback left his wife for a younger attractive woman, whom he had an affair with during his marriage. When asked why he did it he responded, “God wants Joe to be happy.” What an empty outlook!
6. None of these really gives you a reason to live. But all of them leave out God. Our postmodern, atheistic, humanistic, relativistic world has followed the Philosophy that “God is dead”. Listen to this poem by Arthur Guiterman:
First dentistry was painless;
Then bicycles were chainless
And carriages were horseless
And many laws, enforceless.
Next, cookery was fireless,
Telegraphy was wireless,
Cigars were nicotineless
And coffee, caffeinless.
Soon oranges were seedless,
The putting green was weedless,
The college boy hatless,
The proper diet, fatless,
Now motor roads are dustless,
The latest steel is rustless,
Our tennis courts are sodless,
Our new religions, godless.
It’s hard to believe this was written over 60 years ago.
7. Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul found the answer to the questions of existence. Paul met a person on the Damascus road, Christ, and Christ, he found, is the answer to all life’s most important questions.
First notice that…
I. Christ answers the question of Identity (Is this all there is?)
“For to me to live is Christ”
A. Christ is the source of all life-
1. Physical life, Jn 1.1-4.
2. Spiritual Life, Jn 1.1-4
B. Who am I?
1. Positively - I am the creation of Almighty God.
2. Negatively - I am not an accident.
Second notice that…
II. Christ answers the question of Purpose (Why am I here?)
For me to live is Christ.
A. I was created to serve Christ by doing His will - Phil 1.24.
B. I was created to serve Christ by doing His work – Phil 1.22
Third notice that…
III. Christ answers the question of Destiny (Where am I going?)
To die is gain.
A. The world ignores death because they fear it.
Ill. Scott Goodyear, speaking of race-car drivers who have been killed in crashes at the Indianapolis 500, said; “You don’t go look at where it happened, You don’t watch the films of it on television. You don’t deal with it. You pretend it never happened." The Speedway operation itself encourages this approach. As soon as the track closes the day of an accident, a crew heads out to paint over the spot where the car hit the wall. Through the years, a driver has never been pronounced dead at the race track. A trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Racing Museum, located inside the 2.5-mile oval, has no memorial to the 40 drivers who have lost their lives there. Nowhere is there even a mention.