Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Christ is the Word whom only God can send and apply

Christ is the Word whom only God can send and apply (6-8)

Read Deuteronomy 30:1-14 (focusing on last four verses), the passage Paul is citing. The point of both passages is that the word of God is not difficult to grasp, or arcane or obscure in some mystical way. God has graciously made it ‘near’ to us.

Complete this table, which compares and contrasts the OT & NT emphases.

Old Testament (Deut.30:1-14) New Testament (Rom.10:6-8)

Grace…- God circumcises hearts, so that those hearts may love Him (6) Faith…- believers are given God’s righteousness by faith (6)

To keep the word of commandment-

To trust the Word-made-flesh-

And be prosperous and numerous-

And preach the Gospel-

Christ is the Saviour of all who confess and believe (9-13)

Verse 9 is one of the classic gospel-formula texts in the Bible, which means it is both helpful and open to abuse or becoming over-worn (cf. John 3:16). Dear dear Johnny Stott describes it as “the earliest and simplest of all Christian creeds.” It is worth learning off by heart, and important to understand, because it shows you how to be saved!

1. Confess with your mouth (9, 10, 13)- some people find it hard to speak aloud about what they believe. A man called John I was speaking to at the open air on Saturday said that all his beliefs were private and that I shouldn’t speak about mine either. I said that his beliefs weren’t worth having if he didn’t want to share them, and asked him how many people he invited to his wedding. The point is this, if we have found Christ, we will want to share that good news by confessing it with our mouths, just as a man confesses with his mouth that he loves his bride and seeks to be joined with her throughout this earthly life. I have never met anyone who is not prepared to speak on their wedding day, which is infinitely less significant than the day of conversion. If we believe, we will speak. This ties in with the previous verse which shows that if you have a word of faith in your heart, you will also preach that word in some way. RC Sproul rather amusingly says, “A Christian is to publicly reveal that he has been saved. One way to do this is to say, ‘Yes, Jesus is Lord.’” Notice that verses 12 and 13 say, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Think about the man born blind as we heard in Philip’s sermon (John 9:38).

Read Luke 12:8,9 and 23:39-43. Write down as many things as you can about the thief on the cross’ confession.

2. Jesus is Lord (9,13)

Read Matthew 7:21-23. It is possible to call Jesus ‘Lord’ and do amazing things, and still not be saved. Why is this?

Read Luke 6:46-49. What must flow from calling Jesus ‘Lord’?

Back to our passage. Read verse 13, which is a quotation about YHWH (God) from Joel 2:32. See also Acts 2:21. So calling Jesus ’Lord’ must entail recognising what about His character?

3. Believe in your heart (9,10,11)- verse 10 reiterates verse 5 and 6 that righteousness is received through faith. When we believe in our heart, like Abraham in chapter 4, God credits His own righteousness to our account.

Read Luke 17:5-10. We may feel that we believe in our hearts, but want to have that faith increased and assured. What are Jesus’ surprising answers to this?

4. That God raised Him from the dead (9). RC Sproul says that “the denial of the resurrection of Christ is an intolerable error. You cannot be saved if you do not believe in the resurrection of Christ.” Why do you think that Paul emphasises the Resurrection and leaves the Cross out?

5. You will be saved (9,10). Read 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10. What are we being saved from? To?

6. And yes, that applies to “anyone” (11), “all” (12) and “everyone” (13)! Though few will be saved (Matt. 7:14), the appeal of the Gospel is universal, no-one is excluded, no matter what their ethnic background or (as we’ve seen from the thief) history of sins. Is there any individual or type of person you might be tempted not to tell the Good News to (e.g. someone you dislike at work, someone in your family, a child because you think they may be too young, someone with learning difficulties because you think they may not understand, etc.)? Write their name/category down here and pray for them now!

Are you among the ‘whoever’? If you, are write down a short prayer of thanks to God for such a free salvation.

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