Summary: Paul was in prison and the Philippians were in poverty. How are we to face similar fearful times as followers of Jesus. Paul teaches us the key to this with just a short sentence. "For me to live is Christ."
Intro: Paul was in prison and the Philippians were in poverty. Have you ever wondered how some face fearful times with such faith. Paul is giving clear encouragement to us today. Our faith will overcome fearful times when we discover Jesus doesn’t add to our life He is our life.
We as the church of the 21st century must realize that we can do only one thing better than the world. Preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and His Christ. There is bad news all around us and it seems to be increasing. If we are in Christ there is good news that will shine a light in the darkness.
Have you wondered what it would take to change Immanuel? Have you wondered what it will take to change our community, our county our country? It is tied up in the Holy Spirit of God searing with Holy flames this truth in our lives. “For me to live is Christ.”
I. Paul’s personal philosophy
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” The secret of a transformed life is Jesus’ possession of us
Romans 14:7, 8 “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
Jesus paid and purchased not just your pardon but your person. He owns us. Not only did he create us but he also bought us. The message it makes it very clear that Jesus is to be not only the ruling principle in our life but the ruling person.
Romans 16:6-9 “What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.”
Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master". Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22
In Disney's animated movie Toy Story, Woody (a plush toy cowboy) confronts Buzz Lightyear (a toy astronaut) with the fact that he is only an action figure and not really a space hero. Early in the movie Woody shouts, "You're not a space ranger! You're an action figure—a child's plaything."
Only after failing to fly, Buzz realizes the truth of Woody's statement. Grief-stricken and disillusioned, Buzz hangs his head in resignation, declaring, "I'm just a stupid, little, insignificant toy."
Woody later seeks to comfort his friend by underscoring the love of the boy who owns them both. "You must not be thinking clearly. Look, over in that house, there's a kid who thinks you're the greatest, and it's not because you're a space ranger; it's because you're his."
As Buzz lifts his foot, he sees a label affixed to the bottom of his little shoe. There in black permanent ink is the name of the little boy to whom he belongs. Seeing the image of his owner, Buzz breaks into a smile and takes on a new determination.
God has placed the same label on us it is called the image of God. Have you realized you belong to Jesus? Are you born again? Those that belong to Jesus can face anything with joy.
How do we live as though we belong to Jesus?
Galatians 5:24 “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
B) Living is being crucified with Jesus
Living is Christ! He who loses his life will find it. He who would follow me must take up his cross and follow me. The cross today seems to no longer call for the death of sinners. You must know the Apostles preached that the cross demands the death of your old sinful self.
We are not called by Jesus to be less of sinners we are called to His cross to come and die! We are not called merely to get better little by little we are called to die and be resurrected by His Holy Spirit. People both physically and spiritually mature at different rates. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ