Summary: Working through the book of Philippians using consecutive expository preaching. Philippians 1:19-26
Sermon: “It’s a Win-Win”
Pastor John Bright
Philippians 1 “19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, 26 that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.”
We live in world that is very divided. I have said many times in the last few months if you have a discussion about the virus with 3 people you will hear at least 10 different opinions. In our world – it’s right or wrong with no in between. I used to hear folks talk about win-win situations where both sides come out satisfied with the outcome. For example – Lynn wants me to do something around the house. She brings it up in such a way that I believe it was my idea because I’m more likely to do it if I think of it – right? When it gets done, it’s a win-win. Unfortunately, most of what I see going on today is a lose-lose game.
Paul continues his letter but now he looks to the future. He looks beyond his current incarceration and sees light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how the circumstances fall, Paul is secure in his relationship with God through Jesus Christ and that’s a great place to be!
PAUL REALIZES “IT’S NOT ABOUT ME”
“19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Paul can rejoice because there are two outcomes here – he will be delivered from the chains of Roman bondage OR he will be delivered from this fallen world.
He put it this way in Romans 8 “18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
So, while Paul is in this world, he has the same things we have – folks praying for us and the Holy Spirit within us.
I can’t begin to explain how awesome is our choice to pray for others. Doing Kairos Ministry in Virginia prisons, I’ve told plenty of folks that if they have grandmothers who are believers they might as well give up running from God – those are powerful prayers! Do most of your prayers focus on others – their salvation, their deliverance from guilt and shame and fear, blessings for those who hate you and spitefully use you (Matthew 5:44). Or do most of our prayers go up to God as our “Heavenly Vending Machine” – if I pray the right words or promise to do the things He wants, then I get what I want. I always want what will make me more comfortable.
We can make it through anything if folks will pray for us and we pray for them – that’s just a basic for being a church. Then we expand our prayers for the community in which we live – praying above all other things for all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We will only see the world changed if folks turn to God for healing and wholeness. That’s what Jesus died for… not just for us – for the one that is the hardest to love, like the one we see on TV that makes our blood pressure go through the roof.