Summary: There are certain lifestyles that promotes the preaching of the gospel.
PREACHING THE GOSPEL
Oftentimes we associate certain lifestyle with certain group of people:
Celebrities – glamour, fashion, and media.
Medical People – stress, decisiveness, and discipline.
Politicians – campaigns, electioneering, and projects.
Housewife – PTA meetings, extracurricular, household chores, and stress.
What kind of lifestyle can we associate with the church people?
1. Paul thanked God for the Philippians partnership in the Gospel (1:1-11)
2. Paul rejoiced because of the advancement of the Gospel (1:12-26)
3. He challenged them to live a life Worthy of the Gospel (1:27-2:11)
For Apostle Paul, it is not enough that believers become partners in the preaching of the gospel and the preaching of gospel of Christ advances. But it is equally important that believers would live a life worthy of the gospel of Chris. It means a quality of life that match the gospel of Christ or a lifestyle suited for the preaching of the gospel of Christ. .
We cannot have a lifestyle that disagrees with our message. Our message or beliefs should dictate our lifestyle. Our message should be the basis for standard of living. We cannot believe one thing and behave in another way – that is inconsistent with Christianity.
What kind of lifestyle suited for the preaching of the gospel?
1. LIFESTYLE CHARACTERIZED BY TEAMWORK (1:27-30)
Apostle Paul expected the Philippian church to live as “one spirit and with one mind.” The church should live with a single purpose and action – for the faith of the gospel. The preaching of the gospel should be the rallying factor for the church. The church should live and work like a team with an opponent to overcome (v. 28).
Paul added that they should not only stand firm as a team but contending as one man (v. 27). The idea of contending is striving side by side. The effective preaching of the gospel cannot be done by a single person. We need each other’s strength and support as we preach the gospel of Christ. We can have a great impact if we unite our resources and skills together.
ILLUSTRATION In the city of Rangoon was the largest and finest bell in the East, the peculiar pride of the great Buddhist temple, Shwee-da-gone. This bell had been sunk in the river during one of the Anglo-Burman wars, and unavailing efforts had been made by various engineers to raise it.
At last, a clever priest asked permission to make the attempt on condition that the bell be given to his temple. He then had his assistants gather an immense number of bamboo rods. These hollow, light, buoyant rods can scarcely be kept from floating on the water. The rods were taken down one by one by divers and fastened to the bell at the bottom of the river.
After many thousands of them had been securely fastened, it was noticed that the bell began to move. When the last bamboo rod had been added, the buoyancy of the accumulated rods was so great that they actually lifted the enormous mass of bronze from the soot and mire of the river bottom, and bore it to the surface.
In addition, teamwork provides us courage and boldness as we preach the gospel – “without being frightened” (v. 28). Everyone face the challenge of believing and suffering – like Paul and Philippians (vv. 29-30). It is a lot easier to face suffering if we do as a team – we share the pain and hurt.
ILLUSTRATION Share the people who visited our neighborhood and share the message one at a time. They came as a group – teamwork.
APPLICATION The church should live a life characterized by teamwork. It means that the team works with one spirit and one mind – one should study, another prays, another talks, another support, another prepares, and another reminds and encourages.
2.LIFESTYLE CHARACTERIZED BY UNSELFISHNESS (2:1-4)
Paul reminded the Philippians of their common experience of encouragement, love, fellowship, affection, and compassion (v. 1) through their relationship with Christ. These experiences were the result of Christ’s unselfishness and generosity.
Therefore he encouraged them to set aside selfishness and emphasized togetherness – i.e. “I against US” or “Self against Others.” Thus Paul emphasized – same love, same mind, one purpose and one spirit (v. 2)
ILLUSTRATION Party For I, Myself, And Me
“I gave a little party this afternoon at three—
’Twas very small
Three guests in all
Just I, Myself, and Me
Myself ate up the sandwiches
While I drank up the tea
And it was I
Who ate the pie
And passed the cake to Me.”
Paul gave specific ways that the church can demonstrate unselfishness:
a. Set aside selfish ambition – selfish ambition tends to ignore and exploit others. There is nothing wrong with ambition but it should not be selfish.