Summary: Working through the book of Philippians using consecutive expository preaching.
Sermon: “Saint Who?”
Pastor John Bright
Philippians 1 “1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Today, I return to teaching through a book of the Bible. This style of preaching is known as “Consecutive Expository Preaching.” I have to tell you – this is my most favorite way to preach! It also has the advantage of presenting the “whole counsel of God” that Paul mentioned in Acts 20:27.
As we jump into Philippians, I want to look at some BIG PICTURE ideas from the book Paul wrote as directed by the Holy Spirit. One of the main topics of this book is UNITY. If the Church will not stay unified, we have no hope of showing Christ to the world nor conforming to the Will of God. Jesus put it this way in John 17 "20 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
If we are going to stay unified, then we need to again have unity of belief. The Church has been drifting further and further from unity of belief. Not worship styles or how we baptized folks – we need to get back to some core beliefs about salvation and sexual morality. These beliefs serve as a boundary that defines those who are within the Church and those who are outside. Back in 1993, studies showed that 80% of Baby Boomers thought that each person "should arrive at his or her own religious beliefs independent of any churches or synagogues." (Roof, 1993, p 1-8) These folks were still in the church – but thought they could believe whatever they wanted and still call themselves Christians. These folks raised the next generation that have no use for formal religious practice. They have rejected the cross of Jesus for a world view that makes each person their own god. They even create a god for themselves that accepts their sin by carving out parts of the Bible and explaining to us lowly evangelicals – “that’s not what it really means.”
Here we go with book of Philippians… Paul opens this letter with a strong word of humility and submission
v. 1 “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,”
Some translations use the word servant or slave (that’s a tough one in today’s world) All these words are translated from the Greek word doulos, which means “one who is subservient to, and entirely at the disposal of, his master” This describes the servant as being willing to submit and be humble in what he does for the master. For Paul and Timothy – Jesus Christ is the master – they did as they were told, being led by the Holy Spirit. Listen to what happened when Paul, Silas and Timothy were traveling to share the Gospel - Acts 16 “6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Guess what city was in the Macedonian Province? Philippi)
There is an old testament description of the bondservant that again shows us the willingness of the bondservant to be in service to the master - Ex. 21 “5 But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”
Imagine that – not hard in a day when men and women have “gauges” in their ears that can be several inches across. In Ancient Israel – that hole meant you had willingly agreed to serve in the household of your master. God wants the same from us – not our ears! God wants our hearts – our minds – our wills – our hands and feet. Not much left…. yup! God wants all of us because He wants the best for us!