Summary: Sermon on life and death
THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE
How many of you have been up in one of those small airplanes? This fall was the first time that I had the opportunity to go up in one of those little four seat planes courtesy of xxxx. I had been up in commercial airliner and military aircraft but nothing where I was able to sit in the cockpit and get a good look.
Those of you who have been in planes remember the first time. You were a little apprehensive about it. Tried to act nonchalant about the whole thing. As the plane gets higher and higher houses, buildings, cars, streets all seem to take on a different look. It looks as though you are looking down on a child’s train set. You notice things like how many little ponds and lakes there are. How the road you travel on everyday looks so windy when you look at it from above.
Now of course the house, buildings and roads have not changed, but what has changed is you prospective. When we change are prospective things look very different.
All through our life our perspectives change. There was time when we may have thought the best thing in the world was riding our bikes over ramps and around the neighborhood. A time when people over 40 seemed very old, (they still do to me), A time perhaps when you thought your parents were not only very ignorant but extremely out of touch with reality.
But things don’t real change over the years, bikes are still bikes, people over 40 are still over 40, but what changes is our perspective, the way in which we look at things. This morning I would like us to consider our perspective on life and death. What does life mean to you? What does death mean to you? What is your perspective on these things? Today I want to challenge you all to began to look at life from a different perspective, one that you are probably familiar with, but perhaps have moved from.
To do this let you look at some words of Paul as we continue our study into the book of Philippians. Turn with me to chapter 1 verse 19-26. Here we see the perspective which Paul had on death and life, and may I suggest that this is the perspective we all need to have on death and life.
"For I know that this will turn out for my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again."
Let us take a look at this passage verse by verse;
We remember last week we saw how there were some who were again Paul. Paul to Paul it really did matter if they were against Paul as long as they were for the gospel, what matter to Paul was the Christ was preached. Paul noted in verse 18 how in this fact he would rejoice.
He now states that "he knows" that this will turn how for his salvation. Notice the confidence in which Paul speaks. He "know" that this will happen, he is sure of it. And how is he able to be sure of this salvation, two things mentioned in this verse, the power of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now the word salvation here does not refer to Paul’s spiritual life, but refers to is release from prison. He is certain that he will not bring shame to the gospel, and he is also certain that he will have boldness in presenting the gospel of Christ.
You see Paul was certain that God would hear the prayers of those dear saints in Philippi. He knew that they were lifting him up in prayer and that through that prayer God would be at work in Paul. Paul states that he knows this.
He also knows that he will be bold for the Lord Jesus and not bring the gospel shame because he as "the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ". Paul knows that when he trust in the Holy Spirit he will be given the boldness he needs, he will be given that things to say, and he will not bring the gospel shame.