Summary: We have certain spiritual safeguards in life.
INTRO.- ILL.- The story is told about a monastery in Portugal, perched high on a 3,000-foot cliff and accessible only by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket. The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men, perspiring under the strain of the fully loaded basket. One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff when he noticed that the rope was old and frayed. Hoping to relieve his fear he asked, "How often do you change the rope?" The monk in charge replied, "Whenever it breaks!"
Brothers and sisters, how safe are you in life? That may depend on where you are. Not many of us will ever choose to be pulled up a 3,000-foot cliff in a swaying basket! NOT THIS GUY!
If you’re at home, you are probably fairly safe. And you may well have several items in your home to guard your safety: smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, emergency safety light, alarm system, etc.
If you’re in your car, you have seatbelts, air bags, side air bags, smart air bags, all-weather tires, antilock brakes, anti-whiplash headrests, tire pressure warning, etc. And some cars actually come with a collision avoidance system. CAN YOU BEAT THAT? This system warns you if an object is near while backing up your car. If you’ve ever backed into something it just might be a good investment.
Regardless of where we are, what we’re doing, we prefer to be safe. And common sense is probably the biggest safety device there is.
ILL.- A fellow was walking his long-haired dachshund and he met a friend who said “What a funny animal! How do you tell his head from his tail?”
“It’s very simple,” the dog’s owner replied. “You pull its tail and if it bites, it is his head.”
Common sense says that if a mad, mean growling dog is facing you, you don’t try to pet it! Common sense always pays off.
ILL.- A busy mother once overheard her two young daughters talking. One asked the other, “How do you know you are safe?” “Because I am holding Jesus tight with both my hands,” replied the sister.
“That is not safe,” said the other, “suppose the devil came along and cut off your two hands?” The little sister was momentarily troubled, then her face suddenly beamed with joy. “Oh, I forgot! Jesus is holding me, and Satan couldn’t cut off His hands, so I am safe!”
Yes, we are safe in the hands of Jesus! That’s the safest place to be wherever we are in this world!
PROP.- Our text in Philippians speaks of some spiritual safeguards that we have.
1-The repetition of truth – God’s Word
2- The recognition of evil - Legalism
3- The realization of worship – God’s Spirit
I. THE REPETITION OF TRUTH – GOD’S WORD
V. 1 “It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.”
Paul’s writing was the Word of God. That is, he was inspired by God’s Spirit to write words that would direct and bless the readers. Paul didn’t mind repeating himself.
He knew that repeating spiritual truths would help to protect them and direct them in life.
ILL.- Efforts of Carol Frazer, 17, to have a street named after singer Elvis Presley who died in 1977 were finally realized. The city fathers of suburban Whitehaven assigned the name of a subdivision lane as “Elvis Place.” (Actually, I think it’s Elvis Presley Blvd, and when? I don’t know. I think it happened a long time ago) Miss Frazer said she was so excited she didn’t know what to do. Probably watch another Elvis movie. But she has seen them all: Love Me Tender, 107 times, Loving You 110 times, King Creole 91 times, and Jailhouse Rock, 79 times.
Brothers and sisters, I’ve seen a few movies a second time and maybe even a third time, but not 110 times!
If we can watch movies and TV programs over and over, and still get something from them, what about listening to the Word of God over and over?
ILL.- On their way home from church, the husband and wife were discussing the sermon. The wife said, “It seems to me that he didn’t put enough fire into his sermon.” The husband replied, “In my opinion, he didn’t put enough of his sermon into the fire.” Boring and long sermons are not much fun, nor are they helpful. However, well prepared sermons and well delivered sermons can be a blessing and can stick with you a long time.
ILL.- As a student of Ozark Christian College in the mid-60’s I remember Boyce Mouton from Carthage, MO, standing up in our chapel services, offering to preach when the speaker didn’t show up that morning. Boyce said, “I promised the Lord I would never turn down an opportunity to testify for him.” Boyce went to the pulpit and preached a great 20-minute sermon entitled, “Fools for Christ” from I Corinthians chapter four.