Summary: Part of a series in Philippians, we are encouraged to make Christ our life.
Illus. 3 men discussing their funerals, what they would want people to say.
•"He was a great humanitarian, an asset to his community."
•"He was a great family man, loved his family."
•"Look, he’s moving!"
“What would you like on your tombstone”?
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
These are things we don’t like to talk about – talking about death is morbid.
Paul had a very different viewpoint. He actually looked forward to dying!
Turn to Phil. 1:19-26. Review (rejoices over the Phil., in adversity, Christ is preached).
v.18 – Paul rejoices in the present and in the future.
I. PAUL LOOKS FORWARD TO HIS SALVATION. v. 19
Not only his physical salvation from prison, but ultimately his spiritual salvation.
A. It came thru the prayers of the saints.
19FOR I KNOW (have known) THAT THROUGH YOUR PRAYERS (cf. v. 4; longing, yearning).
The Philippians were also yearning/longing in prayer for him and he felt their prayers.
•How much encouragement have we felt knowing that people were praying for us?
Illus. New to IBC. Knew very little about being a Christian/growing in Christ.
•Strangers said they were praying for me. That had a profound effect on me.
•What an encouragement to know people are praying for you!
How does prayer encourage the saints?
Not only that, it was obvious to Paul that God heard and was answering their prayers.
God hears our fervent prayers.
B. It came thru the provision of the Spirit.
AND THE HELP (bountiful supply, provision) GIVEN BY THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST,
•He didn’t receive help from the Spirit; the Spirit was his help.
“I’m not going to send someone to help you, I’ll help you myself.”
The Spirit is an extension of Christ Jesus.
Paul knew he wasn’t alone.
•He had the prayers of his faithful friends and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
•What else do we need?
19FOR I KNOW THAT THROUGH YOUR PRAYERS AND THE HELP GIVEN BY THE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST, WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME WILL TURN OUT FOR MY DELIVERANCE.
TURN OUT (to step off, disembark, stepping off the boat/bus).
Paul looked forward to the day when he would step off/walk away from his bondage.
•Not just his bondage from the Romans, but ultimately from the bondage of sin.
When we come to Christ, we’re delivered from the penalty of sin.
•When we walk with Christ, we’re delivered from the power of sin.
•When we die in Christ, we’re delivered from the presence of sin.
In what ways does the Spirit help us?
Paul knew that, because of their prayers and the Spirit’s provision, he would soon be delivered/saved from bondage, regardless of what the Romans did to him.
That’s why he rejoiced! I can’t wait for the Day of my deliverance!
II. PAUL LOOKS FORWARD TO EXALTING HIS SAVIOR. v. 20
20I EAGERLY EXPECT AND HOPE THAT I WILL IN NO WAY BE ASHAMED,
EAGERLY EXPECT - (anxious longing, intense expectation)
Illus. – Playing “Rascal” w/ kids. Ready to pounce. They know it’s coming, but not when.
Paul eagerly/anxiously/intensely expected something good to come.
ASHAMED - dishonored, possibly during his upcoming trial.
What was Paul concerned about? We can get a clue from the Psalms.
Ps. 25:1-3 TO YOU, O LORD, I LIFT UP MY SOUL; 2IN YOU I TRUST, O MY GOD. DO NOT LET ME BE PUT TO SHAME, NOR LET MY ENEMIES TRIUMPH OVER ME. 3NO ONE WHOSE HOPE IS IN YOU WILL EVER BE PUT TO SHAME, BUT THEY WILL BE PUT TO SHAME WHO ARE TREACHEROUS WITHOUT EXCUSE.
Because of the encouragement of the Phil. and the Spirit, Paul was confident that he would not disgrace or be ashamed of Christ.
Have we ever been ashamed of Christ?
BUT WILL HAVE SUFFICIENT (all) COURAGE (confidence, boldness) SO THAT NOW AS ALWAYS CHRIST WILL BE EXALTED (magnified) IN MY BODY, WHETHER BY LIFE OR BY DEATH.
Paul’s life was wrapped up in Christ. All he wanted to do was to exalt Christ.
He rejoiced because he knew that no matter what the Romans did to him, he would be ultimately delivered and Christ would be exalted.
How could he say that?
III. PAUL’S SAVIOR IS HIS LIFE. v. 21-26
21FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN. This is the key verse of Phil.
This is Paul’s philosophy of life, his life mission statement, his reason for contentment.
This is what Paul would have wanted on his tombstone. That’s what I want!
Paul can’t imagine himself apart from/without Christ.
Gal. 2:20 I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND I NO LONGER LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME. THE LIFE I LIVE IN THE BODY, I LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.