Sermons

Summary: Proposition: We live as God’s ambassadors in a fallen world, and while we are here we must stand together in unity.

Walking In Two Worlds

Text: Phil. 1:27-30

Introduction

1. Illustration: When you walk in two worlds

Hold your head up high,

When you walk in two worlds

Keep your sights to the sky,

Remember you're in this place

But of another race.

You move to a different pace,

The drumbeat of the sky,

Walking in two worlds.

2. As Christians we live with the great truth that we live in two worlds.

a. We live as a part of our society that is fallen, sinful, and hostile to the God that created us.

b. We also live as citizens of heaven whose real home is with God for eternity, but we live here in this world as His ambassador's.

3. Paul tells us that while we live here we are to...

a. Stand Together

b. Fight Together

c. In This Together

4. Let's stand together as we read Phil. 1:27-30

Proposition: We live as God’s ambassadors in a fallen world, and while we are here we must stand together in unity.

Transition: First, Paul tells us to...

I. Stand Together (27).

A. Standing Side By Side

1. If you've ever been to a foreign country you are familiar with the idea that everybody is watching you.

a. It's like everyone knows you're an American, and you feel out of place.

b. That is very similar to what it's like being a Christian.

2. It is because of this sense that everyone is watching that Paul tells the Philippian's, "Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ."

a. Paul is making a word play on the fact that they live in two worlds.

b. They are citizens of Rome by virtue of the fact that they are live in Philippi.

c. This was something they were very proud of and it afforded them privileged status as a Roman colony granted them by Augustus Caesar.

d. But on the other hand they were citizens of Heaven.

e. What he is saying here is live where you're at by to do it in a manner worthy as a citizen of Heaven. In common terms we are to "represent."

f. What Paul had prayed for them in vv. 9-11, he is now insisting that they put into practice.

g. What Paul is referring to here is the ethical content of the gospel.

h. There is more to the Christian life than being saved; we have to live it out on a daily basis (Fee, 161-162).

3. Then Paul talks about standing together. He says, "Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side..."

a. The phrase "standing side by side" is more literally translated "standing in one Spirit."

b. While most English translations render this spirit as in the human spirit, it should be more appropriately translated Spirit as in the Holy Spirit.

c. "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel" (NIV 2011).

d. First, because there was no precedence in Greek literature for it to be used that way.

e. Second, Paul uses the same language is several of his other letters as "in one Spirit" (meaning the Holy Spirit).

f. Third, it is impossible for a group of people to stand together without the Holy Spirit's help.

g. The Holy Spirit is the source of our unity. Only by standing in the one Holy Spirit can we have any hope of unity (Fee, 165-166).

4. Then Paul gives the reason for our standing together. He says, "...fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News."

a. The reason that we need to stand in one Spirit is so that we can "fight together for the faith, which is the Good News."

b. The word fight is the Greek word atheleo which is were our English word athlete comes from, and it means to engage in an athletic contest.

c. Often athletes will talk about fighting together in a sporting event, and occasionally refer to themselves as warriors.

d. We are to fight together and defend the Gospel (Fee, 166-167).

B. Unity

1. Illustration: In what the news called "The Miracle at Quecreek," nine miners trapped for three days 240 feet underground in a water-filled mine shaft "decided early on they were either going to live or die as a group." The 55 degree (Fahrenheit) water threatened to kill them slowly by hypothermia, so according to one news report "When one would get cold, the other eight would huddle around the person and warm that person, and when another person got cold, the favor was returned." "Everybody had strong moments," miner Harry B. Mayhugh told reporters after being released from Somerset Hospital in Somerset. "But any certain time maybe one guy got down, and then the rest pulled together. And then that guy would get back up, and maybe someone else would feel a little weaker, but it was a team effort. That’s the only way it could have been." They faced incredibly hostile conditions together—and they all came out alive together. What a picture of the body of Christ.

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