Summary: What’s so great about God? 1. He gives delight from disaster (vs. 12-20). 2. He gives triumph from the tomb (vs. 21-23). 3. He gives a heart to help others (vs. 24-26).

What’s So Great about God?

Philippians 1:12-26

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - August 5, 2012

*We say it in one of the first prayers we ever learn: “God is great.”

-And He really is great!

-We could talk about His greatness all night long.

-And in these verses, Paul shows us some of God’s great ways.

1. What’s so great about God? -- First, He gives us delight from disaster.

*God can give us delight from disaster. He can bring blessings out of our burdens. Tonight we will see God work this way in the life of Paul. And this is Paul’s message to us starting in vs. 12:

12. But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,

13. so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;

*The bad news in these verses was that Paul was in chains. He wasn’t in a dungeon at this point, though he had been before, and he would be again. At this point as a prisoner of Rome, Paul was allowed to live in a house, but he was kept chained to a soldier 24/7. That was the bad news.

*But there is also great news in vs. 12-14, for Paul said:

12. . . I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,

13. so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;

14. and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

*The great news is that the gospel was being spread to many new places, to many new people, and by many new people. The gospel was being spread!

*The most important news the world will ever hear was being spread far and wide:

-The great news that God loves us in spite of our sins.

-The great news that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead.

-The great news that God will forgive our sins and give us eternal life, if we will turn to Him and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

*And God was using the bad news about Paul to help spread the good news about Jesus.

*That’s the way God operates.

-He loves to bring good things out of the bad things in our lives.

-He loves to bring blessings out of our burdens.

*We see more evidence of this truth in vs. 15-18, where Paul said:

15. Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill:

16. The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains;

17. but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.

18. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

*Even when the gospel was being preached with a bad motive, God brought good things out of bad.

-As Christians, we have seen God bring good things out of bad many times.

-He gives delight from disaster.

*And if you are a Christian, then Romans 8:28 is at work in your life. There Paul famously tells believers: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

-And we may not be able to see it yet, but God is going to bring some kind of good out of every bad thing that happens to us.

*I think about my parents a lot this time of year. My mom’s birthday was yesterday, and my dad was born on Aug. 10th. Our Katie was born on the same day. Mom died on Aug. 1st. My dad had died 18 years earlier on Aug. 2nd. He was buried on my mother’s birthday, but there is very little sadness in my heart today, because I know they are both in Heaven!

*I had the privilege of helping my own mother come to know Jesus. It happened in the church office building at McClendon Baptist Church 28 years ago. Back in those days, that building was the parsonage and we lived there for 5 years.

*Every time the youth director walks back to sit at her desk, she passes the place where my mother got saved. Talk about holy ground!

*Before my mother met my dad, she had a sad life. Both of her parents were alcoholics. And she went through a terrible marriage at 17. It was so bad that she never talked about it, even once. Mom’s life brightened after World War II, when she met and married my dad. But he passed away at only age 55, so, she was mad at God. But 8 years later Mom saw God’s Hand at work through those tragic circumstances. And she was ready to trust in Jesus. Mom was 68-years-old, and she had been through many detours in her life. But she put her trust in Jesus, and 10 years later He took her home.

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