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Living Out The Gospel Together (Part 2)

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:45
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Living worthy of the gospel means standing together against opposition and pursuing courageous, humble service together.

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Recap

Paul wants to get a report back that the church is not risk averse when it comes to reaching others with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants to hear that they are STANDING firm while they are a SIGN to those looking on.
FULL TEXT:
Philippians 1:27–2:4 ESV
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

WHAT ARE SOME KEY EVIDENCES THAT WE ARE LIVING OUT THE GOSPEL TOGETHER…?

1. STAND FIRM
2. BE THE SIGN

3. Believe and Suffer Well (1:29-30)

Philippians 1:29–30 ESV
29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
While I don’t want to get too far out of order, let’s start with that phrase (which is actually the most important phrase in this little passage…the one that holds up the rest) “for the sake of Christ”.
Psalm 23:3 ESV
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 25:11 ESV
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Psalm 109:21 ESV
21 But you, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
Psalm 143:11 ESV
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
Isaiah 48:9 ESV
9 “For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.

How about the word, “GRANTED”

charizomai
The word translated as granted is more often used in the context of forgiveness, sharing the same basic root as grace. It is also used to describe granting something positive, as in 2:9 where Jesus is given a name above all others.
Philippians 1:29 ESV
29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

BELIEVE

The faith you need to believe is actually a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:1–10 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
You were dead…You needed a breath to get to the lifeline - God gave you that breath, that faith! It’s a gift of grace.
AREN’T YOU THANKFUL THAT YOU BELIEVE?
AREN’T YOU GRATEFUL THAT THE LORD, IN HIS MERCY, LET YOU HEAR AND RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL...
YOU OUGHT TO SING OUT LOUD!
Grace alone which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone

SUFFER

But we must take note that “Believing” is not the only gift given to us for the sake of Christ…the only element granted. Equally…Paul names suffering.
So why phrase it this way as a “gift”? From a human perspective, not many people want to suffer. Suffering is often viewed more as a burden to bear than as a gift to cherish. Phrased as it is, Paul presents suffering as a special thing graciously granted by God. It’s like the difference between an invitation saying, “Come on over!” and one that reads, “We graciously request the pleasure of your presence.”
1 Peter 1:6–7 ESV
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:12 ESV
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
The suffering which comes to a Christian as a Christian, far from being evidence of divine forgetfulness (as we in our easy rebellion often understand it), is rather ‘sign, omen and proof’ of the reality of the work of grace, for ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’.
[The Message of Philippians b. Christians See Their True Spiritual State]
God has not forgotten you. God has gifted you…he has entrusted this suffering to you…for the sake of His Great Name!
A biblical theology of SUFFERING & THE GOSPEL - posits itself radically opposed to the prosperity gospel of the age.
Jesus didn’t die to make us healthy, wealthy, and wise. He saved us so that we might lose ourselves in him - lay down our lives for the sake of others - and be spent for His glory alone!
To be clear, we don’t suffer in the same way as Jesus; His death was an atoning death. But our symbol for life and ministry is a cross, not a recliner, not a flat screen, not first-class tickets on the airplane, and not plush golf courses. It is a cross. (Merida)
It is one thing to accept suffering and resign oneself to it. It is another to realize the privileges that come through it.
Paul wants the Philippian church to think of their struggle as a sign of salvation.
The Good News came through suffering.
God is glorified through our suffering, when we trust Him!
In October 2014, Sonya Isaacs had a stillborn (6 month) baby girl. From the pain and heartache of that incredible experience, she penned...
I LOVE YOU MORE (Sonya Isaacs)
(v1)
It's not Your fault I won't blame You
Even though You didn't make the mountain move
You must've known that in time
I'd get so much closer to You as I climb
Because You gave me strength when I was weak
Because You never lost Your faith in me
(chorus)
I love You more than I did before
Cause when I needed You
You were there to pull me through
I love You still Though I don't understand Your will
Because You've been so faithful to me,
Lord I love You more
(v2)
Without some rain nothing would grow
Without some pain -- how would we ever know
That our tears break Your heart
And that's when You hurt the most
I'm finding every time You hold me close
-----------------
From his recent book entitled Suffering, Paul David Tripp writes these words:
Suffering is never abstract, theoretical, or impersonal. Suffering is real, tangible, personal, and specific. The Bible never presents suffering as an idea or concept, but puts it before us in the blood-and-guts drama of real human experiences...
Scripture never looks down on the sufferer, it never mocks his pain, it never turns a deaf ear to his cries, and it never condemns him for his struggle. It presents to the sufferer a God who understands, who cares, who invites us to come to him for help, and who promises one day to end all suffering of any kind once and forever. Because of this, the Bible, while being dramatically honest about suffering, is at the same time gloriously hopeful…it gives us concrete and real hope.
Brothers and Sisters, Hope has a name, it’s Jesus Christ!
And it is for the sake of His name that we STAND FIRM (TOGETHER), REVEAL HIM TO OTHERS (TOGETHER), BELIEVE AND SUFFER (TOGETHER)...

AND (FINALLY) WE LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL TOGETHER, AS WE...

4. Serve Selflessly and Sacrificially (2:1-4)

Philippians 2:1–4 ESV
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
“The Apostle knew that to create unity and harmony you need first to have humility of mind. People do not quarrel when their ambitions have come to an end. When everyone is willing to be the least; when everyone desires to place others higher than themselves - there is an end to contentious cliques.” Alistair Begg
There’s nothing like being part of a local church on mission together; no group, no team, no organization is like the church, the fellowship of the gospel. Don’t be a secret agent, a little ninja running off by yourself! Be part of the unit! Be part of the team! Pray, give, go, encourage, invest, and support. Be a soldier. And do so in Christ’s power. (Merida)

PRIVILEGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

We spoke of the PRIVILEGES of citizenship earlier…Here are some privileges we know well in this place:
encouragement in Christ
comfort from love
participation/fellowship in the Spirit
genuine affection
abounding sympathy/mercy
For me, one of the greatest illustrations of all of these benefits on display is found in the Scripture where Jesus washes the disciples feet.
John 13:3–5 ESV
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
It’s hard to think too highly of yourself, when you’re washing others’ feet.
Here are the RESPONSIBILITIES:
Be unified in your set mind / doctrine
We will be unified in our essential doctrines, show charity in the liberty of our non-essential doctrines - BUT WE ARE TOGETHER - UNITED!
Be unified in your love / selfless expressive agape love
(Remember in verses 8-9 - I have a passionate right kind of love for the church...Keep on loving each other like this and let it grow. Tether it to knowledge and all discernment)
We will love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
We will love one another - sacrificially at times.
We will love those outside the faith enough to pray for and engage them (across the street and around the world)
Be driven by humility (thinking of yourself less)
Don’t let selfish ambition drive your church activity
Don’t look to build YOUR ministry here
Look for others to celebrate
Look for others to serve
which means we need to connect with one another. more deeply than small talk as a drive-by on a Sunday
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes,
“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays...Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” (Mere Christianity, 128)
Look out for one another as you do yourself
Remember from our previous section of the text (finishing in v26) (2 weeks ago), one of our final thoughts was that Paul was joyful because he was a GOSPEL-FIRST MAN AND AN “OTHERS”-FIRST MAN.
In the Philippian Church (and in a GOSPEL-REVEALING COMMUNITY LIKE GRACE COVENANT) Gospel-oriented unity shows itself in the care for others—counting others more significant than themselves and looking out for the interests of others.
​Humility is key to our progress as a covenant body of this kind of service!
Jesus said,
Mark 12:28–31 ESV
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
There’s very little you there…Except giving YOUR all to God and whatever you’re doing for you…do for others.
“At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend” (John Stott, “Pride, Humility and God,” 2–3).
Isaiah 66:2 reads, “...this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
CALL FOR MUSICIANS / CLOSE

SUMMARY: How can we live worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How is this evidenced?

1. STAND FIRM, AS WE STAND TOGETHER!
2. BE THE SIGN…THAT POINTS TO JESUS - TOGETHER!
3. BELIEVE AND SUFFER WELL FOR CHRIST’S SAKE - AS A BODY, A FAMILY!
4. SERVE SELFLESSLY AND SACRIFICIALLY TOGETHER!
--------------

BENEDICTION

Luke 10:2 ESV
2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
How can we pray for the lost friends and family that we know?
How can we pray for the people in SouthEnd who may not have a living relationship with you?
The Lord commanded us, in view of the eternal needs of the people around us, to pray earnestly that He would send out laborers into the harvest fields.
PRAYER:
Lord, we’re asking you to do that this week…send us out to do the work of ministry - sharing the Gospel and making Disciples.
We thank you for GIFTING US with a LIVING FAITH in you and for your custom cut gift of SUFFERING AND DISCOMFORT. Fill us with your Spirit so our suffering will not be a pit of despair but a pulpit of declaration for your name’s sake as you enable us to DIE TO OURSELVES AND SERVE ONE ANOTHER WITH LOVE AND HUMILITY.
Lord, as you do this, it will be a peculiar, counter-cultural aroma that will testify to an unbelieving world, that you have changed us!
Be glorified as we are sensitive to open doors to be witnesses for you to others - across the street and around the world.
We ask all of this for the sake of your Great Name! Amen.
Now, Beloved, go be the answer to Jesus’ prayer this week!
--------------
Prayer around the front of the church: Heb 4.14-16
Hebrews 4:14–16 ESV
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Focus:
- Griffin Family
- Church Family
- Memorial Service at 3pm (Christ exalting, Gospel-proclaiming)
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