Faithlife Sermons

Paul's Affirmation of Faith

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Faith brings peace in crisis

Philippians 1:21–24 CSB
21 For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. 23 I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ—which is far better— 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
Philippians 1:21 CSB
21 For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
phil 1 21
phil 1 21-
What does this phrase mean? To live is Christ.
Literally: to live is the Messiah.
What is Paul saying?
The essence of life is because of Christ.
Before our faith in Christ we were not really living.
We were fools groping in darkness.
We were cattle headed for the slaughter.
We were dead people walking.
The things we did had no eternal purpose. Everything we did would end. Everything we did had a deadline.
After faith in Christ, we have been giving life!
There is now an expectation of continuance. We live this life by faith.
Galatians 2:19–20 CSB
19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The purpose of life is wrapped up in Christ.
After faith in Christ, the purpose of our life is no longer to please ourselves, but to please our Master. He has given us stewardship of His word until He returns, and He will ask us to give an account.
Matthew 24:45–51 CSB
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and starts to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 that servant’s master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The will of Christ determines our future.
Paul knows what his future will be because Christ had given him a command.
In general: Christ had commanded that we be witnesses of Him to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8 CSB
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Specifically: God had given Paul a specific command.
Acts 9:15 CSB
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and Israelites.
To live is Christ, to die is gain.
this is the reality for the believer.
Philippians 1:21–24 CSB
21 For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should choose. 23 I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ—which is far better— 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
look at what Paul is saying: to live is going to mean fruitful work…we know it…but to die is to be with Christ—to receive all that He has promised, to finish the race!
Are you looking forward to another year of life, because you know it will mean fruitful kingdom work? Think about what Paul is saying: is there someone alive that need you to continue living for their maturity in Christ?
Are you looking forward to dying, because it will mean that you enjoy your reward with Christ?

Faith gets the attention of God

2 Chronicles 16:9 CSB
9 For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to show himself strong for those who are wholeheartedly devoted to him. You have been foolish in this matter. Therefore, you will have wars from now on.”
Hebrews 11:6 CSB
6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Philippians 1:25–26 CSB
25 Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that, because of my coming to you again, your boasting in Christ Jesus may abound.
phil 1
There is a great window into Christ’s love for the church in this passage:
Paul is so confident that the Lord values the faith the of the local church so much, that he believes he will be delivered simply because the church has asked God for it.
Because the church has helped Paul at a sacrifice to themselves, he believes that his deliverance would be a source of joy for the church. They asked God for something and He gave it to them. They invested in kingdom work and it was not in vain. Paul is confident that God will not put their faith to shame.
Revelation 1:17–20 CSB
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19 Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
the church is so precious to Jesus, that He would make a decision for Paul’s life based on the prayers of the church.
Remember that although God called Paul in , He didn’t send Paul out to the nations until Paul was in covenant with the church of Antioch,

Faith overcomes the unknown

phil 1 27-30
Philippians 1:27–30 CSB
27 Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, 28 not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation—and this is from God. 29 For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are engaged in the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I have.
Paul can’t predict the future and neither can the church. However, the church’s faith must overcome their uncertainty about the future.
They should not be paralysed by what is happening to Paul or to them. They are being persecuted as well.
Paul says that their persistence in continuing to share the gospel—not cowering in fear of their opponents—is a sign of their salvation and their opponents’ destruction.
Paul says that their suffering has been given to them by Christ. But they are citizens of heaven.
For them, a faithful response to what is happening, is to continue sharing the gospel. They are to do this together. They are to make their stand in their generation together.
Paul is convinced that the Philippian Church’s faith is sufficient for getting through this time.
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