Faith brings peace in crisis
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.
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.
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.
Specifically: God had given Paul a specific command.
To live is Christ, to die is gain.
this is the reality for the believer.
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
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.
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
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.