Faith of the gospel
TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 1:27-30
TITLE: THINKING WELL IN AN UNTHINKING WORLD
THE SINGLE MIND
FAITH OF THE GOSPEL
Ø It has been two weeks since we last looked at Philippians.
Ø This is a letter that reminds us that we must think well.
à In chapter 2 we instructed to think like Christ.
w We are to let the mind of Christ be in us.
w That will certainly change the way we think.
à But in chapter 4:8 we are instructed about what to think.
Ø This letter can be neatly divided by chapters into topics.
à Chapter 1 teaches us about the single mind.
à Chapter 2 speaks to us of the submissive mind.
à Chapter 3 speaks of the spiritual mind.
à Chapter 4 speaks of the secure mind.
Ø All of these different aspects build upon each other.
à For instance, you cannot have a submissive mind if you do not possess the single mind.
w It will take a Biblically focused mind to become truly submissive.
à The submissive mind leads to a spiritual mind.
à And when the single mind, the submissive mind and the spiritual mind are working together they lead to the secure mind.
à The secure mind is a mind that is confident and bold.
Ø We have found out that the way we obtain the single mind is a three point process.
à The first part of the process is when we are in the fellowship of the gospel.
à Simply put, we need to be around those we have something in common with.
à The fellowship of the gospel begins with salvation.
à I don't hang out with the old crowd because I don't have anything in common with them anymore.
à It isn't that I don't love them, it is simply because we are no longer on the same page!
à What can we learn from this?
w That thinking the old way is the wrong way!
Ø But the second part in the process also understands the importance of the furtherance of the gospel.
à Friends, the name of the game is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.
à A single mind understands the great need to get the gospel out to the lost.
à The gospel is usually furthered in three basic ways.
· Circumstances. (negative or positive)
· Contempt. (of others)
· Courage. (our own)
à If the furtherance of the gospel is not your goal then it may be wise to take very careful spiritual inventory.
w This may not mean you are NOT saved but it could easily mean you have fallen from your first love!
Ø But there part in the process of obtaining the single mind.
à You see, the third aspect of the single mind is the faith of the gospel. This is where things get very practical!
à We will see this very clearly in verses 27-30 of chapter 1.
à The faith of the gospel takes shape this way.
w FIRST, our walk.
· The faith of the gospel means we will walk well.
w SECOND, our thoughts.
· The faith of the gospel means we think well.
w THIRDLY, our sacrifice.
· This is the toughest of all because this aspect means we must suffer well.
Ø Our walk, our thoughts and our sacrifice are all part and parcel of the single mind.
Ø It is these that sum up all that the single mind is!
Ø Quite frankly, there can be NO single mind without them!
2. FIRST, WE MUST WALK WELL
A. Look at verse 27 of chapter 1.
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,
B. This first thing is absolutely critical!
C. If there is anything that has hurt the church over the years that I have been alive it is this!
D. The Bible is very clear, “Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel”.
E. So let's ask ourselves, what does it mean to walk well?
i. We can find this out right in this verse. Check it out!
1). We must walk worthy.
2). We must walk consistently.
3). We must walk unified.
F. First let's consider this matter of walking worthy.
i. Sadly much of what goes on in our life on a daily basis is really NOT worthy of the gospel!
ii. The Bible tells us to walk in a new way. Listen to what Paul said in Romans 6:4.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life
iii. To walk in a worthy manner means we can no longer walk the way we once used to walk.
iv. We need to make a distinction about our faith walk and come out and come away from the old ways.
1). This is called separation.
2). We are to come out from among them and be separate!
3). This means, DON'T BE A FENCE WALKER!
v. This involves thinking differently, acting differently, talking differently.
vi. We are also instructed to walk in the Spirit. Once again Paul said these words found in Romans 8:3-4.
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
G. But another way we walk worthy is to walk consistently.
i. Listen again to Philippians 1:27.
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,
H. The key words here are “standing firm” and “striving side by side” and they speak of consistency.
I. Paul desired to go and see these people again but he knew that might not ever happen.
i. His request of them was very simple.
ii. Whether I get to see you, or have to settle for only hearing about you I want to hear that you are standing together, firm in the Spirit with one mind.
iii. This is an admonishment to be consistent!
J. Walking worthy of the gospel also involves being unified.
i. How can two walk together unless they be agreed?
ii. We MUST be on the same page with one another!
1). We need to be on the same ONE Spirit but we also need to be of the SAME mind!
2). We need to be striving TOGETHER side by side!
3). We will get far more done being unified and working together than we could ever hope to get done alone!
K. These are just a few things that are required in order for us to walk worthy of the gospel.
L. The way we walk speaks volumes to those around us.
APPLICATION: WE WILL BE KNOWN MORE FOR WHAT WE DO THAN FOR WHAT WE SAY!
2. SECOND, THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL REQUIRES THAT WE THINK WELL
A. Look at verse 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.
B. This verse speaks to me of unashamed confidence!
i. Friends, confidence is breed by conviction.
ii. And conviction is birthed by our thoughts.
iii. If you think right you will believe right!
iv. If you believe right you won't be swayed by others.
C. We must walk in confidence and you can only do this when you have thought well.
i. You need to know not only WHAT you believe by WHY you believe what you do.
ii. You need to be able to give a defense! Listen to what Peter said about this in 1 Peter 3:15.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
iii. Do you know what this means?
1). You don't run and hide when the JW's come!
2). You don't lock the door and pretend you're not home when the Mormons come.
3). You stopped being afraid of engaging people in matters of faith and belief.
4). We have every right to be confident and bold!
D. We must make a calculated and deliberate decision to think well and then flesh that out by walking according to the Word.
i. The Philippians did this and they became a confident people.
1). Paul told them that he was confident that what God had started He would finish (1:6).
ii. The Philippians thought things through and in their opinion walking with Jesus and being in partnership with Paul was the right place to be.
iii. This is the right place for us as well!
E. Thinking well and having this confidence can occur when you know the One you are walking for!
i. We do not walk blindly, neither should we be thinking blindly.
ii. Many think that to be a Christian and to walk for Jesus means you must commit intellectual suicide.
iii. How untrue this is!
3. LASTLY, WE MUST SUFFER WELL
A. Finally, as we close out this chapter look at verses 29-30.
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, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
B. Do you know that it is possible to suffer and yet fail to suffer well!
C. You see, the only way to suffer well is to suffer for Christ!
D. Not only is this the only way to suffer but it is also required! Look again at verse 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,
E. This is NOT a pleasant thought especially to people who have grown so accustomed to convenience and comfort.
F. But this is an important issue for us today.
G. 1 Peter was a letter written to the church in general.
i. At the time of this writing the church was under severe persecution. Listen to what Peter wrote.
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. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
ii. Of all the countries on planet earth ours is one of the few that DO NOT suffer much for Christ.
iii. People are being martyred for the cause of Christ and the gospel as we gather in the place.
iv. And yet we refuse to step out there and be witnesses in the workplace and in the marketplace.
v. We would rather have people think well of us and we do this often at the expense of the Lord Jesus.
vi. Let me finish this up with Mark 8:38.
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
H. Are you willing to stand for Jesus in a day an time when it simply is NOT acceptable?
i. If you do this you will be “politically incorrect”.
1). But to be “politically correct” you will invariably find yourself “Biblically incorrect”!
ii. You will be called “narrow minded”.
iii. You will be called a “hate monger”.
iv. You will be lied about.
v. You will be criticized.
vi. You will lose promotions.
vii. You may become the “black sheep” of your family.
viii. You will pay a dear price.
ix. Happily, you probably won't pay with your life and some will pay today, but you will pay!
Ø The faith of the gospel is the connecting point for the fellowship of the gospel and the furtherance of the gospel.
Ø The faith of the consists of three critically important parts.
à The first is the fact that we must walk right.
à Second, we must think right.
à Finally, we must suffer right.
Ø As we close out chapter 1 of Philippians can I ask a simple question?
à Do you possess a single mind?
à Is your life and your priorities in line with Christ and the gospel?
Ø Are you in fellowship with the gospel.
à Do you posses a desire to walk with Jesus and promote the gospel?
Ø Are you concerned about the furtherance of the gospel?
à Do you have a desire to reach the lost?
à These are all indicators to help us understand if we possess the single mind.
Ø Would you pray today to ask God to realign your thinking?
Ø Would you devote yourself to having a single mind?