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04. To Live Is Christ!

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Philippians: Joyful Living For This Earthly Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:17
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There are 3 Questions that man continues to peruse generation after generation… those who have a Biblical Worldview are able to answer these questions with ease and comfort:
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where are we going?
The answers to these questions will impact ALL of your life’s situations and circumstances!
Paul as he writes the words in our passage today knew the answers… I wonder what scriptures he pondered and meditated on as he sat there in prison expressing the words God would have him share with the Philippian believers:
Maybe in this difficult time he would reflect back on another saint who went through troubles realizing our days belong to God Job 14:1 & Job 14:5
Job 14:1 NASB95
“Man, who is born of woman, Is short-lived and full of turmoil.
Job 14:5 NASB95
“Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass.
The Psalms often bring comfort in difficult times… maybe his mind went to Psalm 139:1-16
Psalm 139:1–16 NASB95
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
Under the extreme comforts of the truths of God’s Words Paul Can answer:
1 ) God is the One who creates and molds us
2 ) God has our days here numbered and determined for a purpose
3 ) With these two answered he gives us the answer to #3
Under the extreme comforts of the truths of God’s Words Paul is able to declare: Philippians 1:18-26
Philippians 1:18–26 NASB95
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

Matter of Life & Death

It has been stated and the statement is very true… “All mankind die, however… some manage to also to truly LIVE!
Paul makes the statement, “to live is Christ!” however in the church today we often see the saints declare loudly with their actions and lives:
our kids activities
sports, hobbies, outdoors
vacation, fun, pleasure
work, go early… stay late
money, wealth, things
family, memories, schedules
self, personal interest, me time
We find ourselves living for temporal things, reasons, and purposes… (these good things become thieves of what God’s best could be for your LIFE!)
Joe Diffie states well this mindset of temporal living, (holding on to this world even if we should die) in the words of his song:
Song by Joe Diffie
Well I ain't afraid of dying, it's the thought of being dead
I wanna go on being me once my eulogy's been read
Don't spread my ashes out to sea, don't lay me down to rest
You can put my mind at ease if you fill my last request
Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die
Lord I wanna go to Heaven, but I don't wanna go tonight
Fill my boots up with sand, put a stiff drink in my hand
Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die
Somehow the things of this world have a draw on us… for the world we should expect such living, BUT for the follower of Jesus Christ… there should be an eternal mindset!
We see in the church today the corrosive of thinking… to live is anything but Christ
Christ comes after death in so many believers minds and hearts
We see the followers of Christ dead in their faith
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” D.L. Moody
Paul is facing potential death yet rejoices because he can fully live!
Paul has learned that God has each day numbered and His hand cannot be moved
Paul finds a confidence and joy in this TRUTH!!!
In fact death was a gain and joy to anticipate for Paul… (What to choose!?)
I get to be with Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Paul would share the same thing with this church bringing courage and comfort!
2 Corinthians 5:6–8 NASB95
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
God knows what purpose He has for each of us… Paul speaks of this FRUITFUL LABOR… Paul shares this with the Ephesians 2:10 church too!
Ephesians 2:10 NASB95
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Why Do You Remain?

FRUITFUL LABOR GOOD WORKS… These things, this kind of Living is Christ sounds a lot like, well WORK!
May I remind you that labor and work came before the fall of man, before sin!
Sin made this difficult Genesis 3
To live as Christ, with a Christ centered mindset and life is hard work
FRUITFUL… filled with the Holy Spirit, His Fruit being lived out in us.
Is your life fruitful?
Paul stated it was necessary for him to stay, to work, to live as Christ… for their sake, for the sake of others!
So often in the church we come together with a consumer mindset… me, me, me!
What an amazing purpose in life to live for outside of yourself… what an investment!
Paul had a desire to see them grow (PROGRESS) in the faith and for them to find greater (JOY) in the faith!
What a purpose! To help others progress and find joy in the faith!
The simple creed or purpose of life has been expressed, “To know Christ and make Him known!John 17:3 Christ Himself declares this truth!
John 17:3 NASB95
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Not only does Paul declare a clear purpose in a Christ centered Life… he rejoices that this purpose will outlive his life!

PRIDE… in self or Christ

An Eternal Mindset
Verse 26 is beautifully captured in the NLT… Philippians 1:26
Philippians 1:26 NLT
And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.
Paul understood that his life, situations, circumstances, struggles, joys, all of it had two paths to take…
It could cause people to look at him and be impressed
Pride = Making God small and you great
Or people could look at him and be amazed with his Savior Jesus Christ
Stepping out of the way so all people see is Jesus
WHAT or WHO have you lived for this week?… or this month, or this year?
Where did we come from?… a creator God who cares!
Why are we here?… to know Him and make Him known!
Where are we going?… eternity with Him or without Him? (YOUR CHOICE)
Will you live in such a way as to answer… “To Live is Christ!”
God has a purpose for you...
Are you helping someone PROGRESS in the faith? Are you PROGRESSING?
Are you striving to help others find JOY in the faith? Do you find its Joy?
May we as His people live in such a way to draw others to Him, setting aside self, that we may boast in Him! I want to close today with the words of Paul to the Ephesians 2:8-10
Ephesians 2:8–10 NASB95
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
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