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Paul Gives Thanks - 2

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
February 13, 2022 6:00 pm

Paul Gives Thanks - 2

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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February 13, 2022 6:00 pm

The Apostle Paul thanks God for evidences of grace in the lives of Philippian believers. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his expositional series in Philippians chapter 1.

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As you know, Paul writes to the church at Philippi from his Roman imprisonment where he is under house arrest ended this epistle as inland all his other epistles, Paul follows the format that is standard for letters in his day, and therefore he begins with the customary salutation, which we looked at last week which identifies the author.

The recipient and a word of greeting following that in most epistles, there is one of two different elements that may be either a health wish. May you prosper and be in good health. We have only one other epistle in our New Testament that follows that format that is third John or John writes the elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love and truth.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers so that will normally follow the greeting in the salutation, or a short statement of thanks to the gods general plural without specificity or to a particular God, Zeus or whoever it may be the statements of thanks are usually very brief, perfunctory almost routine you don't sense any strong attachment to the meaning of those statements in most of the epistles that day. Paul chooses the second option of the two. In the epistolary epistolary format of his day, namely after the reading he gives thanks to God and his case that generally is an extended period standard statement of thanks that goes on for several verses as it does in the Philippian epistle as a matter fact you find such a statement of thanks and all of Paul's 13 epistles except for two namely Galatians and Titus all the others follow the same pattern is doubtless this word of thanks doubtless is a great encouragement to the Philippians, but it is also an opportunity for instruction as well as encouragement to us and so will be helpful for us to take a close look at what was, for which Paul gave thanks what caused Paul to break into great thanksgiving to God. What causes you to give thanksgiving to God. In Paul's case there are four item Paul, first of all, thanks God for their that is the Philippians past their history. I thank my God, he says, for every remembrance of you precious memories. Paul didn't have that song in his day, but he might've been singing if it were available to him.

Precious memory is how they linger, thinking about the Philippian church.

His heart was filled with praise because his heart was filled with good memories of what took place while he ministered in that location.

Now, many of those memories we know about because the recorded in Scripture, though I'm sure they're far more that we don't know about because they are not recorded for us. Let's think about Paul's beginning in the city of Philippi, he and Silas and Timothy and Titus and Luke as far as we can tell those five men who made up the missionary team arrived in Philippi, a Roman city and I think expected to find a synagogue because the city was was large and to their surprise, they found none. Paul's customer course was to go to the synagogue's first because of the custom of that day when a traveling rabbi and Paul was a rabbi arrived in a synagogue he would be invited to speak a word to the congregation.

Paul use that as an opening for the gospel so he always started in the synagogue and preach the gospel there until he was invited to leave and that he would go out to other places and continue to preach the gospel. Paul came to Philippi and he inquired they said no synagogue here but someone must've told him there are a few women who gather on the Sabbath day, down by the Riverside and they have some sort of a synagogue type service to the extent that they're able to do that and so that's where Paul goes and we read in verse 16 of acts of verse 13 rather back 16 and on the Sabbath. We went out of the city to the Riverside where prayer was customarily made and we sat down and spoke to the women who met their not a man among certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worship God.

The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul, and when she and her household were baptized. She begged us, saying if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay so she persuaded them. Lydia significant conversion notice how the spirit of God writing through word prompting the historian Dr. Luke to write these words. Notice how the spirit of God describes the conversion of Lydia. None of the terms that we normally hear such descriptions today. He doesn't say Lydia heard the gospel and she made a decision for Christ.

Lydia heard the gospel and she invited Jesus into your heart.

Lydia heard the gospel and and I'm sure all those things are true, not saying they didn't happen. But notice where the Scripture places the emphasis Lydia heard the gospel from Paul and the Lord opened her heart so that she heard so that she attended to the things that were spoken by Paul, and as a result of that she believed as a result of that she made a decision. If you want to call it that, as a result of that she embraced Jesus Christ as her Savior and other members of her household believed the word of God as well and she was baptized as a testimony of her faith in Christ, and she invited the missionary team to come and lodge in her home.

They need the place to stay, and she apparently was a wealthy woman with a large house and she said come stay with me if you consider me to be faithful if you consider me to be worthy of this honor of providing hospitality for you and that was the beginning of the church in Philippi without the church met in her house and others were added to the Lord in that location. We read in the same chapter about the remarkable account of a demon possessed slave girl who told fortunes and made a lot of money for her Masters and she started following Paul of the team around the city and crying out. These are servants of the most high God. These are servants of the most high God. What she said was true. Very true, but it was coming from a rather questionable source. This endorsement and after a while Paul's that we gotta stop this week. It isn't helpful to the cause of the gospel to have the devil endorsing our ministry and so he commanded the demon to come out of her, and instantly she was freed of her demon possession and instantly was unable to tell fortunes anymore.

Oh, and her masters were enraged. This affected their livelihood. This affected their pocketbook and they drag all the others before the magistrates. That's how they ended up in jail and that famous Philippian jail.

But Paul thinking back upon that incident apparently is not focusing upon their beating is not focusing upon the stocks is not focusing upon the humiliation is not focusing upon the inconvenience to them.

He's focusing on the work of God, look what God did. God opened the heart of Lydia and many others. God freed this slave girl from her demon possession and in the process. No doubt saved her soul as well.

That of course we all know about the conversion of the Philippian jailer all the air earthquake shook the jail in the middle of the night with Paul and Silas were what complaining about this injustice to come to them. They were in jail for nothing more than preaching the gospel. No Paul and Silas were singing hymns of praise to God at midnight, even as they were flinching from the beatings which they had received in the aching of their bones and body and perhaps even wishing that they could wipe some of the blood that was trickling down there cheeks send other parts of their body but being in stocks. They were unable to do so and what were they doing, they were singing the first century version of amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see the prisoners were hearing them say and maybe even the jailer was hearing them say that an earthquake shook the jail in the jailer assumed when he realized the magnitude of the earthquake in the.

The gates, the doors of the cells were flung open and that prisoners had ability to escape, he feared for his own life because under Roman law. If a Roman official soldier, jailer, whatever allowed a prisoner to escape that the punishment that would befall on that prisoner is placed upon the one who allowed them to escape. And so the jailer knows that some of those prisoners are going to be executed and he'd rather take his own life and suffer execution at the hands of others, so he drew his sword was getting ready to kill himself and Paul calls out do yourself no harm. For we are all here had explained that I don't have trouble explaining why Paul and Silas were there. They trusted God and they had no reason to flee but how to explain these other prisoners all having the opportunity to flee and they just stay put. I don't know how to explain that, but it certainly is remarkable is that. Do yourself no harm.

For we are all here the jailer took a light and he sprang into evaluate the situation and he cried out to Paul servers what must I do to be saved. I've heard people say that the jailer wasn't talking about eternal salvation.

He was talking about his own life. What must I do to be saved from execution but that doesn't make sense.

The prisoners were all there.

The danger of his execution has now passed that that is no longer an issue. So I think it's clear that he had been listening to them singing and he was brought under conviction by the spirit of God. And when he cried out servers but what must I do to be saved.

He met what must I do to be cleansed from my sins.

What must I do to be made right with the God who so powerful that he can perform a miracle like this. Paul said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and your house a Presbyterian friends and I have many wonderful friends. Among them, godly Bible believing men and women.

Presbyterian friends said there must've been some little babies in that household also believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved in your house, and he baptized them there must've been some babies that were baptized there. No, keep reading, keep reading, keep reading when you get to verse 34 you read, now 20, and brought them out into his house. He set food before them, and he rejoiced. Having believed in God with all his household. All the ones who were baptized at also believed in God old enough to do that. Not infant. Among them was baptized right because thinking about all these things precious memory, how they linger when I think about the Philippian site. Think about these incidents and probably others as well. There was a holding gathering of souls in Philippi. We read this in the last verse of chapter 16 of acts so they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia and when they had seen the brethren they encourage them, and departed that we've only learned about Lydia and her household. We don't know who all was involved in her household, and the demon possessed damsel who would have been in this group the Philippian jailer still probably at his house. When Paul visits Lydia's home and there she he meets with the brethren. Clearly, others had been gathered in. There was a pretty good number of believers at this point there was a good start on the church in Philippi and no doubt every one of them had a story to tell. Like Lydia, like the jailer like a demon possessed gal and is Paul, 13 years later in Roman confinement is thinking about what God has done their these memories are precious to his soul.

I thank God upon every remembrance of you, Paul is giving thanks for their past these memories. He goes on to tell us in verse four are joyful always in every prayer of mine, making request for you all with joy. The first part of verse four is very common it's it's it's something we we read another epistle that's a statement that will read a number of times and other places. That's the way Paul frequently frames his prayers for others but that phrase with joy is the unique factor in the Philippian epistle Paul doesn't say that very often but here he does always in every prayer of mine, making request for you all with joy with joy. Number 1/16 times is going to use a form of the verb in the Philippian epistle. This is the first one is the joyful epistle Paul is filled not only with precious memories but with joyful memories from the Philippian church and so recalling God's wondrous works.

He gives thanks to God and in giving thanks to God. His heart rejoices and so his remembering their history stimulates Thanksgiving and he is Thanksgiving stimulates prayer to God and his prayer to God increases his joy in spite of difficult circumstances both now in Rome, and then when he was in Philippi because it's clear that Paul's joy is not related to his personal circumstances, but it is related to the welfare of the kingdom of Christ. That's what is so different about Paul and most of us. I asked you earlier what you give thanks for what I give thanks. When God gives me a new job. I give thanks when I have the birth of a new child or grandchild.

I give thanks. When God restores my health. I give thanks. When God sends some blessing like my way and indeed we should if we don't we are most ungrateful.

We are we are ungrateful wretches. If we don't give God thanks in those situations, but Paul isn't thinking about any of those things. When he gives thanks to God with joy for them. He's thinking about the conversion of Lydia. He's thinking about the they your rescue of the of the slave girl he's thinking about the conversion of the Philippian jailer he's thinking about the beginning of a church in Philippi. He's thinking about the spiritual health of the church is not thinking about his stocks and bonds and imprisonments and hardships. He's giving God thanks for what God is doing to advance the kingdom of Christ and the gospel and you see that doesn't depend on his circumstances. Because of that Paul could give thanks even in the worst of his own personal circumstances because he's not focusing on those. Those are trivial in comparison with the gospel. The conversion of soul planting of churches. The advancement of Christ kingdom. So Paul gives thanks for their past for their history. Do you regularly.

Thank God for his grace and your history, if not, maybe that explains your pessimism, your discouragement, your lack of joy. And if that's your case, then I would encourage you to employ Paul's practice of giving thanks to God for the evidences of his working in this world and the lives of others in the advancement of Christ kingdom and as you do that will not only bring honor to Christ which is the main reason for doing it, but it's going to help you get to help your frame of mind. It's going to help your Outlook. It's going to help your attitude.

It's going to fill your heart with joy so number one call thanks God for their past. Number two. Paul thanks God for their partnership verse five for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now for the partnership, which is a tangible partnership and a consistent partnership a tangible partnership for your partnership or your fellowship rather in the gospel from the first day until now fellowship going to New York is the Greek word is a very rich word that has a lot of different nuances to it, it means communion means fellowship. It means participation. It means partnership reminds us that when Christ draws men and women to himself. He also draws them one another.

We belong to those who belong to Christ. I told you this before. You don't choose your human family. Sometimes you wish I didn't have this relative or that relative but I stuck with them because that's the what should I say the unavoidable results of my birth in the family and I meant and so forth. But though I can't choose my relatives. At least I can choose my friends not of the body of Christ. God chooses those two chooses them for you and he draws it to himself draws it to other believers in Christ, we belong to those who belong to Christ and Paul is grateful because the Philippians are practically involved in the work of the gospel. I thank God for your fellowship.

Your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. Immediately after they were saying. They started participating in the work of the gospel were not told exactly how we would assume that this had to do with proclaiming the gospel in the city of Philippi doing what they could to build up the church that was there. One thing we do know for sure. A lot of things were not sure because are not told us one thing we do know for sure is that the Philippians were unusual in their financial partnership with Paul will see that as this epistle unfolds. Particularly, we get to chapter 4 where Paul thanks them profusely for their multiple two of gifts over the years, beginning very early on starting when he was in Thessalonica just just 100 miles from Philippi and continuing on a regular basis over all his ministry and once again when he's in Rome.

They sent another gift mind record of that here in Philippi, so the one thing we know for sure that they did in partnership with the gospel in relationship to the apostle Paul was supported him financially, generously, regularly repeatedly, and Paul calls that your fellowship, your partnership in the gospel.

It is I say a tangible partnership.

It's not a pat on the back and God bless you and go to a brother. It is here we will out of our resources out of our pocket book out of our savings out of our income. We will help you in your gospel work a tangible partnership and a consistent corporate partnership.

They were doing that all along he says from the first day that would be about A.D. 49. Until now, about A.D. 62 faithfully consistently over a 13 year period without interruption from the first day until now was the way one translation puts it.

Paul thanks God for their partnership. They didn't start helping Paul and then get distracted go on to something else.

They kept it up. They kept it up. They kept it up there some who start well in their Christian endeavors and then fall by the wayside.

Does that describe you. I hope not, whereas others start well and continue faithfully on does that describe you. I hope that it does that not to be the goal of all of us and we ought to endeavor to become ever yet more faithful in our service to the Lord as we pray, keep me Lord, O keep me cleaving to thyself and still be leaving till the hour of my receiving problems, joys with the their partnership. Paul thanks God for their past. Paul thanks God for their partnership because he recognizes that the gospel is a team effort everyone can do something in financial partnership is highly significant in the work of the gospel and so he thanks God for their partnership number three. He thanks God for their perseverance verse six being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will completed until the day of Jesus Christ.

Their perseverance from a gracious beginning to what Paul is sure will be a guaranteed completion is a certain of that as if they were already there was a gracious beginning was a good work be done. He's talking here of course about salvation, but again he attributes it to what to the sovereign work of God's grace again. He doesn't say being confident of this very thing, that from the day you asked Jesus into your heart from the day that you made a decision for Jesus until the final day you will continue because Paul actually doesn't have strong confidence in that but he is strong confidence in this, that he, God, who has begun a good work in you will completed until the day of Jesus Christ.

Policy sure that every profession of faith is genuine faith.

Paul is ensure that every decision is a Holy Spirit right decision, but Paul is sure that every work of salvation begun by the Spirit of God is going to be completed out any possibility of failure. If this work indeed had a gracious beginning that is in the work of God, then it also has a guaranteed completion cannot fail because God began it, and therefore God will perform it until that day. Paul is totally confident of that. Is Nick. He's not confident in them, but is confident God I was shuffling for something were saying earlier goes right along those lines, but I can't remember which of the two or three hymns we sang that it was then slow. That search, but Paul's not confident in them is confident in God. What God begins God completes.

If you began it, you may end it.

You may fail.

You may fall.

You may change your mind. You may read verse chorus. But if God began. It it's going on to the very end. You can be absolutely certain of that. If God began it, it cannot fail, he will completed any will completed at the day of Jesus Christ. That is, at the time of Christ return. That's the goal. Because when that day arrives, then our salvation will be locked in on so to speak, then will be entirely sanctified, then we will be sinless without any possibility of sin, whereas now we know that it is possible to see the return of Jesus Christ.

As is the goal, and God will work until he brings us to that state of accomplishment for God is getting ready for us to see and to share in the glory of Christ, we are going to see that glory with our own sanctified eyes we are going to share in that glory with our completed, sanctified, lives, and so on that day when his bride is complete and we are entirely sanctified, then the goal will be reached and then the enemy cannot assault us then nothing can trip us up. But if God began the work even though now we are vulnerable.

We are still protected and guaranteed until the day of Christ return when we shall begin eternity with him. Please note this guarantee is for the work which God began not for anything that you did that takes me back to what I said earlier the problem with asking Jesus into your heart is anybody can say the words, but are these words that are that are prompted by the work of the Holy Spirit who can tell the problem of making a decision for Christ. Anybody can walk and I'll anybody can pray a prayer. Anybody can raise a hand in the strength of the flesh. That's something that we can do without God. Obviously, if God is work. It accomplishes nothing. And that's a problem that's the point. This person walks and I'll because God is working these parties under conviction. This person walks in the Nile for some other reason.

They both walk in Ireland both kneel at the altar. They both made a personal worker. They both pray a prayer. They both asked Jesus into their heart. One does so because that's the outflow of the work of the Holy Spirit. The other one does so because of an emotional response because of fear of hell or something else, but not because that the Holy Spirit has wrought new life within him. You see it's not the things that we do the triggers the new birth, it is the new birth of the Holy Spirit. Does the triggers genuine faith. Genuine repentance, genuine prayers of Christ to God for mercy.

It is the work that God's spirit does the prompts. Those that are genuine so Paul's not confident that anything that you did is going to guarantee your final perseverance. But Paul is absolutely confidence in what God has done. Guarantee it.

It's not your profession of faith, but his creation of life's work is known by its fruit life manifest itself by demonstrating the fruit of life. Spiritual life manifests itself by demonstrating spiritual fruit with us preferred of the spirit of you please. Paul is saying here is in some way similar to the old conundrum. Do you believe in. Once saved always saved.

I do, but I don't necessarily mean by that with some people be by that's where the problem comes in. Once saved yes saved by the grace of God saved by the power of God saved by the work of the Holy Spirit saved onto the new birth. Yes, once saved always saved for sure, but not once having made a profession of faith, always saved. That's not what the Bible teaches. That's not what that doctrine says if is properly understood, but that's the way it is understood by many. I believe in eternal security. I believe once saved always saved.

I was thinking I was seven years old.

I've got nothing to worry about.

Where's the fruit where's the life where's the evidence that God is not a work well. I know there's not much there, and I will get many rewards, but thank God I'm guaranteed of Kevin no, you're not. I'm sorry no I'm not sorry to tell you I'm thankful for the opportunity to tell you because you need to know this. No, you are not your guaranteed of heaven.

If God has begun a good work in you and that's what you need to be looking for. So what is Paul thanking God for number one.

Their past number to their partnership one number three there perseverance and number four their performance. Verse seven just as he says it is right for me to think this of you all to think of your salvation unto eternity. It is right for me to think this of you all, because now is going to give two reasons why he thinks this is true of them because number one I have you in my heart. And number two. Inasmuch as both of my trains in and the defense and confirmation of the gospel you are partakers with me of grace. Paul first of all, gives a subjective evaluation of their state and then secondly, an object if evaluation of their state. Paul first of all it expresses an emotional attachment to the Philippians that he takes as some level of evidence that they are genuinely God's people is right for me to think this of you because I have you in my heart I feel this way about you. Paul felt close to them. He had them in his heart.

Paul felt like he had a spiritual bond with them and we've all felt that around other believers have, Paul felt therefore that they were genuine believers because he had this subjective sense of relationship with them. The subjective sense that they weren't indeed his brothers and sisters in Christ and that's not illegitimate, not completely illegitimate. He says it is right for me to think this of you not wrong, it's right for me to have these emotional responses to you is right or that could be translated into righteous. It's a righteous thing for me to have this kind of emotional response to you, but as Paul goes on to make clear in itself.

It's not totally reliable because emotions know their God-given emotions though they are important and emotions though they are sweet and emotions though they can be helpful in our fallen, sinful steak emotions can be misleading. Emotions can be wrong and many people are misled by their emotions, and Christians who live by their emotions. Are we Christians are easily deceived. That's why it's a mistake to try to jack up people emotionally as the primary purpose of a church service, and many of them are designed that way.

Get them jacked up emotionally is not that emotions are legitimate, but that's not the most important evidence.

What is their performance not the way I feel about them. But how do they perform in their profession of faith in Christ. Inasmuch, she's he says is both in my trains and defense and confirmation of the gospel you are partakers that fellowship again partners with me and Gracie goes back to this again. Their partnership, according to New York in grace is what is the most objective evidence of their salvation. Tangible partnership in his imprisonment in my trains. They sent a prophet Titus with a gift to help him in a situation you can see in Philippians 225 yet I considered it necessary to send to you up.

Aphrodite is he sending them back. My brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need. He may have been one of their pastors. They sent him to Paul in Rome with a financial gift and to assist to help to encourage Paul and his Roman imprisonment makes reference to it again in chapter 4 verse 18. Indeed, I have all and abound I am full, having received from up Aphrodite does the things sent from you. That's the financial gift. The offering a sweet smelling aroma and acceptable sacrifice will pleasing to God. Their partnership in the gospel he's going back to that again. That's the objective evidence of their salvation there tangible support of his ministry there enthusiastic support of his defense of the gospel is Paul in his gifted apostolic assignment resists assaults objections to the gospel and overcomes them many times to the salvation of souls is confirmation of the gospel's ability to lay out evidences for the gospel. The people will come to understand, indicate the gospel is true is of course the Holy Spirit works in their hearts, but their partnership in all of this, which is again more than anything else financial. It is very well may be other things as well with the one thing we know for sure is its financial. In other words, one of the greatest evidences is probably to hear one of the greatest evidences of genuine salvation is that God has opened your pocketbook to the work of the gospel. I'm concerned about the spiritual state of tightwad Christians who haven't learned the grace of giving.

Have don't have the desire of financial partnership.

Don't delight in giving the work of the gospel. There financial partnership is objective evidence. Unbelievers don't do that believers do as well as their attachment to the truth of the gospel. There delight in seeing it defended and confirmed that is good evidence of their salvation. They loved the gospel they love the word of God. They love to see it proclaimed it to help it be proclaimed. They love to see it making advances throughout the ensuing open pocketbook and a firm hold upon truth is a mark of salvation and an objective ground of assurance of salvation, not the decision you made or the prayer you prayed, not even what somebody else feels about you will. I know he's a Christian. I remember praying with him when he was a little boy. I feel that he's a child of God. Where's the fruit where's the fruit where's the fruit. How many of you are old enough to remember that old Wendy's commercial. Where's the beef the open that competitors competitors hamburger. There's a little bit of meat in their opener Wendy's hamburger great big slab of beef where's the beef was that was the real thing that's over looking for here. Where's the beef where's the where's the evidence of God's word all you say now your you you slipped or not you, not preaching salvation by grace you preaching salvation by works, no were preaching the evidence of salvation is your works. You not saved by works which are saved unto works and if there are no works. Evidently there is no salvation works flow out of God's work of grace within your heart by grace you are saved through faith, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them. God ordained today will happen if God ordained that there will be works in our life. There will be fruit if God is at work. That's what will flow well and that is the objective evidence of their salvation. Paul gives thanks for their performance. Past partnership, perseverance, performance, Paul gives thanks for all of these things so we learn. It is performance in spiritual realities, not profession of faith that makes our claim salvation. Valid it is fruit not talking about anything fruit but it is the fruit itself, but John the Baptist said to the Pharisees that came out to be baptized of him. You vipers who told you to come out here before I baptize you bring forth good works. Evidence of repentance. I haven't seen those not to baptize you.

There's no repentance there's no faith, because there's no good works when God saves us.

There's a delight to be in partnership with the gospel of the gospel efforts and with the people of God.

Paul knows that Paul prays accordingly. May we know that as well. We pray father how we delight to hear your word and to receive it into our hearts and to be instructed by it and changed by it. Lord teaches more of your ways and show us your short paths we pray in Jesus name, amen

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