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February 4, 2018 5:00 am
Thank you for tuning into the radio ministry church had clear our focus is making Christ visible providing an atmosphere, worship, community come check us out at 3485 Oxford Rd. in Henderson or visit us email@example.com join us for this week's message by Pastor Albert on shop. Growing up, our kids love watching Disney movies out of how life was for you, but they love the one called the many adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Remember that still someone else to watch it. The two characters in the story that are polar opposite on one side is Eeyore who is always gloomy, always pessimistic the glass is always half-empty on the other side is Tigger who is always optimistic is always bouncing around in the glass is always half full. If not, it's overflowing so you know the two different perspectives when it comes to these characters. Sometimes we think that in the Christian life.
You gotta be more like Tigger than Eeyore just be a spiritual Tigger just bounce around a little bit just be naïve and look at the bright side of things when you truly understand biblical perspective in the Christian life is much, much more than that is much deeper. It has much more significance unless the message today were studying Paul's letter to the Philippians. The series is called, grateful for the message is called perspective. You have your Bibles turn to Philippians chapter 1 starting in verse 12 and let's all stand for the reading of God's word but I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are in Christ and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Paul uses the word chains several times in this section is a figure of speech for those of you who are grammarians is the figure speech called synecdoche, which is representing something bigger chains represent imprisonment, Paul is in a prison wising prison because he was preaching the gospel, how do you handle that he did not get angry with God. He did not question God's plan.
He did not use it as a setback or an obstacle see as a setback, an obstacle instead he saw it as an opportunity to further the gospel. It's this perspective that helped him to further the gospel, even in chains. How do you see life in all of us have some chains health chains financial chains relationship chains how do you see your life. You see it as a setback is an obstacle as if God has abandoned you, or do you see it as an opportunity to further the gospel you see the gospel is the lens through which we see life. You learn that today. Have you received the gospel. Do you know Christ as your Savior I want you to listen again to verse 12 we just read this passage, Paul said but I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel which things is Paul referring to what has happened to Paul Nye just mentioned to you that Paul was in a prison not don't assume that he was in some kind of feed Dungeness prison with rats and failed in his feet in stocks. The fact that he is writing this epistle. The fact that he has visitors in this prison tells us that this was not your dungeon prison. This is more of a house arrest kind of situation. He is there awaiting trial. Remember he asked an appeal to Caesar. So now he is in a different kind of prison waiting to see the Emperor when Paul talked about the things which happened to me. I believe that he had much more than this house arrest in my neck. Granted, that was a bad situation but it's not that bad when he is talking about the things which happened to me there is something more that he is referring to using. You have to read some other letters that Paul wrote before Philippians to understand one of the things that happened to him.
In Romans chapter 15 Paul had shared with the Roman Christians. His ultimate plans with the gospel.
I want you to hear what he said in Romans 1528 therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them. This fruit I shall go by way a few to Spain. Paul's ultimate plan with the gospel was to take it out West into Europe.
You see, Paul was a great strategist. He always been for the big cities. He breezed in Jerusalem he preached in Antioch.
He preached in Ephesus he preached in Athens and then he were to preach in Rome and from Rome head-on into western Europe towards Spain you seed that was his goal. Those were his plans for what happened. His plan failed.
In fact, if you read acts 25. It tells us that now he was at the mercy of a corrupt court system awaiting trial, waiting to see Caesar.
He had appealed to Caesar, but now he is stuck in house arrest. No doubt he must've been discouraged using the counterpart man. Paul was you can imagine him of being disappointed you can imagine him getting dissolution. You see, I want to take the gospel I meet I went to Jerusalem and so many received the Lord I went to Antioch and so many more haven't Ephesus and so many more in Athens. So many more wrong and then Spain.
But now I'm sitting in this house arrest you see in life we have many plans. Sometimes we even have godly plans within things happen. Things don't work out any wonder that what is happening here I was doing this for you, but it seems like the Doris close this seems like now I am in chains. The way he refers to his situation.
He says I'm in chains I have been limited my challenge to you is this, don't interpret your failed plans as some hidden sin or as an abandonment by God. Sometimes we tend to think of the gods abandoned me. I think must've done something wrong and the enemy comes in he whispers in years and said the reason you're in chains is because you must've done something wrong. No friend to me. It's a great assurance when I read Paul saying things happen. Paul was a man who walked close to God and things happen is not about my faithful is not about am I obeying God. Sometimes things just happen. Amen. Things just happen. How did Paul handle this. That's what I want us to focus on. Listen to verse 12, but I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. In other words, what Paul was thinking was the end of the road for him actually turned out to be a bend in the road when it came to the gospel. This in verse 13, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard that might chains are in Christ, not to truly appreciate this. You need to understand a little bit about the Roman army. The Romans developed the most effective army in the world.
I would even to this day, our armies are organized according to their pattern on the bottom rung at the bottom level was the contra Bernie him which was made up of eight men that was the basic unit 10 of those contra Bernie Adams made his century. Six centuries made a cohort 80×6, 480 and 10 of those cohorts made a legion 10×480 years, 4800 powerful Roman Legion. By the way, later on the first cohort in the Legion was expanded to 12 centuries, which means 960 men in the first cohort and then 480 and the rest of the nine so altogether was about 5280 fighting men. The Legion was powerful and is not just a 5280 men in the Legion.
They were led by a young man in his 20s or 30s, who was a senator, a Roman senator who had experience as a magistrate and he was appointed by the Emperor himself. Smart man course it is not just a fighting man when he saw Legion there would be close to her and 20 some horsemen were there jobs is not that they would cavalries with. They were the ones carrying information.
There were the scouts there were the ones moving things around. Then you had tons of slaves. Also under these legions. Their job was to do all the menial labor. Their job was to guard the camp to clean the camp all these things. So imagine the Legion. This powerful unit and Roman Emperor Augustus had 25 legions at his disposal. What Paul says over here is this so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest. Guess what, he's not talking about the Roman legions the word behind palace guard is the word Pretoria's the praetorian's were not the legionaries.
They were the super elite fighting bodyguards of the Emperor Augustus had three cohorts number cohort was 480 men he had three cohorts around his palace 1500 of mix them up with the Navy SEALs. The sass with the British, the Israeli secret service a mix them all together there were amazing fighting men, one can pretty much decimate about 100, and then he also had six cohorts of these praetorian's in the nearby town just in case there's a clue. All he has to do is give a word. And next thing you know six cohorts are descending upon Rome and putting down any rebellion at the northern or northeastern edge of Rome was the camp of the praetorian is not the legions. The legions were powerful. The praetorian's were the superpowers. The top brass.
The best of the best at the praetorian camp there were about 9000 of these elite battling machines.
Paul because he appealed the Caesar guess what he is is among these guys. What is he say this, go back to that verse again so that it has become evident to the whole praetorian 9000 some super soldiers and to all the rest, which means even the elites among them that might chains are in Christ God works in mysterious ways of the Paul began the verse with the things that happened to me you know some of you are stuck in the things that happened to me this is what life has handed me my health, my finances, my relationship my bad choices. My bad decisions. Things have happened to me. Paul says but it's not the end. Guess what's happening. I have been put right in the middle of the top brass. Those guys who rub shoulders with the Roman Emperor. I am witnessing to them and not just to them but to all the rest about Jesus Christ, any citizen I want to hear me very carefully.
If you look at the things that have happened to you only from me earthly and earthly, selfish, fleshly perspective, you will get depressed if you look at your circumstances only from well this happened to me in that happened to me you will get discouraged if you look at life. If you look at your problems your changes from a heavenly selfless spiritual perspective, you will realize that the Holy Spirit has set you up perfectly to further the gospel as a believer don't look at life as it happened, no. Look at life as God the master chess player, moving the pieces around and saying I know you thought you were going there but no human ago here. Look up and say God what's going on. Why did you place me here a believer cannot look at life through any other lands with the gospel. Let's learn what is it that you're trying to do through me. That will reach someone for Jesus cry guaranty right in your position right now God has placed individuals who need the gospel, you may be saying God get me outta here.
I want to move. I want to do this. I want to get out of here. I want to quit in the Holy Spirit is saying, but I put you there is a praetorian's need to hear the gospel is a better not Pretoria you know how proud and arrogant. So these praetorian's were. You must be some imagine Paul in the midst of these people sharing the gospel in the Holy Spirit is breaking their hearts and their opening up. You see, God has strategically placed you where you are for a reason. He has great things in store.
But the gospel has to be the lens through which you see life. I can give you a great message. Be positive. Look up even teach you the promises of God. That's not going to help you, but if I tell you you are where you are because God wants to use you to bring someone to Jesus. Now folks that will help you more than anything else. But how does just on the inside of the prison what's happening on the outside of the prison. Listen to verse 14 what Paul says here he says, and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Things happen. My plans failed. I was hoping to preach and roll. I was hoping to go on to Spain. Things happen, but guess what God put me in the midst of the praetorian's and the whole praetorian and all the rest are hearing what it means to be in Christ there hearing the gospel. Praise God for that. That's not the end, something else is happening. The brothers and sisters in Christ.
On the outside are hearing what I'm doing on the inside and they are becoming more bold in sharing the gospel. My effectiveness inside the prison is bringing courage to those outside the prison milligrams at something that has always stayed with me.
He said courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand. The spines of others are stiffened.
The word is getting out that Paul is winning the praetorian's to Christ this what's what that does to those on the outside who are going man.
The Romans are are going to persecute the church. The kilos did not take our families away to go with him and Paul can do that in prison to the praetorian's and he is winning them to Jesus. They take on more courage and listen. Nothing helps us more than being routed courageous person. It helps you, doesn't. If you like me I can do that I can do it to. If she is telling people about Jesus. Why cannot.
If he is willing to talk about Jesus. Why cannot I answer other people on the outside are also would you get the point in the whole process.
The gospel is moving out if Paul had not taken the gospel. If he had not talked to those Pretoria is because guess what was then retired to become heads of the legions. Now they have 400 500,000 soldiers under them.
There's a reason why Christianity spread into Europe is the courage of Paul is the gospel perspective of Paul now wants to see something else. In verse 15, you know just when you think Paul is a naïve person, nor he is so simple know he is very smart. Listen to what he says in verse 15. Some indeed preach Christ is talk about those on the outside.
Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife. Things happen to me but it's all good.
I'm actually witnessing to the top brass. Everybody's here in the gospel and guess what, even on the outside. People are now beginning to preach because they hear how God is using me with these elite soldiers.
These top commanders.
These generals it's giving courage to those outside, but there's a little issue going on.
Some people are actually preaching out of envy and strife and some also from goodwill. Then he says the farmer preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains, which means this when some of them heard that Paul was in prison, they began to preach sermons like this without saying Paul's name, they would say things like, you know, if God really loved his people, he would not put them in prison. Why would God not rescue certain famous people who write letters and stuff like see what with their doing on the outside if I was Paul I would written a letter to them and said seas and desist out of file a lawsuit against them if I could how to send some people to them and say listen, you go talk to them and tell them is because of me that you have the courage to speak in your tracking me how dare you.
Shame on you.
You are absolutely worthless get out of the ministry. What is Paul's response was and what he says but the latter out of love knowing that I'm appointed for the defense of the gospel.
What, then, verse 18. What then only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preach what you have to walk real close to God to be able to say that sitting in prison preaching the praetorian's.
You are encouraged and and emboldened to preach because of me, but now you're attacking me while you're preaching out there, but praise God. Jesus is being preached is that that doesn't happen today. People don't are you serious you know how many church people are jealous and envious of each other. I've had to deal with that through the years. Any little success and people start talking were all on the same team but it doesn't feel like it brought doing one thing which is taken the gospel to the ends of the earth wide package they were attacking Paul getting courage from him.
But attacking him.
Paul says it's okay and this I rejoice. Yes and will rejoice Nepal list two things over here that you and I need in a time like this.
Listen to verse 19 he says, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance, by the way, deliverance is not getting out of prison.
What Paul is saying is this, I know I'm in the situation right now where people are talking trash about me. I'm in prison I winning people to Jesus. Some are actually out there preaching the truth. SMS but I think in the end, the gospel is to keep moving forward. But I need you to do some things for me. He says this will turn out for my deliverance to your prayer. I need your prayers and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ to things I need to things you and I need when were going through those chain events and circumstances of life.
Number one is a prayer of God's people see this is why many of us when we are in our chains physical chains sickness chain, financial chains, relationship problems, chain marriage problems chains Reno children problem chains when were going to these things we say all I think we can manage this. You need godly people to be praying for you.
I'm not saying you need to put all your dirty laundry out there, but find godly people and say can you please pray for me to trust God. So pray for myself, no, this is a formula Paul says, was to help me. You need to pray for me. Get other people to pray for you was the second thing that you need the Holy Spirit you need the supply of the Holy Spirit of God and was going to happen.
Verse 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing. I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness here comes as focus again without bonus.
As always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death. Ultimately, Paul says all I want to do is put Jesus on it. Big billboard that praetorian's are seeing it and other preachers and ministers and fellow Christians are preaching him. Jesus is getting on the big billboard.
Praise God for that, whether by life or abide that it doesn't matter if I live or die. The gospel keeps moving forward.
Know why did Paul tell us all this. Was he trying to reassure the Philippians that everything is fine with him.
Was he trying to clear his name out all those people are talking about me all day because people waste their time try to clear their reputation. Don't think that your reputation is ghost a spotless long in this life. Somebody else will smear your reputation was Paul. Just think a particular want to partake is he was just baring his soul. He was just trying to talk about his feelings.
Nothing like that.
The reason Paul went into this whole spiel broke from things happened to me, but it's going to hell because the gospel is moving among the praetorian's elite soldiers and even on the outside there preaching man is awesome. But there are some who are talking trash about me I know. But praise God. The gospel is still going on. I am so grateful I need your prayers and I need the Holy Spirit and Indian Christ is, why did he go into all those details listen carefully to teach the Philippians how to face their chains in life. It would Paul's model was for ministry imitate me as I imitate Christ. Paul was a man full of the Holy Spirit. Paul knew to really get those Philippians to come out of their chains and start ministering and start spreading the gospel. He had to give his own personal example. So he says let me tell you what's happening with me now don't have any proof, but I can imagine the Philippian church I've been to that that that sitting there reading that letter and I can see the pastor of the Philippian church's looking down and saying out of the Romans have been tough lately. I tell you one if Paul can do that. So can we. I can see a couple over there saying you know we've had some difficult times lately has been tough but I know the enemy is attacking us.
But other people are watching us.
Other couples are watching us. This is a time that we don't need to give up but get godly people to pray for us. We are ready to go in details but but get them to pray for us in the process share the gospel with these people around us. There is a man over there is a woman over there struggling to some sickness or some to some some some ailment is depressing is discouraging is painful. Paul is teaching them how to change their perspective and look at life through the gospel with godly people praying in the Holy Spirit. You can do that this morning. What is your perspective. Are you looking at life of the gospel or is the enemy got you in chains and is got you in that place. You just cannot seem to break free and life is over, and this is as good as it gets. I just can't survive take a day at a time, is that it not for a believer prayer in the Holy Spirit will change your perspective. If you've never given a heart to Jesus Christ. What I've said to you will not make sense because the Bible says the natural man cannot understand the things of the spirit of God for their foolishness to him.
You have to receive Jesus Christ and then the Holy Spirit will say you know this message is for this message is thank you so much for joining us for this message. Just like Paul is only through the lens of the gospel. We can maintain a proper perspective. God what he's doing in our lives. Trust that God is working that he's faithful to continue working.
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