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Stand Firm in Christ

Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2024 1:00 am

Stand Firm in Christ

Growing in Grace / Doug Agnew

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January 8, 2024 1:00 am

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If you have your Bibles with you, if you would turn to the epistle from Paul to the Philippians, we're going to be looking at chapter 3 verse 20 through chapter 4 verse 1. Hear God's word for us tonight. But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore my brothers whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord my beloved. Let's pray. Heavenly Father as we come to you tonight it is your word that we need. We pray that your spirit teaches us the truths from this text, drives them into our heart, into our mind, that we stand firm in Christ Jesus in all things. We praise you and we thank you and it's in your Son's precious name we pray. Amen. You may be seated.

You may be seated. As I was preparing this sermon a week ago, I had no idea of how relevant God's word would be back then and tonight as we, and I had an idea God's word is always relevant, but relevant to specific issue. As I wrote this sermon I was looking at the new year and how we view entering a new year on December 31st is that clock ticks down. For many people what we find is that they look forward to the new year with hope and excitement, but also with a little bit of hesitation because we know in the new year not only are joyous things going to occur, but most likely we're going to encounter stressful difficult situations. For many of us we take time and we think back over the past year and we think are there things we could do better?

For some they make promises or resolutions to try to keep and if you're anything like me if you've ever tried that they last about three weeks. What we find tonight is a scripture written by Paul written to people that he loved and it's an encouragement to them. It is telling them first of all who they are, but also where the only place they can stand. As we move through the text tonight I would like us to focus on the truth that never changes. No matter if it's a different year, no matter the situation that faces us, God has revealed his truth and it is in his truth that we must be centered. Many issues do try to shake us don't they?

This morning was probably a prime example. Health difficulties and death, economic issues, security. Where does our security lie? And in this year that we face coming up the definite political turmoil that's going to be banded back and forth. God in his gracious mercy has provided us what we need to overcome these issues and to strengthen us so that we will not be shaken. As we look at the text tonight and then I will preach one more time and that will be January 28th. We will look at verses two through eight and we are going to see not only the truth of who we are, where we should be and what we should stand in, but also how we should respond to that.

This morning our text coming out of chapter three in the opening verse of chapter four. Paul has been instructing and exhorting the Philippians to understand that their righteousness is not their own but it is Christ's righteousness which they possess and because of this they are assured in their being right with God and they have nothing else to rest upon. He exhorts them then to live this out as a a straining or a pursuing the prize before them not looking back but continuing to the goal of Christ Jesus and then Paul comes to us with the instruction that we read tonight to center them and us on the truth of who they and we really are, what our hope and longing should be and how then we must live as a result of it. I would like for us tonight to meditate on these truths that we find from the text and brothers and sisters call us to live in the truths that we see in these texts. The first truth I'd like to share with you from the text comes from chapter or verse 20 and the truth is who are we in Christ with the answer being we are citizens of his kingdom. Verse 20 the first part says this but our citizenship is in heaven. This first truth that Paul teaches is that we as Christians are citizens of his kingdom of heaven. We have been rescued by God from this kingdom of darkness this worldly kingdom and it in Colossians 1 12 and 13 scripture tells us that he has delivered us into his kingdom of light into the kingdom of his son. The exact words are giving thanks to the father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light he has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins. In a sense what God has done is he's transferred us into his authority and power and we are now exiles in the world that we live in.

We serve the king of kings and his kingdom which encompasses all things which is the world that we're in. This is not by our doing it is by us from the text from Colossians what do we read it is the father who has qualified us he has delivered us from one kingdom to another he has redeemed us do we hold to this truth daily as we navigate this world do we truly hold to that truth that God has done the work that we needed done and he has moved our citizenship to his kingdom. We're going to see from the text also that this truth that Paul is telling us is useful in our daily living of our lives. The second truth from the text Jesus is coming again and he will renew us completely.

The rest of verse 20 but our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a savior the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Over the past three weeks we wrapped up the Christmas celebration and the joyous celebration of that first advent God coming to us humbling himself lowering himself himself and being born in human form. What's amazing as we look at our text in verse 20 from it we await a savior the Lord Jesus Christ. If you think back to the Luke 2 narrative of the incarnation that is the pronouncement of the angel isn't it? That great or glad tidings of great joy that unto you is born this day in the city of David what a savior who is Christ the Lord. We have the identifier in this verse it is the Lord Jesus Christ who fulfills that and we still wait for that full fulfillment that was a tough one full fulfillment to come in his second advent which we are taught about in this verse. We call this Christmas season the advent or the incarnation but this text points us to something greater and that is the second advent or the consummation. As we look back we rejoice in the truth that in our time and space God entered in man's form but now we stand looking forward to him coming back as king and victorious to end all suffering all pain to judge sin and make right and reconcile all things to himself. This promise is promised throughout the gospels it is promised throughout every book in the New Testament for the most part and Acts 1 6 through 11 states it so clearly that Christ is coming back it says so when they had come together they asked him Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel he said to them it is not for you to know times or season that the father has fixed by his own authority but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth and when he had said these things as they were looking on he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight and while they were gazing into heaven as he went behold two men stood by them in white robes and said men of Galilee why do you stand looking up or looking into heaven this Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven Jesus gave that very same assurance to us and to his disciples in John 14 when he said let not your hearts be troubled believe in God believe also in me in my father's house are many rooms if it were not so I would have told you that I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am you may be also not only should be we be longing awaiting this second advent to be with him but he himself is longing to take us to himself and promises that he will do that Paul is telling the Philippians Paul is telling us you are no longer citizens of this world you are the citizens of God's kingdom and God himself is coming back to fellowship and commune and take you to himself that is who we are in Christ Jesus but as we see it's not just that we will be with him but when he fully delivers us the miseries the sins the issues of this world will all be taken care of and reconciled the same Paul wrote to the Corinthians in chapter 15 so it is with the resurrection of the dead that is sown what is sown is in is perishable what is raised is imperishable it is sown in dishonor it is raised in glory it is sown in weakness it is raised in power it is sown a natural body it is raised a spiritual body if there is a natural body there is also a spiritual body thus it is written the first man Adam became a living being the last Adam became a life-giving spirit as we enter 2024 as we look at the joys that may come but also concern ourselves with the issues that might face us are we resting in this truth in the glory that God has accomplished what we need accomplished and he is reckoning reconciling everything to himself to a day he is going to come back and make everything perfect so even if we have to struggle for a period of time we have a hope greater that we can rest in is that where our minds are as we walk through difficult times the third truth from our text pulls these two together with Paul's great command then to the Philippians we find it in verse one of chapter four and the truth is we are called commanded to stand firm in Jesus Christ verse 4 or chapter 4 verse 1 states therefore my brothers whom I love and I long for my joy and crown stand firm thus in the Lord my beloved Paul with great love and care for his brothers and sisters commands them that they are to stand firm with what he has just told them who they are what they are in Christ Jesus what's going to happen the command now comes from Paul this is not a suggestion to them it is not a platitude that if you're going through difficulty or even good time remember to stand firm it is a command and Paul says stand firm thus in the Lord Paul opened with therefore and we know that therefore means something in the scripture and usually that the therefore is indicating what was taught above and that is exactly what it's pointing them back to in chapter 3 it's pointing us back to our righteousness not by our own works is through faith in Christ that's chapter 3 verse 9 that God has made us as his own we read that in 320 and that he is coming again to fully and utterly save us 320 and based on these truths that is the therefore then Paul says the command stand as I looked at different commentators on this my favorite of course James Montgomery Boyce made a very interesting point the term here in the Greek has a sense of a military term to stand and it was quite interesting as he opened that military term up that what we are to do is stand in something that has already been won for us we are standing in what Christ has accomplished already we do not need to accomplish anything more in order to be fully satisfied in Jesus Christ but we are called to stand firm in what he has accomplished Paul is exhorting the Philippians and us to stand in faith because it is his work it is his victory that assures us no matter what we will face that Christ has accomplished fully that which we need scripture is filled with true promises in which we can stand but we many times look at the water like Peter did and not at the face of Jesus Christ which allowed him to walk upon that water that was troubled I use the example when I look at that text I don't know if you guys know I ride a motorcycle but when you're on a motorcycle the very first thing you learn is your motorcycle goes exactly where your eyes are if you are driving down the road and the curve sweeps to the left if you look to the right you most likely are going to hit the guardrail but if you can look through that turn the bike will follow your body and it will go through that turn again analogies break down differences in speed differences in road conditions can change that but when we look at Peter and Christ when he was walking on the water and Peter saying if it is you tell me to come and I will come and Jesus says come and it says Peter stepped out and began to walk across the water but as the water got choppy what did Peter do he took his eyes off of Christ and he looked down and what in that moment did he have to cry out save me and Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed Peter and lifted him back up this year with already some anxious moments that we're going to walk through a grace church but even other moments in families and friendships and work we need to understand that we must keep focused upon Christ is our family or our friends going to experience sickness are we going to experience a death of a loved one the world waits for these occurrences and it attacks at our weaknesses and it tells us things like if your God was real why would he let such tragedy happen and they try to shake our faith will we experience a loss of a job will we experience difficulties in a church and you will hear from outside and sometimes even within if God wasn't caring for you would he allow these things to happen and Paul clearly states that in our adversity we are built up in the Holy Spirit in character in perseverance the world especially this year we are going to hear quite often from both sides of the aisle in this election only this man or only this party can save us and ladies and gentlemen I am here to tell you there is no man or party that can save it is only Christ Jesus who can as we are attacked by worldly words by lies trying to shake the the truths that God has revealed our eyes need firmly affixed to the truth that Paul tells the Philippians you are not citizens of this world you are my citizens I purchased you with my blood and I am coming again to fully and utterly save and make you that imperishable fully complete man or woman these lies that the world the flesh and the devil work to deceive us are trying to destroy the very faith and truth that God gives us that we can rest upon you know scripture is tremendous for us and it is truth and we have to hold it in our hearts Romans 8 Romans 8 28 says that for those that love God all things work together for the good of those who are called for his purpose all things work together for the good the sickness the death though it's difficult for us the change in a church from going to one church to another they all are worked and orchestrated by God for his good our good his glory and our fulfillment God promises in Matthew 10 that we are important to him and that he cares for us two sparrows do not fall out of his sight I have the very hairs of your head numbered that is how God knows loves and is able to make and keep us in that good even when situations look difficult God promises what Christ has accomplished is enough Paul writes to the Romans that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation but in the opening texts he says that that resurrection that occurred authenticates the proof the truth of his word and who he is and what he can do we rest in a risen Savior that not only has risen but sits on a throne today ruling the world Matthew 28 we love it as the text for missions and going out into the world and making disciples but there is a text right before it it says and Jesus came to the disciples and said to them and what he said to them is magnificent he said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me it is not something we wait for for Christ to come to power and then come back Christ is ruling at this moment over all creation so no matter what we are facing in this coming year we can stand firm in Christ Jesus death is overcome life is assured in him and not just life but life that is abundant and this needs to be the daily anchor through 2024 that Grace Church that first pres Stanley that every church in Catawba Valley and every believer in Jesus Christ stands in so brothers and sisters therefore let us stand firm in our Lord Jesus Christ let's pray Lord we thank you for your word Holy Spirit how sweet you are even in difficult times to move our hearts our minds to the truth of who we are and what you have accomplished father forgive us when we look to our own means forgive us when we look to our own wisdom cast those sinful ways out of us and let us look solely upon the revelation of your truth of Christ and his redeeming work of Christ and his actual continued work right now in this world and in our lives we praise you and we thank you and it's in Christ Jesus name we pray amen
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 20:27:45 / 2024-01-07 20:35:05 / 7

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