So the Lord's been teaching me a lot this semester. But one of the big things is that he is sufficient for my every need, whether that's in a class because I'm struggling, or even in friendships that Christ is all I need.
And I can trust him in every circumstance. God has been teaching me so much about just what discipleship looks like. The Lord has been teaching me the importance of reaching out to others. Because so often we just tend to be almost like selfish people.
We're just like, okay, it's between me and God. Like I don't have to involve anyone else. I don't have to encourage anyone else.
This is my relationship and I'm just going to live it out. But really God wants us to share with others what we've been learning. He wants us to really just use this as an opportunity to encourage others.
Because when we share things with others, like they can grow from it too. I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles and turn with me please to the book of Philippians. Philippians chapter 2. We have been working our way this semester through Philippians 1. As we started and we began with a theme that Paul established that we would live worthy of the Gospel. He's writing to believers in a church that he had planted and he loves those people.
And he understands the stress, the pressures that they're facing. And he wants them to live their lives in a manner that reflects the worth of the Gospel. And so we have worked our way through and we came through the passage where he encouraged them to unity and he set Christ as the example of both humility and at the same time exaltation. We talked about the balance of how to live the Christian life between us working out our salvation and God working that within us.
We talked about shining lights. Now we come to the end of the semester. This will be the last message. And it really is a culmination, I think, of the heartbeat of the Apostle Paul as he talked about the joy that he experienced of living a life of sacrifice for the Lord. You're going to live your Christian life either in a way, if I could say, self-oriented or you're going to live your life sacrificially oriented. And let's look at Paul and what he says here of his own testimony of how he viewed his life as a life of joyful sacrifice. Philippians 1 verse 17. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy and rejoice with me. Now I'd like to read it from the ESV because there's a different translation of a word that I want to focus on this morning. So let me read it out of that version. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Likewise, you also should be glad and rejoice with me. I think there's no question that one of the most memorable events of Paul's ministry in Philippi was the way that he responded along with his gospel partner Silas to their arrest and imprisonment. As you know, they were in this village or this community ministering the gospel and they were arrested. They were taken and they were beaten with rods and they were thrown into the local jail. And what follows is what people remember. Acts 16.
Listen to what the Bible says. And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them. You could say this, they had a prison praise service that no one has ever forgotten. And in the midst of their suffering and sacrifice, what did they do?
They rejoiced. I've said it before, I'll say it again, that this is one of the happiest I've ever seen the student body of Bob Jones University and you have more things to complain and gripe about than ever I've ever experienced being here because you have to go with the protocols. Nobody wants to wear the mask.
Nobody wants to live under those kind of things. And yet, what I've at least seen is a joyful spirit. Why? Because you're just happy to be here.
Your focal point is on something else. And the Apostle Paul teaches us the joy of living the Christian life and at the same time, living a life of sacrifice. And joyful sacrifice reflects the attitude of somebody who is a spiritually mature believer. They go through trials, hardships and heartaches.
And what did they do? They have learned to find the joy of the Lord in all those things. So let's look this morning at this theme that we have here of joyful sacrifice and two things we'll see. The first thing I'm going to do is take a few moments to actually interpret this passage of Scripture. What does it mean?
And then the second thing I'm going to do is simply apply it. What is he saying to us today? So let's begin first of all with what does he mean in this statement? He said, Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. Or as we read in the ESV, even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith. The Apostle Paul is giving his own personal testimony. He's talking about his attitude he has about himself.
Yea, if I be offered up. And what Paul is doing is he's speaking in the language of sacrifice. Now you and I, living in the day and age that we're living in, really don't live in the world of sacrifice.
But the Jewish people did because the idea of sacrifice is confined to the Old Testament temple. And so in that temple we have entered into a courtyard. There are priests who are walking around in their priestly garment. There are musicians who are singing and playing their instruments. There are actual, actually lots of animals in the courtyard. There are sheep.
There are doves. And there's cattle. And there's a couple of things you smell immediately. Number one, you smell the blood of animals that are being sacrificed. And we're not talking about a little blood. We're talking about the entire body being emptied of blood.
Secondly, you smell the roasting of animal meat on an open fire. That's the atmosphere of the temple. And that's the language of sacrifice that the Apostle Paul is using. And notice what he says.
He says, yea and if I be offered. And the ESV says if I am poured out as a drink offering. So the word offering there literally means a drink offering. And in the temple sacrifice there were two things that were offered to God. One was the animal, the meat sacrifice. But at the same time the law required that there be drink offerings.
A drink offering was a cup. Let's see. I'm going to grab this. Hold on.
I was just supposed to bring this out. I have a cup here that I bought actually for my wife in India. And she reminded me in a loving way today, don't lose this cup. I said yes dear.
And so anyway. So when they made the offerings they would offer the animal. And at the same time they would take a cup and it was filled with wine and they would pour out that offering before the Lord and they would pour the wine out. Now what is it that the Apostle Paul is saying here?
Numbers 28 7 says, And the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering. What is Paul referring here to? He's referring to his own life. He viewed his life.
If you think of it this way. The drink offering is the believer. The sacrifice is Jesus. The sacrifice, Jesus, was being offered on the cross.
At the same time over here we as believers are like the drink offerings. We're to be poured out before the Lord. And we know that Paul viewed himself that way. The fact is in 2 Timothy chapter 4 verse 6.
Let me read to you what he says. He says, For I'm already being poured out like a drink offering and the time for my departure is at hand. I believe Paul in 2 Timothy is referring to the certainty of his death. I believe in Philippians chapter 2, Paul is referring to the possibility of his death. And Paul recognized that his life could be potentially sacrificed in death at any moment. However, I think we have to realize that sacrifice was not just about physically dying. But it was the spirit and the attitude of his whole life. His whole life was a life that was poured out in sacrifice to the Lord.
Why? Because he believed that his life was to be invested by pouring out. By giving of himself completely. Perhaps you've heard of a missionary named Nate Saint. Nate Saint was one of the five missionaries that were killed down in South America in the 1950's. He also had a friend of his named Jim Elliott. And they went on a missions trip to reach a remote tribe of natives in Ecuador. And all five of them ended up being killed by the tribe after they landed there.
Nate Saint's not as well known of course of Jim Elliott. But he had a tremendous heart for the Lord and the Lord's work. And before his death, he wrote these words. People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives. And when the bubble has burst, that is when they die. They will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.
What he is saying is this, you invest your life by pouring out your life. I've never watched the soap opera Days of Our Lives. But it was the longest standing soap opera running continuously since 1965. And the famous opening sequence is very prophetic. Here's how it starts. Like sands from the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. I think the picture is right on target. Our hours, our days are being poured out.
One after the other after the other. And in a sense, everybody's life is being poured out. Some are pouring out their lives on their jobs. Some are pouring out their lives on their sports. Some are pouring out their lives for their own pursuit of happiness, whatever it involves. But the truth is, if you pour out your life on yourself, then you are leading a wasted life.
And Paul is saying that his life of sacrifice was not a waste, but it was an investment. I remember going back to my 25 year college reunion. Walking around the places that it seemed like just yesterday I was living there. And I remember the decisions I made in my college years around 1920 and 21 about dedicating my life to serve the Lord and give of your life to the master. And I remember the decisions I made at 19 and 20 and 21.
And here I am, 25 years later, somewhere around the age of 47 years old. And I was thanking God for the privilege of giving a life over to God and sacrificing for Him. Paul saw that his life was to be invested. But he also speaks here of the sacrifice of the Philippians.
Notice what he says, Yea, if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. I think here he's speaking about the suffering of the Philippians. Because just like Paul suffered at the hands of the Romans, so the Philippians did.
Just like we all do. He saw their sacrifice. And he said, he was saying to them basically that he was giving himself to them. They were giving themselves to Paul. They had sent Paul a sacrificial gift and there was this mutual sacrifice. And both the Philippians and Paul were pouring out their life as a drink offering to God. And how does Paul feel about this sacrifice he was making?
He rejoiced. Do you know that spiritually mature people rejoice in the privilege of sacrificing? I mean I've experienced this like a lot of Christian servants have experienced. Where people say, we appreciate your sacrifice. And as soon as I hear that, the first thing is I feel completely unworthy. Because my sacrifice is nothing compared to Jesus. And number two, I don't look at it as a burden, I look at it as a blessing.
It's a blessing. That I can invest, I can pour out, I can give my life to that which is going to count. Young person, your life is like so short.
And we live moment by moment and hour by hour and day by day. And the question is, what are you going to invest your life in? You're getting an education, you're getting prepared for the future. But for what? Is it really for that which is going to last, is going to pass at the judgment seat or is it all going to burn up? That's what Paul said. For me to give myself as a sacrifice is not a burden, it's a blessing, it's a joy.
Why? Because that is exactly what Jesus did for me. He came and gave his life. And so Paul is saying this is a joy.
Now that leads me to the last thing and that is, then what is he saying here? And two things. Number one, that Christian living always involves sacrifice. Always, always. There's no escaping it.
It's got to be at the forefront of your mind. Jesus said in Luke 9 23, if any man would come after me, let him deny himself. Paul says in Romans 12 one, I beg you, therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice. Are you willing to embrace sacrifice as your mindset?
Is the idea of sacrifice embedded in your attitude? A number of years ago, back when I was an evangelist, I had a particular team that had traveled together for two years and there were no replacements of people coming in. So this group, it was a group of actually six people. Four of them married each other, Aaron and Stephanie Coffey and Matt and Christy Taylor. And then a young lady, Dr. Fred Coleman's daughter, Kristen, who ended up marrying a fellow who's today a chaplain in the Air Force. And then Mr. Joel Albright, who married a girl from Bob Jones, and he's an assistant pastor today. They're all in the ministry.
And I remember exactly what happened. We were we were at a church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and our team was setting up every day right outside of the auditorium in the baptistery area. We would put a table up there.
We would work there all week. I don't know. I guess probably because I was a little bit younger, I was a little more irritated. I was like really burdened of what these six people were going to do with their life.
And I brought them into a room and I started pounding on the table. I said, what are you going to do with your life? Are you going to do your little two year tour of duty by traveling with a petit team and then you're going to get off the team and then do what you really want to do? Go back, get your little nice house with your wife picket fence and your 15 children in the front yard and do your thing and live your life while the rest of the world goes to hell. What are you going to do?
Well, they've been traveling with me for two years. I mean, we're like we're like brothers and sisters and they were like kind of freaking out because I was so worked up. But I was worked up like, what are you going to do? So I say to you, you seniors, what are you going to do with your life?
Are you going to graduate and do your thing? Then I'm telling you right now, you missed it. You missed the purpose of it. The purpose is to do for Christ what Christ did for us. He gave himself and sacrifice.
And this is what Paul said. I am to live my life as a sacrifice to the Lord. And by the way, that sacrifice is always joyful because that's the second thing. Sacrifice is the way to true joy.
It's the way to true joy. Perhaps you've heard of a missionary named C.T. Studd. He grew up in England and the home of a father who made a fortune overseas. And he was the heir to the fortune.
He was a world famous cricket player from England. But one day when Hudson Taylor, the missionary to China, visited and called for missionaries to come to China. Studd and six other other men from Cambridge University surrendered their lives to be missionaries and they headed to China. They were dubbed the Cambridge seven stud went to China, where he served for a number of years. And when his father died, he was left with a large inheritance and he gave it all the way to the China mission and to other Christian evangelistic causes. When he had to return to England because of poor health, he went back and he later recuperated and he went again as a missionary to India and ultimately to Africa.
And just before his death, Studd wrote one final letter back home and listen to what he said. As I believe I am now nearing my departure from this world, I have but a few things to rejoice in. They are these that God called me to China and I went in spite of the utmost opposition from all my loved ones. That I joyfully acted as Christ told that rich young man to act, he gave away his fortune to gospel causes. And that I deliberately at the call of God gave up my life for this work, for the world unevangelized, the whole unevangelized world. And my joys therefore, my only joys therefore are that when God has given me a work to do, I have not refused it. He found his ultimate joy in sacrificing for the Lord.
So for those of us that are in ministry serving God, really, I mean sure it's got burdens to it, it's got problems to it. But it is so wonderful that I get to serve the King and the King is going to reward those who have faithfully served him. That's Paul's message of joyful sacrifice. As we consider the joyful sacrifice of Paul in Philippians, let's listen to a modern hymn titled, Oh God My Joy, which describes the awesome sight of God's glory and how God reigns above in radiant splendor and beauty.
Recorded live in Chapel with the Bob Jones University student body and orchestra, here's the hymn, Oh God My Joy. God, my joy, make love in radiant splendor and beauty. Oh, work that's done by Christ in love, the awesome sight of your glory. Oh, praise the light and love for praise, shine bright with goodness in Christ's face. Oh, I am a wonder, a blessing, when Christ involved in his glory. So sing, my joy, of praise, my true story's love and mercy.
And so it matters for all praise, for by your Son you will make me. Oh, what is to praise, what is to shame, the only glorious voice to love. Oh, we pray for this to be, as our greatness leads to glory. Oh, my joy, I find this sin, that through time it is from your glory.
Oh, holy spirit of sin, its presence must be for victory. Let that love bless your eyes, let our praise burn your most voice. Oh, my soul now, who cannot leave, before my praise be your glory. Let that love bless your eyes, let our praise burn your most voice.
Oh, my soul now, who cannot leave, before my praise be your glory. If you appreciate this program and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word, would you consider sending us a special financial gift? You can easily do that through the website, thedailyplatform.com. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. I'd like to invite you to attend one of our summer camps for both middle and high schoolers. BJU has over 50 camps to choose from, so there is one for you. Here's just a few.
Aviation, astronomy, cinema, computers, culinary, criminal justice, media, music, nursing, theater, robotics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, golf, and there's many more. Come explore your future during a week of what we call EduCamp. For more information about our camps, visit our website. Go to EduCamp, that's E-D-U-C-A-M-P dot B-J-U dot E-D-U. This concludes our series studying Philippians entitled, Live Worthy of the Gospel. Thanks for listening, and join us next time for another sermon preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform.
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