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JoyFULL // For to me to live is Christ // Philippians 1:12-30 // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2024 3:23 pm

JoyFULL // For to me to live is Christ // Philippians 1:12-30 // Pastor Josh Evans

Union Grove Baptist Church / Pastor Josh Evans

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April 17, 2024 3:23 pm

Pastor Josh continues his series entitled, JoyFULL. The series is all about how you can have lasting joy regardless of what your circumstances look like around you. In this sermon, he looks at what the Apostle Paul meant by "For to me to live is Christ."

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Listen, it is so good to see you here in the house of God here today. I am so glad that you are here. And if we have not met before, my name is Josh and I'm the pastor here at our church. And if possibly this is your first time ever joining us or the first time in a long time, let me just say welcome.

I do want to echo what Pastor David said just a few moments ago. We we really do value your presence here today. We're grateful that you are here and I'd encourage you before you leave today. Make sure you take one of those new here cards and we would love to get a gift in your hands as our way of saying thanks for being here.

But we'd also love the opportunity that we can have to connect a little deeper with you and pray with you help you in whatever way that we can. And that's our hearts desire here at Union Grove here today. Well, listen, it is good to see you. We have beautiful weather today.

Can I get an amen for that? And it is awesome. I know over the last couple of months, we've had about every different forecast you could imagine. And today is absolutely beautiful and excited about that. I mentioned this this week. So if you get some of our correspondence email that kind of stuff, you would have seen this, but I'd love to invite you guys back tonight. If you don't have anything going on at 5 p.m. This evening right here in the auditorium, we are going to have just a special time of prayer. And last week I gave you a little bit of an update on some things pertaining to forward and faith and some of the steps that that we feel God leading us to and we mentioned a bunch of different things and stuff like that last Sunday. And but tonight we're going to gather in this room at five o'clock and we're going to lead through a specific time of prayer.

Now, I would love for every one of you to come back and I understand you might have other obligations things like that. But let me just say we are going to lead you through this prayer. So if you're nervous like man, are they going to have me pray out loud in front of a lot of people tonight?

I want you to understand that we are not going to put any pressure on you to do that. We're going to give you some specific things that we are asking God to pray for this evening. And if you're in here and you're wondering well my kids, I don't know if they can kind of stay engaged for a 40-minute prayer time or whatever.

And listen, we got kid elements and kids prayers that are going to be happening during that time frame tonight. And so if you have children bring them they're going to be engaged. I mean, I remember this I have two kids. I have a 12 year old and a 10 year old and they have birthdays every year. And I mean, it's just like most people and so and but I almost forgot exactly how old they were. And but 12 and 10 so I understand like we don't want to bring them to things that they're going to be just completely bored with.

I always try to think about the kids in the room. So if you have children bring them in here, it'll be a good opportunity for them to see you as a mom dad grandmother praying that kind of thing tonight at 5 o'clock. We'll have a couple songs as well. And it'll just be a good time with our church people just asking God to lead guide and direct us.

So that's tonight at 5 p.m. And I'd love to invite you to be a part of that if you can this evening. Philippians chapter number one, Philippians chapter number one. We began a brand new series last week entitled Joyful and talking about how we can have the fullness of Joy, how we can have the fullness of Joy in a relationship with with Jesus. And it's really my intent as we work through the book of Philippians.

There's four chapters as we kind of work through this together. I hope that all of us can understand where and how we can find fullness of of Joy. The question really that I mentioned last week and kind of an introductory sermon on the book last week. The question that the Apostle Paul is answering here in the four chapters in this letter to the church at Philippi is this. How can we have Joy even when we suffer even when we when we suffer the church at Philippi like many of the letters Paul would write. They were suffering because of persecution and because of their faith in Jesus. And so many of them were losing their life as a result of that and the Apostle Paul is writing this letter basically telling them and making the case that went with a relationship with Jesus in a relationship with Jesus.

You can have lasting eternal Joy despite all of the circumstances that you find yourself in. His reason is found in our text verse for the whole series is verse number 21 of Philippians chapter 1. His reason of why we can have Joy regardless of what happens in our life is in that verse. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

And so for the entire letter to the church at Philippi, the Apostle Paul is going to unpack what he means by that verse. What does it actually look like for you to live for Christ? What does it actually look like for you to give your life to him?

And so he's writing to this group of persecuted Christians that were afraid that were discouraged that were in pain and he's writing telling them that they can have Joy in spite of the circumstances that they find themselves in. Let me say this that every single one of you today are living for something. Every single one of us are living for something for some of you. It's money for to you to live is money right for some of you. It's your career for to me to live is my career for some of you and my kids are involved in sports. I'm always nervous to say this but here's what I'll tell you for some of us.

It's our kids sporting events and things like this for to me to live is is that for to me to live is popularity for to me to live is things and toys and things like that. Here's what I want you to understand every single one of us in this place are living for something. Every single one of us and Paul is saying that you can and should live and give your life to Jesus and here in Philippians chapter 1 we're going to look at verse 12 all the way through verse 30.

We're going to finish chapter 1 here today. And and here's what he what he does is is really in this passage. He is going to show you and I what our lives are going to look like and some characteristics about your life. If you choose to live for Christ, let's pick it up verse number 12 of Philippians chapter 1 says this but I would you should understand brethren that the things which happen unto me have fallen out rather. unto the furtherance of the gospel what Paul is referring to is the circumstances that he finds them finds himself in so as Paul is pinning this letter. He's sitting in a prison cell. He's awaiting execution based on what he says in chapter 4 and Paul is writing this letter right and he's writing this to a real church and he is writing saying that all of the things that have happened to him the beatings.

He's been beaten numerous times because of his faith in Jesus. He's now thrown into prison as a result of that and he's awaiting execution many of his colleagues and friends and ministry have actually like left him behind and things like that and he's looking at all of those circumstances and situations that he finds himself in and he's saying this that all of those things have fallen out rather into the furtherance of the gospel. What exactly is he's trying to say? Here's what he's telling the church at Philippi that even though I'm in a lot of bad circumstances and things don't look good and I'm writing from a prison cell. Hey, he is honestly in a way praising God because in that he's recognizing God is still blessing and using his circumstances to further the gospel. You see God wants to do that with your circumstances too, but too often we look at our circumstances and when they're bad we lose sight of the reason of why God is allowing the things to happen in your life to begin with and what Paul is saying he's got this great perspective. He's saying that hey prison waiting execution the beatings that I've experienced all of these negative things that look negative on the surface. I praise God because the gospel has been proclaimed as a result of that verse number 13 so that my bonds in Christ are made manifest in all the palace and in all other other places in other words, what he's saying is my bonds in Christ being made known or manifest.

He's saying that now as a result of all the bad things that have happened in my life. Here's the good news is that all the people in the palace all the the leaders in Rome and these different places that that he has been as a result of the circumstances that he's found in all of them are finding out that my allegiance is not here on this Earth, but my allegiance and bonds are actually in Christ verse 14 and many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Somebody preach Christ even of Envy and strife and some also of goodwill. The one preach Christ of contention not sincerely opposing to add affliction to my bonds, but the other of love knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. So what then notwithstanding every way whether in pretense or in truth Christ is preached and I there and do rejoice yea and will rejoice.

In other words what he's saying there. I know that's a lot of a lot of words and I want you to have some understanding of what he's saying here in this passage. He's saying this that some people are preaching Christ, you know competitively right. I want you to know that not every pastor in every pulpit has the motives that you desire for them to have. Okay, some of them are competing with with other preachers and other churches and other pastors and things like that. Some of them are in it for Envy and for strife and for selfish ambition and things like that. And here's what I want you to understand. Here's what Paul saying.

He's writing to this church and he's telling them this he's saying hey, listen, we get it some preachers that you listen to and some preachers that you might have heard and in your community and things like that. Some of them they're in it for selfish ambition. They're in it for Envy. They're in it for for all of these things. They're in it for themselves.

And here's what he said. Hey, I can't judge any of their hearts. And by the way, you can't judge any of their hearts or stop trying. But here's the point Christ is being preached and as a result of that I rejoice even if they're their motives are not exactly what I would want them to be. Yea, I still rejoice because Christ is being preached verse number 19 for I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ according verse number 20 according to my earnest expectation and my hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed but that with all boldness is always so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body whether it be by life or by death for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. What Paul was saying is that death is not defeat for the believer. Death is actually gain for the believer.

So he goes on and he expounds for a moment about that. He says verse 22, but if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor. Yet what I shall choose I what not for I'm in a straight betwixt two. In other words, he's got a difficult decision to make and he's he's torn in his spirit having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better.

In other words, man. I've never heard anybody say something like this, right? He's basically saying this I'm torn between living and dying.

That's a pretty strong statement. You know, I don't think any of us would say we're at that point right because we all want to live right. We want to live we want to enjoy life. We want to be here.

We don't want to lose family. We don't want to lose the things behind and all the things that we work for and the Apostle Paul is literally in this difficult moment sitting in prison saying that he is having some tension in his spirit between living and dying verse number 24. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. In other words, his work is not done. They still the church at Philippi still needs him. So while he's here, he is going to live for Christ verse 25 and having this confidence. I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again verse 27.

We're almost done only let your conversation be as it become if the Gospel of Christ the word conversation. I wish I had some more time to dig in but here's what it means. It literally means conduct. It carries on the idea of being a good citizen of heaven while you're still here.

That's what he's saying. He's saying let your conversation your life your conduct everything about you. Let it become like the Gospel of Christ. So everything that you've experienced in Jesus should be true and how you're living here.

Isn't that amazing? Like I don't know if that's always true of us, right? We take our circumstances. We take our situation and we almost tailored our response based on what circumstances give you what the Apostle Paul is saying is that your response should always be as the gospel has been to you. So if somebody wrongs you treat them the way Jesus treated you. Somebody hurts you treat them the way that Jesus treated you something happens at your work that you don't like treat the people the way Jesus has treated you.

That's what he's saying. He's like let your conversation be like Christ that whether I come and see you or else be absent. I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one spirit one mind striving together as a church for the faith of the gospel and in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them evident token of perdition for but to you of salvation and that of God for unto you it is given on in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on him but also to suffer for his sake having the same conflict which he saw in me and now here to be in me. Listen, that's a lot of verses right any of you as exhausted as I am reading through that.

Okay, I'm right there with you. I know it's a lot and sometimes when you read the Apostle Paul and his writing sometimes it's a lot for us to process. It's a lot for us to take in and that kind of thing for the few moments. I want to give you just say I could give you a lot of things from those verses, but I think he mentions three things. Remember I told you that the theme verse for the entire series is verse number 21 for to me to live as Christ for to me to live as Christ and really the entire book is his response to that verse saying what does that look like for to me to live as Christ? What is that going to mean?

What is that going to require? How are people around me going to see that in my in my life? He mentions three things that I think are are helpful for you and I think these would be true of your life if you're living for Christ.

So what I want you to do is the three things we're going to look at today if they're not true of your life. Then here's what that means. That means you're probably living for something other than Jesus Christ.

That's a pretty strong statement, right? So let's dive in the first thing that we find here that he says if you're living for Christ and nothing else the first thing there will be joy in your soul. There will be joy in your soul. Look at verse number 18. What then right? He's talking about different preachers and different things like that talking about circumstances. He's kind of everything he said up to this point.

He says what then notwithstanding every way whether in pretense or in truth. Here's the message Christ is preached and when Christ is preached there in I do rejoice. Yes, I will rejoice you see here. We see this incredible amount of joy in your life. Let me say that Christians should be the most joyful people on planet Earth. If I was to look at your if you're a Christian if I was to look at your Facebook feed. I should see more joy than I do in those feeds that don't know Jesus. That makes sense.

Okay, you track them with me. Okay, Christians should be joyful now I can speak to this because I grew up in church. How many of you grew up your whole life in church? You've been in it. You've been around it. It's all you know. I've only been around Christians and and so that's just what I'm used to that's my people.

I love it. I became a Christian a follower of Jesus at a young age. And so I've been around it my whole life. But here's what I'll tell you. There's a lot of Christians that do not have joy in their soul. They say hey, I'm a Christian. We know where you can find them on Sunday morning.

But when you see them during the week, you don't see what I see in Philippians chapter 1. About the joy that is overflowing in their life. Let me tell you this Christians have to be joyful. They should be joyful if you're living for Jesus. In other words, you're living for him and nothing else.

Nothing more nothing else. If you're living for him, there's going to be joy in your heart. It's going to be joy in your soul. Think about it this way the Apostle Paul where he's writing from and he's telling us to be joyful when I was first in ministry back in around 2007. I was I got asked there was a guy in the church that I grew up in who had a prison ministry. So he would go into local prisons and he would preach the gospel and he had this whole ministry that he would share with people there. And and so one day he asked me if I would be willing to go with him and preach a message to all of the inmates there in in the jail. And and so I was like sure and I didn't really think much about it and I didn't really think you know much about the situation. I was like, hey, I preach to other people all the time.

I'm sure this will be no different and that kind of thing. So I said yes, and so I get down to it and I had to go through all of these hoops in order to get into the jail. Okay, and so I had to like fill out all this paperwork and different things so that I could go in to be with him and to preach and so as I started to do that I started realizing wow, this is a little bit different than preaching to people every day as much as you might disagree with this the people that are in jail are not really my type of people. Okay, and so I was a little bit intimidated.

So I remember going through there and I walk in and I'm just talking to people I realized that's not the culture there in the prison cells. Okay, so my personality was a little bit different than what is normal and there so I walk in and I got my Bible and and I'm ready to give this message of encouragement and I remember going into this open area where all these guys just came in and and I mean they were all in there and they were rough and and things like that and I mean it was just like man. I've never felt more intimidated in my life.

Okay, I feel intimidated when I get in front of y'all usually but this was a whole new level of intimidation. So I'm standing there and I got my Bible and I remember vividly just praying God. I need you to just give me something that I can encourage them with and in the midst of how terrible it is in here it smelled it just wasn't a good situation and I was thinking the whole time I was like give me something that I can instill some amount of joy to these men who I don't know their stories but who are in here possibly for the rest of their life. So you think about that and I shared my message and there I was I was in other words a free man going into a bunch of prisoners trying to encourage them to have the joy of the Lord in their life and in their circumstances.

That's that's a tough task, right? But listen to this here's why the book of Philippians is so special here. I was a free man telling a bunch of prisoners to have joy the book of Philippians is the opposite of that. Here's what the book of Philippians is you have the prisoner the one in the prison cell and he's the one proclaiming the message to all the free people there in Philippi and in the church at Philippi have joy have joy you have the prisoner teaching the free people how to have joy isn't that wild that's so different than what we think the one thing that's so different than what we think the ones who are free should be the ones that are joyful the ones that are free should be the ones that are teaching the prisoners how to have joy but yet here the philosophy is what Paul's realizing he's sitting there in prison and he has more joy than all the ones gathering at the church at Philippi. Isn't that amazing that's the point we must have have joy yes joy is an emotion you should show it by the way I mean however you want to show it but I'll tell you this church should not feel like dead right it should be alive in this place you should be joyful you should be encouraged when you come in here this shouldn't be a place where you come and leave here and need somebody to encourage you when you leave this is that place we should be happy we should be joyful but not only is joy an emotion but here what we find here in in verse number 18 of our text when Paul saying about joy it's not only an emotion joy is a decision joy is a decision you see what he's saying here is that hey Christ is preached and in that I rejoice yes I will rejoice he's making a decision Paul's attitude didn't match his situation did it look at his attitude I'm joyful in prison really no his attitude didn't match the situation he didn't say man I'm going to be joyful church when I get out of this prison cell no he said I'm going to make a decision right here in the midst of prison to be joyful you see joy is a redemptive decision that you make where you refuse to be held hostage to the emotions that your circumstances bring into your life let me say that again joy is this redemptive attitude about your life where you decide to be joyful and not allow the pressures and the emotions that your circumstances bring into your life that they don't control you in fact joy is a decision that we make to choose joy in other words what Paul saying I'm going to choose joy in prison I'm going to choose joy in pain I'm going to choose joy in death I'm going to choose joy in bad news I'm going to choose joy in job loss I'm going to choose joy in grief you see that's the point joy yes it's an emotion yes we should be happy yes we should lift up our hands yes we should you know smile and yes we should you know all these different emotions that we think of when we think of joy but joy is much more than that it's not just an emotion it's a decision that you make that you are not going to allow the emotions to hold you hostage based on the circumstances that are coming into your life that's what joy is that's what true joy is Paul was what I would consider an optimist how many of you there's no judgment in the room how many of you would say you're an optimistic person raise your hand okay how many of you would say and be honest because the Lord's watching you today okay how many of you would say I'm not an optimist I'm more of a pessimist in the way that you look at life okay raise your hand okay there's a few of you who are bold in here and that would say that you're a pessimist I feel like pessimist always get kind of the bad end of the stick you know and we always look down to pessimist and that kind of stuff but here's the thing where we all look at life differently some of us look at life you know glass is half empty so some of us look at it no it's half full and and we all look at life different here's what I'll tell you about the way Paul looked at his life he looked at this as what I would consider an eternal optimist in other words when he looked at his life prison waiting execution been beaten numerous times this is probably the end for him and he looks at all these circumstances he looks at all of them and he says they're in I do rejoice how because when he's looking at all these circumstances and he's writing this letter he has to be able to see there's good that's coming out of these circumstances that there's some good that's coming from this the further into the gospel is happening as a result of his circumstances you see Paul had the same attitude that Jesus had you remember Jesus what does it say about Jesus who for the joy before him what did he do he endured the cross you see Jesus went to the cross with joy the joy that Paul's talking about that's the joy that that Jesus was able to face the crucifixion with now there's nothing joyful in my mind about a crucifixion is there what what could possibly be that Jesus was able to endure the cross with such joy the only way as he stood on a cross and was hung up there with his arms stretched wide the only way he could endure such a terrible moment with joy is what he was going to inherit as a result of the pain you see the result was greater than the pain you say what was the result of the cross the only thing he could achieve that he didn't have before was a relationship with you you're the reason why it was joyful you're the reason why he could endure the pain because he could have the salvation of your soul as a result of that you see that's the joy that he had that's the same thing that Paul's finding here Paul saying hey all these things that I'm experiencing I can be joyful in the midst of it why because the gospel is being proclaimed the salvation of souls is greater to him than any of this situation and circumstances that he finds himself in that's the point how many of you would raise your hand and say I have a long way to go then where Paul is raise your hand again right there with you I felt like I needed to ask that because I felt like I was on an island there for a moment listen I got a long ways to go when I preach this I don't want you to think that I've perfected any of this like I am so far from what Paul what I'm teaching you today I'm so far my circumstances a lot of time dictate my attitude all the time like for the last few days like we had to go down for a baseball tournament down in Churchland if you've never been down to Churchland like it's like a whole nother part of the world not to go all the way to Churchland like every day this week to watch my son play baseball you know what going I'm getting in car I'm all excited man we're going to ball field or whatever I get on 150 and somebody's going 35 miles per hour I'll just tell you right now my joy was not very full when that happens okay kid you not yesterday got on there and I'm going as fast as I could and I saw in front of me if you've ever been there you know what I'm talking about you see them they're about to pull out and you're like if I can speed up enough to where they can say I can't make it or whatever so I was like going so fast trying to get it so they wouldn't pull out and they're a trailer with a tractor pulls out right in front of me yesterday listen here's the thing like my our circumstances dictate our joy I'm getting better at this but you know what if my team loses it doesn't matter no okay does it does to me okay listen we we allow circumstances to dictate our joy all the time right and here's what Paul saying don't allow your circumstances to to impact whether you're joyful or not allow your relationship to with Jesus and allow the furtherance of the gospel to be what dictates how you feel the second thing not only is there going to be joy in your soul if you're living for Christ here's the second thing you're going to have hope for your future if you if you have joy in your soul and you're living for Jesus and nothing more nothing less verse number 20 look what he says here he says according to my earnest expectation and my hope if you mark in your Bible I'd encourage you to mark that phrase earnest expectation in fact this word I did a long study on that phrase I wanted to I knew it meant eager this expectation that phrase in Greek is so good in fact the word earnest it's it comes from this Greek word I'm going to show it up here it's called apocrydonia and and it's this Greek word it's where we get the word okey dokey and so it's a joke and so I don't know where that came from but but it's not true some of you are googling like I didn't know that's where that came from right but this Greek word is actually so important for you to understand in fact it's only used two times in scripture it's just right here in Philippians chapter 1 verse number 20 but it's also used in Romans chapter 8 when Paul as well who used it used it expressing his eagerness to wait on the manifestation of God you say what is this word actually mean in its original language this is so good I want you to see this it means this to watch literally look it up in Greek here's what it's going to say to watch with an outstretched head so it got me thinking you know I'm looking okay an earnest expectation here Paul is riding there in the midst of prison he's awaiting execution he's writing about the joy he has in the Lord he is about to expound upon the tension that he has between living and between dying and all these different things and in the midst of this he says this according to his earnest expectation in other words according to his earnest watch with an outstretched head the word has the idea of straining or stretching your neck say what in the world does that mean and what does that have to do with with hope here's the point that the meaning of the word is this is he was saying that in the midst of his circumstances in the midst of his life he is so living for Christ then in the midst of every circumstance good bad and all of it he's got his neck stretched looking for something he's got this hope that is greater his neck is outstretched looking or waiting for someone it's kind of like this you know when you have young kids riding and when they're really little they're attached to you right you remember those days and some of you have older kids that are the same way right they're still attached okay and and remember when they're really little and they're attached and and and you gotta run somewhere or you gotta you know go somewhere I remember for us when we would my kids were they go all go through those phases where they just don't want to be away from mom and dad and and so I remember we take them somewhere to a babysitter's house and I remember you take them in there and and you parents understand you kind of get them all comfortable you're giving the babysitter some you know information and you're getting them all like hey look at all these amazing toys that this place has and everything and you're getting them all situated and stuff and then you're like now's the time let's sneak out of the house right and so what do you do is minute that they're not looking you kind of you dart you kind of sneak out and and go and and that kind of thing but if you remember if you've ever tried to do that you remember when your kids are in that phase they're kind of looking for you they're watching for you so if you leave the room they come find you right and and when you start to head to the door they kind of look for you and they might stretch their head a little bit so that they can see because they want to make sure that you are in view with what they're saying that's the idea that Paul is writing he's saying he has this earnest expectation like a child looks for their parent and they want to make sure that their eyes are on them the whole time and they don't want to take their eyes off of them and they're looking for them that's what he's saying here now my kids are older so they're not like that so I think about my dog right my dog waits at our house my wife like posted a picture on Facebook this week my dog just waits by the front door and just looks at the front door and waits for me to get for me to get home right that's the idea that's what Paul saying with him living for Christ here's what it looks like in your life it means that your head and your neck is outstretched towards heaven and it means that you're looking for him and it means that you're waiting for him and it means that you are looking to the sky for him because that is the tension that he's feeling here he's like I don't really know if I want to live any longer because what I'm seeing up there far surpasses any of the glory I could experience here it far surpasses anything that I could ever experience here and he's experienced some good things here on this earth even though his circumstances didn't seem like it here and the point is he's looking to the sky with a hope a confident assurance and expectation that he's looking for what is to come listen the anticipation and expectation is awesome but it pales into comparison to when we actually see him coming in those clouds that's the point are you living for Jesus for to me to live is Christ say what does that mean it means you're going to be joyful people are going to want to be around you because you're happy you're joyful you have the joy the Lord on your face circumstances aren't going to dictate you know the joy the Lord is my strength it's going to sustain me in everything but not only that you're going to have a hope you're going to have an eager expectation for what is to come almost to the point where you're like the Apostle Paul man I'm torn I don't I love things here and life is good but guess what what I'm getting there is way greater I am torn between the two the third thing that you'll find here is this verse 27 not only if you're living for Jesus for to me to live is Christ if you're living for him nothing more nothing less you're going to have joy you're going to have hope number three you're going to have unity in the church look at what he says here after this exposition this commentary over over his life verse 27 he says only let your conversation your conduct be as it become at the gospel of Christ that whether I come and see you or else be absent I may hear of your affairs then he says this that you're standing fast in one spirit one mind and striving together for the faith of the gospel one spirit one mind striving together you see what he's saying here is that when you're living for Jesus and you're living for the gospel above anything else nothing more nothing less here's what he is saying is that there will be unity in the local church you'll be of one spirit you'll be of one mind and you are going to strive together for the faith of the gospel I want to expound for just a second will be done on what that means unity is not uniformity it when we talk about unity here's what I want you to understand it does not mean that you cannot have opinions it does not mean that you cannot have preferences it does not mean that that what I prefer if it if what you prefer is different than what I prefer it does not mean that that you are wrong no no it does not mean uniformity that we have to agree on everything we're not the church at Philippi they didn't agree on everything that differences they had different opinions and things like that what he saying here it is that for us it means living for Christ and living for the gospel it means that we are willing to put aside our preferences we are willing to put aside our differences for the sake of something greater and that's the gospel that's what he's saying church it means you lay down your preferences let me speak to our church for a minute if it's not your church home whatever this is kind of me just speaking directly to Union Grove for a second here's what that means it is that we make our preferences secondary to what is primary you say what's primary that's where we got to start right here's what primary is we glorify Jesus by reaching as many people as possible the gospel and to disciple them into becoming devoted followers of Jesus that's the scoreboard that's what we do that is what should unify us more than anything else that is primary so what is all these secondary issues mean that means that we can have a difference of opinion about music whoa whoa whoa Pastor Josh no you did not just say that it does it does another thing we can have a difference of opinion on dress we can have a minute got real quiet in here right there we can have a different opinion on colors service times all of the things that we prefer we can have a difference of opinion and here's what's the beauty of the gospel that's okay that's okay like listen I hope I never in a million years you come to me with all the preferences and all the ideas and all the opinions that you want here's what I never want to do as your pastor I never want to shoot any of that down I think it's awesome and I'm for it all but here's what I want you to know when all the secondary issues become primary in a church that's where you get problems and here's what I'll tell you as a church who went through and by the way I'm about to get off of my Union Grove kick here in a moment so if you kind of just joined us today we don't always talk like this but here's what I'll tell you as somebody who went through a church what we call a split don't know why those things happen secondary concerns become the primary focus and when that happens churches go nuts and you know who gets all the happiness from that the enemy because what it does what it does is it takes the effectiveness of the gospel out the community is impacted by those things so here's what we need to do as a church the primary thing the gospel of Jesus that's what the apostle Paul is saying here in Philippians 1 he is saying this that the primary thing is who we are and what we have in Jesus that is primary that is essential that's the main thing and so that is primary that's the thing that we are going to drive that's what unifies every one of us that's what unifies us all but here's the thing it's okay that we have differences all on the secondary issues and by the way I hope you're more mature enough than a lot of people where secondary issues are not going to become primary that's a spiritual maturity thing when we take those things and put them and elevate them to the top and what Paul saying is this is he saying this that a disunified church is not a church that is living for Christ he says for to me to live is Christ here's what that looks like joy and my soul doesn't matter if life doesn't matter if the door shut on a building program it doesn't matter about any of those things here's why because our joy is not in those things are joys in him you're going to have joy in your soul you know the second thing you're going to have your neck looking to heaven because what you're going to get with him and what is to come for a Christian is greater than anything you could ever experience here on this earth you're going to have a hope for the future but the third thing he says is real practical and personal he says church at Philippi when you live for Christ what you're going to find is you're going to be one spirit you're going to be one mind and you're going to strive together for the faith of the gospel you're going to be together listen you cannot be a disciple of Jesus walking in the joy of Jesus and be disconnected from the body of Jesus that's why what that's why we push everybody to to get involved in community like listen I just be honest man I don't I don't I'm going to be done I promise here in just a second I just want you to know something and I feel led to say this if this is all you get right here is it you're missing a element of what Jesus has for you no Christianity is not an individual sport it's a team sport it's not an individual sport if people in this room don't know you then you need to take a step deeper into the church you should be growing together you should be connecting deeper into the local church find out what that looks like and that's the point you cannot be a disciple of Jesus and walking in the joy of Jesus and not be deeply connected with the body of Jesus that's the point that's what he's saying here he says there's going to be unity for to me to live as Christ and here's what I'll tell you that when you are living for him and nothing more nothing less here's what happens in your life you get this is so good you get an unshakable Foundation about your life because when you place your your faith in Jesus and that's who you decide to live for here's what's awesome about he never changes he never changes he's the same yesterday today and forever and here's the beauty of that the reason why that creates a foundation that is unmatched by anything this world has to offer is because everything the world has to offer changes money changes careers change kids change lives change circumstances change doctors appointments change everything that you place your joy in here on this earth all changes the only thing that doesn't change is him and so that's why when you live for him for to me to live as him nothing more nothing less it provides a a unshakable Foundation and here's the point shaky circumstances do not ruin people shaky foundations do though that's what Paul saying he's saying listen church he's saying you know what ruins people it's not prison it's not a doctor's visit it's not getting hurt in a church it's not stuff like that no no shaky circumstances do not ruin people but shaky foundations they ruin a lot of people that's why Jesus said that you can build your life on him or you can build your life on the sand remember Jesus told us that he says when the waves come same circumstances right same weather forecast shows up in your life here's what happens is your foundation is going to make the difference not the storm it's where your life is built upon that's why for Paul Christ was his Foundation I want you to think about it like this and we're done I'm closing my Bible that means we're really done I was thinking about this and what this meant for you and I like to illustrate things because I think it helps us it's like this like I was thinking as I was reading this was like how what is I want this to I want us to get it I don't want you to leave here and just feel like there's another sermon that I don't know what to do with and I don't know how to apply it and here you go and that's it like for me here's the best application I can give you I wear contact lenses how many of you wear contacts okay and I have glasses at the house as well I don't wear those a whole lot and but my contacts when I don't have them in or my glasses I can't see nothing like I mean I'm just blind and it is not fun things are blurry when I go to the eye doctor it's always embarrassing when they tell me to take them out and then they're like hey read these letters and I'm like you know I can't read them just like last time like why are we doing this again and so there I go trying to read them and I'm squinting as hard as I can trying to muster up I'm trying to memorize them from last time I've just assumed they don't change them I don't know and here I am trying to see something through that but here's the difference when they tell me to put in my my contacts and then read them everything is just so much more clearly everything I can see it well with them everything is clear this is the best application I can give you a Philippians it's like Paul his lenses his glasses is Christ without them nothing makes sense everything's blurry but when he puts on Jesus Christ for to me to live as Christ it's like I see my circumstances I see prison through Christ I see execution through Christ I see a lot of people turning on me through Christ I see getting beaten through Christ and it makes all the difference you know what some of you need to do today you need to put on the lens of Christ in your life and you're going to see wow there's some good and all the bad around me the Gospels being proclaimed because of it but without the lens of Christ you're going to miss it you're going to miss all of what God wants you to do and God has for you in life can you bow your heads with me.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-17 19:55:19 / 2024-04-17 20:14:28 / 19

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