Joy in Complete Submission to Christ
Book of Philippians 1:18-30
My pastor recently preached a sermon on “Doing My Little Part”. Some examples were:
1) The brick walls. A wall of bricks of any size begins with just one brick. If I do what the Lord has called me today then I can be one of those bricks in the salvation plan of God. That would be my ministry!
2) The Bible. The Bible is the most important Book on the face of this earth but the Bible consist of 66 books and each one of those books has in it the Word of God and the same message from start to finish. We need all 66 books to have the complete message of God. Not bits and pieces.
3) The United States is a great nation. Within the United States there are 50 states. Without every state doing its part how can we say we are united but being united is what makes us a great nation. America is more divided now than at any other time in its history. Most people know what truly caused that division (not slavery), yet those lessons are forgotten. It is a fact that a handful of people cannot dictate the actions of the many without division and then failure. Which is the goal of those who finance this division!
Even the Christian Church is divided because some handful of so-called Christian leaders have chosen to say God has become a liberal and abandoned His truth, when God is neither liberal nor conservative, God is just God and He never changes nor will He ever change from the completed Words He has given us. If God changed every season, how could we trust Him. Which again is the goal of those who push this agenda.
As Christians, all have our little part to do in the salvation plan of God!
It is also a fact that no one can face the wiles of the Devil on their own!
As we ended last week’s lesson the Apostle Paul gave us these words:
Php 1:17 But the other of love, “knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel”.
Paul joined the other 11 Apostles and said, we must defend the “Gospel”, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is the “Gospel”?
1) The Gospel is in fact all 66 Books of the Bible.
2) The “Gospels” are in fact the first 4 Books of the New Testament. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
3) The “Gospel” is the history of the birth, the life, the works, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, and the doctrines of Jesus Christ!
4) The “Gospel” is the revelation of the “Grace of God”!
5) The “Gospel” is the salvation plan of God, presented from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21
It is called the Gospel of God. Rom 1:1 (all 66 books)
Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, “separated unto the gospel of God”.
It is called the Gospel of Christ. Rom 1:16 (the four Gospels)
Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of “the gospel of Christ”: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
It is called the Gospel of salvation. Eph 1:13 (The works of Jesus Christ and the promises of God)
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, “the gospel of your salvation” in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
The truth is we must never allow the circumstances of this world to come into our lives and prevent us from serving the Lord!
*****Php 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Paul was in bondage in Rome and he would remain that way for at least two years.
Much of that time was spent chained to a Roman soldier, so Paul could only witness to one man at a time.
We can just imagine that not many Roman guards were easily impressed by anyone such as Paul.
They had one duty and that was to make sure Paul did not escape or it would cause their own death.
We can just imagine how Paul took advantage of this truth because death is a reality for every soldier!
Later Paul was placed under house arrest in his own hired house with no freedom to leave.
Yet even in all these circumstances the “Gospel” was spreading in Rome.
In fact, the talk of the town was the Lord Jesus Christ.
John Bunyan, also in bondage for preaching the “Gospel” said: “I never had in all my life so great an inlet into the Word of God as now. Those Scriptures that I saw nothing in before are made in this place and state to shine upon me. I have seen that here which I am persuaded I shall never in this world be able to express”
In Paul’s case, we know that many who had stayed behind closed doors became bold enough to preach the truth of the “Gospel” more openly.
Paul also expressed a great desire to study all the Scriptures again even after all his years as a missionary.
2Ti_4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
We also know that there were many who were envious of Paul and used this same boldness for evil saying that Paul was locked up for things other than the “Gospel”.
And of course, just as today, there were also many who rose up in dispute of the “Gospel”!
Paul said whether in pretense or the truth, Jesus Christ was the talk of Rome and Paul could rejoice knowing that even under these circumstances he had continued to do the best he could to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ, allowing Paul great joy under dire circumstances!
One of the greatest acts of God is to take something that was intended for evil and make something good come out of it.
While in Jerusalem, and many other nations, including Rome, there were many trying to stop the spread of the Gospel, God had a better plan!
The only thing that can stop the “Gospel” is when we quit being witnesses for the Lord, when we rebel against the “Great Commission”!
This brings to mind the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis.
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
God has His way of doing these things!
We also know that Paul, by the Holy Spirit gave us most of his epistles while in bondage in Rome.
It is always our job to speak out the “Grace” of God no matter our circumstances.
We must always rely on the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” because it is the only truth that will lead to salvation, which is reconciling ourselves with our Holy God!
We must refuse to be envious of anyone else, as we all have our own part and God rewards according to how we do our own part and God never compares our work with what others do.
The Lord does not require big ministries but they are ok.
The Lord does not require big names.
The Lord does not require a great following or large numbers.
The Lord only requires faithfulness and effort, effort being the greatest key to rewards and not any other thing!
As our world deviates from the Gospel we need to remember the words of the Apostle John:
2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2Jn 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
None of these things are open for dispute nor even discussion. The Word of God is just the truth!
Another thing that happened was that the more the Christians heard of Paul in bondage, the more the prayers for his release.
*****Php 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Paul had great joy in knowing, that the Lord Jesus Christ was the talk of all Rome.
Paul had great joy in knowing, if deliverance did not come while he was in bondage, it would certainly come when the Lord called him home!
Paul had great joy in knowing, that salvation had come to Rome. It was time for those who heard the Gospel to make that choice that we all must make.
2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2Co 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
What is the truth of Paul that should also be true to every “Born Again” child of God?
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
If we cannot love the lost, we will never try hard enough for their salvation! We cannot save them but we can lead them to the One who can!
We always seem to concentrate on those who speak the loudest against the Word of God, when we need to concentrate on those who have never heard the Word of God and those who need another opportunity.
We can also realize what Paul realized, God will save us and deliver us even from criticism and opposition.
1) Because of the prayers of those who support the truth of God. (This Philippian Church would begin to pray just as soon as they received this epistle)
2) Because it is the job of the Holy Spirit to delivers us from all evil or supply all our needs as we go through such things!
Mat_6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luk_11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
We seem to forget these things.
By the way for those nay-sayers, the Spirit of Jesus Christ is the same Holy Spirit, who is the Same Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit of God!
Many of God’s children shudder in fright at the Holy Ghost but He has the same love of God, because He is God!
It is the Holy Ghost who was given to us “to share with us the deep things of God”
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
We seem to forget these things.
What should be the goal of every believer? To be like Christ! “This is being a Christian”
To be saved is one thing.
To be Christian is to be saved with Jesus Christ magnified in our own bodies!
*****Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
To be Christian is to allow Jesus Christ to be magnified in our own bodies!
When will the rapture take place and we join our Savior while we live?
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature “waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God”.
When will we join our Savior if we die before the rapture of the Church?
2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
We can only be bold in Christ when we are filled the Holy Spirit!
Joh_14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Once saved we are endowed with the Holy Spirit who will never leave us for any reason.
BUT: 1) We can grieve the Holy Spirit. (We can offend the Holy Spirit)
Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
2) We can “Quench” the Holy Spirit. (Put out His flame for the work of the Lord)
1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
3) We can resist the Holy Spirit. (Stand against, or oppose Him and the ways of the Lord)(Normally before salvation)
Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Just as a gas tank that needs a refill, though the Holy Spirit will never leave us, we need to pray for a refilling of the Holy Spirit at least every day but maybe before each and every decision we make!
The 12 Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ (includes Paul) all had great powers but none of those powers could be used on themselves.
They had great knowledge of many, many things of God, but they did not know all things, especially things concerning themselves!
They had to rely on the Holy Spirit and so it is with each and every Christian! (this will not ever change)
We would be fools to ever be ashamed of the “Gospel”!
We are fools if we do not follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be available to the Lord always!
Paul had to exercise his “faith” and patience just as much as any of us do!
What is hope? The desire of some good with a great expectation of obtaining it!
We can have hope in the promises of God because we have God’s guarantee that we will obtain all His promises!
Paul was a natural born leader trained to rule in Judaism and the Supreme Court of Israel, yet the Lord made Paul a humble servant of the Word of God to the people of God.
Paul was nothing until the Lord Jesus Christ was magnified in his body and guess what neither are we!
We are nothings until the Lord makes a something out of a nothing! It’s called the act of “Creation”. The Lord Jesus said we must be “Born Again” to be able to see the New Heaven!
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
We must live Christ and when this is true, then death brings eternal riches beyond our imagination! (this does not mean money)
*****Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
The Apostle lived and breathed the Lord Jesus Christ. (a great example for us all)
When we can travel in peace on this earth, we can cross over to the other side realizing things will actually be much, much better! (Joy)
When we can experience never ending life today and recognize that we actually have no clue of just how wonderful life with the Lord can be, we can certainly have that desire to be with the Lord. (Joy)
Death to the Christian is just saying good bye cruel world and hello to the never-ending day of glory! (Joy)
When we present our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord, the Lord will present each Christian to His Father as a new husband would present his perfect wife to his own farther. (Joy)
When we yield our bodies, it means all our bodies.
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
We must give our whole body.
We must give all our mind.
We must give all our heart.
We must give all our soul.
Our Christian life can be good but our Heavenly life will be much more better!
Jesus Christ is our source of existence and our source of life!
Whatever death brings to the Christian we still know that Jesus Christ will be the Lord of it!
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Jesus Christ gave every breathing moment of His life to the Church surely, we can give Him all we have of our own bodies!
We cannot base our life on the things of this earth that are aging and will one day pass away, as if they had never existed!
It is only though our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be a part of that world where nothing can ever age and nothing can ever pass away.
It would be easy to say well Lord just take me on home and He would have done that when He saved us but there still some things that need to be done before we go home to Heaven.
*****Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
Life in the glory world with the Lord Jesus Christ will be so much better that it is certainly hard to concentrate on this world but if we are part of the army of God and have lost family and friends and neighbors it could be much better for them if we stay here on this earth for a while longer!
We cannot save any of them but we certainly be available to tell them about the Lord when that opportunity presents itself!
Remember Stephen, that even while he was being stoned to death and realizing that he would die, he was still bold to deliver the message of God because he knew his death “would really be life”.
Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Act 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
We should also notice, his flesh was not dead when his breath left his body, “his flesh was dead when his spirit left his body”. (this why people can be revived)
Paul’s desire to be a soul winner was greater than his desire to die so that he could be with the Lord but only because we need to always leave death in the hands of the Lord!
Personally, I am so glad that Paul chose to give more time to the Church and the “Gospel”.
Paul was very confident that this was the right choice! This must be the choice that we make!
*****Php 1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;
Php 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Confidence comes from our “Faith”!
The chosen Apostles of God were given many powers to use in their ministry but they could not use them on themselves!
The Apostles could not see their own future no better than we can ourselves!
Act 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
As Christians if we are involved in a ministry that God has called us into, we can be sure that we are safe in the arms of God until our part of that ministry is complete. God may take us home after that. God may give us another ministry after that. God may use us in some other way. Only we can put ourselves on a shelf!
We should never desire to be put on a shelf awaiting the outcome of things that we know are coming, according to the Word of God!
Paul had a desire to be with the Lord, I do too and I am sure that would include most of us that know the Lord but we have a purpose and now is the time for that purpose!
It is all our job to take the “Gospel” as far as we can!
There is no greater joy than being involved in the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We can depart this world and be with Christ. This is His promise!
We can remain in this world and be with Christ which is not as good but, Christ will still be with us always!
We must love the Lord and desire to be with Him, absolutely.
We must also love the Lord enough to do what He has ask us to do, not out of duty but out of love! (holding forth the Word of God)
Christ was willing to lay all things aside in Heaven, including His Majesty to put of the flesh of a human to die in place of our sin.
Surely, we can be willing enough to lay things aside long enough to take His message to the world beginning in our own home and our own family.
We can tell that Paul loved to see and be around other Christians.
When you are around a bunch of Christians, you may hear about families, you may hear about this evil world but the one thing that is always consistent you will hear that the answer to every problem is Jesus Christ!
*****Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
The best way to start a conversation with another Christian is the way we lead our lives.
Are we living like we are a citizen of Heaven? We are just pilgrims passing through this world but while we are here we are to be “ambassadors” for Jesus Christ!
While we remain in this earth we will remain in the view of the public, especially those who have never heard of Christ Jesus and even those who have rejected Him.
We owe it to our Lord to be noticed as a Christian. To be a Christian is never to be a secret lifestyle!
We must remain in a group and stand fast in the Lord! Our King is coming soon to put things in the right place instead of this upside-down world we live in now!
What is wrong with the Church today? There are so many unethical doctrines that have been substituted for the Word of God, people no longer know the truth.
Our young people are enticed into the place of worship but they are then never given the truth and they soon believe the “Gospel” is just a lie.
Until foolish people begin to consider the Word of God themselves, they will always allow those who would twist the truth into some false thing!
We need to hear of the affairs of every house of worship to see if they follow the ways of Christ Jesus.
Today the name Jesus Christ is not mentioned in some places of so-called worship because it may offend someone. (You got to be kidding me)
Those that are offended by Jesus Christ in this “Day of “Grace” have already rejected the only means of salvation!
Sad but also true!
When we live according to the Word of God (rightly divided) we will easily stand out in this evil world!
When we strive to make this world a better place, we will meet with opposition from every side but that means we try harder and never give up.
After all who can stop the Lord when He refuses to be stopped!
As far as the laws of this land, we are to serve the Lord and the laws of Heaven. If the laws of this land survive the test of the Word of God, then we must abide, if they do not, we must adhere to the law of God!
We must do everything we can to remain at peace with this world that will never know true peace.
Our job is to grow in “Grace” in our daily walk with the Lord.
This is the job of the individual but also the entire congregation of the Church.
We must remain in oneness in the love and the service of Jesus Christ.
People may see us to be strange and that is great because we are never to resemble this world!
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
When we do this, we will:
1) talk right
2) dress right
3) live and conduct ourselves right
4) we will proudly declare to be a Christian
5) we will carry out the affairs of Heaven without hesitation
6) we will separate ourselves from those who call this world their true home
And we must never be terrified by the evil things we see or hear in this world!
*****Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
We must never be ashamed of the “Gospel”!
To be honest to be timid in the work of the Lord shows a lack of “faith”!
It means we may not trust the Lord enough.
When we do not trust the Lord, we will become the prey of those in this world!
Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
We must remember if we are reproached for the work of the Lord then we are doing something right!
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
When we have the fear of the Lord, there is nothing upon this earth that can bring a greater fear.
When we honor the “Gospel” and the one who holds the “Gospel” then we will strive to worthy of the “Gospel”!
When we are timid it is possible we are dishonoring the “Gospel”!
When we are timid we find it hard to stand firm in the “Gospel”!
When we are timid, the only safe place is within a body of believers who are not timid!
It is only as a team that we can overcome the evil of this world and we simply cannot quit and walk off the field!
Courage and fearlessness should be the traits of the Christian.
Many display Christ as a wimp. Jesus Christ was the adopted son of a carpenter and if you noticed the homes of that day, not many were not made from wood. Jesus Christ was a real man!
The truth of all those who persecute Christians is that they are sealing their own doom!
Christian persecution is a sign that the Christian way is real and true!
Christian persecution is to be a privilege and not a terror!
It should be a privilege to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ!
We are never to deny our Lord under any circumstance!
We are to face the same conflict as Paul.
We know it would be far better to be with the Lord but for those in our own family and those we love it may be better if we remain here a while longer.
*****Php 1:30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
We must remember Paul is teaching the Church by the Holy Spirit.
The Power of the Church lies in the Holy Spirit and the strength of the Church lies in the unity of the actions of the Church.
Satan has been at his job for a long time and no one has ever come up with a plan to defeat him except Jesus Christ, who got this plan from His Father in Heaven.
There is nothing that anyone can do that can add to the destruction of Satan beyond the Word of God.
We must surely contend for the faith!
Jud_1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
To contend is to fight, to strive, to use great effort in defense of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”.
We can take this to mean a lot of things but it is best to accept it as it is written!
The Apostle Paul never backed down from his defense of the “Gospel” and he suffered greatly for it because in many cases he stood alone.
No matter what the rest of the world is doing to stop their own persecution and giving in to the terror and the government, the safe side is still the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
After all, the only one I have ever known to rise from the dead and enter the glory land is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is best to see what He did and follow Him all the way to “Glory”!
Remember our strength is not in numbers, our strength is in unity, one mind for Christ Jesus!
Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
To submit is to yield to the power and the authority of our Savior and our Redeemer!