Dealing With Anxiety

Dealing With Inner Anxiety

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 3:13-22

It can be said that “anxiety” is the state of mind when we are so concerned about someone or something, to our own harm.

1) This could be a genuine concern:

The Apostle Paul writing about his concern for the church at Philippi.

Php 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
Php 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

The Apostle Paul writing about his anxiety for all the “Body of Christ”.

2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

2) This could be concern about the distorted perspectives of life:

The Lord Jesus Christ speaking of His concerns of teaching the Word of God.

Mar 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not prohibit genuine concern for one another nor for the Church!

The Lord Jesus Christ did teach us to keep all these things in perspective!

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Listen as we see how Peter tries to help the persecuted church.

*1Pe 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

The primary sense of these words is “if we are inoffensive in our Christian behavior” the world will be less likely to injure us.

If we are anxious to do good, we are less likely to suffer from doing evil.

God does not teach us how to handle our troubles received from sinful behavior!

God does teach us how to handle our troubles that come about from our righteous behavior.

Neither is Peter speaking of troubles that are just part of life itself, even though godly principles will work in all situations in life or they would not be godly principles.

As Christians we are all going to suffer persecution, some much more and much worse than others!

So how can we be assured that we will stand up under persecution and still be counted faithful?

How can we be sure we will endure and still keep the hope of eternal life and still live with the Lord forever?

There is only one way! We must take our stand on the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what is going on in our life!

We must be followers of that which is good!

The only good we can be sure of, is those things that are according to the revealed will of God!

This means “for it is written” or, “thus sayeth the Lord” or, “for I the Lord” and other phrases had better be adhered to, when we take the Word of God in the context that it is written!

Sometimes, the only relief for those who are suffering persecution is when he or she remembers the promises of God that cannot fail, and remember at death we go immediately home to be with the Lord.

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 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

One of the biggest faults of the church today is that we walk by sight and not by “faith”!

How did the Apostle Paul put it?

Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Let’s continue to learn from the Holy Spirit.

*1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Some would say “how is it possible to be happy with any sort of suffering”? The truth is when we are focused on Jesus Christ and the works, that He did to cause us to be saved, then suffering in this world does not really feel like suffering. It just feels like we have joined our Savior in His suffering!

This is the key to our own relief of mind!

If we have done some good and then suffer because of it, we have just become aware of a world that calls evil good and righteousness bad!

One of the greatest truths in the Scriptures should keep us on the right path.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Doing good and being righteous are both conforming to the standard God has set for us!

2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

The Lord Jesus had no fear for what the world could do to Him, because He had come to this earth to do whatever it would take, that you and I and all who would believe upon Him would be linked once more to the Father of life, and that life eternal. Meaning once again joined to our Father in Heaven, in His place, even in His home with nothing in this world that could cause this to not be true!

Really only one thing is needed! We must sanctify the Lord God Jehovah in our hearts!

To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’s use and if we suffer because of this, then we are being more like His So, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Notice Jesus was always prepared to give an answer but at the same time, not all people deserve an answer to certain questions!

Not all, but many will see our hope in the Lord, and they will ask about this hope seeking it for themselves, and this is what witnessing is all about!

Others, who see this as something evil will never understand until they see the true Christian and one day, they too will be ashamed of their actions.

Today the world sees the make believe Christian and it is so easy to see they are hypocrites.

Then the world will say anything bad about them, using them as an example of the Church to downgrade the Church founded by Christ Jesus.

The word church is does not mean every group of people with religion, it means only the “Body of Christ”.

Religion is not the answer, “faith” in the work of Jesus Christ is the only answer!

When the world sees the true Christian, who gives them nothing to speak bad things about, they get mad and their hatred boils because the true Christian puts them to shame!

Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

It is far better to suffer for being a true Christian than to suffer for being a make-believe Christian.

It takes much more than being the child of Christian parents, or attending a Christian Church, or raising your hand in a Sunday School Class or Vacation Bible School. You must sincerely ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart. Even this does not build perfection except in the eyes of God.

It is the Holy Spirit who will build perfection for the world to see all your days as a Christian, until “perfection reaches glory” when we come face to face with Jesus!

This is much better!

*1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

We could say, what is the will of God for our lives? That we follow in the ways of Jesus.

This is the will of God for all people. There are not many ways to serve God but only one and this is through His Son, Christ Jesus!

When we become too afraid to go out into the world, just because we may suffer just for doing so, and stay at home, we have gone against the providence of God.

For instance, God supplies the little birds their food, but they still have to go out and hunt for it.

We must go out into this world with the Word of God to reap the benefits of Christianity, even if we have to suffer for it!

It is not the will of God that we suffer!

It is the will of God that we be more like His Son and He suffered just so we can be saved and like the prodigal son, we are returned to the Father!

The world may not punish us for evil doing or it may, but God will certainly punish us for evil!

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 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Why did the Lord suffer to begin with?

*1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Jesus Christ came to our world to get His Father’s children, and He had to suffer to do this thing to be obedient to His Father.

The Holy Father of all creation would never ask His Son to do this a second time!

It is the “Blood of Jesus” that made atonement for our souls! There was enough of that blood to save all in this world!

God has given this one chance to every to every human being that has ever lived, all the way back to Adam and Eve!

What did Enoch say?

Heb_11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Jud_1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

How do we please God? We accept His plan of salvation! There is no other way. This is what our “faith” must be based upon!

We accept that we are sinners in need of salvation. The “just” for the “unjust”. “Dead in sin, alive by the Holy Spirit”!

How did God preach unto the spirits in prison? By Jesus in power the Holy Spirit, who has all the character and the traits of God, because He is God!

Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

The Holy Spirit is also God!

*1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Many believe that the body of Jesus lie in that grave for 3 days and 3 nights because it is the truth and it is but God the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of Jesus” was very busy and one of the things that He felt the need to tell us was that He went to Hell and spoke to those who rejected Noah.

Here is another thing that the Holy Spirit did not have to tell us.

Did He go to give them another opportunity to get to Heaven? NO!

He went to meet with the man on the cross beside Him, He had made a promise to.
He went to gather all the Saints of God in Paradise and take them to Heaven.
He went to get the keys to Hell.
He went to preach to all those in Hell, much as Abraham spoke to the rich man, telling them their days of torment would never cease. After all this is a part of what Hell is all about. An eternity of misery with no opportunity to escape!

You see while Jesus was busy about the things that needed to be done as promised, He also proclaimed His victory over death to all those who were now believers, but they had waited too long! They could only bow at the feet of Jesus.

Luk 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

One thing of Catholic Doctrine needs to be cleared up. Christ Jesus did not offer those in Hell a second opportunity because that would have violated the truth of the Scriptures. There is no way to leave Hell once you get there! There is not enough money in this world that can change God’s mind about His plan of salvation!

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
*Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

This may be a terrible truth to those whose loved ones rejected the truth of God, but it is still the truth.

We need to concentrate on those around us who are still living!

While we are living, we may get many opportunities to come to the Lord or we may get only one opportunity.

Everyone will get at least one opportunity and most many opportunities!

At death all opportunities cease and they all will be like the rich man in this story of Lazarus the beggar!

In Noah’s day there were 8 souls saved by water because they trusted in the words of Noah given to Him by the Holy Spirit!

What we realize is, the worldwide flood of that day was an example of being baptized after having that faith in the Word of God!

We also see the wrath of God to those who rejected the truth of God!

*1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

We began our lesson talking about anxiety and in the end, we see our minds are cleared with a good conscience toward God that can come only by the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

You see we are saved by washing in water of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who cannot do His work until we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and begin our personal relationship with Him.

Jehovah God is not a faraway God who cares very little about His creation, but is an up-close and personal God who treats each one of us as His child!

We are not saved by ceremonies because ceremonies cannot affect our conscience toward God through Jesus Christ!

How is our conscience cleared by the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Our conscience is clear, because if God the Father, raised God the Son up from the dead, by the power of God the Holy Spirit, it means God is able to save us from our sin and cause us to be “Born Again”.

We can be delivered from all our offenses if we accept the work of the Son, the Messiah!

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

God has made this thing to be so simple if we only have “faith” in what He says!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

There is no one else we can call on and be saved except the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

So who are we saved from?

We are saved from all who live under the authority of God the Father!

This means there is nothing upon this earth and nothing in Heaven who has more power than our God!

*1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Where is the Lord Jesus Christ right now? Jesus is in Heaven.

How did the Apostle Paul say it?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We must clearly understand that our conduct upon this earth must be based upon our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must also clearly understand that that most of this world have a conscience that is not of God and their conduct will never be of God!

1Co 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

We must clearly understand that there are many people in this world who try to do some things good, but because they possess no goodness, they cannot understand the goodness of God.

At the same time they have a witness of goodness that will not get them closer to salvation, but is recognized by the world as greater than Christian goodness. We live in an upsidedown world!

For instance a certain rich man has spent much money to provide water to places who had only polluted water. On the surface this looks like a good thing and it could have been. In the end water companies were formed that provides water only to those who can afford to pay for it. Those poor who died without water before still die without water afterwards.

It would have been good had it been free drinking water for all, but this is the way of the world!

Does this have anything to do with our lesson? No, but it does show the “conscience” of the saved versus the conscience of the lost.

I believe next week we will see the mind of Christ and it will give us a better understanding.

For our minds to be on Christ, we must know that there is no authority here on earth, nor in Heaven, that can overcome the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ!!!

When the Lord in Spirit went to Paradise, He openly showed He was in control of all power even the power of “resurrection” to new life, a life they would never know because they had rejected this life.

Was the Lord rubbing it in (so to speak) on those who were already in misery. No not really, but Hell is a place of misery with nowhere to go to get away from it!

Those who think they have the power to overcome the Lord Jesus Christ already live in a dream world that cannot be true!

Amen

Let’s pray!

Having the Mind of Christ

Joy in Having the Mind of Christ

Book of Philippians 2:1-13

We must understand that before we met the Lord Jesus Christ our minds were depraved.

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Our minds were blinded by the lies of Satan.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Our minds were dark and actually worthless and ignorant.

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Finding the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ has changed these things for each and every believer!

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is this change that allows us to know the truth of God and show Him the love that He deserves from us!

It is this change that allows us to love ourselves and show that love to others!

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.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

There is truly a great love within the renewed mind of the Christian!

*****Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Unity is the state of being one!

The modern-day Church is stumbling along like a feeble old man because the Church has forgotten why the Lord Jesus Christ established the Church!

The Lord Jesus Christ has removed the penalty of sin from all believers and many act like they can now do as they please making them no different from this world who live by doing what they please!

What is wrong with our world today, especially that young generation who are misled by fools?

Pro_30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

We live in that generation today!

God is not pleased with this generation at all!

Isa_5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

These are hard things to say but the truth can be harsh to those who can see no further than their own nose and who listen to those who are trying to make them irrelevant to society and pretty much have done this now!

Whenever young minds are corrupted, there will be a corresponding outward show of corruption and this is a fact!

We cannot judge the evilness of those who are lost but when it reflects in the Church we can certainly see the outcome!

A nation divided will cause the church to be divided, when it is the job of the Church to cause unity!

If we truly love Christ, if are comforted by His love, if we have fellowship in the Holy Spirit, and love abounds, then why do we allow this world to divide our congregations? There is too much of the world getting inside the Church!

The strength of the Church is in unity! We are not to condone those who are unruly!
We are to warn them and then cast them out if they cannot change their ways! We are never to accept their doctrine!

1Th_5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, “warn them that are unruly”, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1Co_5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

The dividing of the Church must cease!

The church does not exist to impress the world!
The church exists to lead lost souls to Christ Jesus and be a force of good to hold back the evil of this world!

We fulfill the will of the Lord God Jehovah, when we are likeminded toward the truth of God and not the false lies of this world.

This Philippian church was a strong church. A strong church has a vision to carry forth the Gospel.

There should never be a vision of adapting to this world!

The Lord Jesus Christ never condemned anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ truly pointed out the only way to get to Heaven!

Everyone can live as they wish but they must understand there are consequences for doing so!

It is the fool who expects God to bend His own rules to accommodate those who go their own way ignoring the truth of God!

God has never allowed sin to remain in His house. God has never changed the rules to be there!

Jesus Christ wants no murmuring, no grumbling, no disturbance and no disunity in the church that bears His name.

All other places of so-called worship, are just gatherings of people who do as they wish and give the title “church” a bad name!

We can grow close together only when we let the comfort of Jesus Christ dwell within us! The comforter is the Holy Spirit, not some imaginary world view!

Rom_8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

How did the church begin? The church separated itself from the world!

Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Today the church has allowed the world to enter into the church and so goes the power of the church! Weak, and feeble, and for the most part irrelevant in today’s world!

The Church can only be strong when we are all in unity but that unity must be in the unchangeable Word of God.

Unity can only begin when we are in harmony with God! (this unity comes only by Jesus Christ)

Anything else will cause strife in the church!

*****Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. It is only by Jesus Christ we can be at harmony with God!
Those that say differently have rejected the Word of God or rewritten the Word of God to suit themselves!
When the words of Jesus have been rejected then that group is no longer a church!

If we see that anything is causing strife in the church, then we must get rid of it at all cost! The church must remain in unity!

We of the church must do nothing that will cause contention! When we see contention, we must stop it or remove it, even if it means removing that person or persons!

If we see those who seek their own vain glory then we need to remove that person.
Jesus Christ is the God of the Church and there is no glory beyond the “Glory of God”, all else is certainly vain!

We attend church first to praise God and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!
The Lord does not share His glory in the worship service, He only allows us to witness it!

We all know our own evil so it only makes sense to esteem all others better than we are!

Lowliness of mind is the freedom from “pride”!

Those so full of pride are not seeking God at all, they are seeking acceptance of their own evil!

Psa_10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psa_59:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.

Today we have the gay community seeking vainglory for themselves in the church and they have no intention of being obedient to the Word of God. There plan to deny being “Born Again” making the new birth irrelevent!

Vain glory is the exact opposite of the “Love of God”!

Many so-called churches have forgotten these things. They have rejected Jesus Christ. They have rejected the Word of God. They have rejected the only way to Heaven and they are leading their congregation to the doorway of Hell and they will shove them through that door, laughing all the way. (Which is Satan’s intent)

2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The Lord has saved us as servants not His servants but servants to each other!

*****Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

We that know the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal way, are only a cog in the wheel of the “Gospel” and in the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Those lost souls are too valuable to God for anyone to concentrate on their own selves.

Every believer is needed, which means that the main requirement is to be a “believer” in all the Word of God!

To be a believer means we must give the credit of our salvation to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we cannot submit ourselves to the Lord and walk in humility and lowliness, we will be of no use to the Lord!

The Lord does not teach us to seek anything from this world. We are to seek rest for our souls!

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

That yoke of the Lord, is the Word of God and the work that Christ has given us to do!

It is a fact that self-centeredness weakens relationships and also achievements. Humility requires courage to overcome our self-centeredness!

We must forget ourselves and look toward Jesus!

Heb_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The church is faltering because our minds are on satisfying the world and not satisfying the Lord!

*****Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Why do we falter and fail every day? We do not allow the example that Christ set upon this earth to be our example in the building up of the Church!

We simply cannot separate the mysteries of the Lord’s Person and His work from the greatness of His example for us to follow!

Jesus Christ was the very picture of humility.

The world may still try to reject it, but God humbled Himself and became a man just so He could be the substitute for our death!

Jesus Christ died for each and every sinner.

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

This is not the action God requires of each of us but it is the “mind”. In a sense, the mind is the “spiritual part of man’s nature”.

The mind that cannot see the works of Christ for salvation, will never be at rest.

Isa_26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Rom_8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

You see it was in the mind of God who designed His salvation plan. He placed this plan in the mind if Jesus, who has placed this plan in the mind of each believer!

God did not place this plan “among us”, He placed this plan “within us” when He seals each believer with the Holy Spirit!

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,

Those that reject any part of the plan of God, or His Son cannot have the mind of Christ!

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The “mind” of Christ is centered on the “will” of God and the fulfillment of the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation!

All the Scriptures were written for and about the Lord Jesus Christ!

Psa 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
Psa 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

We must accept what God is saying here to have any part of the Church and why not, the truth will always be the truth!

*****Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We should settle this one thing in our mind! Jesus Christ was not a Theophany such described as in the Old Testament!

A Theophany is a visible manifestation of God or the visible manifestation of Second person of the Holy Trinity who appears in human form.

1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

God only truly revealed Himself in Christ Jesus!

Mat 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

When it came to the New Covenant, God exercised His divine attributes of the Father, The Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)!

1) God has revealed Himself through the Scriptures:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

2) God has revealed Himself through and by, the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Son of God is truly the visible form of God!

He is as glorious as His Father.
He is equal to His Father in every way.
He is the Creator.
He is the upholder of the universe.

Being equal with God did not hinder Christ setting aside His power, His majesty, His praise, His accomplishments but not His divine nature, not His divine person, not His purity, nor His holiness.

In turn, the Lord Jesus Christ has introduced all the world to our Heavenly Father, our Abba Father

Joh 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

This Scripture is not about the “Glory” of God!
This Scripture is about the humbleness of our God!
It brought no shame to our God to set some things aside and come to us to be our substitute in the payment of our own sin debt.

This is the thought behind these Scriptures!

Jesus Christ is the very nature of God!

He was not like God, He is God!
He did not just achieve righteousness, He is the embodiment of righteousness!
He did not just walk more perfect than any man, He is the picture of perfection!
He did not just become God when He was on this earth, He has been God throughout all eternity and He will continue to always be God!

As these Scriptures teach us humility, God set aside His sovereign state and His praise to live amongst His enemies!

We have no means to measure just what God gave up to live as a human but when we read the things that happened to Him in His “passion”, where He was beat on, whipped, spat on, the crown of thorns, the plucking of the beard, the nails, the cross, it puts things in perspective.

God cannot cease to be who He is, so to be so humble to these things shows more power that we can ever know or realize!

God the Son became a man, without ceasing to be God!

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

What was the great mystery of the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

There are no more mysteries of Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father and the salvation plan of God!

There are no more mysteries in all the Scriptures! We have the complete package and the complete truth!

God’s humility did not stop at being a man, God humbled Himself all the way to the cross!

Heb_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

To say the God humbled Himself to endure the cross is a giant statement.
To say that God despised the shame of the cross is even a greater statement showing His great love for us all!

We can only ask ourselves, why are we so special to our Father in Heaven!

The Lord Jesus Christ, the manifestation of God in the flesh, willing gave His life so that we can live eternally with Him in the New Heaven.

Jesus Christ humbled Himself to be a servant to mankind and suffered the ultimate degree of humiliation!

It was not just a man that was hung of that cross, “it was ugly nasty sin”!
With outstretched arms Jesus Christ gathered all the sin of the world, from the past and from the future, my sin and your sin and took it to Hell where it belongs and left it there to rot!

So we can only be a Christian when we allow the humility of Jesus flow in and through us!

This is the “Mind of Christ” (the humbleness of Christ), that we must possess as we serve our brothers and sisters and reach out to the lost of this world.

***All those that reject the Lord Jesus and this truth will see the wrath of God because they have rejected the humility of God!

Why is Christ so exalted in this world and yet so hated by those who reject Him?

*****Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because the Lord Jesus Christ volunteered for this humiliation and because He was in total obedience to His Father in Heaven, He has been exalted above any human upon this earth now, has ever been and will ever be!

God emptied Himself of His glory to gain even more glory so He could come with comfort to a world full of suffering!

God emptied Himself of divine dignity and this points to our duty to overcome our pride and give in to humility.

Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

BUT, as the Father cannot be without the Son, the Son cannot be without the Father. (Son of God and Son of Man)

The name Jesus means “Savior”!

We need to be saved from sin’s penalty.(the wages of sin are death, eternal separation from our Creator)
We need to be saved from sin’s guilt. (in the conscience, the threat of punishment can be worse than the punishment)
We need to be saved from sin’ power. (Cleansed from the past and protected from the future!)

Jesus Christ came to save!

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

To we as Christians, Christ Jesus is loved and reverenced.
To much of this world, Christ Jesus is admired and wondered at.
To most of this world, Christ Jesus is despised and hated.

In the end, every knee will bow just at the name of Jesus, which will still be “Savior”!

1) All the things in Heaven! Everything in Heaven know that Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.
2) All the things in Earth! When the Lord returns everyone on earth will know that Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.
3) All the things under the earth! Everyone in Hell now know the Jesus is the Messiah, God in the flesh.

I do not believe anyone is left out here.

When the name “Savior” is mentioned the entire world knows who this refers to!

When the phrase “The Book” is mentioned around this world everyone knows what this refers to!

Here the Unitarian Church are in error.
Here the Catholic Church are in error with the Virgin Mary who was the chosen vessel of God but still not Divine as the Son.

The greatness of the name of Jesus is that He stands alone in the salvation plan of God!

There is not a human being, including Mary the mother of Christ, that is not in need of our Saviors work!

There is still coming the day when all the world, all denominations, and all false religion, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus Christ is God in His fleshy state! Jesus Christ is the meaning of Light, Life, and Love above all humans and above all angels!

For all the doubters of that day, Jesus Christ rose from the dead to prove He was God!
For all believers witnessed the fact that the Lord ascended back to Heaven where the Savior has become the Intercessor for those who love Him.
For all those who trust in the promises of God are now filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ sent from above.

It is Jesus Himself that teaches us not to be troubled about any of these things because they are all true, Jesus Christ is God!

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

We are not to be ashamed of the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are not to fear what this world can do to us; this world cannot take away our salvation!

And Paul adds even more assurance.

*****Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

To work out our own salvation means to work until the finish, to work until completion, to work until perfection.

There is no half-way plan of salvation, we must be personally active, remembering this activity is centered on our own salvation!

We cannot take bits and pieces from the Word of God we must accept the whole counsel of God!

We must do the work of God when we are with other Christians but we must also do the same when we are out on our own!

We are never to quit being a Christian in any given situation!

Salvation is the free, “yes I said the FREE” gift of God but a gift must be accepted to be gift!

We have a Savior who is self-existing and it is impossible for Him to come under the control of anything foreign to His existence!

When accept the “free gift of salvation” from our Living God it becomes our own salvation plan! No one else can work out our plan for us but us!

Once God has saved us, we must first get busy obeying God! (This does not mean works after salvation to keep salvation)(This simply means we must get busy obeying the Word of God!)

This is not works. Works are never involved in the salvation plan of God, we cannot do enough work to be saved and there is no work required after salvation.

Obedience will come because of love and a desire to be like our Savior!

We will remain in this sinful flesh but we are to have new goals and a new purpose and always be in pursuit of the “will of God”!

God does not interfere with the freedom He has given to us! We will always have that freedom of choice!
God does give us example after example of people who have made the wrong choice and suffered the consequences of those choices.

God gives us the standard of Jesus Christ as our mark of excellence to reach for!

We must still understand that even the Christian life will not be a bed of roses but Christian life can still be beautiful and fulfilling and only in the Christian life can we be at peace with God!

We should understand that our flesh is weak but our strength will remain in the Lord.

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

It is God alone who goes with us through this Christian life.
It is God alone who works out things for His own good pleasure!

God will never supersede our thoughts but God will always encourage our own efforts.

It is our duty to work out our own salvation. It is God’s duty to see that we get all the help we need!

We certainly need to maintain a certain fear and reverence of the Lord but it will be the trials and temptations of this life that we be our greatest fears!

When we reject the help of the Lord, we will make things hard on our own selves and then hard on those who are around us.

Without the Holy Spirit, these things could cripple our testimony and cause us to be an unreliable witness for the Lord!

Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Understanding these things will bring God’s peace to us!

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Joh 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

When we feel the Holy Spirit, we need to go with Him at all times!

When we do not feel the presence of the Holy Spirit we need to pray for forgiveness!

Amen

Submitting to Jesus Christ

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!

Let’s begin:

*****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.

Jesus said:

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!

Amen