Sunday, December 11, 2016

Paul's Epistles – Philippians - Part 4: A Life Worthy of the Gospel

Paul's Epistles – Philippians - Part 4:
A Life Worthy of the Gospel
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |


Paul’s epistle (letter) to the Philippians is very important to the Gentiles. It was written to the first church founded in Europe (Acts 16:9-40).

Though not generally considered one of the most remarkable or deepest books of the bible, it is considered one of the sweetest of Paul’s writings.

It is more in the nature of a love letter to the Philippians, who had excelled all others in devoted attachment to Paul. Throughout this letter we get a glimpse into the apostle’s heart.

The Philippian church was noted for its generosity. It had repeatedly ministered to Paul (6:15 & 16).

Hearing Paul was imprisoned in Rome they sent help again by the hands of Epaphroditus (6:10 & 18), who, however, was struck down on his arrival by an almost fatal illness. Somehow news of this illness had reached Philippi, to their dismay, and on his recovery, Epaphroditus was anxious to reassure them in person (11:25-28), so Paul write this letter for him to take.

So this letter was written by Paul while in prison in Rome, and given to Epaphroditus to be taken back to the church in Philippi.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE Philippians 1:27-30
 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Paul opened his letter with a salutation to all, reminding the church they were not 2 factions, there was no “real” division, only a perceived one, created through sin.

He continued with thanksgiving to God for them and a prayer for them.  He now explains how even his being in prison is for the glory of God.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
Christian unity to be maintained at all costs”.

Today we look at Paul’s explanation of a life worthy of the gospel

a. Then, whether I come and see you, or only hear about you in my absence
                                                                                                               i. I will know the you stand firm in one Spirit

                                                                                                            ii. LIT. vs 1:27 Only worthily of the good news of the Christ conduct ye yourselves…”

1. Not “whatever happens”, rather, ONLY speak and act in a way that “rightly” (being worthy of) represents the good news of Christ

2. In other words, speak and act in TRUE doctrines

                                                                                                         iii. Paul is saying, “Whether I see you or hear about you, if you are living true doctrine, I will know that you STAND FIRM in ONE SPIRIT.”

                                                                                                           iv. Remember Ephesians 6, “stand your ground”, “Stand”, “stand firm”,

                                                                                                              v. For the Armor of God to protect the church, there must be TRUE doctrine, and UNITY in the congregation, THEN you may “stand firm” against the devils attacks.

b. Striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
                                                                                                               i. Strength, and the ability to move forward as a church comes from striving “together” FOR the faith of the Gospel

c. Without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you
                                                                                                               i. Who will oppose?
1. Those who believe false doctrine

2. Do not be frightened in any way by them

a. Don’t be bullied into accepting false teachings

b. Stay on the path of true doctrine

a. They will be destroyed
                                                                                                               i. Either their false beliefs, and they will return to true doctrine

                                                                                                            ii. Or, if they hold strong to their false doctrine, they are at risk of being destroyed on Judgment Day

b. But you will be saved
                                                                                                               i. Because it is True Doctrine, the Truth, the Word that is Jesus
                                                                                                            ii. And He alone saves
c. And that (A & B) by God
                                                                                                               i. False Doctrine and those who turn their backs on Truth will be destroyed, not by us, but God Himself

1. James 4:12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?”

2. Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.”

3. Jeremiah 15:6 "You who have forsaken Me," declares the LORD, "You keep going backward So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am tired of relenting!”

a. Not only to believe n Him but suffer for Him
                                                                                                               i. Granted – given, gratuitously, in kindness, pardon or rescue

                                                                                                            ii. On behalf of Christ – because of, in regards to

1. Or, because you belong to Christ, you have been given in His kindness

                                                                                                         iii. Not only to believe (Pist-yoo’-o entrust, to trust in) in Him

                                                                                                           iv. But suffer for His sake
1. Suffer (feel passion) for His sake (purpose)

                                                                                                              v. Because you belong to Christ, in His kindness He has allowed us to entrust in Him, and have a passion for His purpose.

b. Since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had and now hear I still have
                                                                                                               i. Because Paul has a passion for Christ’s purpose (the Gospel) he preaches true doctrine.

                                                                                                            ii. This doctrine brings opposition
                                                                                                         iii. Paul does not fear this opposition, because along with the passion for Christ’s purpose, Paul is also given the position to entrust in Christ.

1. No matter the situation, Paul knows God is in control

c. Your life, how you live, matters

CONCLUSION – the life worthy of the gospel

Paul encourages the church to do the following to withstand the devils attacks

·        Stick to true doctrine – this will create unity of the Body being in one Spirit

·        No matter what is taking place – fighting, discord, division, stand strong on true doctrine
o   Always conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel

·        This is a sign to those who oppose true doctrine, that they will be destroyed, and you will be saved, and this by God.

·        You have been granted the ability to entrust the Lord completely, stand firm, in one Spirit on true doctrine, and God’s Will is going to be done.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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