Philippians 1


Author: Dale Small Date: Monday, February 2, 2015 Campus:
This week we heard a great talk from Dale on the message from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi

This week we heard a great talk from Dale on the message from Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. If you want to listen again to the talk, click here. The questions and transcript are below. Let us know your thoughts, questions, and additional resources.

1. What do you feel God was saying to you through this talk?

2. What surprised you about this subject?

3. What practical action do you feel you need to make as a result of what God has been saying to you?

If you are a Christian here today, let me ask you does everyone you know….know that you are a Christian?

Think about it for a few seconds.

Does everyone you know, know that you are a Christian?

Is the only reason people know that you are a Christians is because you have told them? Is it because you ticked that box on Facebook?

Is it because they know on a Sunday morning you aren’t available because it’s time to go to church?

Or a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night because of Union group?

OR

Is it because you actively seek out the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ?

Is it because you conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the words of Christ?

Is it because you do not fear the enemy or those who seek to hurt you?

Is it because you offer your life to him, your heart, your family, your friends, your work, even your dreams?

Is it because you can do nothing without his love and blessing on your life?!

Let me be honest with you. As hard as it is to believe… I am not perfect…. I don’t even come close to being perfect…. I could quite happily stand on this stage and pick myself apart as a method of pointing this out but I think you get the point.

No one is perfect….But….  we are called to imitate Christ.

Today I’m going to be looking mainly in Philippians. Today so let open up our bibles.

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While you head there I always find it good to remember the place and the people. Phillipi was the first place we have record of Paul preaching in Europe (acts) we know he visits this place a couple of times. You can still visit the ruins of the old town that Paul would have seen in Modern Greece.

It is sometimes called his Joy letter.

I always set a challenge to the youth group. I encourage them to bring a paper bible with them…. so who brought their paper bible with them to church today?

…. Great come get £5 from me at the end of church!

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Anyways.

Philippians. I adore this book. Just something about it speaks to me.

I’m not going to give you the three ways to find inner peace,

the seven secrets to being a better Christian.

I’m going to simply work through some of  Philippians and pick out some wonderful points that I truly know help us in our understanding of what it is to truly imitate Christ and actively live a life for him!

I know some people can find opening their bible hard. We’re gunna break it down

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In the book Paul makes it clear of his position in jail. He is in Rome and is currently being held for spreading the gospel. I find he’s always a little boastful but in this he always does it only for the Glory of Christ.

No matter our situations we are called to spread the gospel.

Our salvation is assured but it does not mean we should merely be complacent.

We have be gifted the greatest of all gifts.

There is none higher nor none more worthy of our lives Then Jesus!

Paul’s knows and understands this. His whole goal is to see the spreading of the gospel. He is willing to be ridiculed, jailed and ultimately killed for this.

He lives and breaths for it!

I’m going to read Philippians 1.

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Now specifically look at:

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

”I want you to know that what has happened to me has actually served to advance to gospel”

Paul is in prison.

It’s it not comfortable!

It’s not a great place to be

I would not go so far as to say that prisons today are palaces but they are not fun places to be.

2000 odd years ago I imagine them to be much worse!

Paul still turns this situation around. He chooses to continue advancing the gospel despite his situation. He reaches out to the guards and encourages other Christians who are being persecuted not to fear.

His realistation from the start is that spreading the message of Jesus is larger then his current position on earth.

We see it from Acts through to his letters. We see it in the words he laid out for us to read.

And we see it in the legacy that he laid so that we may now know the word of the lord today.

We limit ourselves by the position we are in…. and in doing so we limit God. When we have struggles, when we are low, when we are surrounded by people that just aren’t helpful in our lives we limit ourselves.

I want you for a second to consider some of the difficulties in your life…

How do these effect your outlook on Christ?

How do these effect your attitude and behavior?

How much do you believe God is good? How much do you believe that he is with you? How much do you believe that wherever you are that he uses you and that you are loved and cared for?

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I am a bubbly outgoing person. I am loud, boustourus and slightly abrasive at times. Most people take this cockiness as confidence. You need only ask Jan and Hannelie in the church office.

Deep down.. I struggle deeply with self image. I am my own biggest critic, I don’t enjoy the fact that sometimes I do things because…. When I walk in the room I want everyone to know that I’m there!

Because of this I deeply struggle with the idea of commitment….

That someone could love me because I struggle to love myself at times. This is not purely in terms of a committed relationship but in relation to friends and family.

My previous career as a sound engineer for bands was a series of commitmentless adventures across the world.

No ties, no responsibility larger then the small group of people I was touring with at the time.

My closest friend, Jeremy, is a wonderful man. He has always been incredibly mindful of this with me, a constant source of encouragement and support. I have only known him 4 years. Previous to this I held friends at arms length. Unwilling to commit to them more then a basic friendship because of my own issues.

When I started my job for this church I told Gareth and Andi I would stay for 18 months, no longer and no less! A short term commitment.

Tomorrow I’ve been here double that time!

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Because of this self limitation I excluded myself from properly getting to know people and them having an impact in my life.

When I became a Christian I carried this into my relationship with God.  Along with a whole host of other issues and sins.

Because I struggled to love myself I struggle to see how God could love me! Because of my own issues with commitment I couldn’t understand how God would be committed to me.

How can God use me if he doesn’t love me?

”I want you to know that what has happened to me has actually served to advance to gospel”

I would never compare my internal struggles with that of being in prison for spreading the gospel.

I would however say that what has happened to me and what I continue to work through serves to advance the gospel.

What’s the saying….?
It goes along the lines of…We want to provide for out children the things we never had growing up?

I want to provide teaching and help our children not have the same issues of self image that I had.

I want them to be assured in their identity in Christ. I want to serve them. Pray for them. Stand as an example to the guards that surround my situation… the people that assume I will always be in this prison.

I want our children to have no fear!

He’s said it already in Verse 9
 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.

Paul explains to Philipi what he wants for them despite his situation. He want’s the best for them.

Abounding in knowledge, pure and blameless, filled with the fruit of righteousness.

Despite his situation he is still working for the good of the lord. He doesn’t limit what God can do through his situation.

The whole entire chapter is full of references to his Joy that his situation ultimately benefits the kingdom.

Even when in verses 15-17 he says that others are preaching and doing things out of ambition and false motives… he’s still happy that Christ is preached!

18: and because of this I rejoice!

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Now there is a point here to clarify as well. Jesus is not extolled because paul is suffering. Paul being in prison is not the reason why God is being promoted.

God is promoted because while paul is in prison despite his suffereing his is assured by the promise give to us through Christ.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

God does not put us through suffering purely to advance his kingdom.

Our suffering comes about because of the sin in our lives and others lives. It is not a tool of God’s to get us to ultimately be better or promote the kingdom.

But when we are in that place he does use those stations and he does use our own faults.

27 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.

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If you’re going through a struggle. “conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel. “stand firm in one spirit”

We’re in this together.

When one of the youth comes to me with an issue I feel for them. I want the best for them. I want to help them and I want at all times my conduct and their conduct to be worthy of Christ.

and the last bit. 29 and 30 God does not make us struggle for him. but he also does not promise us that we wont struggle in life because of him.

If anything I watch the persecution that Jesus went through. The sacrifice he made for me.

My struggles and are a fraction of what he bared for me.

This is taken from my study bible about verse 29 :

Paul considered is a privilege to suffer for Christ. We do not by nature consider suffering a privilege. Yet when we suffer, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and example effect us and others for good. Suffering has these additional benefits:
It takes our eyes off earthly comforts

It weeds out superficial believers

It strengthens the faith of those who endure

It serves as an example to others who may follow us.

When we suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean that we have done something wrong. In fact the opposite is often true – it verifies that we have been faithful. Use suffering to build your character. Don’t resent or let it tear you down.

Gareth and Andi, Merrick and Lucy, Hannelie and Jeremy have graciously walked with me these last three years. They are a constant reminder in times when I am down, encouragement and support, When they are down, Conducting themselves in a manner worthy of Christ

and because of this is rejoiceI thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul is confident that the good works will continue and they will do so until Jesus comes again!

He rejoices, he is happy!

He prays with joy!

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I have found that when times get tough the best thing to do is to talk to my friends, to spend time with my family both church and blood and most of all to take things to God.

Sometimes we should spend time in reflection and remove ourselves from those situations.

Sometimes we just need to knuckle down and conduct ourselves as Christ did!

We all know life is not smiles all the time.

Adam and Eve had their struggles from day one!

But with The holy spirit guiding us, with the knowledge that God loves and the truth that Jesus died for us. Well I know things will be good. I live as though they are!

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so I go back to my original question

Does everyone you know, know that you are a Christian?

Is it because you actively seek out the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ?

Is it because you conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the words of Christ?

Is it because you do not fear the enemy or those who seek to hurt you?

Is it because you offer your life to him, your heart, your family, your friends, your work, even your dreams?

Is it because you can do nothing without his love and blessing on your life?!

Is it because even in your darkest moments Christ is still number one! That in those moments you’ve chosen to glorify him even in your suffering.

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If you have been or currently are in a place of suffering and have felt distant from God, I’d like to pray for you.

If you are in a place of suffering and would like continued strength to press on, I’d like to pray for you.

If you want to just get on and do some of this, be Jesus to your friends and colleagues, see some of what happens in the Bible – I’d like to pray for you.

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