PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER ONE AUGUST 28, 2011 FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI
Rev 5:11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “ To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb , be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:11-14
Happiness is dependent on circumstances. Joy is the exultation of your inward being when you are at peace with God and with others.
*First, joy is a gift from God the Father . Ps 16:11 “In Your presence is fullness of joy .” *Second, joy is granted to those who believe in God’s Son . Luke 2:10 At the birth of Jesus the angel said: “I bring you Good News of great joy !”
*Third, joy is produced by God’s Holy Spirit . Gal 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy , peace,… *Fourth, joy is experienced most fully as believers receive and obey God's Word . Jer 15:16 “The Word of God became joy for me…”
Warren Wiersbe says that there is : 1)A purpose to achieve - ……… (God’s plan for our lives). 2) A power to receive - ……… (God’s Holy Spirit). 3) A promise to believe - …… ...(joy comes from submission).
The world says that happiness comes from aggression - fight everybody to get what you want and you will be happy . “Get all you can, can all you get, sit on the lid and spoil the rest!”
Jesus’ life proved that philosophy so wrong – because He surrendered, He was victorious! We must dare to believe His promise…
“ For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3
*Fifth, the believer’s joy is deepened through trials. The full reality of j oy is experienced when it is contrasted with sadness, sorrow, and difficulties.
“ Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
1 Thess 1:6 - “having received the Word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.“ John 16:33 - ”In the world you will have tribulation ; but be of good cheer , I have overcome the world.”
” Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest . Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” Matt 11:28-29
Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls . But they said, ‘We will not walk in it .” Jer 6:16
Sixth , our joy is made complete when we set our hope on the glory of heaven. We are always to be " rejoicing in hope ." Rom 12:12
Peter reminded them that, "though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory." 1 Peter 1:8
“ This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…” Heb 6:19
THE SERVANTS “ Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (1:1 a)
Paul wrote thirteen N T epistles and may be the most noble and privileged servant of Jesus Christ the world has ever seen. Yet, he referred to himself and Timothy simply as bond-servants of Christ Jesus .
He made no mention of his apostolic authority. He viewed himself and every believer primarily as a slave of the Lord . Perhaps the most concise and clear look at Paul anywhere in the NT comes from the apostle himself later in this letter .
Speaking of his life in Judaism, he wrote, “I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. [But] if anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day , of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews;
as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings , being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil 3:4-11
Paul's human credentials were remarkable. He was the epitome of Jewish manhood, an exemplary, traditional, zealous, and legalistic "Hebrew of Hebrews."
In the eyes of his peers, he was blameless and righteous. But after his conversion he saw those things for what they were in God's eyes: mere rubbish .
“ all our righteous acts are like filthy rags ” Isaiah 64:6 NIV What Paul had considered to be positives before God he came to realize were actually destructive negatives.
His former imagined righteousness was really unrighteousness, which he gladly forsook to gain the true righteousness that comes only "through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." Phil 3:9
Timothy shared that righteousness, as a fellow bond-servant of Christ Jesus. He was Paul's son in the faith (1 Tim 1:2), not only a protégé, but also a cherished companion, to whom the apostle would bequeath an extraordinary spiritual legacy and ministry.
Bond-servants translates the plural of the oft-used Greek word “doulos” (doo'-los) , which describes a person owned by someone else and thus subservient to and dependent on that person.
Paul used “doulos” of himself at the beginning of three of his epistles (Rom 1:1; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1), and in each case it precedes the mention of his apostleship.
When used in the New Testament of a believer's relationship to Jesus Christ, “ doulos” describes willing, determined, and devoted service.
It reflects the attitude of an Old Testament slave who refused the opportunity for freedom and voluntarily resubmitted himself to his master for life.
The Mosaic Law provided that "if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master , my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,' then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently." Ex 21:5-6
The pierced ear said more about the Master than it did about the slave.
These are the words of a centuries old poem carved in a gothic, medieval alphabet on a towering, ornate cathedral door in the heart of a small town in Germany: You call Me eternal , then do not seek Me. You call Me fair , then do not love Me. You call Me gracious , then do not trust Me. You call Me just , then do not fea r Me.
You call Me life , then do not choose Me. You call Me light , then do not see Me. You call Me Lord , then do not respect Me. You call Me Master , then do not obey Me. You call Me merciful , then do not thank Me. You call Me mighty , then do not honor Me. You call Me noble , then do not serve Me. You call Me rich , then do not ask Me.
You call Me Savior , then do not praise Me. You call Me shepherd , then do not follow Me. You call Me the Way , then do not walk with Me. You call Me wise , then do not heed Me. You call Me the Son of God , then do not worship Me. When I judge you, then do not blame Me .
We, the redeemed are not subject to God’s judgment that leads to punishment but we will go through the Judgment Seat of Christ (I Cor 3:11-15, II Cor 5:10).
2 Cor 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ , so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
The Judgment Seat of Christ separates the sanctified Christians from the unsanctified Christians. The sanctified Christians inherit the Kingdom (Col 3:24, Matt 25:21) whereas the unsanctified Christians only enter the Kingdom (I Cor 3:15).
I Cor 3:11-15 “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident;
for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work . 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward . 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved , yet so as through fire.”
Col 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance . It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve.”
Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works , so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works , which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
To the Corinthians he explained, "For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave. " 1 Cor 7:22
In that spirit Paul and Timothy did not think of being bond-servants of Christ Jesus in anything but positive terms. Nor did they think of themselves as bond-servants of Rome, or of any other person or institution, but exclusively of Christ Jesus.
Paul's physical bonds were not really marks of his bondage to Rome but to his Lord. His imprisonment by Rome symbolized his bondage to Jesus Christ.
The highest of all titles of honor is servant of God.
THE SAINTS “ to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:” (1:1 b)
Paul addresses his letter to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi. Like “qodesh”(kō'·desh), its Hebrew equivalent, “hagios” (hag'-ee-os) ( saints ) refers to someone who is set apart; specifically believers, who are set apart by God for Himself. Both words are often translated "holy."
Unfortunately, saints are often thought of as being a special, higher order of Christians who accomplished extraordinary good deeds and lived an exemplary life.
In the Roman Catholic system, saints are revered people who are officially canonized after death because they have met certain demanding requirements.
But Scripture makes it clear that all the redeemed, whether under the Old or New Covenant, are saints , set apart from sin to God.
The human family is divided into two groups: the saints and the ain'ts . Saints are believers in Christ.
When God commanded Ananias to lay his hands on the newly converted Saul (Paul) so that he would regain his sight, he answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem." Acts 9:13
A few verses later Luke writes that "as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda." Acts 9:32
In both instances it is clear that saints refers to all believers in those cities (Eph 1:1; Col 1:2). That Paul even referred to the worldly, immature believers at Corinth as saints indicates beyond dispute that the term has no relationship to spiritual maturity or character.
To them he wrote, "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling , with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." 1 Cor 1:2
Like all other believers, the Christians at Corinth were not saints because of their spiritual maturity (1 Cor 3:1-3), but because they were " saints by calling ," a reference to their call to salvation. Rom 8:29-30
All believers are saints , not because they are themselves righteous, but because they are in their Lord , Christ Jesus, whose righteousness is imputed to them. Rom 4:22-24
Imparted righteousness works in tandem with imputed righteousness. Imputed righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus credited to the Christian, enabling the Christian to be justified; your standing with God Imparted righteousness is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit after justification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process of sanctification: your state with God .
A Buddhist does not speak of himself as in Buddha , nor does a Muslim speak of himself as in Mohammed . A Christian Scientist is not in Mary Baker Eddy or a Mormon in Joseph Smith or in Brigham Young .
They may faithfully follow the teaching and example of those religious leaders, but they are not in them. Only Christians can claim to be in their Lord , because they have been made spiritually one with Him (your standing before God - read Rom 6:1-11).
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Eph 2:4-6
To the Galatians he declared, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me " (Gal 2:20). In Paul's letters, the phrase "in Christ Jesus" occurs fifty times , "in Christ" twenty-nine times , and "in the Lord" forty-five times .
Being in Christ Jesus and therefore acceptable to God is the believer's supreme source of joy .
To say that the Christians are the saints means, therefore, that the Christians are different from other people. Wherein does that difference lie ?
Paul addresses his people as saints in Christ Jesus . No one can read his letters without seeing how often the phrases in Christ, in Christ Jesus, in the Lord occur.
Marvin R. Vincent says that when Paul spoke of the Christian being in Christ , he meant that the Christian lives in Christ as a bird in the air, a fish in the water, the roots of a tree in the soil.
What makes the Christian different is that he is always and everywhere conscious of the encircling presence of Jesus Christ.
We are saints, not because of our conduct, but because of our position in Christ . Saint means "holy," set apart for God. Anything that is holy is separated for the use of God.
Even the old pots and pans in the tabernacle were called "holy vessels," and they were probably beaten and battered after forty years in the wilderness.
Now that should be the position of every child of God. We are set aside for the use of God. Now, friend, if you ain't a saint, then you are an ain't.
Now these saints were in Christ, but they were at Philippi. You see, it doesn't make any difference where you are at -- that may not be good grammar but it is great theology!
You may be at Los Angeles or Duluth or Moscow or Philippi. It won't make any difference where you are at ; the important matter is being in Christ Jesus .
The little phrase in Christ comprises the most important words that we have in the New Testament. What does it mean to be saved?
A theology professor was asked that question, and he gave quite a lecture on the subject. You would have been a little dizzy when he finished.
He explained words like propitiation and reconciliation and redemption . These are all marvelous words, and they are all Bible words, but not one of them covers the entire spectrum of salvation.
The Spirit of God chose just one little word, the preposition in , to explain what salvation is. It is to be in Christ . How do you get in Christ? You get in Christ when you accept Him as your Savior .
“ To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers ( elders ) and deacons ” Philippians 1:1
Overseers and deacons are called to lead the church. As is clear from Acts 20:17,28 and Titus 1:5,7, overseer is another term for elder , the most common New Testament name for the office (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2,4,6,23; James 5:14).
Elders are also referred to as bishops (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 3:2). Elder refers to the individual whereas bishop is speaking of the office.
Their high qualifications are set forth in 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Overseers , or elders , are first mentioned in relation to famine relief money sent by the church at Antioch to the elders in Judea by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts 11:30
Although their role is primarily one of practical service rather than preaching and teaching, deacons are required to meet the same high moral and spiritual standards (1 Tim 3:8-13) as elders .
The distinction between the two offices is that elders are to be skilled teachers (1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:9).
Philippians 1:2 “ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
When Paul put together these two great words, grace and peace , charis , and eirene ( eye-REEN), he was doing something very wonderful. He was taking the normal greeting phrases of two great nations and moulding them into one.
Charis is the greeting with which Greek letters always began and eirene the greeting with which Jews met each other. Each of these words had its own flavor and each was deepened by the new meaning which Christianity poured into it.
Charis is a lovely word; the basic ideas in it are joy and pleasure, brightness and beauty; it is, in fact, connected with the English word charm. But with Jesus Christ there comes a new beauty to add to the beauty that was there.
And that beauty is born of a new relationship to God. With Christ life becomes lovely because man is no longer the victim of God's law but the child of his love.
Eirene is a comprehensive word. We translate it peace; but it never means a negative peace, never simply the absence of trouble.
It means total well-being, everything that makes for a man's highest good. It may well be connected with the Greek word eirein which means to join, to weave together.
And this peace has always got to do with personal relationships, a man's relationship to himself, to his fellow-men, and to God. It is always the peace that is born of reconciliation.
So, when Paul prays for grace and peace on his people he is praying that they should have the joy of knowing God as Father and the peace of being reconciled to God, to men, and to themselves--and that grace and peace can come only through Jesus Christ.
The saving, eternal grace is the supreme divine gift, and everlasting peace is its greatest blessing and the source of both is God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.