PHILIPPIANSCHAPTER ONEAUGUST 28, 2011FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHJACKSON, MISSISSIPPIRev 5:11“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne andthe 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 thatwas slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and gloryand blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth andunder the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him whosits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominionforever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And theelders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:11-14
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will beexalted.” 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 joy is experiencedwhen it is contrasted with sadness, sorrow, and difficulties.“Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:51 Thess 1:6 - “having received the Word in much tribulation with the joy of the HolySpirit.“John 16:33 - ”In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I haveovercome the world.””Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take Myyoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOUWILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” Matt 11:28-29Thus 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 theysaid, ‘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. Weare always to be "rejoicing in hope." Rom 12:12Peter reminded them that, "though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and thoughyou do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressibleand full of glory." 1 Peter 1:8“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…”Heb 6:19THE SERVANTS“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (1:1 a)Paul wrote thirteen NT epistles and may be the most noble and privileged servant ofJesus Christ the world has ever seen. Yet, he referred to himself and Timothy simply asbond-servants of Christ Jesus.He made no mention of his apostolic authority. He viewed himself and every believerprimarily as a slave of the Lord. Perhaps the most concise and clear look at Paulanywhere 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 theflesh. [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 Hebrewof Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to therighteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain tome, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I countall things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, forWhom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I maygain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derivedfrom the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comesfrom God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrectionand the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I mayattain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil 3:4-11Pauls 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 hesaw those things for what they were in Gods eyes: mere rubbish.“all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6 NIVWhat Paul had considered to be positives before God he came to realize wereactually destructive negatives.His former imagined righteousness was really unrighteousness, which he gladly forsookto gain the true righteousness that comes only "through faith in Christ, therighteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith." Phil 3:9Timothy shared that righteousness, as a fellow bond-servant of Christ Jesus. He wasPauls 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 anddependent on that person. Paul used “doulos” of himself at the beginning of three of his epistles (Rom 1:1; Phil1:1; Titus 1:1), and in each case it precedes the mention of his apostleship.When used in the New Testament of a believers relationship to Jesus Christ,“doulos” describes willing, determined, and devoted service. It reflects the attitudeof an Old Testament slave who refused the opportunity for freedom and voluntarilyresubmitted himself to his master for life.
The Mosaic Law provided that "if the slave plainly says, I love my master, my wife andmy 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 earwith an awl; and he shall serve him permanently." Ex 21:5-6The 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 alphabeton 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 fear 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 butwe 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 eachone may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he hasdone, whether good or bad.” The Judgment Seat of Christ separates the sanctified Christians from the unsanctifiedChristians. The sanctified Christians inherit the Kingdom (Col 3:24, Matt 25:21) whereasthe 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 testthe 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 hehimself 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 formen, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It isthe Lord Christ Whom you serve.”Eph 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not ofyourselves, 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 Godprepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”To the Corinthians he explained, "For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, isthe Lords freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christs slave."1 Cor 7:22In that spirit Paul and Timothy did not think of being bond-servants of Christ Jesus inanything but positive terms. Nor did they think of themselves as bond-servants ofRome, or of any other person or institution, but exclusively of Christ Jesus.Pauls 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 anddeacons:” (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 tosomeone 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 Christianswho accomplished extraordinary good deeds and lived an exemplary life.In the Roman Catholic system, saints are revered people who are officiallycanonized after death because they have met certain demandingrequirements.But Scripture makes it clear that all the redeemed, whether under the Old or NewCovenant, are saints, set apart from sin to God.The human family is divided into two groups: the saints and the aints. Saints arebelievers 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 aboutthis man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem." Acts 9:13A few verses later Luke writes that "as Peter was traveling through all those regions, hecame down also to the saints who lived at Lydda." Acts 9:32In both instances it is clear that saints refers to all believers in those cities (Eph 1:1; Col1:2). That Paul even referred to the worldly, immature believers at Corinth as saintsindicates beyond dispute that the term has no relationship to spiritual maturity orcharacter.To them he wrote, "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have beensanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on thename of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." 1 Cor 1:2Like all other believers, the Christians at Corinth were not saints because of theirspiritual maturity (1 Cor 3:1-3), but because they were "saints by calling," a referenceto their call to salvation. Rom 8:29-30All believers are saints, not because they are themselves righteous, but because theyare in their Lord, Christ Jesus, whose righteousness is imputed to them. Rom 4:22-24Imparted righteousness works in tandem with imputed righteousness.Imputed righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus credited to the Christian, enablingthe Christian to be justified; your standing with GodImparted righteousness is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit afterjustification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process ofsanctification: your state with God.A Buddhist does not speak of himself as in Buddha, nor does a Muslim speak of himselfas in Mohammed. A Christian Scientist is not in Mary Baker Eddy or a Mormon inJoseph Smith or in Brigham Young.They may faithfully follow the teaching and example of those religious leaders, butthey are not in them. Only Christians can claim to be in their Lord, because they havebeen 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, evenwhen we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (bygrace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him inthe 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 Iwho live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20).In Pauls letters, the phrase "in Christ Jesus" occurs fifty times, "in Christ" twenty-ninetimes, and "in the Lord" forty-five times.Being in Christ Jesus and therefore acceptable to God is the believers supremesource of joy.To say that the Christians are the saints means, therefore, that the Christians aredifferent from other people. Wherein does that difference lie?Paul addresses his people as saints in Christ Jesus. No one can read his letters withoutseeing 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 meantthat the Christian lives in Christ as a bird in the air, a fish in the water, the roots of atree in the soil.What makes the Christian different is that he is always and everywhere conscious ofthe encircling presence of Jesus Christ.We are saints, not because of our conduct, but because of our position in Christ. Saintmeans "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 theywere 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 ofGod. Now, friend, if you aint a saint, then you are an aint.Now these saints were in Christ, but they were at Philippi. You see, it doesnt make anydifference where you are at -- that may not be good grammar but it is greattheology!You may be at Los Angeles or Duluth or Moscow or Philippi. It wont make anydifference 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 NewTestament. What does it mean to be saved?A theology professor was asked that question, and he gave quite a lecture on thesubject. 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 entirespectrum of salvation.The Spirit of God chose just one little word, the preposition in, to explain whatsalvation is. It is to be in Christ. How do you get in Christ? You get in Christ when youaccept Him as your Savior.“To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers (elders) anddeacons” Philippians 1:1Overseers and deacons are called to lead the church. As is clear from Acts 20:17,28and Titus 1:5,7, overseer is another term for elder, the most common New Testamentname 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 theindividual 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 tothe elders in Judea by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. Acts 11:30Although their role is primarily one of practical service rather than preaching andteaching, 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 Tim3:2; 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 normalgreeting phrases of two great nations and moulding them into one.Charis is the greeting with which Greek letters always began and eirene the greetingwith which Jews met each other. Each of these words had its own flavor and eachwas 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 andbeauty; it is, in fact, connected with the English word charm. But with Jesus Christthere comes a new beauty to add to the beauty that was there. That beauty is bornof a new relationship to God. With Christ life becomes lovely because man is nolonger the victim of Gods law but the child of his love.
Eirene is a comprehensive word. We translate it peace; but it never means anegative peace, never simply the absence of trouble. It means total well-being,everything that makes for a mans highest good. It may well be connected with theGreek word eirein which means to join, to weave together.This peace has always got to do with personal relationships, a mans relationship tohimself, to his fellow-men, and to God. It is always the peace that is born ofreconciliation.When Paul prays for grace and peace on his people he is praying that they shouldhave 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 JesusChrist.The saving, eternal grace is the supreme divine gift, and everlasting peace is itsgreatest blessing and the source of both is God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.