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Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
Philippians 2 v 17
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  • We’re starting a series on the problem of pain and suffering and how Christians can meet that challenge … if they have a mind to.And it’s worth remembering that as he addresses us today, Paul is in gaol in Rome awaiting trial … for his life.There are those guys up in Jerusalem, big churches, big opportunities for ministry, proper remuneration meeting the needs of those Jerusalem apstless and their wives and families.And here is Paul.Squeezed.We don’t know what had happened to his wife under the pressure of his conversion and his ministry.We do know that he is a man who knew shipwrecks and imprisonment and beatings … even stoning.We know he was a man who had needed to learn to be without as well as to abound.And WHY was he subject to these trials and hardships and sufferings?
  • Why is Paul setting his experience in the very clear context of rejoicing?Because when Christians find themselves under pressure (and it’d come to the Philippians as well as to Paul) there is a very real temptation to grumble.Paul was committed to mission.He knew the pressure of that … and so will WE if we are similarly committed to following Jesus on HIS mission.Mission means that many times you end up in uncomfortable places, around people worshiping their gods, not your God, esteeming the world’s values, not what you read in the Bible, and loving themselves, rather than loving God and neighbour. So, that means mission is going to be uncomfortable.What is a life serving and following Jesus successfully like?It is like your life being poured out like a drink offering!
  • This is a thing of which Paul was completely aware …In our day and age we seem to downplay this sin, but grumbling was a really big sin in the O.T. whose authors clearly viewed it TERRIBLY seriously!In Exodus 16 when God fed the people with Manna in the desert, they grumbled.In Numbers 14 when the spies brought back a negative report about the Promised Land they grumbled against the Lord and wanted to go back to Egypt.In Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 17 the Israelites grumbled against the Lord … the ground swallowed the rebels up … and STILL the people grumbled against Moses and Aaron for killing them!Grumbling was being seen SERIOUSLY!And it’s something Jesus had to deal with amongst the Jewish leaders of His day too …John 6:40 ff.: “my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets …”And in this very chapter Paul picks up on this being a problem in the divided congregation at Philippi:2:14 Now, this is not JUST an OT sin …There are times and phases of life … temptations shift and change with our circumstances and even time of life.As I approach being qualified by age to become a grumpy old man, I have to say this is certainly a temptation I find to be in the ascendancy.And it really is something to watch out for, because of the lies that it tells about God (Who He is and what He doe for us) and the reality of the Good News about Jesus!Look at the emphasis Paul gives in this chapter to NOT letting our pressures and pains produce grumbling …
  • You see?It’s an important part of working out your own salvation in awe of God – and the reason for that is that God is active in our experience (check this in v. 13) “to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.”So do everything without grumbling or arguing …The point being that grumbling is voicing discontent particularly against God in the OT explicitly and at least by implication in the NT.It’s when you become one of those spiritual torpedo boats cruising around the shores of the congregation transmitting disapproval and discontent, creating the atmosphere in which attitudes reflecting dissatisfaction with the providence and goodness of God can flourish.And the reason avoiding that gets difficult is this …
  • There is a cost with consistent Christianity.Why?It’s because we live in a fallen world where things are not as they were designed to be, so bad stuff happens to good people.It’s because we are part of a fallen (but being restored), sin-riddled church, with only sinners that can be chosen from to constitute it.It’s because things in this sort of world and in this sort of church don’t always fulfil God’s ideal!It’s because there is an evil agent provocateur, the enemy of souls, who goes prowling around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour … defeated at the Cross but still waging war with unrestrained malice on the church.It is the case that there is a cost to Christianity because the Christian is engaged in a full on battle with the world the flesh and the devil and military campaigning entails pressures, privations and casualties.Now, of course, the previous part of this chapter majors thoroughly on the fact that God isn’t asking you – as Christ’s disciple or follower - to do something that He hasn’t already done himself. He sent his Son into extreme poverty (2 Cor. 8:9) to face rejection by his own people (John 1:11) and ultimately suffer an excruciating death on a Roman cross (Mark 15:24). God’s mission cost Him the most.But following the One it cost the most is going to cost you and me too … the calling entails paying that price for you and for me and (frankly) it’s kind of encouraging to be called on to have to deal with it – it almost authenticates the reality of your Christian expereince to be going through the same sort of experience that He had!But unless we pay particular attention to v. 15 in this context, because as that makes very clear our call is not to suffer, but in our pain and suffering to shine …
  • You used to meet people (certainly in my early Christian experience) who seemed to think that godliness came with an afflicted and pained countenance and disposition.Can you see from these verses how utterly mistaken that is?
  • If you do everything without complaining and arguing, THEN you will shine in this pain-causing world AS YOU HOLD FIRMLY TO THE WORD OF LIFE …So this absence of grizzling against the goodness of God is closely connected to holding firmly to the word of life.Of COURSE it is, because you won’t for long continue to follow the Lord if you are continually grumbling against Him and persuading yourself of His being against you.THAT is how crucial this is.The truth actually lies otherwise … Paul is convinced of the fruitfulness of the life he is leading and the willingness of God to sanctify Paul’s rigorous experience, making it fruitful in eternity.
  • Now this is going to get hard to wrap your head around, and the last thing I want to do is add to any pains or challenges any of us might be struggling with here today, but I have to point out for all of our benefit from these verses here that it is utterly consistent with everything Christians believe to encounter hardship and suffering in this fallen, present evil age convinced that fruitfulness … bearing the fruit of the Spirit … will be the result.It’s back to John 15 for the explanation …
  • Now the point we’ve been making so far relates pretty much to Paul’s pain and Paul’s sacrifice for the Gospel … and the way his experience under God teaches us to handle the pressures we face.But the way Paul handles these subjects characterises his own apostolic sufferings and sacrifices for the Gospel slightly differently.That’s not to say that anything we’ve covered so far is illegitimate.It IS to say that the way he thought of his huge sacrifices for the Gospel, his GREAT, EXPENSIVE commitment to following the Missional Christ … PAUL’s way of thinking of the scale, quality and depth of that commitment to following Jesus (through the sufferings that brings) was really rather different from our take on it.What I’ve been through, he says, is like being poured out like a drink offering … far, far from the main sacrifice.
  • Paul’s focus of attention is NOT on his own sufferings and sacrificial service here.The Philippians faith and service under pressure in the hostile environment of their Roman colony was the big sacrifice.The missionary’s life was merely the small concluding libation at the end of the main daily sacrifice up at the Jerusalem Temple … not even poured out onn the altar where the main sacrifice was made but in the ditch in the floor around the bottom of it.The word that describes this being poured out at Rome which he anticipates may well happen is the verb σπένδωThe θυσία (sacrifice) and λειτουργία (service or worship) is the Philippians sacrifice of faith.P T O’Brien: “As he is glad to be a libation poured out to God, so they should rejoice in this and share with him in his joy.”What is the spiritual prescription that keeps Paul’s mind in this spiritual, faithful, constructive way of thinking?
  • Paul’s inspiration to positivity is two-fold …
  • Transcript

    • 1. Welcome to Grace! (Pain, suffering, sacrifice and the Christian) A short series on a big subject in the run-up to Easter“… even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2:17
    • 2. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering“even if I am being poured out like a drinkoffering on the sacrifice and service comingfrom your faith, I am glad and rejoice with allof you.18 So you too should be glad and rejoicewith me.”
    • 3. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling
    • 4. Philippians 2:14 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have alwaysobeyed—not only in my presence, but now muchmore in my absence—continue to work out yoursalvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is Godwho works in you to will and to act in order tofulfil his good purpose.14 Doeverything without grumbling orarguing, 15 so that you may becomeblameless and pure, “children of God without faultin a warped and crooked generation.”
    • 5. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity
    • 6. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16)
    • 7. Philippians 2:14-16“Do everything without grumbling orarguing, 15 so that you may becomeblameless and pure, “children of God withoutfault in a warped and crooked generation.”[Then you will shine among them like stars inthe sky16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
    • 8. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b)
    • 9. John 154 Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remainin the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless youremain in me.5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If youremain in me and I in you, you will bear muchfruit;apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you donot remain in me, you are like a branch that isthrown away and withers; such branches arepicked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
    • 10. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b) – The point of the drink offering
    • 11. Philippians 2:17-18“But even if I am beingpoured out like a drink offering on thesacrifice and service coming from your faith,I am glad and rejoice with all of you.18 So you too should be glad and rejoice withme.”
    • 12. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b) – The point of the drink offering• Paul’s inspiration to positivity
    • 13. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b) – The point of the drink offering• Paul’s inspiration to positivity – The example of Jesus, vv. 5-11
    • 14. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b) – The point of the drink offering• Paul’s inspiration to positivity – The example of Jesus, vv. 5-11 – The appeal of vv. 12-13
    • 15. Philippians 2:17• Introduction• Poured out as a drink offering – The problem of grumbling – The cost of consistent Christianity – The call’s not to suffer, but to shine (vv. 15b-16) – The fruitfulness of (godly) labour (v.16b) – The point of the drink offering• Paul’s inspiration to positivity – The example of Jesus, vv. 5-11 – The appeal of vv. 12-13• Conclusion

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