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10 October 16, 2011 Philippians, Chapter 1 Verse 23 - 27


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10 October 16, 2011 Philippians, Chapter 1 Verse 23 - 27

  1. 1. PHILIPPIANSCHAPTER 1Verse 23 - 27October 16, 2011FIRST BAPTIST CHURCHJACKSON, MISSISSIPPICommentaries Consulted:*The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Copyright © Moody Press and JohnMacArthur, Jr., 1983-2007*Wiersbe Expository Outlines*J. Vernon McGees Thru The Bible*Barclays Daily Study Bible (NT)*Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible CommentaryThe Theme of Philippians is: JOY!Philippians 1:2323 “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and bewith Christ, for that is very much better;”“Depart” is the word for loosening the mooring ropes, pulling up the anchors andsetting sail.Death is a setting sail, a departure on that voyage which leads to the everlastinghaven (Heaven) and to God.“Depart” is also the word used for striking camp, loosening the tent ropes, pulling upthe tent pins and moving on. Death is a moving on.
  2. 2. "posted to another station"Each day is a days march nearer home, until in the end when our temporary camp inthis world is forever struck and exchanged for our permanent residence in the worldof glory.Phil 1:23 refutes the false doctrine of soul sleep, the teaching that the dead exist in astate of unconsciousness until their resurrection.When believers die, they immediately depart to be with Christ, like the penitent thiefon the cross, to whom Jesus said,"Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23)Moses and Elijahs appearance at the Transfiguration (Matt 17:3) and the fullyconscious martyred Tribulation believers (Rev 6:9-11) also refute soul sleep.The New Testament uses sleep as a metaphor for death. Stephen "called on the Lordand said, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Then falling on his knees, he cried out with aloud voice, Lord, do not hold this sin against them! Having said this, he fell asleep”.The believers supreme hope is to be with Christ throughout all eternity, and to departto be with Him begins that blissful experience. (morning/eve)“Very much better” translates a double comparative in Greek, expressing the highestsuperlative.Therefore, as far as believers personal satisfaction and joy are concerned, going toheaven is obviously very much better than staying on earth.Like Paul, all believers should "prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be athome with the Lord" (2 Cor 5:8).2 Corinthians 5:6-106“Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at homein the body we are absent from the Lord-7 for we walk by faith, not by sight-8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body andto be at home with the Lord.9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasingto Him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one maybe recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whethergood or bad.”
  3. 3. At the end of the millennium, we will be freed from the pain, sorrow, and suffering ofthis present life and ushered into the Lords glorious presence.There we will experience the marvelous freedom of eternal righteousness and gloryand serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spreadHis tabernacle over us. “We will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sunbeat down on us, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be ourShepherd, and will guide us to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe everytear from our eyes.” (Rev 7:15-17)We will no longer see God through "a mirror dimly, but face to face," no longer know"in part, but . . .know fully just as we also have been fully known”.Because we "are children of God, . . . we will then be like Him, because we will seeHim just as He is" (1 John 3:2).Jobs confidence will be ours: "Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shallsee God; Whom I myself shall behold, and Whom my eyes will see and not another.”Philippians 1:2323 “But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and bewith Christ, for that is very much better;”Philippians 1:2424 “yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”To remain on, to abide -- to continue somewhat longer.for your sake -- Greek, "on your account"; in order to be of service to you, I am willingto forgo my entrance a little sooner into blessedness; Heaven will not fail to be mineat last.As long as the Lord had work for him to do on earth, that is where Paul wanted to be.Paul would gladly postpone his heavenly blessings for the sake of continuing to serveearthly saints.Pauls "heaven on earth" was helping others!While he longed to be with Christ, he eagerly yearned to remain and help thesebelievers grow in Christ.
  4. 4. Philippians 1:25-2625 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for yourprogress and joy in the faith,26 “so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through mycoming to you again.”It was Pauls conviction that, he would "remain and continue with them”.There is a word-play in the Greek that can not be reproduced in the English. The wordfor to remain is menein ; and that for to continue is paramenein.The point is this; menein simply means to remain with; but paramenein (para, is theGreek for beside) means to “wait beside a person ever ready to help”.Pauls desire to live is not for his own sake, but for the sake of those whom he cancontinue to help.Paul is practical. He still has work to do. These folk need his ministry. He wanted to getout of prison and go to be with them again.People who are always saying, "Oh, if the Lord would only come," should get busy!This is the only place where we can do any work that is going to count for a rewardfor Him.This is the stage on which you and I play our part. We should want to stay as long aspossible.Philippians 1:2727 “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so thatwhether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standingfirm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel;”Paul knew that it does not take long even for a faithful church to slip into indifferenceand eventually into moral and doctrinal error.He calls on the Philippians to maintain their spiritual commitment, to continue tobehave in a way that is consistent with the power of the Gospel.Regardless of what happened to Paul, he implored them, “Only conduct yourselvesin a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ”, What truly mattered was their consistent,holy conduct.
  5. 5. Above all, Paul wanted their lives to reflect worthily on the Gospel of Christ.It is a truth the apostle reiterates implicitly throughout the letter and explicitly in thenext chapter, admonishing them: "Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent,children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that inthe day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil invain" (2:15-16).Politeuomai(conduct) is the main verb in verses 27-30, which in the Greek is a singlesentence.It comes from the root word polis (city, ‘metropolis’), which in earlier times usuallyreferred to the city-states to which inhabitants gave their primary allegiance.The verb carries the basic meaning of being a citizen(city-zen)It means being a good citizen, one whose conduct brings honor to the political bodyto whom one belongs.Roman society, like Greek society before it, was highly community-conscious.The individual was subordinate to the state, and a persons skills, talents, energy, andendeavors were devoted first of all to the interests of society at large.It was not a coerced subjection, as in modern totalitarian states, but was based on awilling sense of interdependence in which citizens took great pride.A responsible citizen was careful not to do anything that would bring disrepute on hispolis (citi).And he tried always to be considered an honorable citizen, so that he would neverbe removed from the list of citizens.Paul may have had that sense of dedication in mind in using the term politeuomai(to conduct).If the citizens of Philippi were so devoted to the honor of their human kingdom, howmuch more should believers be devoted to the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:12-13)?Colossians 1:1313 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdomof His beloved Son,”Therefore, Paul charged them to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of theGospel of Christ, to live as faithful citizens of heaven (3:20).
  6. 6. Philippians 3:2020 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, theLord Jesus Christ;”The church, though imperfect, is the earthly manifestation of that perfect and eternalkingdom of heaven in this present age (Col 1:13).Heavenly conduct is characterized by being "blameless and innocent, children ofGod above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, amongwhom you appear as lights in the world" (2:15).To live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ is to live a life consistent with Godsrevealed Word.That includes living a life that corresponds to the divine truth Christians profess tobelieve, preach, teach, and defend. In other words, it means living with integrity inevery facet of life.The churchs greatest testimony before the world is spiritual integrity.When Christians live below the standards of Biblical morality and reverence for theirLord, they compromise the full Biblical truth concerning the character, plan, and willof God.By so doing, we seriously weaken the credibility of the Gospel and lessen our impacton the world.Gods people have always been at enmity with the world, because the world is atenmity with God (Rom 1:28; 5:10; Eph 2:3).But the world can hardly be expected to embrace a faith whose proponents so littleemulate its standards of holiness and fail to manifest the transforming power of Christ.When the unsaved look at the church and do not see holiness, purity, and virtue,there appears to be no reason to believe the Gospel it proclaims.When pastors commit gross sins and are later restored to positions of leadership in thechurch; when church members lie, steal, cheat, gossip, and quarrel; and whencongregations seem to care little about such sin and hypocrisy in their midst, theworld is understandably repulsed by our claims to love and serve God. And the nameof Christ is sullied and dishonored.The point here is that those who belong to Christ through saving faith in His Gospelshould demonstrate that power by their changed lives (2 Cor 5:17).
  7. 7. Paul’s appeal therefore was that whether he was to come and see them or remainabsent, they were to trust the Lord and live worthy of Him.4 questions from Colossians 1:10 Are you:*walking in a manner worthy of the Lord?*pleasing Him in all respects?*bearing fruit in every good work? And are you*increasing in the knowledge of God?