Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Philippians 2:19-30 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Pure Joy” a study of Philippians.
“in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” vs 15b
Darkness is the absence of light which results in the inability to see properly. Sight is only possible because of light. Without light we would be blindly trying to navigate using senses that were not intended for the sole purpose of navigation. Help me connect the dots: this crooked and perverse world is living in darkness. They are trying to navigate this world without light. They are looking for direction from things that are not intended to be used for sight.
How then do we shine in the darkness to help them see? This passage gave us clear instruction: work hard and don’t complain, hear and do what Scripture says, and look for joy in all circumstances. Be consistent in these things, and you will appear much different than the world around you! You will be a light!
Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:28
Work hard to show the results of your salvation,… Philippians 2:12
Be fruitful. Multiply. Have dominion.Work. From the very beginning God set it in the heart of humanity, His image bearers, to do good work. Good work has always been tied to fruitfulness, and fruitfulness to God’s good pleasure and glory. Paul wasn’t commanding the Philippians to begin something new, but to return to something old.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
“among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life,”“You’re in the midst of a twisted and perverse generation”.
Sound familiar?I suspect the Philippians sensed it and felt it much like we do today. Anger. Dysfunction. Argument. Tension. Sadness. Is there any way to rise above it all?Any way to sense and see a bigger and better life and existence?Paul says, “Yes! by HOLDING fast (to)the word of life”. Paul is exhorting these believers to keep looking in and at the scriptures. He’s reminding them that they must stay faithfully connected to the scriptures. He is challenging them to think constantly with a biblical mindset. Paul believed holding fast to the scriptures was crucial in living a life filled with joy and pleasing to God. So did Peter. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Do you?
D. Sanctification –work out your salvation. We never arrive at the place where we have done all we need to do in our Christian faith. It takes a lifetime of moving toward holiness. Believers are doers…we are always working, planning, serving, and becoming. It is not by our own initiative or diligence though. Verse 13 says it is God who shapes our will and drives us to work. God calls us to obedience and holiness and then empowers us to respond. It is out of His love and His good pleasure that God is at work in us. The result of His work is that we appear as lights in the darkness…truth in the midst of evil!
How do we accomplish this obedience and holiness in our lives? Does God just zap us with His will? Spending time in God’s Word and Prayer gives God an avenue into our lives. Seeking and finding causes us to have the mind of Christ and to bring pleasure to God!
“Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”
As time went on, Paul kept discovering that the gospel was always better than he had previously thought. He continually updated his joy with each realization. A few years earlier, Paul wrote to the church at Rome that “[nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now, it had become clear to Paul that that’s not all. The Lord has even more in store for those who count on him. Not only will nothing separate them from God, but nothing will separate them from each other.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:12-18(day two) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; vs. 14
You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. I first encountered this phrase when I was observing student teachers several years ago. It doesn’t exactly rhyme, but it sure does the trick for kids…well, mostly. Fast forward to today I have found that my kids are very quick to recite this admonition when their sister is not sharing, but it doesn’t always work well for them in reverse. Let’s face it, our Kingdom assignments aren’t always fun. Sometimes we are called to work with disagreeable people, or in situations that make us uncomfortable. How we face these tasks says more about our heart condition than it does about those we’ve been called to serve. Grumbling is going to impact your witness. Look for opportunities to see God working even in the uncomfortable places. No one would expect you to enjoy conflict or burdensome tasks, but when they see you face them with grace you can bet God is already at work.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Philippians 2:12-18 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Pure Joy” a study of Philippians.
” but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” vs 7a
We are nearing the time of year when Hallmark Christmas movies will be on repeat as we prepare for a holiday season. I have learned the plot lines to these love stories well. A young successful woman is forced to move to the country side, falls in love with a local man, and finds herself enjoying this new way of life. They kiss, it snows, and we assume they live happily ever after!
These are the types of love stories that we expect in modern culture. When was the last time one of these movies was about a King who willing set aside His royal privileges to become a slave so that He could die? This is not the love story we expect. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a story of submission. It is a story of surrender. It is a counter cultural love. This is a true love story!
“You need to have the same mind as Jesus, to see the world the way He sees it, to share the same attitude.” -Paul, Philippians 2:5
To the church in Corinth he wrote, “Right now, we see things as if we are looking through a dark piece of glass.” To the church in Rome he wrote, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Paul’s desire then and for the church now, is to see and live in the world the same way Jesus did.
Isn’t that what we need? A new mind to see through the things that rob of us joy, and fresh eyes to really see the things that matter most. I imagine it would turn everything on its head; just like he said:
“Don’t you know, to be great, you must become a servant to everyone.”-Jesus
“Don’t you know the meek will inherit the earth.” -Jesus