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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode · 2 years ago

The Joy of Deliverance: Philippians 1:18b-26

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Grace Bible Church, Philippians 1:18b-26

Ed Wolff - preaching

Hello and welcome to Grace Bible Church in Gatesville, Texas. This is the audio segment of our sermons here at Grace Bible Church. If you would like to find out more about us and watch our full Lord's Day services with video, go to Grace Bible tx docom. We's gracious God. We come to you this morning and we come to you humbly, and if we don't, Lord Humble us, because you are Almighty God. You are our rock, in our redeemer, you are the holy one, you are the one through which we find our life. Are All is. You remind us of that this morning, that we find our all in you. We asked this morning that, by Your grace and by Your mercy, that you would take your word and you would do with it as you will in our lives, that you would use it to grow us, to change us, to convict us, to help us, to encourage us, to make us into the people you want us to be, into the image of your son. Lord, I have no idea what needs to be done in this place, in each individual's life, or even collectively, in our body, but we ask God, we trust you. You do you know. So. We asked that you would move mightily this morning, that you would move in ways that only you can, that you would heal us in ways that only you can, that you would change us in ways that only you can. Lord, we are yours. You have bought us with a price, the price of the precious son of God, and we ask God that, as your servants, as your children, that you would work in our lives for our good and, mostly and most greatly, for Your glory. We ask these things in the name of Christ. Amen, please remain standing. I didn't want to have to sit down and stand back up again, grab a Bible and turn to Philippians chapter one and will go ahead and read our scripture text for the morning together. Philippians chapter one. We will be starting back where we left off last week, at the middle of verse Eighteen and Reading Through Verse Twenty Six. So Philippians chapter one, the end of verse eighteen to Verse Twenty Six. Please read this along with me if you would. Now, if you remember, the last time we met together, I had y'all do something on remind you of that. Then, when I get to the end of reading the word, I will say this is the word of God and you will respond. Thanks be to God. Remember that it's been a while. We practice it again. You're ready. This is the word of God. All right, let's do it. Philippians, chapter one, verse eighteen. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that, through your prayers and the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not at all be ashamed, but that, with full courage, now as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose, I cannot tell. I'm hard pressed between the ...

...two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better, but remain in the flesh is more necessary. On your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress enjoying the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ, Jesus, because of my coming to you again. This is the word of God. You may be seated. How perceptive are you are you one of those people that can actually open up the where's Waldo books and you remember the where's Waldo books and you can find the dude with the red and white shirt like that? Or are you more like me that it takes you a little while, maybe days, maybe you never find him, you'll never figure out where Waldo is? Let's do a test this morning to see how perceptive you are. I'm going to name something. This is interact you all are in here, so this is interaction time. I'm going to name something and I want you to tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. Are you ready? The Grace Bible Church logo, Tulips, flowers, right, they're beautiful, the red. They're out there. But is there anything else to the Grace Bible Church logo? Five Solos. Could someone name the Five Solos? Go ahead, go Katie. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Yes, grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, scripture alone, for the glory of God alone. These are the five soulas of the reformation. We have it encircled around our pretty flower on our logo. These are not just any words, they are some of the most precious words in the history of the church. If you're here this morning and you are a Protestant Christian, Aka you're not Catholic and you're not eastern Orthodox, these are precious words to you, because this is what it means to be a protestant. This is what it means to believe that you are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, revealed by the Scriptures of alone, for the glory of God alone. These are glorious truths, and we remember that in one thousand five hundred and seventeen, Martin Luther nailed his ninety five theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Wittenburgh, Germany, and that sparked the Protestant reformation. In fact, we love it so much we used to have a festival where we celebrated it, and if you're new to the church and haven't seen those pictures, I will get them to you. But did you know? You, you, we know that. But did you know that Luther himself was, even at that moment, standing on the shoulders of others? There were some few before him that paved the way for that monk and his mallet, two of the most informportant of the pre reformers we call them is John Wickcliffe in England and John Huss or John Huss in Bohemia, which is present day Czech Republic. John Huss was actually killed roughly was a hundred and one years before Luther Nail the ninety five theses in fourteen, fifteen, I believe now. John Hust did not die from natural causes. He was executed as a heretic by a council...

...called the Council of Constance. The Council of Constance was an interesting council because the Roman Catholic Church had a problem at that time. There were not one, there were not two, but there were three men claiming to be the one pope. It's not unusual, then, not surprising, that John Husts, by this time, had completely rejected the papacy and said that the Church's authority, the word of God, comes through scripture alone and not through popes and counsels, and that scripture ought to be translated into the language of the common people so that they might understand the scripture, so they might hear the scriptures preached in their own language, so that they might study them themselves. He also railed against indulgences. He railed against the immorality of the Church of his day. Sound familiar? By the time the counsel of constant constance began, he had already been excommunicated as a heretic, but he was asked to come and share his views, as to share his views, and they said, come on, we'll keep you safe, nothing will happen to you. They lied. The moment he got there he was arrested, he was tried by the council and he was burned at the stake. When John husts it's reported that when John husts was dying, amidst some of the other great things he said, it's reported that while he while the flames engulfed him, he sang the saying praises to God. And some believe that one of the psalms that he sang in praise to God with Psalm thirty one, and I think you'll understand why this is a very popular psalm for Christian martyrs. Listen to what PSSALM thirty one says, at least the first five verses. You'll recognize this and you, oh Lord, do I take refuge. Let me never be put to shame, but in your righteousness to deliver me. Incline your ear to me, rescue me speedily, be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. And for your namesake, you lead me and guide me, you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit, for you have rescued me, Oh Lord, faithful God. Well over one thus three hundred years before, John Huss Paul Finds Himself in a very singular situation. He's in chains and he is waiting to go before a hostile judge, Caesar, possibly Nero, one of the most violent and brutal Caesar's ever, and even in the text that we are going to look at this morning, he echoes Psalm thirty one when he says in Verse Twenty. It is my eager expectation, hope that I will not at all be ashamed. He doesn't know what's about to happen. There is uncertainty ahead, but in the midst of him so uncertainty, he can rejoice. He can say I will read Joyce because though there is uncertainty ahead, there is something that is absolutely positively certain. The causes him. That empowers him to rejoice. We've already seen Paul rejoicing up to this point. Last week we saw that Paul is rejoicing because the Gospel...

...is advancing in Rome through his own witness and through the witness of others that have been encouraged to share the Gospel in Rome because he is there now. Some of them aren't sharing the Gospel with pure motives. The Paul rejoices all the more because the gospel that's being shared is the true Gospel. It's not watered doubt, it's the True Gospel and regardless of the motivations of those sharing it. He rejoiced is because, like I said last week, the validity of the message is not in the Messenger, it is in the object of the message, Christ Jesus, and so people are coming to faith because the message is being treated preached. And Paul is saying here, not only have I rejoiced, not only am I rejoicing, but I will continue to rejoice because even in the uncertainty that is ahead, I have something that is certain. And Paul says that what is certain is that he will be delivered. He is joyous. He can rejoice because he is confident in the fact that he will be delivered regardless of what happens next. That's the thesis statement of Paul in this text, joy in deliverance. And this morning I want us to see three things, three aspects of Paul's deliverance. Three, three things that we can garner from the text about this confidence that Paul has in his deliverance. Number One, I want us to look at in Verse Nineteen, the cause of Paul's deliverance. In Verses Twenty through twenty three twenty four, I want us to look at the perspective of Paul's Deliverance and in the remaining verses to look at the anticipation of his deliverance. So his cause for his deliverance, the perspective of his deliverance and the anticipation for all for Paul's deliverance. Let's look at Verse Nineteen to see the cause of Paul's deliverance. Look and look at that verse and look at what Paul says. Is the cause, the reason, the thing that will bring him to deliverance. Two things. He says he knows that this will turn out for his deliverance through the prayers of the Philippians and the help or the power of the spirit of Jesus Christ through the prayers of the Philippians and the power of the Holy Spirit. That's interesting. I've admitted confessed I'm not a Greek scholar. I have to trust other people that are Greek scholars. But my understanding is like any other language, when you translate from Greek to English, there can be some some things that you might miss. For instance, I could say I could call my wife, who's not here this morning. She's watching realizedtream. Hi, honey, Lo you. Thank you for indulging me that. I could tell Claire. I could say, honey, when I leave church I am going to sit down and talk with Colby for a minute and I'm going to go to a GIB. Those are both two things I'm going to do when I leave church. But those two things, talking to Colby and going to AGB, don't necessarily mix together. They are only related in the fact that I am personally going to do them when I leave church. Are You with me? That is apparently not the way that and works. In this sentence it's not talking about two separate things that are happening separately, just as just be happening at the same time. These are two things that are connected together, that are necessarily entwined together, things that they're so entwined that one can't happen without the other. So, for instance, we could we could, we could understand this pretty easily when we would say the Philippians could pray, pray, pray, pray, but if the spirit of God doesn't help, help,...

...help, nothing happens. But on the flip side of that, the prayers of the Philippians are necessary for the spirit to help. It would be maybe a better way to say the spirit that I will be delivered by the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ through the prayers of the Philippians. There's some glorious truths that we have that we have touched on during the book of Philippians already. Things are encouraging Paul that he should encourage us as we go through trials and tribulations. One is the complete and utter sovereignty of God. God is incomplete control of everything. He is over everything. Caesars not sovereign. God is sovereign over everything, and not only is he sovereign, he actually works providentially in every aspect of our lives. In other words, he's not only in control of everything, he's actually working in everything, every aspect of our lives. God is mysteriously working. We took some time to look at this when we were looking at acts and how the Church of Philippi was founded by God. He's working in everything to work it out for the counsel of his will, right to work out his will in our lives. And then last week we talked about the fact that not only dis God just using Paul's situation for the glory of God, he is actually ordained it for the city, for the glory of God. In other words, he has he has, he has ordained it. It his happening so that these things can happen for the glory of God. It's not just oh no, that happened God. God Say, Oh no, that happened. I gotta, I gotta figure out how to make that for the for my glory. No, he's ordained it, he has determined it. Sometimes we call that determinism. He's determined it, he's worked it out. It is specifically for the glory of God. That is how the glory of God will happen in these situations. These are Glorious and glorious truth, but some of the danger for those of us who love these truths is we can sometimes teeter into fatalism. Your fatalism is fatalism says everything is going to happen and nothing I do matters. Nothing I do matters, no matter what I do, no matter what I think. Didn't matter. What I do, didn't matter. What I pray does a matter. Who I talk to, doesn't matter what I think, nothing matters. Everything is going to happen. I can just go sit on the couch because it doesn't matter that. That's not Christianity. It's not at all. What is, what? What would what? What Paul is even saying in this verse that that is not at all. We see fatalism rears ugly head in Christianity when we think, when we say, or by our lives, we act as if God's will is going to take place, God's was going to happen. There's really no reason for me to pray, there's really no reason for me to be on my knees, there's really no reason for me to faithfully get up every single day and pray because God's was going to happen anyway, so I don't need to pray, I don't need to do anything. That's very similar. That type of statement is very similar to the statement that the older Baptist minister made to William Carry last week. Remember that statement. William carry out a passion to go share the Gospel and the Baptist minister stood up and says sit down, young man, when God wants to convert the heathen, he'll do it without consulting me or you. Yeah,...

...that's wrong, that's not that's not that's not the Gospel, that's not Christianity. That's fatalistic. It is. It fairly easy for us to understand this. When we talk about sharing the Gospel. Think about this. God does not need us to save people. Right, God saves people. God does it. It's a work of God. Right, God began it, God's continuing it, God completes it. We stand before God in Heaven we say, all glory to You, you did it all. It's all a work of you. All Glory to you. He doesn't need our help, and yet he has chosen to bring people to faith in Christ through the proclamation of the Gospel by us. You See, God doesn't simply ordain the end, he ordains the means. He has ordained that the way people come to faith in Christ is by us, empowered by God, empowered by the spirit of Christ, going and sharing the Gospel. So there's a real sense. And if we don't share the Gospel, people don't get saved, now because it's US doing the saving, but because God has chosen to ordain the means of the proclamation of the Gospel for him to miraculously, sovereignly bring people to faith in Christ. So makes sense. Same thing with prayer here, same thing with prayer in general. God doesn't need our prayers to do anything. He doesn't need our prayers to work his will. He's God, but he's chosen to work through our he's chosen to ordain our prayers, to work through our prayers so that his will would be accomplished. That means God is doing work and our prayers matter. Our prayers make a difference, not because we're twisting God's arm, because God has ordained them to make a difference. Do you see? You see what I'm saying? You know what that means? Pray, pray, be on your knees and pray, because your prayers make a difference. Your prayers change things. They will change God, but he has sovereignly chosen to work through our prayers to do his will, and in that there's a real sense that if we don't pray, things don't happen. There's also a real sense that God will encourage us, empower us to pray so that things happen. This is how he is sovereignly decided to do it. It's mysterious, it doesn't make sense, but this is how God has chosen to do it. Sam Storms has said we must never presume God will grant us, apart from prayer, what he has ordained to grant us only by the means of prayer. God Has Orty. In the end he's also ordained the means our prayers. This should not the sovereignty of God, the Providence of God, the determinism of God should not make us pray less. If you have a theology of those things, those glorious truths that I just mentioned, it cause you to pray less? Go back and study again. They should not cause us to pray less, they should cause us to pray more. In the same way that we believe God brings people to faith in Jesus Christ, sovereignly that should cause us to want to go out of share the gospel more, not less. We can be on our knees praying, we can be on our face praying, we can be praying with our brothers and sisters in Christ, with our families, by ourselves, we can wear out the holes in our jeans praying, praying, praying, because we know God has ordained our prayers to do his will. Go pray. We should never let one truth Nix another truth. You should never focus on one truth...

...in such a way that all of a sudden the other truth doesn't make any sense. God has ordained our prayers and that means pray, especially here where we are as a church. Pray we are struggling. Pray we don't have a pastor. Pray we are in the middle of covid nineteen. Pray. Whatever is going on in your life, pray, pray, pray, pray, because we have a God. Ay, sovereign God that can actually change things and do things and will actually miraculously work through those things to bring about his will, and he is going to do it through your prayers. Pray with everything that you have. Have you got the point yet? Have I said Pray Enough? Pray. Paul is confident that he will be delivered through the spirit of Jesus Christ working through their prayers. That's the cause of Paul's deliverance. Look and at the next verse and we are going to look at the perspective of Paul's deliverance. Look at Verse Twenty. Up to this point, it would be easy for us to look at the word deliverance and say, Oh, well, Paul believes in the spirit of Jesus Christ working through the prayers of the Philippians will cause him to get out of jail. It'd be easy for us to look at deliverance and say he thinks that God is going to like proverbs twenty one says, take the King's heart, the Caesar's heart, which is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord, and turn it where ever he wills. And so when he stands before Caesar, sees her to go. You're innocent gold. Go on, stop bothering me. Or maybe, maybe, maybe, we would think that what happenauls really expecting here is one of those axe type deliverances. I mean we when he went to the Philippians, right remember we talked about how the PHLIPPIAN church was founded. What happened? He was in jail and then an earthquake and then the doors flew open and the chains fell off. Right. He stuck around it. Bet He wouldn't this time. Maybe he's expecting that. Maybe we would think that he's expecting something like that, until we read the rest of the verse. Look what the end of Chap of Verse Twenty says. But with full courage. Now all it's always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. And then the famous verse in here. For to me to live as Christ and to die is gain. Here's a Paul is saying I don't know what's going to happen, but there's two outcomes. One outcome is that I go before Caesar and Caesar says innocent and then I am delivered. But the other outcome is it's Caesar says guilty and I die and that still deliference. The word here for deliverance is the word that many times we translate salvation. What Paul is saying here is I am either going to be saved from death or I will be saved by death again. We talked last week about who nero was, and if this Caesar was Nero, there is a very real possibility that he's going to go before this this this Caesar, he's going to look at him and have a bad day. He this is not going before an American judge. This is not, you know, twelve peers judging the case. This is one guy who anything he says goes. There's a very real possibility that he's having a bad day already. Don't like Christians Anyway, that he might say guilty, and if that happens, if that happens, then that means that Paul is going to be led out to a place of execution. Now, he's a Roman citizens. We wouldn't be crucified or anything like that, but he would ultimately...

...come to a point, whether there's a crowd around or not, or he would be put to his knees and he would lean down, been down in his head, would be placed on an old wooden block stained with blood and as and there would be an executioner but beside him with a freshly sharpened axe or sword, and at that moment that acts or that sort will go into the air and it will come crashing down on Paul's neck and Paul is saying, if my head is severed from my body, gain gain, because I at that moment, according to Verse Twenty Three, will be with Christ I will be with Jesus. There won't be any more pain, there won't be any more rious, there won't be any more prison sentences, there won't be any more change. I will be completely and totally free. I will be with my savior. I will be with the one who I have lived for all my life. I have be with the one that I am giving everything too. I will be with Jesus. I will have my treasure. Gain if I Paul even says this is what I prefer. Do you hear how crazy that is for people that walk around us, that we would prefer death, that it is better? The world around us is running from death. They want to act like it doesn't exist. It's the great embarrassment of the West. And we actually die, but Christians not that way. A Christian says, when I come to death, that is not the end. Oh No, that is the beginning. That is the beginning of my eternity of joyful bliss with my savior. I've given you over the last few weeks a lot of testimonies of minute of missionaries. Do you mind if I give you one more? There's a missionary by the name of John G Patton. Listen to this. He was called to by God to go to a very unique mission field, cannibals. How'd you like to feel that in your spirit? And so we went and to the South Seas, went to the South Pacific, to a specific island and minister to cannibals. It's an amazing story. But before he left, as you can imagine, people thought he was nuts and one guy said to him very simply, you know you're going to beat my cannibals. Here's John Patten's response. Mister Dickinson, you are advanced in years now and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms. I confess to you that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms, and in the Great Day of my resurrection, My resurrection body will shine just as fair as yours for my redeemer. That's what Paul is saying here. We face death differently. As Christians, we just do, we must, we should, we should die differently. We should die in ways the glorify God, because we know, regardless of the process, to get there. Once we get there, it is joy for evermore. And then he causes us, as we are here, to then live differently. Notice what Paul says there.

There are two options, living and dying. We've talked about the dying is game. But then he says in Verse Twenty One, to Live is Christ. Now, when I was growing up in church this verse made no sense to me. I'm dying is gain. I get that. That makes sense. I can. I can contemplate that. To live is Christ. That's an odd way of saying something. So what in the world is Paul talking about? To live is Christ. Well, praise the Lord for context. Let's just go back one verse. Look at what he says that, with full courage, as always, Christ would be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. The Christ would be honored in his body, that the totality of who he is, mind, body, Spirit, emotions, everything about him, the totality of who he is as an image bearer of Christ, would be used for the glory of God, that the center of his existence is Christ and he that is the motivation for everything he does, that everything he does is for the glory of God. That's what it means to live for Christ, for his life to be Christ. Now I'll admit something. I'm cheating a little bit this morning. Okay, I've preached this text before here. Don't go listen to it now. The sermon I'm Freesey this morning is very different, but there's some intersection here, and so I hope you don't mind if I use an example that I use last time. For some of you this will be the first time you've heard it. For those of you that have heard it, act like it's the first time you've heard it and it will be wonderful. The best way I know how to describe this is to give you up something from my own life. Several years ago I had a friend of mine, dear friend of Myne fact one of my oldest friends. He sent me a text message and said, Hey, I have a podcast you've got to listen to. In fact, when I heard of this podcast, when I heard about this podcast, I said you're the first person I thought of, and so he sent it to me. This podcast was on twenty century country music. Some of Y'all thought Star Wars. I know you did twenty century country music. Now, if you know me, you may know, or if you were here last time I said this, that I love twenty century country music. In fact I have been there is a member of this church that did that once dubbed me the walking Encyclopedia of Useless Country Music Knowledge. Twenty Century, not not twenty one century. That's a whole different deal. I loved it. In fact, I love it so much that when I was growing up, all I wanted to do was to be a country singer. My plan was to get out of college, to go to Nashville and certainly within a few years, be the next George Straight. Praise God that God showed up right before I left, because before my entire life revolved around my love of country music. It was the center. Everything else revolved around it, including God. Everything I did, everything I thought, everything I said, everything I listened to, everything flowed from that center. Everything to the to the point that my friend who grew up with me during this time, when he heard that podcast, he said you're the first person I thought of, because when people thought...

...of me back then they thought a country music. Now I still love country music, twenty century country music, I still do. But, praise God he showed up in my life right before I left. He re oriented my life. I still love it, I still listen to it, but it is not the center of my life anywhere. By God's grace, he has put himself as the center of my life. I struggle with it every like everybody else. I struggle with idolatry, I struggle with putting things out, but the totality of my life, hopefully by the grace of God, is it. Christ is a center and everything else revolves around that and every decision that I make, everything in my mind, every action, every emotion, everything that I do should come from that center so that when people think of me, they don't think of me, they ultimately think of Christ, because I am reflecting Christ. You See, I'm saying that every part of our lives ought to be living for Christ, so that then, as we live, as we are living between now in the day that we get to be with Jesus Christ, that we are living lives of fruitful labor, Verse Twenty Two for Christ. And now we get to the last part, the anticipation of Paul's deliverance. So we've looked at the cause, we've looked at the perspective. Now we look at the anticipation. It's two options here, living and dine. Paul says in Verse Twenty Three. I am hard pressed between the two. He is being pulled between the two. That seems odd. Most of us wouldn't be pulled between the two. Life. I like breathing. I've grown accustomed to I'm kind of attached to it. I like to keep doing it. Paul says I'm hard pressed. And he's hard pressed because he actually wants to go be with Christ, not stay here. Yet he's still hard pressed. He's still hard pressed. He doesn't know which he would rather do. Yes, to be with Christ. Yes, that's what I want to do, that's what I desire, that's what's in my heart. But I am hard pressed because he feels like he still has work to do here on earth. He still has fruitful labor, he still has life that needs to be lived for the glory of Christ. I some of you may or may not know that I make my living as a video producer. I'm a videographer and I'm a specific kind of videographer. I actually have one subject that I basically do videos of and that's agriculture. I'm an agriculture video produce. I have the privilege of getting paid to travel around the state and be on farms and ranches and get to tell the story of the farmers and ranches of Texas. It is a joy. In fact, I actually had the opportunity to tell the story of some of the farmers we have here in our congregation. Don't know we have farmers in our congregation. You'll know that right now. For those of us who are not in agriculture and just drive between Waco and Gatesfull we can have a misunderstanding of what agriculture is all about. We can look, there's a field with nothing in it it. Look there's a field with something in it. Look, there's a field with nothing in it. Cool farmers worked twice a year. That's great. The Planet, it harvest it and in between they get to go to the Caribbean. That's I mean, that can be some of our thought because if we're not an agriculture, now, the ones that are in agriculture know how ridiculous that is, because a farmer cares for that he prepares the soil, he gets it ready to plan, he plants it, he cares for it. In many parts of the state, he waters it, he keeps the bugs away,...

...he keeps the weeds away, he gives it a food to eat, fertilized to eat. He cares, forty tends to it. They're out there all the time. It's work, it's labor, it's hard, it's long hours, it's odd hours. If you don't know if it's odd hours, just asked David and richer today what hours they've been working lately during harvest. It's hard, it's laborers, and yet when it's time to put the combine in the field they get to see the fruit of their labor. They're working hard and they see it grow. They see fruit growing, they see grain growing, they see whatever it is that they're raising growing and they get to enjoy that harvest. It's laborers, but every farmer I know, every farmer I know, would say I work hard, my family works hard, it's a hard living, but ultimately we get to enjoy the fruit of the Labor. But the one who gives the growth is God. He's the one who produces. I work, I labor, but he produces it. Paul is saying, if we are here and we're not with Christ, we have work to do. We have Labor to do, and we labor and we work and we strive and we sacrifice and we we don't do maybe what the outside world does, because we need to tend to that which we need to tend to and we work and we work so that God, working through the means of our labor, can bring about a fruitful harvest in our lives and in each other's life. Notice the fruitful Labor Paul is talking about here is a fruitful labor with the Philippians to go to them and tend to them and care for them so that they might grow and so fruit might come about. He says, if I am here and I am not with Jesus, then my goal is to spend my life, to pour out my life, as he will say later on in this book, to spill out my life so by God's grace, we see a fruitful harvest in each other. And he says that seems to be so necessary at this moment. I think I'm going to stick around. I think God is going to actually release me from this prison so that I can continue to pour in to each other's lives. It would be easy to look at this text and say, well, Paul's just being arrogant, he's just saying God's not going to not let me die because those Philippians, they need me. That's not what he's saying at all. What he's saying is the God's in control, God is sovereign. If God has me here, he has a purpose for me, and the purpose is to pour out my life, to sacrifice, to serve the Philippians so that God would bring the growth, so that they would have progress in the faith, joy in the faith and that they, the Philippians, would have ample cause to glory in Jesus Christ because of my come at you again. Look who gets the glory? Paul doesn't get the glory. Christ gets the glory. Right, because it's ultimately Christ is bringing about the fruit in our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, the fruit of the spirit, that which Paul, in the first part of the letter, prayed that would be grown in the Philippians. Part of the answer to that prayer, even in this place, for us to have those things grow in our lives. Have you ever struggled with the fruit of the spirit. Even looked at the through the spirit and go, HMM, I'm not even sure I'm saved. One of the reasons in the means by which God grows that in...

...our lives is not simply us, it is each other, as we humbly serve one another pour out our lives to one another. Paul is about to launch into talking to the Philippians about what they need to do correcting some of the issues and struggles they have. You know, when some of the issues and struggles they have, is this unity? You know when the issues and struggles I have, why they're disunified? Because they're not humble. He's going to launch into talking about and helping them see that unity comes about through humility, and he's even going to give this Glorius I don't want to get ahead of myself, but we I will. In Philippians chapter two, this glorious thing about Christ has been humble. He is the one who has been humble. Not only is he our example, he is the one who has been humble for us so they can power us to be humble, and Paul himself, in this text, is beginning that by showing them how God is working through him to pour out his life into their lives. Paul's not doing this to get a notch on his belt. He's doing this because God has called him. He loves them. He loves them so much that he was more willing to sacrifice to think of the Philippians above himself. If Paul had what he wanted, he'd go be with Jesus, Paul says. I think I need to be here because that's what God wants for you. Pres and sisters, we in this place are here for one another. We're here for one another so that we can do the one another's in the Bible that we are to do for one another. To get that, he'll give me a minute. This first time he came out of my mouth. I'll have to think about in a minute. God has called us not simply to be saved. He has called us into the community of the saved. He's not simply called us into a church, he has called US into a body with Christ as the head. During this time, especially in our church, just history, we need to be pouring out our hearts and lives towards each other so that God, by His grace, can work in our lives praying hard, longing for the day when we get to be with Jesus and letting that confidence caused us to live lives differently than the world around us, longing for the day when he is when he returns or when we get to go be with him at it in the innerim realizing every aspect of our life is here for the glory of God and to pour out, to spend our lives, every ounce of who we are, for one another, for the glory of Christ, for the good of one another, so that by all of these means, God's spirit would work in ways that he would bring about his will in our lives. God's working. He's not just working mysteriously, he is he's working through you, he's working through us. It's working through our prayers, he's working through our actions. He is working. He's providencially working to bring about his will in this place. In the same as Paul, I have confidence. I rejoice. I rejoice because this, what we are going through right now, will turn out for our deliverance, for our salvation, for the glory of Jesus Christ. In this place, let's pray together. What's gracious God. We thank you for the truth and the promise that you are working, that you are here. This has been ordained, this has been determine,...

...this has been decided. We thank you that you, by your grace, have decided to work through our prayers, through our actions. Do you do the working. You are bringing about the harvest and get you are working through our means. We thank you for that. We thank you most of all that you love us. We thank you that you love us in spite of who we are, that you have sent your son to die and rise again so that, through faith in Christ, we can be brought into this family that we have the privilege to walk with, to love and to serve every single day. Do Your will, do you will here in Lord. If there is anyone in this place today that does not know you, that doesn't know the Gospel, it's not come to faith in Christ. I pray this morning, right now, that you would pierce their hearts, you would turn them from their sin, that they would look on Christ and see the one who has lived for them, the one who has died for them, one who has risen again, that they would place their faith in Christ and become part of our family, the church, your body. Lord, do your will with us this morning. We ask this in Christ's name. Amen,.

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