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“Yes, And Will Rejoice” (Phil 1:12-30)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2012
Posted by: The Gospel Church | more..
950+ views | 120+ clicks

“Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: the former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (vs15-18).

Let us rejoice that Christ is preached, even when imperfect instruments selfishly proclaim the message (vs12-18). Paul said, “whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice”. We cannot rejoice in false gospels and false prophets, because they don’t honor Christ, nor can anyone be saved (2 John 1:9-10). But, when the truth is preached contentiously, when a man serves himself in the gospel, it is wrong, but Christ is STILL being preached, and God is still giving a blessing.

I don’t want to be a contentious fault finding person, looking for what is wrong in those who do good, and seeking to discredit their good by the faults that are in them. I am not perfect, and yet God uses me, so let us look past the faults of Christians, see their good, and then thank God for their fruitfulness, rather than disregarding them totally. If we are comparing ourselves and trying to be better… if we don’t know how depraved we are… then we’ll find the sins of others unbearable, while we coddle ourselves, excuse our own behavior, and magnify other’s faults while excusing our own misdeeds. This pride and hypocrisy is wrong and unbecoming. We should be looking for one thing: Does he glorify God? If so, even if he sins in many ways, then receive him, help him, and be an example of righteousness to him, just like Paul is to us. We are not living to be better than others. We’re here to honor God and help people, so we rejoice when anyone has the gospel, because He gave it to them and will use it.

I’m also aware that Paul was content in prison, because he was sure that it was accomplishing God’s glory. He said, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out fro the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ (because I’m faithful to the gospel); and many of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (vs12-14). He didn’t look at his trials and say, “Not fair”, but he saw the prison getting the message of Christ and how other saints were learning boldness by his example. This is the right attitude, that what is happening to me is bringing God glory, and that is enough, even though it is painful. Peace isn’t found in changed circumstances, necessarily, but when God changes your heart, so that you’re not concerned about yourself, and you see that RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, you’re glorifying God, then comes the contentment. Do not think the selfish life is the happy one! Concern yourself with God’s will, help others, and THEN you will find peace! Look up to His grace, honor Him, and He will fill you within.

Secondly, Paul knew this selfless life (vs19-26). He said, “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed,but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain… for I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you”. He had a desire to depart from this life, but he preferred to stay behind to help the brethren. This is peace – “God, no matter what You do to me, so long as you’re glorified and I can honor You, I’m willing to put aside my comfort so that others can be saved.” This mind of Christ caused Him to come into this world. He left heaven for hell upon a cursed tree, and this is mind looks for God to supply the Spirit, knowing that the end result of EVERYTHING is salvation. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who loved God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.

Look at your children. You love them enough to die in their place, and you delight to give them your all and see them prosper. Imagine if you had this mind towards others more abundantly, if you weren’t always motivated by your lusts, but were generous and helping. Now, what kind of a person would you be? When God makes you care for others WILLINGLY and from the heart, He’s given you a great thing called love, and it has its own reward. We can’t have peace serving ourselves, because God only gives peace that serves others, so we put aside our dreams, if need be, so that others can be saved. This magnification of Christ is the only way to live. I’ve tasted of the flesh and the Spirit, and the love, joy, and peace of glorifying God is not only real, but it is also far better than bondage to self. Life isn’t about elevating self but God, and in doing so, you’ll have all that you need.

Finally, as one preacher said, “Move over, Paul. I’ve got to get in on this too”, and we must get in on suffering triumphantly (vs27-30). He says, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me”. We haven’t only been given faith, but we’ve also been given trials, troubles, and persecutions. Salvation is not good things happening to us all the time. Painful things come to prove God’s goodness and also to put us in a place to minister. Paul, by his trials, had to lean on the supply of the Spirit, and doing this, he has a message that’s real. His sufferings were not only an example, but also a source of power, as they showed him the need of Christ, and then made him all the more devoted and grateful. These things purge pride, bring in the Spirit, and they enable us to comfort the like-afflicted (2 Cor 1:3-4).

We too will be hated for loving God. Parents and children will separate, brother and sister will draw lines in the sand, and your closest relations and most heartfelt ambitions may be destroyed. Christ said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt 10:34-35). But no matter. Do not let this move you. Suffering is part of the gospel, but it has no power to conquer God’s work within. Be about His business all the more and labor with the church, because the world is evil. Don’t let the trials stop you, but band together and serve God’s glory and His people all the same. Christ hasn’t promised, “Peace with no problems”. That is heaven. He teaches us, “Peace, no matter the problems, AS YOU SERVE ME”.

Heshimu Colar Heshimu Colar

Heshimu Colar, Pastor of The Gospel Church, faithfully proclaims the saving message of Jesus Christ, continually exalting Him in God's word as the Savior of...

Category:  Philippians

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