Text: Philippians 1:19-26
Understand the Need: Being ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16; Romans 10:11).
Connect the Background: There are people who do not find pleasure or joy in advancing the gospel. The shackles of the past still bind them. Paul simply says there should be rejoicing every time the church gathers around for gospel proclamation (Phil 1:19).
Build Up the Word:
The Sovereignty of Christ over Suffering (19-20)– Joseph’s case (God intended it for good; Genesis 50:19-21, “But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.”) and Job 13:16.
Paul suggests that two deliverances await him—release from imprisonment or death. Paul maintains his faithful witness to Christ both in his life and death.
The Sovereignty of Christ over Death (21-23, “far better”) – death is seen as the ultimate evil, but at the same time, can be used by God for his purpose. Here, Paul perceives that it will be the most excellent favor for him since he will be with God already. Illustration: Timothy Keller and Basil the Great
The Sovereignty of Christ over Life (24-26) – the motivation of Paul is not his personal legacy but discipleship—to disciple more Christians for Christ. Paul perceives that the advancement of the kingdom of Christ is tantamount to his life. It is life = serving Christ.
Verse 25 presents that discipleship brings joy to the children of God and the one that does discipleship. Here, Paul shows that despite his longing to just be with Christ (selfish in a sense), his determination is to make more disciples of Christ (which is better for others).
Commission to Go:
“When there are no battles, there are no victories.” – Pastor Jebo Banzuelo
Maybe that is where we are right now. We are on the verge of our Christian life, whether we are just saved, seated, satisfied, or comfortable with our lives versus the call to disciple someone.
Rev. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
May 21, 2023
Photo by Gu Bra: https://www.pexels.com/photo/throne-in-an-ornate-interior-of-a-church-7224522/