October 2, 2011

Courage and Gospel Progress

We are to live in the provision and life of the Spirit who binds us to Christ and to one another.

Scripture: Philippians 1:12-26

Sermon Notes:

  1. In this passage, Paul provides a personal update to encourage the Philippians by his experiences and to provide an example for them to follow.
  2. Paul rejoices because the gospel is making progress.
  3. Paul's imprisonment affords an opportunity to evangelize Caesar's high-ranking guards.
  4. Paul encourages the Philippians by sharing how his chains and persecution have been turned for the advance of the gospel.
  5. Paul's rivals tried to created trouble on account of his imprisonment, but God turned it for good.
  6. Paul hoped for deliverance, but his heart's desire was that he wouldn't be put to shame, but that in his body Christ would be magnified.
  7. The paradox of Christian discipleship is that God calls us to suffering to magnify Christ's resurrection power.
  8. Paul suffered greatly for the gospel facing personal opposition, mobs, false accusations, shipwrecks, and imprisonment.
  9. Jesus' humility, and suffering brought about his exaltation (Philippians 2:5-11).
  10. If we want to know who God is, we need to meditate on the cross, with its humiliation, suffering, and power.
  11. Paul's singular passion to magnify Christ enabled him to say that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
  12. Though our bodies are marked by suffering and death, we will one day receive a glorified body. This is the Christian hope.
  13. The New Testament emphasizes the hope of the resurrection, giving little detail about the intermediate state, but Paul writes that he'll be “with the Lord.”
  14. Paul's hope under adversity is reflected in this exaltation: “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ.”
  15. As we become a people united in prayer, we can see the world as Paul saw it.
  16. We are to live in the provision and life of the Spirit who binds us to Christ and to one another.
  17. In prayer we rejoice and experience this communion bond in Christ.

Application Questions

  1. What was Paul's attitude toward 1) his imprisonment, and 2) the possibility of death?
  2. What do we learn about the gospel in 2 Corinthians 4:5-10?
  3. What changes when we look at all our life circumstances through the lens of the gospel?
  4. How should we respond to those who preach the gospel out of envy and selfish ambition?
  5. Do we face our trials with joy and confidence of victory, as reflected in Paul's letter to the Philippians?
  6. What is the role of the Holy Spirit and prayer in gaining a right perspective on suffering as a Christian?
  7. How is the glory of Christ revealed in our sufferings?
  8. Do we focus on the negative, or do we see the good that God is bringing out of the trials in our lives?
  9. Is the overarching desire of my life that Christ be magnified?
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