October 23, 2011

Model Citizens of the Kingdom

It's difficult to develop a healthy Christian community when people want minimal commitment and few entanglements.

Scripture: Philippians 2:19-30

Sermon Notes:

  1. We are to live before the world as a shining light pointing to Christ (verse 15).
  2. The Christian citizen endures shame, doesn't demand his rights, submits to God and to godly authority, promotes brotherly love, doesn't pursue rivalry, seeks the interests of others, adopts the life of a servant, etc.
  3. It is not out of reach for us to live as citizens of the kingdom, as illustrated by the lives of Timothy and Epaphroditus.
  4. Paul hopes to be cheered up by learning good news of the Philippian church.
  5. Like Timothy, we need to genuinely put the interests and wellbeing of others before our own.
  6. Timothy has proved himself by working faithfully as a son under Paul and under Christ. He lived a life worthy of the gospel calling.
  7. Fragmentation of the family is the most destructive cultural problem of our time, which leads to criminality, academic failure, etc.
  8. The image of a son with his father speaks of a close relationship of mentoring, discipling, and instructing.
  9. For example, Jay John provided mentoring, encouragement, rebuke, blessing, and resources during Joe's formative years in public ministry. We need to recapture a biblical vision of fatherhood, both natural and spiritual.
  10. There needs to be a willingness to learn and to be discipled.
  11. In today's culture, where will you find a youth that will give way to a senior?
  12. Kids in their teens were responsible for the recent London riots.
  13. Paul warns that there will come times of difficulty in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
  14. The life of Epaphroditus reflects the life of Jesus, and is an example for us.
  15. Paul calls him “my brother,” indicating a personal, affectionate relationship.
  16. Epaphroditus almost died for the work of Christ, while showing charity to Paul in his need.
  17. All too often, those who recognize themselves as Christians do not have any commitment or affection for one another.
  18. It's difficult to develop a healthy Christian community when people want minimal commitment and few entanglements.
  19. We're called to believe in Christ and also to suffer for His sake.
  20. It was the ordinary life of the early church to lay down their lives for the cause of the gospel. It may soon cost us our lives too.
  21. Christian warfare is inevitable for the Christian soldier.

Application Questions

  1. Give contemporary examples of Christian citizenship shining brightly before the world.
  2. Why is it impossible to hold dual citizenship in Christ's kingdom and in the world?
  3. What character quality is required for us to be ready to learn and to be discipled by those Christ has called ahead of us?
  4. Is the Lord cheered by the life and fruit of our church community? (cf. verse 19).
  5. Are we genuinely concerned for the welfare of the church of Christ, both locally and globally?
  6. What are some specific ways we can show commitment and affection for Christian brothers and sisters this week?
  7. How can we practically support and cheer the ministers that Christ has appointed to serve at Westminster?
  8. Do we live mindful of spiritual battle? How do we prepare for it?
  9. To what degree does my life reflect my citizenship in heaven?
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