Joy In Honoring God

February 3, 2019 Speaker: Matt Slack Series: Guest Speaker

Topic: Joy Passage: Philippians 1:18–1:30

Grace Community Church Matt Slack
February 3rd, 2019

JOY IN HONORING GOD

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Philippians 1:18b-30


Good Morning! It’s a privilege to open Gods word. great to be with you'll this morning, If you have your

bible, go ahead and turn to Philippians 1. We’re in a series at Bridgeway, in the book of Philippians called Advancing Joy. Because Joy is one of the big themes that emerges from this letter written by Paul. Which is ironic, since Paul was in chains when he wrote it. Let’s start with a little background.

The book of Acts tells us that Paul and Silas were directed by the HS to go to Philippi to preach the gospel. And when Paul arrives and preaches the gospel, he finds an audience with open hearts, ready to receive the gospel. And a church was born, and Paul stayed awhile to encourage and establish the church, and then went on to preach the gospel elsewhere.

And the gospel Paul preached was that we find righteousness, salvation before God not by our works but by the work of Jesus on our behalf. And the religious leaders didn’t like that. They’d spent their whole lives trying to prove to others that they had merit before God because they were good, fulfill the law. And Paul comes in and says, that doesn’t matter. And that makes them very angry at Paul.

He’s destroying their reputation, negating their righteousness. And so the religious leaders are trying to silence him, bringing all sorts of accusations against him, and he ends up in prison, which is where Paul writes this letter to the Philippian church. And He writes these words starting in 1:18b (slide 9-10).

Sitting in prison at this point in his ministry, Paul doesn’t know if he’s going to be released or be executed. You can imagine the pressure on Paul to back off the gospel for a bit. If he stops preaching Christ he won’t be persecuted anymore or put to death and he could get out of jail. But in vs 20 he says, “I expect to not be ashamed and to have all courage to live and die for the gospel.” Sounds like Paul’s going Braveheart, right. Courage, strength, no fear to the bitter end.

But that’s not what Paul’s saying, let’s look closer. He says, through your prayers and the Spirit this will turn out for my deliverance (salvation). Paul’s saying, through your prayers and the power of the Spirit I will be saved. Saved from what? According to Paul, the result of this salvation will be that he’ll act with courage and not be ashamed of the gospel. He’s sure that he’ll be saved from self-protecting fear and shame. Paul stands strong because he understands the depth of his weakness.

This, not unlike what he says in Ephesians 6 (slide 11). 2x Paul asks them to pray for boldness, that he would fearlessly proclaim the gospel. Who prays for fearlessness but the man who’s afraid. Pauls not a superhuman who lives in the absence of fear, but he faces those fears with faith, that God has all the power, courage, strength he needs. So he acknowledges his weakness and recruits the church to pray.

Paul has confidence in this, in the Lord hearing and delivering him in his need. How can he be so confident? First, because his prayer is born out of a desire to honor and glorify Jesus. And second, because he’s entrusting himself to God for the sake Christ being honored.

See, we can pray for deliverance for a number of different reasons. I might pray to be delivered from a difficult situation because it makes me feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Or to be delivered from poverty because I want to be more comfortable and some cool clothes. Or to be delivered from sin that I’m in bondage to because I hate the consequences it has in my life.

None of those are wrong to pray for, but our desire for them is rooted in us. James 4 says, “You have not because you ask not, but when you do ask, you ask with wrong motives to spend it on yourself.” The Spirit of God is about glorifying Jesus, about teaching us to Glorify Jesus. But Paul understood that His greatest good wasn’t in pursuing his protection and good, but rather in honoring, exalting Christ.

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Grace Community Church Matt Slack
February 3rd, 2019

JOY IN HONORING GOD

Philippians 1:18b-30

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When we humble ourselves and desire Christ to be exalted, God meets us in that prayer, and delivers us from our fears, like Paul. The fear that God won’t provide, protect, save. And sets us free to live for the glory of Jesus. But thats going to require something of us. Let’s read on in vs. 21-26 (slide 12-13).

This little dialog is pretty amazing. Pauls debating with himself, “Would it be best for me to live so I can continue to minister the gospel or die so I can be with Christ?” And the deciding factor for Paul is, “What would bring the most glory to Jesus?” Right? If I die a martyr for Christ, that’ll declare to the world that Jesus is better than life itself, that’ll bring Him glory. And I can get out of this broken down bag of bones and be with my beloved savior. All +’s in that category.

But if I remain in the body, go on preaching, more people come to know Jesus and they’ll see, worship and His glorify will be multiplied. So, seems like God get’s more glory that way, so I think that’s what God’s going to do. This is crazy. What is Paul, some kind of fanatic!?

Think about your own decision making process. With things like what are you going to eat, watch, listen to. Or who you give influence in your life, how you choose careers, purchases, everything? How often does the question, “What would bring most glory to Jesus,” come into play? We might have a lot of criteria in making a decision, and it might be wise, good, but the glory of Christ cuts to the heart. But we have a hard time relating to Paul, don’t we? How did Paul get there?

In Matthew 13:44, Jesus tells this short but powerful parable about hidden treasure (slide 14). Let me personalize this for us. Let’s say you have friends that own property in WG, and you go out to spend the weekend. And while you’re there they have to run out for a while. And you decide to take a walk.

And as you’re walking through a neighboring field, you trip over something. You notice a corner of something, kinda wood and metal. And you clear away the dirt, bust the latch and open it up and you can’t believe it, you can feel your heart pounding. It’s full of Spanish gold coins. Between the value of gold and the historical value its worth hundreds of millions.

And you sit there in disbelief, running your fingers through it, wondering what are you going to do. And then you get a plan. And you start to smile, and you start getting giddy. And you close the chest, and cover it back up, and you put some palm branches over it, because you have to hide it. And you look around to get your bearings, “theres a tree, that fence, the roads there.”

And go back to your friends house and clean up, and your sitting at the kitchen table when they get back. And there’re like, “What? Why you smiling like that?” “Oh nothing, it’s just a beautiful day.” Naw, theres something wacky going on, what is it?” “Just enjoying life! Oh, by the way, who owns that property over there? They ever talk about selling?”

“No, no way you could afford it?” “Well, I’m gonna make an offer.” “You’re nut’s, why would you want it, it’s full of sand and weeds?” But you go home and tell your family you’re gonna make an offer on that land. And they think you’re crazy, no way you can afford it, and you’d have to sell everything.

So you put an offer on the land at full value and the owner says, no way, not for sale. So you come back with an offer 20% over valve, and they say no. 50% over, no deal. And you’re friends are worried about your sanity, you’re families ready to baker act you, and you’re like “No I’m good.” And you offer 100% over value, and they say, you want it that bad, you can have it. And you’re so excited!

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Grace Community Church Matt Slack
February 3rd, 2019

JOY IN HONORING GOD

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Philippians 1:18b-30
So you go and sell your house, cars, kids bikes, cash in your ira’s, and with everything you sell, you’re

smiling and so excited, and everybody thinks your out of your mind... Why? Because you have seen the treasure and they haven’t. This is Paul. Beaten almost to death 5x, with rods 3x, shipwrecked, everybody seems to be against him, why do you keep going Paul? Are you nuts? No, I’ve seen the treasure.

A few vs. ahead, Paul writes this in 3:7 (slide 15). Whatever I have is worthless compared to knowing Christ. Jesus said it was in his joy that the man sold all he had to buy the field, to get the treasure. In his joy! Paul’s tasted Christ, seen the treasure. God’s not prying things from his white knuckles, Paul’s throwing down because he’s found something far superior.

See, this isn’t about willpower, discipline, a better track record with your sin, more constant date night, better family devotions. This is seeing Jesus. This is about finding the treasure and knowing it’s value and you won’t have to be told to give everything up and lay down your life. You’ll have to explain to others, as you’re surrendering your life, that you’re not crazy but that you’ve seen something life changing and you can’t go back. Paul can give it all up with joy because he’s seen the reward, Christ.

And it’s no coincidence that we see the same in Christ, who gave himself completely for the joy set before Him. Hebrews 12:2 (slide 16) says, “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who

for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” And what was His reward, joy? Seeing many come to the Father, giving glory to the Father. He found his joy in seeing you saved from the judgment of God and brought into His family. And in the Father being exalted in you.

But what does that look like? If we, like Paul, are to live for the glory of Jesus. If we would be willing to gladly lay down all we have for his glory and honor, we have to 1st see the greatness of who He is and the value of knowing Him. It’s costly and it’s dangerous but the reward, the joy is far better.

So what does living this out look like? Let’s look at vs. 27-28 (slide 17-18). Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. Or, live in a manner worthy of the gospel. What does that mean? Well, to understand how to live that way, we have to understand what the gospel means. The word gospel means good news. But what’s the good news for you?

The good news is this: Jesus Christ was born of woman, under law. And He lived a life where He fulfilled the law. And according to the law, if you perfectly keep the law, you receive the blessing and favor of God. So by His obedience Jesus fulfills the law and earns the just blessing and favor of God.

Us on the other hand, also born of woman, also born under law, and we broke the law, we violated perfect law of God and earned the just judgment of God. Not good news, but theres more. When we put our faith in Jesus, our sin and the judgment we’ve earned is placed on Christ and He bears our judgment.

And that’s not all. Christ’s perfect righteousness, the blessing and favor He earned from keeping the law, is placed on us. And just as Christ received our judgment for sin, we receive the just blessing, love and grace that He received. And we’re made pure and spotless in the sight of God. And it doesn’t stop there.

He made us righteous and pure to prepare us to be temples for the HS, that God would dwell with us, that we would commune with our God. He not only delivered us from the guilt of sin but by the Spirit, delivered us from the power of sin. That’s good news! It’s good news that came about by the sacrificial love of Jesus, who was seeking His joy in the Fathers honor and the blessing of others.

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Grace Community Church Matt Slack
February 3rd, 2019

JOY IN HONORING GOD

Philippians 1:18b-30

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If we’re going to live in a manner worthy of the gospel, we must live in a way that seeks God’s glory and the blessing of others. Give your lives for His honor, for the good of others, and let that be your joy. And when you do that, Pauls says, don’t be surprised that you’ll face opposition. Huh?

Why would we be opposed if we’re loving people, sharing good news, honoring God? Because the good news necessarily entails bad news. Jesus did come to die and rescue us from sin and judgment, to set you free from sin and cleanse you from your guilt, but...

If you refuse His salvation, all that’s left for you is judgment. And so for those who reject Jesus and refuse His offer of salvation, they hear in the gospel, not good news but bad news. And they will seek silence that voice. But without the bad news, there is no good news.

See, if you don’t feel the weight of God’s judgment against you, you have no reason to flee and cling to the mercy of Christ. Paul says stand firm in the truth, in preaching the gospel, in living for God and in so doing, you will expose to them that they are destined for destruction, that they might flee their sin and find life in Jesus. And then in vs. 29 he says this (slide 19).

I want to make sure we heard that. God’s given us 2 gifts. His given you the gift of faith, by which you’ve been saved and ushered into the kingdom/family of God. And the 2nd is the gift to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. Which may seem like, how in the world is that a gift? When your singular passion is bringing honor to Christ, then suffering for Him is a privilege.

See, we say to the world, Jesus is better than all this world has to offer, and when it cost us nothing, they may or listen, “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” But when we’re in a place where we have to choose between our job or Jesus, reputation or Jesus, a friendship or Jesus, peace or Jesus, our money or Jesus, life or Jesus. And when we choose Jesus, and with joy consider all else lose for His worth, it’s then that we declare and they see in an irrefutable way that Jesus really is more glorious and precious than all else.

As we seek to honor Jesus with our lives we will encounter opposition and persecution. And when we walk through it with faith He gets more honor as our faith is validated and others come to Christ. But how do we get to the place where Jesus Honor is the most important thing to us?

It’s a work of God’s Spirit in us. But it’s a work of His Spirit in us, as we humble ourselves and cry out in prayer. God, whatever it takes. Whatever brings you more glory. For strengthen in fear. For courage to honor. To believe that the joy set before me is far superior to the trifling rubbish we’re playing with here.

That we would be like Jesus, who was willing to suffer greatly and lay down His life so that He might find Joy in your salvation and in His honor and the glory of the Father. He has done it! And we’re called to follow our savior, in faith, to live a life worthy of the gospel, finding our joy in the honor of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

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