(This is a continuation of the message preached last week.)
Date: 6 July, 2017
Text: The Gospel texts from Philippians
Title: The Primacy of the Gospel - Part 1
Theme: Paul made the Gospel of primary importance in His life.
Proposition: Christian, the Gospel ought to be of primary importance in your life!
Rhetorical: Will you be able to say before the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ, "Nothing mattered to me so much in my life as the Gospel?"
I Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
note: The Gospel is not corruptable like the life we received through Adam's seed. It is incorruptable and eternal - because it is born in us THROUGH THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL.
IS THERE ANYTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE GOSPEL - JESUS DIED FOR OUR SIN - JESUS ROSE AGAIN FOR OUR LIFE. WE CAN AND MUST BE BORN AGAIN OR PERISH IN THE FIRES OF HELL ETERNALLY!
Last week we began a message which we will finish today on the Primacy of the Gospel.
Our text - book of Philippians.
Our main idea - The Gospel ought to be of primary importance in your life! IT WAS IN THE LIFE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - AND AS SEEN HERE IN THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL.
We have no fellowship today without the Gospel.
5 For your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now;
ill. You go to family reunions because they are your family.
app. We come to church today - because the Gospel birthed us into a family/ fellowship.
II. We are to be a Gospel defender and establisher (ratifier).
7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
ill. Like an ambassador who comes with a message from another nation - as citizens of Heaven we encourage others to sign the peace treaty offered to them by God's great grace and signed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
app. We plead with men and defend God's truth because it is GOD'S GOSPEL THAT IS BEING DESPISED AND HIS OFFER THAT IS BEING REJECTED TO THE DAMNATION OF MANKIND.
III. We are to suffer for the Gospel.
12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
exp. Paul didn't complain about his bonds - he just cared about the Gospel.
ill. On trial and imprisoned on his way to Rome (In Caesars palace in Caesarea - brought into the Coliseum before King Agrippa.)
Acts 26:27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
ill. Those are sad words to those who know the Gospel - "Almost" Kyle - Princess St. Gardens.
ill. Like a bride killed on her wedding day or a child dying in the womb a day before a scheduled C-section.
app. To almost believe is to stand at the door of Heaven with your hand upon it - but to be cast into the Hell as surely as the most distant one from God.
Continuing - now with the Primacy of the Gospel - as seen in Philippians.
IV. We need to be bold for the Gospel.
exp. Because Paul suffered for the Gospel - it was talked about within the community.
ill. Pastor Rivers in Turkey - under armed house arrest - wife is 8 month pregnant - secret police broke into their meeting last Sunday - demanded to know the pastor saying they would give him a minimum of 15 days in prison. No one would implicate the pastor.
ill. Russian missionary- Kevin - This evening I received a call from a man who said he was an officer for the department of immigration. He wanted me to meet him tomorrow at 11 AM. He told me the address, which is one that I did not recognize so he told me to look it up on the internet. I told him that I would meet him, but immediately after the call I started to have a lot of red flags go off. Here’s why:
1. He didn’t give me his full name or official duties.
2. The address has nothing at all to do with the department of immigration.
3. He called after official office hours.
4. He called from a cell phone and not from an office number.
5. I tried to call him back and he didn’t answer the phone.
6. He told me that I didn’t need to bring any documents with me (passport, etc.).
7. The address he gave me is right around the corner from the detention center where they hold people awaiting trial.
8. He didn’t give me an office number or way of meeting him at the address he gave.
After talking with two attorneys and the deacons, a decision was reached that I wouldn’t go to the meeting. If he calls back I am going to tell him that I may file a complaint because he did not follow proper procedures concerning official communications with a citizen or resident of the Russian Federation. Also, the Jones household is going on “lock-down” for 48 hours. The kids will not be allowed to open the door and I am not going to answer any calls from numbers I don’t recognize. On Monday I will be meeting with my attorneys. I WILL be in church on Sunday…. Come what may!
app. Hearing of the suffering church ought to make us more bold for Jesus!
A. Because other's are suffering.
14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
ill. Paul had lost his "life and liberty" for Jesus. But, he wasn't sad! He was bold.
1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
exp. Paul's testimony of joyful suffering was impacting the hearts of those who saw it.
exp. People were apologizing to Jesus for their lack of boldness as they saw Paul being bold for the Lord.
app. Why are we cowards? Because we are afraid of what people (WHO WILL DIE AND GO TO HELL) THINK or SAY! Listen friend - other's are in prison/ osterasized by their family/ tortured/ under house arrest! It's time to stand up and be counted for the Lord!
B. Because the enemy is bold.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
exp. There was a conversation taking place because of Paul's willingness to go to prison and in the future death for the Lord Jesus Christ. Some were mocking him and arguing against the Christ! Other's were defending Paul and His Lord! PAUL REJOICED BECAUSE IN BOTH CASES CHRIST WAS BEING PREACHED AND SOME WOULD BE SAVED!
ill. Man who did our windows on our van - gave him a Gospel tract - came back the next day and found out that he and his partner in fornication (BE CLEAR) had a conversation about God. It opened the door for a full presentation of the Gospel with both of them as they work together.
app. When is the last time Jesus was preached - in someone's house (even of contention) because of your witnessing. IF YOU STAND FOR JESUS - THAT WILL TAKE PLACE. I HAVE NO DOUBT CONVERSATION OF CONTENTION ABOUT JESUS ARE TAKING PLACE IN OUR COMMUNITY.
C. Because of our love for our fellow soldiers.
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
exp. Don't you wonder if you love Jesus when you compare your stand for Him with the stand of others. Don't you love those who would live and die for Jesus! THAT LOVE STIRRED UP BELIEVERS TO STAND FOR JESUS.
ill. Imagine that you were with believers who were saying goodbye to Paul - the Holy Ghost sayeth that bonds and afflictions abide me - but NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME - SORROWING MOST THAT THEY WOULD NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. How impacting this would have been on the young people who saw a man willing to give up all for the GOSPEL!
app. Do you love God and His servants enough to do anything to help them with THE CAUSE! What have you done for the CAUSE for which Christ died! (He suffered - we ought to be motivated in love to promote his CAUSE!
V. We need to live as becometh the Gospel.
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:
exp. Our lifestyle (conversation) ought to compliment the Gospel (Good news) of Christ.
ill. I recently was glancing through a photo album of our wedding telling Mac that this was mommy and daddy. God provided a beautiful wedding dress for my wife - it was beautiful pure white. I waited for her in a tuxedo that was also finely made. It complimented her dress and made it even more beautiful. But, if I would have been filthy - no one would have seen her dress because they would have been disgusted by my filth - which would have also marred her dress!
app. Believer - the Gospel of Jesus is wonderfully pure and white like that wedding dress! We need to be beautiful and clean so that we don't mar it's beauty in the eyes of those who need it!
A. LIVE AS BECOMETH THE GOSPEL - Because dirty water isn't appealing.
ill. To drink out of a mountain stream - you need to be above the grazing animals (for obvious reasons.) Even though it looks pure it would be tainted by their filth!
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
exp. You can't get two types of water from a fountain - it is either good water - or it is not.
ill. When you add dirty water to clean water - what happens? When you add clean water to dirty - what happens?
app. You can't santify your sin. Sin corrupts everything it touches. Don't let sin graze through your spring!
Isa 52:11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
B. LIVE AS BECOMETH THE GOSPEL - Because dirty vessels aren't desirable.
2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
ill. Have you ever gotten a cup down to drink out of it only to find that there is something disgusting in it - what do you do - put it down (if it was really gross - you may not even be thirsty anymore.)
app: It is sad today that people are going to Hell who have never heard the Gospel. Sadder still - is that there are people going to Hell because of wicked lifestyles of professed believers!
app. The Gospel is so IMPORTANT - if it was the only reason for living a holy life - you should live holy. YOU ARE TO LIVE AS BECOMETH THE GOSPEL!
VI. We need to unite around the Gospel.
v.27 ....that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
exp. Nothing hurts a team more than disunity!
ill. Enemy "Divide and conquer!"
exp. Our enemy is not ignorant - Paul's Gospel plea encouraged them to UNITE because of the Gospel!
A. Because God's Holy Spirit is not divided.
in one spirit,
exp. We have one HOLY SPIRIT whose leading when followed unites our HUMAN SPIRIT.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body... and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
ill. Playing in an orchestra when I was in high school. Do you think the conducter would mind if I just played my own thing and went on a trombone solo? Why? BECAUSE HE IS THE CONDUCTOR (DIRECTOR)
app. God's Spirit isn't divided today - but some are seeking to toot their own horn instead of following His leading. STRIVE TOGETHER - BY FOLLOWING GOD'S SPIRIT.
B. Because Christ's mind is known.
with one mind
ill. When I was in school - I don't ever remember the teacher saying - this morning, I'm going to step aside and just let whoever wants to - teach this subject - SOME KID WHO HATES MATHS MAY GET UP AND SAY MY LESSON TODAY IS ON WHY MATHS AREN'T IMPORTANT.
exp. We aren't here this morning to teach God - but to get INSTRUCTION FROM HIM - TO KNOW HIS MIND - SO THAT WE CAN UNITE BEHIND THE GOSPEL.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
ill. Timothy and Paul - had the mind of Christ UNITING THEM IN THE GOSPEL!
Philippians 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
app. If we have the mind of Christ this morning - we are united to promote the Gospel!
C. Because we need each other's help to promote the Gospel.
striving together for the faith of the gospel;
ill. even Paul couldn't get the Gospel out on his own!
Philippians 2:22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
ill. Other men and women.
4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
ill. D. L. Moody had Ira Sankey to help him. A song leader who would travel the world with him at times separated from his family.
ill. Charles Finney - had his Daniel Nash and Abel Clary - men who would spend hours in prayer.
exp. How hard have you worked to get out the Gospel? Are you a fellow laborer in the Gospel?
Conclusion - We've looked at the primacy of the Gospel in the life of the Apostle Paul.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE GOSPEL TO YOU - CAN YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE ON THEIR WAY TO HELL AND NOT CARE?
1.) If it isn't important - we would not be here (no fellowship).
2.) If it isn't important - the Gospel has no defender and ratifier!
3.) If it isn't important - why does God ask us to SUFFER for it?!
4.) If it isn't important - when men suffer we WILL BE SILENT INSTEAD OF BOLD!
5.) If it isn't important - live like the devil - because it doesn't matter if your life takes people to hell.
6.) If it isn't important - it's no big deal if we don't have God's mind or God's Spirit uniting us! (But it is important and we need to STRIVE TOGETHER FOR THE GOSPEL!\
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THIS PAST WEEK - FOR THE GOSPEL? IF THE GOSPEL ISN'T THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE - IT OUGHT TO BE!