CHARLES E. WHISNANT, PASTOR/TEACHER
RIVERS OF JOY BAPTIST CHURCH, MINFORD OHIO STATE ROUTE 139 AND SHADY LANE
It is church life like this [Philippians 2:16-30] that really conquers the world, as it did the ancient world. Men and women saw something in the Christian society that they had never seen anywhere else."
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Life of Joy and Peace (Grand Rapids, 1989), page 225.
We have been learning in PHILIPPIANS the PATTERN FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING. Do we not understand the CHRISTIAN LIFE as LIFE, and REALLY LIVING LIFE? Does not the Bible teach us that being a CHRISTIAN is a transformation from DEATH unto NEW LIFE? Well the way many "Christians" live you would think they are still dead! You would think that many Christian's lives are filled with tragedies and calamities, lost jobs and horrible accidents. You would think from the lives of a lot of Christians that their lives have been hit with storms, drought and blizzards. Most of Christian living seems to be "partly cloudy with 20% chance of sunshine." Thus long-faced, heavy-hearted attitude has now invaded the ranks of Christianity.
The whole theme of Philippians is JOY. JOY "the gigantic secret of the Christian". Have you found Christians who are now rejoicing outwardly in their NEW LIFE IN CHRIST? Do you know many Christians who are genuine in their enthusiasm, and where their attitudes are uplifting and positive?
How many Christians do you know personally well enough that you can say that they really are expressing in conduct and content the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How many people do you know who are living above their circumstances. They possess a well-developed sense of humor, a smile on their face, and it causes you to say, "What is it that enables them to be like that?" They are essentially different! It's more than being moral, it's being spiritually alive.
We want to talk about those who are really holding forth the word of life in this twisted and perverse nation and what it means to be holding forth the word of life?
My prayer is that the Spirit of Christ will convict your heart and that you will pray that Christ will help you begin to hold forth the Word of Life in a new and refreshing way today.
THE CHRISTIAN'S DESCRIPTION IN THE WORLD AS A CHILD OF GOD: Philippians 2:12-16:
1A THERE IS TO BE PURPOSE AND POWER: vs. 12-13
The Christian life takes all you can do and all the power of God.
2A THERE IS TO BE GOOD ATTTIUDE AND ACTION: vs. 14-16
The Christian life is to have the right conduct and content.
3A THERE IS TO BE SERIOUSNESS AND JOY: vs. 17-18
The Christian life is a model of spiritual servants of Christ.
4A THERE IS TO BE DISTINCTIVE QUALITIES IN THE TRUE CHRISTIANS 3:1-3
THE DESIGN OF PHILIPPIANS IS TO HELP THE CHRISTIAN REJOICE BEING A CHRISTIAN.
- Paul's thought in Philippians is serious, his analogy is often very serious, "I may never get out of this situation alive. It may be God's will that my life be poured out as a sacrifice. Even if that is so, even if it means the end of my life, this pouring out of my days on your behalf is worth every moment. Even if this imprisonment is my last, I rejoice every moment. "
THE CHRISTIAN IN THE WORLD IS TO BE:
1B AS A CHILD OF GOD (Jesus Christ)
1C AS LIGHT: Shining as a luminary (star, moon)
2D To stand out in society, to expose the hidden things of darkness and to warn people against certain consequences which will happen unless they pay heed and give attention to the Christian message.
3D To be the light upon which others can see illustrated the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2B CURRENT TREND:
1C The mistaken ideal that at the present time only preachers are to hold forth the Word of God and not each member of the Body of Christ
2C It is no longer the habit or fashion for people to attend a place of worship.
3C To assume that this country is Christian, and thus no need to preach the gospel. This is a false assumption.
3B THE DUTIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL CHRISTIANS
1C The propagation of the gospel.
4B WHY ARE WE TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE WILL AND COMMANDS OF JESUS CHRIST.
WHY ARE WE TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT OUR BEHAVIOUR AND CONDUCT AND ATTTIUDE?
1C The ultimate goal is? So that we will have a believable message.
2C It's all designed to enable us, ultimately, to hold forth the Word of Life into the world who needs the message of Jesus Christ.
3C To expose the hidden things of darkness to a lost world.
5B WHO THEN IS TO HOLD FORTH THE WORD OF LIFE:
1C Good people. Moral people. Upright people. They can expose the hidden things of darkness, but most stop there. Our morality and ethics are but an introduction to our gospel.
2C True Believers. All that I do and say, and all that I refrain from doing , is nothing but a kind of instruction to my soul.
6B THE CHRISTIAN IN THIS WORLD AND LIFE:
1C Is essentially positive in position. He not only exposes darkness but shows the light.
2C As Christians, we are because of the gospel. It's to be perfectly plain and clear to everybody that the thing that is responsible for us is this gospel, this Word of Life. All our conduct and conversation, our behavior, our every activity should point to the gospel of Jesus and we are holding up, putting forth the Word of Life.
3C The Christian man or woman has life.
7B WHAT DOES 'HOLD FORTH THE WORD OF LIFE" TELL US ABOUT THE GOSPEL?
1C The gospel is not philosophy. Colossians 2:8, I Corinthians 1:17. It is not a collection of thoughts & ideas.
2C The gospel is a living Word. Hebrews 4:12, Jeremiah 23:29, Romans 1:16. It is not merely a theory, an idea, a point of view, something to be considered, something to be interested in, something to analyze.
8B WHY IS THE GOSPEL CALLED THE WORD OF LIFE.
1C First and foremost the Word that tells us about Life. Tells us that we are dead spiritually, and that there is another kind of life, and we are to live in communion with God, John 17:3.
2C Secondly, it is also the Word that gives life: James 1:18, I Peter 1:23.
3C Thirdly, it is the Word that supports life. I Peter 2:2
4C Lastly, it is the Word that shows us how to live this life.