Paul's Gives Examples So We Know How to Be Faithful

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:26
0 ratings

Are we following Godly Examples? Are we faithful so others can follow us?


Paul's Gives Examples So We Know How to Be Faithful

Philippians 3:17-4:1

By Sean Kelly

So Paul here is going to give some practical commands to us after teaching us our dependence is on Christ and on our flesh. And like I said, in light of not looking to the things in the past, but reaching for the excellence of the high mark of knowing Christ our savior. So he's going to put this into practical application here, and he does this by telling us that God has given us examples to follow and examples not to follow.

And his command is that we stand firm in the faith. So that's what we're going to look at this morning. We're going to start in verse 17.

In verse 17, we're going to see what godly examples are out there. And I chose a marker that doesn't work very well, so we're going to change colors. Try this again.

There we go. Godly example. So, verse 17 says, brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have for us, a pattern.

So first he brings up his own example. And again, the last part of chapter three that we study here. He's talking about that I don't have any confidence in the flesh, even though I could, even though, by Jewish standards, I've done everything that meets the requirements that a Jew would have for a Jew to be righteous.

And he says, I count that rubbish. And the idea that he's reaching for the goal of being Christlike in his life. And so he's saying, this is my example.

Follow my example. The word example here is to be fellow imitators with know. I think for know, his example isn't based on Paul being so righteous in and of himself.

It's that he's following God. He's trusting God. He's living his life as God commands, and that's what's helping him to live the way God wants it to.

It's not Paul's doing, it's God working in him. So Paul's example, let's look at a couple of verses here. One Corinthians 414 through 16.

We would like to read that, Jonathan. Go ahead. I do not write these things to shame you, but, my beloved brothers, I warn you.

For though you might have 10,000 fathers in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, imitate me.

So here he's talking to the Corinthians, and he's urging them on behalf of the relationship he has with them, that you may have a lot of instructors, but here I'm the one who led you to Christ. I'm the one who is, as he puts it here, your father in the gospel. And he says, you know my testimony.

You know how I live. You know what my message is. And verse 16 says, imitate me.

And he's urging them, he's begging them to do that, to imitate him. So Paul knows that his example is a good example to follow. And he's telling people, look at how I live.

Look at how I walk in Christ. Follow that pattern. Another verse, one, Corinthians eleven one.

It's a short one. Go ahead, Olivia. Imitate me, just as I also imitate.

So here again, there's a command to imitate him to the Corinthians. But he adds something on here. Imitate me as I imitate Christ.

So it's not just find somebody to imitate. It's look at somebody who's doing the right thing, someone who's following Christ's example, someone who's living for Christ, and then say, that's a pattern that I can follow. So Paul gives us a number of times, and there's other places in the Bible where he talks about being example, about imitating him.

But in this passage here, he talks about brethren joining and following my example and example. And note those who so walk. So there's other godly examples around them, too.

Around the Philippians, it says, to note those who so walk. It says, and this idea of notice to pay attention to, to keep one's attention on. So it's not just Paul who's a good example.

It's others who are walking in. So for the Philippians, there were people within the church, maybe their pastors, maybe some of their deacons or some of the godly men and women around them that were walking the right way. And Paul says, look at the way they're walking.

Follow that pattern. And so here, I think for us, we can say the same thing. We can look around in our church.

We can look around the people that we know that are believers and see people that are truly seeking to follow Christ, are seeking to do their best to live the way God wants them to. And we can say, I want to do what they're doing. I want to follow their pattern as they're serving.

I want to serve as they're speaking. I want to speak as they're serving others. I want to serve others.

It's a pattern for us to follow. And he does this a number of times in different places, telling people, you're an example, you're a pattern, you're somebody to be imitated. Let's look at one Timothy 412.

Go ahead, Abigail. To the believers in words. So here he's talking directly to Timothy, and he's telling Timothy that you're to be an example to the believers.

Here, he even mentions his youth. A lot of commentators think that Timothy was probably around 40. So if you're in the 40-ish range, you could still be youthful.

I passed 40 now quite a ways away, so I don't know if that makes me youthful anymore. But even here, Timothy is one that Paul says, be an example. Do what's right.

Let people follow your pattern of how you live. So Timothy is one that's brought up as another person besides Paul. That's an example to believers.

Hebrews 611 and twelve. Go ahead, Josiah. We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises.

So here the author of Hebrews is talking about to imitate people who have, through faith and patience, have inherited the promises. Basically, people who are trusting Christ and living the right way. And the author of Hebrews is telling the Hebrews, imitate them, follow them, follow their pattern.

One more passage. Third, John eleven and twelve. Matthew.

Go ahead, beloved. Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. Demetrius has a good testimony is true.

So verse eleven, he talks about, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. Well, how do we imitate evil or imitate good? It's watching people who do evil and good. Right.

So this is the idea of imitating. Imitate the people who are doing good. The people that are doing the right things.

Don't imitate people that are doing wrong things. And then just to make his point here, he gives example. He brings up Demetrius, who has a good testimony from all, and he says, we bear witness that he's doing what's right.

He's a person that you should imitate. So we should focus on people that are around us, that are walking in the right way, that love the Lord, that are seeking to please him, and we should say, whatever they're doing, that's the pattern I need to follow. That doesn't mean you do everything the same way that they do, but the idea is your overall life.

They're modeling what you want to be as a Christian. So in this verse, verse 17, going back to Philippians, it says, brethren, join in following my example. Note those who so walk as you have us, for a pattern.

I think this us here is Paul and these other people that they're to imitate, and they give a pattern. This word pattern means an example, a model. And so people can be a pattern for how we ought to live.

I was thinking about pattern this morning. One of the places where we still use the word pattern a lot is in sewing, right? If someone's going to sew a dress, and I don't know a lot about this, so I'm kind of speaking from ignorance, but I've seen the patterns that my wife had and that my girls have, and there's different pieces. And you put the pattern down, you trace out on the fabric, you cut it out, and then you put the pattern together the way it's supposed to be.

And if you do everything right, you hopefully end up with a dress or a shirt or whatever you're making. Right. For us, that's something we can look at if we're trying to live for God.

We can look at somebody and say, here's the pattern. Here's the different pieces that they've put to place in their life. I know this person is reading the word of God.

I know this person is memorizing scripture. I know this person is out sharing the gospel with people. I know this person is serving in their church.

Okay? These are pieces of the pattern. I put this together, I'm going to end up in the same place that they're going because they're doing what's right. And I want to do what's right also.

So we have a pattern. We have patterns around us. People that are walking in Christ and living for God.

And we ought to pay attention to that. Lynn, go ahead. Once you have kids, you.

You come to realize that your actions really have an impact on others because of that reason, because all of a sudden, your kids are imitating you. I remember we were camping once, and sue and I got in a little fight or something. I got mad.

So I walked off from the campsite, just walked on one of the trails, and I got a little ways down. I looked behind me, and little Thomas was following after. You know, he was just going where dad was.

Kids. Kids follow us. They see us as a pattern.

But as Christians, we need to realize that we also are a pattern and that our lives are an example. They can be a good example or a bad example, and we're going to talk about bad examples in just a second, and we need to be aware of that. And as we're walking in Christ, we understand that we can be a good example.

And a pattern for others, and we can help others in their growth by doing what's right. So godly examples around us, Philippians 318 and 19, we see, and I call this wicked examples. I think wicked is a strong word.

And I hesitated when I first typed, and I thought, no, this is right for this, because there's good examples or bad examples. There are bad examples. They're wicked examples.

They're leading us astray. They're the Pied piper of Christianity, so to speak. They're leading the mice to their destruction.

And you see that with this group of people here. Verses 18 and 19 say, for many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you, even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly and whose glory is shame, who set their mind on earthly things. So wicked examples, Paul talks about their.

So what is their lifestyle? Their lifestyle does not follow the pattern that Christ wants them to live. It doesn't follow the pattern of these godly examples. They're doing something different.

They're doing something that's sinful, that's not something that's approved by God here. And Paul says, as he's talking about their walk, he breaks into this kind of parentheses here, talking about, there we go again, that he's been warning about these people all along, that they're all around us. And I think the idea that Paul has to warn us here in Philippians and Paul has warned in other places, tells me that today there's people around us that are like that, too, even maybe in our churches at some point in time, that there's people who are not walking the way God wants us to walk.

And we need to be aware of that. One of the warnings Paul gives us in acts 20, as he's talking to elders, that's twice. Yeah, I'm going to try this.

We'll see if that works. So let's look at acts 20, verses 29 through 31. We like to read.

Olivia, is there. Your hand up. Okay.

Bry, know this, that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not fearing the flock. Also from among you, men will arise, seeking perverse things. Draw away the disciples after themselves.

Therefore, watch and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone one night and day with, and especially verse 31. This sounds like what Paul is saying in Philippians here, doesn't it? That he's warning everyone night and day with tears about these people that are going to come in and lead the flock astray. He calls them savage wolves.

They're going to speak perverse things. They're going to draw the disciples away from themselves. And he says, I'm warning you about this.

This is something important that Paul continually does, is to warn us about people that are not living the right way, who are going to be a wicked example that we should not follow, that we should be aware of, and we should say, okay, that's not right. That's not good. I don't want to be like that.

And even this passage, he has this phrase here, I tell you, even weeping, I think there's a sadness for the people that are like this, but there's also sadness for the church, which the faithful believers who are being led astray by these people. And it causes Paul to weep. So he says that they are enemies of the cross.

So their walk, I don't know why I didn't put this in a separate point. This probably should have been a separate point, but they were enemies of the cross here. That's one of the first things about them that he describes them, that they're these enemies of the cross.

Word enemies here is literally hating. In the Greek, they're hating the cross. Well, how do you hate the cross? What are you hating then? And what I think it is is that while Christ died for all our sins, Christ rose from the dead and we have the gospel that saves us.

They're looking at that as they're not choosing that. They're not choosing to be a part of that gospel message. They're not choosing to have that in their life.

They're hating that. And instead of going their own way, they're believing their own thing. They're following their own ideas instead of what God has showed them through the Bible.

So they're enemies of the cross, of Christ. Let's read first John four, one through three. Who would like to read that? Josiah? Go ahead, beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirit for the name of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world by this.

You know, the spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh of God, every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which he has proved and is now already in the world. Now, in first, John Paul's dealing with a situation.

The Gnostics, they have this idea that everything that's physical is evil and everything that's not physical is good. And so in order for Christ to be good, he didn't really come in the flesh. He kind of came into a body, but then he left it before the cross.

Very confusing doctrine, not a biblical doctrine here. But again, when we look at this idea, what does it mean to be an enemy across? It's denying, it's not choosing one message on the cross. And that's what these people, these Gnostic are doing.

They're not seeing that Christ actually did die for our sins, that he actually suffered, bled, died, and then rose again. They're teaching a different. And John says that, you know, that this is spirit God.

Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is God. And what he's saying is that that confession is that Christ came in the flesh and actually did die for us, that they're embracing what the gospel says, and then every spirit that does not confess that Jesus come in the flesh is not of God. So everyone that's denying what the gospel says is not of God.

They're enemies of the cross here. And he even goes on further, say, this is the spirit of Antichrist. This is against Christ.

People who are denying the message of the gospel. So these wicked examples, one of the first characteristics of them, they're enemies of the cross. They hate the cross.

They're against the gospel. Paul here says to beware of them, to note these people, to see them and identify them and reject them. So secondly, he talks about their path.

And verse 19, he says, whose end is destruction? So their path ends in destruction. And I think I put it here, the Lord knows the way of the righteous and the wicked, and there's going to be a judgment from the Lord. I think oftentimes again in my life, I've noticed at times that I try to do what's right, and sometimes it's not necessarily beneficial to my flesh, to the way, you know, there's hard times come because I'm doing what's see.

And I think you see this in the psalms a lot. David talks about this. The wicked are prospering and you're not.

And you're like, I'm trying to live for God. What's going on here? Well, in the end, their path is destruction. If they don't turn to Christ, if they don't believe in his death and resurrection, they're going to come to destruction.

And Paul is saying, that's the end of these people, these people that hate the cross, they're heading for that destruction. Unless they come to know Christ as their savior, that's their end. Let's look at second Thessalonians.

One eight and nine. Lynn, go ahead. Inflaming fire, taking those who do not know God, those who do not obey the gospel, Jesus Christ.

These shall be finished with everlasting destruction. And again, this is talking about those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel, who not put their faith in Jesus Christ as their savior. Their end is destruction, and it's assured.

God says this is what's coming to them. So that's another characteristic of these people who don't walk the way they're supposed to walk, that are enemies of the cross. Their end is destruction also.

Next phrase is, whose God is their belly? This is an interesting phrase here. So how is someone's belly their God? For Ted and me, it's like if we made our belly our God, we have a big God, I guess. I don't know.

Sorry, that's that. I don't know where I was going with that. But the idea is, I think here, that they live by their passions, they live by their lust, they live by their desires.

That's what their God is, to do what they want to do, what makes them feel good. Paul's using the belly, I think, in the sense of somebody that just eats whatever they want. They don't care about it.

They're seeking food is their, like everything. It feeds their passions. But I think it can be any passion here.

So I said, this seems to refer to those who live by their lusts and desires and not by the word of the Lord. Let's look at Romans 16:17 and 18. Ted.

Brethren, know those contrary to the doctrine which you learn, but their own valley, and by smooth work and flattering speech. And this kind of, I think, is referring to these same type of people here that Paul's worrying about in Philippians. But notice what the opposite of living by their own belly is.

They're not living by the doctrine which Paul is taught. They're causing division and offenses. They're using smooth and flattering speech.

So this isn't just about what they're eating. This is about how they're living, that they're living for their own pleasure and their own desires. So I think that's what Paul's referring to here.

And just using this phrase, whose God is their belly? He goes on to say, another thing about them is, whose glory is their shame? Interesting that their glory is their shame. Our glory is in Christ. We are glorified with Christ, and at his appearing, we're going to be brought into his glory, but we're also going to reflect his glory.

And we're also going to be to his glory. So our glory is all bound out in what Christ has done for us and what Christ is going to do in his return. But their glory is their shame.

So they boast in the things that should bring them shame. They boast in things that they should be saying, this is wicked, evil stuff. I really shouldn't be doing this.

But instead they're boasting about. They're bragging about it. They're saying, look at me, I'm doing wicked stuff.

And it's great. That doesn't sound like society today at all, does it? I think it kind of does. Romans 132.

Who would like to read this? Go ahead, Jana. So this is talking about people who aren't living for God, that are living according to the world's desires, according to their own lust. And it says that they're deserving of death, but they not only do these things, but what do they do? They approve others that do them.

And this is kind of their bragging. They're like, yeah, we're doing evil. And look, you're doing evil.

Yeah, go, keep going. Keep doing it. And Paul's saying, this is totally wrong.

This is backwards. We ought to be seeking to do what's good and what's right. I think an example of how this works in the church, we look at first Corinthians five.

Let's go ahead and read that passage. First Corinthians five, one and two. Ted, you want to do that one again? It's actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, that a man has his father's wife and you are puffed up and have not read and worn, that he who has done the deed might be taken away from among.

So there's a wickedness in the church. There's a man who is basically having sexual relations with his mother in law and the church. Instead of saying, hey, this is wrong, you need to stop.

You need to obey what God says. This is wicked. Instead, they're puffed up, they're bragging, and they're bragging about their tolerance.

Look at how loving and gracious we are to him. This is where they're at. And Paul's saying, no, this is wrong.

You don't brag in this. You don't make this your glory, that, hey, wickedness is going on, and we're fine with it. No, that's not how you're to live as Christians.

And these people, the characteristic of them is their glory is their shame. The things that they take pride in. The things that they exalt, the things that they say, hey, look at these great things we're doing are actually wicked, wicked things.

And so we need to note those people. He also goes on to say that who set their minds on earthly things, so their mindset is on earthly things. They're not thinking about the spiritual things.

They're thinking about the things of the earth, lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. That's where their focus is. Let's look at Colossians three, one and two.

Lynn, go ahead. If then you were raised with Christ, think those things which are above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind up.

Things above, not on things on the earth. We're to have a heavenly mindset. We're so to think of the things above the things of God.

The things talks about here, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, the things that bring him glory and honor. And he goes on to say, again, set your mind on things above in verse two, not on the things of the earth. So there's godly examples that we have.

There's also wicked examples, people that are not walking with Christ. And we need to differentiate. We need to understand who's who and say, okay, godly people are a good pattern for how I am to live.

The things that they're doing, those are the things I should be doing. The wicked people, I need to reject what they're doing. It's worthless.

It's vain. So that's the second thing here. Number three here.

Paul goes on to talk about, I call this our future state. Sometimes I don't like making these titles for sections because I don't know if they accurately reflect them the way I want them to. And I'm not necessarily always creative enough to get something that's good and yet accurate.

But our future state, he says in verse 20 here, our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the savior Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that may be conformed to his glorious body according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself. So he talks about our citizenship. Why aren't we like these wicked examples? Why can't we just do what they do? Why can't we save? What difference does it make if our God is our belly, if we're focused on the things of the earth and not things of heaven? He's saying, the difference is that you're different than them.

You're fundamentally you're, to the core, different because you have trusted Christ as your savior. And one of the big ways he's bringing up here is your citizenship is in heaven. You don't belong to this world.

You don't follow the things of the world. You belong to a different kingdom. And so he's making this contrast here.

This is not who you are. You don't live like the rest of the world because you don't belong to that. So their citizenship is in heaven.

They belong to Christ's kingdom. As he works through this, he works out what impact that has in our life. Let's look at Ephesians 219.

Nathan, go ahead. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Now, this section of Ephesians is dealing with Gentiles and Jews in the church.

And one of the things, the points that Paul is making is he's saying, the Jews before Christ, they were within the kingdom program. They had the oracles of God. They had the means to know who God was and what he wanted from them.

And the Gentiles were outside, that they weren't a part of, that they didn't have any part in the things of God. And Paul's making the point that once you're saved, that all changes. There's no longer Jew and Greek in the church.

You're all just the church. There's a fundamental change. And while it doesn't talk about our citizenship here necessarily, it does tell us you were strangers and foreigners, and that's referring to gentiles being outside the things of God.

But now they are fellow citizens and saints and members of the household of God. So now they're within that program. And that's the difference that's in our life.

Before you were saved, you had no part in the things of God. But now, because of what Christ has done and how he has saved you, you're part of a different group. You're part of a different nation.

You're part of a different citizenship. And therefore, that ought to impact the way you live. Is there a difference between someone who's a citizen of the United States and a citizen of Russia and how they live and how they act? And even sometimes what they believe? Answer is yes, because we're different people, well, more so with God.

If we're part of God's kingdom, we are so different. We're different than anything in the world. We should have a different mindset.

We should have different actions. It changes who we are. And that's what Paul is saying here for our sins in heaven.

And he goes on to talk about our hope, from which we eagerly await the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So as Christians, life can be hard, life can be stressful. We can go through persecution, we can go through different things, and that's all part of our life as Christians here on earth.

And we accept that. We find joy in that. That's what God wants us to do.

But we should be eagerly awaiting the time when we can be with God and we can serve him perfectly. That ought to be something that we're looking forward to now. That doesn't mean we stop doing everything and just sit here and go.

I can't wait till Christ returns. Maybe he'll come today. I'm just going to sit here and wait.

No, we continue to do what we have to do, but our thought ought to be, I can't wait until I die and be with Christ or Christ returns. That ought to not be a scary thing for us, but an exciting thing for us. So to eagerly await.

And we're waiting the savior and Lord Jesus Christ. And so we know he's coming back. We know that he is going to come and rescue us, take us to heaven with him, that we can be with him forever.

He's going to set up his millennial kingdom. He's going to set up the eternal state. All that's going to happen.

And we eagerly await that. Let's look at second Thessalonians 413, 16 and 17. So who would like to read that? Ted, go ahead.

I do not want you to be ignorant, rather concerning those who have fallen asleep. Plus we sorrow as others. We have no hope.

The Lord himself will descend from the heaven with a shelter, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together, put them in a cloud to meet the Lord in the air.

And thus we shall always be with the first. Thessalonians has some of the best teachings on the return of Christ. If you want to know more and understand that, that's a good.

Especially chapters four and five to study out. And here, look at verse 17. When he returns, we're going to be caught up with him in the air to meet the Lord in the air.

And we will be with the Lord always. That ought to be an exciting thing for us. That ought to be something we desire, right? To be with the Lord forever.

That's the ultimate thing for us as Christians. So we look forward to that that's a motivation for us. We're going to look at first John three in a second, but in one John three, three, it says that those who have this hope purify themselves.

So it's a motivation, even for us to be living the right way. So Paul talks about our hope here. Then he talks about our transformation, who will transform our lowly bodies that may be conformed to his glorious body.

As we look at this, the word lowly here means humiliated. As I grow older and older, I realize how much I more realize how weak, how ineffective, how frail my body is. It's going downhill, like every day.

I don't remember where I saw this, but someone talked about that. You, when you get up in the morning, when you're older, you get up, you kind of sit on the bed for a little bit and kind of let your body get going, and you don't just jump out of bed anymore. And I find that's so true.

I get up and I just kind of sit there for a little bit. I go, okay, as soon as I'm waking up, I'm going to read my Bible, but my eyes aren't open yet, so I'm going to sit here on the side of the bed and just wait for my body to get going. Our bodies are low.

They're humiliated. They're not very good. Science talks about the laws of thermodynamics.

One of them is that everything is going from a state of complex, a state of simple. It's going from organized to being run down. Our bodies are going to being run down.

From the moment you're born, you're just heading towards physical death. That's where we're going, and there's no stopping that. But God has a plan for that.

He's going to transform our lowly bodies to a conformed body, to a conformed body, to his glorious body. We got a glimpse of that at the end of the gospels and acts as Christ returned and has a glorious body, and ours are going to be like that. And I talked about John first.

John three, two. Let's look at that. We would like to read.

Go ahead, Matt. We're going to be like him. We're going to see him as he is, and it's going to transform our bodies to an eternal body, one that's not going to run down, not one that's not going to be bound by the laws of thermodynamics.

So God has a plan for that one. Corinthians 1551 through 54. Josiah, go ahead.

Behold I tell you of mystery. You shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of that eye, at the last trumpet, we shall be changed. This corruptible was put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality.

It shall be brought to pass the same that is written, death is fallen up in victory. So our mortal body is going to be changed, immortal. Our corrupted body is going to change to incorruptible.

And Paul here in this passage even says, this is what's written about death. Have we swallowed in victory? There's not going to be any more worry about death. There's not going to be any more worry about your bodies running down and wearing out and eventually dying.

They're going to be changed. And so that's a hope that we have. And I think one of the pastors talks about the whole earth groans.

I think as human beings, we groan a lot when we're hurting, when we're both physically and emotionally or whatever. But someday that's going to change when Christ returns. So he's going to transform our lowly by that may be conformed to his glorious body and according to working, by which is able even to subdue all things to himself.

So he talks about the power. How is this going to happen? So a couple of good Greek words in here. So I put them in your notes.

When it says the working, it's this Greek word energia. What does that sound like? Energy. So it's a working power activity.

This is actually the actual doing of it. So it's by the working, according to the working, which he is able. So the word is able is Dunamay.

What does that sound like? Dynamite? Yeah. I don't know if you know this. So I was going to say, remember? But if you don't know this, the upsilon.

In Greek, when it's capitalized, that's a capital upsilon. So a lot of the words, when we transliterate them, instead of putting a u in like I did, they'll transliterate them with a y because they're using the capital. Then it very much looks like dynamite.

Right? So this is just this raw power and God's works. He puts the energy into transforming us by the power that he has. Dunami is like, can be able to be capable of, can do, be able to do.

It's a power to do this. God has that power. And he talks about here, that's the same power that he's able to subdue all things to himself.

Christ has subdued all things to himself. He is over all things. He is sovereign, and he has that power.

And he's going to use that same power to transform us. Philippians two nine through eleven. This is a passage we studied a while back, but this talks about how things are subdued to him.

Nathan, go ahead. Therefore, God also has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Now, when you read this, you realize that at some point in time, when Christ returns that every knee is going to bow, every tongue is going to confess.

That's those who are saved, who already acknowledge that, which I hope you acknowledge, that Jesus Christ is God to the glory of God the father right now, but also those who have denied Christ, those who said, I'm an atheist. I'm never going to believe in that fairy tale stuff that's in the Bible. They're going to stand before Jesus Christ and they're going to bow and they're going to confess who he is.

That's the kind of power God has that just at the name of Jesus Christ, this will happen. And so as sure as that is, and that's sure, we're also sure that we will be transformed when we are with Christ. So that's our future state, and that ought to be a motivation for us.

And then Philippians four one, he changes us from our future state to our present focus. Four one, he says, therefore, because of this, because of what God's going to do, because God's going to change us, because God's going to conform us, because he's going to do all these things. Therefore, my beloved, and long for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

So the command here, I'm going to go to the end of the verse. First, the command is to stand fast, to hold firm, to be faithful, to be true to your faith. That's the command for us because of what God's going to do.

That means right now we live the way God wants us to live, and we're to stand fast in the Lord. Let's look at Philippians 127. This is earlier in the book.

Lemuel, go ahead. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come into you or absent on me here of your faith, of the gospel, here he's talking to the church as a whole, that the churches stand fast. And he talks about being worthy of the gospel of Christ, what Christ has done for us, that he saved us.

Now, part of the extended gospel, the gospel to be saved, is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. But part of that extension is that he's coming back for us. There's a point to the gospel.

There's a point to being saved, that we're going to be to the glory of God the father for all eternity. And because of that, Paul's saying, stand fast. That's your reasoning.

That's your hope. You have this hope. Live this way now.

So stand fast in the Lord. Second Thessalonians 215. Who would like to read? Nathan? Go ahead.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. So here's talking about that. He's talking to Thessalonians to stand fast to the traditions.

You could talk about the teachings. This is the teachings of Paul that whether he taught them in person, by word, or whether it's in the epistles that he sent, this is the second epistle to Thessalonians we have. So he's already taught them some there that you need to stand on your faith.

You need to stand on what God is teaching you. So the command here is to stand fast. And throughout this verse, we get a focus of the recipients.

I'm going to go through this kind of quickly, but it's important because Paul puts it there. He calls the recipients the beloved brethren. So brethren, of course, has the idea of what.

Yeah, they're believers, so they're brethren. They're brothers with Christ, and he calls them beloved. This happens a lot in scripture.

A lot of people are called beloved. John likes the term beloved. He uses this a lot in his epistles, calling the people he's writing to beloved.

There's a love between the people of God, so they're beloved brethren. They're also long for Brethren. I didn't know that the sermon today was going to be Philippians one, one through eleven.

So I'm not going to talk too much about this now, because he already talked it in the sermon here, that there's that fellowship in Christ. Philippians one eight talks about how greatly Paul longed for them with the affection. He talked about the bowels of Jesus Christ.

That's kind of the literal term there. We understand that to mean affections. My thought on that, and I'll add on to.

I'm not saying what he said was wrong. But bowels, in the ancient culture, there. There's that seat of emotion when you feel something, you feel in your bowels.

You can be so upset that you're kind of sick to your stomach, right? If you're excited about something, you have butterflies in your stomach. It's that kind of idea. That's where to the Greeks, the emotion rested there was in your bowels because that's where you felt it.

Your stomach would let you know when you're feeling very emotional. Anyway, that's beside the point there. But they're long for brethren.

Paul desires them. He desires to be with them. He desires to fellowship with them.

He also calls them his joy, that Paul finds joy in them. And Alec did a good job of talking about the joy and the rejoicing that we have in Christ. He also calls them his crown.

I thought this is interesting term because we talk about crowns in the Bible. Sometimes people talk about, like, there's different crowns that you earn. Some for believing, some for faithfully sharing the gospel.

There's a crown for being martyred. There's different crowns. You can earn the Bible.

But he says his crown is the Philippians, that they're his kind of his big point on his resume here. Another place where he talks about the crown is being people is in first Thessalonians 219 and 20. So, Olivia, go ahead.

Is it not even you are our glory and joy? And I think as you minister to people and as you do the work of God and God works in their life, there's going to be some recognition by God here that even says in the presence of Lord Jesus Christ, and that is coming. That's when this crown appears to him, that these people are going to reflect Paul's faithfulness in his christian life. I think that for us, as we're ministering to people, as we're helping them grow, as we're helping them walk in Christ, God doesn't ignore that.

He understands that we're being faithful. And there's going to be some rejoicing, there's going to be some reward. There's going to be some glory and joy because of what we did faithfully for God.

So I think it's an interesting term here, the crown. Anyway, so that's through the lesson here. Let me go through a few takeaways.

First of all, God has given us examples of faithful believers, both in his word and in our lives. These believers are living lives consistent to what God desires them to be. We should recognize, recognize the example they set in our lives and seek to emulate how they are living.

And I like the term emulate. That's the idea of following and patterning yourself after doing what they're doing. So we have believers as examples.

We can see it in God's word. We can see it in the lives of people around us, and those ought to be our examples. So if we have examples, the other thing that's probably true is that we are to be examples to other believers.

It's not know look around and take. It's also give. It's also be an example.

We should be living our lives in consistent manner so that others can emulate how we are living and growing Christ through our example. Charles Barkley, back when he was very popular as a basketball player, stood up in one press conference and said, I am not a role model, because he wanted an excuse to live the life how he wanted to and didn't want to hold responsibility that other people were going to follow and emulate what he was doing. And people have made a big deal out of that, saying, no, you're in the public eye.

You're a role model. Well, none of you are professional basketball players. I think Ted did for a little bit.

I think no. Okay. But you are being watched by people all around you, people in the church that know you as a fellow believer.

They're watching how you walk. Unsaved people are watching how you live your life. In fact, first Peter talks about that as you're living your life and as you go through persecution, they're going to see a difference in you and ask about the reason, the hope that is in you.

So you're an example whether you like it or not. The question is, are you going to be a good example or a bad example? So that's another point there. Number three here.

We need to be aware that there are people, even possibly in our church, who are not seeking to live for Christ, but are living according to their own passions and desires. Our spiritual leaders will help us identify these people. That's one of the things that Paul did.

That's one of the things he commanded the Ephesian elders to do, is to guard the sheep, guard the flock. And so as Pastor Jordan comes in, that's going to be one of his duties, is to help us to identify and protect us from the wolves that come into the church. So that's what I mean by spiritual leaders here.

And it doesn't just have to be the pastors. It can be spiritual. People are walking with God.

That can help us with that. We need to reject the example they are setting. And set our eyes firmly on Christ.

Then the last thing I have here is we should recognize that we are citizens of God's kingdom. And thus we should act as God's people. This should motivate us to live lives.

That are consistent with who we are. In that's. Paul gives that, as in verse four.

Therefore, beloved, you're citizens of heaven. You're citizens of God's kingdom. Act that way.

So those are my thoughts. Any thoughts or questions on your part? Okay, let's go ahead and close in prayer. Lynn, will you close us in prayer? Lord? Fabulous.

Thank you for this day, Lord joy. And be the good example. Others look up to us, for example, the ultimate thing to us.

And point them to Christ. Amen.

Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more