03. Circumstances & The Gospel

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Philippians: Joyful Living For This Earthly Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:15
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I find myself wearing these glasses more and more… not because my vision is going. I have 20/20 vision, but rather because they help me see things correctly. I have dyslexia and with out these on words shift and are not in the correct place neither are numbers especially. I view things through these lenses and it puts a yellow tint allowing me to see as I should, clearly, accurately without confusion.
As we come to our passage today my chief concern is that we will miss the impact of Paul’s example for us today. His perspective that is demonstrated for us. We can too quickly be impressed with his response and look past the lesson we should apply to our lives (THE PERSPECTIVE WE SHOULD EMPLOY). Paul is looking at his life through a particular set of lenses that enable him to see things as they should be. Paul… a prisoner, chained to a guard writes these words in Philippians 1:12-20
Philippians 1:12–20 NASB95
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

How do YOU view the Gospel?

Is it fire insurance for you, a belief to keep you out of hell and give you grace to live as you please OR
Is it the truth that you have staked your eternity in, and what is your driving force for how you view each day and its circumstances
Consider with me briefly what the Gospel is according to scripture...
GOSPEL = Good News of Jesus Christ!!! John 3:16
John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
You Are A Sinner Romans 3:23
Romans 3:23 NASB95
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sin Brings Death… Romans 6:23
Romans 6:23 NASB95
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Salvation is a Gift… (given vs earned) Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 2:8–9 NASB95
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
It is through the lens of the Gospel Message Paul looks at his CIRCUMSTANCES & CRITICS

How do YOU view your Circumstances

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl observed, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” If we pursue happiness instead of choosing joy, we’ll become, as Frankl put it, “plaything[s] of circumstance.”
You do not get a woe is me take from Paul here… he merely address his “circumstances” in a word!
The Philippians were concerned but not Paul
Dr Luke records his ordeals in Acts 21-28 for us
Taken prisoner
Wrongful trial, demands Cesar’s audience
Shipwrecked, bitten by snake
Now in prison two years chained to a guard…
Paul wanted to go to Rome and share the Gospel as a preacher… but instead he went as a prisoner!
Paul’s response… verse 12 “it’s turned out for the greater progress of the gospel”!!!
The whole guard has heard the gospel
Caesar's household has heard
Servants have heard
AND look at verse 14… BOLDNESS!!!
Paul is not looking at or to his circumstances to bring him joy, rather it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, circumstances became an opportunity to share the gospel! Paul was looking at what God was doing rather than sulk in what God was not doing for him… it impacted how Paul looked at the people around him.

How do YOU view mean People?

Verses 15-17 reveal two people around Paul...
The bold group declaring Christ all the more… happiness and joy!
A group preaching the gospel out of envy or strife:
Maybe jealous of his fame or popularity
Maybe they thought they could share better or in a more up to date way
Maybe they thought that there needed to be more flare
Maybe they wanted Paul to suffer more so they preached the Gospel
Maybe some wanted to get in on the new Gospel thing and make some money
Mean people exist… EVEN IN THE CHURCH!
Note that they are shearing the gospel not heresy
Their intentions are wrong but not the message
I wounder if Paul was thinking back to Joseph in Genesis 50:20
Genesis 50:20 NASB95
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
I love Paul's response to this… he looks to God and His purposes not man for his joy…Verse 18!!! Philippians 1:18
Philippians 1:18 NASB95
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

How do you view this life?

Paul is facing trial… potential death… look how he faces this!
Confident in prayer!
Ready to be a testimony!
Paul has an eternal mindset…
He knows this life is just a blip in eternity
He knows all people will spend an eternity in one place or another
Our sin condemns all to death and hell
Christ paid for our sin ransoming us to salvation in HIM!
Through the lens of the truth of scripture Paul views this life…
It puts things in the correct place when we view life through it
It allows us to see life, circumstances and even PEOPLE in the correct way
It is time that we begin to live life with a Biblical World view, Oh the clarity it will bring for you and me!
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