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April 9, 2000 PM


Phil 2:16b-18

INTRO: We struggle; we toil; we sweat; we strain ... and we want to believe that the end result will have made the effort seem worth it. In any discipline or enterprise one wants to see some profit, some reward at the end of the day ... or at the end of that particular enterprise. Do you hear any hint of that idea in these words of the apostle Paul? (Read Phil 2:16b-18). It seems to me this is exactly the point, and I think that right here we can capture some of the feelings of any dedicated preacher or teacher. If I can just see some change in lives; if I can just believe some of these folks will remain faithful, it will have been worth it. In his expressing this feeling Paul uses two pictures.


A. Two possible ideas are in this word

1. the word actually speaks of strenuous toil

2. so, in one idea there is the person who works from dawn til after dark ... is bone weary in his labors

3. in the other is idea of an athletes discipline and training of months for just a few minutes in the contest

4. Paul thinks of himself and his labors for them

B. He wants to rejoice in the day of Christ

1. but he is not here concerned about his eternal reward

2. his desire is bound up with church in Philippi

3. and that rejoicing will be in the salvation of these friends! to see them on the Lords side in the judgment will be his joy (1 Thes 2:19)

4. he wants to know theyll have worked out their own salvation

C. Now, think of his running or laboring in vain

1. he has toiled long in their behalf for them to then be lost would be like a laborers not being paid at the end of a toilsome day

2. or it would be like an athletes not winning the race after having trained so strenuously

3. he is honestly concerned his work will be for naught

4. he has truly a preachers feelings what if Lydia is not there? what if the jailer friend is not there?

5. but if theyre all there, it will have been worth it!


A. He refers to the sacrifices of the Old Testament

1. there were the burnt offerings and drink offerings

2. in Num 15:3-10 the two types of offerings are associated together ... where one was, there was the other

B. Now, service and faith of Philippians was burnt offering

1. indeed, Rom 12:1 explains this idea more fully

2. in Christ our lives lived with and in daily service are the offerings God desires and for which He asks ... Heb 13:15,16

3. perhaps this idea is hinted even in passages such as 1 Sam 15:25a or Ps 51:15-17

C. But where is the drink offering to accompany?

1. if I be poured out ... his own blood?!!

2. here is the whole picture, then, as it looked to Paul ... they were the burnt offering in their living service, and he was the drink offering by his martyrdom

D. But what if any of Philippians should become unfaithful?

1. then, his martyrdom would seem a waste, senseless shame

2. on the other hand, if they do remain faithful, evangelistic, caring , then his toil and death would have been worth it 2 Cor 12:15

CLOSE: Are the strains, the stresses, the sacrifices worth it to preach and teach? Very honestly, my humanity at times causes me to wonder! Yet, to see one life changed, influenced seems to make all of that worth the price. With no thought of comparing myself to a Paul, still, I fervently hope that my labor among you will not have been in vain.

Cecil A. Hutson

09 April 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)