INTRO: Here is a verse which will allow us to proceed in a number of directions. It is a verse which - it seems to me - brings everything down to earth. It is not a lofty idea which is described. It is, rather, Christian living in the trenches. There is no great debate here. There is only the daily, ordinary activity of the Christian life in this verse. Yet, what can ever be ordinary about life in Christ? What can ever be anything but lofty when one thinks of the church and the life of one who is trying to emulate the example of the precious Lord? In this verse we will see Paul as Teacher And Disciple ... yet, more.
I. PAUL, THE TEACHER
A. His teaching was inspired
1. the substance of his teaching is from God!
2. miraculous process of inspiration must always be in our minds when we think of the words of the New Testament
3. 1 Cor 2:12,13 Gal 1:11,12 2 Tim 3:16 Jno 14:26
4. these were no ordinary philosophers, teachers, theologians their very words were Gods
B. The substance of his teaching?
1. crucified, risen Savior - 2 Cor 5:14,15,18
2. remission of sins through His blood - Eph 1:7
3. church in all of its aspects - Eph 4:15,16
4. holy life of a disciple - 1 Thes 4:7
5. reward at the end of it all - 2 Tim 4:8
C. And the Philippians had learned and received what had been taught
1. ignorant disciples are in grave trouble for the future
2. when we talk of Bible study, we are talking of the most important studying well ever do and the Philippians had been exposed to great learning opportunities
3. too, they had accepted that which they learned
4. they were able to discern the truth when they heard it - and they recognized the validity of it for their lives
5. the prayer of 1:9,10 is one for more of what must already have existed in good measure ... they had had good teachers!
II. PAUL, THE DISCIPLE
A. He lived by what he taught!
1. an inspired teacher, yet, his life was lived as ours
2. so, with the same resources available to him as are available to us he exemplified the faith in Christ
3. he had his problems:
a. with discipline 1 Cor 9:27
b. with pain, discomfort 2 cor 12:7,8
c. with rejection 1 Cor 2:1-4 ... 2 Cor 10:10
d. with disappointment 2 Tim 4:16
4. and he had to deal with them properly ... to rise above them ... to let them be stepping stones to glory, to character
B. He wasnt afraid for them to hear of his reputation
1. a public person is going to have an extensive reputation people in places he has never been will have heard about him
2. ones enemies, detractors may spread uncomplimentary tales but one must so live that the tales are quickly dispelled when the actual life is seen (2 Cor 3:1)
3. as prominent as he was, Philippians were bound to hear about him and his doings this didnt bother him
C. He wasnt afraid to have his life seen
1. because he was living that which he taught
2. was loving, kind, forgiving, pure, filled with convictions everyone knew who he was, what he was, why he was
3. was indeed a living letter about Christ 2 Cor 3:2,3 his example could be safely followed
III. PAUL, THE ADMONISHER, ENCOURAGER
A. He tells them to do what theyve seen and learned
1. here is the real issue for him ... and for us doing
2. unless we put into practice what weve been taught by word and example, there will be no benefits in our lives!
B. But God of peace will be with us if we commit to Him
1. from vv.8 and 9 we are seeing that our committing to Him involves a thought process and a practice process
2. if we feel the God of peace is far from us, it is very much up to us to draw near to Him ... in thought and in life
CLOSE: Perhaps Johns words will help us conclude our thoughts 3 Jno 3,4. So, it must be with any teacher - disciple. His hope and his prayer always are that his teaching and his life will be both instructive and inspirational.
Cecil A. Hutson
15 October 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
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
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
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)
You Must Be Baptized
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!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
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)