Philippians 1:19-25

Paul wrote Philippians from Prison as he faced potential death, yet…God’s Grace upon Paul made Paul:            

a man w/o fear  

a man with his view not on self but of God and Others

a man who was concerned only with ministry…   not with himself

The Take Home Message from the Earlier Text…The Grace of God was Richly upon Paul when he was in severe Trial…

–              we need to seek after such Grace for when we are in Trial…

–              May the Lord free us from ourselves in Trial that we would be concerned only with desiring that Christ be honored and others blessed through our Trials…

–              Like Paul may we be:

–              Thankful in all situations

–              Other-centered no matter how tough our life is at the time…

–              able to Rejoice in all situations

              Phil 1:19              Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance

–              At first glance, this appears as though Paul is thinking in terms of his being let out of prison…     but this is not the case…

Phil 1:20              as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

–              The Grace of God in Paul is so Great that:

–              he does not Fear death

–              he does not expect  that he will be released from prison

              –              he does not seem concerned with whichever path God chooses for him…

–              he is only concerned that Christ be honored in whatever happens…

Do we Fear Death?

Do we expect that we will be removed from all our trials?

Is our major concern our own situation & comfort or…  is it that Christ be honored in all that happens to us?

Phil 1:21              For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

–              To Live is Christ  is to live with Christ at the center of our:

–              Thoughts

–              Priorities              

–              Agenda

–              is to live with God’s Word as the Revelation of Truth & as the Guide for Thought, Word & Deed

–              To Live is Christ  is to live with Christ as:                     

–              the Model for what is Important

                                –              the Guide for Thought, Word & Deed

–              the Pattern for how to Live

What does Paul mean by “to die is gain?”    the next verses answer this for us…

Phil 1:22,23        If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

–              Paul Realizes that Being in Heaven with the Triune God — being in the presence of Christ Himself — is infinitely better than being on earth…   For Paul…                Yet…

Phil 1:24              But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

–              Paul Assumes that God still has Work for Him on Earth to do

–              Paul will be a Instrument of Blessing in God’s Hands and that his work on Earth is not yet done…  so even though for himself heaven is preferable…   earth is a place where Paul is still very pleased to reside…

Phil 1:25              Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,

–              Paul seems to define the meaning of his Life as…

–              Being used of the Lord to bring about Progress in the Spiritual Life of those around him

–              to see the Joy of the Lord in those around him…

How Important is the Spiritual Life of those around us to us?

How much do we long to see the Joy of the Lord in those around us?

The Big Picture

–              we should seek God’s Grace to view Life & Death as Paul viewed Life and Death…

–              Death for Paul was not to be feared…

it was to be viewed as the means to the Greatest Blessing we could ever Experience…  Continued Life with God…

–              we should seek God’s Grace to view Life & Death as Paul viewed Life and Death…

–              Life for Paul consisted in being used by God to more fully draw those around him to the  Lord a& the Joy of the Lord…

May the Lord’s Grace be upon us that we see Life this way to the Praise & Glory of God…

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