LIVE FOR CHRIST – LIVE THE GOSPEL Philippians 1:18b-30


Christ is glorified and we are delivered, as we live for Christ and live the gospel in whatever circumstances.

We continue this morning our journey through the book of Philippians.

  • A book written by a man in chains. A man imprisoned for his faith, probably on death row. Not knowing if he will die there or walk out?

  • A book written to a church family in Philippi who are facing their own hardship and opposition. A group of believers who are suffering for their faith.

As Ross shared with us last week, Paul started his letter by letting the church know two Important matters for Paul. Two important matters that brought his great joy despite his circumstances.

  • God’s people – when they are gospel living and focused

  • God’s message - when it is proclaimed

An in our passage today, Paul shifts focus from his current circumstances, and looks to what God has in store for him in the future. And he does so while continuing to rejoice.

“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice…” Philippians 1:18b

Why? Because…

Christ is glorified and we are delivered, as we live for Christ and live the gospel in whatever circumstances.

Read Philippians 1:19-30

When I was growing up, I think one of my most common phrases I used with my parents was, “I know!”

"Your room needs cleaning."

“I know!”

"You’re on dishes tonight."

“I know!”

"Don’t hit your brother."

“I know!”

"I love you."

“I know!”

For a young lad, it was amazing how much I knew.

And I remember my mum one day, in complete frustration saying, “So if you know, then why do I have to remind you?”

In our passage today, Paul makes clear that he knows a couple of things that he wants to remind the church at Philippi, and in turn us to know.

And this term know doesn’t mean just a head knowledge, like I know what colour this shirt is I'm wearing.

This knowing is…

  • to perceive, understanding, discern.

  • to be familiar with and have experience of

  • to be aware of the truth or factuality of: be convinced or certain of something.

  • to have a practical, active understanding of something.

It isn’t just a head knowledge, it’s a living and dynamic knowledge that influences your everyday choices and decisions, your life.

So, what does Paul know?

I know… I’ll be delivered!

Paul knows that his current circumstances will result in deliverance.

…for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:19

Paul is confident, that all that has happened to him will result in his deliverance. But deliverance from what? From prison? From chains? Does he see a prison break in his future? Is he to be saved?

Yes, but not from this his current physical situation, rather a deliverance spiritually. Saved by the gospel. His eternal deliverance. Eternal salvation.

Paul has an eternal perspective.

Paul shared this confidence and eternal perspective regarding the believers in Philippi in Philippians 1:6

…being confident of this, that he who begun a good work in you will carry it on to competition until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul’s focus was on what He knew for certain that He would be united with Christ again. Paul knew the gospel.

And what is it that strengthens and encourages Paul in this knowledge?

What sustains Paul during these current times of trials, these tough circumstances?

What gives him …sufficient courage… (vs. 20)?

What sees him state that he can “eagerly expect and hope that I (he) will in no way be ashamed” (vs. 20) as he awaits this deliverance?

Prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul was confident that as he could handle the circumstances he was currently in because of the sustaining prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit.

Paul was confident that, as his fellow believers prayed, a fresh knowledge and experience of the Spirits power would strengthen him, sustain him, give him courage and resolve.

Paul’s focus was on what He knew for certain that He would be united with Christ again. Paul knew the gospel and was strengthen by the prayers of the believers and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Do you know that you are saved and will be delivered on the last day, the day of Christ?

Do you seek the intercessory prayers of other believers to strengthen you, sustain you, give you courage and resolve in your current circumstances?

Do you expect the Holy Spirit fill us richly as we face difficult and testing circumstances, or do you rest on your own strength and deal with tough times?

We need to have an eternal perspective like Paul. Paul’s focus was on what He knew for certain that He would be united with Christ again, delivered. Paul knew the gospel and was strengthen by the prayers of the believers and the power of the Holy Spirit.

What else did Paul know?

I know… Christ will be exalted!

Paul knows that Christ will be exalted in him whether by life or by death.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20

Paul knows that he can’t lose.

As Ross shared with us last week, what was of great importance to Paul was God’s people gospel living and focused and God’s message being proclaimed.

And as this is happening, Christ will be glorified.

All of the focus will be on Christ and his person and work.

Jesus will be made great.

Paul can’t lose, whether he lives or dies, Christ will be exalted.

Paul want’s everything to point to, focus on Jesus.

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

Physical life or death are not of ultimate importance to Paul. But rather Christ exalted! Again, Paul had an eternal perspective. Both death and life to him meant serving Christ, because serving Christ is his main goal.

What is your perspective in life and death?

In your main goal in life and death to point to Christ. To exalt Christ?

Paul …desired to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far… (vs. 23)

But he was also content to continue living in the body if that was God’s will as it would also mean “fruitful labour” (vs. 22).

Ultimately all Paul cared about was Christ, and so was content with whatever Christ decided.

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

As long as he is alive, Paul sought to be consumed with Christ’s concerns, values, and mission.

And if Paul was to die, he will be released from his suffering and be with Christ.

Ultimately all Paul cared about was Christ, and so was content with whatever Christ decided.

Is your main goal in life to exalt Christ?

What else did Paul know?

I know… Joy in the Faith!

Paul knows that he is being called to live for Christ and minister the gospel to the believers in Philippi so that their joy in the faith may grow in Christ Jesus!

Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. Philippians 1:25

Paul knows that his continued service to the gospel, no matter the circumstances, will provide an opportunity for the believers to give glory to Christ Jesus.

Paul knows that if he sticks to that which is most important…

  • God’s people gospel living and focused

  • God’s message being proclaimed

Then the fellow believers will be influenced and experience joy in the faith that will lead to praise to God. The church boasting in Christ (vs. 26). Christ exalted.

Do you realise the impact of your life on other believers?

Does your eternal perspective, your service to God influence others to have joy in the faith?

Are you open to being influenced by others gospel living?

Our life, lived for Christ and focused on the gospel in our own time and place, no matter the circumstance, grounded in prayer and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, can influence others to joy in the faith.

So how are we to do this?

Our response… Live the Gospel!

Paul encourages the believers to live the gospel.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

Paul says, if you want to progress in the faith you need to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel.

This term conduct has its origin in the idea of living as citizens.

Paul is saying live as citizens of the gospel. Live as those whose very identity is as servants of Christ Jesus, as God’s holy people. As children of God. As those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Live as those who have been saved by the gospel.

Live as those who have been saved by the person and work of Jesus Christ.

What does that look like? We will hear more next week as Graeme shares with us from Philippians 2.

But Paul is commanding them to live lives as citizens as Christ so that…

I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel (vs. 27)

And not as individuals but unified as the body of Christ, the family of God.

And together to spread the gospel.

Striving together

We cannot succeed as believers unless we are united. We need to be of one mind and one spirit as work to achieve a single objective. Christ preached, Christ exalted!

We can’t stand firm alone. We need each other. As citizens of the gospel, we need to strive together.

Do you strive as part of the body of Christ, united with other believers, or do you seek to strive alone?

And Paul identifies why we need each other.

Because we are going to face opposition, frightening opposition.

…and not frightened in anything by your opponents… (vs. 28)

Because we are going to suffer.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:29-30

Again, we need each other, we need to be praying for each other. We need the filling and empowering of the Holy Spirit.

What is your reaction to suffering?

Does it draw you closer to God’s people, or do you isolate yourself?

Does it see you calling on God’s power and provision through the Spirit, or do you revert back to self and try and fix it on your own?

Paul is saying live as citizens of the gospel. Live as those whose very identity is as servants of Christ Jesus, as God’s holy people. As children of God. As those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Live as those who have been saved by the gospel.

Live as those who have been saved by the person and work of Jesus Christ.

No matter the circumstances.

I don’t know what has stood out to you today. In your own studies of Philippians.

I would encourage you to reflect further on this passage over the week and ask God to make His Word and works clear to you through the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is that our response be that same as Paul

“Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know…”

  • I am delivered. I know for certain that I will be united with Christ again, delivered. That we know the gospel and are strengthen by the prayers of the believers and the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • That Christ will be exalted in me whether by life or by death. As long as I’m alive, I will be consumed with Christ’s concerns, values, and mission. And if I’m to die, I will be released from his suffering and be with Christ. Ultimately all I desire to care about is Christ, and so am content with whatever Christ decides for my life.

  • I am called to live for Christ and minister the gospel to others so that their joy in the faith may grow in Christ Jesus! My life, lived for Christ and focused on the gospel in this time and place, no matter the circumstance, grounded in prayer and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, can influence others to joy in the faith.

  • I am called to live the gospel. To conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel. Live as a citizen of the gospel. Live as one whose very identity is as a servant of Christ Jesus. To strive together with fellow believers, no matter the opposition or troubles.

That we may respond with Paul and say…

“yes, and I will rejoice, for I know…

… for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

© 2016 by Kingston Community Church.