“Two Aspects of Commitment”
In recent weeks we have looked in on various portions of Scripture, inspecting the lives of different men who were used by the Lord in various ways. Let’s refresh our memory and fill in the blank for some who might have missed a week or two:
Culture – we observed how Daniel as a captive never gave Babylon his heart.
Conflict – we read Paul’s greeting to the church in Thessalonica that was founded in conflict.
Call – we walked with Moses up Mount Horeb where despite his job and family Moses “turned aside” and received his call from God.
Choice – from Jesus teaching at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7) we dealt with His 2 verse parable about the narrow gate and the wide gate – the choice is ours to make. The narrow gate leads to the house built on the Rock. The wide gate leads to the house on shifting sand. The narrow leads to Kingdom life the wide to destruction.
Today’s destination is commitment and our text is Philippians 1:12-30.
This Church is the 1st that Paul established in Europe. _______________________________
We know of Paul’s commitment. He has stated it in many of his letters. Here is how he related to the church in conflict, Thessalonica: “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.” (1 Thes. 2:2) _____________________________________
Paul points out to the church in Philippi and to us that his difficult circumstances have produced fruit. ______________________________________________________________________
The church knows of Paul’s imprisonment but not what God is doing in the midst of it: “it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ.” (verse 13) __________________________________________________________________
John Bunyan – in the mid 1600’s John Bunyan became a pastor of the Bedford Meeting, one of many “non-conforming” churches that met in England. _____________________________
The suffering of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ____________________________________________
The greater the call the greater the commitment required and the higher cost of personal sacrifice and suffering that goes along with this sold out life.
1. Paul is looking at his situation and others are stepping up to preach the gospel because he is in prison. Though there is some controversy he says, “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.”
2. Prison hasn’t defined Paul’s ministry. It’s reshaped it but the kingdom advances because others hear the call because of Paul’s situation.
3. Paul also knows that this imprisonment could end with his death.__________________ _________________________________________________________________________ “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” In two more chapters Paul will say this in another confession: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to death.” (3:10)
Live like it matters! Living in such a way is evidence of the victory in Jesus that we possess. And this is our 2nd aspect of commitment – confidence.
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