Philippians One

As we look at this book, keep in mind that Paul is complementing the people for their obedience to the gospel as revealed in the Old Testament.

We will go through it verse by verse, and then give the applications from the passages

First section, vv. 1, 2.

Paul and Timotheus.

Here we see this aged, great Apostle identifying with the young man, Timotheus. Certainly this would have exalted Timothy in the eyes of these people.

The servants of Jesus Christ.

In Paul's other letters, he identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ, but here he identifies himself (and Timothy) as a servant.

to all the saints in Christ Jesus.

He mentions the saints first, because the saints are the church. The church is not to be known by its leaders, but by its people. He did not address the leaders, the bishops, deacons and elders first. Clearly the leaders are present for the benefit of the saints, not the saints for the leaders.

Today the letters of commendations are addressed to the leaders: "To Rick Warren, and the church that meets under his direction."

Only two offices were given:

Bishops or elders, pastors, are given by God to the saints For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:12.

Their job is to train and teach the word of God to the saints and to direct them in their service for God.

Deacons are given by God for the care of the saints. Acts 6:1-7.

Their job is to oversee the care of the temporal things of the saints: the outward business of the house of God, the money, the buildings, the furniture, the ministers and ministries.

It is worth noting here that there are ONLY TWO OFFICES mentioned here for the local church. First, bishops, pastors or elders. And second, deacons. Thus, any office in the church in addition to these two, is unscriptural. According to the Old Testament pattern, there should be a deacon for every ten families.

We do have a third group in the church; that is, the saints. Everything in the Scriptures, starting with the work of Christ, is done for the saints.

Who are the saints?

Isaiah 53 is clear: The saints are the ones for whom Christ died.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

all the saints includes everyone who is washed in the blood of the Lamb. Rich and poor, bond and free, well equipped with talents or not. The Lord is concerned about all of His people of all time, in all locations. He has given us His word to meet that concern.

V. 2

Here we have the same opening which Paul uses for all of his books, almost word for word. Grace and peace. The free favour and good-will of God.

There can be no peace without the grace of God. The peace Paul refers to here is the peace in knowing that we are in the Father's divine favour through Christ.

Isaiah 48:22 tells us that There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

He says the same in Isaiah 57:21, Jeremiah 6:14, Jeremiah 8:1, Ezekiel 13:16 .

Note Ezekiel 13:10. It describes our day of financial turmoil:

Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter:

I like the Geneva note here. First Geneva refers to Jeremiah 6:14:

They have healed also the hurt [of the daughter] of my people slightly, saying, {n} Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace.

Then the Geneva note:

(n) When the people began to fear God's judgments, the false prophets comforted them by flatterings, showing that God would send peace and not war.

The president today says, Peace, be still. Just have patience, and all will be well.

The second note for Ezekiel 13:10 is:

While the true prophets prophesied the destruction of the city to bring the people to repentance, the false prophets spoke the contrary, and flattered them in their vanities, so that what one false prophet said (which is here called the building of the wall) another false prophet would affirm, though he had neither opportunity nor good ground to hear him.

There can be no peace in the assembly of the saints unless it is build upon and around Christ, the word of God, and not around a man.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Now some observations from this section:

First: Human nature is afraid to give credit to anyone except self, for fear of losing some of that credit for self. Paul knew there was no danger in exalting Timothy in the eyes of the people. Really, we could probably say that it is to our credit to give honest complements to and about others, but only complements that are deserved.

Second: This great apostle considered the highest honour as being a servant. Not a master or ruler, but a servant.

Our Lord told his disciples as they argued over who would be the greatest,

Luke 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

The greatest honour anyone can have is to be a servant of Christ. But the way we serve Him, is by serving one another. What can we do to help our brothers and sisters in Christ?

How difficult it is to keep a servant's attitude as we are around others, saved or unsaved.

Third: Over the years, people have asked me what it would take to bring a "revival" to America. I have always answered that question, saying that it would take a complete social-economic collapse. It appears that God is bring that collapse to pass in our day.

Yet as we witness this collapse, the false prophets, even in the name of God, such as Joel Olsteen, are flattering "God's people," telling them that God is sending them peace, not war. The bankers and those in authority are all saying, Peace, peace; when [there is] no peace.

At least seven times the Lord says basically the same thing. Though the wicked promise peace, and do all they can to promote peace – armed "peace-keepers," drugs, lower interest rates, promises of change, multiplied billions of dollars to bail out the high-rollers – there can be no peace unless Christ, the Prince of Peace rules in the heart.

Christ has been totally removed from society, and even from the church, while peace and calm are being promised. "Don't worry, be happy," is the cry of the ungodly. Yet we can prophecy the future — only heartache, poverty and turmoil lies in the future because Christ has been removed.

Second section, vv. 3-6.

Every time these folks came to mind, Paul thanked God for them. They had believed his preaching, they had supported him, they had been everything that a Christian should have been to him and Paul remembers them.

V. 4. This verse makes quit a claim. Here he tells them that even with all of the other things on his mind, every time he prays, he also prays for them, and he prays for them with joy.

He implies that he is equally concerned about each individual and prays for them as individuals.

Paul thanked God every time he thought of these people. Every time he prayed, he had these people on his heart and held them up before the heavenly Father.

V. 5 gives the reason for being able to pray for them with joy. For your fellowship in the gospel..

That is, their steadfastness and perseverance in all their Christian duties from the first time they received the gospel.

V. 6. Being confident..

Paul is entirely convinced of this truth that he which hath begun a good work...

This is primarily a reference to salvation, more commonly called eternal security. We have absolutely no reason to even entertain the idea that God called us to Himself through Christ and then can't finish the work of our salvation.


First: What do and will folks remember when they think of us? Will they remember:

* How faithful we were to our profession of Christ?
* How easy we were to get along with?
* They will certainly remember our actions, whether they were Christ-like or not. They will remember these things long after we are gone.

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

Second: Can others pray for us with joy for our service and faithfulness to the King, or do they pray with sadness?

Third: Do others get the impression that we are concerned about them as individuals? Are others on our heart enough that we pray for them every time we pray?

Fourth: WHEN OTHERS pray for us, do they pray with joy. That is, thanking God for our unity for the gospel's sake and our Godliness, or do they pray for us with sadness, praying that we would be more united in Christ and more Godly?

Fifth: The highest goal for a pastor is that his people would be united and be consistent in their walk for Christ and for reaching others.

The highest and purest joy he can have is to see his folks moving in the Godliness direction with zeal.

Sixth: Paul never wasted words nor did he exaggerate or flatter. When folks deserved compliments, he gave them. When they didn't, he didn't.

He praised when praise was deserved and rebuked when rebuke was needed. He kept the proper balance.

* How can we give praise when praise is due?

A simple statement of truth toward them done without exaggeration?

But, as we saw in Galatians, with praise should also be a willingness to rebuke when wrong, admonish when in error and to counsel when needed.

To constantly find fault or scold will discourage. It is equally important to praise as it is to rebuke, In fact, both are equal duties.

Folks under our authority have a desire and willingness to please. They need to be praised when they deserve to be. That is more of an encouragement for them to go on than is rebuke, although when rebuke is needed, then rebuke must be given.

We need to display a willingness to be pleased rather than a such a willingness to be displeased. Praise will help promote good conduct in others. (The normal human nature lacks praise of others. Proper praise is something we must work on.)

Seventh: Those friends and loved ones who are absent from us should be remembered in our prayers. On our knees before God is the best place to remember them.

In fact, not only our friends, but even those who have wronged us. If we keep them and their harsh deeds against us in our memory, we will go crazy, If we are going to remember them, let it be before God in prayer. Only he can solve the situation, either in their heart or in ours. (I had someone say to me one evening in an unguarded moment, "Oh, how I hate them." They were unsaved, and were being completely dominated by someone who they felt had done them wrong.)

Eighth: I like this one. V. 6. Unlike us, God has no unfinished works lying around. Many times we start something, lose interest in it, then lay it aside. Bettie and I have so many unfinished tasks around the house, it seems we will never get them all done.

God has never done and will never do anything like that. He has the power, will, determination, patience, grace, mercy (whatever we can name), whatever it takes to finish anything He starts. IF HE STARTS IT, HE WILL FINISH IT.

If He has called us to Christ, He will see us all the way through until the day of Jesus Christ.

If enduring depended upon our holding on until the end, we would surely fail — not a soul would be saved. However, it depends wholly upon Him. As Jonah said, Salvation is of the Lord. 2:9.

There are those who believe that the enemy of our souls is strong enough to either prevent our salvation, or to separate us from the love of God as revealed in our salvation. But Paul asks, who can separate us from the love of God, Rom. 8:35-39?

Yes, the Lord started the work of our salvation in us which will be completed at the day of Jesus Christ, but Philippians is also talking of faithfully working His plan and His good pleasure. 2:12, 13.

As we know, He called us for His purpose to do His good pleasure, As long as we faithfully follow His word, we will walk in His good pleasure and inherit the blessings of that faithfulness.

He called us for a purpose, His purpose. We may have an idea of what that purpose is, but we sure don't have His knowledge in the area, other than knowing that purpose is to be holy even as He is holy.

God has a plan for my life, though it sure seems to me like he has changed it several times. I think I know what it is. As long as I am doing my best for his glory where I am, I can be confident or assured, that He will perform His good pleasure in me. He will accomplish His desire.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Ninth: The best point of all. V. 6, He ...will preform..

The performance is not our responsibility. We may know what we want to do and think that is what God has for us to be or do.

Philippians 3:13-15 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

We may even be able to quote vv. 13, 14, and say. "THERE IS the GOAL THAT GOD HAS FOR ME. Then we might be able to name some kind of activity or life style we may have in mind, and then work toward that goal. [The young man in La., who dreamed of being a great evangelist.]

But we see in v. 15 that our goal to which we press toward day and night is to be Like minded with Christ. What was the mind of Christ? IT WAS TO BE OBEDIENT AND PLEASE THE FATHER AT ALL TIMES.

Ph. 3:13-15 with Ph. 1:6, we see that as we make Ph.3:15 our goal and dedicate ourselves to obtaining that goal, then the Father will place us where He wants us to be, which may not necessarily be where we want to be.

Rom. 8:28,29 tells us the same thing. The conforming we are to do in not conforming to a position or office which we might desire to obtain. Rather, the conforming required of us is conforming to the image of Christ. The goal the Father has for us may be persecution and, yes, even the death which Christ had at the hands of wicked men.

There is certainly nothing wrong with having a goal or desire (as the young man did to be an evangelist), and then to prepare to fulfill that desire. But if that physical goal is the consuming desire and the motivating factor in our lives, then I think there is a problem.

What is our goal?

If the goal is to have a big church rather than having the mind of Christ in His obedience to the Father, then that goal will allow a pastor to do whatever is necessary to obtain that goal, lie, cheat, steal, compromise of all kinds.

We have no other choice Scripturally but to have one basic goal, first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then God will add the other things to us.

We can have no other basic purpose than doing all things for the glory of God.

V. 6, with proper goals and purposes, He will perform His good purpose in us, according to His good pleasure.

Next section:

Vv. 7, 8.

Here we see Paul's deep affection for these people. These people had not been afraid to identify with him in his affliction. They had shared his concern and were ready to assist him in any way they could.

The reason they were so willing to do this was because they were partakers of his grace. He had started the church and they were a part of him and he part of them.

V. 8. To me this is one of the most tender verses in Scripture. Paul says, "With God as my witness, I long to see you or hear from you, to know how you are doing." He wanted to know their spiritual welfare. He wanted to know if they were growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. The burden of the heart of this preacher was to know how his people were doing.

This should be the concern of any godly pastor. Paul was an evangelist, but he carried a genuine concern for his converts. We don't hear much of this kind of concern today from evangelists, and not much more from pastors. This is a work of the Holy Spirit.

Finely, For God is my record. God knows the truth of what is in the heart. Are we willing to face up to what is there in this area?


First: How willing are we to identify with those who are bing persecuted for the gospel. We may have to say one day soon, "How willing are we to identify with those in our community who are being persecuted for the gospel?

Second: We should have a similar closeness with one another in the gospel.

1 CO 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

We serve the same Master, have the same commands, trials and difficulties. We should have the same readiness to love one another.

Also here (not in the proper order). Paul heard of their faithfulness to the Lord and was confident that God was going to continue to do His good work in them. He expresses no doubt that they will continue on for God.

In this we see that it is good to think the best of people, as long as we can. There is nothing wrong with thinking and speaking good of others, unless it is a lie.

Third: You all. His concern was for them all, not just the rich or poor, the smart or the not so smart. His tender concern the same as was Christ Jesus' concern, for all.

Sad to say, most of even us have a very limited concern. For ourselves and maybe for our families or for those we feel can be of help to us, but our concern should go much further than that. God help us to have this kind of concern.

Our next section is vv. 9-11.

Paul told them that he is praying for them back in v. 4. He told them that every time he prayed, he made request with joy for them.

Let's pause a moment here to make a point. There are folks that we are able to pray for with joy, but there seems to be far more that we remember in prayer with sorrow; with concern; with saddness; with heartache. There are folks we know who desperately need our prayers, but as we think about those people, it is not with joy. But there are others who we are able to remember with joy.

How do others remember us in prayer? With joy? with sadness? with concern?

V. 9, Paul is telling them what he is praying God for in their behalf. I pray for you, and as I pray, this is what I am asking God to accomplish in you.

9 And this I pray.

First, he tells them that he is praying for them. This should be an encouragement for them to do their very best.

To know that others are praying for us should be strengthen and encourage us to fulfill God's plan in our lives.

Second, he tells them he is praying for them in v. 4, then in v. 6, he expresses his total confidence that God is going to preform His good work in them. Paul fully expected God to answer his prayers for these people.

God help us to pray with this kind of confidence in what God can and will do in our lives and in the lives of others.

Do you suppose that lack of confidence may be a reason that very few of our prayers get answered?

How many of our prayers are only rituals that we go through because we know we should pray? We need to pray, even if it is a ritual to us. But if it is a ritual, we need to confess this sin to God, and ask Him to make it real to us. Prayer is the very real act of talking to our Heavenly Father and telling Him what we need in order to serve Him effectively. As we see here, prayer is also the very real act of taking our concerns about others to Him for His intervention into their situation.

Hebrews 11:6 But 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.

Matthew 7:7 ¶ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Luke 18:1 ¶ And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The purpose of this parable was to encourage us to continue in prayer, though the answer may be slow in coming.


My mother attended classes at a church in Indianapolis to help her better carry out what was called, "Backyard Bible Classes" for the neighborhood children. She made a real good friend with the wife of the teacher of the young adult SS class, and they were the "sponsors" of that age group. He was the college Bible Doctrine teacher.

When I got out of the service, I started attending there because of her friendship with them. My mother died soon after I got out of the service. Sometime after she died, I got involved in that church as a layman. I made a profession of faith during that time, and later went full time on the staff.

After I became seriously involved in the church, the lady told me that my mother had prayed for me for years to get straightened out with the Lord, and after many years, the Lord was now answering her prayers.

God promises to answers, though the answer may be long in coming. But we must be careful what we pray for.

Turn with me to Psalms 106:1-15

Sadly, I think that Christina's situation today is a result of her mother's prayers, for even wrong prayers have results. She prayed for all of Christina's life that she would "be her own girl."

Third, the apostle's love for these people is obvious all through this book. His love translated into genuine and sincere prayer for them.

If our professed love for others does not do the same, there is something wrong with our love. Do we consistently hold them up to God in prayer?

Fourth, notice what he did not pray that God would provide for these people. He did not ask that God would provide any worldly wealth for them, not riches, nor prosperity.

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

We see that the apostle John did desire that these folks would prosper physically, but this was even as thy soul prospereth.

If our prosperity is not as our soul prospers, we will not be worth shooting. We all know people who have prospered financially apart from their soul prospering. Their spiritual prosperity did not keep up with their material prosperity. That material prosperity was their downfall.

Proverbs 30:8, 9. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

I think we must admit that we have about what we can safely handle, maybe a little too much at times. If we watch ourselves, we can usually come up with what we need. I'm inclined to think that it takes more character for someone with means to remain faithful to Christ than it does for folks like us.

As Christ-like characteristics are developed in the individual, and that person applies them to the situations around him, God prospers them. Matt. 6:33.

In Philippians 3:13-15, Paul tells them to seek the mind of Christ, and if in any area they are not according to His mind, God will show even that to them.

Notice the four things here that he is asking God for in these folks behalf.

1. That your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

2. That ye may approve things that are excellent;

3. That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

4. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

We will look at these one at a time. They all have some excellent points in them.

Now for the first thing he prays for God to accomplish in them.

That your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.

Love toward God;
love toward one another;
even love toward all men.

Is there concern enough to try to reach them for the Lord? And as I think about it, love will also try to institute godly principles into society, because they are the only kind that will work.

Love fulfills both the law and the gospel towards all,

Rom. 13:8-10. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Also, even though Paul compliments these people on their love for God and all people, he still prays that their love will increase.

Thus, no matter where we may think we are spiritually, we need more. Those who think they have arrived are in bad shape. We could safely say here that the more a person might think they have in an area, the worse shape they are in.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Your love may abound is the first thing Paul mentions. I have no doubt that proper love for God and for our neighbours is the most needed in our own personal lives as well as in those we come into contact with.

Not only is it the most needed, but the enemy works overtime to hinder proper love from being developed. A proper love for each other and for our community would turn our area of the world upside down for Christ.

Paul doesn't leave us with a simple command to love, but he continues it on with, in knowledge and in all judgment;

Knowledge here is precise and correct knowledge of things that are ethical and divine.

This love is not to be a blind affection, but an intelligent love, based on a proper view of the things in the light of God's word. Things ethical — that is, love according to the ethics established by God's word.

And in all judgment. Margin – sense [good common sense]. Our love is to abound in common sense. We are to grow in the knowledge of God's word, and our common sense will mature.

Psalms 119:98 ¶ Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

God tells us what to love and how much to love it, and what to hate.

Paul prays that they will grow in knowledge of God's word, and then in the practical, common sense applications of his word.

V. 10.

That ye may approve things that are excellent;

Approve [Mar. try] .. It means to test, examine, prove, scrutinize, as one would examine precious metals to prove they are true.


Excellent [Mar. differ] ... In the context here it means to be able to rightly distinguish between good and evil, lawful and unlawful.

Rom. 2:18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

Not only is Paul praying that their love would abound more toward God and others, he prays that they would be better able to have the common sense to discern what is right and wrong according to God's word, including the right and wrong kind of love.

Each of us need discernment to know if our attitude is proper in all areas.

Yes, we are to love our families but that love can not that priority over God.

Our love toward another cannot override our responsibility to do what God tells us to do.

We should love our jobs, but that love cannot override our responsibility to God and to our families.

Some folks love sports but if that love hinders them from fulfilling their responsibilities in their service to God and in their families, that love is sin.

Our love in all areas must be according to the priorities that are established by the word of God.

The value of the object loved must be determined by the word of God. Is that object worth dying for? Is it worth living for? How much sacrifice does the word of God call for toward the object loved? If that love for that object hinders our service to God, we are idolaters.

2 Peter 3:11-18. Peter warns us of the errors of the wicked that are so prevalent and persuasive, and easily led Christians astray. There are always various false doctrines appearing—that is, the old false teachings in a new dress. We need to continually grow in the knowledge of God's word so we can recognize them.

We need the wisdom and knowledge of God's word to determine, to try or to approve the things that are excellent and biblical. The object of our love is to be tied in the light of God's word (as metals are exposed to trial in order to test their nature) to see if that object is of real value.

Love is great, but if it is sensual love or is directed toward the wrong thing or if the priority is wrong, then it is sin. Is the love genuine? Our emotions or ideas cannot make that determination; only the word of God can.

Anytime our love for something compromises our responsibilities to God, it is the wrong kind of love.

Paul is praying that these people would be able to see the situations around them in the light of the law of God.

To say the least, we are in a day of massive confusion. If ever we needed this knowledge, today is it. We must have the wisdom of God's word to have the common sense to apply it to every situation.

Can we observe the things around us and see the Biblical principles involved in the various events? Such as women in places of authority?

God's people must be a discerning people. We can be because we have His word. There is no reason for us to be caught up in things that will harm us spiritually. There is no reason for is to get involved is embarrassing situations. Before we approve anything, we are to examine His mind on it.

Sincere. That is, found pure when unfolded and examined be the sun's light;

The word literally means without wax. The picture being honey which is pure and transparent as it is held up to the sun. You hold it up and look through it and there is no impurities to be found in it.

Applied to the Christian, it means a life and spirit which is not deceitful, vague, hypocritical. It means that which is not mingled with error, worldliness, and sin; that which does not proceed from selfish and interested motives, and where there is nothing disguised.

The greatest compliment that can be paid to a Christian is that they are sincere.

They are truly converted, and not putting a the Christian act.

Pure motives, and not doing Christian activities out of pride, jealousy, spite nor contention.

Sincerity. The conduct is free from double-dealing, tricks, and cunning. He is above-board at all times.

His words do not have double meanings. They are honest at all times. They express the true sentiments of the heart.

Proverbs talks about the words being smooth as butter but lies and deceit is in the heart.

The sincere person is true to his word and faithful to his promises.

The sincere person is always what he professes to be.

The sincere Christian can bear to have the light of the sun and the light of the SON upon him at any and all times. The emotions and motives are pure and open to the Lord and to others at all times.

Paul said in ACT 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.

Not injuring others in property, feelings or in their reputation.

To say the least, this is a tremendously difficult area for most of us to control. This calls for not injuring anyone. This includes:

Not injuring others by our words, by our actions, example, opinions, conversation (manner of life).

Not doing injustice to another's motives; not wounding their feelings; giving no occasion for hard thoughts.

The thought here in Ph. 1:10 is that we are not to give the slightest opportunity for offence of any kind. We, by the power of the Spirit of Grace, are to live a life above reproach, which is without offence, above blame.

Both sides of the coin apply. Not easily offended and living a life which gives no offence.

How long are we to live the sincere life without offending others?

Until the day of Christ.

JUDE 24, Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,


V. 11. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

The sincere Christian desires that to be filled with the fruits of righteousness. These fruits do not make one righteous but come about as a result of righteousness.

These fruits are not restricted to obedience to what we call the ten commandments. We saw in Galatians 5 that the fruits of righteousness also covers the attitudes.

The desire of the apostle is that these fruits would be evident in their lives for all to see. In this we see that genuine righteousness will be evident for all to see. We won't have to tell others anything, they will see it.

Also observe, filled with. No matter how many of these fruits we might feel we have arrived to, there is still plenty of room for many more.

I used to worry that if I shared everything with people, I would be left with nothing. I found just the opposite true.

And we don't have to worry about using them all up. We can safely say that the more we use what God has provided for us for his glory, the more there will be to use.

This is like love. The more there are to love, the more love there is. Children are a good example. I saw a program in the motel room while at the Preachers' meeting, called "17 and counting." It followed a family with 15 children in their daily routines. The parents made it clear that there was enough love to go around.

Paul was praying for these fruits to be developed in them.

We should pray that the Lord would develop these fruits of righteousness in us. Now, the problem is the methods which the Lord uses is not always to our liking.

If I had my way, I would pray and all these of righteousness would, like magic, appear in my life. I'm afraid that He doesn't work that way. Far more often than not, these fruits are developed through the school of hard knocks. I don't like that school any better than you do, but it is the most effective of all classes. In this, the more responsibility the Lord gives us, the harder these knocks.

Paul was praying that God would develop these of righteousness in these Christians.

We should be praying for others, that the Lord would develop these fruits of righteousness in them. Don't forget, God works through tribulation more often than not to develop these things, so pray that He will also provide the needed graces to see them, and us, through whatever He might have for them to go through, to develop the fruit of righteousness in them.

Again, note Peter's encouragement, 2 Peter 3:18: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Grace is God working in one both to will and to do his good pleasure. God's grace must come first, before one can increase in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have found that no matter how we might try to lead others to increased knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, unless the grace of God is at work, they will not be led to the Saviour.

It takes different things for different people for God to be able to develop these fruits. We dare not compare ourselves to them and what they are going through.

Which are by Jesus Christ. These fruits are a result of His work of grace in us.

The world has it's imitation fruit. We want that which is developed by Jesus Christ. We want the right kind of fruit in others. Of course, if one isn't saved, the fruit which looks like the real thing must be an imitation.

I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE: I had the fruits, but not the Saviour.

Therefore, we need to pray that it will be the proper fruits, that which are by Jesus Christ, that which is developed by His Spirit.

Unto the glory and praise of God. It is easy to make claims of our love for and desire to glorify God, but the discipline which develops the true fruit isn't easy. These fruits of righteousness are open for all to see. Matt. 5:16 tells us that as these fruits are developed in us, others will see this and glorify the Father in heaven. (Also Jn.15:8)

It is not enough to honor God with our lips, He requires our every action.

I Pet. 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

I Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. also along this line.


Christians are not only to have a good profession with their words, but they are to be above reproach and be filled to overflowing with the WORKS of righteousness which obviously point to and bring glory to the Father in heaven.

Next section, vv. 12-20.

We have seen that Paul is writing from prison in Rome to these people in Philippi. He told them that he is praying for them and even told them what he was praying for God to accomplish in their lives.

* That your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

* That ye may approve things that are excellent – that is, judge the rightness or wrongness of events according to the word of God.

* That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

* Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

We also have seen the strong bond that existed between this church and the apostle. He expressed his concern for them and they expressed their concern for him. One of the ways they did this was by sending support to him wherever he went.

V. 12 No doubt there were false charges against Paul, saying he deserved imprisonment. He makes it clear here that he was not here for any crime, and that a result was the furtherance of the Gospel.

* They had proved their strong attachment to him by their continual support of him over the years. He knew they were concerned and interested in his well being. This letter would answer that concern.

* And we see from this chapter (v.16) that his enemies might use this imprisonment against him. They could be expected to use this situation to spread lies and rumors of why he was there.

The enemies of the righteous or of the gospel never miss the opportunity to spread lies and rumors that can be used to undermine the gospel.

Paul wanted them to know the truth about the matter, so they would not be misled or unduly worried about his condition.

Have we ever deliberately kept folks in the dark so they will be misled about our situation?

Paul had a habit of telling others to rejoice in all things and that is what he does here. Of all things, he is rejoicing here in jail and he wants these people to rejoice with him. In fact, he will command them to rejoice. (4:4, 11) Here he is giving them something to rejoice about.

There is an interesting note here. Paul uses the word rejoice a total of 20 times in all his writings and 9 of them are here in the book of Philippians. One half of the words are used as he writes from prison. He practiced what he preached. He tells the people of God to rejoice at all times, and he tells them to do this while he is in jail.

V. 12. that the things ....

In Acts chapter 21:28, Paul had gone up to Jerusalem in the temple and preached the finished work of Christ. His message created an uproar, and the zealous Jews threw him out of the temple almost killing, v. 31. The news of the fight reached the Roman band of soldiers and they came to rescue him.

They placed him under arrest for his own safety. However, the Jews did not give up, and made further plans to do away with him. Paul's nephew brought word to him of their wicked plans to kill Paul. The Romans whisked him away at night.

Paul claims his rights as a citizen of Rome, all the time telling them that the charges are untrue. In chapter 25:11, he made his appeal to Caesar in Rome. The rest of the book of Acts is the record of his trip to Rome on that appeal. Acts closes with Paul in prison waiting for his appearance before Caesar, from where he wrote Philippians.

In v. 12, we find him falsely accused and in Rome in prison waiting for his trial. From all appearance, it seemed that he had failed as a preacher – falsely accused and in jail.

But notice what he says, v. 12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

He tells the people who had supported him over the years that there is a purpose behind what had taken place. Even though it all looked like a hopeless mess, it was not.

God makes no mistakes, though it sure seems like it with this election.

Proverbs 16:33, is still true:

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

If we are trying to do right and serve God, EVERYTHING that comes into our lives is for the furtherance of the gospel.

On the same page in my Thompson Bible is Ephesians 6:16. As I was looking at this passage, my eyes went to that verse. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Of course, the other obvious reference is Romans 8:28,29.

THE SHIELD OF FAITH, WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED. This is needed ABOVE ALL, or the most important thing we have. The most important piece of armor is this shield of faith. Without it we cannot quench the fiery darts of the wicked.

Paul is in jail. The wicked one comes to him and says, See, you think God is so great. If He were, you would not be here in jail. If God really loved you like you say He does, you wouldn't be here. Look at how many enemies you have made. What kind of a message are you preaching anyway?

How many times has he come to me with the same fiery darts? And he didn't use them all on me; there are plenty of fiery darts to go around.

In fact, it doesn't take much of a distressing circumstance at all for the darts to be there, fast and furious. We have all experienced them and will till the day we die.

The wicked one is an expert. He plays both ends against the middle, and guess who is in the middle... He will use every means at his disposal to convince us of the way things should be, and then points out how far short circumstances are from how he convinced us they should be.

The list is endless and different planes work on different people. But the basic plan is effective. Convince us of how things should be (contrary to what has been revealed to us), then make a big issue out of how far short they are from what we have been convinced of.

Take the situation with Paul here in jail for example. Convince him of the power of God to change hearts; TRUE. Convince him of the protection of God; TRUE.

Now he is in jail. Cast that fiery dart at him and say, "See Paul, if God's promises were true you would not be here." Paul says, "You're right. Something is wrong." And his faith is shaken. Let us not suppose for a moment that he did not face this kind of dart.

But, see how that fiery dart is immediately extinguished. FAITH.

Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

He was totally confident that what had taken place was for one reason alone and that dart was extinguished.

He also knew what was going to be fired at the Christians at Philippi. The wicked one would say to them, "The great preacher is in jail. If God was all that Paul claimed He is, he wouldn't be there."

It doesn't really have to be a distressing circumstance. If things go too good for too long, he is there also. "Just wait," he says, "it won't last." or "You don't deserve this." Then we sit and worry about that.

It doesn't matter what comes into our life, if the wicked one can cast his fiery darts at us and cause us to doubt God's hand and purpose in it, we will go down in flames.

The only thing that will put the fire out is the shield of faith — faith that all things work for His purpose in our lives. And not only in our lives, but in all of society. If he can get us to doubt that God is on the throne and in complete control, we will lose all hope.

Paul, in order to put out all the fiery darts of doubt in these folks minds, gave v. 12. We need the same message as the doubts are placed in our minds.

When we see that faith is the key, we also can rejoice even in the most difficult circumstances.

I Thessolonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

V. 13.

Paul has taught the absolute necessity of the confidence that all things are taking place for the furtherance of the gospel. As we hold on to that confidence, we will have the strength to continue on, no matter what comes our way, and the fiery darts of the wicked one are extinguished.

V. 13. So that my bonds in Christ are manifest...

Paul's imprisonment in Rome was for preaching Christ, not for any crime he had done

Acts 28:16-22 tells us that when Paul arrived on Rome as a prisoner, he was permitted to rent a house to live in, where he was chained to his guard. Peter was also chained to his guard in Acts 12:7. When the angel of the Lord delivered Peter, the chains fell off. Remember, if a prisoner escaped, his guard was put to death in his place.

I certainly would not want to be chained night and day to someone to spy on all my movements?
I certainly would not want to have someone hear my every word; see my every deed?
What would it be like to never have a moment alone for two years?
What if the guard did not like Christians?

As I was putting this together, I wondered how I would be able to concentrate if someone had to always be by my side, yet Paul writes this letter with this man chained to him.

V. 13, Are manifest, or clearly revealed or made known.

He is chained to this man because of an untrue charge against him. As he is here, it becomes clear that the reason he is here is because of his stand for Christ. It becomes evident that the charges against him are religious charges brought by people who hate him.

We might say this about that. When folks, like maybe Paul's guard, think someone is suffering wrongly, they may be more likely to listen to the message.

Notice to where the message went: The palace. Marg., Caesar's court. We see in 4:22 that the gospel made it into Caesar's household. How the message got there, we have no idea. What we do see here is that as a result of Paul's imprisonment, the gospel made its way into Caesar's family.

V. 13. And in all other places.

The whole city of Rome had heard of his unjust imprisonment. They heard how that he was guilty of no crime, yet was chained to the guard. Evidently, this gained sympathy for him and his message of Christ, went city wide, as we see from vs. 14-20.

* He is writing to these Christians so they should not worry. What was taking place as a result of his imprisonment was beyond anything he could have planed.
* There was no way that he would have been able to get into Caesar's household on his own.
* There is no way that he could have gained the sympathy of the city of Rome on his own.
* There is no way that he could have preached in all the places which were now hearing the gospel, on his own.

He goes on to tell of the many great things that are taking place as a result of his chains. What appeared to be a disaster to the natural eyes, was in reality, one of the greatest things that could have happened.

We could build a whole series of messages on this subject alone — how the best laid plans of evil, wicked men are used by the Lord to do His greatest work.

It would be impossible to even identify the times that God's word has proven true when He said in Psalms 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

The Jews who sought to kill him for his message thought they had him and his gospel message out of circulation. In reality, they had sent the message which they hated so much, to Rome; into Caesar's household itself. Their zeal in their hatred for the gospel resulted in the city of Rome being receptive to the gospel and preachers going everywhere.

Every school child use to know the story of the flight of the Pilgrims from religious persecution. The result was the U. S., which spawned the greatest missionary endeavor in history.

History has been dominated by just such events. The persecution of God's people over and over has resulted in God doing tremendous things.

It causes me to wonder what God will use here in the US to further His cause.

Paul should encourage us to think of what God does through situations such as Paul's. Think of what He can do in the situation in which we find ourselves.

There are some preachers who I know that are the "woe is us" type. I love them all in the Lord, but I get terribly depressed around them, and I used to be like them. As I have done much in depth study of the Scriptures, I can find no justification for such nonsense.

The God I serve is One of victory. He is the One who controls history. He works providence for His glory, and ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. Daniel chapters 4 through 6 clearly tell us that God does what He will in the kingdom of men.

These Jews made their best plans to overthrow the kingdom of God, and God took those plans and did what could not have been done otherwise.

As we see the world-wide plans today to overthrow God, we have the confidence that the time is coming when those plans will be turned to His glory. I am confident that one of the first places He will start is in the state schools. There cannot be that much commitment to remove all vestige of Christianity from society through the Statist education system without God taking notice. The NEA is a Marxists group, committed to pure socialist goals.

Just one final point in closing this verse. God has a way of turning the unjust accusations against the accuser.


There are several points which are evident from this statement in v. 14.

1. Evidently, there were already many Christians in Rome when Paul wrote this.

2. These Christians lacked confidence. They did not think that their individual efforts could possibly amount to anything. After all, what can one person do? What kind of an effect can just one have? No one else is doing anything, why should I?

They were typical of most Christians today. They were secret Christians. They did nothing to rock the boat. They just quietly went about their business and disturbed no one.

This would be commendable except for one thing. It is unscriptural. Matthew 28:19,20 identifies this attitude as disobedience. Now, common sense must go with the preaching of the gospel, but the command is clearly to preach the gospel at every chance. What can we do to make a chance to present the gospel?

3. It was fear that prevented their speaking out for Christ.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

There are enough passages on this to do a series, which we won't.

4. When we take vv.13 and 14 together, we can conclude that the message of Christ wasn't very popular in Rome. In fact, it brought persecution to whoever preached it.

5. Vv. 15-18, shows us that there was envy and strife here in Rome among the Christians, which would not have given them the best of reputation.

As an encouragement to the ones he is writing, Paul tells them the results of his bonds.

1. V. 14. many. Not all, but many. Some people, even Christian brothers, are not going to do right, no matter what.

NOTE: We should be concerned about those who are not going to do right, but they must not be emphasized. We are to emphasize the ones who are trying to do right. Paul mentions the ones who are taking their stand, not on the ones who are not.

NOTE: What might stir us to action may have no effect upon others. Maybe they are unwilling to be motivated. It may take something else to move them.

2. The most obvious is that his unjust bonds for Christ gave those who lacked confidence, confidence to speak out for the gospel. In Paul's situation, they saw that one person does count. One person can do something.

3. Others saw that unjust persecution can be and is used by God for His glory, to further His cause. Paul is on the end of a chain, but even on this chain, he is having an influence into Caesar's household.

4. We see that Paul refers to his bonds as the major cause of the brethren gaining their confidence, giving them boldness to speak out.

5. Paul's chains solved their fear problem. They saw that even with all the ranting and raving of the wicked, the wicked could only do what God permitted. And that which they are permitted to do is always for for God's glory.

Once we see someone do something which we are afraid to do, it gives us confidence to at least try it. We may try it out of pride or out of renewed confidence.

a. The Jews had fully meant to kill Paul. God turned that wicked desire into one of the greatest missionary projects ever, right into the household of Caesar.

Next Section:

Vv.15-18 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife;

What the grounds of this envy and strife were, we are not told. It appears that in Rome there was a group of men who were jealous of Paul and his influence. They saw this situation with Paul on the end of a chain as an opportunity to undermine his influence and strengthen their own. In prison, he would have been unable to circulate among the churches there and present the truth.

The obnoxious teachers were probably not the Judaizers who Paul dealt with so harshly in Galatians.

They were evidently preaching the truth, but not sincerely... Their motives were not pure, but contentious. Contention here is the effort to form parties or to gain followers. Evidently, they were preaching the truth of Christ, but with the motive to win away converts from Paul, as well as to add affliction to Paul. Their goal was not to advance the kingdom of God, but to advance their own power and influence.

Not only were these contentious preachers motivated to build their own following, but they sought to make things as difficult as possible for Paul in prison. They felt that by boldly preaching the gospel in Rome, those in the government who were against the gospel would take it out on Paul. They were supposing to add affliction to my bonds:..

Maybe they felt that if they could gain enough converts to Christianity, Rome would see this as a threat and make it harder on Paul. The original charge against Christ was that He claimed to be a king here to overthrow Rome.

Maybe they were preaching the truth and were doing it to prove that they were as good a man as was Paul.

But we do not know what it was or how their preaching could effect Paul in jail. All we know is what we are told.

V. 17. Paul also tells us that there were some who had pure motives and a genuine love for him and the gospel. Paul's calling went further than just evangelism to the unsaved. We see from his letters that he also had a strong calling to defend the truth of the gospel, the finished work of Christ, against the false teachers and their heresy — the Judaizers.

Paul had been called by the Lord to both proclaim and defend the gospel. He tells us in Romans 15:19-21 that he proclaimed the finished work of Christ all over the known world where Christ had never been named before.

So there are contentious preachers and those who supported Paul, and who boldly preached out of love.

V. 18. The preaching with the motive of strife or of pure motive, what effect does it have Paul?

WHETHER IN PRETENCE OR IN TRUTH... Some preached in pretence. They pretended to be concerned about Paul, but their motive was to harm him. Others were genuine in their effort to help him.

No matter what the motive was behind the preaching, Paul rejoiced in the fact that Christ was being preached.

We can not suppose that Paul was not concerned about the motive behind what was being done in the name of the Lord. He identifies the wrong motive as sin many times. He is very concerned that the motive be proper, for the glory of God.

V. 19. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer,

Paul is confident that all preaching of the gospel will all turn out for the best, even though it might be with the wrong motive. He had no assurance of being released from prison, but he knew that good would result. Again, his confidence is in the Lord to work it all out.

We see here the confidence that God will turn evil into good. It may be that God will see fit to use even the contentious preaching to reach others.

How will He do this? Through prayer.

The result of prayer? The supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

V. 20 The earnest desire and hope which Paul had was not that he might get out of this bad situation, but that he would continue to glorify Christ no matter what took place. He desired their prayers that the supply of the Spirit of Christ would be sufficient to see him through his trial, not deliver him from the trial.

Life was of secondary importance to him. His primary concern was that Christ would be magnified in his body, whether in death or in life.

As far as Paul knew he could have been facing death. Certainly he would face the emperor. His desire was that he would not compromise in any way or do any dishonorable thing in the face life or death.

Several applications through v. 20:

1) Though the gospel was being preached out of contention, envy and strife rather than for the glory of God, Paul does not doubt the salvation of those who responded to the teachers.

This makes me wonder about women "preachers," as well as the clearly unscriptural methods used to reach the lost. We see in 1 Corinthians chapters one and two that the power of God is in the truth of the gospel, not in the speaker. So as long as the truth of the gospel goes forth, folks will be saved.

So "preachers" who might have the wrong motives, even unsaved preachers, yet have the right message can have genuine conversions.

2) Unlike Paul, we have no way of knowing how much of the work which is being done in the name of the Lord is with the wrong motive. However, knowing human nature and our own weaknesses, we have no doubt that a very large portion of what we see being done in the name of the Lord, is being done out of contention, self-serving and self-exaltation.

I have sat in more than a few services where the motivation was competition — that is, to out-grow someone else in a Sunday School class or bus route. The motive on the individual level was to out-shine someone else. I have been in services where people were exalted above measure for doing more "religious" work than someone else. And the work they were exalted for, they should have been doing anyway.

I have never been a follower of John R. Rice and his Sword of the Lord publication. He always kept a running account of who had 300 or more baptized in a year, and churches were praised for having the most baptisms.

I have never been able to use that kind of motivation, and have been condemned for not using competition among the brethren.

Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

How much of the "Lord's" work and interest in others is motivated by a desire to out do someone? to win someone's loyalty away from someone else? or to undermine another?

Of course, we have no way of knowing what that person's motive might be, but we should be able to know our own. We must examine our own hearts. What is the motive behind our actions? Is it a spirit of contention? an effort to undermine another? maybe to win someone over to us? to show up someone?

God help us to keep our own heart right in these areas and not worry about others.

3) When we see someone in a difficult situation or not doing what they should, do we rejoice that it is a chance to undermine them, and gain publicity and praise for ourselves?

4) When we see someone in a difficult situation do we look for ways to show our love for them, help them, be an encouragement and even strengthen them in their difficulties?

I might make a personal observation here. If that person is someone whom we consider better that ourselves or that we feel threatened by, what are we tempted to do?

No matter what the motive behind a work being done in the name of Christ, we must rejoice that something is being done.

If all of the work currently being done in the name of the Lord, yet with a corrupt motive, were to suddenly stop, I have a notion that there would be very little accomplished in His name. Paul says that he rejoices that something is being done.

Certainly, it would be better if the teachers were better instructed in the truth, or if they had better motives, or if they had a more perfect system, but if they are proclaiming the redemptive work of Christ, there is cause to rejoice. Any announcement at all that Jesus saves sinners through His atoning sacrifice is far better than no announcement at all.

Paul shows his love for the Saviour in that he rejoices in Christ being preached, even though the motives in that preaching were selfish as well as to increase his own difficulties.

5) If we are unsuccessful at a godly task, we should rejoice when and if someone else is successful at the same task.

If we feel we have competition or someone with better plans than we have, and their efforts have more success than ours, we should not be jealous or envious. We should rejoice that the work of the Lord is being done.

6) When churches of a different stripe preach the gospel of Christ's substitutionary death for sinners, his burial and resurrection for our justification, we should be able to find cause to rejoice that Christ is preached.

We may wish that their preaching were not mixed with so much error, nor can we rejoice in that error, but we should rejoice when the finished work of Christ is preached.

Over the few years that I have been dealing with people, I have found that it is far easer to deal with a person who has heard nothing at all, than it is to deal with one who has been convinced that you are saved by asking Jesus into your heart.

What we have here in v. 18, is Paul's rejoicing that the gospel of the finished work of Christ is being preached, that the work of the Lord is being done, even though the motive behind that action is anything but for the glory of God.

Let me make this clear: It is impossible for right motives to make a wrong message right. If the message is not the true gospel message, then the hearer cannot follow Christ's instruction to repent and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15.

For How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14

I believe here in Philippians, Paul would much rather have wrong motives preaching the right gospel than having right motives preaching a wrong gospel, and both in the name of Christ.

7) We should not moan that other's motive might be improper. We should be rejoicing that the work of the Lord is being accomplished.

Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Let's be sure that our motive is proper, and be very busy about the Master's work.

8) V. 19. A bad situation can be turned into good through prayer and the Spirit of God. Paul said, "through your prayer." The people's prayers will bring the needed supply of the Spirit to the aid of the preacher.

9) V. 20, With all boldness, as always, so now also. He had spoken with boldness in the past, now he desires the abundant supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ that he would continue to speak with boldness. Paul knew what he hoped he would do, and he asked these people to pray for him that he would have the Spirit of Christ to the right thing when the final time came.

We just do not know what we would do in the situation which others might be facing. Many times we are very quick to condemn others by saying, "If it were me, this is what I would do." We just do not know what we would do. We know what we hope we would do, and by the grace of God that is what we will do, but that is all the further we can go with it.

Just because we have stood for Christ with boldness in the past, is no guarantee that we will in the future. Paul assumed nothing. Rather, he hoped and prayed that he would continue with all boldness. Can we do less?

He did not know what the trial would hold for him, but whatever it held, he desired to lift up or exalt Christ. It might be death, it might be life, either way it was Christ.

10) Whether by life... Christ is for both living and dying. Far too often Christ and the power of His Spirit is presented for dying, and not for living.

I am on several mailing lists and one in particular, rubes me the wrong way. The man is a good man who believes in the grace of God, but that is where it stops. I have received his mailings for a good number of years, and all that is in them is that our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to heaven. The message is true, but he seems to restrict the message to death. I find it distressing when a pastor can see no more in the Spirit of Christ than death.

Certainly, the Spirit of Christ is the power over death and the grave. But Paul saw the Spirit of Christ first of all as power to live a life which magnified Christ, regardless of circumstances.

11) in my body. Paul is very practical. This phrase is not some mystical nor spiritual saying. Rather, if Christ is going to be glorified, it will be in and through the bodies of His Saints. It will be through situations like Paul went through. He receives the glory as His people stand up to the trials of this life, as they stand against the lusts of the flesh, as they fulfill their commitment to Him no matter what.

The glory to God comes through the bodies of the believers here in this life:

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Others cannot see Christ except in His followers. When we violate our commitment to Him with our bodies, we bring shame to the One we say we love and serve.

The Lord told Ananias to go lay hands on Saul, who would be Paul. The Lord said that he would show Paul what great things he must suffer for his name's sake. Acts 9:16.

Paul knew and understood the pressure that was coming upon him. His desire was that he would not violate the commitment he made to the Saviour under that pressure.

Many times, we cannot stand under the pressure of friends nor family.

12) Paul's earnest expectation and hope was that he would bring glory to the Lord. Now he had even a greater opportunity to do that.

How many Christians desire and even pray for the chance to bring glory to Christ. Then when the chance comes, maybe years latter, they fail when they realize they must sacrifice a favorite lust of the flesh.

The point here is, we want the glorify Christ, but we want to do it in our way. "Lord, let me do some great work for you, but don't ask me to give up my favorite lust." Sorry, that favorite lust which we refuse to turn over to Him is our god.

13) Those who desire to magnify Him will have an holy indifference as to whether it is by life or by death. Life will be faced with a joy over the prospect of serving Him, death will be faced with a joy over the prospect of seeing Him.

Life will be a life of patience continence in well doing.

Romans 2:1-12

Next section, vv. 21-26.

Though we covered v. 20 last time, let me go back to it. V. 20 and 21 go together.

V. 21. Paul was confident that as he faced the future with the boldness he had in the past, Christ would be magnified, or glorified. In vv. 21-30, he expresses his indifference as to whether Christ would be magnified in his life or in his death.

Vv. 20, 21. As we mentioned last week, Christ is for both living and dying. Far too often Christ and the power of His Spirit is presented for dying, and not for living.

I am on several mailing lists and one in particular, rubes me the wrong way. The man is a good man who believes in the grace of God, but that is where it stops. I have received his mailings for a good number of years, and all that is in them is that our sins are forgiven and we are on our way to heaven. The message is true, but he seems to restrict the message to death. I find it distressing when a pastor can see no more in the Spirit of Christ than death.

Christianity can only start with the Spirit's clear conviction of sin; that is to say, a genuine brokenness that shows the sinner he is without hope, on his way to hell. Then the Spirit must bring about repentance for sin, and show that trust in the finished work of Christ is the only answer to his sin problem. The sinner must understand that Christ died in his place, and that he must trust completely Christ's payment for his sin. And then he places his total trust and confidence in Christ to pay his sin debt.

Certainly, the Spirit of Christ is the power over death and the grave. But Paul saw the Spirit of Christ first of all as power to live a life which magnified Christ, regardless of circumstances.

Elsewhere in Paul's writings, he makes it clear that if there is no desire to glorify Christ by learning and doing his word, then there is just cause to doubt one's salvation.

In all of Paul's epistles, he tells us that if Christ will be glorified, it will be in and through the bodies of His Saints. It will be through situations like Paul went through. Christ receives the glory as His people stand up to the trials of this life, as they stand against the lusts of the flesh, as they fulfill their commitment to Him no matter what.

Others cannot see Christ except in His followers. When we violate our commitment to Him with our bodies, we bring shame to the One we say we love and serve.

How many Christians desire and even pray for the chance to bring glory to Christ. Then when the chance comes, maybe years latter, they fail when they realize they must sacrifice a favorite lust of the flesh.

The point here is, we want the glorify Christ, but we want to do it in our way. "Lord, let me do some great work for you, but don't ask me to give up my favorite lust." Sorry! That favorite lust which we refuse to turn over to Him is our god.

Those who desire to magnify Him will have a holy indifference as to whether it is by life or by death. Life will be faced with a joy over the prospect of serving Him, death will be faced with a joy over the prospect of seeing Him.


Paul's sole aim in life was to glorify Christ. Of course, this is 1 Cor. 10:31. He had a single purpose, and that purpose was not to gain wealth, fame, or, as a man who was on his fifth marriage told me, to have a good time. A "good time" was his goal even if he had to marry a dozen women.

Here we have some implications:

1. He desired to know as much about Christ as was possible – His character, plans, relationship with the Father, His claims and influences.

2. He purposed to imitate Christ in every area – His temper, His actions, His love, His zeal for the Father's will, His stand against evil.

3. He purposed to make Christ known everywhere, and at every opportunity. Paul had the consuming desire to make the Son known to every one. He never allowed anything to interfere in this purpose.

4. He purposed to enjoy Christ. He found his fulfillment, joy and happiness in Christ. He didn't have to look to the pleasures of this world to find any of these things.

Paul never regretted the course he set out on to follow Christ. If following Christ was Paul's call and duty, is it any less ours? Did the Lord have a different standard for Paul than He does for us?

Even now as we consider all of the sensual pleasure around us, are we sorry we are on the Christ-like path? I am sure that many Christian young people doubt very seriously that the Christian walk is the right one, especially among all of the temptation we face today. But, we are facing nothing that the Apostle did not face. The wickedness and sensuality was just as much then as it is now, maybe even more.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The difference is the determination to stand against the temptations.

When we face death, as Paul was at this point, how will we look back on it? We will look back with sorrow that we did not do more for Christ. No one will be able to look back with sorrow for having done too much.



Even the most pagan religions have a belief in a better life after death, but for them, it is speculation. Paul was totally convinced that death was freedom from suffering, pain, sorrow, toil and grief.

The word GAIN means profit or advantage. Paul is saying that it would be to his personal advantage to die, and the only reason he would want to live is for the peoples sake, Vv. 24, 25. What is the advantage of death to a Christian?

1. Death frees the Christian from the presence of sin, and the temptation to sin. How many times has our sinful nature gained the better of us? It has caused problems and embarrassments, as well as robbed us of God's greater blessings.

Furthermore, no mater how determined we might be to live consistently for the Saviour, there is always the allurement to go astray.

2. Death frees the Christian from doubts about our personal relationship with the Lord. No more question regarding our standing with Him.

3. Death delivers the Christian from his enemies, both physical and spiritual — people who slander and persecute the Christians. In this life, there is always someone to call our motives into question; there is always someone to slander the Christian; there is always someone to persecute Christians, do an injustice to those who are sincerely trying to obey the Lord.

In death, we will be delivered from the accuser of the brethren. We will be like Him, free from all of these things from the enemies of the cross. What a glorious day that will be.

4. Death delivers the Christian from suffering. Here our health fails, friends and loved ones die, the mind grows weak. In death, there are no tears, no illness, no death.

5. Death delivers the Christian from the "fear of death." In life, death is ever at the door. In death, there is no more death – no separation, no funeral processions.

6. Death delivers the Christian into not only the presence of the Lord, but also into the presence of our friends, loved ones. We will be admitted into the presence of the saints of old, the genuine heroes of the faith. What will it be like to be at the same table with the great heros of the faith who are listed in Heb. 11?

What will it be like to rejoice around the throne of the Great King, Jesus, the One who loved us and gave Himself for us? the one we have tried to serve without ever having seen him? I can not even conjure up in my mind's eye what it will be like to see the Lord.

As the song says, "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus." And I guarantee that we will all be sorry that we did not love Him more and do more for His great Name's sake.

Why then should a Christian be afraid to die?


Why should he not look forward to the hour when he will be delivered from this body of sin, and delivered into the presence of more glory that we can imagine?

Does a sick man dread the hour in which he will be restored to health?

Does the afflicted man dread the hour in which he will be comforted?

Does the one lost in the dark dread the hour of the bright day and home?

Does the weak dread the restoration of his strength?

V. 22.

Paul felt that to die is gain. Death was a welcome end. He also felt that to continue to live would be much added work, add fruit to his labor, and add to his reward.

On one hand, life is a lot of work with added fruit and reward; on the other, death is rest and eternal joy. If the choice were his, which should he chose? To him they were equal.

If we were faced with such a choice, which would we chose? I must say that I am glad that this choice is not mine to make. It is the Lord's, and we must be able to rejoice in it no matter what.

V. 23.

Paul is between the two. He earnestly longed to be with Christ, yet he desired to remain for the benefit of those to whom he ministered.

STRAIT means to be perplexed, pressed on, in doubt, not knowing which way to chose.

The picture here is of a ship at anchor, and a violent wind attempting to blow it out to sea. The anchor which is holding the apostle is his strong affection for his people, and his desire to aid them in their walk for the Lord.

The wind that is blowing is the desire to depart and be with the Lord. Which way should he desire to go?

He said that to die and leave this world was far better for him, but to remain was far better for the ones he loves.

His desire for death was not a morbid desire to escape the trials and pain of this life. The desire was not a result of disappointment in people. Nor was it because of sorrow, pain, illness, dissatisfaction, old age, feeling of uselessness or of being a burden, helplessness, or failure in any way. His desire certainly was not a desire for suicide.

It was a desire to see the Saviour whom he had served these many years, AND TO BE WITH CHRIST. In Paul's desire, we see some things for us:

1. He believed that the soul went to be with Christ immediately at death. He did not believe in `soul sleep.' Death ushers us immediately into our eternal dwelling place.

2. The soul of the believer is made happy at death. To be with Christ is heaven for the believer. The song, OH THAT WILL BE GLORY FOR ME.

Paul defines what is to be the Christian's motives to depart from this world: It is to be with Christ, or as he said in 2 Corinthians, present with the Lord.. Any desire for death must not be to escape from the toils and problems here.

Also, a mere willingness to die, or even a desire to die, is no certain evidence that one is prepared for death. They may be fed up with suffering, pain, toil, disappointments. They may be disgusted at the world and ready to call it quits. They may be so totally miserable and disillusioned that they now look forward to death. It is not uncommon to hear of people pleading for "mercy killing."

Though the inside of people may be in turmoil, everything may appear to be fine on the outside. We do not know who is fed up with life, so we need to be kind to everyone we meet.

None of these things can enter in to the death wish for a Christian. The Christian finds it FAR BETTER, beyond words or expressions, TO BE WITH CHRIST. To be with Christ is far better than anything we can hope or think, and is to be preferred over anything this world has to offer.

V. 24.

Paul was not so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good. I know of people who are looking forward to heaven so much that they have forgotten what life is all about. While their thoughts are in the heavens, the world is going to the hell. It is going with their approval for they are not doing what they can to stop the downward slide. They have lost all touch with reality and reality is destroying them, and us.

The indifference of Christians has destroyed "Christian America." The "escapism, rapture" mentality has had its devastating effects.

To start with, the "escape" oriented Christians are not really looking forward to seeing Christ, or they would be busy about the Master's work.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Those who are not faithful to their profession of Christ do not really believe they will answer to him.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Many who are looking forward to being with Him, if they really believed they would answer to Christ would be doing a lot differently with their lives now.


Paul's personal desire was to depart and be with Christ, but he also knew that God works through people. He knew the importance of his presence with these people to help them in their growth in Christ.

more needful for you. As much as he wanted to be with the Lord, he loved these people and the prospect of God working in them. He knew there was still a great amount of work to be done for the Lord.

I think that anyone who has had a task laid on their hearts by the Lord knows a little of what he is talking about here. And rather than looking forward to death, we look forward to life, and the chance to do something for Him. I must confess that I look forward to seeing Christ, but I have so much that I would love to accomplish for Him and He has given me the chance to do, that I hope He leaves me here for quite a while yet.

I personally am excited enough to work day and night to do the things that I fell that He would have me do.

I feel sorry for any Christian that doesn't have some God given goals to accomplish for the Lord that they want to do before they die.

I will have to say that it sure makes the days go fast.

Vv. 25, 26. A few points here.

1. Even in his very difficult situation, and even with very little prospect of his being released, Paul still was planning for the future with these people.

In our day, the thought seems to be, Things are hopeless, let's throw up our hands and quit. Or, Why make planes for the future? We won't be here anyway.

Paul fell into no such trap. He did not know what the future held, but it sure was not going to lay down and quit, or take it easy. He made plans as though he was going to be around for a long time yet. He had no revelation from God, but he was planing as though he would be released, and that he still had much work to do.

Rather than looking to get out of the bad situations by escaping from them, we need to be planning for our children and grandchildren. We need to be planning for many generations to come after us. What are we leaving for them in the line of a godly foundation for their lives in the future?

Paul, even here in jail with the very real prospect of death, was looking and planning for the future here on earth.

2. His only reason for even desiring to be released was FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE HE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT. I am afraid that most of our desire to be delivered from unfavorable circumstances is for our own personal convince.

Paul's personal convenience or choice did not at all enter into his confidence that he would be with them again.

3. Any deliverance would be credited to THE MERCY AND GRACE OF CHRIST. Any rejoicing over his release or in his coming to them again, would be in Jesus Christ.

Most of us plan and scheme how to extract ourselves from whatever situation we don't like. Then when we are freed from it, we end up rejoicing in our own abilities. Any cause for rejoicing that we might have over anything can only be in Christ and what He has done.

4. Paul was content to stay where he was if that would serve the cause of Christ better for the people at Philippi. He was totally indifferent about the matter. The only goal he had was to serve the Lord, whether by death or by life.

Until we reach that indifferent point in our life, we will not have the peace that only the Lord can provide.

I don't know how many people I have met that have told me, "If only things were different, I could really do something for the Lord." Or who feel that if only they could be somewhere else, be something or someone else, have a different gift in the Body of Christ, have a different job or any one of a great number of `something elses,' they could really amount to something for the Lord.

If we place our hope for joy in the Lord and service for Him upon anything except being content and doing our best where we are for His glory;

1> we will never do anything for God to amount to anything.

2> we will be extremely unhappy.

3> we will be off and running trying to find happiness – that is, "chasing a rainbow."

4> Paul sums up his letter to the Philippian Saints with:

PHI 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

He tell tham and us that if we cannot be content with where the Lord has us, then we will have an impossible goal of "contentment" before us. Contentment cannot be placed anywhere except in the Lord.

The unavoidable and unmistakable principle here and throughout Scripture is to be content with where the Lord has us, do our very best for His glory, and He will take care of the details.

The Apostle's instruction on this point to young Timothy is especially pointed:

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content .

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Note here that lack of fear of what men can do unto us is based upon contentment with where the Lord has us.

Only as we are indifferent as to what the Lord does for us, with us or where He has us, can we expect Him to move us and work through us.

Not a contentment based on "What's the use, or who cares" indifference, but a contentment based on "I am indifferent as to where He has me, as long as I can serve Him." Such a contentment takes discipline. It is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of very impatient individuals. We could paraphrase a passage to say, "Hang in there no matter what, and the Lord will work it all out in His good time."

Most of us are far too impatient to even give the Lord a chance to work in our situation.

I don't know how many pastors that I have heard of that fall into this category. They are always looking for bigger and better, and if they can't find that where they are, off they go for greener pastures.

5> Many times, it is in the jail where we learn the lessons that we must have in order to serve and glorify Christ latter. The jail may be the only place where we can learn that lesson. Joseph is a good example.

If we complain long and loud enough, the Lord just may see fit to deliver us from what we find so objectionable. The problem is that there was a lesson there in that place that we needed for what was ahead for us. Now we miss the schooling that we needed to be victorious over what is coming.

Paul was indifferent about whether he was released or not. He left that detail in the Lord's hands. His goal was to glorify Christ, whether in prison or out. He was totally content with his circumstances because he knew that the Lord was in control and would place him where He wanted him to be.

6> If we can't serve the Lord in jail, if we can't seek first His kingdom from where the circumstances are not conducive to serving Him, what makes us think we can elsewhere?

If we can't be content with where God has us now and do our best for His cause and serve Him where we are now, we won't no matter where we are.

I can say that one of my "pet peeves" has been people who are always looking for their big chance to do something great for the Lord. They are always going to do something great, and could, if they were only somewhere else, or if things were only deferent.

God is looking for people who will do their very best with what He has provided them with, where they are for His glory.

I must also say that if there is no desire to do something for the Lord, then there is serious doubts about that one's salvation.

This is the last section of Philippians One.

Let me quickly review to here:

1. Paul thanked God as he remembered the faithfulness to the gospel of these people. Do others thank God as they remember us? Can they pray for us with joy or with sorrow that we are not being what we should be for the Lord?

2. Paul prayed for these people that their love for one another and for the Lord would increase.


Bettie, Lora and Cadie have been singing in the Bean community choir. They sang the first time last Sunday night (and will again tonight) at the Morefield Church of God. They evidently have just moved into their big, new beautiful building. Jewlian and Blake told us of how many of the girls in the "dance team" are experimenting with all kinds of sex to see if they want to be sodomites. The monasterial association was the sponsor of the Sunday night sing.

They talked about Christ, how we should work together and about love. Of course, they never define what working for Christ meant.

Vv. 9-12, the overflowing love Paul talks about is love for Godly knowledge which results in proper judgment of all things. It results in being able to determine what is right and wrong according to God's word, and living what is right while rejecting what is wrong. Paul's type of love results in righteous living.

The world has quite a different definition of love. Their love is defined as not being "judgmental," and getting along with everyone, except those who do not agree with them. That is, You have no right to "judge" my actions as I do as I please.

3. Paul was confident that everything that happened to him, even his imprisonment, was for the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ.

4. Vv. 12-20, Paul's imprisonment gave two motives for others in Rome to preach. Boldness and ill will. He does not doubt the salvation of those who responded to the gospel as preached by those with ill will. In other words, God honors his word, no matter who proclaims it. So no matter what the motive behind a work being done in the name of Christ, we must rejoice that something is being done.

We see that wrong motives and a right message can lead to genuine conversions, for really there is no preaching with a perfectly right motive.

On the other hand, it is impossible for right motives to make a wrong message right. If the message is not the true gospel message, then the hearer cannot follow Christ's instruction to repent and believe the gospel. Mark 1:15.

5. Vv. 21-26. Paul was indifferent as to whether he remained here or whether he went to be with the Lord. On the one hand, he could strengthen them in the faith. On the other, he would see Christ.

Note that he was not concerned about standing before the Lord to answer for all the things done in his earthly life. Can we say the same?

Vv. 27, 28.

Paul tells them that whether he is permitted to come to them or not, they have only one duty; that is, to live as it becometh the gospel of Christ.

Paul presents the same idea in Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Paul is writing to a Roman colony where the people possessed Roman citizenship, which held great world-wide reverence and fear in that day. Paul was also proud of his own possession of Roman citizenship. They, as did he, understood what it meant to be a Roman citizen.

So, Paul is basically saying in v. 27: "let your walk be as citizens of the heavenly state; that is, of the heavenly Jerusalem where you are fellow citizens with all the saints of old." Hebrews 12;22, Ephesians 2:19.

The standard of that heavenly city is As it becometh the gospel of Christ. Of course, the gospel of Christ starts with Christ:

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:Certainly the gospel includes all of the law of Moses, but the standard of the gospel is much higher than the law, for the gospel of Christ deals with the mind, will and emotions. It requires us to avoid even the appearance of evil and worldliness.

If we are members of the kingdom of God, live like it. Our new kingdom has a King, and his laws are clearly spelled out. He has promises, standards of holiness, comforts, faith. Let us live as members of another kingdom here on this earth.

But such living does not mean that we withdraw from the world around us. Christ's parable of the "Good Samaritan" in Luke 10:30-37 makes it very clear. WE CANNOT PASS THROUGH THIS WORLD UNCONCERNED ABOUT THAT TAKES PLACE AROUND US.

The laws of the gospel of Christ are clearly spelled out by the King himself. They are pretty well summed up in Matthew 5. Christ ends his sermon with vv. 17-20:

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Our King made it very clear that the Commandments given at the Mount are very much a part of his kingdom. Note also that the laws of his kingdom are stricter than the laws as given by Moses:

1. The laws of His kingdom are to be applied to all of our thoughts and actions: our business transactions, our modes of dress, our style of living, entertainments, ....

2. There is a way of living that, if not actually required by the gospel, is appropriate to the gospel. There is to be something in the dress, conduct, temper, talk, goals, recreation, which distinguishes the Christian from the world. Can the casual observer see that we are a follower of Christ? Are those around us able to tell that we are a Christian and a member of another kingdom?

If the casual observer can not identify us with Christ by our appearance (dress and/or hair style), then we have denied Christ just as much as if we had spoken that denial. We have confused the sexes, and denied the faith we say we have.

If the principles of the gospel can not influence us in the heart and our outward appearances, how can we expect the gospel to influence others?

If we had plenty of time, I would love to develop the meanings of these two verses, but we will only look at them.

1 Cor. 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

He says exactly the same thing again:

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not..

Expedient - profitable, to the advantage of one. Thus, not all things that are lawful for the Christian to do are to the advantage of the cause of Christ or the advancement of His Kingdom.

3. In vv. 9-11, Paul made it clear that a Christian must make the gospel of Christ his guide. Therefore, it is very important that the Christian study the word of God to know what becometh the gospel of Christ.

If we live as becometh the gospel, we do well. Our lives will be honorable, respected and remembered. No man will ever regret having made the gospel of Jesus Christ his standard of living.

4. whether I come and see you, or else be absent. In other words, Paul tells them to do these things whether he is able to come to them or not. I know Christians who will live faithfully by the rules of the gospel as long as the pastor is around, or any one on a great multitude of other reasons.

There is an extremely sad story in 2 Kings 12. There we have the good king Jehoash starting his reign at the age of seven. He served the Lord with all of his heart for several years. But when the priest died, he quit serving the Lord, and became so wicked that his own servants killed him, v. 20.

Jehoash illustrates that it is the believer's responsibility to be faithful to his profession regardless of the man of God.

Over the years I have seen many people who swore undying love for the Lord. But as soon as the pastor was out of sight, they went back to their old manner of life. I saw this especially at Merrywoods. When the pastor resigned, you would have thought that the Lord Himself had left the church. I was absolutely amazed at what took place. In fact, someone who was one of the most trusted men in the church still owes me $300.

It is indeed a shame (and a sham) that the pastor was their standard, but the commitments made under his influence are no less binding. Jehoash was certainly responsible before the Lord even though the priest died.

Paul tells them to keep their different manner of life whether he can come to them or not.

I MAY HEAR OF YOUR AFFAIRS. Whether he gets to come to them or not, Paul desires to hear that they are living as becometh the gospel of Christ.

1. Hear That ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. He wants to hear of their steadfast, united dedication to spread the gospel of the kingdom of God, Acts 28:31.

Sad to say, there is much steadfastness, but it appears to be determined steadfastness to not be moved to service for the King. There is plenty of steadfastness to sports, to the T.V., to the occupation, and at times, even to the family. It is amazing the commitment people can have to these areas, but steadfastness to live the gospel and the laws of the kingdom of God, that is a different story. When it comes to steadfastness in the work of the King in His kingdom, many are as unstable as water.

There is much striving together among the people of God, but seldom is it for the sake of the gospel.

2. V. 28. The second thing he desires to hear of them is that their adversaries did not terrify them into abandoning their conversations as becometh the gospel of Christ. Adversaries here is speaking of any opposition to our obedience to the gospel of Christ.

Primarily, he is referring to the ones who were trying to influence them to go back to the Jew's religion. There was persecution of the worse sort involved is this effort.

Not only was there severe suffering from the Jews, but there was coming terrible suffering from Rome as Rome would seek to force the Christians to burn incense to Caesar. Caesar Augustus had it proclaimed throughout the Roman empire at his advent (coming to power), that there was no other name under heaven whereby men must be saved, other than the name of Caesar. Of course, this was a declaration of war against Christ and Christians.

Paul was imprisoned under Nero, 54-68. In fact, all the New Testament was written by the time Vespasin, who destoryed Jerusalem, reigned, 70-79. Most of the New Testament was written under Nqero.

The Apostle is saying, "Don't be alarmed at anything those who are opposed to the gospel might do or try to do. As they stand against you, don't give up on your godly manner of life. In the end they will be destroyed, and if you will remain faithful, you will be vindicated."

We naturally think of our adversaries as maybe some external influence standing against us as we try to follow the kingdom laws, but that is not always true. According to James 3:15, we have three adversaries, the world, flesh and the devil. The world offers its appealing allurements. The devil also presents his pressures, but by far our biggest problem is from the flesh. The old sinful nature which is always calling us back to the old things.

Our faith in Christ will deliver us from that adversary, but it will be a battle.

Which is to them an evident token of perdition. Perdition means destruction, as found in HEB 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Now, what is the token spoken of by Paul here?

Geneva sums up the thought well.

We ought not to be discouraged but rather encouraged by the persecutions which the enemies of the Gospel imagine and practise against us: seeing that the persecutions are certain witnesses from God himself both of our salvation, and of the destruction of the wicked.

In other words: First, persecution against the body of Christ, the church, are certain witness from God himself of the destruction of the wicked in God's good time. And second, ersecution proves that they are children of the Most High.

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Here we see that those who get along with no problem with wicked men are not living a godly life.

Habakkuk 1:1 ¶ The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth


The prophet Habakkuk ask, How long Lord are you going to allow the heathen to prosper and get away with serving their false gods? How long O Lord, how long.


The Lord's answer was that He has His appointed time, it will cone to pass and He won't be late. Our job is to hang fast onto our profession and keep on doing right.

And that of God. The persecution is a proof that God will intervene in due time and save His people. The hostility of the wicked toward God's people is one evidence that they are friends of the God of creation, and they shall be saved.

V. 29.

This is a statement that goes completely against human reasoning. For unto you is granted this favor by God. Strange indeed.

God's favor is not great wealth, fame, power, cloud 9 all of the time, good job, security, love from others, fair weather nor smooth sailing.

In behalf of Christ. For the cause of Christ, or for being a faithful consistent Christian, being obedient to the standard of the gospel of Christ, this is the privilege you have.

Not only to believe on him. It is considered here a privilege to be permitted to believe on Christ. It is a privilege not made available to everyone. The list is endless of the advantages of being a Christian, and we should not take this privilege for granted.

(The freedom of the mind that comes through Christ; the deliverance from the doom and gloom, darkness; the friend we now have in Christ who knows all about us and our trials; the victory over fear and death.)

There is no one in here who will not admit that it is a favor bestowed by the heavenly Father on a chosen few to be part of the body of Christ, and a privilege to be thankful enough for that we willingly serve Him.

But the favor from the Father extends further than just salvation. This is the part that is beyond human understanding, but also to suffer for his sake; Now, my human nature is repelled at this thought.

The apostle here presents suffering for Jesus' sake for the cause of the kingdom of God, as a privilege. The same privilage is preseted througout the New Testament. Acts 10:41, Col. 1:24, 1 Pe. 4:13, Jam. 1:2.

Scripture considers it a a privilege to suffer for the cause of Christ. (I'm afraid that most of our suffering is for our own sake, brought on ourselves.)

The flesh says, "That's crazy to count it a privilege to suffer for anyone." The Spirit says, "Count it all joy when we are called on to suffer shame for His cause."

Last verse, v. 30.

The same stand for Christ that Paul took and that we all are to take, will result in the same conflict that Paul had. As we mentioned in the book of John, it is the applied word of God that brings the conflict with the world, not the individual.

As we take Paul's statement here with v. 29, we see that the suffering for the Lord's sake was to bring joy. Why? Because it was the same suffering that Paul went through.

These people to whom he writes could fully expect the same treatment, jail, as the apostle received, if they took the same stand for the gospel of Christ. They would have the same enemies he had. They would have the same warfare.

Not only was he reminding them of the conflict which they saw him go through for his stand for Christ, but also what he is now going through in Rome.

I must admit that serious persecution we see in others would discourage us to take the same stand in their situation. However, it is the Lord who gives the courage to his people when and if the time comes for serious persecution. Here Paul is using the conflicts that he is going through to encourage these Christians forward for the Lord.

Some time ago, I read of missionaries who told their Chinese listeners that if they would get saved the Lord would deliver them out of the coming troubles. When he did not deliver them, many "converts" left their profession of Christ and considered the missionaries liars. And they were.

I could not count the number of times I have heard the same message, Get saved and miss the terrible tribulation that is coming. Here we see with Paul that such a message is in total conflict with the word of God.

This message that Paul left with these Christians is just as opposite as it can be. He told them, Get saved, stand for Christ, and suffer the same thing I am suffering. We would think that such a message would turn people off, but this new church grew by tremendous strides.

I think that many times we make the message of Christ far too easy and then wonder why people fall away.

In closing:

God has given us through Paul a wonderful illustration of the true spirit of a Christian in circumstances exceedingly trying. The apostle was in a situation where what was in the heart will come out. If the spirit of Christ is there, it would be evident. If He is not, that would be equally evident.

> He had been unjustly accused.

> He was about to be placed on trial for his life for no just cause, and no certain outcome.

> He was surrounded with enemies.

> The false friends were not a few and were taking advantage of the situation to increase their own influence and undermine his.

These things combined to bring out the truth of what Paul was made of. Our trying circumstances will do the same for us.

The letter he writes from this situation is one of the tenderest recorded from the heart of this great man.

> He remembered them in prayer.

> He gave thanks for all that God had done for them.

> He saw God's over-ruling hand in these trials to the furtherance of the gospel.

> He saw the Gospel spread into the palace.

> Even with all of the evil he saw attempted against him, he had no ill-will or desire to get even. Rather he rejoiced that the message of the Savior was proclaimed.

As he faced death, he felt no fear and had no desire one way or the other. He was fully ready to meet the Master, but he also desired to remain for the benefit of those he was concerned about.

His desire to depart was not the result of a discouragement with life here, but a desire to see Christ. His desire to remain was not an attachment to this world and its allurements, but a desire to continue in his service to Christ and others.

Let's close this chapter with this thought. If we were in similar circumstances, what would they reveal about us and our relationship with Christ?


1 Cor. 6:12 contains a very interesting statement, not once, but twice. All things are lawful unto me... all things are lawful for me... He is not even hinting that it is now all right to disregard the law as given to Moses. The Apostle John makes this clear when he said, for sin is the transgression of the law, 1 Jo. 3:4.

So what is Paul talking saying? The context gives the idea: v.13, Meats. Note also to whom he wrote. The social environment at the city of Corinth was one of the most immoral and idolatrous locations of any in the New Testament. Therefore, Paul is dealing with, not one, but two situations in v. 12, as well as the one in 10:23. He lays the foundation in chapter 6, then wraps it up in ch.10.

Evidently the church at Corinth had written to him to settle a dispute that had arisen among themselves. We find one of the things that was causing the dispute in chapter 7.

First was the pagan influence upon them. The pagans taught that it was more spiritual to remain single. Paganism holds that the physical part of life is evil and the spiritual part is the holy. The word of God holds all of life is to be equally submitted to the Lord.

Second was in 8:1-6. Evidently, in their letter they had made mention to him about eating meat that had been offered to idols.

We are told in Daniel 1:8, Deuteronomy 32:38, Psalms 141:4 that the Old Testament saints considered this offered meat defiled, and unfit for the child of God to eat. In Ezekiel 4:13 and Hosea 9:3, 4, it was a sign of God's judgement to have to eat defiled bread.

So the question was not, "Is it now permissible to violate the dietary laws?" The question was, "Is it now permissible to eat defiled meat, meat offered to idols?"

As Paul gives the answer, he deals with the other situation which they didn't mention, but that he had heard about; that is, the immorality which was going on around and among them. In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, he had already strongly rebuked them for allowing immorality; now he tells the Corinthians not to allow anything to control them that doesn't glorify God and advance His kingdom, even though such things as eating meat offered to idols was lawful.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul is rebuking them for "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel." They are concerned enough about whether or not to eat the offered meat to write him a letter, but not concerned enough about the fornication in the church to do anything about it.

They could get excited about the little things that might contradict the spirit of the law (meat offered to idols), but overlooked the blatant disregard of the law (fornication). We are no different today. We also will make majors out of minors, and minor on the majors.

But notice, Paul didn't let them off the hook on either. He majored on both. He did not dismiss the meat issue as unimportant, nor did he ignore the immorality issue. And really, he points out that they both go together. Immorality comes from uncontrolled appetites. Even appetites that may be fine in themselves, yet, if allowed to control can lead to trouble in other areas.

Because of the social attitude concerning the use of the meat offered to the idols and toward the fornication around them, they were accepting both. They were ready to say, as many Christians are today, that even in the case of the fornication, "I'm saved now, therefore all things are lawful for me."

Paul tells them there are many things that are lawful in themselves, but a Christian needs to be very careful how he uses them. The customs of the land may permit the use of whatever, but that doesn't mean that it is expedient for a Christian to use it. The indication here is that immorality can easily result from the small things controlling us. And it is important to note that those things are not necessarily sinful.

Also, even as a Christian there may not be anything wrong with a particular item, but if there is danger of being brought under bondage to that item, we are to avoid it. The item is not the sin, it is the bondage that it represents.

(Ill.--) I can remember just after I got out of the service and was still living at home in Greenwood. My brother was already married but didn't have any children yet. They lived about 4 or 5 blocks from us and Richard worked in Indianapolis. The problem was his wife; she could not control the TV at all. There would be times when he would leave for work in the morning and the TV would be on with his wife sitting in front of it. He would come home in the evening and she would still be there, not moved from that spot all day. She wouldn't even be able to tell you what had been on the TV while she was there.

The way he solved the problem was to take a fuse out of it before he left in the morning. The problem was not the TV, the problem was that she couldn't control it, rather, it controlled her. The TV or the programming was not the sin. There could have been religious broadcasting on all day. It was the bondage to the TV was the sin.

This could be any object at all, including items of clothing, make-up and hair style.

This is similar to what Paul is talking about here. Even that item which might not be a sin in itself, if it presents a danger of controlling us, it is to be avoided.

He says, I will not be brought under the power of any. He is only going to do what is profitable for him and profitable for the cause of Christ, and it is not profitable to be controlled by anything except the Spirit of God.

When a person says, "I just can't give that up," even though that may not be sin in itself, this shows that they are under the power of whatever that might be (action, object, item, lust) and not under the power of the Holy Spirit. (This is Rom. 13:14.)

Charles Hodges, writing over 100 years ago, says this:

It is of great importance to the moral health of the soul that it should preserve its self-control, and not be in subjection to any appetite or desire, however innocent that desire in itself may be. This is a scriptural rule which Christians often violate. They are slaves to certain forms of indulgence, which they defend of the ground that they are not in themselves wrong; forgetting that it is wrong to be in bondage to any appetite or habit (Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians, pg.103.)

We will not go through the passage from 6:12 to 10:23. I would like to do a study in these letters to the church at Corinth, but I won't now. So let's skip to 10:23; 10:26; stopping at 10:6.

Notice 10:6, should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. What was the evil things that they lusted after? Nu. 11:31-35; Ps. 78:26-31.

Was the meat evil? Was it a sin to eat the qual? The meat itself was not evil, rather it was the lust that drove them to the desire to go back to the flesh-pots, leeks and garlic of Egypt. The object was not the sin (the meat), it was the desire which drove them to the object that was the sin and brought the wrath of God upon them.

Back to 1 Cor. 10. He had spoken strongly against fornication. In addition, he gives at least two more reasons to avoid meat that has been offered to idols. What was the first one? (Not to be controlled by anything except the Spirit of God.)

The second reason to avoid the meat, even though it was lawful to eat (making the principle anything which is lawful in itself) it is what? The key word would be expedient.
(Does it build up others? V.28-29. Here he speaks against doing anything which would cause the weaker Christian to stumble.)

Now, notice a third reason the Apostle gives to avoid such items, even though they are lawful. The key word here would be edify.
(Here we see that whatever it might be that we are considering doing must meet not one, two, but, three. but two criteria -- not only will it cause spiritual damage to the weaker brother for whom Christ died, but what is this one? Does that activity or action build us up in the faith? Does it built up others?)

Thus, we see Paul gives us three reasons not to do something even though that thing might be lawful for us to do.

1. Am I in bondage to it. Does that control me? Will it lead to that controlling me.
2. Will it cause a weaker brother to have a problem?
3. Will it build me up in the faith? Will it build up that other person? Will it influence them for Christ?