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Title- Be Confident
Phil 1:3I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ
What does it say
Paul is thanking God for the church in Philipi. In every prayer, with Joy, why? Because they are part of the global fabric of this emerging church. Paul encourages them- Jesus started your Church, he is going to complete it. Paul says- I’m in chains because of what I have done and who I am- but you share in it because of who YOU are. He says- I love you so much- I want to be with you.
What does it mean
Why you can be confident
- Paul is in prison with Joy
- Lets back up a bit- Paul is in prison because there were some Jews that were mad at him for what he was preaching
- You Go to acts 23 and you see that they were upset with him because he was teaching against what they believed in regards to the issues of resurrection of the dead
- So what happens? 40 some guys make a vow- “we will not eat until Paul is dead”
- Now- that’s a threat! If I made that vow I’d probably kill someone within the day- so I could EAT
- So Paul uses his status as a Roman to get some protection- and then he’s put under house arrest for 2 years- basically for not agreeing with the Jews and for preaching the Gospel-
- So what does he do while he’s in prison? He writes letters to his churches! He sends out encouragement to them
- Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians while in prison. Sitting around thinking about how he can encourage other people and the churches that are trying to spread the gospel.
- What do you do when you’re in prison?
- Maybe it’s the prison of your mind, or your circumstance or your job
- There is this American ethos of suffering that it’s the time when you can be the most self-centered me focused person on planet earth- but Jesus doesn’t cut much slack for that
- If you can find a viable reason why you can make it about you- by all means- make it about you
- But that’s not what Paul did- He’s in prison- and makes a determination that the time will not be spent idly, but will be spent furthering the gospel with what he could do from his location
- So many people focus on what they CANT do instead of what they CAN do-
- Paul couldn’t serve in the childrens ministry, he couldn’t help move a couch, he didn’t have any money, he didn’t have any ability to physically help- but what he could do- he did!
- Send his friends to minister and send letters to encourage them and direct them
- What is it that you can do for others right now in the midst of your pain and misery?
- Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
- Don’t be so short sighted! William Addis? Invented the modern toothbrush in the 1870s in prison- currently still selling about 70m units a year in the UK
- BE CONFIDENT- even when you’re in prison! You can STILL be a blessing! You can STILL be influential- Brother Kevin- Love watching him live and interact- Joy in Prison!
- Do not let your current physical location or circumstance tell you the lie of insignificance!
- You are not alone
- So Paul is in prison, he’s hurting and alone- and he writes to the phillipian church- 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
- Pauls understanding of the gospel was rooted and grounded in an understanding of the interconnectedness between those who are in the gospel
- “fellowship in the gospel” this idea that the church was connected to Paul in his imprisonment and at the same time connected to the current work of the gospel
- Not necessarily a unified approach or mission per se- but a sense of “we’re all in this together”
- I love Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
- Its this idea that as Christians- we are not alone in this world- that we’re not doing life or our walk with Jesus by ourselves-
- We’re walking on the spiritual backs of those who have gone before us
- The military does a good job of this- many military schools require members to memorize the names and stories of dead comrade in arms. It gives them a sense of legacy
- Romans 1:12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
- This is something to remember when you’re lacking confidence
- I believe this is one of the main reasons God so desperately wants us to be in fellowship with one another as we grow in Christ
- I have had a tremendous amount of growth because I was in fellowship with other believers
- You can’t expect to have confidence if you isolate yourself because that’s where the devil does his dirty work- in the absence of fellowship! That’s where he torments you and destroys you
- When I’ve sinned- or I’m struggling with confidence- I have a handful of men, pastors etc that I confide in. why? Because when I do- I realize that I’m not alone- Usually its something they are dealing with or have dealt with
- James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- It is a salve to have another believer in Jesus tell you that God loves you and forgives you
- Talking to my friend when I’ve messed up- “God loves you so much- Jesus died for you”
- BE CONFIDENT that when you’re with other believers, their fellowship will encourage you in YOUR circumstance and YOUR faith
- Be honest- tell a trusted friend- I’m struggling with confidence in this area-
- The most confident people I know lean on people the most- They know they have BACKUP
- God started it- God will finish it
- I think its human nature to fear that something wont get finished or something wont go well
- Because You can’t see the end result- you cant see it until its complete
- Here’s a church started by Paul- Christianity isn’t even a 100 years old- and now they have their bishop locked up- They also had a death in the family of their church
- Can you imagine how hard it must have been to fight the culture of the Jews and declare Christ as messiah? It would be akin to Jesus returning to earth,leaving Church and saying “found him”
- Paul has a very clear message to the philippian church-
- Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
- Paul is saying- Hey guys- You’re not going off your own strength here- It was JESUS who started your church- so, just because I’m in prison- you shouldn’t be getting out of sorts-
- GOD WILL DO IT
- Pauls encouragement is He Started it- He will finish it!
- That’s our God folks- He is not like you! He doesn’t get tired, he doesn’t get discouraged, he doesn’t lose heart or focus. He has the patience to see things through to the END
- So God, in his forebearance, allows certain things to pass, but we have to endure through them-
- We ask WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? And God is like “I know what I’m doing”
- Working with Mark building a shed- he starts cutting and making- I’m like this doesn’t look like a shed- he was building the saw horses to use to build the shed- I thought I knew!
- 1 cor 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by his power-
- Matt 19:26 “with men this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible”
- I get it- your family let you down, your friends let you down, your job let you down, You let your self down- but that’s not GOD- HE IS A FINISHER!
- What does it mean to you?
- Be confident that God knows what he’s doing! That he knows where he’s leading you!
- Be confident that since it was GOD that saved you and set you free HE will sustain you!
- The Biggest problem of waiting on God isn’t usually you or God- its PEOPLE- the people of your life that say- hey man, I thought… or you know, It seems to me that…. I don’t know what they are trying to help with- So we give them answers to shut them up
- Trust that the God that started it will be the same God that will finish it
- Col 1:16 (ESV) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him
- He did not bring you this far to fail
- He did not grow you this much to die
- He did not help you this much to let you go
- He did not build you up this far to tear you down!
- Our God is a FINISHER! HE FINISHES WHAT HE STARTS
- BE CONFIDENT that it is NOT ON YOU to MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN- HIS REP is ON THE LINE
- When God doesn’t do something- that’s on God- its not on me.
- Be confident in his GRACE His grace is sufficient
- Paul says in v 7 you all are partakers with me of grace
- That’s the crux of the whole deal with Paul- Its only by the grace of God that all of it happens
- What is grace? Unmerited Favor. It is when God looks down and says “I got this” and then you just regale in the outcome
- Grace isn’t just receiving to Paul though- Grace is giving- Grace is trusting- Grace is Living
- It’s a living realization of the power of God and his sovereignty (rule) and his power to save
- Paul says “look phillipi, we’re both just depending on God” and that’s a good thing!
- Its not on THEIR strength that they are going to make it, its not through their planning or their power
- It is through the GRACE of God that they will endure- they will live-
- Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
- The church can’t do it by ourselves- we need grace! We need to live underneath it
- Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
- Grace is NOT of ourselves! It is a GIFT- and the benefit of being follower of Jesus!
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”