Chains of Confidence

Chains of Confidence

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

  • Push the Gospel
  • You know, I love the Apostle Paul- When you’re trying to figure out how to live for Jesus- he’s a great life to look at to see what it is that you should be working on and how you should live
  • Paul has said some great stuff
  • Romans 8:38-39For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
  • Galatians 5:13-14 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • Now this life that Paul has been living has brought him to this place that now he’s in prison
  • Now let me be clear- Paul is in prison because he is a Christian and he has been preaching the gospel
  • He’s not there for breaking the law- he’s there because he refused to break God’s laws
  • So here he is in prison- he’s there- his life in shackles- why? For what he believed and preached
  • So he’s writing this letter to his Church friends in Phillipi- who more than likely know his situation- they know why he’s in chains- they know why he’s in prison- Because he refused to bend to what the world wanted him to do- Stop preaching Christ
  • His words to them? Phil1:2But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel,
  • Paul says- I’m in prison- but it’s a good thing- because God has used to push the Gospel
  • Read a story this week of a guy who got bit by a shark- went to hosp. found out cancer
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  • Did you catch that? Paul is saying- what happened to me helped the Gospel
  • I know- you’re saying- he’s in prison- how bad can it be?
  • Here’s how Paul Described what happened to him in Corinithians-
  • 2 Cor 11:24-27 READ 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 2
  • Paul says-nothing is going to stop me- because nothing can stop the Gospel!!!
  • This is why Paul said-
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
  • Paul saw peril through the lens of what it was doing to further the Gospel- what it was doing to affect others with the truth of the word-
  • He wasn’t so focused on his circumstances that he lost sight of who he was living for
  • What’s it mean to you?
  • Don’t let circumstance dictate your joy-
  • I realize this is a theme that we visit constantly- because I think that we gravitate back to a me-centered existence that focuses on the calamity in our lives
  • It’s a constant battle to try to share the worst thing that has been going on in our lives
  • What if we used our circumstances as a means to share the gospel??
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  • What if when going through something we thought “God, how can you use this for the furtherance of the gospel’
  • I get it- people will say- Pastor matt- people are going through stuff- they need our prayer and our encouragement!
  • And that’s true- but some people never give any prayer and encouragement- they spend their life sucking it off everyone else- The only time they worship God is when they go through something because they know they are going to get some attention
  • I find it interesting that how people deal with the circumstances in their lives often reveals their spiritual maturity- Ps. John- Dad died- Praising God, testifying Not a club- real hope
  • Pray this- “God- use this situation to bring you glory- use it to bring people to Jesus”
  • That was Pauls focus- How can how I live my life move the Gospel forward?
  • Honestly- that’s not very many Christians focus. Their focus is how can I live the most comfortable blessed life possible with the least amount of resistance or pain?
  • Look how we pray- “God make sure don’t get a flat” not “God, use this trip to glorify you”
  • What did Paul do?
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  • Live the Gospel
  • Paul says to the Phillipian church- 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;
  • “evident to the whole palace guard” and “to all the rest”
  • See- as Paul was in chains- he was under Roman watch- and from this verse- he makes clear- The Palace guard saw Paul in chains and “it was evident- that his chains were in Christ”
  • What does that mean? Two things-
  • That Paul was in chains because of his belief in Christ- this is the precise reason he is in chains-
  • It funny people say that are persecuted- but its usually for being a jerk not a Christian
  • Secondly- His “chains” that which is holding him captive are “in Christ” in that- Whatever bondage that he has- Christ is still Lord over it-
  • Through Christ- Paul is able to overcome his “chains” he is able to rise above them- and live out the gospel in spite of them
  • Here’s what drove Paul- He knew Jesus was Lord- and wanted everyone to know it and accept it
  • Even in Chains- he saw an opportunity to convert his oppressors- to minister to them-
  • It was Evident to the whole palace guard! And to ALL THE REST- I don’t know who all the rest were- but all of them Saw Jesus in Pauls Chains!
  • Paul believed the victory he preached!
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
  • Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair
  • These are the words that Paul spoke and believed- that there was nothing that could stop a holy ghost filled blood bought believer in Jesus Christ-
  • There is no circumstance that can steal their joy- no calamity that can set them back no experience that can turn them away- no event that will stop their Faith
  • It’s the Faith of 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
  • Our FAITH is the VICTORY- That’s a catchy name- we should use that for something!
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  • What does it mean to you?
  • Well, Paul said 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ;
  • What would the “Palace Guard” of your life say about your chains?
  • Would that say that they are in Christ? Or only as good as your last weekend?
  • Would they say that they are only as good as your current health situation?
  • Would they say they are only as good as your last personal inventory of your successes and failiures? You last look in the mirror, you last thought about your past, you last paycheck, your last bad interaction with the boss
  • Here’s the deal- we all have a “palace guard” in our lives that are watching our every last move and watching and seeing- “will this Paul be stopped by these Chains”
  • The answer should be NO- no they do NOT- Nothing will stop me- no devil can defeat me- no situation can stop me
  • The answer is to live a life that is fully submitted to the will of God in your life in such a way that you just go along for the ride- you don’t give up- but you don’t bemoan that which you can’t control
  • Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Here’s the problem- we forget what God has delivered us from and what we used to pray for
  • Example- In Egypt- all I wanted was C and G. Came back- 12 in tv, plastic chairs, air mattress, bench seat from van- Now? I need new couches, new tv, new chair, new this, new that
  • Not happy unless I have all this stuff I don’t need- and then mad at God because he wont give it
  • God does not care about you having anything that is plugged in or that takes fuel to operate
  • Those aren’t even a promise of Scripture- Maybe we should set the bar a bit lower
  • Vacation isn’t a word in scripture. Neither is hot tub, or jetski or airplane
  • We get mad we can’t go to the Bahamas and I’d guess 2k years ago 99% of people lived their whole lives never going farther than 100 miles from their home
  • They were satisfied with the things of God not the things of this world!
  • Paul is saying to you, to us today- Whatever you chains are- show Christ in them-
  • Chains of Sickness, chains of bad employment, chains of bad decisions, chains of unforeseen circumstance- You can still show Jesus every day when you show up to a horrible job!
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