Philippians 1:21-30 For the Gospel

For the Gospel Phil. 1: 21-30 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

Paul lived for the sake of the gospel and he expected those he led to the Lord to do the same thing. Everything Paul did in his life was for the sake of the gospel. And from his life we should draw the example of how we should live our lives for the sake of the gospel of Christ. The following are things in each of our lives that should be as becometh the gospel:

Our life [21-22] – the purpose of our lives should be predominately for the gospel – there is no other reason for us to be here beyond the day of our salvation [Acts 1:8] – Paul had one reason to live and that is Christ – he compared his life to the lives of saints who live for themselves [Phil 2:21] – you and I are either going to live our lives for Christ or for ourselves – Paul lived his for Christ – tent making was an avocation [Acts 18:3], more like a hobby – he used it to support himself and a few others and that’s all – his vocation was preaching [Eph 4:1] – for most of us, however, our jobs are our occupation – what we do for the Lord is sandwiched in with everything else about like a hobby or a pastime – this is not right

Our death [23] – we are the only creatures on this earth who have victory in death [Rom 8:35-37] – it is truly a gain [21] for us to die – we go directly from this body into the loving presence of the Lord Jesus Christ the moment we draw our last breath on this earth [2 Cor 5:8] – from then on everything we had hoped to do for Christ down here [like praising him, glorifying him, pleasing him, etc] we can do ten times better up there – dying in the Lord is “far better” than living in the Lord down here – a victorious death for a Christian is one of the greatest testimonies of the truth of the gospel [Mk 15:39] – we know where we are going [Jn 14:1-6] and we know that our bodies are going to rise again in perfection in eternity [1 Thes 4:13-18] – no one but a born again believer can claim that

Our acquaintances [24-26] – what we do with others and for others ought to be for the sake of the gospel [1 Cor 9:16] – every opportunity we have to be with others ought to be an occasion to help them grow and to further their joy of faith – Paul’s only desire to live was to be a help to these folks in Philippi – he knew that if he could get back to see them, he could help them rejoice more abundantly in Jesus Christ – of course, we are not only to encourage those who are already saved but we are to use every opportunity to lead others to Jesus, as well

Our conversation [27] – he told the Philippians to “let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” In other words, their conversation was to match the work of the gospel in their lives and it was to further the work of the gospel in the lives of others. Since “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” [Matt12:34] their words were to reveal that they were saved and their words were to be a testimony to others to get saved. With that kind of conversation, they could strive together for the sake of the gospel in one spirit, with one mind. Otherwise they would be divided, causing the work of the ministry to be hindered.

Our suffering [28-30] – there is no way that you are going to further the gospel of Christ and live for the sake of Christ without suffering at the hands of your enemies – you can live as a Christian and avoid this suffering if you decide not to live for the sake of the gospel – but if you decide to be a bold witness for Jesus Christ, you are going to run into trouble with people [2 Thes 1:4-6; 1 Pet 4:12-14] – Paul suffered at the hands of men in just about every place he preached – it is strange today how “acceptable” our lukewarm brand of Christianity has become – that’s because the church has conformed to the world – when you suffer, your adversaries will believe that you suffer because you are wrong – in reality, your suffering will be a testimony to you that you are right [Matt 5:10-12]