Ep 79 – Philippians Pt 3
Hi there. This is Tom Harris with my wife Vicki. And we’re Digging deeper into the book of Philippians. The epistle to the Philippians to understand better, the history, the historical background of what happened in Philippians chapter 16 and how the apostle Paul was able then to be used by God to give us these four beautiful chapters concerning the importance of the Gospel. You have these six pictures in chapter one, then you have in chapter 23 and four. Another uh four pictures that we could see how this whole message of God’s love that he sent jesus to bleed and die for us and to rise again from the dead and to give us eternal life and how it focuses this as the source of the joy that we get come and join Vicky. And I, as we jump into this chapter uh in discussing the Joy of the Lord. Hi there Tom and Vicky with the Epistle to the Philippians. This incredible little jewel that we want to just focus on the word Gospel. Because that’s what happened in chapter one. He had a single mind. The Apostle paul, a single Mind for acquiring his joy. He had the joy because he had christ. And but the Gospel, which was the reason why he understood so well that jesus christ died for our sins that he was buried and rose again from the dead was the the core of that message. The message itself. The most important thing about the whole bible is the Gospel. And we went through six pictures of that. And we’re gonna continue on the seventh picture of the Gospel that he gives us in the epistle to the Philippians. But Vicki wants to start with something that we overlooked last time. Right? So I had looked up the word in Philippians 1 16. It says paul says, well verse 15 some to be sure, our preaching christ from envy and strife. Imagine uh people who are supposed to be on the same page. They’re jealous and they’re envious. Yes, but some also from goodwill. The latter do it out of love knowing that I’m appointed for the defense of the Gospel. And this defense of the Gospel is an apple loggia from from and logos. It’s intelligent reasoning, properly. Well reasoned reply. A thought out of a response which adequately addresses the issue. It’s making a legal defense in agent court. This is what the they would say. What’s your apology? What’s your defense? And so biblical apologetics is used of supplying evidences for the christian faith. It doesn’t mean that you’re saying I’m sorry. It has nothing to do in like in America we say, I want to apologize, but they say no, it’s not to be sorry. It was a reasoned argument. A defense to to play give compelling proof that what you’re saying is true. That is fabulous. What a wonderful idea. It’s not an apology in a sense, I did something wrong. Please forgive me. It’s an A Which Vicky just said is a defense a verbal clear and accurate defense of why we believe what we believe now that the seventh picture is a light shining Vicky so that you will prove yourself to be blameless and innocent Children of God above reproach in the in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation among whom you appear as lights in the world. Now I understand I’m not going verse by verse even chapter by chapter uh, chronologically like the 1st 10 verses deal with jesus christ, the most incredible magnanimous scripture I think in the whole bible when john chapter one and Philippians chapter two talking about the deity of jesus christ that he is God in the flesh. It’s just incredible. So I’m not dealing with all of that. But just the places that deal with the Gospel. Now it’s interesting right after that that it deals with the gospel is like a light shining, it says here because it just mentioned, it just expressed and documented that jesus christ although he existed in the form of God took upon himself the the form of a bond slave and went obediently to the point of dying on the cross and then rose again from the dead and he received the name above every name. That at the name of jesus christ, every knee should bow of those in heaven and earth and under the earth and every tongue should confess that jesus christ is Lord to the glory of God the father, that word. Yeah, we uh yeah, we literally what God told moses at the burning bush. This is jesus Lord curios. And here now it says so that right after that so that you will prove yourself to be blameless and innocent Children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you appear as lights in this world. Now, what is that word? Lights? It’s forced ed like we get phosphorus from it. A luminary, A light. And so this is a light shining. And God says that when we’re giving the Gospel in this dark and perverted world, were like that light shining, of course it defined it all in the first part of that chapter. The those verses we’re dealing with also a child and a father here uh in uh in verse 22. But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel. Like a child serving ulivo his father. Now you see Vicky these beautiful pictures, I mean uh the apostle paul, I don’t know. Every time you turn around, he’s giving you another picture of how you need to keep your mind fixed on jesus christ and a single mind when it comes to the gospel. And here he’s giving us also a submissive mind, jesus was submissive, you know, to the father and he humbled himself. He obediently went to the cross. He that was the incredible submission to the will of God, not my will thy will be done. But here now you have paul, you know, talking about timothy being submissive to him as like a child serves his father. This is the the eighth illustration of really fulfilling our goal in in the metaphors the pictures of the gospel. Here you have the child and the father. So why don’t you pick it up from there? But you know of his proven worth. That he served with me in the furtherance of the Gospel, like a child serving to level his father Philippians 2 22. To me, the servant attitude is prevalent throughout the whole new testament, jesus was a servant leader. He washed the disciples feet, he fed the people. He he had such an incredible attitude that we’re supposed to emulate and you know you were a pastor and have been serving as a pastor and a minister, an evangelist, but you want to be a servant leader and all those who come under, you would like serving a servant leader when you’re helping to make the body, we are one body. We are one family and you know, and I think of myself as a mother of the faith. Uh at mother’s day this year, the church honored me and gave me flowers because I led many of them when they were younger to christ and I thought of a mother of the faith. What an honor, you know, but to be a servant, I’d watch their feet, I’d watch their babies, I do whatever I needed to do to serve them to grow in christ and the furtherance of the gospel, you know, child and father. This is a great illustration because it speaks of intimacy, not just partnership in doing something, you know, father and son do things together. There’s a problem in the home, you know, you have a flood, you have some some need that we’re gonna work together. But here you you know, it’s intimacy as well, you know, and serving one another and the child respecting the father, it’s just a beautiful image of the Gospel and how we’re to be with the gospel. It’s not just clinical, it’s not just business as usual. There are different aspects, this one is family, this is the gospel is family related and it’s the word which means a child that comes from me relying upon in glad submission to the father, a child and a father relationship. So that’s the word techno the figurative and then the next one is the partner. Yoke fellow, he says in chapter four verse three, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel together with clement also and the rest of my fellow workers whose names are in the book of life. So it’s not just about the preacher, the teacher, the apostle, the great big mouth, but it’s also about the team that comes along with the pinky is important, the toes, important the eyes important, every person on the team, it’s, it’s, it’s like a soccer team, you know, every single position is important. One person goes out and it weakens the whole. And so like Aristotle said that the whole is greater than its parts, that when you put the whole together it’s it’s phenomenal. So what do you say about this aspect of women working together? They had problems there, but the Apostle paul is helping them to say listen the gospel, you need to solve your problems as you were two women. Yes, they were, they were struggling together. Yeah. So I think the women are so important in the church that they really, you know, and in this modern day women have really been allowed to serve to a great extent more than, and I believe in the early churches, but here we see this in that particular time, but we are to be like a family and you know, I grew up to respect my mother and my father, although there were stages in my life where I didn’t do a great job with that when in my teen years, but in serving the Lord, having that attitude of a family and and working together and so excited that somebody else, you know, we’re a team, you know, like when you’re in the olympics or basketball where we watch at night, you’re like go team, go team and you want everybody to be successful? So we’re all together in this one purpose to glorify God and reach people with the Gospel. And and it’s translated yoke, fellow Senate horse, you know, identify closely with Erdogan of work. And so it’s this work that we’re doing together. There’s not gonna be uh you know, when we go to the judgment seat of christ that we talk about accomplishing something as a church, it’s not one person that gets the glory, everyone’s giving, everyone singing, everyone’s teaching, everyone’s working different gifts. First. Corinthians 12 Ephesians four Romans 12. All of it’s it’s seen out of one is from synergy that that is a beautiful thing coming together. And then the last image that we see here is of an economist, you yourselves also know Philippians that at the first preaching of the gospel after I left Macedonia. No church shared Eakin own easy, we get the word, you know, koinonia, which is fellowship, but no church participated in the fellowship in the koinonia. In the giving uh with me in the matter of giving and receiving. But you alone. So as an economist, we invest in this couple to go to that country or that church to be planted and we give So that because it’s the Kingdom of God is not about my church or your church or my ministry or your ministry, it’s about the whole kingdom of God. So what would you say about this in terms of money, Vikki, I would say that the fact that God has given us everything 100%. And he only asked back for like, ah, 10 cents on a dollar, you know? So, I mean, he says, you could give a tithe just I’m only asking or oh, I know, but I’m saying that that’s the least. I think as Christians and I wonder how many people really give give graciously and abundantly for the ministry. We we’ve experienced great joy because we’ve been able to give a lot and uh, we received back a lot. We have received a lot. Are you happy about it? I am thankful we are. It’s more pleasant to give that the receiver. We’ve experienced that too. Now, it’s interesting with the economist, uh, that, you know, in giving and receiving. Uh, it’s not specifically mentioned as the Gospel, but it it it is associated with it, uh, in in planting churches there, as we have said Now, these are the 10 pictures that we got, uh, from the epistle to the Philippians, The fellowship in verse five, The prisoner in verse seven. The road maker in verse 12. The apologist, in verse 16. The Citizen in verse 27. And that’s all. Chapter one, The athlete also in verse 27 of chapter one. Then you got the light in chapter 2, 15 through 16, The Child and the Father in Chapter two. The partner in chapter four skipped over chapter three. And the economist in chapter four. So these are the 10 pictures talking about heaven at the end. They’re talking about chapter three of Philippians. But what beautiful pictures of the Gospel, all 10 of them concerning the Gospel of our Lord, jesus christ. When we look at the single mind in the first chapter of Philippians and realize that that is based on the fellowship of the Gospel, that we are together as a team, as a body, as a, as a group with the fellowship koinonia two, Evangelou of the Gospel. And that’s the 1st 11 verses chapter 11 through 11. And then it has the furtherance of the Gospel. And uh that’s verse 12 through 26 that it actually the circumstances and the pressures and the hard times we go through actually open doors for us to go and preach the gospel in other places. Now I know personally this happened for me just several years ago going to the country of Myanmar And I went to get my passport and I rather my visa down at the embassy in New York. And the guy literally shut the door in my face. It was about 1:00, he says come back tomorrow. I said wait a minute. It took me hours to get down there to get a parking spot to go knock on the door. The guy was so rude, I left just kind of almost in disbelief that this could happen, but you know what, I didn’t want to create a scene. So I said, okay, I’ll come back tomorrow. I can. I fell out of my bed literally that next morning at five in the morning on my knees praying and asking God to help me because in two weeks I would be in the country of Burma Myanmar and uh and I was just thinking, what am I gonna do if I can’t get my Visa and the Lord, the Holy Spirit put upon my heart in the Book of Revelation where he says, I opened doors for you. No man can shut in chapter three and verse eight I shut doors that no one can open. I just, I it was in my mind so I just started praying and thanking the Lord for this beautiful passage of scripture that uh I had read in the book of revelation and I said to the Lord Lord, you are so beautiful too, to give me this promise from your word. In verse eight, I know your deeds behold Chapter three verse eight I put before you an open door which no one can shut because you have a little power and have kept my word and have not denied my name. I have to tell you the door was shut. I’m saying, I know that God wants me to go. I had communicated to the my friends dr I sent an email, I couldn’t get any response from them and then all of a sudden I get that morning, his response is go and see the ambassador, don’t worry about it. Just go and ask, well I couldn’t even get into the door and I go, the same guy comes out and says you know to leave. I said no the ambassador, I need to see the ambassador. I go I see the guy takes me up, brings me to the ambassador. The ambassador says what do you want? I tell him that I have to go to a conference in uh Myanmar. He tells, he tells me that I need to tell him do I have a letter? The man asked me do you do you have a letter from the government inviting you because you just can’t go. And I told this to the to the ambassador, I said, I don’t know what to do, I you know, I need your help. And he said well tell me about yourself. So I started telling him my story my how I was a drug addict back in the sixties, how I accepted jesus christ, I heard the gospel that God loves everyone and my girlfriend and I as hippies accepted jesus christ. He changed our life and then we went to bible school and graduated, got married and uh we’ve been in new york city all this time, started a church, a school, homeless program, a drug rehab, all the different ministries that we were running. And in the middle of my talking, he says to me, the ambassador to Myanmar from Myanmar to the United States is praise the Lord. He says, I’m like, oh my goodness, this guy, he’s a christian because I thought he was buddhist for sure. And then he told me he belonged to the first baptist church of uh, right here in uh, in new york in Westchester. I was like, I was so amazed because God had already prepared the way and he told me the doctor was his cousin. I’m like, why didn’t he tell me he was your cousin? You know, I was sweating uh big drops of sweat until that point got opened the door. I went there, we had a phenomenal conference with close to 500 pastors and uh, and then other people came several 1000 in the night had wonderful meetings. Yes, God opens doors, but also closes doors. He redirects us and we’re going to see that. And and this is the second point. The furtherance of the Gospel. It’s not in your hands, it’s not in my hands, it’s in God’s hands. And then I wanna, I wanna just show you that in acts in chapter 16 where the Apostle paul is uh, it says he he is in chapter 16. It happened that they were going to the place of prayer, verse 16 of the same chapter where he got the Macedonian vision and a certain slave girl having a spirit of divination, met us who was bringing her master much profit by fortune telling following after paul uh and us. And she kept crying out saying, these men are bond servants of the most high God who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation. And she continued doing this for many days, paul had patience. But finally paul was greatly annoyed and turned and said to the Spirit, I command you in the name of jesus christ to come out of her. And it came out that very moment the bible says and uh and her master who saw what their hope of profit was gone. They seized paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. And when they had brought the them to the chief priest, they said to the men, these men are throwing our city into confusion, being jews and are proclaiming customs, which it is not lawful for us to accept, to accept or to observe being romans. Now, paul didn’t open up and tell him that he was a roman. He just, you know, he just quiet about that. You you wonder about that because at the very end he did, he didn’t want that to be confused. He didn’t want to declare his his citizenship at this moment. He didn’t want to mix that up with the gospel at that moment, in verse 22 the crowd rose up together against them and the chief magistrate again. Uh the word here in the greek language is, he was probably the general in charge of everything that’s what the word means, tore their robes off of them, proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into the prison, commanding the jailer to guard them secretly and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, he went into further into the inner prison and fastened their feet to the stocks. That’s paul and Silas, but about midnight paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise. Think about this to God, They just got beat up this, they’re put in stocks, they’re probably bleeding. They got black and blue marks everywhere and they’re singing to God that they, the bible says here and the prisoners, they were praising God for this beating and the prisoners were listening to them. How would you react? You know, if people beat you up, spit on you, put you in jail and you’re gonna complain and you’re gonna start saying, hey, we’re romans, they don’t even notice. No, they started singing hymns, they were praising God and the bible says the prisoners were listening and suddenly there came a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison house was shaken and immediately all, immediately all the doors were open and everyone’s chains were unfastened and when the jailer had been roused out of his sleep and had seen the prison door opened, he threw his sword, he drew his sword, the bible says, and was about to kill himself, commit suicide, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But paul cried out with a loud voice saying, do yourself no harm, for we are all here and he called for lights and rushed in and trembling with fear. He fell down before paul and Silas and after he brought them out he said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Now think about this. God allows this whole thing to take place, paul and Silas get beat up, they get thrown in jail. Why so that God could save the jailer. Now look what a way to have a testimony in front of those people that beat you up and not to be bitter not to be angry, but the guy was just doing his job and here the apostle paul and Silas are watching this man falling down before them and they said, believe in the Lord jesus and you shall be saved you and your household. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were listening in the house and he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds and immediately he was baptized he and all of his household and he brought them into his house and said food before them and rejoiced greatly having believed in God with his whole household and then it goes on to another story, but this is the key and the apostle paul tells us this is how salvation takes place. And here in this second point, the furtherance of the gospel is so clear that God will use even these terrible situations. You know the apostle paul was a slave, even to the predatory in guard latched onto them. Here he is in philippi in the stocks and paul and Silas, great testimonies are talking about how people need to repent. Believe that jesus died for you was buried Rose again. The guy is about to kill himself and they said no, no, no. And he says what do I need to do? He says you need to believe that jesus died for you was buried and rose again from the dead and the guy falls down, believes and accept christ as his personal savior, but not only that he now gets baptized, he brings salvation to his own house and the church in philippi is well on his way to reaching the people in Northern Macedonia. Listen, what are you gonna do today? If you hear with my voice, believe in the Lord, jesus christ, that’s what he explains in romans chapter 10 that if you confess with your mouth that jesus is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you’ll be saved for with the heart, man believes resulting in righteousness with the mouth, he confesses resulting onto salvation for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Just pray this prayer. Oh father God, thank you for loving me, jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me. Please come into my heart and save me in jesus name.