(Message given during the Vision Meeting of the Ambassador’s Department.)
Text: Philippians 1:6
Title: CONFIDENT in CHRIST
Introduction: As we face a brand new year, we can’t help but think of the new opportunities that await us, and with these new opportunities come new opposition. However, it is comforting to be assured of the fact that in spite of all these trials and challenges, we can be “Confident in Christ”. Confident that He is in control, that He will see us through.
DATE: A.D. 62Written at the same time as Ephesians, it is one of the prison epistles.
CITY OF PHILIPPI: Philippi was a Roman colony. Although it was a miniature of Rome and imitated and aped Rome in every way, it was nonetheless a city which had a higher cultural level than other cities visited by Paul.
CHURCH OF PHILIPPI:
1. It was less Jewish and more Gentile than were all others (the names of individuals mentioned are Greek and Roman). This was the first church established in Europe (Acts 16:6-40), which gives special meaning to Gentiles.
2. Women occupied a prominent place in this church. Paul attended, first of all, not the synagogue, but a prayer meeting of women (Acts 16:12-15). A woman named Lydia was the first convert in Europe. Two women were prominent in the church (Philippians 4:2), and there were others who labored in the church (Philippians 4:3).
3. It was generous in its gifts to the Lord’s work (Philippians
4:10-16). Paul cited them as examples to others in giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
OCCASION FOR EPISTLE:
There were two specific circumstances that occasioned the writing of this epistle:
1. The church at Philippi had been generous in support of Paul, and he wrote this letter to thank them. When he was in prison in Rome, they sent help by the hands of Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus became ill in Rome, and when he recovered, Paul
wrote this letter and sent it by the messenger who had brought him help.
2. A deeper reason was evidently the division that was arising because of the misunderstanding between two of the women (Philippians 4:2). One of the phrases that Paul used again and again is “you all,” speaking to and of all the believers in the church.
KEY: The epistle is practical; its key thought is joy. It has been labeled “The Secret of Joy.” Some form of the word occurs 19 times. It answers the question, “How may I have joy in my heart?” The man who wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4), was in the Mamertine prison in Rome. Joy does not
depend upon circumstances. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit, and it was not turned off when Paul went to prison.
Joy – khar-ah’ – cheerfulness, that is, calm delight: – gladness,
Quote – Happiness depends on happenings; joy depends on Jesus.
I. Confident in His Work – v1-7
Note – v2 – We must know the grace of God before we can experience the peace of God. Grace is love in action.
“Confident” (G-peitho) means to have come to a settled persuasion concerning some truth or fact and so to be persuaded, convinced.
The perfect tense indicates that Paul had come to the settled persuasion and that he remained confident of God’s desire and ability to continue His transforming work in the lives of the Philippian believers.
2 Tim. 2:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
“Being confident” is causative, meaning “since I am confident,” – implying certainty.
“Perfect” = to Perform
“will finish it up” or carry through” (Vincent). “Day of Jesus Christ” is the Rapture.
If God has brought you up to the present hour, He will finish His work in you. He will not let you down. You can count on Him.
It was on the fact that it was begun by God, that he based his firm conviction that it would be permanent.
Quote – Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come, tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
A. Salvation – Heb. 5:9, John 6:29,
“…the author and finisher of our faith”
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
B. Sanctification – v8-12
Romans 8:28-30, Heb. 13:20-21
Quote – The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment; the growth of a saint is the work of a lifetime.
He’s still workin’ on me, To make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be,
He’s still workin’ on me!
II. Confident in His Word
A. The Preached Word – v13-19
Note – vv. 15-18 — Some brethren who preached Christ were of goodwill, but others, motivated by envy and jealousy, were giving Paul a rough time. In either case, he rejoiced that Christ was being preached. v. 19 — “Salvation” evidently refers here to Paul’s physical deliverance.
2 Tim. 2:9
Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Note – When you witness, it is not your power but God’s power.
B. The Promised Word
1. The Promise of Glorification – v20-22, 2 Cor. 5:1-5
2. The Promise of Heaven – v23 “to be w/ Christ”
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Quote – Don’t drive your stakes too deep—we’re moving in the morning.
Quote – The confidence of Christians is the great comfort of Christians.
III. Confident in His Wisdom
A. In His Plan for our life – v23
Note – God still has a plan for the Apostle. As long as you are breathing God has a plan for you! V26
1. Faith in God’s Character –
Quote – God never deals with us but that of love.
Note – We must view each circumstance at the backdrop of the cross.
B. In His Path for us – v27
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
C. In His Pain for us – v28-30
Quote – There is no painless way to follow Jesus Christ. Clarence Sexton
Quote – Suffering is the badge (sign, distinguishing mark, identification) of the child of God. J.V. McGee
2 Tim. 3:12
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
v28 = Isa. 54:17
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
1 Pet. 4:12-13
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Conclusion: Whatever God is allowing in your life, be patient and await the finished product. “Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”
We are here to be perfected,
Only God our needs can see;Rarest gems bear hardest grinding,God’s own workmanship are we.
God never makes mistakes…Don’t try to manipulate!
“prove..what is that good..perfect will of God!” …Prove not improve! You cannot improve on perfection!