What a great day on Sunday as we spoke again about living out the Gospel. From Philippians 1:12-27 we learned about Paul’s approach to living out the Gospel message.
1. View all of life as a way to advance the Gospel.
12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
Paul was in prison in Rome, and while he was chained up, he saw it not as incarceration but as proliferation of the Gospel.
The word “advance” really means “pioneer advance.” It is a Greek military term that refers to the army engineers who go before the troops to open the way into new territory. Instead of finding himself confined as a prisoner, Paul discovered that his circumstances were really God’s strategy for opening up new areas of ministry!
Maybe you are in a situation now where you feel restricted. Maybe you feel like your hands are tied or like you are stranded on an island going nowhere. Listen, if you are in a tight place right now, don’t make it about you, but make it about the Gospel!
2. View all of life as a way to defend the Gospel. Paul said in verse 16 that it was clear to everyone what he was about. He was not only about advancing the Gospel, but he was also about defending it.
Jesus Christ was and is the sinless Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He suffered death on a cross where the sins of the world upon which He bore the sins of the world. He died and was buried, but on the third day He rose from the dead, defeating sin, death, and the grave forever. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father where He reigns and He lives to pray for us. His Holy Spirit is at work in the world today to help us experience His grace and forgiveness in fullness. There is no peace with God without a relationship with Him, and there is no other way to Heaven except through Christ. That is the essence of the Gospel.
Other Gospel truths we must defend involve the right to life for all people, love for all people regardless of race, gender, and status, the biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman and the Creationist point of view regarding how the earth and humanity came to be. We must stand for Gospel truth and defend God’s work and desires for our lives in this world.
3. View each day as a call to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. Paul says in verse 27, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel. This verse deals with our personal walk and conduct. It does no good to a watching world for us to try to advance or defend the Gospel if we are living hypocritical lives. “Do you have spiritual integrity?”
There is a Gospel to advance. There is a Gospel to defend. There is a Gospel to live out. Where do you find yourself in light of this Gospel challenge?
Teays Valley Church of God
6979 Teays Valley Rd
Scott Depot, WV 25560