Pleasant Perplexities

I. The “Good News” will be published and will accomplish what God has intended for it to achieve.

A. The fact of God’s sovereignty is assured (Philippians 1:6, 11)

1. Romans 8:28 -- All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose

2. 2 Corinthians 9:8 -- And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work

3. Ephesians 1:11 – …being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will

B. The circumstances are often perplexing (Philippians 1:15-19)

1. Some, indeed, preach Christ . . .

a. Out of envy (jealously)
b. Out of strife (debate)
c. Out of contention (political jockeying for position/prestige)

2. Some, supposed they could add “affliction” to Paul’s imprisonment.

a. Their motive was NOT to preach Christ.
b. Their motive was to inhibit Paul’s preaching.
c. Their motive was not sincere (pure)
d. Their preaching was “pretence” (for show, to colour)

3. Some, out of love, are following Paul’s example.

a. Paul is “set for the defence of the gospel” (1:17)
1) It is the Gospel that has “power” to save – NOT the messenger (Romans 1:16)
2) It is the “words” of God that have power, NOT the motivation of the speaker (John 12:47-48)
b. Paul is rejoicing that the gospel is preached (1:18)
1) If in “pretence” – Christ is preached
2) If in “truth” – Christ is preached
c. Paul is confident that “this” (the apparent difficulties) will result in salvation (1:19)
1) Through their prayers (Ephesians 6:18)
2) Through the “supply” of the “Spirit of Jesus Christ”
3) “Supply” [epi choregeo]  English = “on cue”
4) “Just in time” – Ephesians 4:16; Colossians 2:19
5) Our English word “choreograph” comes from this.

II. The “magnification” of Christ is the outcome of Kingdom commitment (Philippians 1:20)

A. There is “expectation” and “hope”

1. The “expectation” is an anticipation of the eternal promises of the Creator.

a. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:18-19)
b. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

2. The “hope” looks forward to sharing in Christ’s glory.

a. That ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18)
b. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: (Hebrews 6:11)

B. There is no “shame” and there is “boldness”

1. The “shame” conveys the idea of “disfigurement” of what we should be in our godly behaviour.

a. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:16)
b. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)

2. The “boldness” is in direct proportion to our mind set (expectation, hope) and our behaviour (no shame).

a. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech (2 Corinthians 3:12)
b. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (1 John 3:21)
c. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)

C.  The use and control of our physical body should “magnify” Christ.

1. Our bodies are “bought” by the Lord Jesus, even though they are still “flesh”

a. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
b. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing (Romans 7:18)
c. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 7:25; 8:1)

2. Our bodies should be “dead to sin” as we “present” them to Christ.

a. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:11-13)
b. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

III. The result should be the same whether by “life” or by “death” (Philippians 1:21-22)

A. The life of the twice born is uniquely connected to the death of Christ.

1. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

2. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)

3. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:10-11)

4. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:7-9)

B. The life of the twice born produces “fruit”

1. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4)

2. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

3. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)

C. The death of the twice born is “gain”

1. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1)

2. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (2 Corinthians 5:6)

3. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8)

4. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Revelation 14:13)

IV. The “constraint” of the two possibilities (life or death) makes for a difficult choice. (Philippians 1:23-26)

A. Paul is “held together” by this difficult choice.

1. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:5)

2. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead (2 Corinthians 5:14)

B. Paul “desires” to depart (to Christ) which is “far better” (for Paul).

1. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)

2. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7:16-17)

C. Paul chooses to “remain” which is the “necessary” part.

1. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; (Romans 1:11)

2. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.  Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. (1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:1)

3. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood…. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

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