Good morning. My name is Ben Lander Pastor here. So our church and we have the privilege and the opportunity this morning to continue our series. That Shane started last week in the Book of Philippians. I’m excited. We get to spend part of our summer here going through the Book of Philippians. It’s a fun book. It’s uh it’s only four chapters long. It’s encouraging, challenging. Uh and Shane began talking this last week, kind of about the origins of this letter and how the apostle Paul had done a number of missionary journeys and stopped off in different places, starting churches proclaiming the gospel. And as people responded to the gospel, they formed churches and he would stay with them for a little while, he would teach them and uh and then would go do the same thing in different places. And so, uh Paul mentioned how, you know, you can sense in this letter, Shane mentioned how you can sense the letter pulse, closeness to the people of this church, how they loved each other, how they cared for one another. And and it was really good. Now paul was a man who went from persecuting the church too, being the Minister of the Gospel to the gentiles, which means to non jewish people. And so he was primarily traveling and establishing these churches with gentiles, non jews. And he’s writing to people that he cares about deeply and essentially what this book is is it’s a thank you letter because he was in prison. So, he had gone on these missionary journeys. He’d been proclaiming the gospel. The people really stirred up the and anyway, he got thrown into prison. And so he was in prison and writing these epistles, these letters and what the Philippians had done was they had sent a gift of some money to him. They cared about them, they are concerned about them. So they sent him some money to help support him while he was in prison. And he’s basically saying thank you. And then he’s also encouraging and challenging and trusting them. And so it’s essentially a thank you letter with rich theology and and good instruction for the church, encouragement for the church. So we get to dive into that. And uh, and there’s a number of themes that we will discover over the next coming weeks, Including uh, the theme of joy, the word joy and this concept of joy has talked about at least 16 times in the book. There’s the theme of the importance of living for christ and what it looks like to live a life worthy of the gospel unity is a theme. The book also describes a number of financial uh principles and how to, you know, be a steward of the resources God has given us. And humility is also something that will be talked about this this next week. So uh it’s it’s really good. And uh he begins kind of this first chapter as a prologue and then starting in verse 27 shifts and from then on to the rest of the book, it’s it’s more about living for christ, living in a manner worthy of christ and what that looks like for us. And so we get to discover those things this summer and I’m excited. I’m gonna pray and then we’re gonna dive in starting in verse uh 12. So we’re going to go verse 12 through 30 of chapter one today. Okay, so turn with me to chapter one in your bibles and I’ll pray. Lord thank you for the opportunity to go through this together this summer, We asked you to speak to us this morning. I pray that you would for each one of us, Lord that you challenge us, encourage us, help us strengthen us through your word and through what you have to share to each one of us this morning. In these verses, in jesus name. Amen. Okay, so read with me uh verse chapter one verse 12 through 20. Now I want you to know brothers and sisters that what has happened to me has actually advanced the Gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole Imperial Guard into everyone else. That my imprisonment is because I am in christ. Most of the brothers have gained confidence in the Lord for my imprisonment and error even more to speak the word fearlessly to be sure. Some preach christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. These preach out of love knowing him appointed for the defense of the Gospel. The others proclaim, christ out of selfish ambition. Not sincerely thinking that they will cause me trouble in my imprisonment. What does it matter? Only that in every way whether from false motives are true christ is proclaimed in this I rejoice. Yes, I will continue to rejoice because I know this will lead to my salvation through your prayers and help from the spirit of jesus christ. My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything but that now as always with all courage, christ will be highly honored in my body whether by life or by death. So the people of Philippians Shane mentioned they cared a lot about paul and paul cared a lot about them. And so he switches here from giving thanks for them and telling them how he misses them and he wants to now reassure them that he’s okay. So he was thrown into prison and these prisons were not pleasant places. They are not great places, they’re actually horrible filthy disease and terrible places, not like the prisons today, and so he’s letting them know that he’s okay, and I want you to put yourself in paul’s shoes right now and think about this, okay, you’re an Apostle, you’re planting all these churches, you’re going on these missionary journeys, you’re encouraging and helping, and you’re raising up leaders and you’re doing all these amazing and incredible things, You’re this apostle to the gentiles, and now you get thrown in prison and I don’t know about you, but I know for me, I would immediately think how man, the work that I was doing, it’s it’s interrupted, it’s this is a setback, right? I would probably be upset and angry like what’s going on, I gotta get out of prison here. I gotta get back on these journeys, gotta start more churches, you know, that would that would be probably my perspective, right? And uh and then, you know, these people are caring about paul and they’re worried about his safety as health. What’s going on? Are they torturing all those kinds of things? Right? But he he writes, and he reassures them that being in prison has actually been a good thing. He’s trusting God and and the circumstances that he’s been put in, and he says, hey, this has actually been a good thing, because now the Imperial Guard, they all know that I’m in prison because I’m in christ. And so he’s talking to people about the gospel. He’s he’s he’s stuck there in prison. So he’s like, all right, well, I’ll talk to the guards. You know, I can’t can’t go out and do all these other things but I can talk to the guards and so he talks to them. And then he also says here that it’s been a good thing because others are emboldened. Now they see his example, they see how he’s suffering in prison for christ that he is proclaiming christ and they’re like well paul’s in prison, I can preach now and I’ll proclaim christ, he can’t be out here doing it. So I will some did it out of good motives, some did it out of bad mose didn’t matter. He was excited because the gospel is going forth. The number of laborers proclaiming the gospel is being multiplied because he was stuck in prison. And so he had this incredible perspective and I love how paul just rolls with it, he trusts God, he reassures the people that this is this is okay, this is what God has for me. Next. Um, he didn’t just sit despondently in jail. He started sharing christ with whoever would listen, they’re in prison and then he sees how others other workers were multiplied because of that. And so he, so he reassures them. And then we see uh, some of paul’s heart In verse 18 and 19. We can see in his posture some incredible things here, he says, what does it matter only in every way that whether from false motors are true christ is proclaimed in this, I I greatly rejoice and I rejoice and I will continue to rejoice my eager expectation and his hope that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now is always with all courage, christ will be highly honored in my body whether by life or by death. His desire, Paul’s giving us a window and picture into what he’s really passionate about, what he cares about. And that is that christ would be highly honored in him. So that whatever he’s doing, whether he’s out of these missionary journeys, whether he’s sitting in prison, his desire is to highly honor christ. That’s what he wants to do. It shows how much he loves God is really what it demonstrates. First point this morning, as we look at this, and we look at paul’s example. The first point is to love God. That’s what’s driving his behavior. That’s what’s driving his motivation to be honoring God is because he loves God. If we look at that word honor and you look at the greek word there, there’s there’s uh, to give weight to, you know, to, it’s this, this heaviness that’s described there. So the same root word in greek there when it’s talking about, uh, you know, weights and heaviness or if somebody was heavy, like eli you know that that same kind of concept to give way to, to highly esteemed place value on and to show respect. You have a weighty waiting this to your respect and to your honor to what you value, valued a lot. It’s waiting in your value. So paul is here because he loves God. He is giving honor and wait to christ to the way that he lives. The circumstances didn’t matter to paul. What mattered was jesus, I want you to be honored through my life. I want to weigh what I do and what I say and how I live so that it honors you so that it values you. That christ would be highly honored in my body whether by life or by death, his main priority. His main goal. I would love for God was to honor christ. And that meant putting aside himself and his desires, his dreams, those goals, all those kinds of things. I’m sure you have different cities in mind that he was planning on going to whatever it’s like, okay I’m in prison now. I want to honor christ here in prison. I want to honoring christ with my body. Whether I live, whether I die whatever. No matter what I want to honor him, I want to give weight to him to highly esteem him with how I live. He laid it all down because he loved God. He was not ashamed of the truth. He proclaimed the truth. And what happened when was that? He was thrown in prison. And so no matter what our culture says or values, no matter what our culture honors or what they what the culture teaches. We need to stand with christ. We need to honor him though it costs us everything. We need to honor him though it cost us our very lives. We need to honor him. That’s what paul is saying. My hope is that I won’t be ashamed. I’ll always with courage. Honor christ in my body. He recognized and realized life circumstances, they’re just temporary, eternity is and the kingdom of heaven is what matters. Christ is what matters. He wanted to honor christ. How he approached each day talking to the palace guard, talking to the Imperial Guard, writing these letters to the churches, encouraging them. He loved God, which then influenced his actions to honor God. It’s obvious you love God more than anything else. It was the focal point of his life, as we will see in the next few verses and this concept of loving God with everything. Though this all out love and wait and honor this love for God that drives everything. It’s not a new concept for paul, it’s not something that was new. In fact jesus himself, his words, he proclaimed this many times as we look in Matthew chapter 22 Verse 34 through 40. Here’s Jesus’s words in this story, when the Pharisees heard that Jesus that he had silenced the sad you seize, they came together and one of them and experts in the law ask the question to test him, Teacher, which command and the law is the greatest. And he said to them, love the Lord, your God with all your heart and all your soul with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commands. The second is like it, Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and profits depend upon these two commands. And what we’ll see today in this passage is the same sentiment in Philippians, this this concept of first and foremost love God. Everything that we do must be driven by a love for God and then to love others. Do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind? Are you giving honor? You giving weight to christ and what he says, your loving him with everything, You’ve got to honor him in everything that you do. So I uh to kind of illustrate this. So I I love my wife more than any other person here in this earth, right? And uh and so because I love her, I give weights an honor to what she says, right? Let me give you an example. Uh not too long ago the neighborhood kids were rolling around and one of them had those hoverboard things, you know those two wheel hoverboard things you step on and you just kind of, you know, you, you lean forward to go forward, you lean backwards and you go backwards and you know, neither spin around thing and I was like, oh, that looks really fun, I should try that thing out. So like I’m trying to get on this thing, you know, and and she’s sitting in the chair and she’s like, hey honey, that’s a really bad idea, you’re way too old for that, this is going to end in disaster. And because I love my wife, I was like, you know what, you’re right, I better get off this thing. And so I did and I’m standing here today without broken bones or not missing teeth because I, I honored her and gave way to what she said, um I’m sure I would have keel over and smashed my face in the ground if I had to listen to Those things are crazy. They look really fun, but they are very dangerous, but but it’s because I know that I care about her, I love her, she loves me and she said, hey, stop doing that, that’s crazy for you to do. And she’s right. And so I listen, I gave weight to what she said, So when paul says here, I want to honor him and everything and we want to love God, we need to honor and give weight to what he says. We need to let this be what guides are everything when we come to decision. And instead of listening to our friends, instead of listening to the talking heads, instead of listening to social media on whatever topic, I need to go first and foremost here, we need to develop our beliefs and our thoughts and ideas about life in the context of community, the church by going here together, there’s all kinds of crazy things that are set out there and it’s getting more crazy. We need to honor christ by listening to him, giving weight to what he says first and foremost before anything else, to love God with all your heart, soul minds to honor christ and all that we do going to him first Verse 21, he says for me to live is Christ and to die is gain, paul is wrapping up this expression, this feeling here, here’s what I really care about, really passionate about to live, is christ. To live equals christ. The very essence of life and what life really is about is christ to do what christ tells us to do, to value what christ tells us to value, to value what he valued to be on mission, for him to do the mission he gave us, he said, I’m sending you forego proclaim the Gospel, go make disciples, that’s what christ gave us to do and to live is christ the very essence the meaning of life, purpose in life. The best life is found in christ. Everything else is just, it doesn’t hit the same, it doesn’t hit the same to live is christ, it’s the best life and that’s to be on the mission to proclaim the Gospel, to go make disciples to live the way crisis has commanded us to live. That is life and paul here he describes it so succinctly and so clearly to live is christ to die is gain. Why is it again? Two diets? Because then you are with christ, you get to finally be with the one who you are trying to honor and to live for and to live with while here on this earth, the one you are seeking to know here on this earth, you will know when you get to heaven, you’ll be able to see face to face, will spend eternity getting to know our savior. And it will be incredible. We get a taste of heaven here on this earth. When we live in christ, paul continues Verse 22. Now if I live on in the flesh, uh, this means fruitful work for me. I don’t know which one I should choose. I’m torn between the two. I long to depart and be with christ, which is far better but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith. So that because of my coming to you again, your boasting and christ uses may abounds you see his his heart and his attitude, he gladly puts us himself a society. You can see again his heart is wrestling boy. I want to be with christ, how long to be in heaven to be with him but but for now while I’m here I gladly lay aside that aside for the sake of you all. And so the second point Like Jesus is talking about Matthew 22 is to love others. He says it’s necessary for your sake, but I remain and press on and not give up his work. His teaching, his disciple ng is helping them, his encouragement for them, it wasn’t done yet. He’s going to fight on to live so that he can help them so he makes it through the stint in prison is that you can one day join with them again and they could all proclaim and celebrate together, christ and boast about christ and what he had done. I don’t know about you, but most of us myself included, I think we, we come from the perspective that the world revolves around me, right? Yeah, this is, it’s all about me and paul here is he’s laying aside himself for the sake of others, Jesus said, if you want to be great in the kingdom of heaven, you’re the greatest servant of all, be the greatest servant of all. And paul is giving us that example. He’s living this out. He’s showing and demonstrating this for us. One of the things we’ve tried to instill in our kids over the years is that people are more important than things if they’re fighting over toys. You know, we always talk about, hey, people are more important than things set aside yourself value, treasure, your sibling. We we would let other people, you know, use our stuff, our cars, our house are our tools, whatever it may be because people are more important than things. Sometimes neighbor kids would break stuff, you know, or things like that are friends, people are more important than things. And paul here is demonstrating living out. But even, you know, putting aside the thing that I want the most, which is christ I want to stay here for your sake, for your benefit because I love you. So we need to love God, we need to love others. But you might be asking yourself, how can I possibly do this? This is impossible. I look and I read paul here and it’s like, that’s not me. I’m selfish, right? I I’m more concerned about myself. How can I possibly do this? That’s that’s me. That’s my I’m asking that, right? I’m not naturally oriented, like others oriented, like some people, Right? Well, the key to being able to love others starts with knowing and loving God first john for its is this it says whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. That gives us the key. They’re the key to being able to love others for me and for you, is to to know God, because God is love, God equals love. God is the source of love. God is the source of true love, true real love. It’s him. And if you don’t know God, if you aren’t following christ, if you don’t know him, you will not be able to love in this way, it will be impossible. You will ultimately be driven by yourself by your selfishness. Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t know God because God is love the opposite is true as well. If you are able to love, it’s because you know God, those who can really love it’s because they know God because God is love, he is the source of love. And so if you want to be able to love others, you need to be filled with love yourself. So that God’s love fills you up and overflows to others. How does this love get transferred to us? When we know him? When we are followers of christ? What happens when we give our lives to him? He sends his spirit into us to live in us? God himself, love himself comes and lives within us and we have that love in us and we can be filled with God and then therefore filled with love. And then that love overflows when you’re filled with the spirit. That’s how it happens. That’s how it’s possible because God himself comes in us and resides in us. When they give you an illustration. When I traveled to uh were younger, we went on a family vacation. You know, we traveled to the upper peninsula of michigan and there’s this place there called Big Spring. Um there’s a term the native americans have for the spring. Um, and it’s just a wild and unique thing. It’s a massive spring. You know, water bubbling up out of the ground. It’s over 40 ft deep, 200 ft long and it ends in a stream. And this spring is so crystal clear. It’s 45 degrees, So real cold water and it’s just coming up out of the ground and it’s so clear. You can, you can go on these, this raft and it’s a glass bottom thing, right? You look straight down, You can see straight to the bottom, you see everything crystal clear. Got a picture here, you can see the tree roots, right trees that have fallen over. I mean you can see everything and you see down at the bottom of the spring all of this bubbling of sand as the water gushes up Out of this spring. There are over 10,000 gallons of water a minute coming out of this spring, tremendous amount of water. Right? And it’s incredible to see. And there’s these massive fish swimming around in there. It’s really fun. You should you should see it sometimes you get a chance to be in the U. P. Yeah, but I I think of this picture of this spring welling up, looking down and seeing just a tremendous bubbling constantly. 24 73 65. Always this spring bubbling up, Imagine with me that this is this This Spring of love is inside you. That’s God’s spirit. It’s a spring rising up of love welling up inside you, pouring out because he’s in you. And the only thing limiting, the only limiting factor is us, right? We need to be filled with the spirit bubbling up, overflowing. And the only limiting factors if we get in the way of that, if we stop, if we turn off the spigot, they know God, I don’t want that. I don’t want you quenching the spirit is what that’s called. But when you yields him and you allow God to fill you up your filled and overflowing and you’re able to pour out his love to others. God is the source of love. And when you yield and allow and pour out, you can actually really truly love others. And paul here his his love for others is welling up and overflowing and he’s setting aside himself and he’s saying, I care more about you. I’m gonna fight to teach and to help and to instruct and get out of this prison. So one day we can be together again and we can and joy and praise God together. And then verse 27 through 30, paul makes a little switch and he begins turns from the prologue begins talking about living this life worthy of the Gospel. Read with me, verse 27 1. Just one thing as citizens of having live your life worthy of the Gospel of christ. Then whether I come to see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you’re standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending for together for the Faith of the Gospel, not being frightened in any way about your opponents, this is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation. And this is from God, for it has been granted on you on christ’s behalf, not only to believe in him, but to also suffer for him since you’re engaged in the same struggle you saw I had. And now here that I have so paul switches from kind of this prologue, he starts with the command, live a life worthy of the Gospel and then he begins to describe what it looks like. And we’ll see that this next week I think, or maybe it’s in two weeks how um, you know what that looks like and being united with one another and living in humility like christ did and those kinds of things. But it starts here, he says as citizens of Heaven, That’s an interesting phrase. So, you know, as their citizens of the United States here in this room, there are citizens of other countries here in this room, uh some people are dual citizens, their citizens of multiple countries. But what happens to us when we yield ourselves to christ, when we become christians? When christ followers, we become citizens of heaven and no longer citizens of this world, citizens of the earth here. And so it’s a switch, it’s like we’ve got a passport, right, this is a passport, the United States of America. Now we have a passport, it’s a citizen of heaven, that’s who we are, that’s who we represent now is we are now an alien and stranger here in this earth and where a citizen, our home, our true place are true, residence is heaven. And as citizens of heaven we have a different standard of living. We’re now representing the God of the universe. And so again, to bring back this concept of honor, he says, live a life worthy of the Gospel of christ as the citizens of Heaven. Now as a representative, you’re representing the God above all Gods, the king above all kings, the Savior of the world. So live in a manner worthy of christ. Live in a way that honors christ. He says, Hey, when you do guess what’s going to happen, you’re going to suffer for it because you’re not a citizen of this, of this world. You don’t value the things that the people this earth in this world, value, you value the things of having, you value christ. You value what christ values people, the gospel living for eternity, bringing honor to God. Those are the things that we value. And he’s so he’s saying to them, hey, don’t be surprised, don’t be frightened, don’t be afraid, you will suffer as a citizen of heaven, You will suffer when you live in a manner worthy of the gospel, paul’s suffering in prison for christ has, he writes this and he’s telling him, hey, don’t be surprised, expect to suffer. It’s been appointed for you to suffer. If you become a christian, if you’re following christ, what you can expect is that you will have the best life, but that best life will come with hardship, it will come with suffering. You will be opposed here on this earth and we will see that more and more here in this culture. As the culture becomes more post christian you and I, we will suffer and expect it. It’s okay. It’s part of living a life worthy of christ christ suffered and we will suffer too. So to kind of bring this to a close, the practical application from this passage, as we look at what does it mean to live a life worthy of the Gospel here? From paul’s example. It’s a life that loves God and loves other people. I was God and loves others. Love God by seeking him by honoring him with how you live. By representing him. Well here in this earth. Love others by proclaiming the Gospel the good news that jesus christ came to this earth, that he gave his life for our sin so that we can have eternal life. He’ll take away our guilt or shame or sin. Give us purpose, meaning joy. True life. It’s the best life. Proclaim it to as many who will hear and listen as possible. Love God and love others. Let’s pray mm hmm. Would you thank you so much, Lord for these words. We thank you for for this. We do pray that you’d help us as a church to honor you, and how we live to give weight to what you say before anything else, to love you, to honor you, and how we live to love others. It is really truly the best life Lord. And so we live for you in jesus name. Amen.