19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
We need to passionately live for Jesus. How do we do it? We will find three ways that Paul shows us how to live for Jesus in this passage.
I. HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT——–19-20
Paul confidently knew that he was not alone. Paul knew he needed prayer. He knew that he could not accomplish what he was doing in Rome on his own. He needed help from the church in Philippi. And it was happening.
They were praying. And God was answering. God was answering by providing help through the Holy Spirit.
Paul allowed God to be continually filling him with His Spirit. He was allowing God to control by constantly being filled with the Spirit. This way, Paul was able to walk in the Spirit’s fullness. He was able to walk in His power.
We do not live of our own flesh. We do not live according to our own power. We help each other in this when we faithfully intercede and courageously honor God with your life.
II. HAVE A FOCUS——–VS. 22-26
For Paul, it is all about Jesus. Living for Jesus meant fruit. It meant great blessing. But dying was even better. It meant being with Jesus forever. He is hard-pressed to figure out what is better. He is hemmed in on both sides.
Paul challenges us on what we live for. For the businessman, life can be about accumulating wealth. For the academic, life can be about accumulating knowledge. For the politician, life can be about seeking power. For the actor, life can be about fame and having their name known.
For Paul, life was Christ. Everything he was and everything he did was Christ. That was his whole consuming passion. His whole life was wrapped around Christ. That should be our focus.
III. HAVE A LIFESTYLE——–VS.27-30
We are to live a worthy lifestyle. We are to live a lifestyle that is consistent with the message. This means that we stand for God and stand against Satan. This means that we stand for truth and stand against falsehood. This means that we stand for righteousness and stand against sin.
But you know, we need to have the sense to stand together. We don’t always get that!
But Paul does and that is why Paul encourages unity. We are bound together by a passionate pursuit of a full devotion to Jesus. And when we get that, the stuff that tends to divide and separate us really gets small and unimportant.
As a result, we can consistently live the message. Paul encourages the church in Philippi to live consistently so they can stand up to the opposition that will certainly come. We need to do the same.
Look, it takes courage to live the Christian life. This is not a solo faith. We need each other. By living out these three ways in our lives through the Holy Spirit, we will be able to live worthy. Amen!
Pastor John Punni, II