A Gospel Worthy Church
Yesterday we learned what living for Christ looks like in a local church. For Paul living and a dying were all about Jesus. If he wasn’t worshipping Jesus in heaven, Paul was about worshipping Jesus in the context of serving His church.
For the first time in the letter to the Philippians, Paul issues a command (Philippians 1:27-30). For Paul, a church lives for its Savior by living a life that is in line with their Savior’s message – the gospel.
Paul not only issues the command, but clearly portrays what that kind of church looks like. It looks like the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It stands firms in the defense of the gospel (27). Nothing will distract this church from the truth that only the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). No gimmicks, no programs, no marketing schemes, no watered down version will detract from this church’s passion for the gospel. The winds of this world will blow against this truth, but a gospel worthy church does not backpedal or waiver in their conviction that the gospel is the power of God.
Well, I’m not going to preach the sermon again, but you can listen to it online at http://gracechurchlebanon.weebly.com/philippians.html
The final point I want to make is that a gospel worthy church is one that makes their worship about Jesus and the good news about his death, burial and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:1-7). The church is the most beautiful when it accurately portrays Jesus.
Photobombing is the act of accidentally or purposely putting oneself into the view of a photograph.
It is rather common occurrence today in churches as we have made church a lot more about us than the object of our worship.
In a gospel worthy church no photobombing is allowed.
Near the beginning of the sermon yesterday, I tried to point out that Paul’s words of encouragement (Philippians 1:21) had some real modern day implications.
Paul wrote specifically to the church at Philippi (Philippians 1:1) but as carried along by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:20-21), his audience is much broader.
He wrote to “a” church situated in Greece that had partnered together for the advancement of the gospel. This band of believers who lived in Philippi were committed to God and each other in the task of making disciples of all nations. When Paul wrote to thank them and encourage them in the faith, he spoke to them corporately as “a” church. He wanted to motivate them to partner to an even greater degree for the advancement of the gospel. He wanted that church to live for Christ.
He knew that as believers banded together for a common purpose, this unity becomes a motivating factor for godly living. The Christian life is corporate at its core. Too often when we read scripture we only ask; “what does it mean to me?”. When in fact, another very important question should be; “what does it mean to us?”.
How does this passage of scripture affect the way GRACECHUCH of Lebanon, Indiana partners with each other for the glory of God? We tried to answer that question in our application portion of the sermon.
Every member of “the” church must also be partnering with other believers in “a” local church. We are not allowed in Scripture to go it alone.
But Paul was also writing to individual Christians no matter their location and no matter which century they lived; they all comprise “the” church. This is Christ’s body for all times and in all places. And there is application for each of us individually as we relate to other brothers and sisters in Christ and to a world without Christ.
Near the end of the sermon we also applied the Biblical text in light of that truth.
There is no way around it. The Bible is for us individually, but just as important, it must be applied corporately.
GRACECHURCH of Lebanon, Indiana lives for Jesus by teaching His Word, sharing His life, praying in His name and remembering His death. Let’s not just kill time until he comes back. Let’s live with this purpose.