Philippians 1:28-3:2 - Part 2

468: Philippians 1:28-3:2 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 39


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 39

Philippians 1:28–3:2

Now this lesson will conclude book 39, so let’s get back to where we left off in the last lesson, but before we do we trust that you are learning how to study, and comprehend God’s Word. I guess the one thing we’ve been able to do more than anything else in our teaching others is to separate Israel from the Church. When you can do that then the Bible just becomes so much easier to understand. And of course when you separate Israel and the Church, you also separate Peter and Paul. (Galatians 2:7-9) Paul’s salvation message to the Gentile Body of Christ is found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. and Romans 10:9-10, and looks nothing like the salvation message preached by Peter.

Now they both served the same Christ, but always remember that Peter held forth before the cross and shortly after in the early Book of Acts, but his message was pretty much the Gospel of the Kingdom. Where everything that Paul writes concerns the resurrected Lord. And after our Lord ascended to His place in glory He revealed all the mysteries to this apostle for the Body of Christ in this Age of Grace. So consequently his message is pretty much to the Gentile world, and especially to the Gentile believers of the Body of Christ.

Now that doesn’t mean that we cast aside anything of the rest of Scripture. We use everything in our study, because everything just dove tails together so beautifully if you will just separate the Scripture as I have showed you. You just can’t mix it all up or it won’t fit. Don’t try to force part of Peter’s message into Paul’s message or vice-a-versa. Don’t try to force something in Scripture that the Lord Himself didn’t force. Just let everything set where it is in Scripture.

A good example of separating the Scriptures is found in Mark 16:14-18, where the message Jesus gave the Jewish believers was that as signs they could pick up serpents and drink poison and it wouldn’t hurt them, but don’t try that in this Age of Grace or you’ll be in trouble. So to make things simple, just keep Paul’s writings to the Church Age believers separate from the rest of Scripture for your Christian walk and doctrine. And when you do that you will see how all the pieces fit, then this Book becomes so exciting to study.

Now coming back to our study in Philippians chapter 2, and let’s start with verse 16. In verse 15 we finished with Paul telling us that we are in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. And remember things are no different today than they were in the Roman empire. In fact if you know anything of history at all, you know that history repeats itself. All the things that brought down the Roman empire are going to bring down our Western civilization if not America by itself. So always be assured that historically these things are happening over and over and over. This isn’t just unique to the Roman Empire, but even today we are in a crooked and perverse nation and remember we are to shine as light in the world. Now verse 16.

Philippians 2:16

” Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

Now of course we covered this several programs back, “The day of Christ is the end of the Church Age when Christ will come for His bride, the Body of Christ and meet us in the air.” After that the anti-Christ will appear and the seven years of Tribulation will unfold and God will finish doing what has been programmed and prophesied for the nation of Israel. Now there’s getting to be more and more opposition to a pre-Tribulation Rapture. More and more are teaching that the Church will go into or through it, but always remember our best argument is, “That you cannot mix Law and Grace, You can not mix Israel and the Body of Christ, the Church,”

We are in the Age of Grace and the Church didn’t fit in the Old Testament economy, and it won’t fit in the Tribulation economy, because both of those ends are Israel under the Law whether in the Old or New Testament, and we have no part or parcel with that. So remember before God can pick up and finish His last seven years with the nation of Israel, the Gentile Church, the Body of Christ has to be removed, and consequently then that’s what we call the day of Christ, when we’re called up to Him and go back into glory.

Now the day of the Lord is a different story. The day of the Lord is the beginning of wrath and vexation, and judgment. That of course is what will follow the day of Christ. But Paul doesn’t refer so much to the day of the Lord as he does to the day of Christ. So it just makes common sense that if all of the origins concerning the Body of Christ, the terminology, the doctrine, the organization, in other words the term of pastors and bishops, and deacons, all come from Paul and no where else. The indwelling Holy Spirit which is the down payment of a believer, and that also can be found only in Paul’s writing, and all these other glorious mysteries concerning the Body of Christ that were given to Paul only, then it follows that all the aspects of the Church Age having come from the writings of Paul then the end of the Church would also be in Paul’s writings, and indeed it does in I Corinthians 15:51-58 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18. No where else is the Rapture of the Church foretold. That’s why Paul starts the passage in I Corinthians with, “Behold I show you a mystery, (secret) we shall not all die but we’ll all be changed.” Which of course is referring to the day of Christ when He will descend to the atmosphere and call us out.

Another thing I always like to point out is that with the Rapture, and us being called out, there is not a word about pending cataclysmic judgments. There is nothing to indicate that just before the Rapture the sun will be turned into blood, and the moon darkened, but for the Second Coming of Christ all you see is the horrors of the wrath of God that will attend the Second Coming, but never the Rapture. We are just going to be silently taken out and the world will probably think it’s good riddance if they miss us at all. Now so much for that, let’s come back to verse 16.

Philippians 2:16

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, (Paul really thought that he would live to see the day when Christ would return and take the Church out) that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

Now that’s obvious isn’t it? Here he had suffered all the privation of scourging and whippings, shipwrecks, and imprisonments, and he lists them all back there in II Corinthians chapter 11. Oh how this man suffered for the sake of the Gospel. Well how would the man have felt after all that sacrifice in the human era, and then to see it all just disappear and fall apart? It would have been heart breaking wouldn’t it? But this is what he’s saying. These Philippians were not letting him down, and he could readily see that he had not run in vain, he had not laboured in vain, but indeed it was all coming to fruition. Now verse 17.

Philippians 2:17

“Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”

He could joy and rejoice because of all that God had done throughout the Roman Empire, but especially when he was seeing the Roman guards and people in the palace coming to a knowledge of salvation through his Gospel and Christ. Now verse 18.

Philippians 2:18

“For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”

Now that shows it’s a two way street. Now I know most of you don’t have as much opportunity as Iris and I do. Almost everyday we get a letter where someone has come to know the Lord or has led someone to the Lord. We had a lady sometime ago that had written a letter and said, “Oh I wish I could have the joy of leading someone to a saving knowledge.” Well it was only a couple of months later and here comes this thrilling letter. I mean you could almost tell from her opening words that she had been able to win a co-worker to the Lord. Now that’s what it’s all about! And it is a thrilling experience, and so we have this opportunity that when folk share their joy, it thrills us, and even as we share our joys and our victories we know it causes you to rejoice. So this is what Paul is talking about in verse 18. That they were maintaining their faith, they were seeing the Gospel going out, and even though he was confined to a Roman prison yet the news was getting back to him and how it thrilled him. Now we come down to verse 19, and here we have a reference to his son in the faith, Timothy.

Philippians 2:19

“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.”

Now you’ve got to remember, that here in probably 64 or 65 AD the Roman Empire was lustrous as you can tell when you go over and look at some of the cities and roads, you can tell they certainly weren’t cavemen by any stretch of the imagination, but their communications were slow, travel was also slow. A ship was probably the fastest way to go from one place to another, so you’ve got to take all this into consideration. So Paul has to send Timothy from Rome to go around the Southern end of Greece, and back up into the Aegean Sea in order to get to Philippi. And he sends him with the idea of bringing back to Rome a report as to how those Philippian believers were doing. Now verse 24.

Philippians 2:24

“But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.”

As we said in an earlier lesson, I think Paul thought he would win his court case and be released, and some theologians think he did, and then arrested a second time when at that time he was martyred. But I put all these things in the balance, and still feel that he only had the one imprisonment and did not secure his release, but if he did, so be it.. Now verse 25.

Philippians 2:25

“Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, (who was a citizen of Philippi) my brother, (in the faith) and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.”

Epaphroditus had ministered to Paul’s needs in Rome, and the poor fellow must have just about died of some kind of an illness or something.

Philippians 2:26

“For he longed after you all and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.”

In other words when the Philippians heard that one of their co-believers was nearly sick unto death, they were really upset about it. Now verse 27.

Philippians 2:27

“For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him: (by sparing his life) and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”

In other words, Paul would have shared the sorrow of losing this good friend and fellow soldier, Epaphroditus. Now verse 28 So now he not only sends Timothy, but also Epaphroditus.

Philippians 2:28

“I sent him therefore the more carefully, (Paul is saying, ‘I made sure that he was strong enough physically to make the trip’) that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30. Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, (I’ve never been able to read anything to what his problem was) to supply your lack of service toward me.”

Now then coming into chapter 3, and we won’t be able to finish Philippians today, but we’ll get as far as we can.

Philippians 3:1a

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord….”

Now I trust you’ve all been keeping track of the constant reference to joy and rejoicing, in spite of their circumstances. In spite of the persecution, and the constant pressure that was on all the Gentile believers, as well as Paul in prison. Now when I say Gentile believers, you always have to remember that the Judaisers hated Christianity. And this is no put down on the Jewish people. I mean after all, they could see that Christianity was making in road into their religion which they had enjoyed for 2000 years going back to Abraham. Now nobody wants somebody to make in roads into their religion, and you know that. Religion is an integral part of most people, and when you start fooling around with their religion they get up tight real fast. Well it was the same way here. The Jewish people were fighting Paul’s little Churches tooth and nail, because it was a complete change of direction from Judaism, and that’s what Grace and Law are. So these little Churches were under so much pressure from every direction. So Paul says, “in spite of all these circumstances rejoice!

Philippians 3:1-2

“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. to write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. (now comes the warning) 2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

Has anything changed since that’s been written? Nothings changed. This is just as appropriate for you and I today as it was for the Philippians in 65 AD or whenever he wrote this. Let me take you ahead to II Peter chapter 2. Now granted Peter writes primarily and I say that specifically and not exclusive, but he writes to the Jews who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire, and I think they were little congregations of Jews. These were the Jews who had come away from Judaism, had believed that Jesus was the Son of God, had repented and been baptized in water as was Peter’s message. These were, I think, Kingdom Age Jews who had not really come under Paul’s Gospel message per say, but the warning is the same regardless.

II Peter 2:1-2a

“But there were false prophets (past tense. So what’s he talking about? The Old Testament era, back in the years before the New Testament even began.) also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, (the Devil has used every device to confuse the issue. Way back in Israel’s past, and on up into Israel’s future.) who privily (or secretly)shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2. And many shall follow their pernicious ways,…”

In the medical field (when associated with pernicious anemia), what does pernicious do? It just eats up the red blood cells, it destroys them, so that a person will just gradually get anemia and become white as snow because this disease is eating the red blood cells. Alright, the word pernicious is appropriate here, because that’s exactly what false teachers are going to do with the teachings that these believers are resting on. They’re just going to keep chewing them up until finally there is no spiritual life left in them.

II Peter 2:2

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

Oh does that ring a bell? Of course it does. The truth is not well spoken of today, because people don’t want the truth. They want something that will tickle their ears. Now verse 3.

II Peter 2:3

“And through covetousness (they want anything they can grab) shall they with feigned words (oh it sounds good on the surface) make merchandise of you: (in other words, there are con men who try to take advantage of you, even spiritual things. Oh the con men come along, and make all these things sound so good with their feigned words) whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

God knows what they’re doing and one day they’re going to come before him at the Great White Throne and then they’ll bow the knee, and recognize who He really is. Well let’s drop on down to verse 12. This is one of my favorite Scriptural descriptions of false teachers. These people who are conning the masses.

II Peter 2:12-13a

“But these, (false teachers) as natural (they have no spiritual life) brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; (these false teachers for the most part hate the message of Grace) and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13. And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. (rather than wait at night. That puts them in a category by themselves, doesn’t it?)

Now back to Philippians chapter 3, verse 2 again.

Philippians 3:2

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

I’m sure that’s a word making reference to the Judaisers who wanted to put the Gentiles under the Law. That reminds me of a Scripture or two in the Book of Acts chapter 15. We spoke to a Sunday School class several weeks ago and I used these verses, and you would be surprised how many of those people came up after the class and said they never knew this was in their Bible, and I’m sure they’re not alone. There are multitudes that don’t have a clue that a lot of these things are in their Bible. Let’s just look at verse 1, and we’ll have to do it quickly. And remember what Paul’s warning was. Look out for those of the concision, and here it is. This passage is dealing with the Gentile congregation up at Antioch.

Acts 15:1

“And certain men which came down from Judaea (the believing Jerusalem assembly) taught the brethren, (these Gentile believers) and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”

Now your Bible says that also doesn’t it? And now come on up to verse 5 for another shocker.

Acts 15:2

“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, (they were members of the Jerusalem Church) saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, (Paul’s Gentile converts up in Antioch) and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

Now you see why you’ve got to separate Peter and Paul? That tells us what the early Gentile Churches were up against. And as soon as Paul and Barnabas, or Paul and Silas left town and left these little congregations to themselves in would come these kind of people and say, “Now wait a minute, you can’t just go by what Paul says alone. You have to be circumcised, you have to keep the Law of Moses.” Well what were they really trying to do? Make Jewish proselytes of them. And when Paul writes this letter while in prison he’s says, “That hasn’t stopped. It’s still a constant threat.” Well for you and I today we don’t have to deal with circumcision, we know that, but all the other things that are required for salvation by a lot of congregations in addition to faith in the Gospel (legalism) just keep bombarding the New Testament Grace Age believers every day.

Philippians 1:28-3:2

467: Philippians 1:28-3:2 – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 39


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 39

Philippians 1:28–3:2

Now as we’ve been coming up through with our study of “Through the Bible” we’ve pretty much been going verse by verse in Paul writings, because you want to remember that Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles. Paul is the one who has everything that is apropo for us today in this age of Grace, and that’s why we spend so much time in Paul’s writings. Let’s begin with Phillipians 2:9.

Philippians 2:9

“Wherefore (because of what we just explained in our last lesson how that Christ was the Eternal, all sufficient Omnipotent God of everything. And as such He could indeed take the sins of the world on Himself. No one else could have ever come close to doing that, but He did. Consequently wherefore) God (the Triune God) also hath highly exalted him, (God the Son) and given him a name which is above every name:”

Now I had a gentlemen call me the other day, and was all upset that his daughter had gotten into some kind of a cult where they worshipped angels. He tried to tell her that was not Biblically correct, because Christ died for you, and rose again. And do you know what her answer was? She said, “Daddy that’s all old fashioned.” Now isn’t that sad? Well let’s hope and pray that maybe someday she’ll have her understanding opened also. But listen, there is no other name, He is the only One. And because God has given Him a name that is above every name look at what has to take place in verse 10.

Philippians 2:10a

“That at the name of Jesus every knee (from Adam to the last human being ever born) should bow, of things in heaven,…”

Even the angelic. Yes the angels bow to Him because they’re beneath Him. In fact let’s look at a Scripture in Hebrews. While in Minnesota the other day I taught a study in the Book of Hebrews, and a lot of those things are still on my mind. Let’s look at Hebrews chapter 1 for a moment. And if one has been swayed to worship angels, then I’m sure there many, many others, and maybe someone can hear this, and be brought to their senses.

Hebrews 1:7

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, (declaring Christ as God again) is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”

Now drop on down to verse 10, as there is so much in here and we can’t take time to read it all.

Hebrews 1:10-13

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; (He’s the Creator) and the heavens are the works of thine hands: 11. They shall perish; but thou remainest: (because He’s from everlasting to everlasting) and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; 12. And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, (the Creator will, and recreate)and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. (now verse 13) But to which of the angels said he (God) at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?”

But who did He say it to? God the Son. He said it to Christ. And go on over into chapter 2, and verse 5.

Hebrews 2:5-8a

“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, (angels don’t have that kind of power) whereof we speak. 6. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visited him? 7. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownest him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet….”

Why? Because He’s the God of glory, He’s the creator of everything, and when He humbled Himself and made Himself subjected to the death of the cross, that then set Him up to become even more the God of glory, and the God in whom we can place our trust. Now coming back to Philippians chapter 2 for a minute and then we’re going flip over to a couple of other portions of Scripture. Iris, you can be turning to Acts chapter 4, verse 12, but for those of you here in the studio, let’s look at verse 10 and 11.

Philippians 2:10-11

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, (even the angelic host) and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Now coming back to Acts chapter 4, verse 12. In fact let’s go up to verse 10 to begin. That one is too good to miss. This of course is Peter up in verse 8, filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:10-11

“Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him (Christ)doth this man stand here before you whole. 11. This is the stone (speaking of Christ) which was set at nought (aside) of you builders, (Israel) which is the head of the corner.”.(which Israel rejected)

Now verse 12 which fits so beautifully with Philippians.

Acts 4:12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: (what is that? Exclusive! There is no other name, there is no other way. I don’t care how intellectual or politically correct they may get,) for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Now that’s what the Book says. And then some come back as scoffers and say, “Yeah but that’s only what the Bible says.” Also always remember there is no other Book except this Bible that can tell the prophecies this Book can. There isn’t another Book that could foretell things that happened 3,000-4,000 thousands of years in the future, but this Book can. There isn’t another Book that foretold the fact that Israel would be dispersed into every nation under heaven, and yet one day toward the end would be pulled back to her homeland and revive her Hebrew language, but this Book foretold that! So we can just rest on this Book that by virtue of the fulfilled prophetic statements that when this Book says there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved, this is truth. This is what we have to rely on, and all mankind is going to be held accountable to, “Have they believed what the Word of God said.”

Another good one is found in I Corinthians chapter 3. Coming about again to Paul writing to the Church at Corinth, and we can start with verse 9. Remember Paul always writes to believers. He doesn’t write to the unsaved world at all. And as he writes to the believer, the message will go to the unbeliever.

I Corinthians 3:9-11

“For we are labourers together with God: ye (believers) are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, (the head architect, the head contractor, that’s Paul) I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. (including you and I as believers) But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, (it’s already done, and that foundation) which is Jesus Christ.”

There is no other! And there can be no other! So you put all these things that we’ve been talking about today, and base it on the fact that Christ was the Eternal, Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, God of the universe. And it’s on that finished work of the cross, that death where all the sins of the world was laid on Him, and consequently when He was victorious over that in His resurrection from the dead, in that victorious power, God can now declare that it’s at THAT NAME, that every knee shall bow.

Now I know there are some evangelists who like to put it this way, “You’ll either bow in this life and become a believer, or you’ll bow in the next life, and admit that you deserve what’s coming.” Well that may very well be the fact, but I’m going to have you come back with me now to Revelation chapter 20. And this is indeed where every knee will bow, that has never recognized Him before. Now for you and I as believers we have no problem bowing before the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it’s on our knees in prayer or whether it’s in our mental attitude, we have no problem whatsoever kneeling before the Lord Jesus Christ.

But the world out there tonight will have nothing to do with Him. The great empire builders, they’ll never bow their knee to the carpenter’s Son, but they will someday. I don’t care how powerful they’ve been, or how many armies they’ve marched, the day is coming when Alexander the Great, and the other great world leaders are going to stand right here in verse 12. And here they are.

Revelation 20:12a

“And I saw the dead, (of all the ages) small and great, (from the lowliest unbelieving slave to the highest unbelieving king) stand before God;…”

Now we know from other Scriptures that the person of God will again be Jesus Christ. He’s been the saviour of mankind, but here He’s going to be the judge. Here all the unbelievers are going to come before Him one at a time. He’s not going to deal with the unbelievers in mass, but rather they’ll come up before Him one at a time. And as the Lord spoke in His earthly ministry, what are they going to say? “But Lord didn’t I do this, and that in your name? And what’s the Lord going to say? “Depart from me I never knew you.” Now beginning again with verse 12 again.

Revelation 20:12

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened…”

The record of their life, and they’ll see that every bit of their record is true, and when He condemns them to their eternal doom, there will be no more argument. And every knee will bow before Him, and recognize that He is indeed who He said He was. Now back to Philippians 2:10. I mean this bears repeating. Oh I wish you could wake up and see this verse in your sleep.

Philippians 2:10-12a

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12. Wherefore,…”

Because of all these things we’ve just seen in these preceding verses. Because all the sin of the world has been placed on Him, and consequently through the power of resurrection God has raised Him from the dead, and has declared Him to be the greatest name that anyone could ever hope to worship.

Philippians 2:12a

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,…”

Now let’s stop a moment. I’ve made this point before. You want to remember that wherever Paul went in his evangelistic endeavors, in his missionary journeys, he was the first one into town with the Gospel of Grace. He did not have any forerunners, or any advance men setting up the stage as evangelists do today. But rather he had to go in unannounced totally at the power of the Holy Spirit. And then when he would bring these pagans out of their pagan darkness, and establish these little groups of believers, he could not hand them all a Bible, and say, “Just keep studying the Word, and God will be with you.” Remember there was no printed New Testament. His own letter that we have today did not come about until 15 or 20 years after he began his ministry. So they had to be left to pretty much shift for themselves, and waited for gifted men to come up in their group that again would have the gift of speaking the truth of God’s Word.

You know when I look back on these things and see all the pressure from Rome, from the Judaisers, from the mythology people, how did these little groups of believers survive? But for the Grace of God they wouldn’t have, they couldn’t have. But here they are under all this pressure and persecution with no Bible to take comfort from, and yet evidently most of them did not succumb. So this is why Paul says in verse 12.

Philippians 2:12a

“Wherefore my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,…”

They remained true to what they had learned from this apostle. Now just let that soak in for a little bit. Now of course there were congregations where Timothy finally comes in a little later on, and Titus and Barnabas, but for the most part these early little groups of believers were almost left to themselves, because Paul would have to move on to establish new ones and revisit the congregations that he had started. Now reading on in verse 12.

Philippians 2:12b

“…but now much more in my absence (he’s in prison in Rome) work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Now that does not mean that they’re going to work for their salvation. They’ve got that already. So what does Paul mean when he says, “Work out your own salvation?” That their salvation become a part and parcel of their everyday experience. And evidently they did, because you know that Christianity turned the Roman empire inside out. How else could it have happened had not these little cells of believers been active in winning others, and that’s the way it went. They didn’t have the big evangelistic campaigns we see today, or the Word of God. So it had to be the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit that these little groups of ex-pagans were now permeating the Roman empire in spite of all of it’s opposition. Now verse 13, and here is the clue.

Philippians 2:13

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

And God can do the same thing today, but you know what’s wrong today? We’ve got too many other things that side track us, and occupy our time, and if we do have a little extra time we’d rather sit down and see what’s on that stupid television. But in those days they didn’t have all that diversions. They didn’t have all these CD’s and tapes, and what have you, so they could go out into the community.

And they did meet in market places day in and day out buying their vegetables and their fruits and so forth, and I can just envision those people that every place they were in contact with other people they were sharing the Gospel that Jesus died for their sins, was buried and rose again. And today even in our enlightened era, and in our so called Bible belt, my goodness we’re scared to death at the thought of mentioning the name of Christ. But they didn’t have that fear, even though they could have been arrested and put to death, they still propagated the Gospel of salvation. Now verse 14.

Philippians 2:14

“Do all things without murmuring and disputing:”

Now just as soon as you hear the word murmuring, what should that make you think of? Israel coming out of Egypt, and what did they do? They murmured and murmured and they murmured. And in spite of the presence of God on every hand, in spite of His miraculous opening the Red Sea, just as soon as they get on the other side and go a day or two without water, what do they say? “Oh would to God that you’d have left us in Egypt.” And when God come down on Mount Sinai with the thunder and fire and smoke and the first thing you know, they’re making a golden calf. I mean it’s unbelievable, and when you read the account of their travels back there in Exodus and Numbers, just about every other word was, “they murmured.”

Well are we much better than they? A lot of times we’re not because we complain, “Why doesn’t God do this or that? Well maybe it’s why don’t we do something about it? But Paul’s admonition is, “Whatever you do, don’t murmur, don’t be in dispute. Now verse 15.

Philippians 2:15

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons (children) of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, (now that hits home doesn’t?) among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”

Look where we are today even our beloved America. I can remember as a kid very seldom men would draw up a written contract every time they made a deal. What was the contract? A shake of the hand. And people would never break that for anything. Now today you’ve got to have a contract signed and witness by attorneys, and it’s still suspect, because you still don’t know if you’ve got a deal. Why? Because we’ve become such a crooked and perverse nation. We are! Let’s face it, we’re no longer the Christian nation that Europe looks up to.

You know a great European writer once wrote a book after he went all over America and went back to Europe and said that America has been blessed material and every which way because America is good. Well he couldn’t write that today could he? We have become more and more like these people in Paul’s day a crooked and perverse nation.

But in the midst of the perverseness, in the midst of all the crookedness, in the midst of all the shenanigans of politicians, and anything else you can think of what are we to be? Like lights in a darkened world. And certainly if there was a time when it was appropriate as the Lord spoke to the disciples, “You are the light of the world.” You and I have the Light. We too can be the salt, we can be the one that preserves, and we can be the one that enhances, but always remember these things that Paul wrote to Philippians are just as appropriate for us today as they were when Paul wrote them.

Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ As God - Part 2

466: Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ As God – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 39


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 39

Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ as God – Part 2

As most of you realize Paul’s letters begin with Romans and I like to give Paul credit also for Hebrews, so that would mean that this apostle wrote over half of the New Testament. But his prison epistle which begin with Ephesians were written from prison in Rome, and are head and shoulders doctrinally and positionally ahead of the other epistles. So these prison epistles are really meat for the soul. Now back to Philippians chapter 2 where we left off in the last lesson in verse 6.

Philippians 2:6

“Who, (speaking of Christ in verse 5) being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”

Now we always have to remember and especially when we get into these succeeding verses never lose sight of who Jesus Christ was, and is, and always will be. He is the Eternal, Sovereign, Creator God of the universe, and nothing less. I know there are a lot of groups that have trouble with that, but He was God in the flesh. Consequently He did not feel that when He claimed to be God that He was grasping for something that was not rightfully His. And that’s what it means here then when Paul said. “…He thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Because He was God. He could rightfully claim to be God. Now verse 7.

Philippians 2:7

“But (as the Eternal, Holy, Righteous, Omniscient, Sovereign God) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

Now you want to remember the word servant in the Greek was, “a bond slave.” literally a bond salve. And of course there were various categories of slaves, but I think the epitome of slavery, at least back in the ancient times, was to be that poor fellow on the bottom part of the ship pulling the oars. I mean those were slaves, and they sat down in the holes of those ships and pulled those oars until their hands were like hamburger, and when they died they pitched them overboard and put another one in their place. Now that was a bond slave, and of course they had other categories, but this is the one that I usually think of. It was someone who was delegated to a horrible kind of a life till they died, and that was most of the ancient world.

Very few enjoyed the comforts of life that we do. It was just a small percentage, and most were wealthy that would enjoy life. Now this is what precipitated the French Revolution, not that it was right but the masses had been held down, and caused so much suffering for so long that finally like a seething pot, just boiled over. But whatever, so Christ made of His own violation Himself a bond slave, at the lowest of human categories, made in the likeness of men:

Now come back with to Genesis chapter 18 which I usually teach as an event in the Old Testament account, to show us so graphically how God would come down and appear to the Patriarchs in human form. But of course back here in the Old Testament it was temporary, and as soon as He had accomplished that particular purpose for coming down and appearing in this case Abraham, He would just simply disappear and go back into glory and to the Godhead. But He still appeared to these people in human form which was all just a precursor of when He would finally come in the flesh at Bethlehem, not for a little while, but to be confined to that body of flesh and bone I feel all eternity. Now verse 1 of Genesis chapter 18.

Genesis 18:1-2

“And the LORD (that’s Jehovah, God the Son in the Old Testament terminology) appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day: 2. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him. and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.”

Now men have always looked like men. There wasn’t a time when they had funny looking ears and eyes that bulge. Men have always looked like men. They did not have wings or glowing halos around their head, but rather they were three ordinary wayfaring men from their outward appearances. Now verse 3.

Genesis 18:3-4

“And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4. Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, (ordinary human feet) and rest yourselves under the tree:” And for sake of time let’s come on down to verse 8.

Genesis 18:8

“And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; (these three men) and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.”

All three ate, but who are these three people? Well one is the Lord Himself, and the other two are angels. But do you see what happened? They came down in human form, came walking up to Abraham’s tent, and Abraham recognized them as wayfaring strangers, and show his middle eastern hospitality, and fix a meal for them. Little did he know that one of them would be Jehovah God Himself. Now it was the same way with Jacob. Remember he wrestled with a man, not some figment of his imagination as the scoffers would say, but rather Jacob wrestled with a flesh type human being. But this man was the Lord in a temporary appearance and then He went up from Jacob.

But you see when He comes by the way of the virgin birth, He is the same God, but instead of just all of a sudden appearing, He comes all the way through the birth of a woman. He comes through His childhood, He comes into manhood, and He begins His ministry at the age of 30. He begins to show by His signs and miracles His Deity, who He really was. People could touch Him, they could shake hands with Him, they could eat with Him. But yet when He was on the roaring waves of Galilee He could raise His hand and simply say, “peace be still,” and what happened.? The wind died down, and the waves became normal, and the disciples were just amazed, and what did they say? What kind of a man is this, that even the wind obeys His voice.

Well I’ll tell you what kind of a man He was, He was God! He never, never, stopped being God! In the womb of Mary He was still God! As a little child playing on the streets of Nazareth, and in the carpenter shop, He was God! As He confounded the doctors at the age of 12 there at the temple, He was God! So never lose sight of that. Now coming back to our text in Philippians chapter 2. Remember He didn’t look any different than any other man during His three years of earthly ministry. They couldn’t look at Him and say, “Oh that’s the God-man.” He looked just as normal as anybody else. But when a particular situation demanded it He could show His Deity that He was God in the flesh. Now verse 8.

Philippians 2:8a

“And being found in fashion as a man, (from all outward appearances, and His daily activity, not a higher echelon man, but rather a lower echelon man. Joseph and Mary were probably next to poverty. He lived as a bond slave, that was his level amongst humanity.) he humbled himself,…”

The government authorities of Rome didn’t humble Him, the priesthood in Jerusalem didn’t humble Him, but rather He humbled Himself It was of His own freewill, of His own volition, He brought it all to pass. Another verse comes to mind that I hadn’t intended to use, but let’s turn to Acts chapter 2 for a moment, and let’s look at verse 22 and 23. You’ll recognize it as soon as you see it. Peter is preaching to the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:22-23

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man (see, Peter doesn’t call Him the God-man) approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God (in His whole triune being of course) did by him in the midst of you, (up and down the towns and villages of Israel) as ye yourselves also know: (most of them had seen at least some of those miracles) 23. Him, (Jesus of Nazareth) being delivered (up to the cross) by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, (God had programmed all of this. God had drawn the blueprint, that when men would sin, He would provide a Redeemer, and that Redeemer would have to go to a Roman cross) ye (Israel) have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

So that was all in the foreknowledge of God. Now coming back to Philippians chapter 2 again. So when Christ sent His eyes of flint toward the cross it was His own volition, although the whole Godhead is certainly involved in the operation of it all. Now verse 8 again. I’m going to spend the rest of this lesson on that verse.

Philippians 2:8

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became (again because of His own volition) obedient unto death (not just an ordinary death) even the death of the cross.”

Now this is what I want people to realize, it wasn’t just the crucifixion by itself that made this so unique, because thousands of people were put to death by crucifixion under the Roman emperor. Nero at one time had 2000 crucified and placed on each side of one of the Roman roads so that he could ride up and down the road between them with his chariot and gloat at their suffering. So you see the crucifixion alone was not what made our faith in the Gospel unique. But I’ll tell you what made it different from everything else, and if I don’t teach anything else today that will sink into the minds of people, this is what I want it to be.

When Christ died on that Roman cross every sin of the whole human race from Adam until the last person before we go to eternity was laid on Him. Now imagine all the horrible sins and guilt of a Hitler was laid on Christ. Every sin, thought, and deed of a man like Nero was laid on Him. Every wicked person that you can ever conger up in your mind, every sin, was laid on Him, on that cross. That’s what we mean by the death of the cross. So nothing short of the power and the might and the Holiness of an Omnipotent Creator God could have even thought of doing such a thing.

Listen, there is not another religion, if you want to call it that, on the face of this earth that can claim to have someone within their belief system that can claim to have all the sins of the world placed upon them. Mohammedism couldn’t do it, because he was human regardless what the Moslems may think, he was still human. The head of the Buddhist religion couldn’t do it or the head of Hinduism couldn’t do it, Joseph Smith couldn’t do or any of these other cult leaders couldn’t do it. There has never been another individual that could have ever come close to taking every sin of every human being and have that sin put on him, and this is what we have to understand. Now let’s look at a verse in II Corinthians, chapter 5, and maybe this will sort of explode in your mind, at least I hope it will. This is a verse that we all know, but do we really contemplate the impact of a verse like this? What does it really say? God, up in verse 20 is the point of reference here.

II Corinthians 5:21

“For he (the God of verse 20) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, (in other words He took my sin when He was on the cross. He took your sins, and took the sins of every human being, even the most wicked, the most ungodly, to be sin for us,.) who knew no sin: (of course not for He was God, He was sinless, and for what purpose?) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Now there’s another verse in Isaiah chapter 52 that we haven’t used in a long time that fits here also. The last time I used this Scripture I got several letters from people who were all shook up because they never knew that this verse was in their Bible.

Isaiah 52:13-14

“Behold, my servant (there’s that reference to bond slave again) shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. (and we’re going to see this a little further on in the Book of Philippians) 14. As many were astonied at thee; his visage (His outward appearance) was so marred (or disfigured) more than any man, and his form (His whole bodily appearance was so disfigured) more than the sons of men;” (more than anyone in human history)

Now you know what that tells me? No wonder Mary in the garden the morning of the resurrection, couldn’t figure out that it was Jesus. Just put yourself in her shoes. This description in verse 14 is what she saw hanging on the cross as they left to go home. This is the mental picture of the Christ hanging on the cross before Joseph of Arimathaea put Him in the tomb. And then to suddenly wake up and see Him in the dim early light, seeing someone standing there who looked very normal, – do you see what I’m driving at? This is why she couldn’t comprehend that it was Him, because as He stood there in front of her He had come back in His resurrected body looking very normal. That’s why she thought He was the gardener.

But listen the sins of the world were all placed on Him and that’s what makes this verse in Philippians so outstanding. That Christ was obedient to death, not just a death of taking away His life or an ordinary crucifixion, but when it says, “even the death of the cross.” This is what I feel is what the Scripture is trying to tell us, that His death was so horrendous, and that no one but the Sovereign, Eternal, Creator, God could have attempted to do such a thing, but He could, and did for you and I. See that’s what makes Christianity all by itself. This is why no other religion of the world can even come close, because they have no one that could make the claim that He has taken all their sins and put it on Himself.

So here again this is where you and I have to stand up and let it be known that all the religions of the world are just so much fluff, because they can’t make this kind of a claim. They can’t deal with men’s sin. All they can hope to do is evaluate man morally that maybe by his works he can make it to heaven, and we know that God will never buy into that. I was so thrilled after our seminar up in Minneapolis the other day about a very distinguished looking gentlemen that came up, and told me that he was a retired pastor, from a different denomination than mine. But he and told me, “I am so thrilled that you proclaim the same exclusive Gospel that I do.”

Well I’ve used that word before, because it is exclusive. It excludes everything else, and stands head and shoulders by itself! We’re going to see that a little later on in this chapter, that the name of Christ stands above every name. And then we have people dare to claim that they have another way of access to God. How ridiculous can they get when they have no sin barrier such as we have! See this is what you have to have. You have to have a sin barrier, because we can’t take our sin into glory, and eternity, it has to have been dealt with, and it was at Calvary! And then all we do is appropriate it by believing it! By just simply believing it.

Hitler could have believed that his sins were paid for, realizing that Christ had done it all, and had been raised from the dead, and he could have gone into glory, just by believing that for his salvation. As horrible as he was, his sins were already paid for, they were already laid on Christ, but you see he no doubt rejected it in unbelief. And you can think of any other horrible individual, and that’s exactly what Paul mean in Romans chapter 5. Let’s look at that portion for a moment. This says it a lot better than I could.

Romans 5:20

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence (or sin) might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”

So no matter how hideous the sinner, or how heavy his sin load is, it’s all been laid on Christ, even the death of the cross.

Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ As God

465: Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ As God – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 39


 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 39

Titus 2:13 Declares Jesus Christ as God

Well 9 years ago this month we started with this format of “Through The Bible” and we just trust that the Lord will continue to use this program for His glory. And how we thank you for letters that reveal that hearts which have been hardened for years and years the Lord has opened and brought to a knowledge of salvation. And also for those of you who for the first time in your life are now enjoying your Bible, and we just give the Lord the praise for it.

Now let’s turn to where we left off in our last lesson and that will be in Philippians chapter 1 and we had gotten as far as verse 28. And remember that Paul is writing this letter while he is in prison in Rome. As we pointed out in the first chapter he had already won numerous of the various Roman soldiers to a knowledge of salvation who had come in to be his personal guard. And we’ll see at the end of this letter these very same people actually became then, part of his greetings to the Philippian believers. So I think there is a theme of joy that comes out of this letter to the Philippians over the fact that he was reaching right into the upper echelon of the Roman empire. Now verse 28.

Philippians 1:28a

“And in nothing terrified by your adversaries which is to them (the adversaries) an evident token of perdition,…”

Do you know what that means? We read these things but we don’t really stop to think on them. It’s those who oppose the believers. Those who have brought persecution on the believers over the centuries have simply set their nose with flint to their eternal doom. And that’s not going to change. Anyone who opposes the Gospel, anyone who brings persecution on the believer, short of his own salvation of course, are headed for any eternal doom, now that’s what perdition means. So that’s what Paul is saying, “For those who persecute believers and bring pressures on us, are headed for their own perdition, their own doom.”

But it’s also an evidence of our own salvation, when they bring persecution on us. You had better be careful if everybody has nothing but good to say about you. Because the unbelieving world really shouldn’t be able to complement us much because they don’t like who we are and what we stand for. So Paul makes it so plain to these Philippians that when the pressures from the outside world, whether it was the Judaisers or the Pagans or the Romans

Also remember at the time of Paul, Emperor worship had almost superseded the god and goddesses of mythology. Mythology was still out there of course, but especially the intellectual community of the Roman empire was into Emperor worship. And every Emperor, Nero included, set themselves up as a god, and to be worshipped as a god. So along comes something like Christianity, and that flew in the face of Emperor worship, and so this is why Paul is making the point, that when someone opposes the believer, it an evident of two things. The opposers are headed for their own perdition, and the believer a confirmation of what and who he is. Now verse 29.

Philippians 1:29

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”

Now that again is contrary to what most of Christendom has been led to believe in the last 50 years. Too many people have gotten the idea that when you become a Christian you’ve gotten a bed of roses. When you become a Christian the money just comes rolling in, your debts get canceled, and all of a sudden you’re just rolling in wealth. But you see that’s not what my Bible teaches. My Bible teaches that for the most part, when we become a believer we’re going to come under the hatred and the pressures of the unbelieving world. Yes we have that hope of His glory, the hope of eternity, but in the present life we do not have that much promise to us from the Scriptures.

I always have to remind us that we here in this great country have been so spoiled because we’re so blessed, and we do not realize how much Christians have had to suffer down through the hundreds and hundreds of years since the time Paul wrote this. Most of the time Christians suffered for their faith, most of the time they were driven from place to place because they didn’t conform. It’s only been since our beloved land has been blessed and we’ve had our constitutional rights that we as Christians have become complacent. It hasn’t always been this way, we are rare according to the annals of history, so we had better be aware that we may yet have to suffer for His sake. And that of course is more than compensated by the glory which shall be revealed to us, as Paul tells us in Romans chapter 8. Now verse 30.

Philippians 1:30

“Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.”

Now here I’m sure he’s making reference to all the times that he had to suffer for his testimony, which were the scourging and beatings, and imprisonments even as he writes. And all of these sufferings were for the sake of the Gospel. He was guilty of no law breaking, or anything else, but he had proclaimed Grace instead of Law and it was of course because of the accusations of the Judaisers. And here you have to go all the way back to what got Paul in prison in the first place. Remember when he started standing on the premise that you’re not under Law, you’re under Grace, and the unbelieving Jewish people and even the believing element in Jerusalem to a degree didn’t like that.

They came down on him even to the place of trying to take his life, and then of course while he was in prison in Caesarea, and couldn’t make any headway with the authorities, so he appealed to Caesar. Paul was convinced as a Roman citizen he would get a fair shake in the Roman courts. Well I imagine had it been anybody but Nero he would have. But Nero was such a horrible personality that it ended up in his martyrdom. Now chapter 2, and we come into the chapter that I could hardly sleep last night thinking about it, and how I could comment on especially after we get to verse 5, because these are some tremendous verses.

Philippians 2:1-2a

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels (inner-most part,) and mercies, 2. Fulfil ye my joy,…”

Now we pointed that out in chapter 1, what was pumping this man up with so much joy and rejoicing? The fact that Paul was penetrating the higher echelons of the Roman empire. He was actually seeing these hardened Roman soldiers come to a knowledge of the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Most of these soldiers carried out all the gruesome acts that Nero wanted. I read once that possibly one of these soldiers even killed Nero’s own mother and step son. So these were the kind of people that were in contact with the apostle Paul and were coming out of all that wickedness and that horrible sin background and becoming testimonies of God’s Grace. Hey that would be enough to make anybody happy, so here was the sound of his joy.

Philippians 2:2-3a

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, (as joyful as I am) having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;…”

Now again, compare the life of the average Philippian believer in their mundane, everyday Christian experience, compared to where Paul was chained to a Roman soldier, with his life on the line. These Philippians could bicker over any little thing, and we’re no different today. And I think Paul is trying to get them to see that comparison. “Don’t bicker over little incidentals that amount to nothing, but always stop and think of my circumstance, what if you were where I am, then these little things wouldn’t seem so important.”

Well it’s the same message for us today in this age of Grace. How many Churches bicker, bicker, bicker. Iris worked in the nursing profession, and worked with people from every background you can imagine. She came home once and said, “Isn’t it amazing what Churches will fight and split over?” Well one of her co-worker’s Church had just split because they couldn’t agree on the color of the upholstery for their new pews. Who cares what color the pews are? The only thing that should matters is “is the Gospel of salvation going out? So this is exactly what Paul is saying, ” That they were not to be so concerned about the little nitty gritty things of everyday life, but to consider the fact that they are not where he is. Now completing verse 3.

Philippians 2:3

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Now that comes right back again to my definition of love. Do you remember what it is? “Seeking the other persons highest good.” So this is exactly what he has in mind.

Philippians 2:4

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Now he’s not advocating covetousness. Paul isn’t saying, Look at your neighbors stuff and wish you had it. But rather what he’s saying here is, “everything that you do with regards to your friends and neighbors and relatives, do it in the spirit that you’re going to seek their highest good.” A verse comes to mind in I Corinthians chapter 13, the great love chapter. Maybe this is an appropriate place to go back and look at it again.

I Corinthians 13:3

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, (love) it profiteth me nothing.”

Now here it comes, and this is exactly what he’s telling the Philippians and what he’s telling us.

I Corinthians 13:4-5

“Charity (love) suffereth (endureth) long, and is kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity, (love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5. (love) Doth not behave itself unseemly, (or unnaturally, love) seeketh not her own, (love) is not easily provoked, (love) thinketh no evil;”

Boy when I read it like that you almost think I’ve got an NIV don’t you? But I don’t have, I’ll just stick to my King James Version. Now back to Philippians. So that’s exactly what Paul has on his mind in verse 4 and the Holy Spirit inspiring it. Looking at the verse again.

Philippians 2:4

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”(with that attitude of love, and not with an attitude of covetousness.)

Now I wish I had more time to compete the next couple of verses in this lesson, but we’ll get as far as we can and pick them up in the next lesson. Now beginning with verse 5, and this is the portion that I just about laid awake all last night thinking on how I can bring this portion out clearly so that anyone whether they’re 5 or 105 can understand completely what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us.

Philippians 2:5

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

Now to put that in plain English, how would I put that? “Have the mind of Christ! Think as He would think.” I always remind people when they say, “Walk in the footsteps of Jesus.” Because I say tongue in cheek, what are you going to do when He gets to the shore of Galilee, and He keeps going? So it gets kind of hard to walk in His footsteps at times, but nevertheless, how can we think as He thinks? Well there’s only one way, and that is to be saturated with the Word, literally saturated.

My goodness I was talking to a lady last night who said there was an elderly gentlemen in her community, whose heart was as hard as nails for years. She said nobody could ever talk to him about spiritual things, and finally as he was in the final stages of chemotherapy, which wasn’t working, but nevertheless, this lady talked to the guy’s wife, and wanted to know if he had ever softened up on spiritual things? She said “Yeah, all of a sudden he doesn’t want to do anything but read his Bible.” So this lady offered this gentlemen’s wife some of our little books for him to read, and she said, “Wait a minute, there’s only one guy that my husband listens to, he’s a tall fellow who teaches from a music stand.” So to make a long story short the Lord opened the old boy’s heart and he had just literally begun to saturate himself with the Word.

Now isn’t it sad that some people waste a whole lifetime of perhaps 90 some years and then finally in the last few months of his life, they can begin to do what they should have been doing for a long time and that’s to study the Word of God. But you see this is the secret of having the mind of Christ, we just literally saturate ourselves with the Word, but remember, God doesn’t expect us to get so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. And that’s possible. I mean people can just simply get freaked out and can think and talk about nothing else. Now that isn’t what God wants because we’re still functioning in this old body here on the earth. But when it comes to having the mind of Christ, there’s only one way, and that is to just be in the Word.

It’s the same way with witnessing. I tell my Oklahoma classes the reason that most Christians don’t witness is because they’re so ignorant of this Book that they’re scared to open their mouth. They know if somebody asks a question, they’re immediately backed into a corner and can’t answer it. Now that’s not God’s fault. God has given us the wherewithal to study, and to become skilled in the use of the Scriptures. I don’t care who it is if they know their Bible, and if they can at least show people where a few things are written, they don’t have any trouble witnessing. They don’t have any trouble talking about the Lord, because they’re confident. But the average believer doesn’t have that, so consequently he clams up. But isn’t it sad, because all they have to do is simply get into the Word.

You’ve heard me say it on this program probably dozens of times, that if old William Tyndale wanted a copy of the Scriptures in the hand of every plowboy in England, what does that mean? You don’t have to be college educated to understand this Book. The Holy Spirit gives us what we need, so whoever we are, don’t just say, “Well I can’t understand it anyway, so I’m not going to spend time reading it.” No, if you get into the Word, the Holy Spirit will begin to open your understanding. So looking at the verse again.

Philippians 2:5

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”

Even though we can’t obtain to His perfect righteousness, we can’t obtain to Who He was, because He was God. But we’re to endeavor to be more like Him tomorrow than we were today. We’re to endeavor today to have more of a mind to think like Christ does than we did yesterday. In fact let’s look at another verse on this in the Book in Romans chapter 12.

Romans 12:1a

“I beseech you therefore,…”

Because of everything he had written in these previous chapters, especially the first 8 chapters. Remember chapters 9, 10, and 11 are parenthetical. So what Paul wrote in the first 8 chapters is what I think he’s referring back to here with the therefore.

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, (not sinless perfection, or that you sprout a halo, but holy simply means that you’ve been set apart, you’re different, you belong to God, you’re no longer a part of the world. So this is what we are to be, holy,) acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

See God isn’t unreasonable. God’s knows we’re made of dust. He knows we’re sons of Adam, He knows all these things, but He does expect your reasonable service. Now the verse I wanted to come to.

Romans 12:2a

“And be not conformed to this world: (we’re to be different) but be ye transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind,…”

Now we’ve got to remember that everything we say, do, and see comes and goes through our mind. The mind is the core of everything. You look at me and the first thing the mind tells you is my name or whatever the case may be. You can look at a wall and the first thing your mind tells you is what you’re seeing. It’s the same way spiritually then, that if our mind is lined up with the things of God, and according to the teachings and exhortations of the Holy Spirit then our mind is going to think as God wants us to think. I read a cliche the other day,“A person is what he thinks!” So if our mind is on the world’s garbage then that’s the way we’re going to think. If on the other hand the mind has been saturated with the Word of God, then that’s what we’re going to think, and it’s going to start showing.

Romans 12:2b

“…that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

We get letters that ask, “How can I know the will of God?” I’m sure everyone of us have asked that question. Well I think you put all this I’ve just said in this lesson in a thought, “By being saturated in the Word.” And when we’re saturated with the Word, then God operates through our mind which is now the mind of Christ and we will begin to fulfill the will of God. I for one have never gone out and just knocked down doors so that I can do something for the Lord, that hasn’t been my style, and still isn’t. I wait till the Lord opens doors, and I think that’s still the proper way of doing it. And as we wait for these open doors, and go ahead signals, then we end up in the will of God. And as long as we don’t rebel and say, “I won’t do it,” God will get us where He wants us. Remember this is the reason that He’s left believers on the earth, so that we can function as emmisaries of His Grace, and that we can constantly be promoters of the Gospel of Grace.

Now coming back to Philippians chapter 2 for the few seconds we have left. Let’s read verse 5 again and then verse 6 which we’ll pick up in our next lesson.

Philippians 2:5-6

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (now I’ll go on into the next verse although we won’t have time to comment on it. Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ) 6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery (He did not think it was something that He was grabbing that was not rightfully His) to be equal with God;”

Why? Because He was God! My, the Scriptures declares that He was God. I know there’s one particular group that their main hang up is that they just can’t believe that Jesus Christ was God. You can show them some of these verses and they’ll say, “Well that isn’t what it means.” Well it’s hard to deal with someone like that, but I guess my favorite Scripture to prove to them that Jesus Christ is God is found in Titus chapter 2.

Titus 2:13

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

There’s no room to argue with Scriptures like that!

Philippians 1:1-27 - Part 2

464: Philippians 1:1-27 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 39


 

 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 39

Philippians 1:1-27 – Part 2

Now coming back where we left off in the last lesson and that would be chapter 1 and verse 17. Now for those of you who missed the first half hour or two, you want to remember that Paul is writing from a Roman prison just outside the praetorian guard in Rome right next door to the palace of Nero. Also remember that Nero was probably the most wicked world leader that ever lived. He made Hitler look like a Sunday school teacher. I was reading in some secular material just the other day that the horrible immoral practices that Nero would force his people in servitude was such that the ordinary civilize person wouldn’t put on paper.

Now I don’t know what it would have been, but you can use your own imagination. Well I tell you some of the things that the did to his own family to show how he had no respect for anyone. First off he had his wife Octavia killed so that he could marry Poppaea, a proselyte of Judaism, who of course encouraged all the activity against the apostle Paul because you know how the Jewish people felt about Paul’s apostleship. Not only did he have his wife Octavia killed in order to marry Poppaea, but he also murdered his step-son, and murdered his own mother Agrippina, and that was only a part of the personality of Nero.

So you want to remember for Paul to make inroads into a government headed up by a man like that, no wonder he was thrilled. No wonder he could say, “I’m ready to be offered, if it’s time for me to go, I’m ready, and if not, then I’ll carry on.” Paul was experiencing the salvation of these Romans all the way into the very elite part of the Roman government. Now continuing on in chapter 1.

Philippians 1:17a

“But the other of love,…” Remember in our last lesson his closing remarks were, “Some people were actually promoting his Gospel in order to hopefully bring even more harm to him, but it doesn’t matter as long as people heard the Gospel of the Grace of God.” Let’s look at verse 16 again.

Philippians 1:16-17a

“The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, (just for the purpose of making it harder on the apostle’s condition in prison) supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17. But the other of love,…” There were actually people now under all those horrible circumstances of Nero’s persecution which is going to grow intensely worse.

Philippians 1:17

“But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.”

What do you think he’s talking about? When Paul would get his time in court. I think the apostle Paul just cherished those moments he had before King Agrippa and Festus in the Book of Acts, and that’s why he appealed to Rome, which was proud of their judicial system. They weren’t as complete a democracy as we are today, but remember they were a republic. Their laws were fair, and like us, they did not declare anyone guilty until he was proven guilty, or as we put it, “innocent until proven guilty.”

So Paul, I think, was almost relishing another opportunity to come into a judge and jury situation where he could use the power of the Holy Spirit to just unload on these Roman magistrates. So he says, “I am ready for the defense of the Gospel.” You want to remember that’s the only reason that this man is in prison. Paul hadn’t broken any law, or had been trying to overthrow Rome. Paul hadn’t been using any bad remarks about Nero or even the gods and goddess of mythology, but rather all Paul had been doing was preaching the Gospel that saves you, Christ crucified, and risen again. But when the Gospel would transform the lives of the makers of idols such as up there in Ephesus with the Silversmiths, it got him in trouble.

Philippians 1:18

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, (from these who were doing it simply trying to get Paul into deeper trouble) or in truth, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

Nothing thrilled the heart of that apostle more than to hear of someone saved, especially in Caesar’s household. I hope you all realize that Caesar was a title in Rome, like we would use the word king or president. Nero was the Caesar of this hour. Now verse 19.

Philippians 1:19

“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

Now we’ve got to stop again for a moment. Does Paul think that all this activity is going to bring about his own salvation? Why heavens no! You know that Paul knew that many years before. Paul had his salvation, it was secure by his faith, but what he’s talking about is the out working of it all. Let’s read it again.

Philippians 1:19

“For I know that this shall turn to my salvation (freedom) through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”

Now I’m going to read between the lines, and I may be as wrong as wrong can be, but I think Paul was confident that with the prayers of the saints, and with his own ability to meet the magistrates and judge and jury of Rome, that he would gain his freedom. And that’s what he was saying in this verse. “Your prayers are going to bring about my salvation.” Not his spiritual salvation, but his actually being set free from prison. Now some people think he was set free. You read some of your writers and it’s almost 50/50 as some think that at this particular time when he took his defense of the Gospel that he actually gained his freedom, and these people call it, “the two imprisonments” Then after being free for a year or two, and some feel it was at that time he went to Spain, but I don’t agree with this thinking. I think he only had one imprisonment, but whatever, if he did indeed gain his freedom then certainly this verse is apropo, that it was the result of the prayers of the saints.

Now don’t ever sell the prayers of the saints short. Iris and I don’t. My there’s nothing that we revel in more than your prayers. We just got back from one of our travels of 5000 miles, and to know that we’ve got people praying for us everyday all over the country, so we know that prayer works. It’s the same way with this television ministry, my we would have never dreamed we’d ever go beyond Tulsa, Oklahoma. I figured after 6 months it would be a dead duck, and we’d be out of here. Well here we are 9 years later and it’s still growing, people are being saved, and learning how to witness to others, and all because of the prayers of the saints. Now verse 20.

Philippians 1:20

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always , so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

In other words, he speaking of his constant day in and day out testimony among these Romans. That reminds me of another verse and I imagine many of you also thought of this verse as we were reading verse 20. Go back to Romans 1:16 for a moment. I try to go slow to give everybody a chance to see the Scriptures for themselves, but every now and then I get a letter that says, “I go too fast.” So I guess I’ll have to slow it down a little bit more and give you a chance to find these references. Here Paul is writing several years before he wrote Philippians.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed (do you see that?) of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation (for how many?) to every one that believeth;…”

Do you see that? There’s no condition of being baptized in water or anything else to becoming a believer of the Body of Christ. See, if God had put a price on salvation then people would have just flocked to it, because man always wants to do something himself. But He didn’t, it’s free! So Paul was not ashamed of that Gospel that he preached so freely. Now come back to Philippians, which I said was written several years later than Romans, and he has the same mind set. He’s still not ashamed of the Gospel or ashamed of being in prison. He’s been in prison more times than any of us would like to think of. And it was all for the sake of the Gospel, Remember Paul never did anything that was worthy of arrest and imprisonment.

Philippians 1:20b

“…in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

I don’t put a lot of stock on secular news, but I have read that when Paul was a little ways from where they were going to behead him that he actually ran the last few steps to lay his head on the block. That’s a little far fetched, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened like that. How anxious he was to give his life for the sake of the Gospel., and always remember that Grace is sufficient. If something like that ever comes our way, and I hope it doesn’t, then God’s Grace will overwhelm us also like it did Paul. Now verse 21 says it all doesn’t it? Oh, when Paul realized that there was nothing more he could do to promote the Gospel, when he was convinced that his time was finished, that God had done everything with him that he wanted to do, what is he? He is so ready to go.

Philippians 1:21

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Now as you know, we’ve got it so good, that’s our problem. We’ve got it so good until maybe we’re on the death bed with a horrible painful cancer or something, and I’m sure that would change our mind. But most of us in our average existence have it so good that we’re not really anxious to die. I’m not anxious either! I don’t want to see death, in fact I hate death. Now I’m anxious for the Rapture, in fact I wish it would take place today, because you see that’s going to be a real easy way out of it all. That’s going to be tremendous, don’t have to lay in a hospital bed, or a nursing home, or anything like that would be great. It’s just suddenly going to be a whole new body, and everything for eternity, yeah I’m looking forward to that. But death? No, I don’t like death, but this man was so ready to die because it is to gain Christ. Let’s look at the flip side in verse 22.

Philippians 1:22-24

“But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot (know) not. (why?) 23. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. (of course it would be better than a Roman prison) 24. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

Now I don’t know how many times you or other people out there think about it, but have you ever tried to think about the circumstances that these new believers found themselves in such as up at Philippi and Ephesus and so forth? Here they are just recently out of idolatrist paganism, with all of its excesses. Those of you who have been over there have seen the evidence of the gross immorality everywhere you look such as in Pompeii, and Corinth, and so forth. How these people came out of that by simple faith in Paul’s Gospel, and then were immediately were confronted with persecution, and the threat of torture, how did they maintain their faith, and grow in it?

Because until Paul begin his letters, which was probably around 58 AD or about 5 or 6 years before he writes his prison epistles, they had no written New Testament to go by. They couldn’t read the New Testament and take comfort from it like we can. You also want to remember that the average Gentile certainly didn’t have the Old Testament, as that was pretty much confined to the synagogues and the rabbi’s. Those Gentile believers just didn’t have a lot going for them except the power of the Holy Spirit to keep them. So this is why he writes in verse 24 that if was more needful for the believer if he stayed alive.

Philippians 1:24

“Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

Hopefully Paul would be released and once again make the circle of visiting all the Churches that he had established. What’s the verse I’m going to? I think it’s II Corinthians? Come back with me, and I’ll find it in chapter 11, and we’ll just drop in at verse 22. Remember when I taught the Corinthian letters I was always emphasizing that Paul had to defend his apostleship, especially to the Corinthians. Because remember they were putting him down, and saying, “Well we’d rather follow Peter,” others said “No we’re going to follow Christ, after all He proved who He was.” Then along comes Apollos who was highly educated, and so he won a few. Some said “No, we’re going to stay with Paul.” So he always had to defend his apostleship, that he was not an impostor, that he was invariably the true apostle of the Gentiles.

II Corinthians 11:22-23a

“Are they Hebrews? so am I. (that was in reference to the twelve back there in Jerusalem whom some said were the only ones with authority.) Are they Israelites? so am I. are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) (Paul’s humbling himself) I am more: (the ministers of Christ then they were, and here’s the reasons)in labours more abundant,…”

Remember Scripturally we have no account of the twelve ever leaving in ministry the area of Jerusalem. I had a letter from a gentlemen, that I’m quite sure was from the Catholic persuasion, because I have a lot of those folks as my listeners. But he said that he couldn’t agree with me on my statement that Peter had never visited any Gentile city, and I didn’t say that. I said that Peter had no ministry among the Gentiles. Now I know Peter visited Antioch in Galatians chapter 2, and I’m sure he visited Rome, and he probably visited other places,but, he had, according to this Book, no ministry except to the Jew! So consequently even though those twelve men were all martyred, they didn’t suffer the years of privation that this man did. Look what Paul says.

II Corinthians 11:23

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes (the 40 lashes) above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.”

What he means by that is near death. Remember at Philippi, he was sick nigh unto death, in Ephesus he seemingly escaped with his life as he said, “I escaped the beast in Ephesus.” I don’t think it meant that he was in the coliseum and had to fight off the lions, but the beast of the pagan world. Then of course stoned to death for a little while at Lystra as he was caught up into the third heaven for we don’t know how long as we see in the next chapter, verse 2 and 3.

II Corinthians 11:23b-28

“…in death oft. 24. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and day I have been in the deep. (Mediterranean Sea) 26. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. (and then here it comes, the biggest burden of all) 28. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.”

He had a constant concern for all the Churches he had started. They may have been small compared to our Churches today, but they were precious in Paul’s sight, and he knew the pressure that they were all under. So he was constantly aware of and concerned about those little groups of believers that he had established. So all the other sufferings horrible as it was, did not press him down as much as the care or concern for these little cells of believers that he had established. Now come back with me to Philippians.

Philippians 1:24

“Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” To encourage them, the keeping them from falling back into their pagan practices. To keep them ready for persecution or death, if and when it should come. Now verse 25.

Philippians 1:25

“And having this confidence, (that God was in it all. That everything that fell out to his daily happening were in the providence of God) I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

In spite of all the hardships this guy had so much on which his memory could constantly feed. He could remember the time when he was a Jewish religious zealot, what did he do to the Jewish believers? Tortured them, threw them in prison. Saw to it that they were put to death. He couldn’t arrest them fast enough to satisfy that ravenous appetite of religious fervor, so that was constantly on his mind. How he persecuted those early believers. Then to meet the Lord on the road to Damascus, what an experience that must have been? To find out that the God of glory was the same one that he thought he was stamping out? Jesus of Nazareth was the Jehovah that he worshipped? Listen that was something that would knock anyone’s socks off, wasn’t it?

And Paul never forgot it, and then he moves on and all the converts coming out of paganism, and how he could see their lives just cleaned up, and brought out of gross immorality, and became living examples of faith. Even those Roman soldiers, I’m sure that as the praetorian guards would come in and they could almost sense that higher level of morality that was an aura around the apostle Paul. And they knew that here was something not so much the man, but rather the God whom he served. So I’m sure that all of these things just flooded the man’s memory and it would all give rise to a ferverance of his joy. So over and over Paul would say, “Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice.” Now verse 26.

Philippians 1:26

“That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.”

So what’s Paul looking forward to? Getting out of prison. He was pretty confident that he was going to beat the wrap, and that’s why he was so ready for his defense. He honestly hoped that day would come, and like I said before, some feel he did get out of prison, and some feel he did not. Now verse 27.

Philippians 1:27

“Only let your conversation (in some places the word conversation means citizenship, like it does in chapter 3, but here it means manner of living, your life style) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

That’s all that counted. He didn’t worry about how much food they had to eat. He didn’t worry about how many Cadillacs they had in their garage. All Paul was concerned about, is their faith that which would prepare them for eternity. But today we’re living in such a materialistic age that we are just sort of programmed to equate everything with the material. Oh yeah I’ll be spiritual if it’ll give me material blessings. Listen that’s not in here. I got a letter the other day where this person got a kick out of the time I made the statement, “I’ll never tell you to send me 50 bucks so you’ll get a thousand.” Listen that’s not in this Bible, that is not the work of Scripture, but rather it’s our faith in the Gospel.