Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Philippians Part 23: True Beauty| Chris B

This message was preached  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on September 18th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here


Philippians 4: 8- 9- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Today we will take a look in context to what Paul is urging us to do. Take last week's and combine with this week.

Last week we saw that, in biblical prayer there are atleast two activities- the act of prayer, when we come together and pray for situations and things. The second is the state of prayer- this is the 2 Corinthians 5 kind of prayer- pray ceaselessly. This happens through abiding with God.

Driving a gear car and driving in India, I have learnt to cast my anxieties on the Lord. This is the state of prayer. The grace of God is sufficient to perfect my life and yours. Yet we shoot one line prayers through the day. It's being in a continual state of prayer because there are anxieties too big for me.

Sometimes people come to mind and we just shoot a prayer for them. We see prayer as seeking peace. The negative now said positively. Casting our anxieties on him and putting on the peace of Jesus, this reduces anxieties. That is a little like abiding.

It is important to take it off and then replace it. We take things off and then put something else on.

Ephesians 4: 20- 24That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” If you are a believer, you are continually recognising your sin, casting it off, and putting on the new self.
Paul starts by giving an explanation. 

Ephesians 4: 25-28Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body...  Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

It is not enough to stop stealing, you need to find honest job to do. When you stop worrying, you have some time to kill.

As a human race, we are two things. We are obsessed and awful. We are horrible at identifying what is true and noble, right, pure lovely and admirable.

In 4th century BC, Plato and Aristotle spoke about 4 transcendentals- good, beautiful, real, true. These things transcend time and space.

Envision a magazine- there is a cover girl. Now think about my 88 year old Grandma. Today the idea of beauty and attractiveness has become intertwined. Beauty is not confined by time or space. That’s why the culture worships youth. People want to look attractive forever. But the model on a magazine fails on two counts- photoshop, airbrushed and lighting. There is attractiveness, but no reality. She is not beautiful in the philosophical sense.

My grandma, on the other hand, was the kindest, gentlest and most amazing lady I have ever known. She sets the bar in the stratosphere. She’s certainly not as attractive but she’s beautiful. The lie of pornography is the same problem Paul is talking about in the previous verse.

We are not excellent at determining what is excellent.

Isaiah 53:2-3 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.“ it tells us that he

Isaiah 6: 1- 8

CS Lewis – “we as a species are far too easily pleased.” The problem with people who lust after porn or food or success, is not that they desire too much but that are easily satisfied. 

This world has been blinded so they are not able to see what is truly beautiful, the beauty of our God. We go after things that are counterfeit beautiful, counterfeit reality. If we want to change our perspective we need to look at our Beautiful King. Experiencing God in his fullness is far greater that anything we go after.

Isaiah was forever changed because of his encounter with God. We can't do this change alone. We come here each week to behold our God and be transformed forever.

Q. How will we do this?
Paul encourages people to look at him and imitate.

Q. Do I have someone who is mentoring me?
Someone I can follow. Find someone who can help you in this'd pursuit. Find a mentor.

Q. How will I take off anxiety?
Replace the content and do the exact same thing with something beautiful about our God it turns worry to worship. Definition of worry is when you think about your anxiety over and over in your mind. When you replace that with something incredible about God, it’s worship, meditation.

Eph  2:1-10 says you were dead. A dead person can't do anything for themselves. But God intervened at great personal expenses. He died in your place and ransomed you. So that he can show how much he loves you. He demonstrates that in his love for you.

That's why we can endure all things and count it as rubbish. So let us rejoice in the Lord and again rejoice!!

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.