Monday, November 1, 2021

Confidence In Christ

 


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on Oct 31st 2021 by Christy Thomas via zoom.
.This is the debut preach of Christy Thomas.  We at Word of Grace, believe in discovering, developing and deploying people in their gifts. We are encouraged by the number of trainees who are growing strong the living and preaching the Word.

 For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

When I asked Colin what I should preach on, He asked me what my life verse was?

So, today, we will be looking at Phil 1: 1-11, and I have titled my message “Being confident in Christ”.

Introduction: Before we can get into the text, let's take some time to understand the background of this letter.

Where do you think Paul was when he wrote this letter to the Philippians?

Paul writes the letter to the Christians in Philippi during his Roman house arrest which is described in Act 28:30-31 NKJV - 30

When did Paul start the church in Philippi?

Paul founded the church in Philippi 11 years before this letter to the Philippians.

What was Philippi know for?

Philippi was “the place where the armies of Mark Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius in the decisive battle of the second Roman civil war in 42 B.C.” (Hughes) Because of this, many Roman soldiers retired in the area, and Philippi was proud of its Roman connection.

How did this church start? Acts 16:13-40

Through Lydia, God opened the door to a church plant in Philippi. This is how the first church was established in the continent of Europe.

Do you find anything strange in verse 13? Why do you think they met at the riverside?

It was because there were too few Jews and they did not have a synagogue to assemble. But that did not keep them from coming together in prayer!

Amazing, what an example to set isn’t it?

We too have so many opportunities to grow in our faithfulness to pray and intercede. We have the 24x7 prayer chain, we have 3 days prayer and fasting. So, lets be like these faithful men and women and take every opportunity set before us to pray and intercede.

Let’s be a people and a church who continue steadfastly in prayer.

This is the background to this letter to the Philippians.

 

Phil 1:1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

1.    Being confident of our identity in Christ: Paul opens the letter by addressing all the believers as saints. That is our identity too, when we have put our faith in Christ Jesus as the one and true God, we become His saints. 1 Peter 2:9 says 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Our actions didn’t make us saints. But Christ’s actions did. He deposited His righteousness into us when we put our faith in Him. In the traditional churches, only certain people could be elevated the position of a if they met certain criteria. But the bible calls each and everyone of us as saints!

Let’s be clear here, our identity is that we are saints when we have placed our faith in Christ. But the reality is that we do sin, and that process of becoming perfect as He is perfect is called sanctification. This will be completed only at His second coming!

How do we apply this to our lives?

We don’t have to look down upon ourselves! We are saints in Christ! A few Sudays ago, Colin reminded us that we were created a little lower than the angels! Science and the world want us to believe that we are only a little above the animals, but the Bible says that God sees believers as saints!

Phil 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2.    Being confidence of our peace in Christ: Right at the outset of the letter, Paul gives them his greeting of grace and peace that comes from the Father through His son Jesus. We need to recognize this too, that we can have grace and peace only in Christ Jesus. All worldly substitutes that offer these are just counterfeits that will give way in due time!

Are there areas in our lives where we need His peace in our lives?

Let’s remember to surrender those areas to God, be thankful to Him for His blessings and receive His peace which surpasses all understanding!

Phil 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,

Paul is very grateful for the Philippians because they have very generously supported his ministry even during their own time of lack:

Like the Philippian church, we too at WoG church have been reaching out to people in need, through the JoG. We have impacted 6 pastors and their families, many widows and families! So, if there are any who are yet to join the JoG, let’s do so now!

Are we placing our confidence in Christ for our finances?

This confidence is shown when we are faithful in bringing our tithes and offering to God.

And when he remembers the Philippians in prayer, it is joy that fills him. Amazing that he should be filled with joy considering he is writing from prison! During one of our GYM meetings, one of my GYM members mentioned that they maintain a testimony journal! The book has become so big over the years. It is a reminder of how faithful God is! So, Esther and I also have embarked on the same journey to maintain a testimony journal! In this fast-paced world, we need to take time to write down those things where God has intervened in our lives. And as we go through the list, joy will fill our hearts. Paul was not just happy because they supported him financially, but because they partnered with him in spreading the gospel from the start!

How are we partnering with WoG church to spread the gospel?

We have so many opportunities to invite people to our services on Friendship Sunday, Christmas, Easter. I pray that each of us would go out of our way to invite people to these services. We never know whose heart God would open to receive His gospel!

This brings us to the text for today!

Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

This scripture became my life verse in in June, 2015. I was in a real mess in my career. I had graduated in 2012 and started working the same year. But I was so confused and spoilt that I ended up quitting my first job in 13 months. After being born-again in October, 2009 I lost track. It was in 2014 that I made a covenant with God-it was going to be only Jesus from then on! I placed my confidence in Christ alone. I cleared the exam for Vellore Institute of technology and on the morning of the interview this verse was my morning meditation. For the rest of the day, I kept repeating this verse in my mind continuously! Instead of dwelling on how I gave the interview, I kept repeating this verse to my self. When the results for the interview was announced, I came first! This was the first time I had come out first in anything I attempted! I learned the power of holding on to scripture and placing my confidence in Him!

3.    We need to place our confidence in the God who completes what He begins! Which is called the process of sanctification.

Phil 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

This one scripture talks about 3 fundamental doctrines in the Bible:

1.    Salvation: the good work that He began in us

2.    Sanctification: the process He is doing in us to become Holy like He is.

3.    Glorification: When God perfects us at the second coming of Christ.

What is this good work that God did and when did he start the good work in you and I?

What is this good work that God did?

The good work He did in our lives is when He orchestrated our lives to bring us to that point where we received Him as Lord and savior.

Jn 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”

I was born again during a youth camp in October, 2009. I didn’t become perfect on the day I was born-again. But God started a process. Today, I have grown so much in my walk with God than when I started out in 2009! That was how my journey started! That’s how God started His good work in me.

When did he start the good work in you and I?

Ep 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

So, you see, even before the world was created, He knew that you and I were created to be His children.

Charles Spurgeon says it this way, “The work of grace has its root in the divine goodness of the Father, it is planted by the self-denying goodness of the Son, and it is daily watered by the goodness of the Holy Spirit; it springs from good and leads to good, and so is altogether good.”

So, is being born-again the start or the end of our Christian journey?

It’s just the start!

The end of our Christian journey is the second coming of Christ when we will be perfected!

Between the start and the end, what are we called to do?

In 1 Corinthians 15: 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Phil 1: 7

From these two scriptures, we get a glimpse of God wants us to live out our lives between the start and the end:

Are we longing for fellowship?

Psalm 133: 1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Are we longing to have fellowship in our GYM’s?

We are so blessed that we can at least meet virtually. I remember once I met a customer at work who shared that ever since the pandemic hit, the church he went to completely stopped house fellowships. Their Sunday service was just a one-sided conversation!

Are we calling up people to stay in connection with them, to encourage people when they are not keeping well?

Has our love for each other grown?

Are we walking the extra mile to provide food for those who are sick and suffering in our midst? We have so many opportunities to reach out to those in need in our church.

I encourage each of us to show our love for each other, especially in times of need!

Another thing we need to do between the start and the finish is give up sin habits!

Are we continuing in the same sin habits we were in before we were born again? Have we picked up new sin habits after our conversion?

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

It’s good to have a close circle of friends in church whom we can be accountable to. It will help break sin habits as we pray for one another!

Are we bearing fruits of righteousness? 

Rm 12:9- 21 gives us a list of things we need to do as a Christian: loving one-another, to abhor evil, ministering to those in need, to repay evil with love, etc.

This brings us to the last question, when will the good work he began be completed? Or glorification.

Paul reminds the believers that the good work God began would be completed on the day of the Lord, referring to Jesus’ second coming. And the way Paul used the phrase was to show that Jesus’ second coming was at hand and not some day in the distant future.

1 Cor 1:8

II Thess 5:5 

The only thing the Bible is clear about Jesus’ second coming is that even the son doesn’t know when that day is.

Mark 13: 32

So, in conclusion lets remember to put our confidence in Christ for our identity, our peace and our sanctification!

 



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 has 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.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

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