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Episode · 9 months ago

God Completes Everything He Starts

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God Completes Everything He Starts

All right, we are going to startlooking at the book of Philippians Book of Philippians, it's written by Paul,and you might recognize the picture up there, pauls letter to the Philippiansit's from the Bible project. I would encourage you to go home and sometime this week watchthe video of the Bible projects overview of Philippians. It's reallygood and more than likely, Peto, postid, somewhere or nine different places forus to to look at it's about seven minutes long and givesyou an overview of the book of Philippians. It's really good. I know Ievery time we start a book. I say watch that and it's really good. I haven'tfound one that isn't really good. Now, most of the ones I've watched have beenin the Old Testament, which is a little easier. Maybe I should go home andwatch the Hebrews one, and then I would, I would say, that's probably probablynot good, but so so far I think they've been great and Philippians is noexception. So we're going to look at the first part of Philippians and thengo a little bit into act. So we understand where this church came from, so Paul'swriting. Paul and Timothy Are Writing Servants of Christ Jesus so they areservants is the the word that's used and then to all gods to all God's HolyPeople in Christ, Jesus it at Philippi, so notice what they just did they putthemselves as servants, and then they put all of the people in the church asholy people, they've put everybody ahead of themselves by callingthemselves servants and their Holy People in Christ. Jesus always a greatlittle phrase that you see from Paul in Christ. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INCHRIST? It means that you have accepted Jesus as your saviour and your identityis now in Jesus. Your personality is now in Jesus. Your morals are now inJesus and, most importantly, your hope is in Jesus and that's what what hessaying and they're at Philippi...

...whereit's Philippi, I don't know we'll,have to wait for another slide or two to find out where, where that istogether with the overseers and deacons well elders and deacons, that's USright. The the overseers there is where we get the word. episcopy from so, ifyou've been to an Episcopal church, that's a church that is run by theelders. That's the word for overseeor there, and we have them. We have elders,it's Mr Sager dwayne is an elder. Tyler is an elder. Brian is an elder and I aman elder so to all God's holy people. That's you guys and overseers. That's the elders anddeacons. Our deacons are Ben who's watching at home. Everybody waived, OBen Chris Graft Ed Miller and Andrew Brown,everybody Waied to Andrew Brown and me so it's Paul and Timothy Talking to thechurch at Philippi, much like they would talk to the church in SpringGrove and then specifically addressing elders and deacons. They say grace and peace to you fromGod, our father and the Lord Jesus Christ. So this is just sort of thenormal opening that you would have. There are several word plays in here inthe Greek that if we nerde it out for a few minutes, you would just fall asleep.So let's go back to the book of acts and we can see how the church inPhilippi was formed. Ax. Sixteen tells us that Paul wants to go to Asia, he'sin Hey Matt. Do we have like a littlelaser pointer on this thing and if so, how does one use- or I can just jump up all right so onhis his trip out from Jerusalem he's going up through Asia? And you seethere's a little, don't worry about it. Mat you see, there's a little towncalled Tros, that's where he is...

...and he wants to to keep going and he crosses over intoPhilippi. That's the city that we're talking about that city way up in thetop above FESELANIKA. So a sixteen is saying from Tro as we put out the seaand sailed straight for wherever and the next day we went to. Wherever fromthere we travel to Philippie Yeay, that's the city were we're talkingabout it's a Roman colony and a leading city of the district of Macedonia, andwe stayed there several days now. It's important to know that it's a Romancolony, so the whole world is controlled by Rome right now, but thisin particular is a city that is very Roman and it's a leading city of thedistrict of Macedonia. It's on the water, it's an important city, it's aRoman colony and we stayed there for I don't need it. Thank you for severalseveral days on the Sabbath. We went outside thecity gate to the river, so that gives us a clue that this Roman colony doesnot have hesynagog. So there aren't a whole lotof Jewish people there and instead their meeting outside the city gate tothe river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. So since there was noSynagogu Paul went where do we go it's Saturday? I want to go worship God.Where do I go, and he said there must be a place of prayer somewhere, it'sprobably down here by the river, so they go expecting to find a place ofprayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there, one of them one of those listening wasa woman from the city of thyratyra named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,which probably is the bibles way of telling you that she's kind of rich shshe's well to do. But here's to me the better descriptionof her. She was a worshipper of God.

The Lord opened her heart to respond toPaul's message. Well, wait a second: What's the Difference Between Lydia, aworshipper of God and responding to Paul's message pause talking aboutJesus? Why? If lydy is a worshiper of God? Why doesn't Syou already knowabout Jesus? Well, it looks to me like Lydia is what we would tend to call anold testament sing, ALD testament, meaning she has faith in a comingMessiah. So faith in a coming. Messiah is how you become a believer in the OldTestament. It wasn't through sacrificial systems. It wasn't throughobeying the law. It was faith in a coming Messiah. You were given a law,you went! Oh, I can't obey that I need help and that help is was promised inGenesis, chapter three and they put their faith in a coming Messiah. Sohere's Lydia well after Jesus has died and been resurrected. Well, after theChurch has started, Church starts and act chapter two were fourteen chapterslater and she is still putting her faith in a coming Messiah and then Paulcomes and says he came. Let me tell you, he came. Letme tell you what he did. Let me tell you, he rose. Let me tell you he's inheaven now and she goes I'm going to move from a worshiper of God and becomesomeone who responds to the message of Jesus which, by the way, is what thewhole book of Hebrews is about. If you are wondering why my dad and I werehaving a conversation about Hebrews, that's the message of the writer of Hebrews.That's his point that you have to move from faith in a coming Messiah to faithin Jesus and that's exactly what Lydia dos does here. She was a worshipper ofGod and now she believes that Jesus is that Messiah that she was worshipping when she and members of her householdwould baptize. She invited us to her home. So not only does she become a believer,but she tells everybody and that's what...

...we're going to see in Philippi there''sthis explosion of the Gospel message, because everybody becomes a Christianand then tells everybody else. So there's a baptism. She invites us toher home and says: If you consider me a believer and the Lord come and stay aat my house and she persuaded us so that supports that she was a worshipperof God, belief in a coming Messiah, which means she at that point was not abeliever in the Lord Believer in Jesus. She was a believer in God, but not a believer in Jesus. Sonow she's saying, if you really consider me a Christian, if youconsider me part of the church, if you consider me a Jesus follower, come andstay at my house, and they stay at her house once when we were going to the place ofprayer- and this is a this is a. this- is just a funny story,they're just stories in the Bible that make me laugh, and this is one of them.Once whene we're going to a place of prayer, we were met by a female sleevewho had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal ofmoney for her owners by fortune telling she followed Paul and the rest of USshouting. These men are servants of the most High God who are telling you theway to be saved now that would get annoying right. Nobody wants to have someonefollowing them shouting, even if it's something good, especially since thiswoman's crazy right, she is possessed by a demon that allows her to tell thefuture but she's crazy, and nobody wants someone to say. Even if it's nicethings, you don't want a crazy person screaming at you, even even nice thingsshe kept this up for many days till finally, Paul gets so annoyedbecause I don't love Paul Paul gets so annoyed that he turned around and saidto the spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. I command you to come out ofher and at that moment the spirit left her so yeay everyone's happy right. Can youimagine being her master and going Oh...

...good? My crazy female slave is nowcured. I'm happy. Let's go home and celebrate. Maybe we'll even have aparty but notice what it says. She earned agreat deal of money for her owners by fortune telling so now the demon isgone. Now the fortune telling is gone now the money is gone. We have aproblem when her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone.They didn't care that this woman's well being was better. They didn't careabout her in any way they cared just about their pockets. They seized Pauland Silas and dragged them into the market, place to face the authoritiesand basically said they did a really nice thing, but it cost us money andnow we're mad. They brought them before the magistrates and said these men areJews and are throwing our city into an uproar. It's a Roman colony. This is not Jerusalem where they wouldgo. These people are Jews and everybody would go yes, so are we instead, it'sthese people are Jews and they aoh juce. They get Rome in a lot of trouble. So these men are Jews, they're,throwing our city into an uproar yep, that's what the Jewish people do. Theythrow the city into an uproar. This is going to be a problem by advocatingcustoms unlawful for US Romans to accept our practice. The Romans, theJewish people had certain customs and rules that the Romans actually let themdo that nobody else was allowed to do, but the Jewish people were because theywere such a problem. If the Roman said you couldn't do it, they knew that theJews would just revolt and revolt and revolt, but nobody else was allowed todo them. So they're saying, look they're, saying they're trying to getus to do things that we're not allowed to do, which is going to get us introuble which is going to get the whole city in trouble. So they went from it,hurt our pocket books to it's going to be a problem for all of us. The crowd joined in the attack againstPaul and Silas, and the magistrates...

...ordered them to be stripped and beatenwith rods after they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prisonand the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully, so they were beatentheir thrown into prison and his jaller is told guard them carefully. Now I'venever been a guard in prison. Some of you have and if, if you're told guard themcarefully, then you're going to give them a spot where you can keep watch overthem. So when the jailer receives this orders, he puts them in the inner cell,which I assume is the most secure one and he fastens their feet in the stocksas if they're going anywhere. I don't know about you, but if I were severelyflogged and beaten with a Rod, you could just put me down on the groundand I would be there for a few days. I'm not I'm not going anywhere, buthere they're, now locked with R their feet fastened. In stocks there, in aninner cell they're being guarded carefully about midnight, Paul andSilas were complaining. This is awful man. We came here to tell people aboutJesus. We healed this, this perfectly nice,woman and now they're upset at US and now they've, beaten us and I'm a littlesore and now I'm thrown in prison and my Feett. This is obnoxious, they're, they're, praying and singinghymns. Now I can't relate with that. What I canrelate to is what I assume is the prisoner next to them going. Would youstop singing it's midnight just it's time to go to bed just be quiet. Howmany of you stayed up till midnight on New Year's Eve, allright, I'm just looking for the restof my my old folks, okay, how many of you when the fireworks went off at liketwelve o two were going? Would you just stop? You know, guns started going offand you're like come on. Everybody just go to bed, no, no one, all right allright Tad, and I the old people in the church who were just the Karmagansgoing. It's midnight go to bed all...

...right. They don't even have reason tocelebrate. They have reason to be upset. If you had read this at midnight, Pauland Silas were whining and complaining and crying you'd go well, that'sunderstandable, but they have a recognition of who Jesus is and theyare in Christ and they are praying and singing hymns to God and the otherprisoners were listening to them, they're having a worship service andtelling people about Jesus after they have been beaten and now they're inprison. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundationsof the prison were shaken. All the prison doors fly open and everyone'schains come loose, which is just a happy coincidence that everybody's FreeGod designed earthquake. I had to shake everything open. The jailer woke upbecause it's an earthquake and when he saw the prisoner prison doors open, hedrew his sword and was about to kill himself because he was told watch theseguys carefully and now he's looking going. Prison doors are open,Everythingis, they're gone and I'm going to die, they're going to kill meand they're not going to kill me in a nice way. Now I would about to killhimself with the sword. That's about the most effective way that he could doit back. then. If, if these prisoners were gone, they were going to kill himin a way that was going to make him suffer and suffer and suffer and it wasgoing to take a while. So his feeling was I'm going to die, let me do it bymy own hands and get it over quickly, but Paul shouted don't harm yourself.We are all here all we are all here which all the prisoners, all the doors cameopen. All the chains fell off and all of the prisoners, not just Paul andSilas, stayed where they were. You think, maybe that it had something todo with Paul and stylas praying and singing at midnight that maybe theirinfluence on the people around them. With such that everybody stayed wherethey were. Can You Imagine Bob? You...

...were a prison guard? Can you imagine ifthe doors flew open to the prison, what they have? Okay, that is a storywe all want to hear afterwards. Everyone would go running, and here everybody stays and it'sbecause Paul and Silus were doing what they were supposed to do in thesituation that they were in the jailer called for lights. Russian and Phelpfell trembling before Paul and Silas and said what do I have to do to besafe and they say butlieave on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. That's it.That's the message they're preaching in Philippi to Lydia who's, a worshipperof God believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved to the jailer believeon the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you and your household. Then they spokethe word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. So sometimespeople get confused and it says: Wait if the jailer believes on the LordJesus, he will be saved and his wholehousehold will be saved wait. So if I become a Christian than everybody in myhousehold is a Christian. No, that's not what it's saying look. They spokethe word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. So iteverybody else in the house also heard about Jesus. Everybody else made theirown decision of faith at that hour of the night, the jailer tooke them andwashed their wounds then immediately a he and all his house were baptized whathour of the night midnight and then there has to be a discussion about whoJesus is and what he's done and a discussion with the whole house, then acleaning up of the wounds and then a baptism were it like two in the morningand there there's a baptism service in the middle of a prison. This isfantastic. The jailer brought them to his houseand set a meal before them, because now it's probably three or four in themorning, it's breakfast time and he was...

...filled with joy because he had come tobelieve in God. He and his whole household. He and his whole householdbelieved in God, and that's what you see in Philippi Lydia believes and thewhole household believes as well. The jailer believes in the whole householdbelieves as well so there's this kind of explosion of of people coming toknow Jesus in Philippi when it was daylight. They've already had a worshipservice done, Ev angelism done, abattism service had a meal, and nowit's daylight. The magistrates sent officers to thejailer whith. The orders release those men and the jailer says to Paul Hey,you guys are free to go, go in peace, then Paul said to the officers. We got a little problem. They beat uswithout a trial, even though we are Roman citizens o. He didn't mention that beforehand. Youweren't allowed to do that to a Roman citizen in an ancient Rome, you were able, as a Roman, to walkfreely across the face of the earth, and if anyone touched you, the fullweight of Rome comes down on you, Itas called the piece of Rome, Paxs Romannathat you simply were protected by Rome. So now here is this Roman colony thatjust be a Jew. The Romans didn't care about that. Oh, who happens to be aRoman citizen, we're in real trouble, and then you throw us into prison, andnow you just want to get rid of US quietly. No, no! No! How about you comedown here yourself and a score O ell. So this messenger has to go back to themagistrates and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens,they were alarmed. They were a little bit nervous that they were going to die.They came to appease them and escoret them from the prism, and where do theydo they say? Please just leave the city.

That's our request. Leave the city notice. What Paul and Silas do they goto Lydia's house, which is not leaving the city, how the magistrates say,leave the city and they go to Lydia's house they meet with the brothers andsisters and encourage them, and then they left to continue their journey.That's the story, Philippie! That's what we know. We know about Lydia. Weknow about the jailer, and now we come back to Philippians chapter one and and Paul says I thank my God every time Iremember you so as I'm praying, I remaiin all my prayers for all of you.I always pray with joy. The same word that was used that the jailer was filled with joybecause he had come to believe in God. Now Paul is saying every time I think aboutyou, I'm filled with joy and how could you not? How could you not to go out and talk to Lydia and haveher and her whole house become Christians that would be exciting to bein prison and have an earthquake come and break everything open and thejailer come to no Jesus's Savior and the Little You Know Jab at themagistrates. You got to come down here and do this yourself, you think aboutit with joy, even though you were beaten with rods, and even though youwere put in prison, everything that had happened worked outto make to be good. There was joy. I always pray with joy because of yourpartnership in the Gospel from the first Ay. Until now, being confident ofthis that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completionuntil the day of Christ Jesus. What is that verse? We've heard that before. Infact, if you've been following social media, you see that it it's beenout, P, put it up there and that's sort of the point of today's ver sermon. Hewho began a good work and you will carry it on to completion until the dayof Christ. Jesus, so what does that...

...mean? Let me tell you some things: itdoes it MEA. If you start college, it doesn't mean that Jesus is going tohelp you finish college all right on some of you are like a men. If youstart a marriage, it doesn't mean that he's going to help you finish amarriage. What it's purely talking about is your salvation. When you were saved, you were given agift of faith which isn't even the first step in salvation. It's about thethird. The first step was God choosing you before the foundations of the earthand that choice. God will carry that on until completion.God will choose you before the foundations of the earth. There will bea calling. You will receive the gift of faith, you will be regenerated and youwill be justified and sanctify, but at the end you will be changed. You willbe made new and that's what we're talking aboutwe're talking specifically about salvation. Whatever Jesus starts he'sgoing to finish and he started on our salvation process before thefoundations of the earth, but your salvation process is not yetfinished, which sounds weird. You are saved, don't get me wrong, but yoursalvation process isn't finished yet for one thing: You're still a sinner when it's finished, when you'reglorified, you will no longer be a sinner for another thing. You stillhave this body right that it's not perfect, it's not glorified. It's notwhat it's going to be. The future in heaven looks better for us asChristians than the present right now, and that's what this versus saying thethe work that was started before the foundations of the earth, the work thatwas started in Lydia and the work that was started inthe jailer at the point of salvation, that gift of faith is going to grow andcontinue and continue and continue...

...until it is completed, and thatcompletion involves your being resurrected with Jesus. I wasgoing to say that completion involves you dying, but not necessarily. Wecould be raptured right now and that would be that would be fantastic, butfor most of us it's going to involve US dying. It's going to be involved asbeing raised with Jesus inperishable. It's going to involve a new body. It'sgoing to be involved a sanctification, that's not just positional in heaven, but rather we'reactually going to be perfect. That's going to be a great great time and thepromise is if he started it he's going to finishit, and that is good news, because I look at my life and I go it's notfinished. I haven't achieved sanctification being made wholly beingperfect. I haven't quite achieved perfection, yet there was a little smark, not quite I'mgetting clubs Bryans like there's that pride wewere talking about all right. I haven't achieved a perfect body et,in fact it seems like I'm going the opposite direction right. Anybody elsefeeling that- and I know I man being ten years older from wherever, whatever position youare, it's so funny to hear people ten years younger complain, I'm forty, twoeverything hurts and then I hear o someone say Hoh I' thirty and I'm likeO, please thirty. I wish- and I just I wonder, for those of you who are fiftytwo looking back oin forty two please and those ar sixty two and those whoware seventy two and we won't look at them they, but it's Getti. You feel good. You knowyeah, it's the body's getting worse and yet Iknow in the future it's going to be better Jesus. He began a work at otbefore the foundations of the earth. He began to work in us with that gift offaith he's working in US right now to...

...get better but he's going to bring itto completion. Paul continues. It's right for me tofeel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and whether I'm inchains wait hold on what is that he's in chains? Yes, this is Paul writingfrom prison, and you say what prison we don't know when prison. We don't knowwe have a bunch of ideas, but we don't know with certainty where he is or whenwhen exactly this is, but we know that he's in chains and he's defending andconfirming the Gospel. The word there is where we get apologist from he'sdefending he's an apologist for the Gospel. All of you share in God's gracewith me, it's right for me to feel this way. I have you in my heart, whetherI'm in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel. All of you sharein God's grace with me in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel andyet he's doing both. We know that, while he's in chains he's writingPhilippians he's writing other books he's telling people about Jesus he'sdefending the faith. God can testify how I longed for all of you with theaffection of Christ. Jesus. Not only does he think about them with joy andwith love and there in his heart, but he longs for them with affection, and this is my prayer that your lovemay abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight man. I think I could spend a wholesermon just on this. That love is that a gape love that self sacrificing lovethat love with action, but notice that your love may abound that action lovemay abound in knowledge and depth of insight in your mind, so the actionlove is doing something to your mind. It's both. Sometimes, we feel like we're growing in knowledgeand depth of insight, and it it makes...

...us less loving of people and sometimeswe feel like we're becoming more and more loving of people, but it we'relosing knowledge and depth and insight- and here Paul is connecting both ofthem to say when your love grows, your knowledge and death, your knowledge andyour depth of insight grow, and when your knowledge and depth of insightgrow, your love should grow. There shouldn't be a time as Christians,where were growing. In our knowledge, we understand Philippians, more andmore, which means we love people less and less. That's the opposite of whatChristianity is. That's the opposite of what Paul wants us to do? Our loveshould abound and we should learn more and more and the two should beconnected, and why so that you may be able to discern what is best and youmay be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. The reason that we want our love toincrease the reason that we want our knowledge to increase is so that we canfigure out what is best right. That's one of the reasons that's important. Wejust saw from acts that our behavior affects other people's behavior, Pauland Silas choosing to worship, knowing what was best in that situation, causedpeople not to escape from prison, cause the jailer not to commit suicide, ledto the jailer and his family, becoming believers probably led to achurch there right their behavior did that. So your when your love and yourknowledge increase, you should be able to cern what is best and you can do theright thing. You can be pure and blameless. Remember. I said I'm notquite perfect. Yet what Paul is saying is the more you learn, the more youlove the better you do on that strive for perfection for that strive forholiness, for what we call sanctification, the more and more youwill become like Jesus, the more you love people, the more you know, moreand more you'll become like Jesus, pure and blameless filled with the fruit ofrighteousness that cwas through Jesus...

Christ that Youre once you love people, and once you knowthings you're going to be able to discern what's best you're, going a beable to be pure and blameless, and that should fill you with a fruit ofrighteousness there. There should be righteousness that comes from your lifeif you're, loving people and you're doing it the way God wants and you'repure and blameless and you're able to discern what's best, the only thingthat should come from you is righteousness, it shouldn't be evil, itshouldn' be hatred, it shouldn't be anything like that, it should just berighteousness and all that gets turned to Jesus Righteousness. That comesthrough Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God that your life should people should look atit and go. He does the right thing. She does theright thing. That church does the right thing and they might not know that itcomes from love and knowledge, but they should see that they do theright thing and all of that comes from Jesus, and all of that should cause usto praise God, the father, let's pray, heavenly father, we thank you for Paulwho discerned what was what was best in thejail to know that it was time to worship. It was time to sing. It wastime to pray. It was time to tell people about Jesus Lord. It would be so easy to dosomething completely different. It would be so easy to give intocircumstances. At that point and say my my life is bad. This is unfair and takea few minutes to just feel bad about your situation andinstead they worshipped they prayed. They love Jesus and the effect wastremendous not only on the people in the jail, but the people in the cityand the people in the the whole continent. Lord help us to have thatsame attitude. We might not have the same result, but we can have the sameattitude of...

...growing in knowledge and depth ofinsight and our love for you to know that our situations, while changing and not always good,don't affect the fact that you are going to bring our salvation tocompletion. Lord help us to see that hope and have that joy said: Jesus nameeven.

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