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Gospel Living

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Cross Radio
September 21, 2022 12:01 am

Gospel Living

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 21, 2022 12:01 am

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only the gateway to eternal life; it also informs how we live the Christian life. Today, Steven Lawson explores what it means for believers to live in a way that constantly displays the gospel to the world.

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This is Christianity 101.

This isn't like some upper level discipleship PhD program. This is prekindergarten that this is expected of every believer. Upon entrance into the kingdom of heaven that you will live now in a manner worthy of the gospel that you have claimed to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gateway to eternal one. It also informs overdeliver lives in his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul asserts that Christians are called to live in a manner worthy of the gospel. How do we do that, let's find out what looks to live that way is Dr. Steven Lawson, please take your Bible and turn with me to Philippians chapter 110.

In this session we want to look at verses 27 and 28 as we can tend you to walk through this wonderful epistle written by the apostle Paul to the church in Philippi and beginning in verse 27 wants at the passage in front of you only conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel in no way alarmed by your opponents, which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you and that too from God. The key word in these verses is in verse 27.

It is the word gospel is found twice in verse 27 and it really is a golden thread that runs through the first chapter of the book of Philippians. I'll even go so far to say it's the golden thread that runs of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. It is all about the good news of salvation from God and his son Jesus Christ. But we've already seen this in in verse five, where he deep he commends the Philippians for their participation with him in the gospel and we can say there is no fellowship with other believers, except it be in the gospel. If someone does not believe in the gospel. We have no fellowship with him. They can be friends like any family there is no joint participation were all anchored to the gospel and then in verse seven, Paul affirms them for sharing with him in his defense and confirmation of the gospel.

That's what every soldier of the cross. And that's what every believer does wait, we're here for the defense of the gospel and for the confirmation of the gospel with others in verse 12. You'll note, he talks about all the circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel in Paul's life. Everything was about advancing the gospel, even his trials and tribulations. He attributed to be the means by which God has chosen to advance the gospel and then in verse 16. Paul identifies himself as one appointed for the defense of the gospel.

That's how we need to identify ourselves work that were here for the defense of the gospel and to spread the gospel.

So as we come out of verse 27, two more times. He talks about the gospel and so six times in this opening chapter, there are these mountain peaks of truth about the gospel and so what's important for us to say here is that the gospel, for Paul was not merely something to believe the wants at the beginning of his Christian journey and then forgotten. Note the gospel he understood was to be lived out.

Every moment of every day of his Christian life gospel believe they must lead to gospel living. In fact, if there is not gospel living. I can assure you, there has not been gospel, believing no matter how much you may profess to believe Paul's whole life revolved around the gospel and I just walked us through. Just chapter 1 and we saw how Paul's life is inseparably connected to the gospel and so he now in verse 27 calls upon the Philippians to live in a manner worthy of the gospel and that is Paul's message to you and me today.

It matters how you live your life and you must live your life, you must live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel. So let let's look at this in verse 27 want you to know. First, the conduct required. Paul begins only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ was to stop right there. You need to know that this verb conduct only conduct yourselves to parse this verb just for a moment. Verse falls in the present tense which is to say every moment of every day you are to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel. This isn't just a Sunday morning thing. This isn't just a Thursday morning thing at the men's or ladies Bible study. This is 24 hours a day seven days a week. Whether you're in town out of town no matter who you're with. You are to be conducting yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel.

Second is in the middle voice which means you must take action on this yourself, you cannot be passive and wait for God to simply do it for you. Now this is incumbent upon you. This is your responsibility. Third is in the imperative mood. This is a command and apostolic command coming from the head of the church the Lord Jesus Christ himself. This is not a suggestion, this is not an option or a wish. This is a divine command, and then forth its second person plural, which means this is for every believer. This isn't just for elders and deacons. This isn't just for Bible teachers. This is for every Christian in the body of Christ. You must conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel that first word only is also important. Which means exclusively conduct yourself this way you you you cannot and must not live any other way. This is the only way for a true Christian to live his or her life's only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, that is to say you must live consistent with the gospel. You must be living in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that you must be living in obedience to the word of Christ.

You must be living a life of self-denial and cross bearing that in reality this is Christianity 101 that this isn't like some upper level discipleship PhD program.

This is prekindergarten that this is expected of every believer. Upon entrance into the kingdom of heaven that you will live now in a manner worthy of the gospel that you have claimed to believe in Ephesians 4, verse one. Paul says that we are to walk in a manner worthy of our calling a high calling has come upon her life and so we must live a life of lowly humility. Because of this high calling and so this is the conduct required of of every believer and there is much unfortunately anti-novenas that's out in this it out in the church today where they think you can just live however you want to live well.

Nothing could be further from the truth that that that is the voice of darkness that would say you could live however you want to live in that there are no commandments addressed to the believer in the New Testament. No, here's one imperative that we must conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel and if you're a true believer in Jesus Christ. This resonates with you that this reverberates within your soul that this connects with you. You know that this is true. Second, I want you to note the constancy demanded. So, for how long are we to live in a manner worthy of our of the gospel will have Artie said with the present tense. It's always but we see a little bit more this fleshed out.

As Paul says, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm now. Paul understands that as an apostle when he walked in the room that there is a tendency for people to act a certain way and to speak a certain way I'd I certainly would, and I know I'm living my life to the Lord, but of Paul walked in right now I posted up a little straighter, and he would've had that effect in Philippi was the spiritual father, the church, the founding pastor of the church. And Paul is saying to them, listen, whether I'm in the room are not in the room whether I'm in town or out of town and right now he's 800 miles removed from Philippi to Rome, whether I'm on site or out of sight.

I want to I would hear good report about how your living your Christian life was a young boy growing up, my father would give me lots of assignments to do around the house mowing the yard and edging and weeding and trimming and etc. and unfortunately sometimes put that off and I can still hear my mother say your father is going to be home very soon and I would hop off of the couch and attacked the yard everything that's in, simply because my father showing up for Paul is saying on which you live your Christian life that way. III want you to be living in a manner worthy of the gospel, whether on their whether I'm not there, you need to be living corn day. Oh, as in the face of God because every moment of every day you are living in the very presence of God.

Now he says I want to hear certain things, certain reports and it begins by saying want to hear that you are standing firm. You see that standing firm that is a Greek word that means to be stationary is really a military term that should hold your position that you been assigned a place on the front lines in battle, and that when the enemy comes that you do not retreat, but that you hold your position. The whole the good of the whole soldiers in the cause is dependent upon you holding your position because the enemy will advance to the weakest point the chain will break with the weakest link. You gotta be strong and you've got to stand firm. II can hear Martin Luther April 18 1521. Here I stand I can do no other God help me, is what Paul is saying to the Philippians now. This obviously implies something that is not stated directly in the text as someone is advancing someone try to move me out of my position that someone is applying pressure so that I will be moved away from my convictions and be moved away from my beliefs can be moved away from my ministry can be moved away from where I am living my life and we know one of those pressures that were being brought to bear upon the Philippians were the false teachers known as the Judaizers in almost every letter Paul writes he has to be correcting some heresy that is already fomenting in the in the early church, and in this case, the Judaizers were those who are trying to put people back under the ceremonial law. To the extent that they were circumcising adult men telling them you have to be circumcised in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, and if you're already saved then you need to be circumcised so that you can grow and mature as a believer and there were also all kinds of worldly pressures as Philippi when it was known as little Rome. He was like an outpost of the Roman empire that operated with a very Roman culture and a Roman lifestyle which would've been a very godless lifestyle and so Paul is saying to them I I want to hear that you've dropped anchor that you've nailed your feet to the floor that you have no reverse gear that you will stand firm, and he says in one spirit, with one mind which one spirit. The idea is a unity of purpose and with one mind. The idea is a unity of convictions a unity of worldview and unity of doctrinal beliefs.

The same allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.

In other words, as though you are locking arms together and are indivisible in your common commitment to Jesus Christ. Paul says that's what he what he wants to hear. And this must be true in every church, this, this must be true in every ministry.

Amos three verse three can two walk together except they be in agreement to be equally yoked is the picture of pulling two oxen in the same carton pulling in the same direction. He we can't be pulling in and in different directions, and how uncommon it is that we know sound doctrine and that we are mutually committed to the same core truths of the faith. So he says I want you to be standing together and then he had striving together, and any assets so that there's no thought that this standing is passed 70 know this standing is dynamically active and so he goes on to say, striving together for the faith of the gospel striving together is a compound word in the original Greek and I would pronounce the main rework your hear the English word at the Leo athletics and there is a prefix to it. That means with, and so the idea here is that Christianity is a team sport and that we need to be striving together expending maximum effort to gather as a team for the Lord Jesus Christ, that as we are striving together that we are not competing against each other, but that we have one common foe. And we are aligned and united together against this common foe, which is the forces of darkness striving to get a notice he says for the faith of the gospel in here faith is referring to objective faith is referring to the content of our theology is referring to the, the, the apostles teaching acts 242. It it it it is referring to the body of truth that we hold dear as taught in the Scripture, and are our striving is always for the faith of the gospel in hearing mentions gospel for the sixth time in this opening chapter, we we too must strive together for the gospel, expending maximum effort in our witness for Christ and in our giving an account for the hope that lies within us. First Peter 315 to unbelievers and then he goes on to say not only strive together but he says in no way alarmed by your opponents. Now these opponents are the Judaizers that the false teachers who were putting believers back under the ceremonial law chapter 3 verse two he will refer to them as dogs, evil workers and false circumcision there there there is nothing good to be said about any false teacher who corrupts the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The anathema of God must come down heavy on his head because you are deceiving people into hell.

There are hills worth dying on, and this is one of those hills and so Paul will refer to him later in chapter 3 verse 18 as enemies of the cross and anyone who does not preach that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is an enemy of the cross and is a dog and is an evil worker. There is a zero tolerance policy for any capitulation with the purity and the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because souls are at stake. He then says in a way alarmed by your opponents. In other words, the mere fact that we have. Opponents should not shake your face. The devil is always in imitator of whatever is good in a strange way.

The fact that there are enemies tells us that we have the truth.

He then says switch is a sign of destruction for them. We say so what is this sign will the sign is believers striving together for the gospel. It is a testimony to unbelievers of their eternal damnation. It is a testimony of their distraction. You can see it right there in your own Bible, which is a sign of destruction for them as they see us holding tightly to the gospel that it is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone and there is no negotiating this. It is a powerful witness and testimony to them of their own destruction, whether they want to accept that or not but if we say that really matter what you believe but if you say hey you Catholics and we we believe the same gospel EU have just neutered. This sign and you said it didn't really matter what you believe will it does matter what we believe and it is to be so potent and so robust that it is to be a sign of their distraction. He says, but of salvation. For you have it, it's up, Paul referred to in second Corinthians 2. This way, that our life and our preaching is an aroma of life and the life to those who believe in aroma of death and the death to those who do not believe in so many churches today just want to blur those distinctions and that hey, where were all we all believe the same thing as long as you're sincere.

That's all that really matters know you can be sincere and take poison and die and so Paul says to the Philippians. He speaks very very directly. He has the relationship with them. Hey, I was wanted.

I was the founding pastor of your church.

I was there in the in the birthing room when when you are brought into the kingdom. I've invested so much in need to speak to very directly here that you cannot give up the high ground as you stand together for the gospel in this godless culture where you find yourself in Philippi.

It is a sign of distraction to unbelievers, but it is a sign of salvation to every other believer and he really builds up there their confidence in the gospel as I see other believers anchored to the purity of the gospel. So any says at the end of verse 28 and that too from God. It's all from God. Both the destruction and the salvation for vessels of wrath prepared for destruction and for vessels of mercy prepared for salvation it it's it's all from the Lord so call says here that there must be gospel living after we have believed in the gospel that every moment of our Christian life must be lived in a manner that brings honor to the gospel and that we would defend the gospel at all because I God give us the strength to live this one defending the gospel at all costs.

The apostle Paul's route. We did that. Consider the trials and suffering he endured it eventually cost him his life. So I echo Dr. Steven Morrison's words.

May God give us the strength to stand firm on the truth of God's word were glad you joined us for the wings the addition of Renewing Your Mind refocusing on Dr. Lawson's newest teaching series this week. Rejoice in the Lord Paul's letter to the Philippians. This letter is known as Paul's epistle of joy even though he was imprisoned. Paul's outlook throughout this book is is one of joy and praise in the those who know Jesus can experience vibrant joy even in the darkest of days. This is the first time we've offered Dr. Lawson's series in the it is no cursory glance at Philippians. There are 42 messages contained on six DVDs will be happy to send them to you for your donation of really about to look at her ministries as soon as you get this process will also the teaching series to your learning library which will allow you to stream the series right away.

Plus you receive access to the digital study guide that includes message outlines and questions to help in group discussion. You can find us or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343. We hope to hear from you soon and thank you for your generous donation. No one likes to suffer, but Philippians shows us how to suffer well with the gospel, pointing the way to joy and contentment in the midst of our trials. That's her focus tomorrow here on Renewing Your Mind. I hope you enjoy this