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 Lift Up The Gospel     Phil. 1:12-26     March 13:2011

Introduction

Some make this statement when praying for the preacher as they say, “hide him behind the cross” In my opinion that may not be the best request for the one preaching. Would it be better to pray help him to, Lift Up The Gospel, and magnify what Jesus did for us. 


1.   Lift Up The Gospel Irregardless of . . Where You Are. 1:12-14

       A.   Lift Up The Gospel As It May Work To Your . . Advantage. 1:12-13

       12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advance of

       the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that

       my imprisonment is in the cause of Christ.

       B.   Lift Up The Gospel As It Will Work for The Gospels’ . . Advancement. 1:14

       14 Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to

       speak the message fearlessly.


      
When God wants a witness in a pagan guard house, and He did, he sent a man like Paul. If he wants a witness at your work or school, and He does, He sends you. We should not witness for personal advantage but in some situations it will bring to the witness some advantage. The gospel advances as we share it. When new Christians or weaker ones see us witness it encourages them and they become stronger in their faith. My wife certainly is an example of one weaker in witnessing skills; gaining skill and becoming a strong witness.


2.   Lift Up The Gospel Irregardless of . . Who Joins You. 1:15-18

       A.   Lift Up The Gospel Even Though Some are Personally Motivated By . . Selfish Reasons. 1:15

       15 To be sure, some preach Christ out of envy and strife, but others out of good will. 16 These do so out of

       love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the others proclaim Christ out of

       rivalry, not sincerely, seeking to cause me anxiety in my imprisonment.

       B.   Lift Up The Gospel Personally Motivated To . . Share Christ Everywhere. 1:15

       18 What does it matter? Just that in every way, whether out of false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed.

       And in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice

       It may surprise you to know some can give a witness just to spite another who is a strong witness. What did Paul say about that? He rejoiced that Christ was proclaimed. God promises to bless His word not just the messenger. We cannot share Christ everywhere so if one shares Christ even with a wrong motive we need to rejoice. On one occasion I made a visit just because a deacon asked me to go and do it. I knew he would ask me about it so I went. Do you know what happened? The Lady of this house made a profession of faith and gave a testimony the next Sunday in our church. I told the Lord thank You for the power of your word and the Holy Spirit who draws sinners to you and forgives reluctant preachers.

3.   Lift Up The Gospel Irregardless of . . What Happens In Life. 1:19-21

      A.   Lift Up The Gospel Gaining Confidence from The People’s . . Prayers. 1:19-20a

       19 because I know this will lead to my deliverance through your prayers and help from the Spirit of Jesus

       Christ. 20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything,

       B.   Lift Up The Gospel Gaining Confidence from Future . . Possibilities. 1:20b-21

       . . . but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life

       or by death. 21 For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.


      
Paul gained strength knowing people were praying for him and the work he tried to do. Paul believed he faced unlimited possibilities immediately, or in the future. Death for the Christian is gain if we think about the Lord our loved ones and all the joy and beauty of heaven. But our life and witness in the future may very well be used mightily of the Lord. So life and its length need to be committed to Him.

 

4.   Lift Up The Gospel Irregardless of . . When God Takes You Home. 1:19-21

      A.   Lift Up The Gospel Knowing the Gospel Benefits from . . Living. 1:22-24

       22 Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don’t know which one I should

       choose. 23 I am pressured by both. I have the desire to depart and be with Christ -which is far better-

       24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.


      
B.   Lift Up The Gospel Knowing The Gospel Benefits from . . Longevity. 1:25-26

       25 Since I am persuaded of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress

       and joy in the faith, 26 so that, because of me, your confidence may grow in Christ Jesus when I come to

       you again. (HCSB)


      
Paul claimed not to know which he would choose between earth and heaven. He felt if he lingered on this earth he would help new Christians grow and become stronger. Paul left it in the hands of the Lord and trusted Him to make the best decision. Can you realize the joys you experienced in the past several years that you would not have shared if you died earlier? I like looking back and remembering good things that happened. Watching grandchildren growing in their faith and maturing as Christians is certainly fun. We recently had a young man surrender to preach and when he preached his first sermon everyone was very pleased at how well he did. So whether we live or die let us desire to Lift Up The Gospel. Amen? Amen!