All You Need
INTRODUCTION: Once again please turn with me to the Book of Philippians and read the final verses of chapter 4, verse 20-23,
“Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (21) Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. (22) All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. (23) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Few of Paul's books end abruptly, and none of them end without thought.
In this book, as in others he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul's thoughts ran back over the words he has written, and his final remarks are written to impress his most important theme upon his readers. Throughout this letter Paul has been encouraging and edifying and uplifting the brethren at Philippi. And now as we come down to the end of this epistle, we find the Apostle Paul has also been doing that to you.
If you have been here Sunday after Sunday, I trust you have benefited, been encouraged, and been greatly edified over the 23 weeks we have spent in this great book of Philippians.
Now we come to the end, and we find that the Apostle Paul is giving credit where credit is due. In verse 20; we read, "Now unto God and our Father be GLORY forever and ever. Amen." Paul is saying in essence, "May God receive all the GLORY for the saints in Philippi,"
Who had been built up in the most holy faith,
Who had accepted Christ as their personal Saviour,
Who had answers to prayer, and
Who received nourishment from this letter.
Now when we come down to the end of this letter, we should also say, "Now unto God and our Father be GLORY for ALL the benefits we have received from this letter."
Someone said this, "Neither time nor eternity will dim the GLORY of the deeds of our GREAT GOD and Saviour Jesus Christ."
The very structure of our services ought to be comprised of a number of ingredients, if they are what God wants them to be, if we are to give God our Father all the glory.
First: In our services there needs to be a time for INSPIRATION. When the choir sings or there are special numbers that are sung or played, we find ourselves inspired by the music. That's one of the main things that music is supposed to do. Not only to minister, but also to inspire God's people to lift up our hearts unto God in preparation for the message to follow.
Second: In our services there is a time of INFORMATION. Sometimes before our services start and often times at the end of the service, we give out information by way of announcements about what is happening in our ministry.
Third: In our services there is a time for PARTICIPATION. This is when we give of our tithes and offerings unto the Lord. According to I Corinthians 16:2 we are to bring our tithes and offerings into the church upon the first day of the week, which happens to be Sunday. Our giving is not directly to a pastor or to a program, rather it is unto the Lord.
Fourth: In our services there is a time for the EXPOSITION of the Word of God. This is the time for preaching. We come to feed on God's Word. God says, "my Word is as seed to the sower." It is bread to the soul. We can not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Fifth: In our services there must also be a time of INVITATION, when people say YES, I will respond to what the Holy Spirit has spoken to my heart through the message given.
Sixth: Along with all that, in our services there must be a time of EXALTATION. That is the moment in our services when we lift our eyes and hearts heaven-ward, where we GLORIFY and PRAISE God for all that he has done in our lives.
We praise Him for our salvation.
We praise Him for His guidance and protection.
We praise Him for answers to prayer.
We praise Him for His Word that we read and feed upon.
We praise Him for His great name. The psalmist said in Psalm 103:1; "Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name."
We praise Him for the church He has given us and the family of God of which we are a part.
We praise Him for our personal families.
There has got to be a time for the praise and glorification of God. The theme of the church is found in Ephesians 3:21; where we read "Unto Him, be GLORY in the church by Christ Jesus…" The church is the place for God's GLORY.
It is not the place for glorified preachers.
It is not the place for glorified saints.
It is not the place for glorified past achievements.
It is not the place for glorified buildings.
It is not the place for glorified programs.
It is the place that contains the GLORY OF ALMIGHTY GOD. Psalm 100 seems to adequately sum all this up for us.
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. (2) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (3) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (5) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Now back to Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul reaches the end of this letter and he says in verse 20, "Now unto God and our Father be GLORY…"
You will notice the word "Now" is at the end of the letter. Now at the end of this letter let's Glorify God. The Greek word for Glory is "Doxa" from which we get our English word "Doxology" which means Glorifying words. Somewhere during our service we, often times, sing the Doxology.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Here in verse 20 Paul says, "Now" the "Doxa." Now at the end of the epistle. Now unto God at the end of it all; now at the end of the service as we envision all that God will do, and all that God has done, let us stand and sing, "Unto God be Glory for ever and for ever."
In these last verses there are three words for which we ought to "Doxa" (glorify) God this morning. In verse 21 the words "Saint" and "Brethren," then in verse 23, the word "Grace."
Interestingly, you will notice here in Philippians that Paul begins this letter in verse 1 by referring to these people as "saints." Now in verse 21, he ends it by still referring to them as "saints." You see in the Bible, we are called "saints."
If you are born again, according to the Bible you are a "saint."
If there was a moment in your life when you accepted Christ as your Saviour, God considers you to be a "saint."
Not just a follower of Jesus Christ,
Not just a disciple of Jesus Christ,
Not just a Christian, but He considers you a "saint."
Now when you think of people around you who have also accepted Christ as their personal Saviour, you are to think of them as "Brethren." We are brothers and sisters in Christ. By faith in Christ we belong to the same family, the family of God.
As we think about these terms, "Saints" "Brethren" and "grace," to many of us these words are common knowledge. But none the less, we must not allow them to become common place in our thinking. There is a tendency some times for the great truths of God's Word to just become common place.
The Greek word for "saint" in verse 21 is "Hagais" and in the New Testament this word is often translated by the English word "Holy" or "Holy One."
In Luke 1 the coming of our Lord is mentioned along with the "Holy prophets." The Greek word used there is "Hagais."
In Revelation 21, the city that we are going to live in some day, the millennial city that John saw is mentioned. It's called the "Holy City." Again the Greek word used is "Hagais."
In II Peter the commandments that God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai are given, and they are called the "Holy Commandments." Again the Greek word used is "Hagais."
To God the Old Testament prophets were special.
To God the Millennial city is special.
To God the Ten Commandments are special, and
To God people who are born again are special people, they are holy people. He calls them "Holy Ones."
Perhaps there are some listening who are saying, "Do you mean I am a Holy One? Do you mean I am a "Holy person?" God says if you are born again by faith in Jesus Christ, you are a saint, a Holy Person. Yes, _____ is a saint, and _______ is a saint and so is _______.
Now you might say, “Pastor, I really don't feel anything like a holy person. There are things I am engaged in right now, things I do that a holy person ought not to do.” I would probably respond, “You are right; you shouldn't be doing those things as a Christian.”
So then, how do you account for the fact that you are a saint in God’s eyes? What I am about to say, is so important, I need your most undivided attention, so you won't miss what is about to be said.
We must all remember that God sees everybody who is born again as a Holy person.
As a matter of fact, God sees us more easily as Holy People, than as sinners saved by grace.
Now you may see yourself primarily as a sinner that's saved by God's matchless grace. That's true, that's what you are. But God sees you in Christ as a "Holy Person." Holding your place here, please turn with me to Colossians 3:12. Notice we are to "Put on …bowels of mercies" and in verses 12-13; we read,
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (13) Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Now especially notice the first part of verse 12, where we are recognized as having three titles: "Put on, therefore (speaking to those who are in the family of God, believers, Christians)
As the elect of God.
As the holy of God.
As the beloved of God.
This is called POSITIONAL HOLINESS. I stand before God this very moment as a Holy Person and so do you if you are born again. You say, “Pastor I don't feel holy.” I know you don't, and you may have justifiable reasons for that feeling. But, Holy you are in the sight of God through Jesus Christ.
Now as I have said, there are times when you don't feel too holy, or even act too holy. But as you read the New Testament, you will discover God is continually encouraging us to endeavor to live Holy lives. “Pastor, wait a minute. I thought you already said that I am holy.” YOU ARE, IN GOD'S SIGHT!
But you, in your own mind and soul, know you are not all you ought to be before God. You are born again, you're in the family of God, but you know you are not the person you ought to be.
Holding your place in Philippians 4 turn to I Peter 1 and notice verses 15-16,
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
This is called PRACTICAL HOLINESS. Let's compare these two areas of POSITIONAL and PRACTICAL Holiness as two sides of a coin.
On one side of the coin, the moment we received Christ as our Personal Saviour, we are seen as holy in God's sight. This is POSITIONAL HOLINESS.
On the other side of the coin, day by day we are endeavoring to live in such a way that is glorifying to God, seeking to live holy lives. This is PRACTICAL HOLINESS.
The Bible teaches both, and both are true. If today you have been born again by faith in Christ Jesus, you are called "Hagais." You are Holy.
Let me take you back to the Old Testament, to the tabernacle, to the place where Israel worshipped. In that tabernacle were two rooms.
One room was called the Holy Place.
The other room was called the Holy of Holies.
It was into this room called the Holy of Holies that the High Priest only once a year was allowed to enter – on the Day of Atonement. In this room was only one piece of furniture, called the "Ark of the Covenant." Inside that ark were three items.
There was a pot of manna, symbolizing the food the Israelites had eaten in the wilderness.
There was Aaron's rod that budded.
There were the commandments that God had given Moses on Mt. Sinai.
Now on top of this box was a lid, and on top of the lid were two angels called Cherubim's. Above all this was a cloud, called the "Shekina Glory." In that cloud was none other than the creator God Himself. Inside that box was a representation of every sin you and I could commit.
The pot of manna symbolized man's rejection of God's provision for us.
The rod of Aaron symbolized man's rejection of the authority of God.
The commandments symbolized man's rejection of the laws of God.
Now in between the contents of that box and the "Shekina Glory," God’s presence, was the lid. The lid was called the "Mercy Seat." In the Greek, the word is "Hilasteron." In Romans 3:23-26; we read,
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” In verse 25 we have the word "propitiation." This is the New Testament word for the Old Testament word "Mercy Seat." This is the Greek word "Hilasteron." Jesus Christ is also called the "Hilasteron." He is our New Testament "Mercy Seat."
Here is the story. When God in the "Shekina Glory" looked down into that box and saw what represented the sin of you, me, and the entire human race; He saw it through the "Mercy Seat." He saw not our sin at that moment, but the blood of Jesus Christ that covered our sin that was represented in that box.
2000 years ago on the Hill of Mount Calvary, while there on the cross, God looked down and saw the whole human race in sin. However, while on that cross, He also saw the blood of Jesus Christ. Right there God forgave our sins and justified us. That's how God sees us this morning. He sees us through the blood of Jesus Christ, and that's why God sees us as holy.
You know something? Those who disregarded the "Mercy Seat" in the Old Testament and those today who disregard the Lord Jesus Christ, they become the recipients of the wrath of God that we read about in John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."
But those who believe, God sees us through the person of Jesus Christ. And when we believe that there should arise within our hearts a desire to be what God calls HOLY – day by day in all manner of life.
One day a Sunday School teacher asked his class of boys, “What is a saint?” One little fellow looking at Saint Peter through a stained glass window said, "A saint is someone who the light shines through." That was a profound statement. A Christian is a saint. A Christian is one who has accepted God's gift of Salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ, as his own personal Saviour. Now that Christian lets the light of the Lord Jesus shine through.
As we close this series of messages from this great book of Philippians, notice again chapter 4, verse 23. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." Grace simply means God's, Riches, At, Christ’s, Expense. We have become the recipients of all God's riches.
His life His peace His Word
His comfort His spirit Eventually His home
All of God's riches are ours, but at such a cost, at Christ's expense on the cross of Calvary.
In the beginning of our study, we found that almost the very first word in the Philippians epistle was GRACE, chapter 1, verse 1.
And now at the close of the last chapter, we find that almost the very last word is GRACE, chapter 4, verse 23.
Grace is the beginning and the ending of our Salvation. John Newton captured this in His Hymn:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!
Thru' many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath bro't me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise,
Than when we first begun!
Again notice verse 23 as Paul says this Grace, "be with you all." There are many of you here that are the recipients of God's matchless grace. But Paul's desire was that "ALL" be the recipients of God's matchless grace. For those of you who are saved, you are part of this family, the family of God, making us brothers and sisters in Christ.
However it is our desire that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ might not just be with the majority in our church, but our desire is that the saving grace of our Lord Jesus be with YOU ALL.
If you don't know Christ as your personal Saviour, we invite you to receive Him before this service concludes.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon on "All You Need," then right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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