Sunday, September 25, 2005

Live Your Life

Intro.: I like maps.

  1. When I was younger, I tried to collect as many maps I could. I never had any valuable maps, but I had lots of maps. State maps, AAA maps, National Geographic maps.

  2. Maps told me where how to get where I wanted to go. Maps told me where I had been. And maps told me where i might like to go next.

  3. Even today I am fascinated with maps. This past spring I purchased a piece of software from Microsoft that include a GPS that connected to my computer. You hang the GPS in the window and you can watch on a computer where you are going. It also tells you what direction you are going and at what speed. Did you know that trains can't go faster than 80 miles per hour?

  4. I only wish that there were maps for life, like there are for trips. Maps that can tell what decisions to make. Maps that would tell me who I am supposed to marry. Maps that tell me how to raise my kids so that I never make any mistakes.

  5. Those maps do not exist in the detail that we might like, but there are maps, that, if we follow them, will allow us to make better decision.

Read: Philippians 1:27-30


Trans: There is a single command in our short paragraph. You will find it in verse 27.

T.S. From that command, I would suggest that Paul mentions three consequences that will follow if we obey it.

  1. If you live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ – it makes no difference what I do.

    1. Listen to what Paul has to say - “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm.”

    2. But Paul knows that the Philippians need to learn to live their own lives. If the only reason they make Godly choices is because he is going to visit, they have missed the point.

    3. Paul says to live – other translations say “conduct” yourselves in a worthy manner.

(Ill.) The Greek work is the word πολιτεύω from which we get our word politics. We are to live our lives, we are to be citizens, not of some earthly kingdom, but as citizen of heaven. This word, πολιτεύω, is used only twice in scripture. The only other place that is used is Acts 23:1. Paul is standing before a Jewish court, weeks before he is to be sent to Rome for a review of his case before Caesar. And what does he say, “I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” His life has been as a good citizen of heaven.

    1. If your motivation for a Godly life is your relationship to Jesus Christ, then it does not matter what I do. It did not matter whether Paul came or didn't come. Their behavior would be consistant.

(Appl). As we, me and you, live our lives, is our motivation what will the neighbors think, what will my friends think, what will my family think. Or is our motivation rooted in living a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ?

  1. If you live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ – the church will experience a unity unknown in the world.

(Ill.) Someone has imagined the Carpenter’s tools holding a conference. Brother Hammer presided. Several suggested he leave the meeting because he was too noisy. Replied the Hammer, “If I have to leave this shop, Brother Screw must go also. You have to turn him around again and again to get him to accomplish anything.”

Brother Screw then spoke up. “If you wish, I’ll leave. But Brother Plane must leave too. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth.”

To this Brother Plane responded, “Brother Rule will also have to withdraw, for he is always measuring folks as though he were the only one who is right.”

Brother Rule then complained against Brother Sandpaper, “You ought to leave too because you’re so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.”

In the midst of all this discussion, in walked the Carpenter of Nazareth. He had arrived to start His day’s work. Putting on His apron, He went to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the Gospel. He employed the hammer, screw, plane, rule, sandpaper, and all the other tools.

After the day’s work when the pulpit was finished, Brother Saw arose and remarked, “Brethren, I observe that all of us are workers together with the Lord.”i

    1. There will be more to say about unity when we look at the next chapter.

    2. But there is one point to me made here – if we each are living our lives in such a way that we glory to the gospel of Christ, then, like the hammer, the rule, the screw, or the plane, we will find that we can accomplish great things for God.

  1. If you live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ - you will be prepared both to believe and live the Christian life.

    1. There are those that try to suggest that there are two different parts of the church.

    2. There are those who will say that the church is all about faith. It does not matter how we live our lives. It does not matter what we do. As long as we have faith, we are okay.

    3. And then there has always been a part of the church that has said, “be perfect”. Make no mistakes. If you sin, you lose your salvation.

    4. Paul makes the point here, that the Christian life is really two-fold: Look at verse 29 - “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him,”

    5. Paul never made the dichotomy that the church makes. To Paul the Christian life is both a matter of faith and life.

    6. Another NT writer spoke about this as well. James was the brother of Jesus. There is no evidence that he put his faith in Christ while was alive, but there is plenty of evidence that he did so after Jesus death and resurrection. It was the brother of Jesus that wrote the book of James – and James tells us, “Faith without works is dead”. Paul would parallel James by saying, “Works without Faith is dead”.

    7. Anybody who says, “I believe – that is all I need” has not read James. Anybody who says, “I am living a good life” hasn't listened to Paul.

    8. As you leave this morning to face your world, I would send you out with a faith that clings to Christ for those times we fall, but that desires to live a life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.


iMorgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (Page 128). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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