JUNE 6 AUDIO-VIDEO Philippians Part 4: “CHRIST IS MY POWER!”
Today We Come to the Last of Our 4 Part Study on Paul’s Letter to the Church of Philippi… During Our Study…We have found that…What Christ began in Us at Salvation…He Will Continue to Carry On to Completion Until We See Jesus Face to Face.
- We learned that God Created Us for a Purpose…to Accomplish His Plan!
- And to Accomplish God’s, We Need to Make Jesus Christ Our Pattern.
- Not To Imitate Christ…But To Let Christ Inhabit Every Part of Our Life.
- To Make Christ First in Our Lives Requires that we Make Godly Limitations!
- Simply…We Say No to Busyness and a Focus on Temporal things that will pass away…and in Turn…We Focus on the Eternal and Building God’s Kingdom!
Today We Turn to Chapter 4…And We are Going to Look Closely at 7 Words…WORD’s…Words can do a lot of things…Can’t they? They Sway Opinions…Change Moods…Encourage… Discourage… Challenge…Condemn…and the list goes on.
- I am fond of saying that Words are like Feathers in the Wind…Once you Speak them…There is No Getting them Back! WORDS ARE POWERFUL!
Magicians perform amazing feats with just One Word—(Do You Know the Word?) “abracadabra.” Well…We Know That’s Not for Real. Ali Baba in the Arabian Nights opened the door to the robbers’ cave with the Words—“Open Sesame….” That’s Make-Believe.
- Those of us who grew up watching Captain Kangaroo (that’s long before Big Bird and Kermit the Frog) will never forget his Magic Words, “Please and Thank-you”.
- Those are Good Words for sure, But Not Necessarily Magic!
What if I was to tell you that I have some of the Most Powerful Words in the World… Words that will Enable You to Overcome Any Obstacle, Conquer Every Challenge, Fight off Every Foe, Bear Any Burden, and Shoulder Any Sacrifice. Are You Interested?
God gave these Powerful Words to us in Philippians Chapter 4. Are You Ready…Make Sure You Write them down. Better yet, MEMORIZE THEM…And Weave them into the Fabric of Your Future…Because These Seven Words Will Revolutionize Your Life.
- These Powerful Words are in Phil 4:13, “I Can Do All Things Through Christ.”
If YOU Believe that YOU can do ALL Things Through Christ…Let me Ask You…DO YOU ACT UPON this Truth and Promise EVERYDAY and in EVERY SITUATION? I’ll let you off the Hook Most Christians Don’t!
Here is the Point…YOU CAN! Here’s Why…It is Not about what You Can Do…It’s About what GOD Wants to Do In You! This is Not About Us Trying and Often Failing…It’s About Living in the Presence of Christ Every Day…24-7-365 ¼ . This is about Living VICTORIOUSLY …Instead as a FAILING VICTIM!
Phil 4: 4-13 Final Exhortations: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul Concludes these Power Packed Verses with “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Give Me Strength.” The first 12 Verses Tells Us How He is Able to Make this Claim that We Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Gives Us Strength.
- VS 4 Begins with a Command, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” We All Know that to REJOICE ALWAYS is SUPERNATURAL…It Comes From Christ!
- VS 6 Gives us a Second Command, “Do Not be Anxious about Anything, But in Every Situation, by Prayer and Petition, with Thanksgiving, Present Your Requests to God.” We All Know that to NOT BE ANXIOUS Comes Only from the Indwelling Holy Spirit!
- VS 7 Gives Us a Promise If we do Verse 6: “And the Peace of God, which Transcends All Understanding, will Guard Your Hearts and Your Minds in Christ Jesus”.
- VS 8 Gives Us One More Important Instruction, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The Words: True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Any Thing that is Praiseworthy…Each of These is Instructing Us to Turn Our Eyes to Jesus! To Rejoice in All Things We Must Keep Our Eyes on Jesus!
- To Not Be Anxious in the Midst of Trials…We Must Keep Our Eyes on Jesus!
- Our Eyes Must Move from What We Can Do to What Jesus Has Planned to Do!
With that said, Let’s Look Closer at the Words in Verse 13…The First Word is “I”. “I” Always causes Us Problems Unless we finish with “Can do all things through Christ.”
- Make No Mistake about it…God uses people to accomplish HIS Will in this world.
- Eph 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Sometimes He uses Angels.
- On one occasion He used a Donkey. But Always the Lord Calls Men and Women to Do His Bidding.
- And in Doing So…God Seeks Out Ordinary People To Do His Work.
- God Seldom Uses the Mighty, the Powerful, the Rich, or the Influential…Too Often such People are Too Full of Themselves to be Useful to God.
Look at the Words Paul penned in1 Cor 1:26-29. “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that No one may boast before him”.
- None of Us Can Boast Because We Understand WE CAN’T…BUT GOD CAN! These Words Apply to You and Me as Certainly as They Did to the Apostle Paul. “I Can Do All Things Through Christ.”
I Can Do—These next 2 Words Reveal the Perspective of Faith. “I Can Do…all things through Christ.”
Consider How God Used Ordinary People of Faith to Accomplish His Will!
- David Didn’t Know Goliath was Too Big to Stop. His Eyes Were on Jehovah!
- Caleb Didn’t Know the Promised Land Couldn’t be Conquered. He Trusted God!
- Joshua Didn’t Know Jericho’s Walls Were Too Strong…He Obeyed God!
- Elijah Didn’t Know his Enemies Were Too Many…In The Midst…He Saw God!
- Faith is More than the Positive Thinking that Some are Preaching Today…It Can Not Be Conjured Up with Our Good Intentions…IT IS TOTAL TRUST IN GOD!
The Difference…The Positive Thinking is Not Based On What We Can Do…It is Based On What We Can Do Through The Strength and Power of the Living God! God has Moved Mountains, Toppled Kingdoms, and Turned the World Upside Down with Ordinary Folk who say… “I CAN…THROUGH CHRIST!”
- Not I Might, I Should OR I Could IF. “I can do all things through Christ.” I CAN’T…BUT GOD CAN
All Things—That’s the “Potential of Faith”. “I can do all things through Christ.”
- That’s a mighty Big Promise. But No Bigger than other Promises in the Bible.
God’s Sovereignty in ALL THINGS is Declared throughout God’s Word.
- Romans 8:28 “And we know that in All things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us All—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
- Romans 8:37 “No, in All these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Paul penned these seven words from personal experience. He Knew Christ was the Lord of All Circumstances…NOT Just the Good Ones!
Listen to the context in verses 11 and 12… “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want”. Then he adds, “I Can Do All Things Through Christ.”
Some of you know this by experience as well…Some of You have Suffered Loss.
- Many of you have faced problems, confronted temptations, wrestled with habits, and struggled to make decisions…Some May have thought You Wouldn’t Make it…BUT YOU DID!
And because You Trusted Christ and Went Through It in His Power…You know the Power of these Words. “I CAN DO ALL THINGS Not just the easy things…Not just the things that everyone else is doing…
- Not just the things You have always done before—BUT…You CAN Do ALL Things Through Christ.”
The Key is the Last Word of this Phrase, “CHRIST” This final Word Reveals the True Power of Faith.
This phrase is Not About the Power of Positive Thinking. This is Not simply Pulling Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps Slogan. It isn’t a Promise that YOU Can Do Anything if YOU Dream Big Dreams and Reach for the Stars…THAT’S COMPLETE NONSENSE!
- The Power is NOT in You…The Power is in CHRIST. And With Christ Indwelling You…You Can Say…“I Can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
In Gal. 2:20 Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”!
- Jesus reminded his disciples in John 15:5, “Apart from Me You Can Do Nothing”.
- The Prophet declared in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty”… It’s Not About Us! It’s All About CHRIST!
Unless Jesus Christ is in You…Unless He is the Lord of Your Life, You have NO Promise of God’s Power. There is NO Guarantee of Personal or Spiritual Success.
- Even if you do get ahead in this world, it won’t matter in a hundred years. As Jesus warned his disciples, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul?”
Seven little words packed with big promise. Remember them. Believe them. Live them. Your dreams may Not all come true. Your problems won’t necessarily all disappear… But something Better Could Happen.
- As we Close our Study of Philippians, I want to make these concluding remarks that are Vital for Success in a Life or a Church:
- Paul had some amazing credentials to fall back on. If Anyone had a Mind to put Confidence in the Flesh…Paul Was the Man!
- He was circumcised the 8th day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin!
Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews! Before salvation he could boast that as to the Law, he was a Pharisee; as to zeal, he was a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, he was blameless!
- BUT Paul was a Man who Learned to Put No Confidence in his Own Flesh…But Instead, to Put ALL his Confidence in Christ and Christ alone.
- Jesus had warned us that without Him, we can do nothing. Paul understood the deeper meaning of this, he boasted in his own weaknesses while rejoicing that through Christ he could do all things.
- Paul recognized that When We are Positioned in Christ, Abiding in Him, and Remaining in Fellowship with the Father, we are Equipped for Every Issue of Life. For when We are Weak in Ourselves We Receive Strength from the Lord and are Empowered by His Spirit.
This apparent Contradiction is Couched in a Glorious Truth from the Word of God. The Works Carried Out in the Flesh Can Achieve Nothing. Human Strength, a Charismatic Character, Impressive Qualifications, or Noble Birth, is Meaningless in God’s Economy.
The deeds undertaken by ‘the old man’ (the old sin nature), which we received from the first, ‘terrestrial’ creation, when we were born of Adam, Can Produce Nothing of Value, But Wood, Hay, and Stubble.
The Works of the Spirit, However, are Carried Out through Our New ‘Born-Again Nature’.
- The old life in Adam…Part of the first creation was crucified on the Cross at Calvary.
- But the ‘new life in Christ’ is [IMPUTED] to all God’s children, making us part of a new ‘spiritual’ creation, through Christ Jesus our Lord…We Can Do Nothing of Our Old Fallen, Sinful Self…
- Yet we discover that we can do all things through the power of Christ that flows into us, and through us, and out of us to others.
Every common task to which we place our shoulder and each Christian duty to which we are called, can only be successfully discharged as we rely on the Lord Jesus Christ for guidance and strength.
We are to Live and Work and be Strong in the LORD, and in the Power of His Might – Not in the Strength and Power of Our Own, Fleshly, Human Abilities.
We are to be Strengthened in the “Inner Man”, through the Power of the Indwelling Spirit of God…This is Not a one-time strengthening…Rather it is a Moment-by-Moment Choice to Rely Upon Jesus Christ!
- And as we Increasingly Act Upon His Guidance…We Will Learn to Listen and Respond to His voice when He says, “This is the Way – Walk In It.”
It is Not by Our Strength or by Our Own Power or Wisdom that We can do All things – but through Christ, Who gives Us His Strength. “Not by might nor by power – but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
- CHRIST IS YOUR POWER! God Has a Unique Plan to Use YOU to Build His Kingdom…And God Always Equips Those He Calls!!
Therefore Our Life Point…“I Can Do All Things Through Christ.”
Gal 2:20: “I have been Crucified with Christ and I No longer Live, But Christ Lives in Me.” This is the Key to What Paul is Saying in Philippians…This is why Paul could say, “I Can Do All Things Through Christ.”
Like Paul as We Choose to be “CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST”…When We Die to the Wants and Things of this Word…When We Die to Self-Confidence and Trusting in Ourselves…Then we will be able to say, with Paul, “For Me To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain!”
SONG: “CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST”
- PD: MARANATHA! (the Lord is Coming) Congregation: And it Could Be Today!
- Closing Prayer