Unity Comes from Living Life Solely For the Gospel

Brent Aucoin June 7, 2008 Philippians 1:12-20

 

About 2 years ago the College student leadership team at that time participated in the Boilermaker Challenge

The Boilermaker Challenge is a series of increasingly difficult obstacle courses that is meant to build camaraderie and unity among a group of individuals.  Teams negotiate the course on multiple levels

At first we were presented with difficult but no dangerous or life threatening obstacles that we had to figure out...

Yet then the staff coaches started asking us to put on helmets and harnesses

Then the staff coaches wanted us to begin testing these helmets and harnesses as if we might actually need them..

We began with walking some tight ropes as a team inches off the ground.

Then performing slightly more complex team maneuvers a foot off the ground (do you see where this is going

All of that in preparation for this.....20 foot and 40 foot obstacles course in mid air!

Here the one of the goals was to get the team across these series of 5 foot square platform—the caveat was that all team members had to be on each platform at one time.

In this photo if I remember right, our team had divide up face one another on the tight rope and be connected to one another by a rope attached to a pulley.  We had to traverse the tight rope supporting one another with out falling off the tight rope.

Then we moved up to the 40 foot platform and I don't precisely remember what we were doing here..

Here we had to have every member traverse the tight rope without falling and at strategic points along the way there were these poles that one could hang onto.  However the poles were placed far enough apart that section of tight rope had to be traverse without any stabilization except your harness which you could not grab.  So Stronger more stable team members had to position themselves along the post and reach out for other members to grab their hands.

1.  We began to understand with laser sharp focus that this challenge was a test that had great benefit for us.  Therefore nobody was really complaining.

2.  We experienced some fantastic Camaraderie during some great challenges

      - encouraging one another, helping one another

      -Assuaging fears, building confidence

3.  We saw clearly that the potential of failure (i.e. falling 40 feet) was so real that division was seen as not optional nor was giving up an option....

4.  We experienced a great joy that came from meeting the goal, working together, bonding, for a common purpose

-Maybe you have had great experiences like that that drew a group of people together and you experienced the same kinds of attitudes, emotions, camaraderie...as a joyful hangover from the experience.

-For you maybe it was a camp experience, a retreat, wilderness trip, etc...

-Those kinds of experiences create a great high, a euphoria among the group ...

-But, how long did those feelings last?  How long was the Boilermaker Challenge Euphoric Hangover?—certainly into the evening and into the next day at church.

-Soon however, we went our separate ways as a leadership team, everybody's focus gets distracted, challenges get met with complaining, camaraderie can slips into divisive criticism among one another, and there is not the same level of joy....

-The unifying feature of the BOILERMAKER CHALLENGE experience simply fades and what experience replaces it?

-Wouldn't it be great to perpetually live in the Boilermaker Challenge Euphoric Hangover?

-Is it even possible??? 

-It is if a group of people have the right focus and are perpetually living in light of that....

-That's what we want to explore today as we continue our study in Philippians...that Pastor Viars began last week

We areSeeking God’s Plan for Joyful Unity.

- this is a subset of our annual theme Seeking God’s Plan, which, let me remind you, we adopted for several reasons including the fact that we are tasked this year with developing and adopting our church’s next strategic ministry plan...

- so all year we’ve been talking about that theme from various perspectives...

-And today we are asking that question again, where does Joyful unity come from,

-What is God's plan.....in that regard....

-How can we get to a place where we have the Boilermaker Challenge Hangover as a part of our life more regularly...

-We will answer that question quite definitively today,

-Now, I promise you if you do what Pastor Viars asked last week you will get more out of this series....What did Pastor Viars ask you to do last week?  1.  READ PHILIPPIANS through in one sitting several times this week.  (I'm going to show you that it is really not that hard to do) .  2.  Attend as frequently as your schedule allows this summer, make it apart of your schedule, 3. Write out key verses on index cards and review them, 4  Look for as many practical ways to apply the principles from this book to everyday life

-Now to show you that reading this book through in its entirety in one sitting is not that hard and is in fact enormously beneficial I have give you 95% of the book in your hand out on two pages.  How long do you think it would take you to read those two pages? (15 minutes at the most)

-Now also, one of our jobs as Pastors is not just to present you truths from the word of God but actually help you begin to know how to read and understand the word of God so that you may read the Bible for yourself in very meaningful ways..

-Many of us study the Bible in fragmented ways and are not getting the delight out of the Bible because we do not see the whole picture.  When we see verses in Philippians like "For me to live is Christ and to Die is Gain"  it is a great verse but do we really understand the context in which it is found that would make it even more delight to us? Or, in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...."  We use that verse so flippantly sometimes but have we really understood it in context...

-I have given you these two pages so that we can begin to work together to see the overall Big Picture of the book of Philippians.  Furthermore, I have given you the text in paragraph from so that you can clearly see the flow of thought of the apostle Paul.

-When you see the flow of thought you will better understand the message of the book.

-And each individual part will of the verse by verse study will have a greater impact on you.

-Let me illustrate this in the following way....If I say to you the following line what comes to your mind....."If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk." (Milk, straw, napkin, leads through a sequence of events that takes the mouse back to the refrigerator with the possibility that at the refrigerator he remembers he's thirsty again and will want some milk and chances are if you give a mouse a glass of milk then....the entire sequence is implied to start again."  {Point:  you will never study a line of that story independently,  the beauty of that story comes from the whole and the delightful sequence and cohesion of the story}

-So this morning we would to take some good time to look at the big picture and I think you will see Philippians as a very delightful book and a very clear message.

1.  Prayer (Explain prayer in verse 9.  Paul does not simply leave his desire at the level of prayer, he begins to instruct the people consistent with his prayer!!!)

2.  Gospel (Note the Emphasis)

For Paul, the Gospel is not simply a nice Sunday school story

It is a fully complete powerful historical event that had cosmic implications all of creation and to every individual if believed.  The Life of Jesus Christ and His Death and Resurrection are not simply a nice Sunday School Story.  IT IS THE REALITY AROUND WHICH PAUL ORIENTES HIS ENTIRE LIFE

      Including Past Provision of Salvation ( v. 6 the Gospel began a good work in the Philippians)

      But the Gospel is not simply something in the past to look back on, like the

                   Boilermaker Challenge and say that was "nice"

      The Gospel also impacts the present with its pattern for life now and its

                   Power for believers now  (v. 5-11 Pattern, 13 God working in you)

      But we are not done yet, it not only has a past provision and a present impact

                   but also a future promise (3:20)

      And that is what Paul is living for and orienting His entire life around.

      He is laying out his life as an example for the Philippians to follow  (notice the circled passages

3.  and this attitude and orientation and lifestyle and world view is precisely what he wants the Philippians to unify around.....notice the emphasis on this....Unity—

The Philippians had done a good job of this 1) in their beginning and in their financial participation with Paul 2) but now the pressures of this world and the problems they are facing and the division in their church is beginning to distract them and Paul is wanting them once again to remember that this orientation alone is that which will unify them   And give them a perpetual BOILERMAKER HANGOVER  notice the ..

4.  Results—Joy/Rejoicing

So, Here is the authoritative message from the Book of Philippians this morning....

Unity Comes from Viewing Life through the Lens of the Gospel

Theme:  Orienting all your life around all the realities of the Gospel is the only orientation that will provide lasting unity among God's people. 

Now that we understand the big picture let's zero in on what Paul starts with after his prayer....He starts with his personal example....

Read.  1:12-22

From Philippians 1:12-22 lets briefly examine 4 experiences that accompany the life oriented around the Gospel that will promote unity..... 

The first experience is

1.  Laser sharp clarity in understanding adversarial circumstances (vv. 12-13)

Last week Pastor Viars reminded us that Paul was writing this letter to the Philippians while he was in jail chain to a Roman guard. 

Paul had long prayed for an opportunity to go to Rome--the capital of the world at that point in time.  He wanted to take the gospel to the capital city and visit the Roman believers there.

However, Paul's opponents stirred up controversy for Paul and Paul ended up in jail.  As a Roman citizen he had the right to make an appeal.  That appeal would result in him being taken to Rome as a prisoner.  Thus, He went as a prisoner to Rome not as a traveler.

What is amazing here though in these adversarial circumstances all around him is his insight and clarity and focus...

As Paul is oriented on the GOSPEL and sharing the life transforming message about a Jew named Jesus, he is able to piece together why the adversarial circumstances are happening to him.

Paul KNOWS WHY HE IS IN BAD CIRCUMSTANCES...AND HE WANTS THE PHILLIPIANS TO KNOW....HE WANTS THEM TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE—TO DISCERN the THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT OR MOST IMPORTANT....

THESE BAD CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE TURNED OUT FOR THE GREATER PROGRESS OF THE GOSPEL....

HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO DISCERN THE REASON FOR THE ADVERSARIAL CIRCUMSTANCES WITH LASER SHARP CLARITY.....

Instead of focusing on his innocence or calculating his chances of impressing Caesar's court, he spent his time as a prisoner talking about a Jew named Jesus who had been crucified over in Israel and had risen from the dead and would be the judge of every individual some day and was the only hope for a right relationship with the true God of Heaven and Earth.

He was a model prisoner....simply speaking in love about that message and acting according to the pattern set by that Jew named Jesus....

And as a result....the text says that the whole Praetorian Guard  and everyone else knew about the Gospel.....

Do you understand that the Praetorian guard  in full strength, numbered close to 9000 individuals?

The text is not probably indicating that Paul spoke to all 9000 individuals and all Caesar's Palace at Rome....However, Paul's focus and message and love toward the individuals he connected with resonated across the Palace

Paul was able to see clearly the REASON FOR THE ADVERSARIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

It was not enough for God to answer Paul's prayer to simply go to Rome and visit the Roman believers there and encourage them.

God wanted so much more than that....He brought Paul to the gates of Hell itself, the system of Roman government, that deify their emperors, the political establishment of the day to engage in full frontal assault with the Gospel against the Roman EMPIRE.

And God did that under the guise of bad circumstances, and Paul was able to discern and understand his bad circumstances because of his Gospel orientation.

What is the first question we ask when bad circumstances happen to us?

Notice Paul was not asking Why!!! He was telling people What HE KNEW ABOUT THE BAD CIRUCMSTANCES.. HE HAD LASER SHARP CLARITY IN UNDERSTANDING HIS BAD CIRCUMSTANCES....

[Illustrations from the Newspaper:  1. Community Center Fight/  2.  Faith Groups Respond Early and Stay late  i.e. Katrina]

Question:  How are you doing at responding to your bad circumstances....are you perplexed and struggling, complaining and griping, becoming more distant in relationships....Is your orientation all about the Gospel Focus....

A Second unifying and euphoric experience is in verses 14-18...

2.  Bonding camaraderie through adversarial circumstances (vv. 14-18)

"And that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear..."

-On Facebook (a Social Networking Tool) there is a group called "I would follow Sean Miller to the ends of the Earth.  Sean Miller was one of our Purdue College Students and earned a reputation for being able to handle any athletic or outdoor challenge with skill, easy, and humility.  On camping trips or athletic challenges, if Sean did know what to do, he would simply make something up, never missing a beat, never fretting, and everybody just assumed always that he knew what he was doing because things always worked out.  He rose to be a very natural leader in the college class in these areans

-Well, Sean was with us on the Boilermaker Challenge... [PPT Sean Miller #1 and Sean Miller #2]

-To call the Boilermaker Challenge to Sean a "Challenge" is the overstatement of the century.

-It soon became very clear to the Boilermaker Challenge Coaches that Sean Miller was making the obstacles not so challenging...He was getting us through the obstacles very skillfully and efficiently...

-Thus, they decided to handicap our group....they ordered that Sean Miller could not speak out any orders and give directions....for a time....What do you think happened to our group?

-Soon more individual began to come forward and speak and express ideas and solutions to the challenges out of necessity.

-The effective imprisonment of one of our great leaders, motivated the rest of us who had the same goal to begin leading

-All of that began producing in us a great sense of unity and camaraderie through those obstacles.

-All of us had the goal to get through the obstacle course and that goal continued to bond us together even when our greatest leader was struck a blow....

-the unifying bond was not the leader per say but the greater cause.

"And that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear..."

-Furthermore, notice how that orientation helped him not to get distracted by personal differences....between individuals who sharply disagreed with some of Paul's methods....Paul states, ..."Some to be sure are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel, the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment... What then Only that in every way, whether in pretense or truth Christ is proclaimed....

The men he was most likely referring to are not heretics who were preaching another Gospel or a different Jesus, they were probably men who thought Paul had done damage to the Christian cause by getting himself arrested and they had a tendency to want to magnify their own ministries by putting Paul's down...

In the face of this intense criticism, what could Paul have thought or done?

Wallow in his woundedness?  (who could blame him, he is human just like everyone else)

Criticize His Critics? (They are certainly criticizing Him!

Slander His Slanderers

Mischaracterize those who have Misunderstood Him?

Bruise those who have bruise Him?

His orientation toward the Gospel cause and the pattern of Christ in the Gospel (Humility) in the face of adversaries helped him to focus on the fact that despite the messengers issues, the message of the Gospel was getting out....

He gives them a back door compliment,  --"What is their efforts against me really?  It doesn't matter...The only thing that matters is that this transforming Gospel is preached, and maybe they will listen to their own message..."

Paul's gospel orientation, his humble response, his majoring on the major, would provide the foundation for unity when these divisive preachers realized their errors...

Paul's example is very impressive and very clear---Put the Gospel and all its associate realties at the center of all your life...This will be the only orientation that will provide lasting unity among the brethren.

The Boilermaker Hangover lasts as long as a typical hangover

The Gospel Hangover will last for eternity

What is at the center of your life?.....

            -Regular ABF Attendance

            - VBS

            -Community Picnic

            -Strategic Planning as to how to better make the Gospel the center of our life so that as we live the community it may be at the center of the community

-The third  unifying experience is

3.  Fearless expectations amidst adversarial circumstances (vv. 19-20)

Yes, and I will rejoice,19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance (vindicataion—explain) through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness,Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death

One of the dynamics that divides God's people is fear. 

You may ask, Brent, how does fear divide God's people?

We are a people that many times have areas of our lives that are not permeated by a gospel orientation (hidden lust, savoring the praise of men)...Those areas in our lives we keep and guard and cover so that people do not know.  We cover them.  And the moment that people get close to uncovering them or impinging on our idols of pleasure, then in our fear of losing the seeming pleasures of sin we lash out.  Fear of loss of what we think are our personal pleasures that remain untouched by the Gospel  will lead to lashing out against others in anger, bitterness, divisive speech, judgementalism...

These are secret areas that really form the focus and orientation of our lives rather than the gospel.  And we cover them because of our shame, but at the same time we fear exposure of them because of our Pride of looking bad....

But Paul has NO FEAR AND NO SHAME BECAUSE OF HIS Life's ORIENTATION...

-THERE IS NO FEAR EVEN IN DEATH IN MEETING HIS SAVIOR BECAUSE OF HIS CO

He has the freeing confidence of NO SHAME in life or in death because we are living in a God pleasing way.

 -The forth unifying experience is

4.  Satisfying Joy despite adversarial circumstances (v. 18)

-Finally, let me remind you again, Paul was IN Prison.

-The birth of the Philippian church occurred when Paul was in Prison the first time singing Praises

-The fact of Paul rejoicing in Prison was nothing new to the Philippians because they had seen it at the start of their church.

-How is this possible---I rejoice, Yes I will continue to Rejoice, To same the same thing again is no problem for me I rejoice...Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice....

--Paul was living for the purpose God created him for—glorifying God by representing him well on this earth and living out all of His life with God's message to the world...

--In that there is fullness of Joy

--Is there a lack of Joy in your life today whether your facing hard circumstances or not

--This book invites us to examine what are will living for, what is your life oriented around...

--Nothing else will satisfy....

Let's Summarize,

The clear message of Philippians is that only a Gospel orientation that permeates all of your life with all of the realities of the gospel (Past provision, Present pattern, Future Promise)  will provided lasting unity... And from Paul's example we see the four experiences that lend themselves to that unity –the laser sharp clarity to understand bad circumstances, the bonding camaraderie through the bad circumstances, the fearless expectations amidst the bad circumstances, and the satisfying joy despite the bad circumstances....

Objections—I can't live this way....What your describing Brent is impossible...

This was his prayer... (discern the things that are most important)

This was his example....He starts Philippians with his example....

This is His exhortation...Peppered through Philippians are statements such as "Have

             this mindset, Follow me. If anybody has a different

             mindset may God show you clearly that.

ALTERNATIVES?  What else is there?

Philippians  (NASB95)

1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:

 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all,5 in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

7 For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.8 For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

 9 And this I pray,

that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent (i.e. things that !!!REALLY MATTER!!!), in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

12 Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel,13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else,14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.

15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will rejoice,19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness,Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith,26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

 27 Only conduct yourselves 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;28 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.29 For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,30 experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

2:1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 Who, although He existed in the form of God,

 

7 but emptied Himself,

 taking the form of a bond-servant,

and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself

by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,

and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,

of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.

25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

3:1Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

4:1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.3 Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you....

Unity Comes from Viewing Life through the Lens of the Gospel [PPT]

Phil 1:12-20

Theme:  Orienting all your life around all the realities of the Gospel is the only orientation that will provide lasting unity among God's people. [PPT]

Philippians 1:12-22 gives four experiences that accompany the life oriented around the Gospel that which will promote unity

anding adversarial circumstances (vv. 12-13)

2.  Bonding camaraderie through adversarial circumstances (vv. 14-18)

3.  Fearless expectations amidst adversarial circumstances (vv. 19-20)

4.  Satisfying Joy despite adversarial circumstances (v. 18)

Brent Aucoin

M.S. - Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Central Baptist Seminary
Th.M. - Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D. - Baptist Bible Seminary

Pastor Brent Aucoin and his wife, Janet, came on staff in July of 1998.  Pastor Aucoin serves as overseer of Faith Seminary and Soul Care Ministries at Faith Church.

View Pastor Aucoin's Salvation Testmony Video