Friday, March 05, 2021

2021.03.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 1:19–21

Read Philippians 1:19–21

Questions from the Scripture text: What is the apostle’s level of confidence about this (Philippians 1:19)? For what does he know that this will turn out? Through what two things? According to what sure hope/expectation of his (Philippians 1:20)? With how much boldness does he aim at magnifying Christ? In what of his? By what two things? To him, what is it, to live (Philippians 1:21)? What is it to die?

Would you like to know that every situation will turn out for your deliverance? Would you like to know that you will never be put to shame? Would you like to know that you will always achieve your goal? Would you like to know that for you, dying will be gain? The apostle knows all of these things, and he shares his secret with us: for him, to live is Christ.

If Christ is everything to your life, every situation ultimately turns out for your deliverance. In this particular case, Paul faced two possible deliverances. The one deliverance, the apostle hoped would come through their prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful thing praying for one another must be, that the Bible yokes it here in conjunction with the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ! We cannot always know for our situation what the apostle knew about his; the Scripture calls us to love not our lives even unto death.

But there is a second deliverance that Paul has in mind here, as demonstrated by his saying “this will turn out for my deliverance” with words that came from Job 13:16 in his Greek Old Testament. It is the deliverance that will come at the judgment when he faces God. The deliverance that Christ had won for him already. With Christ as his everything, he could be sure that he would ultimately be delivered. You can have this confidence for yourself too. Everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved (cf. Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). 

If Christ is everything to your life, you can have with the apostle an “earnest expectation and hope that in nothing [you] shall be ashamed” (Philippians 1:20). How did he know this? Because the Scripture tells us that none who trust in Him will be put to shame. That trust will never fail. For I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day (cf. 2 Timothy 1:12). And not only will you not be ashamed at the judgment, but you need not be ashamed even in this life…

If Christ is everything to your life, you can know that you will always achieve your goal. That’s because, if “to live is Christ” for you, then your aim is that Christ will be magnified in your body. Well, if we live for Him, then He is magnified regardless of the circumstances in which we do so; in fact, when we live for Him in harder circumstances, that serves to magnify Him all the more! And if we die faithfully, He is magnified both in the manner in which we die, and the fact that our soul both immediately goes to Him and also will be reunited with a resurrected body in the last day. O Christian, make it your goal that Christ be magnified, and you shall always achieve it!

If Christ is everything to your life, you can know that dying is gain. It is an odd thing that so many who resent or resist the idea of living a Christ-consumed life would comfort themselves with fairytales of going to heaven, when it is a Christ-consumed place. Such a person would not find heaven pleasant, and ought not be confident that he is going there. Indeed, if you refuse to say that “to live is Christ,” then your death will be an unimaginable catastrophe, and you cannot say in truth that “to die is gain.” 

But O, if Christ is everything to your life, such that your distance from Him and remaining sin against Him are your greatest pains, how great will be your gain at death when you are ushered into His presence in the very moment at which your appetite for Him is purified and perfected!

In what daily activities are you least mindful of Christ being everything to you? How can that change?

Suggested songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or TPH73C “In Sweet Communion, Lord, with Thee” 

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