The Theatre of Prayer

June 28, 2015 00:32:36
The Theatre of Prayer
Covenant Words
The Theatre of Prayer

Jun 28 2015 | 00:32:36

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Show Notes

Rev. Christopher Chelpka
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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.440 --> 00:00:03.240 Well, if you're able, please remain standing and let's hear God's word. 2 00:00:03.359 --> 00:00:10.150 Now, from Philippians to verses seventeen and eighteen, Philippians to seventeen and eighteen. 3 00:00:29.660 --> 00:00:34.820 Here Paul, Writing From Prison, completes this next this section of his 4 00:00:34.899 --> 00:00:41.009 letter, with with these words Phesians two, seventeen through eighteen. Even if 5 00:00:41.049 --> 00:00:45.890 I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of 6 00:00:45.929 --> 00:00:51.640 your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you 7 00:00:51.799 --> 00:00:57.200 also should be glad and rejoice with me. May God bless his word to 8 00:00:57.280 --> 00:01:19.579 us. Please be seated. I want to talk to you about some big 9 00:01:19.700 --> 00:01:27.900 ideas tonight. I'll put them right up front. And life death in and 10 00:01:29.060 --> 00:01:34.370 meaning. I want to talk to you about the way we think about life 11 00:01:34.409 --> 00:01:40.209 and death, the way we think about meaning, the way we think about 12 00:01:40.370 --> 00:01:44.049 life and death particularly in connection with meaning, or more particularly the way we 13 00:01:44.730 --> 00:01:51.760 fill our thinking about life and about our death with meaning. Now, I'm 14 00:01:51.799 --> 00:02:00.000 aware that some people pretend, pretend this ability to strip life and death of 15 00:02:00.159 --> 00:02:05.030 meaning. They try to face good and evil in the world as though they 16 00:02:05.069 --> 00:02:12.990 were nothing, in particular, meaningless categories, as though the world were purely 17 00:02:13.030 --> 00:02:22.139 physical, as though life were nothing more than electrons doing their work, though 18 00:02:22.379 --> 00:02:27.419 we as though we were nothing more than just a piece of circuitry without any 19 00:02:27.500 --> 00:02:32.370 real meaning attached to it. We just sort of buzz along by fate. 20 00:02:35.409 --> 00:02:39.530 But people that argue this, or pretend to argue it, I think I'm 21 00:02:39.650 --> 00:02:46.280 fail even in their argumentation, seeing something even noble in approaching life this way, 22 00:02:47.280 --> 00:02:53.199 this viewpoint, and by looking at things through this viewpoint, they reveal 23 00:02:53.159 --> 00:02:58.479 what we all know, and what we know they know that life and death 24 00:02:58.629 --> 00:03:01.590 do have meaning, even if we attribute to them a sort of purely physical 25 00:03:01.629 --> 00:03:08.349 sense, even if we explain things by just randomness or fate, there's still 26 00:03:08.509 --> 00:03:15.219 the sense at which we're grasping to try to explain things. There's a sense 27 00:03:15.340 --> 00:03:21.419 in which we all know that life and death, these things which characterize us, 28 00:03:22.580 --> 00:03:27.370 they do have deep meaning. There's no way around it. And so, 29 00:03:28.210 --> 00:03:34.289 as people come to face this reality, they filled these categories with various 30 00:03:34.330 --> 00:03:38.770 things. What is the meaning of a death? It's a question that's always 31 00:03:38.810 --> 00:03:46.240 asked internally, sometimes externally at funerals and newspaper articles. Why did such and 32 00:03:46.360 --> 00:03:53.680 such a thing happen? What was its purpose? And we fill those categories 33 00:03:53.879 --> 00:03:58.270 life and death, with all kinds of things. We speak of family, 34 00:03:59.469 --> 00:04:06.509 achievements, memories, friends, honors, all kinds of things. But as 35 00:04:06.550 --> 00:04:13.340 Christians we know that even these kinds of things, family, friends, honors, 36 00:04:13.379 --> 00:04:19.220 achievements, money, treasures earned, even wisdom gained. As Christians God, 37 00:04:19.300 --> 00:04:24.329 we know that God has taught us that even these things perish and that 38 00:04:24.569 --> 00:04:30.089 pursuing them to find meaning in life or in death is really a fool's errand 39 00:04:30.209 --> 00:04:36.889 I'm consider God's words from ecclesiastes here. The preacher takes up various topics, 40 00:04:38.009 --> 00:04:43.319 like in a feat ecclesiasts one hundred and eighteen. He talks about pursuing after 41 00:04:43.480 --> 00:04:49.720 wisdom and concludes with this, for in much wisdom is much vexation, and 42 00:04:49.920 --> 00:04:56.750 he who increase he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow. There's this sense of 43 00:04:56.829 --> 00:05:01.910 which, even as one pursues a wise life, a life lived out according 44 00:05:01.949 --> 00:05:11.379 to wisdom, a sorrow is increased as well. He makes this point a 45 00:05:11.779 --> 00:05:15.019 poignantly in the next chapter, into sixteen, by saying that a wise man 46 00:05:15.180 --> 00:05:20.810 pursues after light and wisdom, a fool goes about life stumbling around in darkness. 47 00:05:21.250 --> 00:05:26.930 And what happens to them. Both they die, they end up, 48 00:05:27.089 --> 00:05:32.730 and he says, at the very same place foolishness. He concludes or possessions. 49 00:05:32.850 --> 00:05:38.120 In in chapter two, versus nine through eleven, he he talks about 50 00:05:39.360 --> 00:05:46.279 how he goes about working so hard to achieve all kinds of things. At 51 00:05:46.319 --> 00:05:51.029 the beginning of Chapter Two he lists various things that this he earned, like 52 00:05:51.189 --> 00:05:56.670 verse five, I Made Myself Gardens and parks and planted in them all kinds 53 00:05:56.709 --> 00:06:01.029 of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forests of 54 00:06:01.110 --> 00:06:06.660 growing trees. He talks about buying slaves and herds and flocks. In verse 55 00:06:06.699 --> 00:06:11.899 eighty, talks about gathering for himself silver and gold, the treasures of kings 56 00:06:11.939 --> 00:06:15.899 and provinces, singers, concubines, all the delights of the sons of man. 57 00:06:17.180 --> 00:06:21.290 He gathers so much, so many treasures, to himself, that he 58 00:06:21.410 --> 00:06:28.089 says I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. So, 59 00:06:28.170 --> 00:06:31.209 in addition to my wisdom, which remained with me, whatever my eyes 60 00:06:31.370 --> 00:06:35.480 desired, I did not keep from them, I kept my from my heart 61 00:06:35.800 --> 00:06:44.600 no pleasure. And yet he concludes that he considers the work of his hands, 62 00:06:44.680 --> 00:06:47.470 that all his hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing 63 00:06:47.550 --> 00:06:51.629 it. And behold, all was in vanity and striving after wind. There 64 00:06:51.750 --> 00:06:57.990 was nothing to be gained under the Sun. So this vanity of life and 65 00:06:58.149 --> 00:07:04.019 toiling after wisdom and toiling after treasures or even just toiling in general, the 66 00:07:04.379 --> 00:07:10.379 the work itself. He could he says, for example, in Chapter Two, 67 00:07:10.420 --> 00:07:15.129 Verse Twenty One, because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and 68 00:07:15.449 --> 00:07:21.050 knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil 69 00:07:21.170 --> 00:07:28.129 for it. This also is a great vanity and a great evil. You 70 00:07:28.209 --> 00:07:30.079 see the kinds of things he's getting at. This picture of you work hard 71 00:07:30.399 --> 00:07:35.199 in all of your life, pursuing treasures and wisdom or just the value of 72 00:07:35.360 --> 00:07:41.839 hard work, you die and then you leave it to some lazy person who 73 00:07:42.560 --> 00:07:47.790 hasn't worked for anything. Vanity, says, a great evil under the Sun. 74 00:07:50.670 --> 00:07:56.509 So in all these things God teaches us that striving after these things, 75 00:07:56.550 --> 00:08:01.660 though certainly good in themselves and good under a certain context, will come to 76 00:08:01.740 --> 00:08:07.379 think about later in and of themselves as seen as striving after the wind, 77 00:08:07.660 --> 00:08:11.889 something in which is this vanity. You can't gain anything. And yet these 78 00:08:11.930 --> 00:08:16.329 are the kinds of things that people try to fill their lives and their deaths 79 00:08:16.009 --> 00:08:20.889 with meaning. These are the kinds of things that they they push into those 80 00:08:20.930 --> 00:08:26.480 categories to give lasting value to them. But it's as if you're striving after 81 00:08:26.639 --> 00:08:35.440 wind. So where is true meaning lasting value found? Well, the answer 82 00:08:35.519 --> 00:08:39.759 scripture gives is it's found in God, and God is found in Christ. 83 00:08:41.159 --> 00:08:46.509 Only when our lives and our deaths are connected to God, are connected to 84 00:08:46.990 --> 00:08:52.870 his ultimate will, his ultimate purpose and plans, his work, which is 85 00:08:52.149 --> 00:09:00.419 ever in vain, which never disappears, which is never spent worthlessly, only 86 00:09:00.580 --> 00:09:05.220 then, when our lives are connected to him, will they be filled with 87 00:09:05.419 --> 00:09:11.129 meaning that isn't empty and isn't vanity, but filled with something that is truly 88 00:09:11.330 --> 00:09:18.769 worthy and of lasting value. Philippians to seventeen and eighteen, which I read 89 00:09:18.809 --> 00:09:24.039 before the sermon began, is a call to see things in that way. 90 00:09:26.240 --> 00:09:31.200 It's a call to see our life, our whole life, even our deaths, 91 00:09:31.639 --> 00:09:37.480 in connection with God, in connection with him. We see this through 92 00:09:37.519 --> 00:09:43.470 the example and teaching of God's Apostle, the Apostle Paul, and these verses 93 00:09:43.549 --> 00:09:48.909 God teaches us how lives lived in him and death's died in him are deeply 94 00:09:50.029 --> 00:09:56.100 meaningful and lead to a very practical kind of application in this life, namely 95 00:09:56.899 --> 00:10:05.860 rejoicing. Rejoicing. Let's consider this by beginning to think about Paul, the 96 00:10:05.980 --> 00:10:11.129 one who's speaking these things. I read to you just two verses for the 97 00:10:11.210 --> 00:10:15.929 sake of time, but I'll remind you that Paul's in a bit of a 98 00:10:16.009 --> 00:10:20.809 rough spot, to put it mildly. He's in prison. He's in prison 99 00:10:20.970 --> 00:10:24.639 for the sake of preaching in the Gospel and, worse yet, the prison 100 00:10:24.720 --> 00:10:31.080 and prisonment that he's enduring is being used by fellow Christians. Is being used 101 00:10:31.120 --> 00:10:35.750 by fellow Christians to attack him. They're using it to seek to harm him 102 00:10:35.750 --> 00:10:46.029 and puff themselves up. Paul is in this difficult position and he's fairly confident 103 00:10:46.070 --> 00:10:48.429 that he's going to be released. You see this in Verse Nine, Verses 104 00:10:48.509 --> 00:10:54.059 Nineteen and twenty, of Chapter One. I'll read them to you, and 105 00:10:54.299 --> 00:10:58.940 he says yes, I will rejoice, for I know that, through your 106 00:10:58.100 --> 00:11:03.779 prayers and the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for 107 00:11:03.860 --> 00:11:09.529 my deliverance. As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not 108 00:11:09.769 --> 00:11:13.730 be at all ashamed, but with that, but that with full courage now 109 00:11:13.929 --> 00:11:18.009 is always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or 110 00:11:18.049 --> 00:11:22.200 by death. He expects that he will as soon be able to come to 111 00:11:22.279 --> 00:11:26.720 meet with them again and that he will be able to come and see with 112 00:11:26.840 --> 00:11:31.080 them, see them and continue in the progress and joy of their faith. 113 00:11:33.470 --> 00:11:37.950 And yet at the same time he doesn't take this as a guarantee. He 114 00:11:37.070 --> 00:11:41.870 says, whether in life or death, these things I will be accomplished. 115 00:11:41.590 --> 00:11:46.620 He sees death as a real possibility, and that's what he's getting at here. 116 00:11:46.700 --> 00:11:50.259 In verses seventeen and eighteen, he says, Eve, and if I'm 117 00:11:50.340 --> 00:11:54.460 to be poured out as a drink offering, even if I'm to die and 118 00:11:54.860 --> 00:12:01.129 as a sacrifice, then it's not in vain, though. Paul is in 119 00:12:01.250 --> 00:12:05.889 prison and he expects his release. He sees death as a real possibility, 120 00:12:07.929 --> 00:12:13.529 not only because of his circumstances but also because this is true for all Christians. 121 00:12:13.370 --> 00:12:16.559 And if you'll allow me just a moment to kind of sidebar here and 122 00:12:18.000 --> 00:12:24.919 make this point, Paul expects death sooner or later. He expects it because 123 00:12:24.919 --> 00:12:31.710 it's the uniform testimony of God's word. I'll give you just three examples and 124 00:12:31.909 --> 00:12:39.350 first Peter. Twelve will peter tells us do not be surprised at the fiery 125 00:12:39.470 --> 00:12:43.539 trial when it comes to test you don't be surprised about it. This is 126 00:12:43.980 --> 00:12:50.340 going to happen. Paul in prison is expecting this. He's not surprised by 127 00:12:50.419 --> 00:12:54.659 this. He doesn't see it as a guarantee that he's going to get out 128 00:12:54.700 --> 00:12:58.850 of this. Paul himself and acts fourteen, when he's going about doing his 129 00:12:58.970 --> 00:13:03.129 mission Mary Work, and ACS Fourteen twenty two. We read that he was 130 00:13:03.649 --> 00:13:09.090 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith and 131 00:13:09.409 --> 00:13:15.600 saying to them that through many tribulations, they must enter the Kingdom of God. 132 00:13:15.759 --> 00:13:20.039 If you don't understand the New Testament, if you don't unders stand the 133 00:13:20.080 --> 00:13:24.080 way Paul thinks, that one, two three movement that you see there and 134 00:13:24.159 --> 00:13:30.710 acts fourteen maybe a little bit surprising. He's going around strengthening their souls, 135 00:13:31.110 --> 00:13:37.789 encouraging them in the faith and saying that through many tribulations they will enter into 136 00:13:37.830 --> 00:13:41.340 the Kingdom of God. This is an expected part of our life. It's 137 00:13:41.340 --> 00:13:48.620 a part of our strengthening and encouragement. It's not a discouragement to Christians, 138 00:13:48.259 --> 00:13:52.179 that we will, through many trials, enter the Kingdom of God, that 139 00:13:52.299 --> 00:13:56.409 through many trials, we must enter the Kingdom of God. But it's a 140 00:13:56.529 --> 00:14:03.090 part of our strengthening, it's a part of our encouragement. I love these 141 00:14:03.169 --> 00:14:09.250 words from John, Fifteen, twenty. Jesus himself remember the word that I 142 00:14:09.450 --> 00:14:13.879 said to you. A servant is not greater than his master. If they 143 00:14:15.000 --> 00:14:20.960 persecute me, they will also persecute you. Paul is a servant of God. 144 00:14:22.720 --> 00:14:26.909 He knows this, he announces this constantly. It's a part of his 145 00:14:26.149 --> 00:14:31.830 identity. He belongs to Jesus, Christ, his Lord, and he knows 146 00:14:31.870 --> 00:14:35.830 that he is not greater than his master, and that's just fine. Jesus 147 00:14:35.870 --> 00:14:41.100 is his master and he desires to serve him. If they persecuted him, 148 00:14:41.500 --> 00:14:46.419 they will persecute me. To do many tribulations, we must enter the Kingdom 149 00:14:48.100 --> 00:14:54.409 of God. God, and so Paul expects that death is a real possibility, 150 00:14:56.450 --> 00:15:01.730 because it's a possibility for all who call themselves servants of God, followers 151 00:15:01.809 --> 00:15:07.720 of Christ, Jesus. And yet, and yet, though he knows this 152 00:15:07.759 --> 00:15:15.600 is a possibility, a real possibility, it doesn't seem to concern him, 153 00:15:15.639 --> 00:15:20.360 least not in the way that death often can seems to concern us. Listen 154 00:15:20.399 --> 00:15:26.990 to his words. He says, even if I am poured out as a 155 00:15:26.990 --> 00:15:33.590 drink offering, skipping a little bit, I am glad and I rejoice with 156 00:15:33.750 --> 00:15:39.659 you all. Likewise, you should also be glad and rejoice with me. 157 00:15:41.620 --> 00:15:48.379 Imagine hearing that from the words of your missionary, a missionary that you've sent 158 00:15:48.580 --> 00:15:52.570 out and are supporting and praying for, a missionary who's been preaching the Gospel 159 00:15:52.610 --> 00:15:56.490 and now finds himself in prison, and he says, you know what, 160 00:15:56.730 --> 00:15:58.850 he writes back a letter to the church and he says, you know what, 161 00:16:00.210 --> 00:16:03.850 even if I'm poured out as a drink offering, even if I am 162 00:16:03.929 --> 00:16:11.480 to die, I'm glad, I rejoice and you should rejoice. To Paul 163 00:16:11.320 --> 00:16:17.039 does. Paul sees his death as a possibility and it doesn't concern him. 164 00:16:18.990 --> 00:16:23.470 The Bible speaks of speaks this way in other places as well. In other 165 00:16:23.549 --> 00:16:29.710 words, suffering for the faith is not only something that is to be expected, 166 00:16:29.830 --> 00:16:36.539 as we mentioned earlier, it's also something to be rejoiced in. It's 167 00:16:36.620 --> 00:16:40.139 not just that we say, well, yeah, I suppose that might happen 168 00:16:40.179 --> 00:16:44.179 to me some day, or even that I know this will happen to me 169 00:16:44.379 --> 00:16:47.970 some day, but I know that it will happen to me and I will 170 00:16:48.049 --> 00:16:52.889 rejoice in it. Consider James as words. Count it all joy, my 171 00:16:53.049 --> 00:17:00.129 brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, or Peter's words, we 172 00:17:00.289 --> 00:17:03.639 rejoice in the salvation of God, though now, for a little while, 173 00:17:03.679 --> 00:17:10.200 if necessary, you are grieved by various trials. In Romans three, Paul 174 00:17:10.279 --> 00:17:14.880 says we rejoice in our sufferings. In Colossians one hundred and twenty four, 175 00:17:14.920 --> 00:17:21.829 he says, I rejoice in my sufferings. or Jesus's words in John Sixteen 176 00:17:21.950 --> 00:17:29.750 thirty three. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, 177 00:17:30.819 --> 00:17:40.819 rejoice, I have overcome the world. You will have tribulation in the world, 178 00:17:41.299 --> 00:17:45.690 but take heart, I have overcome the world. You need did not 179 00:17:47.369 --> 00:17:52.970 fear. You might compare our being in Christ is to as servants, to 180 00:17:52.089 --> 00:18:00.319 belonging to an invincible army, an army that could never and will never be 181 00:18:00.599 --> 00:18:06.480 defeated. Doesn't mean it won't be attacked again and again and again and again, 182 00:18:07.359 --> 00:18:11.319 but you need not worry. You can rejoice in the victory even now. 183 00:18:12.230 --> 00:18:18.109 Why? Because Christ has already overcome because the captain of the army, 184 00:18:18.309 --> 00:18:26.619 the King of our salvation, is one who is powerful and mighty. Well, 185 00:18:26.700 --> 00:18:32.140 this begins to teach us and begins to get at this way in which 186 00:18:32.259 --> 00:18:37.059 we view our sufferings and trials, the way in which we view our life 187 00:18:37.700 --> 00:18:42.970 and our death. We are called to expect suffering and to rejoice in it. 188 00:18:45.369 --> 00:18:51.170 But where does that come from? Where do we find rejoicing? Where 189 00:18:51.890 --> 00:18:56.799 do we root ourselves in such a way that when we live our lives, 190 00:18:56.839 --> 00:19:03.039 it's characterized by these things? It doesn't strike the world at first is making 191 00:19:03.359 --> 00:19:07.759 sense, does it? It's the way of thinking of the world that it's 192 00:19:08.200 --> 00:19:15.509 work, toil and wisdom and treasures that lead to that lead to glory and 193 00:19:15.630 --> 00:19:21.029 rejoicing. Right, you gain the desires of your heart and you'll be happy. 194 00:19:21.950 --> 00:19:27.740 You become a wise person, adept at business deals or uncapable of managing 195 00:19:27.980 --> 00:19:34.380 relationships, or whatever it is, and you will be happy. But the 196 00:19:34.500 --> 00:19:41.210 preacher and ecclesiast he says no, you'll find yourself in sorrow and and chasing 197 00:19:41.289 --> 00:19:45.809 after the wind. The Bible, in the other hand, says that it's 198 00:19:45.809 --> 00:19:51.369 in suffering and sorrow for the Kingdom of God that you'll find rejoicing. It's 199 00:19:51.450 --> 00:19:56.920 on this rocky road of picking up one's cross and following after the savior that 200 00:19:56.000 --> 00:20:07.950 you'll find rejoicing. where? How by living our lives in God. Paul 201 00:20:07.029 --> 00:20:11.750 gives us a really powerful picture of that in these verses, in these two 202 00:20:11.750 --> 00:20:18.589 verses, he places this life that we live in God, through our Savior, 203 00:20:18.670 --> 00:20:23.660 Jesus Christ, in these old testament categories. I want to open those 204 00:20:23.740 --> 00:20:27.539 up for you a little bit as a way to impress these truths in your 205 00:20:27.619 --> 00:20:33.819 minds and in your hearts. Notice what Paul speaks in this Old Testament language. 206 00:20:33.819 --> 00:20:38.930 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the 207 00:20:40.089 --> 00:20:47.170 sacrificial offering of your faith, I'm glad and rejoice with you all. So 208 00:20:47.250 --> 00:20:51.519 let's ask this question. How are we to think about our lives in the 209 00:20:51.559 --> 00:20:55.119 way that he's thinking about them, so that we might rejoice, so that 210 00:20:55.240 --> 00:20:57.839 we might find happiness? Well, Paul calls us to think of them in 211 00:20:57.960 --> 00:21:03.359 terms of Old Testament worship. Maybe not the first place you would go when 212 00:21:03.400 --> 00:21:07.630 you decide to think about your life in God, in Christ, but that's 213 00:21:07.670 --> 00:21:12.549 where Paul goes. That's how Paul thinks about it if you would turn with 214 00:21:12.670 --> 00:21:18.740 me on to one verse in First Peter to five. All reference some others, 215 00:21:18.819 --> 00:21:22.779 but this will set us up well to begin to understand what Paul has 216 00:21:22.859 --> 00:21:33.930 in mind here. First Peter to five encapsulates a lot of various New Testament 217 00:21:34.089 --> 00:21:40.569 passages that teach us about who we are as the church, as those who 218 00:21:40.569 --> 00:21:48.880 have been saved by Christ and founded on him. Peter says, you yourselves, 219 00:21:48.799 --> 00:21:55.400 like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house. It's 220 00:21:55.400 --> 00:22:00.920 a way to speak of a temple, a spiritual house. You yourselves, 221 00:22:00.119 --> 00:22:06.190 like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a 222 00:22:06.309 --> 00:22:15.059 holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable and pleasing to God. Acceptable, 223 00:22:15.220 --> 00:22:22.500 I'm sorry, offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. He goes 224 00:22:22.539 --> 00:22:26.380 on to say that we are those who have been founded on Jesus Christ. 225 00:22:26.619 --> 00:22:32.170 This, this corner stone. So you hear the metaphor that Paul, that 226 00:22:32.329 --> 00:22:36.329 Peter here is employing. He's saying that, as the church, you're to 227 00:22:36.450 --> 00:22:41.650 think of yourself like the temple. You are this holy spiritual house in which 228 00:22:41.730 --> 00:22:48.119 the spirit of God in dwells and lives. You are built on Jesus Christ, 229 00:22:48.359 --> 00:22:53.559 this foundation. But then he begins to mix metaphors in a way and 230 00:22:53.759 --> 00:22:59.710 he says, not only are you the temple, but you're also the priesthood. 231 00:23:00.670 --> 00:23:04.470 You are awful also those who not only are in dwelt by the spirit, 232 00:23:06.190 --> 00:23:12.180 but offer up sacrifices, sacrifices to God that are acceptable and pleasing to 233 00:23:12.259 --> 00:23:18.299 him. We read this in other places like First Corinthians six and and others. 234 00:23:19.019 --> 00:23:26.339 But going back to our passage tonight, Philippians to seventeen through eighteen, 235 00:23:26.859 --> 00:23:32.769 Paul sort of moves into that picture of Old Testament temple worship and he compares 236 00:23:32.930 --> 00:23:40.569 his death to being poured out as a drink, offering upon the sacrificial offering 237 00:23:40.650 --> 00:23:45.640 of your faith. So we have this broad perspective in scripture of this temple 238 00:23:45.799 --> 00:23:51.559 worship. Now we can narrow in a little more and we hear of these 239 00:23:51.599 --> 00:23:57.349 sacrifices, these particular sacrifices that are being offered. What sacrifices does he have 240 00:23:57.509 --> 00:24:03.190 in mind? What is the sacrificial offering of faith that the Philippians have offered 241 00:24:06.150 --> 00:24:10.339 in the New Testament? We learn, and with much clarity, that the 242 00:24:10.460 --> 00:24:15.900 old testament sacrifices are over. We no longer bring lambs and goats and and 243 00:24:17.140 --> 00:24:22.019 pigeons and grain and these kinds of things to the temple of God to worship 244 00:24:22.059 --> 00:24:29.009 him, because Christ is our final sacrifice. Right. So what do we 245 00:24:29.250 --> 00:24:33.730 bring? One various passages, like the one in Peter or the one earlier 246 00:24:33.769 --> 00:24:37.049 I asked you to remember. In Romans twelve, we present what to God, 247 00:24:37.640 --> 00:24:45.319 our bodies, as living sacrifices acceptable and pleasing to God. In Hebrews 248 00:24:45.440 --> 00:24:51.039 Thirteen fifteen, we the author their talks about US offering a sacrifice of praise. 249 00:24:52.400 --> 00:24:57.269 Paul in a really interesting way. In Romans fifteen talks about offering the 250 00:24:57.589 --> 00:25:04.549 gentiles up to God. Isn't that interesting way to speak? Paul considers the 251 00:25:04.710 --> 00:25:11.700 gentiles like these animals that people used to bring, not a derogatory way, 252 00:25:11.819 --> 00:25:17.339 but he takes them as this act of worship. Paul understands the context of 253 00:25:17.420 --> 00:25:21.690 his ministry and he offers them up to God and he says, this work 254 00:25:21.930 --> 00:25:26.009 belongs to you. Please accept them, this ministry that you have given me, 255 00:25:26.529 --> 00:25:30.490 and take it as pleasing in your sight. Well, it's in that 256 00:25:30.690 --> 00:25:37.759 kind of sense that the Philippians and you and me also offer up our bodies 257 00:25:37.119 --> 00:25:41.160 and our life together as a church up to God and we say, Lord 258 00:25:41.160 --> 00:25:49.390 Jesus Christ, except these offerings as pleasing in your sight, not to atone 259 00:25:49.549 --> 00:25:55.349 for our sin, not to earn favor on behalf of God, but simply 260 00:25:55.390 --> 00:26:03.470 as spiritual acts of worship, spiritual acts of worship. If you want to 261 00:26:03.509 --> 00:26:07.700 get even more specific, take a look at Philippians, this book that we're 262 00:26:07.740 --> 00:26:11.460 in, Philippians four hundred and eighteen, and listen to the very specific things 263 00:26:11.619 --> 00:26:18.769 Paul mentions about this church, some specific examples. In four hundred and eighteen 264 00:26:18.849 --> 00:26:22.730 he says, I have received full payment and more. In other words, 265 00:26:22.730 --> 00:26:26.809 he received the money that they sent to him. I received full payment and 266 00:26:26.970 --> 00:26:33.640 more. I am well supplied, having received from epaphroditus the gifts you sent, 267 00:26:33.279 --> 00:26:41.839 a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and please to God. So Paul 268 00:26:42.000 --> 00:26:48.910 sees this outpouring of their faith. There's confidence in the Gospel, to send 269 00:26:49.029 --> 00:26:55.589 the Gospel for through this missionary, their gifts given to him, their support 270 00:26:55.750 --> 00:26:59.309 of him, their prayers of him, even the sending of this minister, 271 00:26:59.470 --> 00:27:03.579 epaphroditus, to them. Paul sees all of those kinds of things what we 272 00:27:03.619 --> 00:27:11.779 might call regular church life lived out in faith, as a sacrifice acceptable and 273 00:27:11.980 --> 00:27:18.809 pleasing to God. So, going back to the question I brought up originally, 274 00:27:18.809 --> 00:27:22.970 how are we to perceive our lives and the things that we do is 275 00:27:23.049 --> 00:27:30.759 the body of Christ? We see them as spiritual sacrifices given to God, 276 00:27:32.559 --> 00:27:37.359 as acts of worship through Jesus Christ, this one who went before us atone 277 00:27:37.480 --> 00:27:44.869 for our sins. That makes our sacrifice is pure and holy, and God 278 00:27:44.910 --> 00:27:52.670 accepts them as pleasing and acceptable. Is it any wonder, then, that 279 00:27:52.829 --> 00:28:00.859 Paul is rejoicing that Paul says my death is but a drink offering poured out 280 00:28:02.500 --> 00:28:08.019 in connection with your offering. Perhaps you don't remember what a drink offering is. 281 00:28:08.900 --> 00:28:12.250 It's a little bit complicated, but I'll tell you briefly for the sake 282 00:28:12.329 --> 00:28:18.690 of time this evening. A drink offering was something that was added. It 283 00:28:18.849 --> 00:28:22.930 was added to they burnt offerings, into the peace offerings in particular, as 284 00:28:23.009 --> 00:28:29.759 a way to kind of make those offerings complete. You read this in numbers, 285 00:28:30.519 --> 00:28:34.839 Chapter Fifteen, versus three through ten. There we read that when you 286 00:28:36.000 --> 00:28:38.720 bring a burnt offering or when you bring a peace offering, you're also to 287 00:28:38.880 --> 00:28:45.430 bring in the case of a lamb, three courts of flour, one court 288 00:28:45.509 --> 00:28:51.190 of oil. Why? Flour and oil to make bread. But also, 289 00:28:51.349 --> 00:28:53.829 in addition to the flower and the oil, these kind of grain offerings, 290 00:28:53.910 --> 00:28:59.460 you're also to bring a quart of wine. You see what happens there as 291 00:28:59.500 --> 00:29:02.740 you have something of a meal, right, you have the meat, the 292 00:29:02.819 --> 00:29:07.380 sacrifice, you have a bread now and you have a drink. And so 293 00:29:08.099 --> 00:29:15.410 Paul sees himself in this way. He sees himself as simply being added to 294 00:29:15.450 --> 00:29:22.730 the sacrifice, that the that the Philippians are bringing. And it's possible, 295 00:29:22.529 --> 00:29:26.440 I can't say it with a hundred percent certainty, but it's possible, that 296 00:29:26.519 --> 00:29:33.240 the sacrifice that he talks about he means specifically that grain offering, those three 297 00:29:33.440 --> 00:29:38.109 courts of flour and oil. And so you have this picture, then, 298 00:29:38.190 --> 00:29:45.789 of Christ. Are Offering Jesus Christ, this one who endured suffering in persecution 299 00:29:45.950 --> 00:29:49.069 and trial for the sake of sins, and we are called to follow after 300 00:29:49.109 --> 00:29:55.660 him and, in connection with him, offer ourselves as sacrifices, perhaps that 301 00:29:55.980 --> 00:30:00.019 grain offering. And Paul says, I'm simply right in there with you, 302 00:30:00.859 --> 00:30:04.019 even if I'm poured out unto my death. It's just as a drink offering. 303 00:30:06.140 --> 00:30:10.450 You see his pleasure in all of us. He sees his death, 304 00:30:11.009 --> 00:30:15.170 just as he sees their life, as just part of the sacrifice of praise 305 00:30:15.609 --> 00:30:25.440 and Thanksgiving and worship that we offer to God. This is how we are 306 00:30:25.559 --> 00:30:32.680 to think about our lives. Our lives in our deaths are not just bare 307 00:30:32.960 --> 00:30:40.029 facts. Our lives and our deaths are not just matter doing its thing. 308 00:30:41.950 --> 00:30:47.309 We live out our lives and our deaths as those who have been united to 309 00:30:47.430 --> 00:30:55.460 Christ in his once and for all sacrifice, as those who are living stones 310 00:30:55.700 --> 00:31:02.180 being built on this Temple Foundation. We live out our lives as those who 311 00:31:02.180 --> 00:31:06.690 are being in dwelt by the spirit of God. To put it as I 312 00:31:06.730 --> 00:31:10.009 put it in the beginning. We live it are all our lives and we 313 00:31:10.210 --> 00:31:18.329 die our deaths in connection and in communion with God, and that means that 314 00:31:18.490 --> 00:31:27.599 they have meaning, richness, value, and in that there's not sorrow, 315 00:31:30.480 --> 00:31:41.509 but in suffering even there's rejoicing and pleasure and triumph and confidence. Every aspect 316 00:31:41.589 --> 00:31:48.900 of our lives lived in this way, lived as belonging to God and fulfilling 317 00:31:49.099 --> 00:31:56.940 his purposes, are things that bring glory to him through Jesus Christ, and 318 00:31:57.099 --> 00:32:01.569 as I said at the beginning and as all end with, it leads to 319 00:32:01.650 --> 00:32:12.529 a very practical application rejoicing. We rejoice as simple and as wonderful as that. 320 00:32:13.690 --> 00:32:20.039 Rejoice in who we are. Christ has overcome the world and we overcome 321 00:32:20.079 --> 00:32:28.680 in him. We are unto God, those acceptable and pleasing sacrifices of worship, 322 00:32:28.759 --> 00:32:32.509 and in these things we can rejoice. Let us pray

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