Our visiting speaker today was Aaron Daview-Whitfield, who has been studying the book of Philippians with us. As we came to the end of chapter 1 today, it aptly tied in with Rememnbrance Sunday as he preached from chapter 1 verses 27-30, which he entitled “Christian soldiers in the fight of faith.”
We were reminded that the Gospel is Good News, God’s Good News, God’s message of Salvation. The message centres on the cross, Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended, Christ coming again. Paul says we are citizens of heaven who no longer belong to this world and its principles if we have come to the cross. We belong to the lord, to the kingdom of heaven, therefore, we should act and live our lives in a changed way. We must live different lives.
The Philippians were to shine out the Gospel by their conduct and manner. Before we come to Christian conduct we must first realise Christian doctrine. Paul always emphasied in every epistle we must know what the Gospel is before we start living out that life, otherwise we become a church of moral conduct. We are the Church of Christ, washed in the blood of the Lamb, we belong to the Lord, we are a new creation. The Christian faith is not just a rule book, it is living out the Gospel that has transformed us. We must know this faith in order to share the faith. We must bear fruit in our lives. James writes, ‘Faith without works is dead.”
The Christian life is about standing strong. There will be conflict, people seeking to attack the church and the Bible. As troops have fought for king and country, standing together, moving forward together against the enemy, we too must come together and bear one another in love. The church must know commitment. We must all support the work of the church. We need not be afraid, for we are on the winning side. We must stand with the sword of the Spirit. The enemy’s work is to divide and conquer, but God is love and peace. Do not be afraid (Psalm 21).
One of the greatest problems today is there is no fear of God, a watering down of the doctrine. The wrath of God will be revealed to those reject Him. Hell is a reality.
Suffering and affliction was marked by the Saviour’s feet. We must all suffer in various degrees. We should not be surprised by this. When afflictions come our way we may feel hurt, offended, grieved. Jesus suffered infinitely more. If we suffer for Christ we do not suffer alone. Christ is with us, all around us. There will be blessings and great joy, times of great advancement in the Gospel, but there will be times of suffering too. Fight the good fight of faith, looking unto Jesus, our victory.