Gospel Partners

                                   Philippians 1:1-18

                                  September 7, 2003

 

Our community seems to be in turmoil over a moral

issue, Sunday Alcohol Sales.  Both sides are using the

Bible to support their position.  However, in the

presentations at three public meetings, we seem to

be anything but partners in the proclamation of the

gospel?

 

(Historical note - the City Council voted 6-6 with the mayor,

to his credit, voting no, to Sunday Alcohol Sales in Hopkinsville, thus breaking the tie - unfortunately, a year later it was brought back up and passed)

 

Getting the cart before the horse, I would point you

first to vs. 12-18 of our text, which seems to describe

the scenario that is being played out locally before us.

 

I think it was Thomas Paine who said,“Men often

see the same subjects through different lights”

 

After the second public hearing on the issue, our

Pastor said that he sensed an evil spirit at the

meeting and was disturbed by it.

 

 

 

 

I understood what he was talking about, but myself,

of all people, having such potential to think negatively,

saw it in a different light.  To me it was more like a

revival.  It is true that Satan, in his deceiving and

consistent way, was there, using his spokesmen to

promote his agenda and propaganda.

 

I greatly rejoiced to see God’s people resisting the devil

and taking a stand for God, borrowing an excerpt from

the Declaration of Independence, “to a candid world”.

 

v. 9 - read - “judgment” - discernment, perception -

            to know - Eph. 3:16-19

 

The delicate tact & instinct, which under the Spirit,

intuitively perceives what is right, & almost

unconsciously shrinks from what is wrong.  (There

is no right way to do the wrong thing).

 

This attitude cannot exist without love.  “Every one

that loveth is born of God, & knoweth God” - I John 4:7b

 

Mr. Spurgeon says “He who does not keep God’s

love in memory is not likely to remember His Law”

 

With love there comes a spiritual sense, a spiritual

sight, a spiritual hearing,  & a sense of beauty &

holiness!  Hard hurdles for those who will sacrifice

principle for temporary gain!

 

Let me remind you once again of Luke 16:10-11

 

Positive - Eph. 1:18   

Negative - Eph. 4:18-19

 

v. 10 - read -

 

“that ye may approve things that are excellent” -

 

There have been some major things happen in the

courts and congresses of the land in the last

forty years that have been unconstitutional.

 

THEY HAVE NOT PROMOTED THE GENERAL

WELFARE  - the preamble to the U.S. Constitution

speaks of  “promoting the general welfare”.

 

Certainly, this is one of those issues, though not of

the influence of:

 

            1962 Murray v. Curlett - Bible Reading

            1962 Engel v. Vitale - nondenominational prayer

            1963 Arlington School District v. Schempp - Bible Reading

            1973 Roe v. Wade - abortion on demand - killing of babes

            1980 Stone v. Graham - Ky law - Ten Commandments

            1990’s Local Board voluntarily dropping of Baccalaureate

            2003 Lawrence v. Texas - legalization of sodomy

           

 

ch. 4:8             Gal. 5:14-17    James 3:16     Rom. 7:14-25

 

Alcohol breaks down inhibitions (the brakes of the

human anatomy and personality).

 

It is a work of the flesh - Gal. 5:19-21,22-23

 

I Cor. 6:9-11

 

Matt. 10:16 - “be ye therefore wise as serpents,

                        and harmless as doves.”

 

The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent

in the quickness of its perception of danger and

the rapidity with which it escapes.  (copperhead story)

 

The dove analogy is associated with simpleness

(unmixed and unadulterated) and emphasizes the idea of

simplicity of character.

 

“sincere” - pure, true, moral & ethical purity!

 

“without offense” - not stumbling or causing others

to stumble.  Blameless.

 

Remember James 3:2 - (scandal)

 

 

 

 

 

offense - skandalon

 

 

The word is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way - sometimes the hindrance is in itself good and those stumbled by it are wicked.  Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words - p. 801

 

“till the day of Christ”

 

v. 11 - Paul prays that their love may abound, not

            only in knowledge (lesson from James 3:14-16

            and notes) and discernment, but also

            in the fruit of holy living!

 

Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, have

oftimes no connection” - William Cowper

 

(See James 3:14-16 notes pp. 5-8) - the following in brown are those notes.

 

 

vs. 14-16 - The wisdom below contrasted in

vs. 17-18 with the wisdom from Above.

 

Wisdom below is called “earthly (originates in the

world), sensual (in the flesh) and devilish (from Satan),

three adjectives correspond to our three great

spiritual enemies.

 

It is called "earthly" - epigeios - natural or animal - opposite of

"spiritual" - pneumatikos, the spiritual.

 

 

"sensual" - psuchikos,  or natural - the lower part of

the immaterial in man:

 

 

"devilish" - daimoniodes - possessed of a demon or under

the control of a demon

 

 

Sensual, standing between earthly & devilish - in

ABSOLUTE need of grace!

 

 

It tends to make man half beast, half devil.

 

I Cor. 2:14                  Jude 18-19

 

Ruled by passions and appetites.  Characterized

by personal victory rather than rejoicing in the

triumph of TRUTH. 

 

It tends to “confusion & every vile deed” - v. 16

 

Eccl. 3:21 - “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth

            upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth

            downward to the earth?”

 

“Brute Beasts - II Peter 2:12 - ruled entirely by

lower nature and without the utilization of God’s grace!

Romans 1:32              Philippians 3:17-19

 

Scripture has nothing but condemnation for the man who

is ruled by the "psyche" - understanding this word helps

us understand where Freud and psychology has gotten

off track!

 

 

 

“The natural man receiveth not he things of the Spirit of God”

Mere good nature will never save a man.  It is not enough to

be “well disposed”.  Esau was all this.  He stands in Scripture

as an example of the natural man, ruled only by the           ,

good-natured, generous, brave & kindly, but “having not the

Spirit”;  NO GRACE, therefore his character in the Bible is

stamped as that of a “profane person”.  Heb. 12:16

 

vs. 17-18 -The Wisdom from Above.

 

It is pure first, purity first, peace second - an inverted order

of secular America and the anti-godly rest of the world who

wants sin, prosperity and then peace.  WHAT A CLASH!

 

This wisdom originates from ABOVE - Our Gracious Heavenly

Father, the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variableness

neither shadow of turning.

 

 

It does not come from self-culture, nor from pop culture but

it is SUPERNATURAL & GRACIOUS.

 

It is “Gentle & easy to be entreated” - it is forebearing under

provocation - I Tim. 3:3

 

It is patient - ready to forgive - “without partiality”, hard to

provoke - easily pacified.

 

It is spurred by love - I Cor. 13:4-7

 

 

Spiritual farmers who scatter seed in hope and righteousness

is the blessed harvest for their toil.

 

Psalm 85:10    There has to be righteousness before peace.

 

America once was ruled by the peace from above,

Americans were truly wise because they thought more

about their duties than their rights.  Unselfish if you please!

 

The ACLU is a selfish, earthly, sensual organization.

America is characterized now by “in your face selfishness”,

ME, MYSELF AND I.

 

Cowper said “Knowledge & wisdom, far from being one,

                        Have oftimes no connection.

 

Knowledge is proud that she has learned so much.

Wisdom is humble that she has learned so little.   Anonymous

 

The wise man makes the will of God its rule & God’s glory

his end - a la the Puritans.

 

The man who lives without God is the impersonation of stupidity,

“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God”,  Satan is the

supreme fool of the universe and his cronies want to be like

him.

 

Unbridled tongue/unbridled nature.

Unchecked speech/unchecked wickedness.

 

 

 

Authority to read Isaiah 2:10-11

 

Perseverance

 

v. 6 - Romans 4:20-25            I Thess. 5:14-24