"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"
Magnifying Christ In Life And Death (Ph 1:19-26)
1. As we continue to look into the heart of the apostle Paul, we find a
man who despite difficult circumstances still maintained a strong
expectation, hope, and confidence concerning the future.
2. In our text for this study, we find Paul expressing that strong hope
and confidence (read Ph 1:19-26)
3. Many lessons can be gleaned from this passage, but we will "zero in"
on Paul's expectation and hope that "Christ will be magnified in my
body, whether by life or by death." (Ph 1:20)
a. Why would Paul desire to "magnify Christ" with his life?
b. Why would he want to "magnify Christ" by his death?
c. How would he do it?
[These are some of the questions we'll look at in this lesson. To begin,
let's consider the idea of Paul...]
I. MAGNIFYING CHRIST BY HIS LIFE
A. WHY WOULD PAUL WANT TO MAGNIFY CHRIST BY HIS LIFE?
1. Because of Christ's love for him - 2 Cor 5:14-15
2. Because of the strength Christ gave him for daily living - Ph 4:13
3. Because of what Christ would one day do for him - Ph 3:20-21
B. HOW DID PAUL MAGNIFY CHRIST BY HIS LIFE?
1. By his attitude toward Christ
a. Which was "to live is Christ" (v21)
b. He made Jesus the preeminent focus of his life - Ph 3:7-8
2. By devoting his life to serving Christ - cf. Gal 2:20
a. As long as he lived, he would offer fruitful service to Jesus
Christ - Ph 1:22
b. As long as he lived, he would so live as to promote the
progress of his brethren in Christ - Ph 1:25-26
1) For he knew that what one did for his brethren, he did for
2) Cf. Ac 9:4-5; 1 Cor 8:12; Mt 25:40; Mt 25:45
C. WHAT OF OURSELVES?
1. Do we desire to magnify Christ with our lives?
2. Are we living in a manner that magnifies Christ?
a. I.e., letting Christ live in us, and we living for Him
b. I.e., so living as to promote progress and joy in the cause
of Christ among His brethren who are also our own
1) Do we encourage or discourage the brethren?
2) E.g., do we discourage the brethren by our apathy, our
negligence of the assemblies? - cf. Pr 18:9
3. Does not Christ provide sufficient motive to do so?
a. He loved us, and gave HIS life for us!
b. He promises to help us!
c. He will greatly bless us if we do!
[Every Christian has reason to magnify Christ in his or her life! May we
all seek to make better use of our lives in this area.
But remember that Paul was also concerned about...]
II. MAGNIFYING CHRIST BY HIS DEATH
A. WHY WOULD PAUL WANT TO MAGNIFY CHRIST IN HIS DEATH?
1. Certainly for some of the reasons already noted
2. But also because of what death would mean to Paul because of
a. Because of Christ, "to die is gain" (v21)
b. To die means to "be with Christ, which is far better" (v23)
1) Paul understood that when a Christian dies, they go to be
with the Lord! - cf. 2 Cor 5:6-8; 1 Th 5:9-10
2) So Jesus Himself promised to the churches of Asia -
cf. Rev 2:10; Rev 2:26-27; Rev 3:21
3) This appears to the point of the vision seen by John and
recorded in Rev 7:9-17
3. In view of this wonderful hope, Paul would gladly magnify
Christ, even by his death!
B. HOW WAS PAUL WILLING TO MAGNIFY CHRIST BY HIS DEATH?
1. By his willingness to die in service to Christ and his brethren
- Ph 2:17-18
a. He was determined to serve them, even if it killed him!
b. But then, what better way to die, in the service of the Lord?
2. Of course, this is how Paul eventually did magnify Christ by
his death - cf. 2 Tim 4:6-8
a. He faithfully served His Lord and his brethren
b. And he died because of his service to them (tradition says
that he was beheaded by Nero)
C. WHAT ABOUT US?
1. We have the same motives to magnify Christ by our deaths
a. The assurance of eternal life
b. The assurance of being with our Lord
2. Will we magnify Christ by our deaths?
a. Unless the Lord returns first, we will all die anyway
b. What better way to die, in a manner which magnifies the One
who makes even death a blessing!
3. How can we magnify Christ today by our deaths?
a. It is unlikely we will suffer "martyrdom" for our faith
b. But we can still determine to "wear out" in our service
to the Lord, rather than "rust out"!
1) Too many Christians "retire" in their service to God when
they retire from their secular jobs
2) They allow the infirmities of age or sickness to render
them virtually fruitless
3) Or they allow the fear of death to be overly cautious
about what they do
a) E.g., fear of an accident keeps many aged Christians
from coming to services
b) But wouldn't be better to die in service to the Lord,
than to just "rust" away, sitting at home?
c. More Christians need to have the attitude of Paul and other
Christians I have known - cf. Ac 20:22-24; Ac 21:13
1) Who would rather be "poured out" in their service to
Christ, rather than become a "stagnant pool"
2) They are those described in Rev 12:11
3) And they are also like those described in Ps 92:12-15
4. Indeed, the way we face impending death, whether young or old,
can be a means of magnifying Christ!
1. If we are going to be able to say with Paul, "To life is Christ, to
die is gain", we have to magnify Christ both in life and in death!
2. Jesus has certainly given us every motive for doing so!
3. So let's encourage one another in both word and deed to so live, and
to so die, that we magnify Jesus Christ!
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