“TO LIVE IS CHRIST”
Preaching by Pastor Rene Sanqui
Summarised by JILC Publishing Ministry
Scripture: “For me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”-Philippians 1:21
How do we define success? We probably have different answers, but our definition of this word has a great impact to the way we live our lives. It dictates the direction of our lives. When we view success as having the abundance of material things and accumulating worldly wealth, then the tendency is for us to be working towards attaining it. In a biblical context, success surpasses all the things that we could ever accumulate but rather it is having Jesus Christ our Lord and as our real treasure. Christian’s success is when we are able to live our lives for Christ as what Paul’s confesses in the book of Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” This is what Apostle Paul wants, that we understand what really matters, so that we will be able to live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return (Philippians 1:10).
“Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”- Rick Warren
- LIVING AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN (Philippians 1:27-30)
As Christians we have our identity in Christ and our citizenship is in heaven. We have the privilege of both trusting God and suffering for Him at the same time. It means that when we become Christians, God did not promise us with an easy life as what others think it would be. In fact, there would be struggles and sufferings of all kinds. Yet, even though we have to go through difficult and painful moments, God is telling us that the fulfilment of His Statutes- His Words and His promises to us, will surely come. And having the Supremacy and Sovereignty overall, He watches and upholds His people and those who love Him.
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.
- LIVING WITH THE ATTITUDE OF CHRIST (Philippians 2:5-11)
Our inclinations to ourselves and our achievements and entitlements often become a source of our bragging and pride in our hearts. We think highly of ourselves and we sometimes demand things we think we deserve. Human nature is exactly opposite to what Jesus Christ demonstrated to us- He modelled a life of humility. He gave up His rights, privileges and entitlements. Although He was in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God. He gave up His divine rights, humbled Himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! This is the life that Christ wants us all to imitate.
“The moment we cling onto your rights, privileges and entitlements is the moment we lose your sight of Christ.”
“Humility is never a weakness. Humility is a sign of strength.”
Philippians 2:5-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the
place of highest honour
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
- LIVING BRIGHTLY FOR CHRIST (Philippians 2:12-13)
We should work hard to show the results of our salvation. We should have no room for complacency. We need to hold firmly to the Word of life and desire a life that pleases God. For God Himself would give us both the desire and the power to do whatever pleases Him.
Our salvation must bear fruits and that is by denying the desires of our sinful nature. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23
“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Rejoicing in the Lord is a way of living brightly for Christ. This joy should be manifested in our lives as we are in Christ. In Philippians 4:4, it says,” Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 King James Version (KJV)