Getting Out Of God's Way
Intro. In Antioch of Pisidia, Paul & Barnabas had all the makings of a great evangelistic effort. (1st missionary trip)
A. Nearly the whole town showed up to hear the word.
1) Gentiles, formerly excluded, now being invited to share in the salvation that the God of Israel offered.
B. But the Jews were jealous.
1) They instigated an opposition
2) Got in God's way & thwarted His plan!
C. Even Jesus had trouble in His own work.
1) Matt. 13:53-58 (read)
D. Such is the same for us sometimes.
1) We can get in God's way and stymie the gospel's progress
2) The trick is learning how to work together with God so as to help & not hinder the work.
3) Paul tells us that when God works, WE help.
a. Phil 2:12-18 (read)
I. We help when there is an attitude of reverence that leads to obedience. Phil. 2:12-13
A. If we're serious about God & who He is, we will have "fear & trembling"
1) This godly fear will help us to commit ourselves more fully
a. "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." Heb 12:28-29
2) God is good, but He can also "cut us off."
a. "Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off." Rom. 11:22
B. We must never take our calling lightly.
1) Phil. 1:27-28 (read)
2) It is a life we must apply our whole self to.
II. We help when there is harmony among us. Phil. 2:14
A. If God is at work in us, we'll stop complaining about one another.
1) Rom. 12:9-21 (read)
a. Context of entire passage is our attitude & behavior toward one another.
B. We preach on "brotherly love" often because it is so important.
1) "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35
C. We must learn to bear with one another more
1) "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Eph. 4:32
2) This does NOT mean we condone sin in each other's life!
a. Real love speaks the truth. (Eph. 4:15)
b. 1 John 2:9-11, 3:18 (read)
III. We help when we show ourselves as faithful lights to a lost world. Phil. 2:15-16
A. Our mission: "I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." 1 Tim 3:15
1) We can't support the truth if we don't live it individually!
2) In this way, we spread the gospel.
a. You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day, By things that you do and words that you say. Men read what you write whether faulty or true, Say, what is the gospel according to you?
3) God has called us to be fishers of men and not JUST "keepers of the aquarium!"
B. But we must be different and separate from the world.
1) Rom. 12:2 "Do not be conformed..."
2) This is what's known as "sanctification"
a. "Come out from their midst and be separate" 2 Cor 6:17
C. It doesn't mean we live as "isolationists" but rather in such a way that fits a people devoted to a holy God.
1) A faithful life spurred by the love of God's truth.
IV. We help when we rejoice at the opportunity to sacrifice for the Lord. Phil 2:17-18
A. In 2 short verses, Paul mentions idea of "joy" 4 times!
1) In the imagery, he suggests, a priest would pour out a drink over a sacrifice.
2) It symbolized the pouring out of our lives in service to God.
3) It is this sacrifice on the Philippians behalf that brought Paul joy.
B. Someone said, "Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing."
1) Not talking about dollars and cents, but blood, sweat & tears!
2) Our life to God must be one of sacrifice
a. Phil. 3:7-8 (read)
3) Let us experience the joy that only comes from a real life of sacrificial service to God!
What a great privilege that God would work through us and give us opportunity to help Him!
A. It is not only an awesome privilege, it's a weighty responsibility.
1) Just as Jews did, we can resist and even defeat His cause.
B. Take a spiritual inventory now:
1) Do you have reverence for God that displays itself in obedience?
2) Is there harmony among us that's shows itself in our attitude & behavior toward one another?
3) Are we faithful lights who show God at work within us by a holy life?
4) Are we willing to sacrifice for Him?
By Zeke Flores
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