“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) “Christ Will Be Magnified’ (R.J. Evans)
2) Don’t Leave Home Without It (Joe R. Price)
3) Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
“Christ Will Be Magnified”
“According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20).
The above text is taken from the letter Paul wrote to “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1). Though Paul was being held as a prisoner in Rome at the time of the writing of this epistle, he made several expressions concerning the joy of being a child of God throughout the letter. In fact, the book of Philippians has been referred to as “the epistle of joy.”
In reviewing the words of our text, we see that Paul expressed some noble desires—that in nothing he would be ashamed and with boldness Christ would be magnified in his body whether by life or by death. If any ever questioned Paul’s dedication and faithfulness to the Lord, reading this letter, along with his other letters, should completely remove any questions or doubts. In this article, let us observe some of Paul’s desires for himself, for others, and for the Lord.
What Paul Desired Concerning Christ
He wanted to make sure that Christ was magnified in his body “whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20). He was willing to faithfully serve and glorify God, even if it meant dying for that purpose. On one occasion, when some of his brethren pleaded with him not to go to Jerusalem, Paul answered— “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).
Thus, whatever it took, Paul wanted others to learn of Christ, to recognize Him as the Savior of the world, and to come to Him in gospel obedience. He was willing to be “defamed” and viewed as “the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13). Do we have the same desire that Paul had concerning Jesus? What have we done that Christ might be magnified in the world?
What Paul Desired For Others
What he desired for others is expressed in a number of scriptures. Notice Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” But not just for Israel— “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Consider how devoted and dedicated Paul was to the work of converting others to Christ— “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (1 Cor. 9:3).
Paul had a tremendous desire for men and women to come to Christ in gospel obedience. I feel confident that he wanted to see others do well materially and physically, but above all else, he was concerned for their spiritual welfare. He expressed such a desire in his words to his brethren at Colosse in Colossians 1:9-10. How strong is our desire to see sinners obey the gospel and be saved? How strong is our desire to see Christians continue to grow in the Lord?
What Paul Desired For Himself
Most of Paul’s desires concerned his Lord and others. But there is one desire that he had for himself that stands out above all others. He had a tremendous desire to be with the Lord. Notice Philippians 1:23: “For I am hard pressed between the two having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Paul had already had a glimpse of the life beyond the grave as he described having seen “Paradise and heard inexpressible words” (2 Cor. 12:4). Since he understood so much about it, and since he was not too attached to this world, he had a burning desire to be “with Christ.” How much and how strong is our desire and longing to be with Him?
May we all learn from Paul’s desire that—“Christ will be magnified.” By so doing, may it help us realize that we have plenty of room to grow “with the increase which is from God” (Col. 2:19).
— via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, September 30, 2018
Don’t Leave Home Without It
Joe R. Price
You remember the old American Express catch phrase at the end of their commercials: “American Express, don’t leave home without it.” Well, this morning as I arrived at the office I realized I had left home without my Bible and the documents I intended to be working on today (and hence, the seed of this article).
There is any number of things we should not leave home without, including:
1. Faith in Christ. Each day as Christians go to school or work it is vital that their faith be solidly in place: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Faithless teachers challenge the faith of our children by teaching them such things as organic evolution and the social values (I use that word accommodatively) of humanism. Unbelieving classmates will often disagree with Biblical standards of purity and decency and tempt young Christians to compromise their faith and “have some fun.” Immoral co-workers will test your allegiance to Christ by their vulgar language and lack of godly values. The normal tasks of the day put trials before every child of God. Faith must be maintained as we live in a faithless world. Without faith we will not please God (Heb. 11:6). Faith: “Don’t leave home without it.”
2. Responsibility and integrity. You will be exposed every day to people and situations that test your commitment to truth, honesty, and dependability. At work, the Christian should serve his employer “not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bond-servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Eph. 6:6-8). Trustworthiness, dependability, and honesty: “Don’t leave home without them.”
3. Love for God and man. The attitudes, decisions and actions of every Christian are to be the result of love for God and others. “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”.(Matt. 22:37-39). Love “does no harm to a neighbor” – even when that “neighbor” harms it (Rom. 13:10, 8-9; Matt. 5:38-45; 1 Cor. 13). We do not know God nor have His approval if we do not love others: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 Jno. 4:8). Love: “Don’t leave home without it.”
— Via the Elon Challenger, vol. 15, No., 11, July 2018
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (NASB).
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)