THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 7-12-15

LESSON TITLE: “STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT!”

WELCOME

“I WILL PRAISE YOUR NAME, O LORD, FOR IT IS GOOD,” OH, WHAT GLORIOUS WORDS THE PSALMIST PROCLAIMED HERE AS ONE WHO LOVED AND CHERISHED HIS GOD! ISN’T IT WONDERFUL TO COME TOGETHER THIS MORNING FOR THE VERY SAME PURPOSE, “TO PRAISE HIM,” OUR GOD, “FOR HIS NAME IS GOOD!”

I AM GLAD YOU ARE WITH US THIS MORNING AND THANK GOD YOU HAVE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO GIVE THIS TIME TO YOUR GOD. I LOOK FORWARD TO OUR TIME SPENT TOGETHER TODAY AS WE SING PRAISES TO THE ALMIGHTY AND AS WE STUDY FROM HIS MATCHLESS WORD! THIS MORNING, I KNOW WE WILL ALL BE EDIFIED THROUGH OUR TIME SPENT TOGETHER. SO LET’S ALL DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME PROFITABLE BEFORE GOD, AND FURTHERMORE MAY WE USE IT AS A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT ONE TO ANOTHER! AT THIS TIME, LET’S APPROACH OUR FATHER’S THRONE IN PRAYER:

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE. WE THANK YOU FOR THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO BE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN AND TO SERVE YOU. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORD WHICH GIVES US THE DIRECTION AND THE PATH AND THE WAY THAT WE SHOULD GO IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT GET TO YOU THROUGH THE SON JESUS CHRIST, AND WE THANK YOU FOR HIS GREAT SACRIFICE; THE BLOOD HE SHED AS WELL AS HIS RESURRECTION WHICH MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE. AND FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE BLESSINGS THAT YOU GIVE US IN THIS LIFE AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE GREAT PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE WITH YOU SOMEDAY IN HEAVEN WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

NOW IT IS TIME TO JOIN IN OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING. SO, WON’T YOU PARTICIPATE WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “WHEN THE ROLL IS CALLED UP YOUNDER!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

ONE THING I LOVE ABOUT THE OLD COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT IS THAT THEY ARE SO TIED TOGETHER AND UNIFIED IN PURPOSE. HOW ENCOURAGING IT IS TO SEE THE FULFILLMENT OF THE OLD IN THE NEW AND TO SEE THE CONFIRMATION OF THE NEW IN THE OLD. THE MORE WE STUDY AND LEARN ABOUT THE TWO, THE MORE WE FIND THAT VERSE BY VERSE, CHAPTER BY CHAPTER AND BOOK BY BOOK - THAT GOD’S HAND WAS TRULY IN IT. AND FURTHERMORE, THAT GOD’S WILL WAS FULLY ACCOMPLISHED AND COMPLETED IN THIS WONDROUS BOOK DIVINE!

WITH THIS IN MIND, I WANTED TO LOOK BRIEFLY AT ONE OF THE FAMILIAR STATEMENTS OF JESUS, WHICH WE OFTEN REFER TO AS THE GOLDEN RULE. THERE IN MATTHEW 7:12, JESUS SAID, “THEREFORE, WHATEVER YOU WANT MEN TO DO TO YOU, DO ALSO TO THEM, FOR THIS IS THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.” WAS THIS SOMETHING NEW OR REVOLUTIONARY IN THOUGHT? CERTAINLY NOT! GOD HAS INSPIRED THE WISEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED TO SAY A SIMILAR THING IN PROVERBS 3:27, THERE WE READ, “DO NOT WITHHOLD GOOD FROM THOSE TO WHOM IT IS DUE, WHEN IT IS IN THE POWER OF YOUR HAND TO DO SO.” HOW CLEAR IT SHOULD BE TO ALL OF US AND HOW EVIDENT THE FACTS SHOULD BE THAT OUR GREAT AND MIGHTY GOD TRULY GAVE US THE BIBLE, WHICH COULD HAVE COME FROM NO OTHER SOURCE OR NO OTHER POWER. NOTHING AND NO ONE EXCEPT GOD COULD HAVE GIVEN SUCH A WORK WHICH IS SO PERFECT AND COMPLETE. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THE GREAT BLESSING OF HIS INHERENT WORD. THAT BOOK OF BOOKS WHICH PROVIDES FOR US ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS!

WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE A GUEST SPEAKER WITH US THIS MORNING WHO HAS BEEN WITH US BEFORE. WE THANK BROTHER BRENT GREEN FOR AGAIN BEING WITH US. AS MOST OF YOU KNOW, BROTHER BRENT IS AN INSTRUCTOR AT THE BIBLE INSTITUTE OF MISSOURI. HE IS ALSO THE MINISTER FOR THE HWY 13 CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BOLIVAR. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HIM LEADING OUR THOUGHTS FROM GOD’S WORD AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME.

AS FAR AS OUR TOPIC OF STUDY, WE WILL AGAIN CONSIDER THE STATEMENT MADE BY PAUL, “STAND FAST IN THE LORD.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING IS ENTITLED, “STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT.” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER THE NEXT SONG BROTHER GREEN WILL BE LEADING US IN THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD. BUT FOR NOW, LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND HYMN OF THE MORNING, IT’S NAME, “WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD.”



LESSON

BY BRENT GREEN

IN THE WORLD TODAY, IT'S VERY EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE FADS AND THINGS THAT CHANGE VERY QUICKLY. IT'S EASY ALSO FOR CHRISTIANS TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS AND BE VERY WISHY-WASHY IN THEIR STANCE FOR THE TRUTH. IT'S EASY JUST TO GO WITH THE FLOW OR FOLLOW THE CURRENT FADS AND DRIFT ALONG WITH WHATEVER IS POPULAR, EVEN IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD. WE CAN'T DO THAT. PHILIPPIANS 1:27, PAUL WRITES TO THE BRETHERN IN PHILIPPI AND SAYS THIS, “ONLY LET YOUR CONDUCT BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.” HE SAID, “WHETHER I COME AND SEE YOU OR AM ABSENT, I MAY HEAR OF YOUR AFFAIRS, THAT YOU STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, WITH ONE MIND STRIVING TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL.” HERE IN THIS VERSE PAUL TELLS THE CHRISTIANS TO STAND FAST NOT JUST TO GO WITH THE FLOW, NOT JUST TO DO WHATEVER EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING, BUT TO STAND FAST IN GOD'S WORD, AND SPECIFICALLY TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT.

AS YOU CONSIDER WHAT THAT MEANS, MAYBE EVEN A LITTLE MORE DEEPLY, THINK ABOUT SOME OTHER WORDS THAT MIGHT HELP TO DESCRIBE AND DEFINE THERE WHAT IT MEANS TO REALLY STAND FAST. LITERALLY THE WORD HERE MEANS TO BE STATIONARY OR TO BE PERSISTENT. TO BE ONE WHO IS STANDING FIRM AND AGAIN ACCORDING TO VERSE 27 IT SAYS TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. THAT WE HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT IN WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US. THAT WE HAVE TO STAND FIRM UPON GOD AND UPON HIS WORD - THAT WE CANNOT BE SWAYED TO AND FRO. WE CANNOT DRIFT AND FOLLOW THOSE CURRENTS OF THE TODAY'S WORLD OF THE FADS AND OF THE TEACHINGS THAT COME AND GO. WE HAD TO STAND FAST IN WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US. WE AS CHRISTIANS, CONCERNING MATTERS OF TRUTH- CONCERNING MATTERS OF ALL THINGS SPIRITUAL, WE CAN'T WAIVER. WE HAVE TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. WE HAVE TO AS CHRISTIANS BE FIRMLY PLANTED EVERY SINGLE DAY IN GOD'S WORD.

AS WE LIVE IN THIS LIFE, AGAIN IT IS EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE FADS, BUT WE HAVE TO BE GROUNDED. WE HAD TO BE AFFIXED TO A SOLID FOUNDATION. JESUS SAID IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 16:18 THAT HE WAS THE ROCK. AND UPON JESUS CHRIST, THE CHURCH IS BUILT. WHAT MUST WE BUILD ON? WELL, MATTHEW CHAPTER 7:24 SAYS THAT THOSE WHO ARE WISE BUILD UPON THE ROCK AND NOT UPON THE SAND. WELL, IF THAT ROCK IS JESUS CHRIST, WE MUST BE BUILT SPIRITUALLY UPON OUR ROCK. WE MUST BE AFFIXED TO THAT SOLID FOUNDATION. WE MUST NOT DRIFT AWAY FROM IT. WE MUST STAND FIRM UPON JESUS CHRIST AND WE DO SUCH, ACCORDING TO PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27, BY STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT.

IN THIS VERSE IT ALSO TELLS US HOW AND THAT'S REALLY WHAT WE WANT TO THINK ABOUT NOW FROM PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27, HOW DO WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. WELL, IF YOU GO BACK WITH ME THERE IN THAT VERSE AND FIRST BEGIN WITH THERE THE FIRST FEW WORDS OF THAT VERSE. AND IT SAYS, “ONLY LET YOUR CONDUCT BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.” HOW DO WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT? WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BY STANDING FAST IN OUR CONDUCT. WELL, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US IN OUR LIVES AS CHRISTIANS? LITERALLY THE WORD HERE FOR CONDUCT HAS TO DO WITH BEING A GOOD CITIZEN. JUST LIKE IT WOULD BE IN THIS LAND AS YOU WOULD FOLLOW THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND BE A GOOD UPSTANDING CITIZEN, HERE WE'RE TALKING THOUGH ABOUT BEING A CITIZEN IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. REMEMBER, EVEN IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 3 AND VERSE 20 PAUL REMINDS US THERE THAT OUR CITIZENSHIP IS IN HEAVEN. WHILE WE LIVE HERE ON THIS EARTH AS CHRISTIANS, AS GOD'S PEOPLE, WE HAVE TO BE GOOD CITIZENS. LET OUR CONDUCT BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST MEANS WE LET OUR CONDUCT SHOW THAT WE ARE GOOD CITIZENS, THAT WE ARE LIVING AS WE SHOULD IN THE VERY KINGDOM OF GOD. AND THIS IS SOMETHING WE MUST DO AT ALL TIMES.

THERE IN CHAPTER 1:27, AGAIN IN PHILIPPIANS, HE GOES ON TO SAY, “ONLY LET YOUR CONDUCT BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, SO THAT WHETHER I COME AND SEE YOU OR I AM ABSENT,” PAUL SAYS IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER I'M WITH YOU OR WHETHER I'M ABSENT. YOUR CONDUCT SHOULD ALWAYS BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. EVEN THAT VERY FIRST WORD THERE IN THAT VERSE WHEN HE SAYS ONLY, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS. WE CAN'T GET AROUND THIS. WE CAN'T SAY WELL, TODAY YOU KNOW WHAT? I DON'T THINK I WANT TO BE WORTHY TODAY IN MY CONDUCT. I DON'T WANT TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN TODAY, I JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE IT. HE SAYS, “ONLY,” THAT MEANS OUR CONDUCT MUST ALWAYS BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. THAT MEANS THAT WE SHOULD MAKE IT OUR AIM EVERY SINGLE DAY, WHETHER PEOPLE OF NOTORIETY, WHETHER GREAT UPSTANDING PEOPLE ARE WITH US, OR WHETHER WE ARE BY OURSELVES BECAUSE THE FACT IS GOD ALWAYS SEES US. HE ALWAYS KNOWS HOW WE'RE LIVING. THAT MEANS WE MUST ALWAYS LIVE AS GOOD CITIZENS.

THIS ISN'T THE ONLY PASSAGE IN THE BIBLE THAT CALLS OUR ATTENTIONS TO BEING GOOD CITIZENS OF THE KINGDOM AND BEING THOSE WHO STAND FAST IN OUR CONDUCT. PAUL TOLD TIMOTHY IN 1 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4:12 THAT HE NEEDS TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN CONDUCT, AMONGST MANY OTHER THINGS HE TOLD HIM TO BE AN EXAMPLE IN. ALSO IN JAMES CHAPTER 3:13, THOSE WHO ARE WISE SHOW THEIR GOOD WORKS BY THEIR GOOD CONDUCT. WHAT YOU DO IN THIS LIFE SHOWS YOU TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN. ONE WHO IS WISE USING YOUR GIFTS AND YOUR LIFE FOR GOD. AND MAYBE ALSO IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO SEE A VERSE WRITTEN BY PETER - 1 PETER CHAPTER 2 AND VERSE 12. THERE THIS VERSE REMINDS US THAT EVEN THOUGH WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT ISN'T ALWAYS ONE THAT'S GOING TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT AND STAND FAST BY BEING THOSE WHO STAND FAST IN CONDUCT, WE HAVE TO DO IT. 1 PETER CHAPTER 2 AND VERSE 12 SAYS, “HAVING YOUR CONDUCT HONORABLE AMONG THE GENTILES, THAT WHEN THEY DO,” SPEAK EVIL AGAINST YOU OR, “SPEAK AGAINST YOU AS EVILDOERS THEY MAY, BY YOUR GOOD WORKS WHICH THEY OBSERVE, GLORIFY GOD IN THE DAY OF VISITATION.” WE MUST HAVE A CONDUCT THAT IS HONORABLE. A CONDUCT THAT IS OBSERVABLE, ONE IN WHICH WE ARE DOING GOOD WORKS IN THIS WORLD. WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT FIRST BY STANDING FAST IN OUR CONDUCT - STANDING FIRM UPON GOD AND HIS WORD AND ACTING AND LIVING ACCORDINGLY.

IF YOU'LL GO BACK TO PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1 THOUGH THERE'S ANOTHER DESCRIPTION OF HOW WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. THERE IN VERSE 27 CONTINUING, PAUL GOES ON AND HE SAYS, “I MAY HEAR OF YOUR AFFAIRS.” HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THEIR CONDUCT - WANTING THEM TO BE WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. HE SAYS YOU NEED TO DO SUCH WHETHER I AM WITH YOU OR WHETHER I AM ABSENT FROM YOU. BUT THEN HE SAYS THAT HE JUST MIGHT HEAR OF WHAT'S GOING ON. WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BY STANDING FAST IN REPUTATION. PAUL KNEW THAT WORD WOULD GET BACK TO HIM, WHETHER HE GOT A CHANCE TO GO TO THEM AND SEE THEM FACE-TO-FACE OR WHETHER WORD DID ACTUALLY COME BACK TO HIM, HE SAYS I'LL KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. I'LL KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE ACTUALLY STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT OR NOT. THEREFORE, WE MUST STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BY STANDING FAST, BY HAVING A GOOD REPUTATION IN THIS LIFE. A REPUTATION MEANS SO MUCH. PEOPLE WILL HEAR ABOUT US - THEY WILL HEAR WHAT WE DO OR WHAT WE DON'T DO. THEY WILL KNOW WHETHER WE'RE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT OR NOT AND THAT'S WHY WE MUST LIVE WITH A GOOD REPUTATION SO THAT WE MIGHT BE THOSE, WHEN PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT OUR FAITH, THEY HEAR THAT WE ARE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT.

THEIR ARE A COUPLE VERY GOOD EXAMPLES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT SHOW US HOW WE CAN HAVE THIS VERY REPUTATION, WHICH IS TALKED ABOUT HERE IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27. FIRST, TAKE YOUR BIBLES AND LOOK WITH ME AT 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 1. 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 1 IN VERSE 8 - AS PAUL ENCOURAGED THE PHILIPPIAN BRETHREN TO HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION, WE ACTUALLY SEE THAT IN THE BRETHREN OF THESSALONICA THEY HAD THAT VERY GOOD REPUTATION BECAUSE THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT AND THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN THE REPUTATION. HOW CAN WE SAY THAT? 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 1:8 SAYS THIS ABOUT THE BRETHREN AND THESSALONICA. IT SAYS, “FOR FROM YOU THE WORD THE LORD HAS SOUNDED FORTH, NOT ONLY IN MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA, BUT ALSO IN EVERY PLACE. YOUR FAITH TOWARD GOD HAS GONE OUT SO THAT WE DO NOT NEED TO SAY ANYTHING.” WHAT A TREMENDOUS PASSAGE TO SPEAK OF BRETHREN HERE IN THESSALONICA.

WHAT WAS IT THAT WAS SO ASTOUNDING ABOUT THEIR EXAMPLE? WHAT WERE THEY DOING? WELL, PEOPLE HAD HEARD ABOUT THE CHURCH IN THESSALONICA. PEOPLE HAD HEARD ABOUT THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST AND HOW THEY WERE LIVING AND WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THEIR REPUTATION HAD GONE AROUND THE WORLD! CONSIDER AGAIN THE PHRASES THERE MENTIONED IN THAT VERSE; FROM THEN THE WORD OF THE LORD HAS SOUNDED FORTH, GOD'S MESSAGE HAD COME FROM THESSALONICA. NOT ONLY THAT - IT ALSO SAYS THAT IT WASN'T JUST IN MACEDONIA AND ACHAIA THAT WOULD ENCOMPASS ALL OF GREECE - BUT HE SAYS IN EVERY PLACE. IT WASN'T JUST LIMITED TO WHERE THEY WERE. IT HAD GONE AROUND THE WORLD! THEIR FAITH TOWARD GOD HAD GONE OUT. YOU SEE, PAUL HAD HEARD OF THEIR AFFAIRS. HE HAD HEARD OF THEIR LIVES, HE HAD HEARD HOW THEY WERE STANDING IN REPUTATION - AND AS THEY STOOD IN A GOOD REPUTATION THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT.

IT'S NOT JUST THE BRETHREN THERE BUT ALSO THE BRETHREN IN ROME ARE MENTIONED. A COUPLE OF VERSES IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS TELL US ABOUT THE REPUTATION THAT THE CHURCH THERE HAD. ROMANS CHAPTER 1:8 IS ONE SUCH VERSE. THERE IT SAYS, “FIRST, I THANK MY GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST FOR YOU ALL, THAT YOUR FAITH IS SPOKEN OF THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.” WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT FROM PLACE TO PLACE? WHAT HAD GONE AROUND THE WORLD? THE REPUTATION THERE OF THE ROMAN CHURCH; THOSE THAT WERE STANDING FAST FOR GOD'S WORD THERE ROME SPOKEN OF THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE WORLD. THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BECAUSE THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN A GOOD REPUTATION. EVEN AT THE END OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS, IN ROMANS CHAPTER 16, THERE'S ANOTHER VERSE THAT MENTIONS THEIR FAITHFULNESS AND THEIR OBEDIENCE TO GOD. ROMANS CHAPTER 16:19 SAYS, “FOR YOUR OBEDIENCE HAS BECOME KNOWN TO ALL. THEREFORE, I AM GLAD ON YOUR BEHALF; BUT I WANT YOU TO BE WISE IN WHAT IS GOOD, AND SIMPLE CONCERNING EVIL.” THEIR OBEDIENCE, THEIR FAITH, WAS KNOWN TO WHOM? KNOWN TO ALL. THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BECAUSE THEY WERE STANDING FAST IN A GOOD REPUTATION.

IF YOU GO TO PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1 THOUGH, WE CONTINUE TO SEE ANOTHER PIECE OF HOW WE HAVE THIS ABILITY AND HOW WE DEMONSTRATE IN OUR LIVES STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27 ALSO SAYS THIS. PAUL SAYS, “I MAY HEAR OF YOUR AFFAIRS, THAT YOU STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, WITH ONE MIND STRIVING TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL.” THERE ARE A FEW PHRASES AND WORDS THERE THAT STAND OUT THAT SHOW - THAT TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT IS THE STAND FAST IN UNITY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? WE'LL LOOK AT A FEW OF THE WORDS USED HERE IN THIS VERSE TO SEE JUST HOW WE CAN STAND FAST IN UNITY. THERE IN VERSE 27, THAT WE JUST READ, WE ARE ADMONISHED AS CHRISTIANS TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. THAT'S VERY COMPARABLE TO WHAT PAUL ALSO SAID IN 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 6:17 WHERE THERE THAT ONE SPIRIT IS ALSO MENTIONED. IT MIGHT BE IMPORTANT TO SEE THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THESE TWO VERSES. LOOK OVER AT 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 6:17. THAT VERSE SAYS, “BUT HE WHO IS JOINED TO THE LORD IS ONE SPIRIT WITH HIM.” AS WE EACH JOIN OURSELF TO JESUS CHRIST THROUGH OUR OBEDIENCE, WE HAVE THIS COMMONALITY. WE HAVE THIS UNITY. WELL, AS THOSE IN CORINTH WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT AND AS THOSE IN PHILIPPI WERE STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, THEY WERE ALL STANDING IN UNITY BECAUSE THEY WERE STANDING IN JESUS CHRIST. THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT AND TO STAND FAST IN THIS UNITY WHICH SHOULD BE A PART OF OUR LIVES AS CHRISTIANS.

NOT ONLY THAT, BUT LOOK ALSO AT THE WORDS THERE HE SAYS TO STAND FAST WITH ONE MIND. THAT ALSO WOULD BE COMPARABLE TO VERSES LIKE 1 PETER 3:8, WHERE THERE IT SAYS, “ALL OF YOU BE OF ONE MIND. NOT TWO MINDS, NOT THREE MINDS, NOT ALL OF THESE DIFFERENCES OF OPINIONS, NOT YOUR WAY OR MY WAY, BUT TO STAND FAST IN ONE MIND. BUT ALSO THERE IN THAT VERSE THAT WE READ IN PHILIPPIANS 1:27, IT SAYS THAT WE ARE TO STRIVE TOGETHER. THAT WORD TOGETHER HELPS TO SHOW ONCE AGAIN, THAT AS WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, WE DO SUCH BY STANDING FAST TOGETHER IN UNITY. VERY SIMILAR ALSO TO THE WORDING IN COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 2:2 WHERE THE TERMINOLOGY IS USED OF CHRISTIANS THAT THEY ARE TO BE KNIT TOGETHER LIKE AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING OR LIKE SOMETHING THAT IS WOVEN TOGETHER WHERE DIFFERENT PIECES OF CORD OR A STRING OF YARN ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER AND MADE ONE. WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? THAT FOR US AS CHRISTIANS, WE ARE TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT AND WE DO SUCH BY STRIVING TOGETHER. WE'RE NOT IN THIS BY OURSELVES. WE DON'T HAVE TO GO DOWN THIS ROAD ALONE. WE ALWAYS HAVE GOD BUT WE ALSO ALWAYS HAVE EACH OTHER. WE STAND FAST TOGETHER IN UNITY WITH ONE MIND AND WITH ONE SPIRIT.

IT'S IMPORTANT ALSO, I THINK NOT ONLY TO SEE THIS IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27, BUT ALSO AGAIN IN OTHER SCRIPTURES IN THE BIBLE. THERE ALSO IN ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER 4:9 AND 12 THERE'S A REMINDER THAT TWO ARE BETTER THAN ONE. THAT AS WE DO THIS TOGETHER WE HAVE GREATER STRENGTH. IN JUDGES CHAPTER 20:11, IT TALK THERE ABOUT GOD'S PEOPLE - THAT THEY WERE UNITED TOGETHER AS ONE MAN. NOW, AS THEY WENT TO THE BATTLEFIELD AS ONE, WE TODAY MUST GO OUT TO THE SPIRITUAL BATTLEFIELD AS THE CHURCH AS ONE. AND THERE ALSO IN 1 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 1:10 WE ARE TOLD TO BE PERFECTLY JOINED TOGETHER IN THE SAME MIND. THAT WE'RE TO LET NO DIVISIONS BE AMONG US. WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT BY STANDING FAST IN UNITY. AND YET THERE'S ONE MORE ELEMENT OR ONE MORE WAY IN WHICH WE STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT FOUND IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27. THERE AT THE VERY END, WHICH WE ALREADY READ, SAYS THAT WE ARE TO STRIVE TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL. TO STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO STAND FAST IN THE FAITH. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? AS WE STAND TOGETHER, WE ARE STRIVING TOGETHER. BUT THE INDICATION HERE IN THIS WORD IS THAT IT'S LIKE AN ATHLETIC COMPETITION. BUT IN THIS COMPETITION WE, AS CHRISTIANS, AREN'T ON OPPOSITE TEAMS. WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM AND WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER.

IT'S MUCH LIKE DESCRIBED FOR US, AGAIN THE BOOK OF 1 CORINTHIANS IN CHAPTER 9, WHERE PAUL MENTIONS THESE DIFFERENT ATHLETIC TYPES OF COMPETITIONS IN HIS ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE BRETHREN THERE IN CORINTH. 1 CORINTHIANS 9:24 SAYS, “DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THOSE WHO RUN IN A RACE ALL RUN, BUT ONE RECEIVES THE PRIZE? RUN IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU MAY OBTAIN IT. AND EVERYONE WHO COMPETES FOR THE PRIZE IS TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS. NOW, THEY DO IT TO OBTAIN A PERISHABLE CROWN, BUT WE FOR AN IMPERISHABLE CROWN.” THANKFULLY, AS CHRISTIANS, WE'RE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE. WE'RE ALL STRIVING TO GET TO THAT HEAVENLY HOME. AND AS WE WORK TOGETHER, AS WE STRIVE TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH AND GOSPEL, WE'LL MAKE IT TO THAT HEAVENLY HOME SOMEDAY IF WE'RE FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH.

THAT'S WHAT IT'S ABOUT - STRIVING TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH. WE'RE NOT STRIVING FOR OUR OWN TRADITIONS. WE'RE NOT STRIVING ACCORDING TO THE FADS OF THIS LIFE. WE'RE STRIVING THAT WE MIGHT HAVE THE VICTORY. ACCORDING TO FIRST JOHN 5:4, WHAT IS THE VICTORY? IT IS OUR FAITH - OUR FAITH THAT LEADS US TO THAT HEAVENLY HOME. WE MUST STRIVE TO ENTER THAT NARROW GATE. LUKE 13:24, WE MUST BE THOSE WHO PRESS TOWARD THE GOAL FOR THE PRIZE OF THE UPWARD CALLING IN CHRIST JESUS. PHILIPPIANS 3:14, WE ARE STRIVING TOGETHER FOR THE FAITH; THE FAITH OF THE GOSPEL. THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE, THERE AGAIN, ARE EXHORTATIONS - ENCOURAGEMENT TO MAKE SURE WE DO THAT.

I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER TWO MORE VERSES THAT WE MIGHT BE REMINDED HOW WE STAND FAST IN THE FAITH. ONE IS IN THE SHORT BOOK OF JUDE. JUDE ONLY HAS ONE CHAPTER SO IF YOU'LL LOOK THERE AT JUDE VERSE 3. JUDE 3 SAYS, “BELOVED, WHILE I WAS VERY DILIGENT TO WRITE YOU CONCERNING OUR COMMON SALVATION, I FOUND IT NECESSARY TO WRITE YOU EXHORTING YOU TO CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE FOR ALL DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.” TO CONTEND FOR THE FAITH. ALSO OVER IN 1 TIMOTHY, 1 TIMOTHY CHAPTER 6:12. THERE WHAT PAUL SAYS TO TIMOTHY AGAIN IS AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO STAND FAST IN THE FAITH. THERE HE SAYS, “FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH. LAY A HOLD ON ETERNAL LIFE TO WHICH YOU WERE ALSO CALLED AND HAVE CONFESSED THE GOOD CONFESSION IN THE PRESENCE OF MANY WITNESSES.” FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF WHAT? FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.

THESE VERSES REMIND US THAT WE MUST STAND FAST IN THE FAITH. WE HAVE A LOT THAT WE'RE UP AGAINST AS CHRISTIANS IN THIS WORLD. WE HAVE TO STRIVE TO ALWAYS STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT, TO FOLLOW WHAT WE'VE BEEN GIVEN THERE IN PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 1:27, THAT WE MIGHT BE THOSE WHO INDEED EVERY DAY HAVE OUR CONDUCT AND HAVE OUR REPUTATION, HAVE OUR UNITY AND HAVE OUR FAITH BE TOGETHER, THAT WE ALL STAND FAST IN ONE SPIRIT. I WOULD ASK YOU, ARE YOU STANDING FAST IN ONE SPIRIT?

CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND BLESSING TO US ALL. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF STANDING FAST IN GOD, THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. ARE YOU STANDING FAST IN GOD TODAY? IF NOT, WHY NOT MAKE THE NECESSARY COMMITMENT TO PUT JESUS FIRST IN YOUR LIFE, EVEN TODAY! IF YOU DO, YOU’LL NEVER REGRET IT.