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Message # 3 "An Entry concerning Supremacy"
Phillipians 1: 21-24
In verse 21,
Paul establishes the theme for this message.
"for me to live is
Christ". This statement speaks
volumes about Christ
being supreme in our
lives. He should be out theme, our
aim, our power, our
service and our allegiance. It is also apparent from
these verses that the
Philippian church was indeed a "Jesus" church.
What we can exposite from
these verses inform us of where Jesus
stood in the life of Paul
and the life of the believers:
There was a supreme standing (1:1 "to all the saints in Christ
There was a supreme solution (1:11 "being filled with the fruits
are by Jesus Christ"
There was a supreme supply (1:19 "the supply of the Spirit of
There was a supreme status (1:21 "for me to live is Christ")
This church stands as a
model to all churches of all ages.
Jesus was supreme in the
hearts of this people. Notice some
truths that we can
exposite from these verses:
A Supreme Direction
One to dwell in
(vs 21 "for
to live is Christ")
dwell means to abide.
Either way we address this statement the re-
sults are the same: The Lord
Jesus must be the center and control of
our entire life.
There is no room other gods because our Lord is a sole
One to die in (vs 21 "and to die is gain")
This verse is where the
rubber meets the road. It is a great
ful thing to live for
Christ, but are we willing to die for Christ.
Or it is a
great and wonderful thing to
praise God in life, but can we or will we
praise God in death.
A Supreme Discernment
There are products of a supreme discernment
if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour")
While this statement by
Paul has been twisted and interpreted to
justify the flesh life, I
believe that when we weight it against all other
doctrinal statements of
Paul, we can come to the conclusion that he
meant something quite to
the contrary. In consideration of
many afflictions and even
a "thorn in the flesh", and in light of vs 21,
I really believe he was
facing a spirtual reality. That
reality was that
if the Lord left him here,
then his life on earth would be fruitful. As
one commentator put it:
"He was prepared for either a fruit-bearing
life down here or a far
better life up there".
There is the process of a supreme discernment
("yet what I
shall choose I wot not")
This verse should help us
to understand that there is a war waging
within us. It is the war
between the new nature and the old nature.
This war began the day we
were born again, and will last until the
day our new born soul
leaves the body. As is testified
statement, that war
doesn't get any better, no matter how long we
live on this earth.
A Supreme Desire
This supreme desire was a functional one
(vs 23 "For
I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart,
and to be with Christ,
which is far better")
The various meanings of
the word "depart" is enough to make the
most hardened saint take
a shouting spell. It means:
1) A military term
used by soldiers
this word literally
meant "to take down your tent and move on"
application of this is wonderful.
What a day that
will be when this old
tent we have been living in, is taken down
and our address
changes to the presence of the Saviour.
A military term used by sailors
Again, this word
literally meant "to loosen a ship and set sail"
The old ship of Zion
has been in port in this world for a long
time, but the day is
soon coming when it will lift its anchor and
set sail for
A meaningful term used by society
This word described
the setting free of a prisoner. It
is so true
that we are
imprisoned in this body of flesh, and sometimes
severely limited in
our life for God. But freedom is
A methodical term used by sowers
when the sowing in the
fields was done for the day, this word
meant "to unyoke the
oxen". One day the sowing will be
we, the children of
God, will be going to the house,.
This supreme desire was fellowshipping one
(vs 24 "Nevertheless to
abide in the flesh is more needful for you")
It doesn't take a rocket
scientist to come to the conclusion:
"What a sacrifice, what a
warrior for God". The bottom line
clusion of this verse is
that Paul was willing to do whatever it took
to win souls to the Lord,
and to further the fellowship of the