Jesus is Our Only Solution

1 John 5:12

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

  • He came to give us life

1 John 1:1-2 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—

  • He came to fill us with joy

1 John 1:4 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

  • He was there “from the beginning

John 1:1-2, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

  • Disciples saw His miracles!  They were witnesses!  They knew!

2 Peter 1:16 – For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

  • He is real

Luke 24:39 – Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.

  • He came
    • To do away with our sin
    • To forgive us
    • To set us free
    • To bring us joy
    • To free us from bondage
    • To heal our bodies
    • Much-much more
    • But the main point was to forgive our sins

1 John 3:5 – And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

  • We are responsible for our sins – Not like Flip Wilson who said, “The devil made me do it.”

1 John 3:8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

  • Tares or weeds
  • Tares are burned up
  • The sinner goes to hell
  • He/she suffers eternal punishment (separation from God)
  • There is weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth
  • Are there tares in the church today?

Matthew 13:38-40 – The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

  • He came to this earth for one purpose – to die on Calvary
    • By His death we know love because He gave His life for us
    • We should give our lives for one another following His example
    • It’s not all about ME, ME, ME – looking out for #1

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He died for the ungodly – that’s you – that’s me

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

1 John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • He was the propitiation (mercy seat), the one and only, the total and final ultimate sacrifice

1 John 4:9-10 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

  • Disciples saw, and testified to what He has done for us

1 John 4:14 – And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

  • Jesus is our only source!

1 John 5:12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

God Gives Joy, But You Must Rejoice

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica that they should rejoice always and give thanks in everything.  Note:  Not “for” everything, but “in” everything.  We may not be thankful for trials and difficulties we face in this life, but we can be thankful that God is with us and gives us strength for the day.

Jesus gave us one main reason why no matter the situation we can rejoice.  We have a precious promise from Him that this life is not all there is.  He is coming again and we will be with Him. 

John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Luke 10:20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Romans 12:9-13 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

The Psalmist made it clear that rejoicing is a choice.  Over and over he said “I will.”

Psalm 101:1 – “I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praises

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 116:17 – “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Psalm 118:21 – “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.”

Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice.”

Nehemiah told the Israelites as they returned from captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem that it was joy of the Lord that would give them the strength they needed as they began to rebuild their country. 

Nehemiah 8:9-10 – “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

Isaiah wrote that because we can trust in the LORD and gain strength from him, because we have salvation through Him, we can have joy and praise the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2-6 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;  for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  And in that day you will say:  ‘Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!’”

It is in His presence we can find complete joy.  If your joy is running low, spend some time in His presence, reading His word, listening to songs of praise, praying developing that close relationship with Him. 

Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

  • Joy is contagious – START AN EPIDEMIC!
  • You can stay depressed, oppressed, possessed, suppressed if you want to.  But as for me, I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!!!

1 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

SO PRAISE HIM!!!!!!

Unity Through Humility

Philippians 2:1-22

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.  Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.  But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.

  • Only when unity prevails can there be peace
  • Only when unity prevails can there be harmony
  • Only when unity prevails can the Holy Spirit work in your life
  • Unity must prevail – the only way unity can prevail is for each to be concerned about the other.

Philippians 2:2 – “Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

  • Be like minded
  • Have the same love
  • Be in one accord
  • Be of one mind

Philippians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

  • No selfish ambition
  • No selfish conceit
  • Lowliness of mind
  • Others more important than yourself

Philippians 2:4 – “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

  • Look out for others’ interest

1 Corinthians 13 – Love is the key

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”

James 2:1-9

“My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and say to the poor man, ‘You stand there,’ or, ‘Sit here at my footstool,’ have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?  Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts?  Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?  If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.”

  • God is no respecter of persons – we should also not be
  • You shall love your neighbor as yourself
  • The true way to joy is:
  • Jesus first
  • Others second
  • Yourself last

Galatians 3:1-3

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

  • We must follow the Word in all things

Matthew 6:1-4

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

  • Do good to please God

Christ in Us

Philippians 2:1-11

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

A STRONG CHURCH

  • The Philippians’ Church was a strong church.  When a church is strong, it always has a vision.   It is always working out some strategy to carry forth the Gospel.  A strong church launches ministry after ministry.  A strong church is not complacent.  A strong church is vibrant with things going on that will give glory to God and touch the lives of believers and nonbelievers alike.  A strong church has people in its midst that are always busy doing and going and helping, and inviting, and listening and caring.  A strong church is an active church. 
  • In a strong church there is great need for unity.  With many different ideas and things going on there will always be people with divergent ideas and pet projects.  Unity must be the goal of all involved.  That unity only comes by Christ dwelling in us richly.  There are seven traits in these first four verses of Philippians 2 that will hold the church together and keep it unified.
  • Consolation
  • Love
  • Fellowship in the Spirit
  • Compassion
  • Concern for one another’s joy
  • Humility or lowliness of mind
  • Controlling self-interest or concentration upon oneself

TRAITS TO UNITY

  • Consolation – In this passage the word means encouragement, comfort, solace, exhortation, and strengthening believers to be one in spirit and busy about the ministry of His church.  Christ wants no murmuring, no grumbling, disturbance, or weakening of the unity within the church.  The Spirit of Christ in us is to take the disturbed or upset person and console, comfort, encourage and strengthen them.  Not only are we to help the individual that needs consoling or comforting, but we are to allow that same comfort, strength, and encouragement of Christ to flow through us when we are in need of comfort, encouragement or strength.  Just imagine the spirit of unity that would prevail in a church if all the members would let the consolation of Christ course through them.  There would be no murmuring, grumbling, disturbance – no disunity whatsoever.

John 14:18 – “I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.” 

1 Thessalonians – “Therefore comfort each other, and edify one another, just as you are also doing.”

“Isaiah 40:1 – Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God.” 

  • Love – There is a comfort of love that is in Christ.  The love of Christ stirs a person to keep the unity with other believers.  The word used here for love (agape) is the kind of love that is selfless and sacrificial.   It is the kind of love that loves a person even if he does not deserve to be loved, when he is utterly unworthy of being loved.  It is the love of Christ, the love which He showed when He gave and sacrificed Himself for us.  We did not deserve it and were utterly unworthy of such love, yet Christ loved us despite all.  Imagine the spirit of unity that would exist within a church if every member would let the love of Christ flow though them.  There would be no bitterness, anger, or strife – no action that would hurt another.  Even if the person was as wrong as could be and deserved the most drastic punishment that could be given, the church’s members would sacrifice and give themselves for that person.  This is the answer to unity, the Lord’s spirit of love!  How desperately the church needs its members to let the love of Christ flow through them to each other.

John 13: 34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” 

Romans 12:9 – “Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

1 Thessalonians 3:12 – “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.” 

  • Fellowship in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works mightily in the person who has trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord.  He enters the heart and life of the believer to comfort, guide, teach, equip, and use him as a witness for Christ.  The Holy Spirit creates a spiritual union between the new believer and other believers.  He melts and molds the heart of the new believer to other believers.  He attaches all their lives together, and they become one in life and purpose.  They have a joint life sharing their blessings and needs and gifts together – all focused upon their Lord and His purpose.   The church and the believers are to have the same mind.  There are to be no discordant elements whatsoever.  There are to be no differences, no gossip, rumors, or cliques, nothing that would tamper with or disturb the fellowship of the Spirit in the church. 
  • Compassion – Compassion is a must.  Compassion is the same trait that caused Jesus to reach out to us.  The compassion of Christ flowing through us will cause us to reach out to those who have been hurt, to those who are different, to those who withdrew, to those who have been disturbed, to those who have been critical.  Compassion will stir us to reach out to others. 

Romans 15:1 – “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” 

Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one anther’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” 

  • Joy – The believers in a church are to be consumed with joy and to be concerned for each other’s joy.  Joy brings unity to a church quicker than any other trait.  Joy is always disturbed if there is criticism, dissatisfaction, grumbling, murmuring, cliques, opposition, and a host of other divisive negatives.  We are to worship, plan, organize, program, build, staff, finance, minister, and serve in the joy of Christ. The only way we can do that is to be like-minded, to have the same love, to be of one accord, to be of one mind. 

John 15:11 – “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” 

  • Humility (Lowliness of Mind) – A strong and active church will always have two problems to deal with – rivalry and empty glory.  Some people just seem to want to struggle with others. They simply are not mature in the Lord; therefore they give in to gossip about differences, jealousy, envy, desire for position, desire for recognition, opposition, loving flattery, forming cliques.  If they do not get their way or what they want, they fight against the church or other members.  The result is disunity and divisiveness, one of the most terrible crimes within the church.

James 3:14 – “But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.” 

Proverbs 20:3 – “It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.” 

2 Timothy 2:14 – “Of these things put them (the church) in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” 

2 Timothy 2:24 – “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” 

  • Some are going to seek glory within the church. The Scriptures call it vainglory, which means empty glory.  Some just want attention, recognition, position, flattery, praise, and honor.  They want people seeking their advice, counsel, and opinion. 

Matthew 23:12 -”And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” 

John 5:44 – “How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” 

  • The church must control self interest.  The members must quit looking out for their own ambition, desire for acknowledgment, for honor.  They must quit worrying about rather or not they are ignored, overlooked, or neglected.  Believers are to concentrate upon Christ and his ministry to people and reaching the world with the glorious gospel of salvation.  They are not to be focused on self.  Every believer is needed to reach the lost and lonely, the shut-ins and helpless, the hungry, the cold, the sinful, the doomed of his community, city, country, and world.

Matthew 19:21 – “Jesus said unto him, If you would be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come follow me. “

Matthew 25:43 – “I was a stranger, and you took me not in; naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not.”