Can you see the Apostle Paul in your minds’ eye? He’s under house arrest in Rome and manacled to an Imperial Guard. He’d appealed to Caesar, but now he’s wasting away, stuck in an endless line of bureaucratic delays. He has no idea how Caesar will rule on his case. He might be set free, or he might be executed. His very life hangs in the balance.


And yet, in this passage from Philippians 1:18-30, look at how joyous Paul is in the middle of so many life and ministry setbacks. He’s so resilient, vibrant, courageous, steadfast, and undaunted! And it’s not because he’s ignoring reality. He says, “I very well may die here.” He’s utterly realistic about his suffering, and yet over-flowingly joyful. This man knows how to live!


What’s his secret?


In this sermon, we will learn that to live a live worthy of the gospel means that Christ becomes our:


  • Reason for Rejoicing: We delight in the glory of Christ which has become our greatest joy in life and eternity.
  • Purpose in Living: We invest in the mission of Christ which has become our greatest endeavor in life and eternity.
  • Meaning in Suffering: To live for Christ means we will suffer for Him. For those who are children of God in Christ, suffering is not punitive but purifying. We endure in the grace of Christ who has become our greatest treasure in life and eternity.


Takeaway: When Christ is our reason for rejoicing, our purpose in living, and our meaning in suffering, then as the Apostle Paul put it, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”


Philippians 1:18b-30


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