Central Christian Church
Joy: Patrick, Paul and The Philippians
Joy -- Rising Above My Circumstances. Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi from a Roman jail yet the book of Philippians is full of joy. Pastor Nathan leads us through an in-depth study of Philippians to discover Paul’s secret to find joy.
Locations & Times
  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM

Series Page

All resources for the series can be found on the series page.

Announcements for Oct 1
Oct 1 1st Sunday Collection for The Mission
Oct 8 Board Meeting
Oct 9 More Event - 6:30 PM @ Old Middle School
Oct 18 CWF 9 AM
Oct 21 Men's Breakfast 8 AM @ El Rodeo
Oct 31 Block Party 6-8 PM
St. Patrick completely turned his life over to God. Even in the midst of slavery, He trusted in the Lord and to Him to live was Christ and to die was gain.

Isn't it beautiful that in Philippians 1:19 we read that through the prayers of believers and the presence of the Holy Spirit Paul will be delivered. No matter what happens to him, Paul knows that he is the palm of God’s mighty hand.

God's provision of the Spirit is one of our greatest blessings.
Who is the Holy Spirit? He is God, just as God the Father and God the Son are also God. Our minds can but dimly grasp these great spiritual facts, because we are finite and God is infinite. The Bible provides many ways to help us understand that the Holy Spirit is truly a person—that is, He is a personal being, rather than an impersonal thing. First, every pronoun used about the Spirit is “he” not “it.” The original Greek language of the New Testament is explicit in confirming the person of the Holy Spirit. The word for “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter and would naturally take neuter pronouns to have grammatical agreement. Yet, in many cases, masculine pronouns are found (e.g., John 15:26; 16:13-14). Grammatically, there is no other way to understand the pronouns of the New Testament related to the Holy Spirit—He is referred to as a “He,” as a person.[1]

It may help to remember that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have all existed from eternity. The work of creation was given to the Son.
But when you read the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, you will find that the Holy Spirit was also there, moving upon the face of His creation. In time, the Son of God came into the world as a man, to redeem the world which He had created. After His death on the cross, and His resurrection, He went back to the Father in heaven. When He went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to exercise a worldwide ministry. Today the Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us. All over the world the Holy Spirit is wooing men to Christ, and He lives in the hearts of believers and helps us each day. To be Spirit-filled Christians is to be the kind of Christians that God wants us to be.[1]
The Holy Spirit helps us resist temptation.

In Philippians 1:21 “To me” is plainly full of passion. It means more than ‘in my judgment’ or even ‘in my case.’ It is equal to ‘To me personally, if I stood alone, and had no one to consider but myself.’ Paul did not compromise His convictions. He would be faithful no matter what happened.
The Holy Spirit guides the believer (Romans 8:14, 16, 26; John 16:12-15; Psalm 138:8; 139:10, 16, 23, 24). This involves teaching, giving assurance, assisting in prayer, using the Bible and counsel of other mature Christians. He leads by circumstances, subjective impressions, and giving resources for tasks and opportunities He sets before us. He directs our thoughts to focus on areas of ministry. We praise Him that He is a personal God who deals with us in personal way - but always in a way that is in keeping with His written Word, the Bible.
The Holy Spirit is our teacher. Jesus Christ told His followers that the Holy Spirit, which the Father would send to them/ The Spirit helps us understand Scripture and gives us wisdom in our prayers.
So, we have here grandly set forth the simplicity and unity of the Christian life. While the words probably refer mainly to outward life, they presuppose an inward, of which that outward is the expression. In every possible phase of the word ‘life,’ Christ is the life of the Christian. To live is Christ, for He is the mystical source from whom all ours flows.
The principles of self-sacrifice have shown that when we put others above ourselves, we are the ones who benefit the most.
I cannot remember when it was I first heard the Indian phrase, “Today is a good day to die.” The phrase is attributed to Crazy Horse before the Battle of the Little Big Horn, who said, "Hokahey, today is a good day to die!" We believe the term was used by many tribes spanning several centuries. The phrase was used in the context of a warrior’s desire to die an honorable and brave death.[1]

Although Paul was not a warrior in the way we think of it. On the other hand, he was a spiritual warrior for Christ and for the church. He sacrificed and lived as a servant for Christ knowing that to die is gain.

Paul lived his life not to preserve and promote himself, but to glorify Jesus Christ. If Jesus should one day decide that Paul could best glorify Him through laying down his life, the Paul would be well pleased by the opportunity.

Even so, this must have hit hard on the Philippians who saw God do so many remarkable miracles of deliverance in Paul's life among them in Philippi (Acts 16:11-40). It would have been easy for the Philippians to associate God's glory only with being delivered from your problems, not in being delivered in the midst of your problems.

It is easy for us to dictate to God how He can and cannot glorify Himself in our lives. Paul wisely left all that up to God.[1]

Chuck Smith pointed out that Paul looked forward to Heaven. To him dying truly was gain. In his letter to the Corinthians he mentioned how that we who are in these bodies often groan, earnestly desiring to be freed, not that we would be unbodied, but we longed for our new bodies in heaven.

[1]Guzik BLB
For Paul heaven was not an unknown. The Lord had brought Paul up for a short visit, and the glory that he experienced was so great, that he longed for the day when he could return.

I always enjoy it when Sam plays and sings I've Got a Mansion.
I've got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we'll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold…

He wrote to the Corinthians that he had been caught up into the third heaven and there heard things that were so glorious that it would be a crime to try to describe them in human language. Paul did not teach as a rabbi or a philosopher. He taught from true events and not from his interpretation or speculation. Jesus struck him blind and appeared to him. Our faith is based on historical facts.
Matt Redman, a well known Christian song writer, wrote the following lyrics in his song, Unbroken Praise:
Unbroken praise be Yours, God, forever
All my praise be Yours, God, forever
Lord take this life, let it become Your throne
Unbroken praise be Yours
Unbroken praise be Yours, God, forever
All my praise be Yours, God, forever
Lord take this life, let it become Your throne
Unbroken praise be Yours.

I especially like how he wrote for God to let his life become God’s throne. He prays that God will his life and that in Heaven he would have unspoken praise to the Lord.
To those who do not believe in God – Life on earth is the best there is. For the non- Christian, it is only natural to strive for the world’s values. Money – Popularity – Power – Prestige.

For the Christian it is different. – “To die is gain”

W. A. Criswell explored what we gain.

1. We Gain a better body – a glorified, immortalized, resurrected body.
In this present body we are subject to the joys and disappointments of life. We are subject to the growing process of life as well as the aging process. Sometimes we are healthy sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we feel pleasure sometimes we feel pain. Sometimes we are happy sometimes there is sorrow. When we get to heaven it will not be that way.

In this present body of clay, we are subject to all the sorrows and tears that life is heir to. Age, sickness, and finally death are the inevitable end of this house made of the dust of the earth. But in death and the resurrection we gain a better body, one that can never grow old, know disease, suffer pain, and can never die. We gain a better body.
2. We Gain a better home. -- However, the beauty and the embellishments of any house we may possess in this world, it is nothing compared with our mansion in the beautiful city of God. Look at the promise of our Lord.
3. We Gain a better inheritance. -- Our final reward is not here – it is in Heaven.

4. We Gain a better fellowship. -- All of us live in this world of a dissolving family circle. Mother is gone – Father is gone, or a child is gone, or our beloved grandparents are gone, or a close friend is gone. But the circle is unbroken in Heaven forever and ever. There is no death there, no sorrow or crying or pain, for these former things are passed away.

5. Jesus is there.
If “for me to live is Christ,” then to die is gain.
If for me to live is money – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is self – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is ambition – then to die is loss.
If for me to live is sin – then to die sis loss.
But if for me to live is Christ – to die is gain[1]
Do we have faith that to live is Christ and to die is gain? Are we willing to sacrifice for him?

[1]WA Criswell
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the rulers of the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 1:4-5)