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The Ties That Bind

"because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
We're glad you're here.
Hebrews 10:25 says "not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
As we look at the church in Philippi, we are able to find the answer to several questions. Paul had written to them and thanked them for helping him. We know that this was a very personal letter from Paul to his beloved friends, so formal titles were unnecessary. They had reached out to him both spiritually and financially many times. Throughout the book of Philippians Paul alludes to what it was that caused their church to endure. They had reached out to him both spiritually and financially many times.
What is it that keeps our church together? What is it that has held and sustained us for the past nine months? And what is it that is going to keep us together in the future?
Let’s remember that it’s God that began the good work in us. Not only should He receive the praise for His loving initiative toward us, but that gives us the basis for our assembling ourselves together.
The apostle Paul knew what it was to be alone. He knew what it was to be isolated, however, notice not one time did he ask, "God, are you still there?" There was no moaning, groaning or complaining. It isn't there. Paul has overwhelming, inexplicable, immeasurable joy!

However, Paul was not happy. He was unable to worship the true God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ with his fellow believers. He couldn’t be a part of the Christian celebration of the Lord’s table. He couldn’t lead the people in the wonderful joy of fellowship. 
He was being mercilessly criticized by not only his enemies in the pagans culture, but also his enemies in the church, who were saying that God was punishing him because he had failed so miserably in the ministry. Those who were capitalizing on Paul's circumstances. All the while, Paul was rejoicing in his God. What an example to all of us. What an example to those who groan they're never coming to church again, because someone is sitting in "their pew."
Let's bow our heads.
Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the great truth in Your Word for us today. May it cause us to be a grateful and joyful people, knowing that whatever our present circumstances may be, we have the unshakeable confidence in our salvation in Christ, Who is our hope and promise of our inheritance, to the praise of His glory. 
Help us to live in joy of that anticipation, to live out the joy of participation in fellowship with one another, living out the joy of intercession as we lift us our voices in prayer for one another, and the joy of recollection, as we recall all the good in our lives. Help us to be thankful, satisfied in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, knowing that You are working in and through our lives.
We pray this Christ's name

Today's Message: The Ties That Bind

We are again privileged to be in study of the joyous book of Philippians. As we continue to look at the church in Philippi, we are able to answer several questions. Paul had written to them and thanked them for helping him. They had reached out to him both spiritually and financially many times. Throughout the book of Philippians, Paul alludes to what it was that caused their church to endure. What it was that kept them together.
Open your Bibles with me, if you will, to the book of Philippians chapter 1. As we continue to move ahead in our study of Paul's wonderful epistle to the believers in the church at Philippi, we come to verses 5 and 6. Philippians 1:5-6. I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read to get this set in our minds.
"because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
In verse 5, "because of your partnership – the Greek word is koinnia, "fellowship," "partnership," "communion," your fellowship in the gospel "from the first day until now." Paul rejoiced over their partnership, that’s what that word means, their communion, is used New Testament sometimes to refer to monetary contribution, giving money. We can see from this verse that Paul recognized they were in fellowship with each other concerning the gospel. The church at Philippi was in agreement with Paul about the gospel and they shared the same beliefs. They both shared in the salvation given by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
Isaiah 1:18 says "Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool."
Romans 12:13 says "contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 
Paul is saying in a sense, "I rejoice in your salvation, I rejoice that you're saved, I rejoice that you’re a partner with me in the gospel, further that you’re a partner with me in the spread of the gospel by your gifts, your giving."
Then, in verse 6, Paul writes "I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
You know, it's really is a sad thing that those who have not accepted Jesus Christ cannot stake claim to a home in heaven. The Bible very clearly tells us that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. On the other hand, it is a joyful thing that those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ can look forward to spending an eternity in heaven worshiping the Lamb who was slain. The assurance that one day Jesus Christ will split the eastern sky and take us home to live with him gives us hope for the future. 
Philippians 4:14 says "Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction."
The Philippian church took care of Paul. We do not know exactly what they did to help him, but it is clear that whatever it was helped Paul out in a great way. In verse 14 he tells them that they had done well in their efforts. They were there for Paul when he needed them. They were his fellow servants in the gospel.
Our Christian walk today, spirit of servanthood can manifest itself in at least four ways:
Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."
Scripture gives us a very clear command to bear one another’s burdens. As Christian brothers and sisters we need to be there for others when we are needed. There are people we fellowship with, share the gospel with, who are in need right now, they are our brothers and sisters who are hurting and in need of someone who is willing to help bear the load that is weighing them down.

The tough question is, are you willing to put aside your own wants and desires and help someone else in need? To do what Scripture requires, to hold the body of Christ together?

Jesus said in Matthew 25:44-45, "Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."

Philippians 1:4, "always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer."
Here, in verse 4, Paul makes mention that he is praying for the church at Philippi and that every request is made with joy. How many of us can say that we joyfully pray one for another? It has been my experience that the average Christian spends as little time as possible in prayer and most of it certainly isn’t done joyfully. It is more of a hurried up prayer done in haphazard fashion. Usually it is done more out of need or habit than out of a love for God or the brethren.
Beloved, if the body of Christ is to survive, the members are going to have to get serious about our prayer life! We must spend time in prayer for one another before Almighty God. And I'm not talking about only praying when an illness or sickness or problem comes up. I'm talking about praying for us to be better leaders, better teachers, betters mothers and fathers and children. Pray they we become a better friend, a better church.
Pray that we will grow in spiritual maturity, pray that we have a real desire to serve the Lord. Pray that nothing will come between our individual relationships with Jesus Christ. Pray that nothing will separate the body of Christ. Prayer holds us together.

We must love one another, as Christ loves us. You the Bibles teaches in I John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."
The point is, that when we love one another we are displaying the fact that we are born of Him. In contrast,
In I John chapter 2, verse 9 "The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now."
In other words, if we hate our brother we are showing that we are still in the darkness and have not experienced the love of Jesus Christ. 
So many of our churches today are filled with hate and dissension among its members. Do you know what that says to me? Just by reading the two scriptures above, it tells me that our churches are filled with lost people claiming to be Christians. Scriptures message is perfectly clear, that if love is not present in someone’s life then God is not present either.  
That tells me that we need to not examine the walk of others, but examine ourselves. Beloved, we have got to make sure that there is no hate in our own hearts. In doing so, we need to take a closer look at our walk with God and make sure that it is genuine. 
II Corinthians 13:5 puts it this way, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?"
If we want the body to be able to hold together then we have to love one another. I mean really love one another, not just in words, we need to willing to back it up with our actions!
Philippians 2:3 says "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;"
This particular verse neatly wraps everything up together. If we bear one another’s burdens, if we pray for each other, if we show genuine love among the brethren, then we can honestly say that we have placed others needs above our own. That is what being a servant of Christ is all about. A servant is there to tend to the needs of others. He cannot think selfishly about himself.

In Closing...

The only way for the body of Christ to hold together is for every member to put aside his or her selfish wants and desires and place others needs before their own. Just as Christ did for us.

There's one more thing, I haven't yet mentioned, and that's salvation. Salvation offers freedom from the past, purpose for the present, and hope for the future. There has to be a common belief of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior for any kind of peaceful relationship to exist.

If we will only bear one another’s burdens, pray for each other, love one another, and esteem others better than ourselves, we can create a powerful bond, in Jesus Christ, that can never be broken.

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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