Coffee Creek Church Podcast

The Church at Philippi p.5

March 03, 2019
Coffee Creek Church Podcast
The Church at Philippi p.5
Chapters
Coffee Creek Church Podcast
The Church at Philippi p.5
Mar 03, 2019
Pastor Clark Frailey
Who's responsibility is spiritual growth? How do we insure we are on the right track? Today Pastor Clark explores Paul's guidance to the Philippian Church on this and more.
Show Notes Transcript

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Speaker 1:
0:10
Last week we, we started this idea of, of talking in chapter two now of kind of this shift in this letter that Paul has written to this church and today we're going to see a new venue, a new way of thinking even. Um, it's, it's really interesting kind of this idea of not grumbling and complaining. You're going to hear that today. But I didn't take that as the main focus of this next portion of scripture. I don't think that's really the big idea. There was something that jumped out to me and it starts with this concept of what I was reading recently about one of the number one issues and marriages psychologist if pointed to time. And again, one of the big arguments that comes up in marriages is the division of labor. Who's going to pay the bills? Who's going to do the laundry? Who's going to put up the dirty clothing?
Speaker 1:
1:01
Who, who's going to put the toilet seat lid down? Who's going to put the kids to bed, who's going to do the cooking? And so there's all of these kind of things when you, you have two separate people that are living two separate lives and then you bring them together, they're all of a sudden becomes this question of kind of who does what. And uh, that is a big issue apparently in lots of marriages. I don't know, I just, you know, I, when he does everything so I don't have to worry about that. So, uh, no really. But really thinking about it that relationships are that way, right? You're always wondering kind of who's responsibility is it and a, and who takes the role in the leadership role? Well, in the Gospel it's easy to kind of get pigeonholed into one view of who is responsible for my spiritual growth.
Speaker 1:
1:47
In one sense I can say, and I can look at scriptures in there, there's clear scriptural evidence for that, that God is the chief in charge of my spiritual growth, right? He is the one, the maker, the Creator, he is the author, the finisher of our faith. And so God is responsible for that. And unfortunately there is a camp of thought that has said to the exclusion of other scriptures that that is solely how we grow in our faith. It is all up to God and so unfortunately that can lead to a little bit of lackadaisical kind of Lazy Christianity. We kind of sit back and say, I don't need to do anything. God has got everything. I don't have to worry about any of it. I didn't. I need do nothing. Then on the opposite side of that are people that say, you know, God's got enough on his plate.
Speaker 1:
2:31
He's busy with the big stuff. I am 100% responsible. We call those Rambo Christians. Those are people that are trying to do so much good to kind of earn back God's love, right and earn back God's kind of love on them and then kind of their understanding of how they make things right, if you will, and so they're like, you know, there were the marines of Christianity, they're out there pounding the pavement. They're posting stuff on Facebook every day. They're writing books. They got tee shirts on there telling you how to live your life because they're working hard to get. There's perfect and so they kind of discount and the idea that God has much to do with growth and development in that way. And so the question then becomes for me is who is responsible for my spiritual growth? Like who do I look to for that ultimate kind of guidance and direction?
Speaker 1:
3:18
Is it me or is it God in this division of Labor? And that becomes a real serious question because there are some scriptures that seem to indicate that I have a lot to do with it, that there are things that I should be doing for that. It should be coming out of my life is one way that the Bible talks about it a lot as if I have things that should be produced as a result of my faith. The second part though is there are scriptures that seem to indicate God is doing pretty much all of it. Like we might plant a seed, we might kind of be the person in that moment, but that God is doing most of the work. Well. As we come to the second part of Philippians chapter two today, we're going to see that the answer is both. It's, it's an and so look with you will, uh, with me at the screen here.
Speaker 1:
3:59
Philippians chapter two, beginning verse 12. Today, he says, therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. And so if we pause there for a minute, we see that Paul is teaching clearly that I have something to do here. And this is kind of spooky. This isn't just, you have some work to do. This is continued to work out your salvation, the gospels point, you work that out because that's something that you have to do and you should work it out with fear and trembling. I remember when I was a teenager and I read this verse for the first time. This verse kind of made me fear and tremble. I was like, what on earth are we talking about here? That I have to be scared or afraid or like anxiety level?
Speaker 1:
4:48
And so my anxiety levels shot up. What am I working out with? Fear and trembling? And Paul was pointing out the idea here that we do have a role in this, but the second part is interesting if we continue. He says, it is God who works in you to Wa, uh, in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. So it is God also doing the work. What's interesting here is it's not your pastor, your church, your Mama, your grandma. This working together is interesting because it is you working out your fear with fear and trembling, your salvation, but it's also God working in you. And those things unfortunately have been divided apart so many times. One group grabs onto one part of scripture or another group grabs onto another part and they say, no, it's all about you or know it's all about God.
Speaker 1:
5:35
And they forget that this is a partnership. This is a joint project that we are working on together and that may be a little bit daunting. I think it is for me when I read this, especially in this part of the verse like how am I supposed to take on this role of spiritual development? You might have heard the term becoming like Christ or becoming Christ's like before and I think that's in this same vein, this same teaching. How do I become more like Jesus and one of those difficult things is try as I might to be like Jesus. It's very difficult to do that. Try as I might to be like Russell Westbrook, my shot's not getting any better, right? I'm not many better on the court and so I can try as hard as I want, but if I don't marry it to this second verse in God who is working through me, then it doesn't work together.
Speaker 1:
6:25
I would like to be a singer, but I am not much of a singer. I've tried to seeing like Freddie Mercury, if you don't know who this is, Freddie Mercury, I've tried to sing like him, but his range of of is just amazing. It's a movie that came out recently and then just one a the Oscar about that. It was about the life of this singer from the band queen and he had something unique and unique gifting that not many people have an ability, a range of vocal range to sing. I can't even hit one vocal range in the shower, much less hit that many different ranges. He had a gift that is beyond normal things that we can train with our voice. I am also tone deaf, so that is a problem too. So I, you could hand me all the lyrics right from a famous band.
Speaker 1:
7:13
You could hand me an opera, you could hand me whatever and I could try, but you just giving me that doesn't mean I can write music and doesn't mean I can sing that music. It's frustrating. It's frustrating. Every time I have tried to sing, when I came to this church accidentally, my microphone was left on, but not through the speakers. It was only in the in ears that our band was wearing. So the, our band has these little things in their ears that are kinda like headphones and they have a different loop where they can hear their instruments and, and vocal tracks and things. And unfortunately that day I was singing out to the Lord, I was just, I was praising and worshiping that morning and they got all of it in their ear. And, uh, as I stepped onto it, you know, they're just looking at me and discussed and I'm like, good job guys, thanks for that.
Speaker 1:
7:58
And I can deliver the message that Sunday. And I'm like, Oh, the masses are going to be saved today, right? They're going to just flood the stage. And, uh, I was really, I mean, I was excited. I was really energized and excited and I walked down off the stage and when I'm grabbing, it's like, dude, we heard everything you sing this morning. And I was like, you did. And I jokingly, right? I was like, well, pretty good, Huh? Maybe you'll give me a mic on Sunday. And he just looked at me and said it was awful. It was just terrible. And he was like, we almost lost the whole thing up there. Like we were going to giggle and laugh and just want to be done. So I almost messed up all of worship with my singing I would like to to, and then after that we fixed that problem on the soundboard and that never happened again.
Speaker 1:
8:41
But I thought it was interesting how you can try as hard as you want. And it's frustrating. And I think this is similar to the way that you might try to be like Jesus by following the way he lived, by some sort of rules you make up for yourself by just reading a lot about him and putting a lot of facts and data about Jesus in your mind. You will be very frustrated and you know, we could give you the Bible, right? And say, well, you got the Bible. Well that's not any different than giving me sheet music. Right. And expecting me to perform like an artist. There's no difference there. There's something unique and different. I love how this guy brought it up. I was reading a Billy Graham article once and he quoted this fella and I want you to take a look at this.
Speaker 1:
9:26
He said, this guy said, Bill Temple said, it is no good giving me a play like hamlet or king lear and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it. I can't and it's no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. He continues. Jesus could do it, I can't. But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like his and if the spirit of Jesus could come and live in me, then I could live a life like his. And I think that really just illustrates the whole point of this idea today. It is a joint project. Your spiritual growth is a joint project between you and God. It is something that is going on that you have an active role in but that you are not really the captain of, you are playing an active role in it.
Speaker 1:
10:19
You have things to do. There is fruit of the spirit, God expects things. Uh, James is exactly right that a faith without works is dead. But the core and key component of what's happening in you has to be more than you just following rules and checking off boxes. It's God living in you. And that is the big difference. And so this is most definitely a joint project. I think about it like this idea of sailing and I've never been sailing. I know some of you have. I've never been sailing. I think it looks like a lot of work when God has given us technology like engines and motors and boats. This looks like a lot of work to move across the water. So I don't have any desire to go sailing unless it is me like sitting back watching sailing. And I have done that.
Speaker 1:
11:04
There was a, at my first church in southern Oklahoma, every year they had this big festival and I got to go and watch some of these sailboats on a lake. And as I would watch them, I would think how much work it looked like and how I did not want to be involved in that ever. So I would see their hobby. You know, when you see someone that has a hobby that you're like, wow, I really admire that hobby and I want nothing to do with that hobby. Um, that's kind of where I was with that. And one thing that I noticed though about the sail boats is that as they're moving, there's a couple of different things you can do with a sailboat, right? You can just sit there and drift aimlessly and that's exactly what's going to happen. If you don't involve yourself in it, uh, the water will move you.
Speaker 1:
11:45
The wind might move you a little bit, but you're pretty much just going to be aimlessly floating around. And that's no way to make it across the ocean. Uh, the option is that you become involved in the process. Right? There's all kinds of things. They have their own language. Sailors had their own, like all these words and all these different things. They'd strings, they pull and way that they put up certain directional. It's crazy to watch someone do this because there's a lot of work involved. They're just running and jumping all over the place and usually it's multiple people doing these different jobs. Tying a rope off here, pulling a sale up here, putting one down here, a rudder in this direction. I mean there's all this kind of stuff going on, but at the end of the day they are just facilitating the sailboat moving because it's ultimately the wind that's going to drive that sailboat.
Speaker 1:
12:30
And so once again, I think there's a great illustration here for how our spiritual life works. Like if we just drift aimlessly, say God, it's up to you. You do whatever you want to do. Here I am, I'm clay mold me and then we just sit on the couch and he'll do anything and don't involve ourselves. Then that's not going to really work because God's ready, but we're clearly not. But likewise, if we try to do it all right, if we tried to just row our way across the ocean, that would be an effort in futility, right? We would just burn out very quickly. We're not going to row very long. I also don't like rowing as a hobby. I think that's ridiculous. Have you ever done a rowing machine? Why did they make, that's like punishment, I don't know. Anyway, so um, drift aimlessly or try to row your way across the ocean and those are not going to grow you spiritually.
Speaker 1:
13:18
But if you will be involved in the process, God is providing the wind and you are the sailor, you are doing your part, then amazing things can happen. Jesus talks about it like this. He says the wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit. Wind blows wherever it pleases. The interesting thing here, the word wind in the Greek and the Hebrew is this idea of pneuma. It is this idea of spirit. And so most of your texts, we'll use the word spirit interchangeably here with wind and so it is this idea that God is using his spirit to work within us. That is powerful. It is powerful, but it's so powerful that we can't control it. Does that make sense? Like the spirit of God living and dwelling in us, it's not something that we can market or capitalize on to make money.
Speaker 1:
14:17
It's not something that we can direct and this is the exactly the way it's going to go. It's almost like the sailor. We have to be ready and prepared. We have to put the sale out, we have to be ready to do our part, but then we wait. We wait for the wind and the wind takes us where the wind is going to take us, where the wind wills to take us, not we tell the wind how it's going to be. We prepare, we do the work, but ultimately we wait and then when the wind begins we respond. I've talked about it before, like surfing and I have been surfing and I was also terrible at surfing, but I like to say that I've been surfing right. Cause people that kind of, they're like, oh, that's like, I always wanted to jump out of a plane, you know, I wanted to, before I got married and I didn't want to do a little bit after I got married and then when he told me there was no way and she's not here to defend herself, so it's awesome.
Speaker 1:
15:09
But, um, I always wanted to do the pair of shooting. I wanted to jump, I wanted it to do that. And there's a place in Cushing, Oklahoma that does it. And I was like, this is awesome. I'm going to do this. And then I never got around to it. Now I'm afraid, so now I'm not going to do it. Right. But, uh, uh, surfing's kind of like that. I like to talk about that. Yeah, I've been surfing. Yeah, no big deal. You know, it's been to California, been on the waves. Really cool. If you had a scene, it, it was the most embarrassing show I think would ever be on television. It was just me up and down, up and down, up and down. There was no catching waves, gnarly do none of that. It was me catching sand as I've fell down over and over and over.
Speaker 1:
15:46
And I didn't realize how incredibly, you know, athletic surfers are and how incredibly, I wasn't athletic for that particular thing. Just carrying the big old board out in the ocean. And I'm like, I'm wondering if they've got an a AED out there somewhere for me, you know, or some heart medicines. Cause I'm like, this is really tough. And then when you swim with your board really far out and then you're trying to get up and you're trying to just stand up on top of this thing and it's like, you know, it's right in a poor person, the ocean kind of thing. I'm like, what is this? I'm all over the place. And so I got up one time, I think the guy said he's like, that was really good. Like they were really trying to, you know, boost my ego. They're like this guy from Oklahoma who wow, this wetsuit, wonderful.
Speaker 1:
16:26
And, um, and, and as we're getting out, he's like, man, he was like really being encouraging. He's like, that was really good, man. He's like, you must have got up for like five or six seconds. And I was thinking like, I was like on Hawaii five o like I thought I just wrote in there and impress everybody. He was like, no, it was very short that you were actually not, you know, in the water. And um, as I was thinking about that, like surfing is also a really good analogy for what we're talking about today. Spiritual growth is me, my responsibility, and it's God's responsibility. And it's not anyone else's responsibility. No one in your family, no one in your church is responsible for that. No one is going to make you do these things. This is between you and God and it is a joint project and God wants to take you on an awesome journey.
Speaker 1:
17:09
He does not want you to be bored and looking at rules and regulations. And did I check enough boxes? That is not God's deal. If you're doing that, that's you trying to figure your way out to God. You're trying to explain God that way. God wants to take you on an amazing faith journey, a journey where you will trust him more than you ever thought possible of trusting anyone, but here's the deal. He's providing the current and you're just the surfer on this thing. You're, you're not able to tell him, well, God, we're going to stop at point a first and then I'd like to go to point B and then point c and if we have time, no, no, no. You don't get to do that. You don't get to plot the course in a gps or anything like that. It is you being prepared.
Speaker 1:
17:50
You waiting on his timing and you responding to his movement instead of you trying to tell him how it's going to be. I love what Tozer said. Tozer is this a theological writer and a very popular preacher and speaker, and he said this about what our role is. He said, we must never rest until everything inside us worships. God. See we're part of the project of our life is to put us into a format of worshiping God, not just on Sunday mornings when we sing songs and not just maybe once or twice a week when we read scriptures together or when we pray together, or a when we have personal devotions, but it is that everything inside of us comes captive to God. This is why we say the mission of our church is to love God and do good, and we base it on that scripture of Jesus where he's saying, love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Speaker 1:
18:56
That's putting everything, every desire of your heart, everything that you are, everything that you own, everything that you want to be, all your purpose. Oh, your point in life, into obedience with God. Worship everything inside of us, and so the human project and the the you project is not done until everything inside you worships God and clearly that is this whole life, right? That's what the process is. We've called it discipleship. We've called it sanctification. We've called it a growth and spiritual development and leadership development. There's all these human ways to describe it, but at the end of the day, it is us growing to be more like Jesus that we see the world more like Jesus does, that we treat others the way Jesus would. There was a Hindu professor who one time gathered one of his Christian students and he said, if if you Christians ever started to live like Jesus, India would be at your feet.
Speaker 1:
19:56
I thought, wow. I mean that's a billion people, right? Over a billion people, and he was saying, look, if you lived like Jesus, you would have no trouble with your message. It's that you proclaim a message that the life doesn't match up to, and so that is the, that is our project. Then as Christians, that is our project. Our project is not so much to make everyone else conformed to what we say they should do, but it is to make this conform to what God has said is good and just, and that is the mercy, the piece, the grace of Jesus becoming more like Jesus than is a joint partnership that you were invited into. And I want to pray that for you today. So as we close, I want to pray this idea that this week you would take that to heart. You would take to heart the role of God and your role in your spiritual growth, that you would own it.
Speaker 1:
20:44
You would take responsibility for it and you would start to dive what that looks like for you. Would you pray that with me today got across this room? I thank you so much for this opportunity. We've had to look into the scriptures here in Philippians, the scriptures that tell us to work with fear and trembling, but also the it is you that does the work in us. May We understand that you are greater than any of our plans. We could devise or right up or destinations or journey, we'd put ourself on God. You've invited us into a wild journey of trust and where we can trust you more and more to become more like you. Jesus.
Speaker 2:
21:25
Okay.
Speaker 1:
21:25
May We each commit today to welcoming others the way that you welcomed them, to see them as you see them, to care for them the way that you care for them, and to ultimately mold our mind, our thoughts, our heart, our possessions, our ownership of things all into your kingdom.
Speaker 2:
21:47
Okay.
Speaker 1:
21:47
Then we say, God, I want to be a part of what your doing here and now we pray that today. In Jesus' name.
Speaker 2:
21:55
Amen.
Speaker 1:
21:57
Well, next Sunday we are going to be back and hopefully it won't be another snow storm. Uh, we're going to continue moving through chapter two and we're going to start in verse 19, and we're going to look at this idea of what it means to not only God working in us, but now us working with God, working with the other thing he adds in here in Philippians and that is his church. How do we work together to be a part of his greater kingdom work? And so it's, it's that big idea that we talk about a lot. Church is here to remind us that there is a god that we're not him and that he has something much bigger than just our own little pursuits. He has a big vision in mind for us and he's inviting us to be a part of that. And a huge part of that for Coffee Creek we've always realized is being a part of the folks that feel disenfranchised from church, that feel like God isn't for them, that feel like the church is against them. We have a real unique opportunity and a platform to communicate that to a hurting world, our neighbors, our community, that God loves them. And so I hope next week you'll even bring a friend to be a part of that and hear that message of what we're talking about working together and that we are better together. Well, God bless you. Have a great week. Be Safe this morning as you go home and we'll see you next Sunday.
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