Christians Can Do All Things Through Christ
Appreciate this opportunity to be with you. And to once again, have a part in the lectureship here at the school of breaching started coming to the lectures here. When I moved to Florida back in 1991. And it’s hard for me to think now that I was a young man then, and now I’m an older guy, listen to younger guys like these who have spoken for us,
but time passes. But we’re very thankful that the good folks who went before us left as good examples, and we’re thankful for the good folks coming behind us, who are marching in the right footsteps. As Jason told us, following the Lord. And we’re very thankful for that. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This has become a slogan in our world.
If you would just Google this and look for Google images, you’ll find ball caps. That’s got it. You’ll find t-shirts that have it. You’ll find probably every item that you could put that on and slap it on where people are saying in a name it and claim it kind of fashion. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, probably Tim Tebow.
He would set out here weightlifting bench and a barbell. And he might have Philippians four 13 on each side of that barbell. But that’s the way the world has looked at things. They looked at that for a lot of they look and take out a context, a lot of passages in the Bible, and sometimes we can get caught up in that too.
And so in our lesson today, we want to understand this expression in its context. Obviously there are some limitations we know automatically I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Well, I’m going to go out and dunk a basketball. No that’s only going to happen. If the rim is lowered to about five feet, five inches, all right.
So we know automatically that’s not in the scope of what is being claimed here, but sometimes I think, and especially maybe young Christians or those who are young in the faith might not understand what it means to say. I can do all things through Christ because sometimes there is some brethren who read this and take this in. Maybe that kind of fashion. And they’ll say,
well, I prayed to God for this and it didn’t happen. And there’s a danger there isn’t there because that’s going to pose. Then the doubt in their minds has God really answered my prayer and said, I can do all things or is going to leave the doubt that says, maybe this isn’t this verse isn’t for me, it’s just for those, you know,
super Christians like Paul, or sometimes it can even be where folks might say and think that maybe God has lied to me here. And so we need to understand what I can do all things through Christ means. And of course it is, first of all, built on the idea of knowing Christ. Isn’t it. And Philippians chapter three, beginning with verse seven,
the apostle Paul talked about the things that have been gained to him in his previous life. These, he now accounted for loss where Jesus, and he said, yay, indeed. I also count all things lost for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. Jesus, my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things. And I count them as rubbish that I might gain Christ and be found in him not having my own righteousness,
which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness, which is from God by faith, that I may know him and the power of his Rex or resurrection, the fellowship of his sufferings being conformed to his death. If by any means, I may attain to the resurrection of the dead rather than this is what Paul said.
I’ve traded all these things for no Christ power of his resurrection so that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead. And so it’s in this understanding. Then we want to look at our passage and let’s turn to our passage, Philippians chapter four, we’re going to read with verse 10 and then through third verse 13. But really the context could go really all the way to verse 20.
When you think about Paul’s discussion of the gift here, Paul says in Philippians four, 10, but I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last, your care for me is flourished again, though. Surely you did Garrett, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need for I’ve learned in whatever state I am to be content.
I know how to be about a base. And I know how to abound everywhere and all things. I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, right? Let’s notice some things in little paragraph. First of all, who’s the one who is saying this to us.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Well, that’s gotta be the most naive guy who’s lived in an ivory tower and never having suffered anything. It’s not the apostle Paul, is it? In fact, Paul’s in prison, actually house arrest chained to a Roman soldier where he’s been for the last couple of years when he makes this statement,
Paul is not some naive guy who everything in life has been handed to him. He knows the nitty gritty reality of what it is to face this life. But he still says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me now, who does he tell this to only the super Christians? Well, he’s writing to the saints and we must avoid that Roman Catholic idea that the saints are those super Christians,
but he’s writing to the saints who are there in Philippi with their elders in their deacons. These are the ones who’ve been sanctified set apart for God’s special purpose. Those that’s what the word Saint is. And brethren, when we have known Christ and we’ve been obedient to him and we are in him, then we have been made saints. And we are still following that sanctified way as brother Steve pointed out to us in a lesson the other day,
but brethren here’s Paul, here’s who he’s writing to. And now how he has shared with them, this message. He expects that these ordinary, everyday Christians they’re in Philippi. And excuse me, I’ll, I’ll refer to Philippi a lot. You may think, ah, he’s off because he’s not saying Philippi. My people all come from a little county in the middle of West Virginia,
Barbara county. And the big city in that county is Philippi. It’s not fill a pie. It’s Phillipi. So I’ll probably say Philippi all day long, all right? But he’s writing to these ordinary everyday folks in Philippi. And he expects them to be able to take something from this and learn and be encouraged by this. And so it’s not here a,
an admonition that nobody except the, the elite can do is for what each one of us can do. Now let’s break down some things in this passage. Paul says, first of all, there is a surprising thing here. When you read the context with verse 10 through verse 20, one of the things that Paul is doing here is he’s addressing one of the purposes that for which he wrote the,
the epistle and that is to acknowledge the gift that the Philippians have given to him. They Sandy path for ditis to find him while he’s under house arrest it, Pepperdine. This has brought this monetary support. And Paul was very grateful for this, but do you know, in this passage, he never says, thank you. It’s one of the oddest kind of things you receive this gift.
If anybody gave us a rather significant financial gift preachers, wouldn’t we be saying, thank you. And we would be saying it a thousand times. So those gifts would keep coming. All right. But Paul never says, thank you here. Now, there can be a variety of reasons for this. One of which maybe you’re such close friends. You don’t need to say thank you.
There’s kind of relationships like that, where it’s just understood. And Paul certainly has this a kind of relationship with the church at Philippi. There could also be some other things that are involved because we know Paul has told other churches like Corinth. I don’t take money. And I work for my living. And maybe Paul knows that there’s a delicate thing here,
that if this gets out, that Paul has accepted funds from Philippi, but he hasn’t accepted the funds from Corinth. That that could cause some, some trouble for him. So that might be a reason why he doesn’t do this. But Paul is very grateful. He does acknowledge the gift and Paul would be in fact, a terrible person if he didn’t do that,
but he does this without saying thank you. But the third reason that we might look at this here is Paul says, I have learned that in whatever state I am to be content, a content person isn’t needing outside help. Right? And so there’s some things that are going on here. As Paul talks about this, I have learned notice. He says twice,
I have learned in verse 11, I’ve learned in whatever state. And then in verse 12, everywhere in all things, I have learned both to be full and be hungry. Those are two different words in the original text. The first word is the word related to the idea of disciple. A disciple is a learner. One who follows Jesus is a disciple,
a learner from Jesus. And that’s that first word? The second word is a, a word that is kind of rare in, in the new Testament. It is a word that talks about learning in kind of a, a hard, long kind of process. It came originally was found in the Greek mystery religions have a secret knowledge they had, but that’s not what Paul is driving that here.
Paul is talking about. He’s lived this life in Jesus Christ for all these years. And in this, he has been learning how to live when things are going well. He’s also learning how to live when things are going wrong. And so he knows to be full. He knows what it is to be empty. And in those states, Paul says,
I have learned to be content. So he’s in a learning process. Two different times. He’s uses this word in learning. Then notice he also uses the word. I know two different times. I know verse 12, how to be a based, and I know how to be, how to abound. And again, knowledge here. The idea of I am knowing this through the experience of this.
And so there is learning going on. There is knowing he’s gained something in this learning process, but he wants us to move now out of the learning and knowing process to the doing. And isn’t that what our Christianity is all about. We’re not about just an intellectual process and that’s it. We’re not just about learning all the things that are there. It’s about putting into practice,
what we have learned and what we know. And so Paul now pass passes to this idea. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This doing here is Paul being made sufficient for this. And that’s what that word con content here is. This is the only time in the United, in the new Testament where this word appears in the original language.
It’s a Greek word concept called Al tar case in classical Greek studies. Socrates was called an out tar case. The great philosopher of ad Athens. He was the self-sufficient man. He was the man who had, could live anywhere in any place. And everything would be always fine for Socrates. You might compare it maybe to our American concept of the pioneers who went out and they were the self-made assured guys.
They would conquer the wilderness. They would be able to do everything to blaze the trail so that the others could follow. And we take pride in that spirit of the independent self-made idea. And you know, our literature is full of those rags to riches stories, right? And we’re glad for those self-made individuals. All right, well, that’s that word,
content to be content here. But what Paul is doing here is not borrowing from the world of the philosophers because the Stoics and the cynics, they used this idea. Yeah. I’m Al tar case. I’m independent. Paul is not taking their philosophy and putting Christian robes on it. The contentment that Paul has is because of the one who is strengthening him,
Jesus Christ, that one for whom he’s traded everything so that he can know him and the power of his resurrection. And it’s because Christ is the one who is strengthening. Paul Christ is the one who enables Paul to be out tar case. The word strengthen the here is the verb that we see, and this is a present active participle. It means it’s an ongoing thing.
Christ didn’t strengthen strengthened Paul ones back there and Damascus, but Christ was presently strengthening Paul every day when he’s chained to that Roman soldier and they’re in the Philippian jail. All right? And so every single day, Paul is strengthened for the work and brethren. This is where we need to see the can-do attitude that was in the apostle. Paul is also a can-do attitude.
That is, should be a part of what we’re all about. And I want to finish the rest of my time this afternoon, just exploring some can-do ways from the book of Philippians, in which we can fulfill the ministry of Jesus Christ. First of all, this is only power that is available to those who are in Christ. The person outside of Jesus cannot name it and claim it with this verse and thing that grace is going to strengthen them.
You have to be in Christ for as many of us as were baptized into Christ. We have put on Christ, Galatians 3 27 and brethren. It is that idea that we need to be in him in him is where we have this spear of the enabling power of Jesus Christ. And so we need to make sure we’re in Christ. The second thing that we need to understand is that if we are in Christ and we are fulfilling Christian ministry in the various ways that God places,
each one of us working in the body of Jesus Christ, is that God is empowering you to be able to do that. When we talk sometimes to some Christians say, oh, I can’t do that. I can’t, I can’t do this ministry. I can’t do that ministry. And, and there might be a lot of things that we’re looking at.
And we might say, boy, that seems impossible to me go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Do you know how many creatures are on this planet right now? More than seven and a half billion, that’s pretty big task. That’s staggering to you and I, and many times there’s no, can’t do it. Brethren.
If our first reaction is can’t do it. We don’t know Christ. Paul knew Christ. And that’s why he could say I can do all things. Christian ministry is able to be fulfilled even by weak and frail creatures. If you’ve been in ministry very long, you’ve reached that point where you have said, boy, I just don’t know if I’m ready for this,
or if I’ve got what this takes, or if I can see this through, we all have those times, right? We know ourselves and we know ourselves better than a whole lot of other folks. And we have those moments where we’re wondering, can I really do this? And brethren, the apostle Paul was like you and me in second Corinthians, chapter three,
the apostle Paul is talking about his ministry. It’s a ministry that he has been put in, placed in by Jesus Christ. But he says in, in second Corinthians three and verse five, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves. And he talks about this in the previous chapter in chapter two, in verse 16,
where he asked the question, who’s sufficient for these things, doing heavenly Christ tasks, who is able to be sufficient for this. And so we might say, I can’t do it. But Paul says, the sufficiency is not from ourselves. The sufficiency is from God. He’s the one who keeps strengthening us. And even when we have our own questions and doubts,
it is then where we turn to Christ for this strength that we need. We can fulfill this ministry. We can fulfill this ministry, even when there are times that we are suffering for the cause of Christ. You know, it’s easy to fulfill Jesus’ ministry when everything’s nice and we’re all in great progress. But what w what about when the Tempest is blowing and rather know,
we’ve talked about here, and several other speakers have talked about, you know, with, with the COVID that we’ve got and with the turmoil that’s going on and all the things that seem to make everything working against us right now, we can still fulfill the ministry. Paul had a thorn in the flesh, second Corinthians, chapter 12. You remember what he did with that thorn in the flesh?
I prayed what three times we pray. Once we pray twice, we pray the third time. Maybe God’s trying to tell us something here when he says no, no, and no. And one of the things that Paul was learning as he was told, no, no, and no is, this is going to be with him for awhile. He is also found out something else.
He says, I, when Jesus said, my grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, most gladly, I rather boast in my weaknesses, in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. And so I take pleasure in infirmities, in Embry approaches in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake,
for when I’m weak, then I’m strong. And so Paul could fulfill his ministry, even though sometimes he knew his own in a lack of resources. And even though he was suffering in brethren, you and I can do that as well. Some other ways we can fulfill ministry real quickly. First of all, we can fulfill ministry in generous giving. All right,
who had given to Paul here in our texts that we’re reading they’re they’re these brethren from Philippi, right? Where is Philippi? Isn’t it in that Northern area of Greece called Macedonia. And hasn’t Paul said some other things in second Corinthians about those folks from Macedonia in that great, a great section of scripture on giving from second Corinthians chapters eight and chapter nine,
as in Paul praised these Macedonians, and Paul has said to them, morever brethren, we make known to you the grace of God, bestowed on the churches of Macedonia, that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality for I bear witness that according to their ability, yea, and beyond their ability,
they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we’d re received the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the site. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord then to us, by the Willow God, I don’t know a preacher, if we can meet this, but I don’t know breacher, you know,
I’ve got more month than I have paycheck. Haven’t we all said that. But Brandon, rather than if those poor Macedonians could kit good, give over and over again for the work of the gospel, you and I can give as well. Jesus sat mark chapter 12, verse 41. And he observed how the people were putting in their gifts. And Jesus saw these gifts.
And then he saw a poor widow who put in two mites, the smallest coin division of there in circulation, in their world. And she put those in and then Jesus said she has given more than all of them. They give out of their abundance, but she has given everything she had. And she’s given to the God what made that poor widow able to give like that so much so that Jesus pointed that to us as an example,
because she was trusting in God. She knew God, she knew God’s power. And as she gave in, she was trusting in God’s power that he was going to care for her, rather than we can give generously like the Macedonians in the third place. We can also, as a, has been pointed out, stand fast, brother forest made a great lesson on that.
And I won’t speak any more to it except to add one passage. Second, Timothy chapter four, 16 and 18 through 18 Paul’s farewell, epistle, right? Paul’s now he has been released. We believe after the writing Philippians, but rearrested. And now he’s under the sentence of death. And in Philippians chapter four, Paul says in verse 16 at my first defense,
no one stood with me, but all forsake for soak me, may it not be charged against them. All right, you’re in your last hours, you’re there in the mammary theme prison there in Rome. You’re in that dank deep cell and nobody is with you. Paul says, but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me so that the message might be preached fully through me and that all the Gentiles might hear.
And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion and the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for his heavenly kingdom to him be glory forever and ever. Amen. That’s standing fast in the Lord, isn’t it? And brethern there. Sometimes we may think, boy, I’m the only one left the Elijah syndrome, but brethren,
even if we are the only ones left, the Lord is standing with us and we need those kinds of folks today. And so we can stand fast in the Lord in the last place. I want us to also see into notice that of the can-do things that are, that God’s people are capable of capable of that is to be United. A lot of folks think Christianity is so divided.
We’ll never be able to get anybody together. Again, sometimes we look at our own fellowship and we see where different things have gone. And we’re wondering, why are we going to ever get this overcome? But brethren, it is possible to be United in Jesus Christ. Now, again, going back to Philippians, one of the purposes that Paul is writing,
why he wrote the epistle, Philippians is because they were experiencing some disunity there he’s dropped a hint of this already in Philippians, 1 27, where Paul says only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel so that when, whether I come and see you or an abs, I am absent. I may hear of your affairs. What? Paul, that you stand fast in one spirit with one mind striving together for the faith,
faith of the gospel. All right, Paul says, that’s what I want to hear from you. Then in chapter four, he uses one of those markers that is consistent in the writings of Paul, where he tells us the purpose of his writing. It’s a Greek word. That’s usually translated in our English translations. I beg I am poor IBC each,
whenever you find that in Paul’s letters, that’s a flag right there telling you this is at least one of the reasons Paul is writing, where this occurs in the book of Philippians, Philippians four, two, I implore Yoda and I implore to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also true companion help. These women who labored with me in the gospel with Clement also,
and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. What’s going on here. Two ladies in the congregation are out of sorts with each other and brethren that’s causing problems in the church. And so I implore you see the apostle Paul on his knees begging be of the same mind, be of the same mind in the Lord.
The world says, oh, I can’t be done. Jesus prayed for it. John chapter 17 and the apostle Paul admonishes it and brethren, it can be done. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There’s whole lot of other things we might explore here, but brethren, we can be at peace. We can rejoice. All of these are can do things that every day saints can do.
If we know Christ the power of his resurrection, and we allow that to strengthen us, Hey, God bless us to be can-do people.