Audio Excerpts: Christ, Christ, Christ! • Message Five
This conference was on the book of Philippians. As the title indicates, it was focused on Christ. In particular, it covered five “treasures” related to Christ that we see in the book of Philippians. (Each of these treasures was covered in one of the five message outlines for the conference.)
First, we must have the presence of Christ. Second, we should live in Him as the reality of the divine and mystical realm. Third, we should count all things loss to gain His excellency. Fourth, He is the prize of God’s high calling. Lastly, He is the source of the joy in the local churches.
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CONFERENCE TITLE Christ, Christ, Christ! VENUE The Metropolitan Hotel in Troy, Michigan DATES September 4-6, 2010. This message was given in the morning session on
Monday, September 6th.
Pursuing Christ; Not Aiming at Numbers but at Christ Himself
7 minutes 49 seconds • 2.3 megabytes
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
— Galatians 6:7
We need to learn to be ambitious in our pursuing of Christ, dealing forcefully with any obstacles we encounter. What the Lord gives us is not for us to appreciate ourselves but to help us pursue Him.
Even though we may desire to have a large number of believers meeting with us, we should not aim at that. We may help the churches, but we are not for success in our Christian work, nor can we use any human methods. “Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Rather, we are filled with the fruit of righteousness to the glory and praise of God!”
A Corporate Joy in the Church Life
6 minutes 4 seconds • 1.8 megabytes
I thank my God upon all my remembrance of you, always in my every petition on behalf of you all, making my petition with joy, for your fellowship unto the furtherance of the gospel from the first day until now.
— Philippians 1:3-5
There is a corporate joy in the church life between the triune God, the saints in the local churches, and the apostles who serve the churches. The apostles are over us; they are not our “bosses.” Rather, they serve us, helping us to know Christ. Yet, while the local churches only answer to the Lord Himself, to grow in a healthy way they must still be properly related to the Lord’s servants. Our joy comes when there is a proper relationship between Christ, the church, and the Lord’s servants. We see a good example of this in the church in Philippi, in which the Lord, His servants, and all the saints are very joyful.
No Expectations, but a Joy No Can Take from Us
11 minutes 19 seconds • 3.4 megabytes
Therefore you also now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.
— John 16:22
And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they partook of their food with exultation and simplicity of heart.
Those who follow the Lord often have expectations in doing so: that they will be manifested, blessed by the Lord, become an elder, etc. So it was with the first disciples; they could not accept that the Lord would be put to death, ending their earthy hopes. We should never think this way. Rather, if we can gain Christ Himself we should be more than satisfied with that. If we are expecting something other than Christ our joy will disappear, but if our only expectation is to gain Christ, no one will be able to take our joy away from us. The church is not under any man. If we are truly one, the Lord will bless us, but if we are simply carrying out orders, we may miss the blessing. The church life is from house to house; it’s not only in the gatherings. The gatherings should not be the focus—if that’s the case, there’s a problem—but rather, the exhibition of the reality of our church life. The church life must be in the homes, as we are together, loving the Lord and the saints.
Growth, Joy, and a Care for One Another
8 minutes 44 seconds • 2.6 megabytes
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truthfulness, Christ is announced; and in this I rejoice; yes, and I will rejoice.
— Philippians 1:18
Make my joy full, that you think the same thing, having the same love, joined in soul, thinking the one thing.
The servants of the Lord desire to see those they serve grow. This makes both the Lord’s servants and the saints themselves very happy. The church life is not about going to the meetings but about growing in Christ. This growth produces the real joy. The oneness of the saints in seeking to gain Christ makes the apostle’s joy full. When the saints are together in one accord, in a thorough fellowship, standing with one another for the Lord’s interest, there will be the real joy. The mutual care between the apostle Paul and the church in Philippi produced a joy, particularly in the case of Epaphroditus. This was done without any complaining, judging, or blaming, but rather with toleration and covering of each other, so that both the apostle and the church were encouraged and the brother was properly cared for.
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