[0:00] And to preach to us, so Israel, welcome. And please come and open God's word. Thank you. I'll take this away. OK.
[0:26] Good morning, everyone. Buenos días, Marcela. Cámara Hal, may the Lord bless you. It's an honor to be here with you this morning and to share the word of God with you.
[0:42] Today, I would like to speak about the Christian desire both in life and death. The Christian desire both in life and death.
[0:52] And that is, may Christ be magnified, honored, and enjoyed. So if you have your Bibles with you, please go with me to Philippians, chapter 1, from verse 19 to 26.
[1:06] I will focus on this verses. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, this will turn out for my deliverance.
[1:19] As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be all ashamed, but that with full courage, now as always, Christ will be honored or magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
[1:39] And I will focus on this. For to me, to live is Christ. And to die is game.
[1:49] If I am to live in the flesh, that means free, fruitful labor for me. Yet, which I shall choose, I cannot tell.
[2:00] I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and to be with Christ.
[2:13] For that is far better, but to remain in the flesh is more necessary when you're account.
[2:23] So the Christian desire, both in life and death, may Christ be honored, magnified, and enjoyed. To desire something, to long or to yearn for something.
[2:38] Or desires, talk about the most profound things in our hearts. And also, for example, about who rules our hearts, and also about our purpose in life, about who is our Lord, and what is our chief end in life.
[2:59] Or desires, use the oxygens that come inside our lungs to come out from our hearts in the forms of whispers, or desires.
[3:10] Or desires, talk about the things that give us satisfaction, and meaning, and purpose in the different circumstances, good or bad, of life.
[3:24] And we know that we were created for God. But because of sin, because of the fall, we find satisfaction in a fallen world.
[3:35] We seek the purpose of our life, maybe in money, or in games, or in external appearance, and so on. Society, in general, yearns for things that don't bring true meaning and comfort to hearts.
[3:55] If we haven't known Christ yet, we are still desiring wrong things. It is like trying to quench our thirst with a glass of sand, not with a glass of water.
[4:12] But if we claim that we have known Christ, that we know that we know Christ, what should be our desire?
[4:22] What's the Christian desire? And in that sentence, we find the answer. In what we read, actually, we find the answer.
[4:33] So the greatest desire for every Christian is Christ himself. The greatest desire for every Christian is Christ himself.
[4:46] God himself enjoyed and magnified and honored both in life and death. And how is that?
[4:57] So let me share with you not three points, but four points very quickly about how we can enjoy and honor and magnify Christ in our lives.
[5:11] The first one is in the company or fellowship of the Church. The second one is by knowing that to live is Christ.
[5:21] The third point is by knowing that death is game and finally, the fourth point is by keeping our eyes on heaven and our feet on the ground.
[5:35] So the first point is how can we glorify Christ and enjoy Him first in the company or fellowship of the Church?
[5:47] Paul is imprisoned here. However, his joy is that Christ is announced, that Christ is preached. Christ assumes the preeminence in his preaching because Christ receives the glory in Paul's heart.
[6:05] In other words, Christ abounds in Paul's heart. And that's why, and that's what, sorry, Paul's mouth is peaked off.
[6:17] So what is in your heart right now? And from that, we speak off. However, Paul is not alone in this.
[6:27] In the midst of Paul's suffering and prisons, the Church was led to do one of the essential exercise in the Christian life, to pray, to pray.
[6:41] The Church prayed to God for Paul's deliverance. But importantly here, we see that it was a prayer full of the Holy Spirit, full of the Spirit of Christ.
[6:53] So in this way, they pray according to God's will, that is having God as the object of prayer and God as the one who produced this desire to pray for others.
[7:08] And here we can learn something very important. It is good, of course, that it is good to pray for ourselves. And we have to do that.
[7:21] However, prayer is enriched when we pray for others. To pray for others with others, Christians.
[7:33] To pray together. Of course, it is important to have our devotionals, or quiet time, or whatever you call it, or private time of prayer.
[7:44] But it's important also to pray with other Christians, with other people. Even when we don't know about what to pray, or you are tired, or you don't know what to pray, start praying for others.
[8:02] God lead us to pray for other people. But to pray for other people, if you want to pray for someone that you know, you have to know that people.
[8:17] And that means to have a relationship between each other. That means that if I want to pray for you, first, I have to know you.
[8:31] So God lead us to pray for other people. And the church prays for Paul's release to continually preach the word of God. And this is important again.
[8:43] The church was praying for the apostle Paul, for a minister of the word. That means that we have to pray for our ministers.
[8:55] We have to pray for our hearts in order to receive the word of God, but also pray for the ministers. It is something, a mutual fellowship, that we pray for ourselves to prepare our heart in the Lord's Day to receive the God's word, God's word, but also to pray for the ministers, to pray for each other.
[9:18] But that means to have communion with each other. Now, if they pray with the Holy Spirit for Paul's deliverance, this is according to Paul's eager expectation and hope.
[9:35] And this eager expectation and hope, it is a single idea. And that means Paul's intense desire and assurance.
[9:46] That's the meaning of this hope. This eager expectation and hope is that Paul will not be at all ashamed according to verse 20.
[9:57] And this goes beyond Caesar's human tribunal. This is not about this tribunal of Caesar. Paul has the conviction that he will not be at all ashamed in the final judgment where every one of us will appear.
[10:18] One day, every one of us will be before the throne of God. And Paul has this assurance that he will not be ashamed on that day.
[10:36] So think about this. Let me ask you this. We know that to not be ashamed, so shame, is tied to guilt.
[10:47] And guilt is a fruit of sin. So let me ask you this. What is your heart full of? Do you have this assurance?
[11:00] Or do you feel that you have a guilty heart? What's your heart full of? If you look into your heart right now, what do you see? Sin, guilt, shame about what you did last night or during the week.
[11:24] The shame of having sin against him the one who will give account of. The shame of having sinned against your brothers and sisters.
[11:35] So how can we remove this horrible wave of having sinned against God and against our brothers and sisters here?
[11:46] Well, in our strength, we can't. So this is the gospel. It's the gospel, Paul was not ashamed because the very judge of the universe is at the same time his savior, advocate, and his best friend.
[12:15] Paul is not ashamed because Christ bore his sin. And therefore, Christ is honored, magnified in Paul. So that's Paul's assurance.
[12:27] Of course, that he acknowledged that he's a sinner, the chief sinner. But for him, Christ has the first place in his heart.
[12:38] Paul's heart is full of Christ, more than full of guilty thoughts. Even if sin abounds, how much more God's amazing, glorious grace.
[12:51] Christ is magnified, honored in Paul. That is Christ's magnified or honored in Paul's body. And for Christ to be honored in the body, Christ must be magnified in Paul's heart and conscience.
[13:10] And this is precisely the work of the Holy Spirit who makes us increasingly aware and conscious of the person and work of Christ.
[13:22] Praise God that the Holy Spirit convinces from our sins. But the Holy Spirit goes beyond that to confess not only our sins, but to confess the one who forgives our sins to keep our eyes fixed in Christ on Christ.
[13:44] So the Holy Spirit, the one who makes us increasingly aware and conscious of the person and work of Christ. So again, let me ask you this.
[13:56] Who is the Holy Spirit? And who is the Holy Spirit?
[14:09] And who is the Holy Spirit? Where is your attention right now? In your person or in the person of Christ?
[14:26] Where is your attention right now? In your works or in Christ's work? What He did on the cross? What is He doing right now in this very moment that He's praying for you because He loves you, because He loves His Church and that He's coming for us, for you.
[14:52] So again, what is your heart full of? So Paul, he's not ashamed because he knows that the Judge of the Universe, He is at the same time His very best friend, Savior, Lord, Advocate, God.
[15:18] And now, so Christ is honor because in post-life because the Church is praying for Him. There's a sense of community. But now Christ is honor in two aspects in post-life, both in life and death.
[15:34] And that's the second point. In life by knowing that to live is Christ. This is an affirmation that should shake us and fill us with joy at the same time. On the one hand, shake off any kind of Christianity that doesn't reflect Christ Himself. To be a Christian is not about us.
[16:04] It's not about our feelings. It's not about our persons. To be a Christian is about Christ. That's why we call ourselves Christians because we are knowledge that this is not about us.
[16:17] It's about Christ that Christ must be honored, maybe honored in all lives. So we have to be shake off of any kind of Christianity that doesn't reflect Christ in our lives, in our families, in our jobs, with our friends. And on the other hand, this affirmation that to live is Christ must fill us with joy by knowing the meaning of to live is Christ. Although the context of this passage shows us that Paul, but saying that to live is Christ, refers to continuing preaching, to preaching the Word of God in his life, this sentence shows an even more profound reality.
[17:16] For to me, to live is Christ. The center of Paul's heart, Paul's person is not himself. It's Christ. Christ, the one who is the life itself. Jesus Christ, our Lord said, I am the way, the truth and the life. So Christ, the one who is the life itself, being united to Paul by the work of the Holy Spirit becomes, in a certain sense, Paul's life. So that's why Paul, being united to Christ by the Holy Spirit, can say that to live is Christ. So there's a union here. We can see a union here and a spiritual union, union, sorry, that is so deep that we don't have enough words to explain this union. Ministers or theologians, you speak about the mystical union with Christ.
[18:24] Although we don't speak of a fusion of natures between us and Christ, we do speak of this glorious union with Christ to the point of saying that for me to live is Christ. So this shows us a beautiful fruit of the gospel in our lives and that is our identity. Nothing in this world, nor any created thing, nor any circumstance, defines us who we are. But our union with Christ defines who we are. Your sins, your temptations, good times or bad times, do not define us, do not define you, but Christ Himself in our hearts. Our life story is considered in Christ.
[19:30] All Christ is mine and all who I am belongs to Christ. Christ is your life. All the mountains may fall or mother and father may abandon us. The fig tree may not bloom, but the word of God, Christ Himself remains forever. That's why Job says, I know that my Redeemer lives and he lives in the church in your heart. We can read in Philippians 3 from verse 7 to 11, you can read in your home, in your house, but whatever gain I had, I counted as lost for the sake of Christ.
[20:26] Philippians 3,8 said, indeed I count everything as lost, as lost, sorry, because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ, Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and I condemn as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ. Paul suffered the loss of all things, things that are considered by Paul as rubbish. Who loves rubbish?
[21:14] But why do we love sometimes spiritual rubbish?
[21:29] Why do we keep our focus in our actions? Why do we keep our eyes on what are we doing all the time? Of course we have to respond to the gospel, but the gospel is not about what we can do. The gospel, the gospel is about what God has done is for us. The gospel is about our trying God, the gospel is about Christ, and the fruit of that is our response. But the main response that we can do now is to fix our eyes in the person, in the beauty of Christ. That's for the evening sermon, but we need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, so our souls will be only satisfied in being continually knowing Christ.
[22:36] That is meditating upon who Christ is and also in His work. Have you taken some time to meditate on the person and work of Christ? Have you taken some time to meditate on the beauty of the God that we worship? Sundays are a good day to do this, to keep thinking about Christ. Now, how do we see the beauty of Christ here on earth? By faith. And how does our faith grow?
[23:14] By making use of the means of grace. That's why we need the preaching word and the sacraments in the context of the church community. We grow in grace not in isolation, but in community.
[23:28] In community, we see the beauty of Christ. All this fellowship with Christ here on earth leads Paul to desire Christ more and more. Now we lead by faith, not by sight.
[23:46] So Paul, he desires to have more and more fellowship with Christ, but because of his sin, he can't have a perfect communion with God. That's why he says, my desire is to depart and be with Christ that is far better. Paul is suffering, but he desires something.
[24:12] And that is to keep having this knowledge of Christ, to know Christ, to know Christ here on earth by faith. But he says, my desire is to depart and be with Christ for that is far better.
[24:34] For him to die is gain. So that's the third point. Christ is magnified when we know that to die is gain. And why is this? First of all, we were not created to die. However, when sin entered due to Adam's rebellion, the consequence was death in three aspects. Physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death.
[25:01] Yet, here is the beauty of the gospel. Christ defeated death with his death. In this way, Christ gives life to all of us who are dead in our sins.
[25:22] Do you feel like a dead person? Like a spiritual zombie, maybe? Do you feel tired? Do you feel tired of pretending having a Christian life? Maybe you think that this could be your last Sunday here? Let me tell you this. The gospel is for you. And Christ is here to give you life, to give you life, and to enjoy life itself. And that is Christ.
[26:06] And Christ physically resurrects those who live and died in Christ. And those to give them eternal life. And please think about this. Now, why Paul says that my desire is to depart and to be with Christ for that is far better? Why he says this? Because this will satisfy Paul's deepest desire.
[26:32] Because this speaks about the reason Paul's creation and recreation. Because this is what fills and satisfies the heart of every believer. This, to be with Christ, means enjoy such an intimate fellowship with God. That words fall short because it's about enjoying the presence of the one who is greater and more beautiful than the universe.
[27:16] I love Scotland. We love Scotland. The landscapes are so beautiful. It's a beautiful country. The whole universe is beautiful. So think about this. Think about when you, about how your eyes look when you see something too beautiful. Think about what happens to your intellect, to your heart when you see something wonderful, something absolutely beautiful.
[27:53] Think about that moment right now. Think about how do you feel when you experience a beautiful to see, to contemplate a beautiful landscape of a birth of a baby or something beautiful. Your mind and heart are filled with joy and satisfaction, right? Think about that moment of, to contemplate, to behold the beauty of something. Now, please, please, think and consider strongly what it means to depart and to be with Christ. It is being in the presence of the Christ, Holy God, in the presence of Christ who is beauty itself, the goodness itself, and the truth itself. Think about why Scotland is so beautiful. Think about why the universe is so beautiful. Just to show you that it's nothing, nothing compared with the beauty, with the glory of Christ.
[29:04] With the goodness himself, with the truth himself, that is Christ. When the Christian dies, he experiences an indescribable communion, fellowship with the Triune God, the love of the Father, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. We will intimately know God in the face of Jesus Christ, in the love of the Holy Spirit. And now think about this.
[29:37] At death, the believer's heart is satisfied. He only waits for the resurrection of the body to fully enjoy in body and soul God. What no one can do here on earth, in heaven, the saints do.
[29:57] And that is to contemplate and see God. Think about this. To see God. We just read in Exodus what happens if someone wants to see God's face, that person will die. It is impossible for us to see now, because we don't have a glorified body. So Moses' desire was to seek God's face, his glory, but he couldn't in Exodus. But in Christ, in Jesus' transfiguration, he did it. His desire was fulfilled. He beholded the glory of Christ. And that's a preparation for us, an eager expectation to long to yearn to see God. In the end, when our bodies rise from the grave, we will see God perfectly with our physical eyes in heaven. We will not live by faith, but by sight, seeing God, contemplating God, with our physical eyes and with our soul. Your eyes, our eyes were not created, therefore, to see ugly things, young men, families. We were not created to see pornography.
[31:38] Your eyes, our eyes were created to see the beauty of Christ in the beauty of the church. So a good means for the sanctification of our souls and eyes is to think that your eyes and your soul was created, were created to behold the beauty of Christ. Do you want to kill your sins, your secret sins? Think about this. Think about the beauty and the glory of Christ, that we will see God with our physical eyes and with our soul. We will see God in Christ through a glorify understanding, heart and eyes. There our being will be satisfied by seeing God himself, by being filled with God himself, by being united to God himself through the Son in the communion of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for us to see the Son right now, right? We cannot see the Son, but in heaven we will see the Son of righteousness. We will behold the beauty of the one who is God, who is bigger than the universe and that at the same time he is fully God and fully man. Your eyes will see a human in heaven. Your eyes will see God in the flesh, the most beautiful person in the whole universe, the one who is yours, the one who is your savior, the one who by his Holy Spirit he is here right now and through sufferings and bad circumstances he is preparing our hearts to behold him, to behold the glory of God. So what is the fruit of desiring God here on earth with eyes fixed on heaven? It is to serve and love the church. So let me finish with this. Christ is honor. First, in the church community by praying for others, Christ is honor and magnify, knowing that to live is Christ. Everything is about the person and work of Christ.
[34:22] Also by knowing that to die is king because we're going to see God and our deepest desire will be fulfilled. And finally, how do we enjoy God here on earth by keeping our eyes on the heavens, thinking about the glory of Christ in heaven and at the same time our hands and feet here on the ground. There's a relationship between how we live and how we die. Those who die in Christ, they die in Christ because they live in Christ. So that is to live in Christ and to die in Christ, our Christian life, our desire for Christ is always developed in the context, always in the context of the church community. Even when Paul says, my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. Even when Paul says this, he then says, but to remain in the flesh is more, is more necessary on your account, on the church's account. Convince of this. I know that I will remain and continue with you all for, for what? For your progress and joy in the faith so that in me you may have ample cost to glory in Christ Jesus because of my coming to you again. So Paul, he knows that he must continue serving the church through a faithful preaching and church planting in this case. So this is important. A gaze fixed on heaven, lead us to faithfully serve the saints here on earth. Again, when our eyes are fixed in Christ in heaven, that lead us to faithfully serve the church, the saints, our friends, our communities, every single soul here created in
[36:44] God's image. A continuing love for Christ will lead us to love the church more and more because in heaven we will be with other saints. So if we want to enjoy that fellowship in heaven with Christ and with other saints, we have to enjoy that fellowship here on earth. May your kingdom come, your will be done, not our will, but God's will. One family, one church, one Lord.
[37:21] Paul wants to be with Christ in heaven, but he also knows about his responsibility here on earth.
[37:32] He wants to be a faithful, faithful pilgrim, a faithful Christians who wants to love Christ, not in isolation, but with other Christians. For that, he wants to know Christ in the context of the Christian community. The joy of Christ is the foundation for developing our gifts here.
[38:00] God loves you so much that he died for your sins in order to enjoy a never-ending fellowship with him, but not in isolation, but putting something that God gives you to you, but it is not yours, but to serve others.
[38:28] That's the meaning of our gifts or talents or whatever you call it. It is something that God gives you to you, but it's not yours, but it's for your brother and sister.
[38:40] That's why we need us. That's why we need to develop this fellowship among us.
[38:52] So the Christian joy is in Christ as he is in communion with other Christians in the local church. Do we decide to have communion with Christ?
[39:05] And you can reply and say, amen. But do we desire to have communion with other Christians?
[39:17] Can we see the beauty of the Lord, the Lord's work in others? Can you see the beauty of sanctification in others? But how can we see the beauty of Christ if we don't spend time with Christ in prayer and studying the Bible and getting the most of Sundays?
[39:43] How can we pray for others if we don't know others? How can we grow as fellowship if we don't enjoy the meaning of fellowship?
[39:59] If we decide to have fellowship with Christ in heaven, we need to have that fellowship here on earth. If we decide to have fellowship with the saints in heaven, we must have that fellowship here on earth, not tomorrow, but right now.
[40:20] So let's pray to love Christ more and a fruit of Christ working us serve the local and love the local church. Let's pray together.
[40:40] Father, we ask for your Holy Spirit.
[40:56] Yes, we ask for your Holy Spirit in order to be convinced of our sins. But we don't want to just say it's like in a general sense for our sins, but convince us from a specific sense.
[41:16] Help us to know in our hearts, in our heads, in our consciousness about the beauty of Christ that surpasses every sin.
[41:47] Help us not only to confess our sins, but above all, but above all, above our bad decisions, our good decisions, above all, lead us to confess the glory and the beauty of Christ.
[42:06] Help us to focus in Christ's glory. Help us to love you more. So Holy Spirit, come. Come. We need you to see the beauty of Christ in the church and in the community and simple things in praying for each other and putting our gifts to serve each other. Come Holy Spirit.
[42:35] Yes, revival hearts, but revival hearts to see your glory across the land, across the one who, across people who doesn't know you, who don't know you, who help us to go and make disciples. Help us. Help us to love you more.
[42:57] Help us to know that to live is Christ, the one who goes for the lost sheep. To live is Christ.
[43:11] We thank you for your word. We thank you for your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. So let us respond to God's war by standing and singing Psalm 72 from verse 17 to 19.
[43:31] Let's worship God with all our hearts, with all our mouths, with all our strength.
[44:01] I shall be blessed and blessed by His grace. All nations shall be in call.
[44:16] No blessed be the Lord at all, the God of Israel.
[44:32] For the alone, the wondrous first in glory hath excelled.
[44:48] And blessed in Him is glorious name to all eternity.
[45:04] The Holy Spirit of Israel has been so blessed in me.
[45:19] Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration. Comfort one another.
[45:31] Agree with one another. Live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.