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2 Timothy 2:2

Facing Opposition
Philippians 1:28

Living a Powerful Consistent Life!

Paul J. Bucknell
_________________________

The Bible Teaching Commentary

Consistency (Philippians 1:27-30) | High Standards (Philippians 1:27b) | Challenge of Relationships (1 Philippians 1:27c) | Opposition (Philippians 1:28) | Challenge of Suffering (Philippians 1:29-30)
Video (Philippians 1:27-30) | Bible Study Questions (Philippians 1:27-30)
Book of Philippians Introduction


Purpose

Facing Opposition is an expository sermon on Philippians 1:28 highlights the questions on how best to handle opposition and yet to obtain true unity in the body of Christ.

True Opponents (Philippians 1:28)

“In no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God” (Philippians 1:28).

Before moving on to the second challenge, Paul provides a very interesting statement about the opponents in Philippians 1:28.

Questions about Opposition

The question that always seems to come up when speaking about making unity is, “What about those that really are not seeking God’s ways?”

First of all, we should be clear on two points.

(1) Despite the fact of true opponents of the gospel, we should still live out the unity in which we were called.

Don’t use anything as an excuse from preserving the unity of the body of Christ.

(2) Unity for the church does not mean they should buddy up with everyone who calls them Christians, believers, followers of Christ, etc.

There are those that teach and live contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ, despite their willingness to say they follow Christ. The church is obligated to keep separate from those with varying doctrine and life. Paul is willing to treat them as outsiders.

What can we do then?

“How are we to treat them then?” Some believers have gone too far and treated them as members, hoping that this sense of love would woo them to commonality of faith. Paul does not approach the problem this way.

Paul is willing to identify them as ‘opponents.’ Jesus did the same naming certain people ‘false prophets,’ “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Just as the white bacteria hunts down ‘irregular’ or foreign cells, we need to clearly identify those who might claim to live for God but in fact do not.

Paul brings up at least one more significant point about these opponents. They are not to be disturbed by them. In other words, God’s people should not get overly concerned with these opponents. Perhaps, these groups in the church differed over how to handle these questionable brothers and sisters.

When alarmed, we think that they can somehow frustrate God’s work. The enemy, however, never can really shake the church if she would stay focused on what it is supposed to be, that is, the faith in the gospel of Christ.

Darkness only grows when the light is not shining. This does not mean, however, that there will not have outright opposition. This brings us to the second challenge.

Click to continue this mini-series:

Challenge #2: Opposition Bringing Suffering (Philippians 1:29-30)

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