The Happy Prisoner Part 1 | TBN

The Happy Prisoner Part 1

Watch The Happy Prisoner Part 1
March 30, 2019
27:31

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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The Happy Prisoner Part 1

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  • Looking for a ray of light.
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  • Looking for something better than this.
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  • Oh, so tired of the black and white,
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  • longing for prism light
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  • Oh, the bliss
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  • Flowing at the speed of light.
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  • Was a color in the night.
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  • Moving at the speed of light.
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  • Was a color in the night.
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  • Joy unspeakable and full of colors
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  • Found a hope so bright and clear.
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  • Living in the realm of grace so vivid
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  • Our Savior's radiance so very near to me.
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  • male announcer: People can be passionate about the strangest
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  • things, like extreme irony, competitive dog grooming,
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  • and even filing lawsuits.
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  • Today on "Connect with Skip Heitzig," Skip explores the best
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  • thing you can be passionate about: the gospel.
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  • Now, grab your Bible and open it to Philippians chapter 1
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  • as we join Pastor Skip for today's study.
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  • Pastor Skip Heitzig: So a guy went to prison and on his first
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  • day he heard somebody yell out of one of the cells a number.
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  • He said, "43."
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  • And the whole cell block broke out in laughter.
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  • And he thought, "Well, that's odd."
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  • And a few moments later another prisoner yelled out, "75."
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  • And everybody broke out in laughter again.
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  • And then, "56," and everybody broke out in laughter.
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  • So he turned to his cellmate who had been there a long time.
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  • He goes, "I don't get what's happening.
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  • What am I hearing here?"
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  • He says, "Well, you know, we've been here so long and we've been
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  • telling the same jokes to each other over and over and over
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  • again that we've just numbered them all so now all we have
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  • to do is yell out a number, we think of that joke,
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  • and we laugh.
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  • So the prisoner said, "Wow, can I try that?"
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  • He said, "Sure, give it a shot."
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  • So he shouted out, "12." Dead silence.
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  • Again, "12." Dead silence.
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  • He says, "What's happening?"
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  • And the guy said, "I guess some guys just can't tell a joke."
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  • In Philippians chapter 1, verses 12 through 14 I'm giving this
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  • a message title, "The Happy Prisoner."
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  • Now that sounds like an oxymoron because you don't associate
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  • happiness generally with being in prison.
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  • In fact, prison is a place where usually joy is absent.
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  • It's a place where life is unpleasant.
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  • It's a place where dreams go to die.
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  • I found a website for the criminal justice system called
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  • corrections.com in which this statement was on it:
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  • "Most prisoners are unhappy and many of them
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  • are unhappy all the time.
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  • Many contemplate or attempt suicide or self-mutilation.
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  • The suicide rate for American prisoners is between 5 to 15
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  • times greater than it is for the general American population,"
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  • end quote.
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  • I'm sharing that with you to begin with because I just want
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  • you to keep in mind that we are reading the letter
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  • of a prisoner, somebody who is incarcerated
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  • for his faith in Christ.
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  • Let's look at our verses this morning and we'll see what he
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  • has to say.
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  • Chapter 1, verse 12.
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  • It's a new paragraph of thought now.
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  • "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which
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  • happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance
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  • of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole
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  • palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains
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  • are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord,
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  • having become confident by my chains, are much more bold
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  • to speak the word without fear."
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  • So Paul is a prisoner. He's a prisoner in Rome.
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  • These are not the best conditions
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  • that he has ever been in.
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  • This is not the happiest place.
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  • Paul is physically bound and Paul's ministry
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  • is severely restricted.
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  • And yet, do you remember what the theme of this book is?
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  • Tell me what it is.
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  • Joy.
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  • It's a letter oozing with joy.
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  • Four chapters, 104 verses, and one of the themes,
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  • the major themes, is joy.
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  • Let's look at a few things.
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  • Look at verse 3 of chapter 1: "I thank my God upon every
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  • remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making
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  • request for you all with joy."
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  • Verse 18: "What then?
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  • Only that in every way, whether in pretense or truth, Christ is
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  • preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice."
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  • Chapter 2, verse 17: "Yes, and if I am being poured out
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  • as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service
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  • of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all."
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  • Chapter 3, verse 1: "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord."
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  • Chapter 4, verse 4: "Rejoice in the Lord
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  • and I say it again, rejoice!"
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  • So he's a prisoner incarcerated in a jail, saying, "Rejoice,
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  • rejoice, I'm glad, rejoice."
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  • Now, either he's a nutcase, he's been beat up one too many times
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  • so now his brains are addled or, number two,
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  • he's lying through his teeth.
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  • He's putting on a good Christian face.
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  • Oh, Christians are supposed to act this way.
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  • "Rejoice, smile, weee!"
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  • Or he's on to something.
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  • And we need to find out what it is that makes him so joyful.
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  • And so that leads me to give you a statement that I think sort of
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  • encapsulizes the whole book and that's this: spiritual maturity
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  • can be measured by what it takes to steal your joy.
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  • Spiritual maturity can be measured
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  • by what it takes to steal your joy.
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  • What does it take to end the experience of joy as a believer
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  • to the area of anger, bitterness,
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  • whatever it would be?
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  • Spiritual maturity can be measured
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  • by what it takes to steal your joy.
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  • The other night, my grandson spent the night.
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  • And it's always a joy. And we got up in the morning.
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  • I was making breakfast for him and so he was watching cartoons
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  • and he came and he goes, "I'm looking for Winnie the Pooh."
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  • You know, we love watching that and we both love Winnie the Pooh
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  • so, well, we didn't find it but that's what we were looking for
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  • but I've often wondered if life were a Winnie the Pooh episode,
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  • what character would you be?
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  • Would you be perhaps the timid piglet?
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  • Would you be Pooh Bear himself who likes to eat a lot?
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  • Would you be the important but pushy Rabbit?
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  • Would you be the wise but boring Owl?
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  • I'll tell you who Paul the apostle would be.
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  • You know who he'd be? He'd be Tigger.
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  • Paul the apostle would be that exuberant, ebullient,
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  • resilient, bouncy, tiger character named Tigger.
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  • You see, Paul has every reason to be Eeyore.
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  • He has no outward reason at all to be joyful but he is joyful.
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  • I found an article I wanted to put up and have you see it as
  • 00:08:31.020 --> 00:08:34.000
  • I read it to you from "Psychology Today"
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  • that said, quote, "People are unhappy
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  • because they view their lives as prisons.
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  • Many people feel trapped by aspects of their life: trapped
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  • in an unhappy relationship, or trapped in an unfulfilling job,
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  • or generally unhappy with their life despite basic needs
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  • being met," end quote.
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  • So don't you find it interesting that this dude is in prison, he
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  • is not licking his wounds, he is not sending out invitations to
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  • a pity party but he's saying, "Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice."
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  • Now to find out why, we need to follow the progress
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  • of his thinking in these three verses.
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  • So I'm glad we only have three verses.
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  • Because we're gonna begin with his passion,
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  • move on to his problems and end with his perspective.
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  • You have to understand his passions to really understand
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  • his problems 'cause one led to the other.
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  • But then we'll end with his perspective.
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  • Now, there's enough information here for me to draw out
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  • three principles.
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  • Let me share the first with you: godly passion is commendable.
  • 00:09:41.170 --> 00:09:45.060
  • Godly passion is commendable.
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  • Paul had a passion in life.
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  • That seems to be a very popular question.
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  • What's your passion in life? Paul had one.
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  • He had a master passion.
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  • If you know anything at all about Paul the apostle,
  • 00:09:59.080 --> 00:10:01.140
  • you know he was a pretty determined guy.
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  • He had what we would call a type A personality: highly motivated
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  • with a single focus.
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  • And generally, people like that are highly successful people
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  • because they never quit.
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  • They never say die. They never give up.
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  • Everyone including you has a master passion.
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  • What drives you?
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  • What does your mind think of when it's in neutral and
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  • you've got nothing going on, all the activities are gone.
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  • What is the one thing above everything that you want
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  • or seek for or want to do more than anything else?
  • 00:10:38.130 --> 00:10:41.140
  • For some people, it's a career.
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  • And for those people who make that their master passion,
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  • everything else takes a back seat, sadly even relationships
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  • will often take a back seat.
  • 00:10:53.070 --> 00:10:55.060
  • For other people, it's power.
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  • For other people, it's money.
  • 00:10:56.170 --> 00:10:59.190
  • Let me remind you of what Paul's passion was.
  • 00:10:59.200 --> 00:11:02.160
  • Paul's passion can be summed up by two words: the gospel.
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  • The gospel.
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  • The gospel, the message that changes people's lives
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  • was what he lived for.
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  • It was his master passion.
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  • How much was this on his mind?
  • 00:11:15.260 --> 00:11:18.280
  • Well, look at verse 5: "For your fellowship in the gospel
  • 00:11:18.290 --> 00:11:24.120
  • from the first day until now."
  • 00:11:24.130 --> 00:11:27.010
  • Now look at verse 7: "I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in
  • 00:11:27.020 --> 00:11:30.260
  • my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel,
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  • you are partakers with me of grace."
  • 00:11:35.050 --> 00:11:37.280
  • Look at verse 12: "I want you to know, brethren, the things which
  • 00:11:37.290 --> 00:11:41.220
  • have happened to me have actually turned out for the
  • 00:11:41.230 --> 00:11:44.130
  • furtherance of the gospel."
  • 00:11:44.140 --> 00:11:45.230
  • Verse 17: "But the latter out of love, knowing
  • 00:11:45.240 --> 00:11:48.200
  • that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel."
  • 00:11:48.210 --> 00:11:52.150
  • Look at verse 27: "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel
  • 00:11:52.160 --> 00:11:57.030
  • of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent,
  • 00:11:57.040 --> 00:12:01.120
  • I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit,
  • 00:12:01.130 --> 00:12:05.120
  • with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
  • 00:12:05.130 --> 00:12:10.170
  • Now that is only this chapter.
  • 00:12:10.180 --> 00:12:15.240
  • If you were to add up all of the times in all of Paul's writings
  • 00:12:15.250 --> 00:12:20.000
  • that he mentions the gospel, it's 72 times.
  • 00:12:20.010 --> 00:12:25.010
  • The gospel, the gospel.
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  • How are you doing, Paul? The gospel.
  • 00:12:26.120 --> 00:12:27.220
  • What's up? The gospel.
  • 00:12:27.230 --> 00:12:29.020
  • What do you want in life? The gospel.
  • 00:12:29.030 --> 00:12:30.120
  • What are you doing? The gospel.
  • 00:12:30.130 --> 00:12:33.070
  • That is his master passion.
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  • Now that can be summed up by two verses,
  • 00:12:35.080 --> 00:12:37.100
  • both found in the book of Romans.
  • 00:12:37.110 --> 00:12:39.070
  • The first is Romans 1:15 where he says, "As much as is in me,
  • 00:12:39.080 --> 00:12:45.000
  • I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also."
  • 00:12:45.010 --> 00:12:50.120
  • Did you get that language?
  • 00:12:50.130 --> 00:12:52.070
  • "As much as is in me," to the fullest extent of my being.
  • 00:12:52.080 --> 00:12:58.000
  • It's what I want, that's my passion.
  • 00:12:58.010 --> 00:13:00.250
  • The second is in Romans 15, verse 20 where he said,
  • 00:13:00.260 --> 00:13:05.060
  • "For it has always been my ambition."
  • 00:13:05.070 --> 00:13:08.280
  • You could substitute the word "passion."
  • 00:13:08.290 --> 00:13:12.220
  • "It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel
  • 00:13:12.230 --> 00:13:16.050
  • where Christ is not known, lest I build on another
  • 00:13:16.060 --> 00:13:18.280
  • man's foundation."
  • 00:13:18.290 --> 00:13:20.080
  • Question, why is that his passion?
  • 00:13:20.090 --> 00:13:22.230
  • Why would that thing that at one time he tried
  • 00:13:22.240 --> 00:13:26.240
  • with all of his might to stop be now his passion?
  • 00:13:26.250 --> 00:13:31.090
  • Remember, Paul went around putting out the fire of the
  • 00:13:31.100 --> 00:13:35.010
  • gospel, keeping it from spreading.
  • 00:13:35.020 --> 00:13:38.010
  • He went to Damascus to stop the gospel.
  • 00:13:38.020 --> 00:13:41.000
  • Why is this now his passion? Simple to answer that.
  • 00:13:41.010 --> 00:13:44.090
  • 'Cause the gospel was the only thing that could change him.
  • 00:13:44.100 --> 00:13:48.130
  • Nothing else could. Nothing else did.
  • 00:13:48.140 --> 00:13:51.060
  • On that Damascus road when he saw that light
  • 00:13:51.070 --> 00:13:53.230
  • and heard that voice and he received that Jesus,
  • 00:13:53.240 --> 00:13:57.260
  • his life was never the same.
  • 00:13:57.270 --> 00:14:01.220
  • That's important because until you've experienced the gospel's
  • 00:14:01.230 --> 00:14:05.140
  • power you will never have a gospel passion.
  • 00:14:05.150 --> 00:14:10.210
  • It's only people who have seen and felt and experienced
  • 00:14:10.220 --> 00:14:14.160
  • the power of the gospel in their own lives
  • 00:14:14.170 --> 00:14:18.050
  • that it becomes to them a passion.
  • 00:14:18.060 --> 00:14:20.030
  • William Booth who started the Salvation Army said,
  • 00:14:20.040 --> 00:14:22.190
  • "Some men's passion is for gold.
  • 00:14:22.200 --> 00:14:25.220
  • Some men's passion is for art. Some men's passion is for fame."
  • 00:14:25.230 --> 00:14:30.210
  • He said, "My passion is for souls."
  • 00:14:30.220 --> 00:14:34.290
  • If Paul would have stood there when Booth said that, he'd have
  • 00:14:35.000 --> 00:14:37.110
  • stuck out his hand and said, "Put her there.
  • 00:14:37.120 --> 00:14:39.290
  • You and I track," 'cause that was Paul's passion as well.
  • 00:14:40.000 --> 00:14:44.220
  • In fact, Paul said, Romans chapter 1, verse 16, "For I am
  • 00:14:44.230 --> 00:14:49.270
  • not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power
  • 00:14:49.280 --> 00:14:55.070
  • of God to salvation to everyone who believes."
  • 00:14:55.080 --> 00:14:59.270
  • Paul had seen its power, now Paul has its passion.
  • 00:14:59.280 --> 00:15:04.290
  • Let me just say that a godly passion like this is
  • 00:15:05.000 --> 00:15:10.260
  • commendable, so much so that I look for it in people.
  • 00:15:10.270 --> 00:15:16.240
  • And I have--I've gotten good at noticing it when I find it.
  • 00:15:16.250 --> 00:15:20.150
  • And whenever I find it, I exploit it.
  • 00:15:20.160 --> 00:15:23.250
  • If I find some young person who's got that fire in their
  • 00:15:23.260 --> 00:15:26.200
  • eyes, that sparkle, that real deep desire to know God and
  • 00:15:26.210 --> 00:15:30.210
  • serve Christ and learn the Bible and preach the gospel, I wanna
  • 00:15:30.220 --> 00:15:34.140
  • bring that person as close as I can under my wing and train
  • 00:15:34.150 --> 00:15:38.170
  • that person, equip that person, to get out and do
  • 00:15:38.180 --> 00:15:41.230
  • what is their passion.
  • 00:15:41.240 --> 00:15:44.120
  • So godly passion is commendable.
  • 00:15:44.130 --> 00:15:46.110
  • But that brings a second movement.
  • 00:15:46.120 --> 00:15:51.000
  • We go from Paul's passion to Paul's predicament
  • 00:15:51.010 --> 00:15:54.010
  • or his problems and he mentions them in verse 12.
  • 00:15:54.020 --> 00:15:58.010
  • Before we jump into the verse, let me just say that one always
  • 00:15:58.020 --> 00:16:02.200
  • brings the other.
  • 00:16:02.210 --> 00:16:04.170
  • A godly passion always invites great problems.
  • 00:16:04.180 --> 00:16:10.000
  • Did you hear that?
  • 00:16:10.010 --> 00:16:11.100
  • A godly passion always involves or invites great passion.
  • 00:16:11.110 --> 00:16:17.000
  • Why is that?
  • 00:16:17.010 --> 00:16:19.030
  • Well, because when your passionate about souls,
  • 00:16:19.040 --> 00:16:24.000
  • you are entering a battleground on which Satan
  • 00:16:24.010 --> 00:16:27.110
  • has been fighting a long time.
  • 00:16:27.120 --> 00:16:29.140
  • He's got a lot of experience.
  • 00:16:29.150 --> 00:16:32.000
  • So when you say, "I am passionate about the gospel.
  • 00:16:32.010 --> 00:16:35.010
  • I'm gonna--I wanna save souls," you are painting
  • 00:16:35.020 --> 00:16:39.000
  • a bull's eye on you.
  • 00:16:39.010 --> 00:16:41.110
  • You're a target.
  • 00:16:41.120 --> 00:16:43.140
  • Satan will be after you. It's a war he's been engaged in.
  • 00:16:43.150 --> 00:16:47.270
  • So the Great Commission will always bring great conflict.
  • 00:16:47.280 --> 00:16:53.010
  • In fact, Jesus even said, "Faith can sometimes be fatal."
  • 00:16:53.020 --> 00:16:59.290
  • He promised his disciples, "Then they will deliver you up to
  • 00:17:00.020 --> 00:17:03.120
  • tribulation and put you to death and you will be hated
  • 00:17:03.130 --> 00:17:06.060
  • by all nations for my name's sake."
  • 00:17:06.070 --> 00:17:09.220
  • So here is Paul, he's got this passion, the gospel,
  • 00:17:09.230 --> 00:17:11.280
  • the gospel, gospel, the gospel.
  • 00:17:11.290 --> 00:17:14.040
  • But then he says in verse 12, "But I want you to know,
  • 00:17:14.050 --> 00:17:17.000
  • brethren, that the things which happened to me."
  • 00:17:17.010 --> 00:17:21.280
  • Stop right there. Something happened to Paul.
  • 00:17:21.290 --> 00:17:25.160
  • He's mentioning it.
  • 00:17:25.170 --> 00:17:27.040
  • Something happened to this passionate man.
  • 00:17:27.050 --> 00:17:32.070
  • What was it? He's in jail again.
  • 00:17:32.080 --> 00:17:38.100
  • That's what happened to him.
  • 00:17:38.110 --> 00:17:39.200
  • He's been there many times before.
  • 00:17:39.210 --> 00:17:41.240
  • He's been beaten many times before.
  • 00:17:41.250 --> 00:17:44.140
  • He's had hardship many times before, all because of his
  • 00:17:44.150 --> 00:17:47.160
  • passion for the gospel.
  • 00:17:47.170 --> 00:17:49.280
  • That's what happened to him.
  • 00:17:49.290 --> 00:17:51.150
  • So now, he has a jail ministry, a prison ministry.
  • 00:17:51.160 --> 00:17:56.260
  • But not like he expected.
  • 00:17:56.270 --> 00:17:58.060
  • You know, if you have a prison ministry you go to the prison,
  • 00:17:58.070 --> 00:18:00.210
  • you visit the prisoners, you go home
  • 00:18:00.220 --> 00:18:02.180
  • and have a nice meal with your family.
  • 00:18:02.190 --> 00:18:04.110
  • Not Paul. He lived there.
  • 00:18:04.120 --> 00:18:05.270
  • That was his prison ministry. It is not what he expected.
  • 00:18:05.280 --> 00:18:08.160
  • Now, sitting in a Roman prison, he does not have the freedom
  • 00:18:08.170 --> 00:18:14.070
  • to go out and plant churches and share the gospel here
  • 00:18:14.080 --> 00:18:17.150
  • and train up leaders there.
  • 00:18:17.160 --> 00:18:20.050
  • He's stuck.
  • 00:18:20.060 --> 00:18:25.040
  • You should know that Paul, he's in Rome,
  • 00:18:25.050 --> 00:18:27.130
  • he always wanted to go to Rome.
  • 00:18:27.140 --> 00:18:28.230
  • It was part of his passion.
  • 00:18:28.240 --> 00:18:31.160
  • He wrote to the Romans and he said, "Pray for me that I may
  • 00:18:31.170 --> 00:18:35.020
  • come to you with joy by the will of God and may be refreshed
  • 00:18:35.030 --> 00:18:40.060
  • together with you."
  • 00:18:40.070 --> 00:18:42.240
  • But that's not exactly what happened.
  • 00:18:42.250 --> 00:18:46.240
  • Something bad happened to this man.
  • 00:18:46.250 --> 00:18:49.290
  • And here's what happened.
  • 00:18:50.000 --> 00:18:52.020
  • After his third missionary journey,
  • 00:18:52.030 --> 00:18:53.130
  • he goes back to Jerusalem.
  • 00:18:53.140 --> 00:18:54.230
  • He's in the temple area with another fellow,
  • 00:18:54.240 --> 00:18:56.280
  • going through a ceremonial ritual.
  • 00:18:56.290 --> 00:18:59.250
  • Some of the leaders spot Paul there.
  • 00:18:59.260 --> 00:19:02.070
  • They start a riot and they attack him.
  • 00:19:02.080 --> 00:19:06.180
  • A Roman soldier arrests Paul, not to punish him
  • 00:19:06.190 --> 00:19:10.060
  • but to protect him from the mob.
  • 00:19:10.070 --> 00:19:13.090
  • Takes Paul, is about to have Paul beaten, Paul pulls his
  • 00:19:13.100 --> 00:19:17.170
  • Roman citizenship card out, says, "You can't beat me.
  • 00:19:17.180 --> 00:19:19.190
  • I'm a Roman citizen."
  • 00:19:19.200 --> 00:19:21.200
  • So he is then taken from Jerusalem to Caesarea
  • 00:19:21.210 --> 00:19:26.010
  • by the Sea where he spends two years
  • 00:19:26.020 --> 00:19:28.170
  • and he goes through three trials in two years.
  • 00:19:28.180 --> 00:19:31.180
  • He stands before Felix, he stands before Festus,
  • 00:19:31.190 --> 00:19:34.130
  • he stands before Herod Agrippa, and after two years
  • 00:19:34.140 --> 00:19:38.140
  • he finally says, "I'm done.
  • 00:19:38.150 --> 00:19:40.020
  • This judicial process is crazy.
  • 00:19:40.030 --> 00:19:41.290
  • I appeal my case to Caesar in Rome."
  • 00:19:42.000 --> 00:19:44.090
  • Every Roman citizen had that right.
  • 00:19:44.100 --> 00:19:47.020
  • So they put him on a ship. It is not a cruise ship.
  • 00:19:47.030 --> 00:19:52.050
  • It's not a Princess cruise. It is a prison cruise.
  • 00:19:52.060 --> 00:19:56.080
  • And they put him on this boat and they send him to Rome.
  • 00:19:56.090 --> 00:20:00.020
  • He almost doesn't make it to Rome.
  • 00:20:00.030 --> 00:20:01.130
  • The ship sinks.
  • 00:20:01.140 --> 00:20:02.230
  • He has to swim to shore but he finally goes to Rome
  • 00:20:02.240 --> 00:20:05.060
  • where he's put in jail again.
  • 00:20:05.070 --> 00:20:07.200
  • All of that is under this banner,
  • 00:20:07.210 --> 00:20:09.130
  • "But the things which happened to me."
  • 00:20:09.140 --> 00:20:13.110
  • That's what he is referring to.
  • 00:20:13.120 --> 00:20:14.210
  • Now that set of circumstances is enough to change any Tigger
  • 00:20:14.220 --> 00:20:20.100
  • into an Eeyore pretty quickly.
  • 00:20:20.110 --> 00:20:25.070
  • You know that incarceration will always challenge your joy.
  • 00:20:25.080 --> 00:20:31.040
  • Restriction of any kind is a challenge to your joy.
  • 00:20:31.050 --> 00:20:34.010
  • Confinement of any sort will challenge your joy.
  • 00:20:34.020 --> 00:20:37.250
  • Some of you feel chained to a job.
  • 00:20:37.260 --> 00:20:41.040
  • It's a tyrant to you.
  • 00:20:41.050 --> 00:20:42.250
  • Some of you feel chained to a relationship
  • 00:20:42.260 --> 00:20:45.040
  • or a set of responsibilities you didn't sign up for.
  • 00:20:45.050 --> 00:20:49.140
  • And maybe because of that, your passion has gone.
  • 00:20:49.150 --> 00:20:52.070
  • It's dried up. It's not what you had in mind.
  • 00:20:52.080 --> 00:20:55.240
  • You're thinking back to that moment when you finally said,
  • 00:20:55.250 --> 00:20:58.010
  • "I surrender my life to you, Jesus,
  • 00:20:58.020 --> 00:21:00.060
  • and I don't just mean salvation."
  • 00:21:00.070 --> 00:21:01.180
  • Maybe you came to the point after salvation where you said,
  • 00:21:01.190 --> 00:21:04.130
  • "Now I'm gonna get serious.
  • 00:21:04.140 --> 00:21:05.230
  • I'm gonna really live for Christ from this day forward."
  • 00:21:05.240 --> 00:21:11.030
  • But here you are today and you're thinking back to that day
  • 00:21:11.040 --> 00:21:13.130
  • and this is not what you had in mind that day.
  • 00:21:13.140 --> 00:21:17.070
  • In fact, could it be, is it possible, that when you said,
  • 00:21:17.080 --> 00:21:21.000
  • "Lord, I surrender to your plan," that you said that like
  • 00:21:21.010 --> 00:21:25.180
  • the couple who went to the architect and asked the
  • 00:21:25.190 --> 00:21:27.250
  • architect to design a house for them, that the architect
  • 00:21:27.260 --> 00:21:31.050
  • discovered the couple already designed it for themselves,
  • 00:21:31.060 --> 00:21:34.010
  • just wanted the architect to sanction it?
  • 00:21:34.020 --> 00:21:37.190
  • Maybe when you said, "Lord, I surrender my life to you,"
  • 00:21:37.200 --> 00:21:40.210
  • what you meant is, "I surrender my will.
  • 00:21:40.220 --> 00:21:43.200
  • I hope it is your will, Lord. Here are my plans for my life.
  • 00:21:43.210 --> 00:21:47.130
  • I just want your stamp on it
  • 00:21:47.140 --> 00:21:48.230
  • 'cause you must want what I want."
  • 00:21:48.240 --> 00:21:52.200
  • And now you're going, "This is not what I thought
  • 00:21:52.210 --> 00:21:55.010
  • I signed up for."
  • 00:21:55.020 --> 00:21:57.080
  • Well, Paul is about to say something very revolutionary.
  • 00:21:57.090 --> 00:22:01.090
  • This is where we really need to listen.
  • 00:22:01.100 --> 00:22:04.160
  • So we move from his passion to his problems to his perspective.
  • 00:22:04.170 --> 00:22:09.160
  • How does he view all that has happened to him?
  • 00:22:09.170 --> 00:22:12.270
  • Now, as we dive into this, I'm just gonna review.
  • 00:22:12.280 --> 00:22:15.270
  • What is the theme of this letter?
  • 00:22:15.280 --> 00:22:17.070
  • Joy.
  • 00:22:17.080 --> 00:22:19.110
  • Sixteen times, sixteen times, in this letter, the word "joy,"
  • 00:22:19.120 --> 00:22:24.010
  • the word "rejoice," or the word "rejoicing" are found.
  • 00:22:24.020 --> 00:22:26.220
  • No less than 16 times.
  • 00:22:26.230 --> 00:22:29.280
  • We've already seen the object of Paul's joy: the gospel.
  • 00:22:29.290 --> 00:22:33.280
  • We've seen the challenge to Paul's joy:
  • 00:22:33.290 --> 00:22:35.270
  • the things that happened, the prison,
  • 00:22:35.280 --> 00:22:37.090
  • the beatings, et cetera.
  • 00:22:37.100 --> 00:22:38.280
  • Now, let me show you the reason for his joy and that can all be
  • 00:22:38.290 --> 00:22:43.220
  • summed up by a single word in verse 12.
  • 00:22:43.230 --> 00:22:46.040
  • It's the word "furtherance."
  • 00:22:46.050 --> 00:22:49.110
  • "But I want you to know, brethren," verse 12, "that the
  • 00:22:49.120 --> 00:22:51.230
  • things which happened to me have actually turned out for the
  • 00:22:51.240 --> 00:22:55.200
  • furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to
  • 00:22:55.210 --> 00:23:00.120
  • the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are
  • 00:23:00.130 --> 00:23:03.290
  • in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having
  • 00:23:04.000 --> 00:23:07.240
  • become confident by my chains, are much more bold
  • 00:23:07.250 --> 00:23:11.180
  • to speak the word without fear."
  • 00:23:11.190 --> 00:23:16.040
  • Now back to that word, "furtherance."
  • 00:23:16.050 --> 00:23:18.250
  • You may have a Bible that doesn't say that.
  • 00:23:18.260 --> 00:23:20.200
  • It might say "advancement" or "advance"
  • 00:23:20.210 --> 00:23:22.280
  • or "spread" or "progress."
  • 00:23:22.290 --> 00:23:25.200
  • Those are all good translations.
  • 00:23:25.210 --> 00:23:27.000
  • Mine says "furtherance."
  • 00:23:27.010 --> 00:23:28.230
  • The Greek word is prokope, and prokope means to advance or to
  • 00:23:28.240 --> 00:23:35.070
  • make progress but it means something very, very unique.
  • 00:23:35.080 --> 00:23:41.000
  • It means a forward movement in spite of obstacles.
  • 00:23:41.010 --> 00:23:46.100
  • Obstacles are involved.
  • 00:23:46.110 --> 00:23:47.240
  • It makes motion forward but in the midst of obstacles.
  • 00:23:47.250 --> 00:23:51.160
  • So the word "prokope" was used of pioneers cutting their way
  • 00:23:51.170 --> 00:23:56.140
  • through brushwood, cutting the undergrowth away
  • 00:23:56.150 --> 00:23:59.140
  • so you could go on.
  • 00:23:59.150 --> 00:24:00.260
  • It was also used for soldiers advancing through obstacles.
  • 00:24:00.270 --> 00:24:05.050
  • It was also sometimes used as a nautical term for ships making
  • 00:24:05.060 --> 00:24:09.290
  • headway while there was a head wind.
  • 00:24:10.000 --> 00:24:13.230
  • You get the idea?
  • 00:24:13.240 --> 00:24:15.030
  • There's always an obstacle involved.
  • 00:24:15.040 --> 00:24:17.010
  • It's going forward, forward, forward,
  • 00:24:17.020 --> 00:24:19.090
  • but in the midst of obstacles.
  • 00:24:19.100 --> 00:24:21.040
  • So what Paul wants them to know is: I want you to know,
  • 00:24:21.050 --> 00:24:25.030
  • brethren, that all that has happened to me,
  • 00:24:25.040 --> 00:24:27.290
  • the incarcerations, the beatings, the mistrials,
  • 00:24:28.000 --> 00:24:31.170
  • the further incarcerations, none of that has stopped
  • 00:24:31.180 --> 00:24:35.070
  • the advance of the gospel.
  • 00:24:35.080 --> 00:24:37.010
  • In fact, it cleared the way.
  • 00:24:37.020 --> 00:24:40.250
  • It actually furthered it. It made progress in it.
  • 00:24:40.260 --> 00:24:44.020
  • I want you to see that.
  • 00:24:44.030 --> 00:24:48.080
  • So look at verse 13.
  • 00:24:48.090 --> 00:24:50.200
  • He's gonna give you three ways the gospel's furthered.
  • 00:24:50.210 --> 00:24:54.040
  • Number one, it is furthered for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:24:54.050 --> 00:24:57.080
  • God's plan has been furthered for Roman soldiers.
  • 00:24:57.090 --> 00:25:00.280
  • Verse 13: "So it has become evident," now watch this,
  • 00:25:00.290 --> 00:25:05.000
  • "to the whole palace guard."
  • 00:25:05.010 --> 00:25:09.190
  • The word is praetorian.
  • 00:25:09.200 --> 00:25:11.040
  • We get the word "praetorium" from that.
  • 00:25:11.050 --> 00:25:14.100
  • 00:25:14.110 --> 00:25:18.190
  • announcer: You'll encounter opposition when the gospel is
  • 00:25:18.200 --> 00:25:20.150
  • your passion, but remember, God is always with you.
  • 00:25:20.160 --> 00:25:23.250
  • Now, we want to share about a great resource that will help
  • 00:25:23.260 --> 00:25:26.280
  • kindle your passion for serving the Lord.
  • 00:25:26.290 --> 00:25:28.210
  • 00:25:28.220 --> 00:25:36.240
  • announcer: Remember the last time you went to the theater,
  • 00:25:36.250 --> 00:25:39.070
  • the heavy curtain, the bright spot light,
  • 00:25:39.080 --> 00:25:41.070
  • the actor's first words?
  • 00:25:41.080 --> 00:25:42.170
  • It's easy to remember what happens onstage but what about
  • 00:25:42.180 --> 00:25:46.090
  • what happens backstage?
  • 00:25:46.100 --> 00:25:47.210
  • It takes people behind the scenes to make it successful.
  • 00:25:47.220 --> 00:25:50.190
  • Likewise, a successful church requires believers to serve
  • 00:25:50.200 --> 00:25:53.260
  • behind the scenes.
  • 00:25:53.270 --> 00:25:55.060
  • Learn the qualities of a true servant of Christ
  • 00:25:55.070 --> 00:25:57.160
  • in Skip Heitzig's Lifestyle booklet,
  • 00:25:57.170 --> 00:25:59.100
  • "Backstage: Serving When No One is Looking."
  • 00:25:59.110 --> 00:26:02.040
  • Get this resource when you give a gift today to help expand
  • 00:26:02.050 --> 00:26:05.010
  • the Bible-teaching outreach of Skip Heitzig.
  • 00:26:05.020 --> 00:26:07.110
  • Give online or call today.
  • 00:26:07.120 --> 00:26:08.280
  • 00:26:08.290 --> 00:26:14.290
  • Skip: I'm thrilled to invite you to take your life's purpose
  • 00:26:15.000 --> 00:26:17.220
  • to a whole new level with a degree in biblical studies
  • 00:26:17.230 --> 00:26:21.260
  • from Calvary College.
  • 00:26:21.270 --> 00:26:23.190
  • We have retooled our school of ministry into an associate
  • 00:26:23.200 --> 00:26:27.120
  • degree program and it all happens right here on campus.
  • 00:26:27.130 --> 00:26:31.230
  • Calvary College instructors are theologians who are passionate
  • 00:26:31.240 --> 00:26:35.180
  • about the text of the Bible.
  • 00:26:35.190 --> 00:26:37.230
  • And our curriculum trains students to study the Bible
  • 00:26:37.240 --> 00:26:41.110
  • academically, think about it critically,
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  • and serve God practically.
  • 00:26:43.260 --> 00:26:46.150
  • Classes are evening only and you have the option
  • 00:26:46.160 --> 00:26:49.200
  • to attend full- or part-time.
  • 00:26:49.210 --> 00:26:52.180
  • If you've always wanted to learn more about God and his Word in
  • 00:26:52.190 --> 00:26:56.050
  • an academic environment, visit calvaryabq.college.
  • 00:26:56.060 --> 00:27:01.110
  • Applications for the upcoming academic year
  • 00:27:01.120 --> 00:27:04.030
  • are due by August 16.
  • 00:27:04.040 --> 00:27:06.090
  • announcer: Be sure to watch next week as Skip explains how
  • 00:27:10.010 --> 00:27:12.010
  • you can have the right perspective when others
  • 00:27:12.020 --> 00:27:14.050
  • challenge you as you further the gospel.
  • 00:27:14.060 --> 00:27:15.250
  • You don't wanna miss that.
  • 00:27:15.260 --> 00:27:17.070
  • "Connect with Skip Heitzig" is a presentation of Connection
  • 00:27:17.080 --> 00:27:22.250
  • Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth
  • 00:27:22.260 --> 00:27:26.020
  • in ever-changing times.
  • 00:27:26.030 --> 00:27:28.040