Holding fast and holding forth the Word of God–WALK WORTHY
The first face many 20th century immigrants saw was the Statue of Liberty. Her iconic countenance promised the hope of a new life. America welcomed the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses as Lady Liberty raised her torch as a beacon of hope. The statue has an unusual history–it was assembled twice. Assembled in Paris, France, given to America as a gift, disassembled and then reassembled on its current site.
Civil War General Sherman selected the statue’s location, Bedloe’s Island, which was later renamed Liberty Island. The statue functioned as a lighthouse for 16 years, with electric lights that could be seen 24 miles away. The statue was the tallest iron structure ever erected at the time in 1886. The interior was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who later created the Eiffel Tower.
Today, picture Lady Liberty in your mind or look at this picture. See her holding fast and holding forth her torch–a great symbol of freedom. This picture could symbolize a Christian with God’s Word. Two truths are evident—standing firm on God’s Word and holding forth the light of the truth, which is the only path to genuine freedom.
Christians proclaim freedom–freedom from guilt, freedom from the penalty, power, and eventual presence of sin. Christians are the only people on this planet who are, according to a Biblical Worldview, free. John 8:36, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” Galatians 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We hold fast upon the truth of God’s Word and we hold forth the truth of the Gospel which brings freedom. This is how Paul wraps up his challenge to the Philippians to walk worthy. Are you walking worthy? Paul told this church in chapter 1:27 to, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
As we consider the blessing of walking worthy today, read our God’s beacon of freedom as presented in Philippians verses 12 to 16.
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, [and the final verse in this section] 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
To express humility as a believer, you obey God’s Word (verse 12), depend on God’s sovereignty (verse 13), guard your mouth (verse 14), live holy in order to be a witness (verse 15), and now today what do you do? Verse 16, develop a death grip conviction to depend solely on God’s Word along with a conviction to communicate the Word of life.
We live in a day when reliance upon the Word of God is becoming less and less evident. We should be reminded of the times of Amos. “’Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord God, ‘When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord’” (Amos 8:11). People are starving for the Word accurately taught today. The only way we can help those blind to the truth is to grow deep in our convictions about God’s Word.
Christians must develop unbending biblical convictions on truth. Why? So that the Word of God has credibility with the lost and will shine forth like a light in darkness. If you keep it, obey it, live it–then you will be verse 15, “above reproach, blameless lights…to a lost world.”
In verse 16, Paul’s word choice, and then grammar give you your own Statue of Liberty. Holding fast is to stand firm on the Word, with an unshackled commitment to truth, while we hold forth the light of the Gospel. Only as we stand firm upon the Word of God can we hold forth the offer of the Gospel clearly. “Holding fast the Word of God” means the Bible affects every area of your life.
A worthy walk lives a life desiring to brag–not about yourself, not about what you have done, and definitely not seeking to brag right now. But bragging about what Christ did through you, bragging about how God used you, a clay pot and dirty vessel so others came to Christ and became like Christ, boasting about how God graced you to hold fast and hold forth His living Word so others could be impacted.
Bragging about how the Holy Spirit empowered you to live for God’s glory in order to give sacrificially and serve faithfully in the church. Bragging about how you depended on Christ alone to work through you as you labored in service to children on Sunday, students on Wednesday, or adults each week. Your boast in the future will be about how Christ used you. Are you His tool? Are you doing anything which consistently allows you to impact others for Christ?
Will you have a reason to glory? Are you being used of God to make as many people like Jesus Christ in the shortest time possible? Are you ready to face Christ in the judgment of reward? To walk worthy is a life committed to holding fast and holding forth the transforming Word of God, in order to impact people to come to Christ and become like Christ. Are you convinced it’s holding fast and holding forth the Word of life alone which will cause lives to come to Christ and become like Christ? Are you convinced that the Word of life can alone transform lost children, friends, and family?
I have the same hope as Paul. For if you do not come to Christ, become like Christ by obeying Christ, serving Christ, and impacting others for Christ, then all efforts, herewith, are in vain. Yet as Paul considered the coming day of Christ, he was joyful, verses 17 to 18. That joy led him to be an example, so for THIS day:
1. Know your PURPOSE
You are here to be used of God to make as many people like Jesus Christ in the shortest time possible. Are you a vessel? Are you standing on the Word of God? Are you living the Word in such a way you’re a light to others? You glorify God by living like Christ and saying what Christ did. Are you living out your purpose?
2. Use your CIRCUMSTANCES
Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Notice the participle go–it literally means as you are going, telling you and I the best evangelism is providentially supplied by God. As you go around at work, as you go to the store, as you go to school, make disciples.
Part of that is holding fast and holding forth the living Word. Ask, “Do you know what the Bible says about this?” Or ask, “Do you realize God’s Word speaks to this issue?” Use your everyday circumstances to speak the truth!
3. Feed off the WORD
If you read the Bible daily and store it up in your heart, you will, in God’s appointed time, shine like a light. But if you don’t read and feed on the living Word, you won’t. Get accountable in order to get into the Word daily. Over time, a plan, and daily a habit. You need a plan and convictions to learn the Word of God.
4. Make certain you are a VESSEL
In order for God to work through you, He must first be in you, which means you have surrendered your life, turned from your sin, and sought to depend on Christ alone, His death for your sin, His resurrection from the dead. You are running out of time–you will be judged! Some of you will be judged for sin and condemned forever. Some of you will be judged for reward and blessed forever. Which one will you be?
BEING COMMITTED TO HIS WORD WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY!
Join us this week as we consider our commitment to God's Word
in our Virtual Sunday School @ 6pm, Sunday