Calvary Road Baptist Church


Philippians 1.19

Our scripture reading for this evening is Job 13.13-22:

13     Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.

14     Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?

15     Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

16     He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

17     Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.

18     Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.

19     Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.

20     Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.

21     Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.

22     Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me.

Turn in your Bible to Philippians 1.18. After gathering a special offering from Gentile Christians in Asia, Macedonia, and Achaia, Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. In that letter, he told them of his desire to visit them in route to Spain. However, he first had to deliver the offering to the Jewish believers in Judea who were suffering through a horrible famine. Little did Paul realize at that time that when he visited Rome, more than two years later, it would be in chains. After writing to Rome and continuing on to Jerusalem with the money that had been collected, Paul was arrested on the trumped up charge of taking Trophimus, a Gentile, into the Temple area that was forbidden to Gentiles. Taken from Jerusalem to Caesaria for protection against an assassination plot, after two years and an appeal to Caesar, Paul was taken on a perilous journey that finally brought him to Rome as a prisoner.

Though he loved all those he had brought to Christ, and remembered with a fond heart all the churches he had planted during the course of his ministry, no one had the relationship with Paul that the members of the church at Philippi enjoyed. There was chemistry between Paul and those people that existed nowhere else. Therefore, when he arrived in Rome and became aware of some difficulties they were having with his incarceration, he wrote this letter to them and shared with them things he shared with no one else. Concerned as they were about Paul, Paul shows to them in his letter that his concern is about the gospel’s advance and seeing Christ magnified. It is for that reason that Paul related to his dear friends what impact his own imprisonment had on those things that really matter, those things that were really dear to him, including them.

In Philippians 1.12-18, Paul explains to interested readers what the immediate impact of his arrest and bondage had on the advance of the gospel, in Rome and on those who preached the gospel in Rome. Now, Paul goes on to explain to his beloved friends what will be the eventual impact of his confinement and trial.          In our text for this evening, which is verse 19, Paul begins to express the conclusion he draws about what the future holds for him. Stand with me and read Philippians 1.18-19:

18     What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

19     For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Paul rejoices that Christ is being preached even while he is in jail, and then indicates his great confidence that he will have cause for rejoicing in the future. What future development is Paul rejoicing about in verse 19? He is rejoicing about his own future salvation. This is more easily comprehended when you realize that the Christian is someone who through faith in Christ has been saved from the penalty of his sins, is presently being saved from the power of sins in his life, and anticipates his future salvation from the presence of sin when he arrives in glory and the presence of his Savior.

Consider this, people, in light of the three aspects of salvation: Folks who are saved still need to be saved. In Philippians 1.19, Paul declares his own salvation, which I trust you will allow me to label sanctification for reasons you will see, which leads to his own ultimate salvation. He does this in two ways:


To restate to you, when a person is saved through faith in Jesus Christ he is justified, or pronounced righteous in the sight of God, though he is an unrighteous sinner by experience. As well, when a person is justified the Holy Spirit also indwells him and the lifelong process of being saved from the power of sin, what we call sanctification, begins. Sanctification is a long word that refers to the process of God gradually transforming the newly converted person into a truly godly person, making him more like the Lord Jesus Christ over time. Notice what Paul writes about his known end: “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation . . . .”

Three observations:

First, the fact of Paul’s sanctification. Verse 19 begins, “For I know that this.” The “this” that Paul is referring to is back in verse 17, “knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.”[1] Paul knows that the difficulties that he is going through are having a beneficial, sanctifying effect in his life. How does he know that? He knows that because “all things work together for good to them that love God,” Romans 8.28. As well, take note of what the Apostle Peter wrote, in First Peter 1.7-9:

7      That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8      Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9      Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Therefore, Paul, because he had faith in God, knew that whatever God had in store for him would turn out okay.

Second, the future of Paul’s sanctification. “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation.” Do you see this? Here we have a saved guy anticipating his future salvation. Because verses 20 and 21 talk about Paul either living or dying, it is certain that Paul is not declaring here anything necessarily related to physical deliverance or release from prison. At this point, Paul knows he still may be martyred for the cause of Christ. With this in mind, it is clear that Paul’s reference to salvation has to do with the ultimate salvation of his soul. Not the salvation of his soul from the penalty of sin, which occurred when he trusted Christ, or the salvation of his soul from the power of sin in the here and now. The verb “this shall turn” is a future tense verb.[2] This is our clue that Paul is not talking about the past or the present, but that time when he passes from this life into glory and is thereby saved from the very presence of sin.[3]

The fact of it, the future of it, and now the facet of it. Understanding that the salvation of a sinner involves three facets spread over time, you get a better idea of what Paul is talking about to the Philippians. When a sinner trusts Christ, he is saved from the penalty of sin. That is, he is forgiven and his sins are washed clean in the blood of Christ. From that point onward, until he dies and goes to heaven, God works in his life to save him from the power of sins in his daily life. We saw that in Philippians 1.6, where Paul wrote, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” That is why believers simply cannot live the same kind of lifestyle they lived before their conversion to Jesus Christ. This process of God working in the believer’s life continues over the course of his lifetime, never perfect but ever improving. At the end of a believer’s life, when he dies and is promoted to glory, he is saved from the very presence of sin and dwells forever with the Savior in heaven. What Paul is telling his readers is that what he is now experiencing, during which afflictions he will defend the gospel before Caesar, will be used by God to save him from the power of sin in preparation for his ultimate salvation from the presence of sins when he dies and goes to heaven. Whatever befalls him, he knows these things will happen to him. What confidence in God he has.


In other words, not only does Paul know that his present difficulties will be used by God to prepare him for heaven and the salvation of his soul from the presence of sin, but he also knows how this is going to come about.

First, humanly speaking, or from the human perspective, Paul is depending on the prayers of the Philippian Christians: “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer.” Folks, I want you to stop and consider what Paul is telling these Philippians. He is telling them that his present experiences will be turned around to the salvation of his soul in answer to their prayers. To put it another way, Paul is informing these dearly beloved friends in the Philippian church that their prayers for him are a vital link in the chain that connects his past conversion, to his present ministry, and also to his ultimate arrival in heaven. Amazing. I want you to consider what Paul has written here, in light of the superficial and shallow approach to the importance of church in the Christian’s life taken by most people. They claim to be Christians, but they do not attend church or they are not faithful to church. However, church is not optional equipment in the Christian’s life. Church, and the ministry churches have of praying for their own, is critical in the Christian’s life. Not to say that Paul would not have gone to heaven had these folks not prayed for him, but he might not have passed this test of spiritual stamina and courage without their prayers. You, who doubt the importance of Calvary Road Baptist Church in your own Christian life, think again. Humanly speaking, whether you stand or fall is powerfully influenced by your relationship to this church and this church’s faithfulness in praying for you. No wonder Paul prayed so much for them. He wanted them so very much to pray for him! To reinforce this thought, I read a portion of Moises Silva’s comment on Paul’s letter to the Philippians concerning this verse:

An additional and remarkable point is Paul’s recognition, in v. 19, that his perseverance does not take place automatically but rather through (1) the prayers of the Philippians and (2) the support provided by Jesus’ Spirit. . . The point to note here however is that even Paul’s personal growth— sanctification—does not take place in isolation from the support of the church. It is indeed a sobering thought that our spiritual relationship with God is not a purely individualistic concern; we are dependent on the Spirit’s power in answer to the intercessory prayers of God’s people. And we may add that the Spirit’s help itself is normally manifested through the koinonia of fellow-believers. The godly Ignatius, early bishop of Antioch, learned his lesson well, as we can tell from his comment to the church in Philadelphia as he was on his way to martyrdom: “your prayer will perfect me.”[4]

Changing our perspective to look at Paul’s situation from the Divine side, we find at the end of verse 19, “the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” We know that the indwelling Holy Spirit is “given” to the child of God, First Thessalonians 4.8, can be “quenched” by the child of God, First Thessalonians 5.19, can be “grieved” by the child of God, Ephesians 4.30, and so on. However, what I am about to say may surprise you, so please listen carefully. Since the Apostle Paul did not think of the Holy Spirit as a measure or quantity of stuff, but as an omnipresent being, he had none of our hang-ups about the possibility of someone who was already indwelt by the Spirit of God again receiving the Holy Spirit. Turn to Galatians 3.5 and read: “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Here Paul points out that God “ministereth,” or continually supplies, the Holy Spirit to people who are already saved and indwelt.[5] What Paul is getting at here is the necessity of some fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit for each new challenge, each new obstacle, each new spiritual battle. For Paul to persevere, for Paul to triumph, for Paul to successfully defend the gospel without cowering, without faltering, without stumbling, without failing, he needed a fresh supply of the Holy Spirit of God so that he would be equipped, so that he would be prepared, so that he would be empowered. How necessary is what some have called a fresh anointing in order to live for Christ and represent Him well through the trials and difficulties of life as we are being prepared for heaven. To state the matter more simply, the Holy Spirit is a Person, a Divine Person, who is continually supplied to the believer by means of an ongoing personal relationship with Him, and in answer to the prayers of God’s people for that individual. What does this mean in practical terms? It means that the Christian needs fresh encounters with the Holy Spirit for each additional challenge of life. These encounters come about through prayer and time spent in God’s Word when one consciously yields to the Spirit’s instruction and guidance, as well as to His correction. Grace is sought and received as the believer intentional obeys and submits to His will as it is revealed in God’s Word.

I want you to think about three things that have come to light in this verse alone, for just those of us who are genuinely saved: First, we have seen incontrovertible evidence proving that genuinely saved people still need to be saved. You who are saved still need to be continually saved from the power of sin in your daily life. If it was true for Paul, it must be true for you and me. Amen? If you are not, therefore, being sanctified, it is almost certain that you are not really saved. Second, we have seen from Paul’s own pen the critical role the Philippian church played in his life. He needed that church to pray for him so he would be enabled and equipped by God to do the job he was called upon to do. Therefore, how does one justify nonattendance at church? How does one justify behavior that does not show his church to be the single most critical element in his life on a human level? If Paul needed their prayers, then you need ours and I need yours. Do not think we will pray for those who are not here faithfully, just as we do not think you will pray for us while you are at home. We need to be real. Let us be faithful in God’s house so we will be encouraged and taught to faithfully pray for each other, without fail. Third, you and I are continually in need of fresh encounters with the Holy Spirit of God. Not the tingly and yahoo kind of encounters. Not the kind of Pentecostal and charismatic encounters that produces Pat Boone type Christians. No, you and I need consecrating, sanctifying, empowering, enabling, encounters with the Holy Spirit through prayer and the ministry of the Word, producing conscious dependence upon Him for guidance through His Word and submission to His scripturally revealed will. That is what you need, and that is what I need.

Come to prayer meeting Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. Consider praying with us Sunday mornings at 10:15. Things to ponder, to meditate upon, to act upon.

Listen to the fictional case of Wilma, mother of four children. Wilma is 42 years old and has been saved for 27 years. She was saved at a youth camp one summer when she was 15. After she was saved, she went to church sporadically and then married an unsaved guy named Guy. Since then, Wilma has been to church no more than 10 or 15 times a year, is a regular smoker, has slept with several men since she was divorced from Guy, and is ashamed to admit that she bought beer for her youngest son on several occasions while he was still in high school. Wilma bristles whenever someone recommends that she consider being saved, even though she admits to being a person who is prone to bitterness, seems always to side with her unsaved children when they are confronted by Christians for wrongdoing, thinks that you can be just as good a Christian at home as at church, and that talking to people about getting saved is rude and obnoxious. Additionally, Wilma excuses herself for never having actually served God through a church ministry in any describable way, and for never having even attempted to read through the Bible she claims to love but not believe in completely.

Rudy is 20 years old. Because he is enrolled in college and works to pay his own way, Rudy stopped going to church. He is a Christian, though. He is just too busy with school to serve God right now. But when he gets out of school, he has every intention of getting back into the swing of things and never missing a service, unless he gets accepted by the LAPD, which of course means he won’t be able to go to church until he gets some seniority, unless he is working vice.

It seems that Wilma and Rudy have a problem, don’t you think? They were both saved. Just ask them. And they are both certain that they will go to heaven when they die. Just ask them. However, absolutely nothing goes on in their lives of any spiritual consequence. Thus, they were saved, and they are going to be saved, they just aren’t being saved right now. Only people who are being saved are going to be saved because they were saved. Wilma and Rudy have a serious problem. Their serious problem is, they think that because they were saved they are necessarily going to be saved without being saved. However, they are only going to be saved if they are being saved. Do you understand what I am saying? No one who was saved, but who is not being saved, is going to be saved. No one. Not Rudy, not Wilma, and not you or anyone else.

Three things I want you to ponder, consider, and think about this evening, related to your own salvation.


There are three facets, three parts, or three phases if you will, of the salvation that a sinner finds in Jesus Christ by faith:

First, there is salvation from sin’s penalty. I read three passages to give you the sense:

Luke 7.48-50:  48     And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

49     And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

50     And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

First Corinthians 1.18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Second Timothy 1.9:   “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

These are only three examples of passages in which just one facet, one aspect, of salvation is in view. When someone is referred to as having been saved, the intent of the passage is to show that a sinner has trusted the Savior and has been saved from the penalty and guilt of sin. When sinners are confronted about being saved by other people, this is almost always what is focused and concentrated on.

A second facet of genuine salvation is salvation from sin’s power, also called sanctification. Notice four passages that speak to a believer being saved from the habit and dominion of sin after he has trusted Christ:

Romans 6.14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Galatians 2.20:   “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Philippians 2.12-13:    12     Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13     For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Second Thessalonians 2.13: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

These verses clearly show that the second facet of genuine salvation, which is inseparably linked to the first facet, by the way, has as its primary feature the believer’s release from sin’s power during the course of his life lived in service to God. If the believer’s life does not feature salvation from the power of sin over the course of his life, it can only be because he never really trusted the Savior. Again, Philippians 1.6: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

The final facet of salvation is salvation from sin’s presence. When this occurs, the believer receives a glorified body freed from all infirmity and is brought to final and complete conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. Four passages for your consideration:

Romans 13.11: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Hebrews 10.36-37:   36     For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37     For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

First Peter 1.5: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

First John 3.2:    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Make sure you understand the connection that these three facets of salvation have with each other. Salvation can be analyzed with regard to its parts, past, present, and future. However, realize that the distinct parts of salvation are really part of an inseparable whole. The Lord Jesus, the Savior, saves from sin’s penalty, saves from sin’s power, and saves from sin’s presence. Therefore, if someone says he has been saved, and if he thinks he will someday be saved to heaven, he must of necessity be experiencing salvation from the power of sin right now, or else it is all a sham.


Present sanctification, or salvation from sin’s power in the here and now, is actually seen to be occurring if three observable traits or characteristics are found in your life. Give yourself a checkup right now by asking yourself these questions:

First, has something called initial sanctification occurred? Understand that when sinners are saved they do not ever become sinless, not ever. Not until he gets to heaven will the Christian be sinless by experience. However, if he has trusted Christ for real he will have experienced something the old Puritans called initial sanctification. It is almost like a jump-start into the Christian life. The new Christian’s relationship with what God identifies as sin changes. The drunkard stops drinking, the fornicator abandons his partner in sin, the thief steals no more, and the extortion ceases. Understand, this is not turning over a new leaf. Many turn over a new leaf but are not saved and eventually die and go to Hell. Initial sanctification, however, is the result of being delivered by the power of God from slavery to sin. It is becoming a new creature in Christ, and it is your experience if you are saved.

Second, do you have a credible verbal testimony of your conversion? First Peter 3.15 reads, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” My friend, this is an important directive.[6] If God is currently working in your life, you will have such an answer, and I am right now asking, “What do you have to say?”

Third, do you have a reasonable lifestyle testimony of your relationship with God? In others words, what is going on in your life? What do you live like? Is it unreasonable to expect a man or woman to be faithful, to be Spirit-filled, to be joyful, to be meek, to be patient, to be truthful, to be thankful, if he claims to be saved? Of course, it is reasonable. If you have been saved, at some point in time in the past, and you expect to be saved into heaven at some point in time in the future, then your life needs to show that you are being saved right now. Is your life showing it? If not, and if the if not is your pattern of life, it is because you are not saved and never were.


Is it not true that, in reality, you are not truly saved, but lost?

Instead of initial sanctification, that jump start that God gives to people when they are first saved, did you not really just turn over a new leaf? Instead of regeneration, there was personal reformation. Instead of a new life, you decided to turn over a new leaf. Isn’t that really what happened to you, because where it really matters, in the issues of the heart and soul, aren’t you really the same sinner you’ve always been?

As to verbal testimony, don’t you actually give a rehearsed performance instead of a real remembrance of anything like a destiny altering conversion? Isn’t it true that instead of providing a living memory of what really happened when you came to the Savior, you have compiled bits and pieces of other people’s testimonies, as a substitute to hide the fact that you really have no first hand testimony of how you came to Jesus Christ?

As to lifestyle testimony, isn’t the most telling tale of all the fact that in your life there is really only slavery instead of sanctification? The reality is that sin does reign in your mortal body. You do obey sin in the lusts thereof. Sin does have dominion over you, and everyone who knows you well knows it. Why? Because you are not under grace, since you have never really come to the Savior by faith.

Does this message seem unduly complex, my friend? Do not be alarmed. Being saved is so very simple. You come to Jesus Christ as a sinner in need of forgiveness and cleansing and He will save you. Sadly, there are always some who steadfastly cling to the false notion that they are saved. This despite the fact that there is no deliverance from sins seen in their lives. Many still have the old sins. Others have experienced self-reformation and though the horrible sins of the past are gone, what is left is an appalling lack of commitment, selfishness, poor priorities, materialism, failure to grow spiritually, and other things, all pointing to the conclusion that they are not really saved.

Why does this follow? This follows because salvation, though it can be thought of and discussed as three separate aspects, is in actuality one indivisible whole. Jesus saves, and His salvation is characterized by salvation from sin’s penalty, salvation from sin’s power, and salvation from sin’s presence. If there is no real salvation from sin’s power in your life, it can only be because you have not really been saved from sin’s penalty, and you will not be saved from sin’s presence. Is there no backsliding? Yes, but not as a habit of life.

The bottom line is, you need to really be saved. You need to come to Jesus right now. He will save you.

[1] Moises Silva, Philippians, The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1988), page 76.

[2] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 547.

[3] Silva, pages 76-79.

[4] Silva, pages 78-79.

[5] Rienecker, page 508.

[6] J. Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary, (Nelson Reference & Electronic, 1988), page 188.

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