Sunday, 12 September 1999 00:00

The Power of Christ in Me

Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

A translation of this verse offered by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is "I am made strong for all things by the One who constantly infuses strength into me." This morning we are going to examine how Christ constantly empowers his people. If you struggle with sin, if you are discontented, if you feel like your Christian life is a failure, then this verse can bring you needed encouragement.

  1. The emphasis of this verse is on the power of Christ... "through Christ who strengthens."
    There are some who take this verse and abuse it by emphasizing the I: "I can do all things." We have fair warning in Scripture of this danger: "without me you can do nothing" (John 14:5).
    1. God will bring low the proud... as He did King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 4:30).
      "The root of pride is saying we can do without God." (James Montgomery Boyce)
    2. God will strengthen the humble... that one who sees his need of the power of Christ.
      What is that with which you struggle? What problem do you face? Christ strengthens.
      1. Is it a trial which you must endure? I am made strong for all things...
      2. Is it a performance of a duty? I am made strong for all things...
      3. Is it a struggle against sin? I am made strong for all things...
  2. The encouragement from this verse is the power of Christ... "Christ strengthens me..."
    Too often the Christian turns within, to others, or to his own performance for encouragement. You won't be encouraged to the extent you could be until you focus on His power in you.
    1. This power is a grace power... "He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ" (Philippians 1:6). God gifted you with Christ and His power.
    2. This power is a great power... Paul prays that we "might know the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead" (Ephesians 1:19-20).
    3. This power is a godly power... "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). God has been, is, and will be at work in you to produce holiness, righteousness, and all of His good pleasure. He will not fail.
  3. The example in this verse is contentment and the power of Christ... (vs. 12- 13).
    This verse can't be taken out of its context. The prospect of contentment in all things (4:11) is impossible in the minds of some Christians, but Paul says contentment is possible for you, and every believer, because of the power of Christ. "I can do all things through Christ..."
    1. You are called to focus on your Christian life... "I can do all things..."
      There is no such thing as a static Christian. We are called to "fight the good fight," to "run the race."
    2. You are called to look to Christ for your power... "I am strengthened by Christ."
      Thank God for the lack of desire to sin. Thank God for the lack of opportunity to sin. It is God who grants the power of restraint toward sin and the power of holiness in life.
    3. You are called to trust Him for the accomplishment... He will perform that which He has begun.
      Your Christian life is sealed and secured by the purpose of Christ for you. You may doubt His ability, but that will not negate the promise. He will not fail.

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