Summary: Everyone wants peace. Few actually feel it. In Philippians 4:1-9 Paul gives us the 5 essentials for finding peace in our lives.
A Study in the Book of Philippians
“5 ESSENTIALS FOR FINDING PEACE”
1. STAND FAST – V.1
Paul commands the Philippians to “stand fast in the Lord.”
There were problems in Philippi. Paul has already mentioned that the Philippian’s needed to “beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation” in Chapter 3, verse 2.
There were people in Philippi who were trying to influence the Christians to adopt a legalistic form of religion. These “evil workers” as Paul calls them were telling the Philippians they had to follow the laws of Moses to be saved.
These false teachers were causing problems.
Then there was the situation where Epaphroditus got sick and nearly died. This traumatic experience created stress and concern on both Paul and the church at Philippi.
Paul tells them that there are many enemies of Jesus Christ.
With these kinds of problems the people of Philippi needed to be encouraged not to give up or give in.
These kinds of problems would be discouraging for anybody. So Paul says, “Stand fast…don’t give up. Keep keeping on.”
Now this is important because ‘peace’ is one of the main themes of this chapter. These kinds of problems present a challenge to a church family having peace.
All of these problems would have created unrest rather than peace.
But Paul doesn’t want the people to be anxious or panic.
PEACE PRINCIPLE #1: I’ll never have peace unless I remain committed.
The kinds of problems I’ve mentioned would be enough to cause some Christians to throw up their hands and give up on their faith.
Some people would use these situations as excuses for why Christianity doesn’t work in practice or why it’s too difficult or demanding to live the Christian life.
These kinds of problems were testing the Philippian Christian’s commitment to the Lord and their faith in Him.
Let me ask you, “What problems did you bring in here with you tonight?” What problems are testing your commitment to your faith right now?
It might be people problems. It might be money problems. It might be health problems. What is it in your life?
For the Philippians it was a combination of people problems and health problems.
And Paul says in verse 1 of chapter 4, “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”
Notice the word ‘therefore’. Whenever you read the word ‘therefore’ in scripture, you need to ask yourself, “What is it there for?”
That one word has a purpose. What is that purpose?
Well, in verse 1, it connects Paul’s thought in verse 1 with a previous thought he was sharing chapter 3, verse 20-21.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” – Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
Paul gives 4 reasons why these Philippian Christians should stand fast and not give up.
Why should I not give up on my faith in Christ?
1. Because heaven is waiting for me.
“For our citizenship is in heaven…” – Phil.3:20a (NKJV)
Earth is not our final destination. Earth is a temporary residence on the pilgrimage to our eternal home in Heaven.
2. Because Jesus is coming for me.
“…from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” – Phil. 3:20b (NKJV)
3. Because transformation will happen to me.
“the Lord Jesus Christ…who will transform our lowly body that it may be comformed to His glorious body…” – Phil.3:21a (NKJV)
4. Because God is in control.
“…according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” – Phil.3:21c (NKJV)
The same Jesus who subdued the winds and the waves can calm the storms in your life.
He can subdue the problems you’re facing and make them calm and return peace to your situation. He’s in control.
And these 4 reasons, amount to hope. Hope solidifies our commitment to Christ.
We don’t give up on Jesus because we have hope in Him.
Unless we remain committed we’ll never have peace.
So the first essential for peace is to STAND FAST.
2. STAND TOGETHER – V.2-3
“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.” – Philippians 4:2-3 (NKJV)
So, here’s the story of a lovely lady, actually two lovely ladies, Euodia and Syntache. Evidently these two women were members of this church.