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Summary: Four qualities of Christian "politeness". Our relationships one to another in the Church.

I. INTRODUCTION – EVERY COUNTRY & CULTURE HAS A SENSE OF POLITENESS:

A. In General Politeness Is All About:

1. Being considerate

2. Being thoughtful

3. Being patient

4. Being kind

5. Being courteous

6. Being grateful

B. Every Country & Culture Has A Sense Of Politeness…Redneck Etiquette

1. Always dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in sight.

2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.

3. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back a soft drink.

4. Never lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

5. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one’s OWN truck keys.

6. Never allow the dog to eat at the table . . . no matter how good his manners are.

7. Always offer to bait your date’s hook, especially on the first date.

8. Always say "Excuse me" after getting sick in someone else’s car.

9. Never take a cooler to church.

10. When entertaining at home, always remove the centerpiece form the table that was prepared by the taxidermist

11. Never drive a U-Haul to the funeral home, even if you’re certain that you’re included in the will

C. What The Bible Has To Say About Politenes

II. LOOKING AT SCRIPTURE

Phil 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel… “ (NKJV)

Phil 1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel” (American Standard Version)

Same word is used in Philippians 3:20

Phil 3:20 ‘For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV)

III. PROBLEM WITH THESE TRANSLATIONS

A. These Texts Too Often Interpreted As “Individual Responsibility”

B. However, Texts Speak To Our “Group Responsibility” – One Person To Another

1. This word in the original Greek refers not so much to the way we live, as to the way we live together.

2. Authorized Version reads – “Only let your CONVERSATION be worthy of the gospel of Christ”

3. The word "conversation" in the Authorized Version is not too far off.

C. Looking At The Original Language

1. Philippians 1:27 = NT:4176 politeuomai (pol-it-yoo’-om-ahee); middle voice of a derivative of NT:4177; to behave as a citizen (figuratively):

2. Philippians 3:20 = NT:4175 politeuma (pol-it’-yoo-mah); from NT:4176; a community, i.e. (abstractly) citizenship (figuratively)

3. Root Word = NT:4177 polites (pol-ee’-tace); from NT:4172; a townsman:

a. from this we get the word – “polite”

b. from this we also get the word – “politics”

D. Philippians 1:27 Can Be Rendered Two Ways:

1. Only let your “politics” be worthy of the gospel of Christ

2. Only let your “politeness” be worthy of the gospel of Christ

E. Either Way…

1. Points to not just our behavior in isolation to one another

2. But our behavior in context with one another

a. our behavior toward one another

b. our behavior in a group, in fellowship with one another

c. how we treat and think and relate to one another

IV. FOUR PHRASES IN PHILIPPIANS 1:27 THAT EMPHASIZE THE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE POLITE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

A. “stand fast"

1. Faithfulness to each other, long suffering, steadfastness

2. Don’t split and scatter.

B. “in one spirit"

1. We are part of body of Christ – His spirit holds us together

2. We need each other

3. Body of Christ dynamics (1 Corinthians)

C. “with one mind...."

1. Not uniformity, but unity

2. Doesn’t “one mind” mean everyone thinking alike? NO

3. Each one of us has a brain – but internally fraught with conflicting ideas

4. Body of Christ is the same

a. able to look at conflicting views

b. sort threw them

c. in a godly way influence one another

d. but not cut out the chunk of brain that disagrees – if you did that with your own brain – no brain left

5. Team players

6. Polite? Politics? Not against politics – but I am against partisanship.

D. "striving together for the faith of the gospel."

1. 400 years ago "striving" also meant something different than it does today.

2. “Striving” = old English word for fighting.

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