Summary: The main points stress four basic elements of a Christian's spiritual wardrobe.
Dress for Success
Philippians 4:1 – 9
Sermon Outline – February 28, 2010
A. 1975 best seller by John T. Molloy: Dress for Success; also: Dress for Success.org, a non-profit group that counsels disadvantaged women
1. I stopped wearing the ties made for me by my mother-in-law!
I traded my favorite bright plaid sport coat for a navy blue blazer
2. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression
B. Likewise, there is a Christian wardrobe. We must make every effort to make the Gospel attractive by “dressing for success” with our lives.
C. TEXT: Philippians 4:1-9: 1Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! 2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow,[a] help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
TRANSITION: In our text, Paul issues FOUR IMPERATIVES that will cause the Gospel to be attractive in the lives of Christians.
I. Maintain Unity – Vrs. 2 – 3
1. Harmony is not only beautiful to hear, but also to see in others and to experience personally.
2. Two prominent church ladies were at odds with one another and it threatened the unity of the congregation.
3. The church was ordered by Paul to help those ladies to come to an agreement. “Help” is intensified meaning: “You must help them. This is an order, even though I am asking you!”
4. Those women had a track record of dedicated service for Lord. They were not to be degraded due to their disagreement. Both of their names were in the Book of Life. They were to be assisted.
5. Too often we hold back from getting involved when fellow members are having a problem. Paul says, “Don’t hold back. Assist them in coming to agreement.” Unity is a vital part of the Christian wardrobe!
II. Motivate Rejoicing – Vr. 4
1. Monday, Sept. 25, 1978, PSA Flight 182 left LAX for a routine short flight to San Diego. At 9:02 am, on a glide path to Lindberg Field, it collided with a small Cessna private plane and 13 seconds later it plowed into the ground in the North Park neighborhood destroying 20+ homes. A total of 144 people died that day including two in the Cessna and seven on the ground. It was the worst USA air disaster to date at that time. My phone rang a couple of hours later. It was one of our members. Their 31 yr. old daughter was aboard PSA Flight 182.
2. Sing phrase of Song: “Rejoice in the Lord always and, again, I say rejoice!” Then, in my best John McEnroe imitation: “You cannot be serious! Rejoice in the Lord, always! You cannot be serious!”
3. What does Paul mean by, “Rejoice in the Lord always?”
a. He is not saying, “Be happy, don’t be sad or grieving.” Happiness or unhappiness is an emotion that’s affected by things over which we have no control. Rejoicing in the Lord comes from within and is faith-based trusting that no matter what is going on around me, God is in control and I am his.
b. During times of great trial and tribulation, it is only “in the Lord” that rejoicing is possible. You acknowledge his lordship, his rule, his power to transcend the circumstances of any situation with which you are faced.
c. Paul’s circumstances were difficult at that time: a prisoner in Rome awaiting trial before Caesar. He might receive a sentence of death because of being a Christian. But, he viewed it as a win/win situation regardless of the outcome.
4. Every Christian is in that same win/win situation. So, regardless of what’s going on in your life right now, rejoice in the Lord. You must do this. It’s an essential part of your Christian wardrobe!