Summary: There is conflict between two believers and Apostle Paul does not hide it, he addresses it and helps show us the proper way of handling disagreements with fellow believers.
Finding Peace in conflict
Philippians chapter 4:1-4:9
Turn to Philippians chapter 4 as we continue to look at Living for Christ.
Last week we looked at life by the analogy of a race.
Apostle Paul tells us not to be looking back as to distract us from moving forward.
What is in the past should remain in the past and not pollute your future.
We have to be determined that we will strive forward and serve God with our whole heart.
Luke warm Christianity is not enough. Jesus tells the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3 that because they are neither hot or cold that He would spit them out of His mouth.
Apostle Paul begins chapter 4 in a rather different way.
Philippians chapter 4:1-4:9
Apostle Paul lets them all know that he loves them, appreciates them, longs to see them.
He tells them in the face of the liberal practices of others, that the Philippians Church should follow his example of Christ.
They must have their minds set on heavenly things
Stand firm in the midst of struggles and trials for the sake of the gospel.
Rosedale’s verse lately is Ephesians 6:13
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand, stand firm!”
There is conflict here! Between believers!
Between 2 women of faith- Euodia and Syntyche.
We know that they are believers
We know that they worked close to Paul
We know that their names are written in the book of life.
Imagine conflict between two believers- who would have ever thought.
First of all most people do not know what is going on, only the ones that were personally involved.
The disagreement between these ladies was so severe that it is recorded in a letter that was to be read publically.
Paul was confident that these ladies could work it out.
He doesn’t take sides, but encouraged them to reconcile.
This is how Paul tells us that you should stand firm when going through a tough times. This is how you should work out you differences among believers.
Rejoice in the Lord
Let your gentleness be evident to all
Do not be anxious
Allow the peace of God to guard your heart.
I. Rejoice in the Lord
Finish the race that was started
Forget what is in the past/ move forward
Understand that you have purpose as a child of God
Mature in Christ
“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.”
Rejoicing and praising God! That should be the normal! ( repeat )
I know things happen! I know things happen that are not your fault!
Mature Christians should live in peace as much as it is up to you!
Trust God in those times of struggle! Not live in a defeated attitude.
Able to move on!
Not allowing people to stop you from doing what is right.
Being stable! Every day is not a crisis!
Some live everyday in crisis mode! ( repeat )
Wither the dog ate your homework or the neighbor’s house burned down. ALL THE SAME!
There has to be drama!
Drama pulls others people in and some are pulled into other people’s drama on a daily basis.
These two believers had a disagreement. Not unusual. It is everyday life!
How they handle it and what others do effects the outcome.
As pastor of this church, I am not always popular.
I have had to make some hard decisions that did not set well with some.
I have always tried to do it in a way that models Christ and brings reconciliation when it is possible.
Under all kinds of circumstances and situations, including disagreements, we are to be happy in the Lord.
“Consider it pure joy, my bothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Some of the things we go through are part of life!
Some because of the fall of man,
Some because we have made bad decisions
Some because of someone else, but we are to be joyful in the Lord.
Rejoicing in the Lord is not only when things are good but also when things are tough.
That is why it is called faith.
That is why He says we have to trust Him.
II. Let your gentleness be evident to all
What Paul is telling us is …don’t run from conflict but also don’t feed it and don’t look for it.
He tells us that our actions should be Christ-like.
We should treat others like Christ has treated us.