Summary: Working through the book of Philippians using consecutive expository preaching.
Sermon: “God Ain’t Done with Me”
A sermon for June 21, 2020
Pastor John Bright
Philippians 1 “3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.”
As I told you last week, I am going to look at some BIG PICTURE ideas from the epistle to the churches in Philippi. This week, I want to look at JOY IN THE FACE OF SUFFERING - The question is not - "Will we suffer?" (If you want to hear a message about avoiding all suffering – go to a church where the preacher will give you the Prosperity Gospel every week.) The real question for you and me is "What is the Christian's response to suffering?" Paul, an innocent man in prison, is filled with joy and he expects the same response from the Philippians who suffer due to the hostility to Christ around them. Here is a list of references to joy in the book of Philippians - 1:4, 18, 25; 2:2, 17-18, 28-29; 3:1; 4:1, 4, 10
There are so many reasons in today’s world to give up on joy – for bitterness, disappointment, frustration, and let’s not forget the day to day drama on social media – the JOY OF THE LORD is the cure for all those maladies of the modern world. I guess that leaves each of us with a choice – do what God wants or follow the ways of the world. What’s your choice? Today is not the last time in this series we discuss joy. To start off today…
Paul share insight into his prayer life
“3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy,”
Paul does not just preach to them about joy – he offers them the chance to hear how he is joyful when he prays for them. As we are going to find out, Paul can be joyful because he can see the evidence of God working in and through the Philippian house churches. These are the reasons he give to them:
“5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now”
He sees them as partners in the work of sharing the Gospel. Paul has already moved on to other places and now is in prison as we read about in the Book of Acts. He’s not talking about the joy he had when he was there in Philippi – no, rather the joy he had as he wrote. This partnership or fellowship is expressed by the Greek word – “koinonia.” It is the idea that the work of ministry is shared among all Believers.
This idea in today’s Church is called “The Priesthood of All Believers.” Let me explain – any view of the Church as the place where the pastor produces ministry and the lay people consume ministry is WRONG! Let me tell you what you hear from folks that have this view – “I’m going to look for another church because I’m not being fed spiritually.” The church is NOT the buffet at Golden Corral. Let’s get together – in all the ways we can – and reach out beyond these four walls/parking lot to share the Love of God with a lost and hurting world.
Paul mentions their specific work of helping him financially in 2 Cor. 8 “1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.” (That’s where the idea of apportionments came from – sorry) It’s meeting the physical needs of folks, lest we become those who dare to act like what we read about in James 2 – “15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”