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Summary: Paul had set the example of joyfulness in difficult times. In prison, after beatings, Paul and Silas had sung praises. Now, in the difficult times of their life, Paul gives advice for believers in difficult times.

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In Times Like These: A Message of Encouragement

Philippians 4:1-8

Calvary Baptist Church

October 19, 2008

INTRODUCTION

• The church at Philippi had fallen on difficult times.

APPLY! – We are in difficult times! (The economy, the election)

• The story of the founding of this church may be read in Acts 16.

• Paul had paid a price to bring the gospel to Philippi, and this church loved him for it.

• And Paul loved them (see the terms of affections in 4:1).

• Yet, in Paul’s imprisonment, they had of late been unable to help him.

• Only very recently had they been able to send an offering through Epaphroditus.

• Paul had set the example of joyfulness in difficult times.

• In prison, after beatings, Paul and Silas had sung praises.

• Now, in the difficult times of their life, Paul gives advice for believers in difficult times.

I. Our Stand in Times Like These (4:1-3)

A. Standing Faithful to the Savior (1)

Philippians 4:1-8 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

1. Paul’s Affection for the Philippians

2. Paul’s Admonition to the Philippians (Eph. 6:10)

“Stand fast” – Gk., steko, to remain stationary, take a stand, persevere.

• Here we have a command that many Baptists would welcome.

ILLUS: Sign at farm: “Don’t shoot anything around here that is not moving. It might be my help!”

• But Paul is asking us to stand by the stuff in hard times.

• We are not to let the essentials go undone.

• This is only possible “in the Lord.”

• There are times when we may not be able to make as much progress.

• But during such times, we must hold our ground and be faithful to what God would have us to do.

"Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground." (From an email from Wayne and Evelyn McWhorter)

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

B. Standing in Fellowship With the Saints (2,3)

1. The Appeal to the Women

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

• We know little about these women.

• Evidently, they were of some importance in the church at Philippi.

• Perhaps they were the wives of key leaders in the church.

• But we know that they were at war with one another.

• We should not be surprised that, even in the early church, this existed.

• But it so hindered the church that the Apostle Paul must take a portion of inspired

Scripture to admonish them!

APPLY! – The little things that can cause hurt feelings and turn into big things!

2. The Appeal to the Worker

3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

“yokefellow” – Gk., syzygos. The word can mean colleague, but may be referring to an individual believer by name.

“help” – Gk., syllambanô. The word, in its meaning "take" in the senses of "seize," "capture.” In this context, it means to hold together. It could be the two women or the entire church (as a result of their feud) that needed to be held together.

• Paul gives a command to the two women.

• But he does not know if that will be sufficient.

• He calls upon his friend to help the situation.

• He does not hesitate to make known the serious nature of the conflict.

• But he remembers that these women had been faithful helpers in the gospel.

• They had helped Paul, and Clement and other Christian workers.

• But now they can help no one.

• Any of us can find ourselves in that place.

• But we do not have to stay there!

• We should remember that we answer to Heaven.

• We are dealing with brothers and sister whose names are in the Book of Life

II. Our Spirit in Times Like These (4:4-6A)

A. The Rejoicing of Our Spirit (4; Ps. 34:1; Neh. 8:10)

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

“rejoice” – Gk., chairo. To be cheerful

• Paul tells us WHAT to do.

• He repeats it twice.

• We are to be cheerful.

• Paul tells WHEN to be cheerful.

• Alway!

• What kind of testimony to a lost world is a believer who is saying God is alive but is acting as if God were dead!

• “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)

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