Summary: Paul shows that being content for a believer is different from the worldly definition. Are you Content in Your circumstance?
A. This past week has been confusing to say the least.
1. Heart – not THIS week!
2. Here I am – needing to prepare 2 sermons – and this!
a. How do you prepare for Saturday when you don’t know the response
b. How do you prepare for Sunday for same reason
3. Then the Question: How do I(we) take Saturday’s blooper?
a. We gave it our all – honestly don’t believe there is anything else to give.
b. Event was a success – But response was not (from what we see)
Colossians 2:19 (MSG)
19 … Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
c. It’s for GOD to decide how we grow – but we must continue to give it our best.
4. While I had not intended to be in Phil, (Acts 2), I glanced last night and wow! It fits!
B. Closing Philippians – Let’s Review
a. Begins wi Epaphroditus bringing a financial gift & report of church
b. Paul under house arrest & needs to pay all his expenses
c. Letter thanks for the gift and responds to the report
a. Ch 1 – Paul describes his situation and encourages church to stand up to the persecutions and gossip they were facing b/cause of his situation.
- We found that some we trying to stir up trouble in the church and Paul’s letter was to remind them to not be destracted.
b. Ch 2 - Paul describes several examples:
1-5 – Reminds them of benefits of being united with Christ
6-11 – The example of Christ
12-18 – His example
19-30 - Example of Timothy & Epaphroditus
c. Ch. 3 – Repeats the situation (little more detail) and challenges church to press on – to move on toward the goal – the finish line
d. Ch. 4 – Pleads for unity and shows the danger of allowing struggles, differences, and selfishness
4-8 – Shows how to have victory in those situations along with giving a guide for victory in our prayers and not defeat
10-20 - Thanks for their gift
3. More to the Thank You than meets the eye!
b. Are YOU content?
Here at NHBC?
With Me? With Others?
a. What does it mean to be content?
- Paul shows that a Christian’s contentment is different from the world’s contentment
- A secret that only Christians possess
- So do you have it? Are you Content in Your circumstance?
- Are WE content in our circumstance here at NHBC?
I. CLOSE OF PHILIPPIANS
Paul begins by thanking the church for showing their concern for his situation.
10 - 12
‘content’ – (11,12)
Lit., ‘self-sufficient’ - that man should be sufficient to himself for all things; able, by the power of his own will, to resist the shock of circumstance.
But follow Paul’s thought:
1. Paul is self-sufficient through the power of the new self: not he, but Christ in him through the power of the holy spirit living within him.
a secret (12) to the Christian life—that he could get along in content with whatever he had, whether much or little.
—not a natural human response. But only in Christ alone, who provides strength & peace to cope with all circumstances
2. To have real contentment, we must remember that everything belongs to God and what we have is a gift from him.
1 Tim. 6.6 ‘but godliness with contentment is great gain’
At the time, Paul probably had very little to live on. Paul also knew how to live with everything.
‘plenty’ (12) - Lit. the Greek word is “to overflow.”
This might refer to Paul’s pre-Christian days as a fairly wealthy and influential Pharisee.
1 Cor. 4:11-13 ‘to this very hour…’
2 Cor. 6:4-10
Whether Paul had plenty or little, he could keep life on an even keel because of contentment.
The literal writing is ‘I have learned the secret, both to be filled and to hunger’
What a lesson for all believers to learn! No wonder Paul called it a secret.
APPLICATION - So what am I saying?
1. I would love to grow and exceed our wildest expectations. But we must learn to be self-sufficient – satisfied – content in what Christ has given us.
2. Do we quit trying to grow the kingdom one at a time? Absolutely not. But understand that in God’s time our hard work will pay off.
Paul’s contentment was not gained through self-discipline. Instead, it was through Christ alone. The word “everything” refers to vs. 11-12.
In every possible circumstance, Paul could truly be content because he did not let outward circumstances determine his attitude.