Summary: This sermon deals with having unity in the body of Christ.
Our hope pulls us in one direction, while our fears pull us in another direction. Our dreams pull us up, while our failures try to pull us down. In social clubs, one committee wants to do it one way, and another committee wants to do it their way, when they should be doing it the right way. In government, the republicans wants to go one way and the democrats wants to go another way, when both parties should be going the same way. In church, one Christian wants to do it one way, and another Christian wants to do it his/her way, when they should be doing it God’s way.
In this 4th chapter of Philippians, Paul encourages Euodia, and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. These two ladies were disputing among each other and it was bringing division into the church. Paul being faced with this terrible situation writes a letter urging these two ladies to reconcile their differences and be careful for nothing. This word careful meant anxious. This word “Anxious” in its original form meant “to worry” and “to be pulled in different directions.” Therefore, Paul shows us three things in this text as it relates to “pulling together as one body in Christ.” Righteous Praying, Righteous Thinking and Righteous Living.
Righteous Praying: (Phil.4:6-7)
Paul doesn’t just tell these ladies to “pray about it!” Paul put emphasis on this task of praying. Paul uses three different words to describe “righteous praying” prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. Prayer=making your requests known to the lord. Supplication=an earnest sharing of our needs and problems. Your prayer should be real, effective, and fervent. Just read James 5:16 in part…”the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Thanksgiving=is just that giving thanks to God for what he has done, what he is doing and what he will do in the future. Notice now, righteous praying is not something every Christian can do immediately, because righteous praying depends on the right mind. This is why Paul’s formula for peace is found at the end of Philippians and not at the beginning. Look at someone and say it’s a process. If we have the single mind in Phil.1, then we can give adoration. (How can a double-minded person give praise to God?) If we have a submissive mind of Phil. 2, we can come with supplication. If we have the spiritual mind of Phil. 3, we can show appreciation. Therefore, we must practice Phil. 1, 2, 3 if we are going to experience the secure mind of Phil.4 and “Pull it together.” With righteous praying, Paul tells us that we can have the peace of God. Paul is saying we can have the security of God, the safety of God, the protection of God, the prosperity of God which passeth all understanding. This word passeth means to rise above, stand out, to excel above thoughts, feelings, purposes, and desires and shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus who is the only one that can help us “pull it together.”
Righteous Thinking: (Phil.4:8)
Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling and before long the heart and mind is pulled apart. Thoughts are real and powerful, even though they cannot be seen, weighed or measured. Paul spells out in detail the things we should think about as Christians. Paul says finally, which means “in the future” these are the things you should have your mind on. Truth, Honesty, Just, Pure, Lovely, and Good Report. In essence, if you gonna gossip, gossip on these things. We must bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The Christian who fills his heart and mind with God’s Word will have a “built-in radar” for detecting wrong thoughts. Righteous thinking is the result of daily meditation on the word of God. What is meditation? “to reflect,” “to ponder,” “to dwell in thought,” Through meditation, the Word of God will become meaningful and real to you, and the Holy Spirit will use this time to apply the Word of God to your own life and its problems. Stop allowing folk to use your meditation time for depression time. How do I get this kind of thinking and what will this type of thinking do for me? Isaiah 26:3 tells us that “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We can never get around the frustrations of this world, but when we fix our thoughts on God, we can know perfect peace even in turmoil. As long as we stay focus on God’s word we become steady and stable. Not only are we gonna need Righteous Praying, and Righteous Thinking for us to pull together, But Finally Paul says we gonna need,