Summary: Fourth in a series from Philippians focusing on loving others because we are loved.
We recently began a new series of messages drawn out of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
He wrote to this church that he established some 10 years prior to this writing.
Paul wrote the letter from a prison in Rome along with Ephesians and Colossians known as the “Prison Epistles (letters).
Maintaining God’s joy while managing the world’s junk.
I also like a title I found on a title slide from the internet.
“Joy No Matter What”
In order to maintain this joy, we must align our life around four critical focal points which unfold in each of the four chapters of Philippians.
I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS -- SUPRERIOR LIFE PERSEPECTIVE
The Exaltation of Jesus in Everything
II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE -- SUPERIOR PATTERN OF LIVING
Serve Like Jesus
III. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM -- SUPERIOR LIFE PURSUIT
The Passionate Pursuit of Jesus
IV. ACQUIRE THE RIGHT ABILITY -- SUPERIOR POWER SOURCE
The strength of Jesus
Paul opened his letter with a greeting and prayer.
His prayer praised God for their partnership in the spreading of the Gospel and petitioned God to increase their love for one another that would result in a pure walk that glorifies Christ.
The rest of the letter addressed the details of an increasing God-honoring love included in the prayer.
The first perspective necessary to experience joy no matter what is adopting the right axis in life.
Paul’s life revolved around one specific objective; to see Christ exalted in everything.
I. Adopt the right Axis – the superior perspective
The exaltation of Christ in everything.
according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20
A. Paul Encouraged a right axis by personal example 1:12-26
B. Paul encouraged unity by pastoral exhortation 1:27-30
• The Mandate #1 – unity against the opposition 27-28
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. Philippians 1:27-28
He encouraged a worthy walk.
He mandated behavior suitable for a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
That behavior focues on standing firm and striving together against the opponents.
• The Motivation #1 - God’s gifts of belief and suffering 29--30
For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. Philippians 1:29-30
“For” usually introduces a purpose or motivation statement.
In this passage, Paul cites two motivating perspectives.
God “has granted”.
a) God gifts belief in Him
b) God gifts suffering for Him
These are both gifts intended to benefit the cause of Christ.
Both our belief and willing service bring glory to the one we serve.
First, Paul exhorted them to a united stand against the enemy.
Next he urged them to unite in their love for each other.
First is fitting citizen behavior in relation to external opposition.
Second is fitting citizen behavior in relations to internal relationships.
In this case he began with the motivating factors and then addressed the behavior.
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4
• Motivation #2 – God’s encouragement & consolation 2:1
Here Paul began with the motivation before he issued several relational practices to consider.
Paul employed four conditional phrases to actually emphasize their reality.
The Greek language employed at least three levels of conditional phrases.
If, and it may or may not be true. (most come to our use)
If it rains, then I am not going.
If, and it has a very low possibility of happening.
If I win the lottery, then I will…
If, and it has a high probability of happening or it is also called the case of the hypothetical.
If we have been raise up with Christ, then see the things above.