Summary: Paul was a joyful servant of the Church.
1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
Jesus wants us to have Joy – John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Adversity is defined as trouble, affliction, opposition, pressure, chastening, anquish, testing or tribulation.
Paul was a joyful servant because he was. . .
#1. Focused on Christ (Phil 1:21).
#2. Following Christ (Phil 2:1-5).
#3. Faithful to Christ (Phil 3:17, 20-21).
#4. Fastened to Christ (Phil 4:7, 13).
How did Paul arrive at this state of being? How could Paul rejoice in spite of his perilous situation?
There are five things in chapter one that contributed significantly to Paul’s sound state of mind!
#1. PAUL’S POSITION: His position was “in Christ.”
Philippians 1:1 “Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus… 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest… 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ…”
Colossians 1:25-27 “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
John 15:1-7 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
“In” (Gr. en) a primary preposition denoting a fixed position in place, time or state.
To abide in Christ is to have NO INTEREST into which Christ cannot be brought; NO LIFE which he cannot share.
#2. PAUL’S PASSION: His passion that could not be stopped.
Philippians 1:18 “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.”
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
#3. PAUL’S PURPOSE: His purpose was above all others.
Philippians 1:17, 21 “I am set for the defence of the gospel… For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
1 Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
#4. PAUL’S PRIVILEGE: Paul saw his service & suffering for Christ as a privilege.
Philippians 1:29 “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;”