Summary: Where is your joy? Where is your focus? If it is not on Jesus it must be on you (your problems, your issues, your preferences, & your WANT TO’s). Philippians charges us to live JOYFULLY for Christ! What a great way to start the New Year off!
“Make it Personal”
Philippians Sermon Series, Part 1
- Today we begin our series in Philippians and I couldn’t be more excited!
- Philippians was written by Paul, to the church in Philippi
-- Philippi was filled with a mixed people, not just one specific group in the land
-- It was often used as a thoroughfare for merchants traveling the area
-- Let me give you just some background at the 50,000 level …
∆ SHOW MAP
- Philippi was located in Eastern Macedonia
-- King Philip founded this city as a stronghold in 356 BC
-- Through it ran a main passage way which could be secured by armies
-- The area was surrounded by mountains between these two continents
-- It provided perfect cover for armies; and also for settlements to blossom
- Also, due to its very mixed population, it allowed for many cultures to bloom
-- This meant, that customs and courtesies for other areas would be mixed
-- APP: Kind of like the USA: we have a great opportunity to share what we have!
- Read Philippians 1:1-8
∆ Point 1 – What is this book about?
- Before we dive deeper into this, let’s see if we can set the stage on a few things:
- 1) Christians should reflect the JOY of Christ in all things we do
- 2) This means you and I are to live with JOY in our lives b/c who He is!
- 3) By not living JOYFULLY shows others that we really have nothing to offer
- Consider this:
-- If someone has a sour puss on 24/7, who wants to be around that?
-- Or, how about people who have NO joy, but only complain … who needs that?
-- If we can’t show joy NOW, how can talk about looking forward to Heaven?
∆ CHANGE SLIDE
- Paul is not traveling alone, but with two other mighty men of God (ref Acts)
- He would be traveling with Silas who was with him from Jerusalem
-- Acts 15:40, “… but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.”
- Timothy also traveled with him; he joined Paul in the city of Lystra
-- Acts 16:1, “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.”
- Most believe that Luke joined the group in the city of Troas (he also wrote Acts)
-- Most believe that Luke was a resident of Troas and that he joined them there
-- Acts 16:8, “So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.” (note tense they)
- In Acts 16:9, Paul got a vision for what he was to do next
-- “During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
- His zeal for Christ moved him to set sail for this land, and off they went
-- Acts 16:10, “After Paul had seen the vision, we (tense changed) got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
- Landing in Neapolis he has a mountain range in front of him
-- After that, he has the plains of Philippi ahead and this is where he heads
- It is here that he preaches, and develops a real fondness for those living there
-- This is demonstrated in his writing this letter, and how personal we see it is
-- What we must note, is the overall encouragement that Paul gives to the reader
- This encouragement is what we will focus on: Live for God with JOY
-- Paul even deals with their disputes and rebukes them where they argue
- IMP: It is a joy to serve together for Christ, and we must understand this
- TRANS: Let’s see how Paul describes his personal circumstances and his heart
∆ Point 2 – Make it Personal! (1-6)
- As we’ve see in v1, Paul and Timothy are traveling and he greets the reader
-- It is a very informal greeting, but one with very special meaning
- APP: It is written to the church and those charged with governing it (v1)
-- To the overseers (or elders) and the deacons (servants)
-- To those who take charge of the church, greetings to you all
-- IMP: LOOK AT ME …. This is to YOU and me as we read this letter
- Paul offers us grace and peace (a common greeting in Christ)
-- Why? It is something that we should mirror when as we live our lives today
-- We are to live our lives as a reminder with the same things God has given us