Summary: Message 22 from Philippians. The message continues a discussion concerning our need to stand against the evil world system in which we live.
“Stand Firm Against the World”
We in the section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians where he instructs them in some specific actions or behaviors that facilitate joy no matter what.
1. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS – A Passion to praise Christ
Exalting Christ in everything is a foundation for joy.
2. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE – A Passion to please Christ
Pleasing Christ through sacrificial service to others is a foundation for joy.
3. PURSUE THE RIGHT AIM – A Passion to pursue Christ
Pursuing deeper relationship with Christ above all other things brings joy.
4. PRACTICE THE RIGHT ACTIONS – A Passion to practice Christ
Practicing Christ-like living results in joy.
He specified several actions throughout chapter four. The first admonition was to “stand firm in the Lord.”
A. Stand firm in the Lord 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, dearly loved and longed for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, dearly loved.
Over the past weeks, we have explored numerous Bible passages calling us to stand firm in the Lord.
These passages apply to various life situations.
APPLYING STANDING FIRM IN THE LORD
Stand firm against persecution and false teaching
Stand firm in the storms of life.
Stand firm against the schemes of the Devil
Stand firm in The Faith.
Stand firm Against the Flesh.
Even though we face a life-long war against fleshly passions imbedded in our physiology there in victory through Christ.
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:23-25
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2
We discussed the means to significant victory in this war last week.
If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:9-13
REALIZE WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST
BE WILLING TO SUFFER
WALK (LIVE) BY THE DIRECTION AND ENABLING OF THE SPIRIT
RUTHLESSLY DEAL WITH THE FLESH
Abstain from the passions of the flesh
Consider yourselves dead to sin.
Stop letting sin reign
Stop presenting your members to sin.
Put to death the deeds of the body (flesh)
Put off the works of darkness and deny any gratification to the flesh
Discipline the physical body
RENEW and GUARD YOUR THINKING
I would add one more important element in this battle.
ASK FOR HELP
Too often we try to battle this war on our own. The Bible stresses accountability and mutual encouragement.
Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Heb 3:13
Numerous other passages call for us to come along side one another that include encouragement, confrontation, prayer, exhortation, teaching, accountability to elders, stimulation to love and good deeds.
I might add one other element to victory in this fight with the flesh that actually is a different but related battle.
Satan designed and directs this world system to reinforce those fleshly passions.
Stand Firm Against the devil-directed World system.
First, we need to identify what is meant by “the world”. It seems confusing since the same term is used to refer to different aspects. The Greek term translated “world” is the Greek term “kosmos”. (Our word cosmetics comes from this word.) It refers to something ordered, an ordered system, therefore beautiful or attractive. Prior to the rebellion of Adam and Eve, God’s world was perfectly ordered. Order manifested at all levels of creation from the animate to inanimate. Even in its cursed condition, the order of God’s world clearly stands as a compelling argument for an intelligent designer behind what we observe. When functioning per God’s design, our world radiates a Master Designer. Because of the rebellion, a curse descended on the entire world affecting every aspect of its design. This curse brought disorder and chaos to every aspect of our world.
The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Romans 8:19-22