Summary: Message focuses on Paul’s letter to the Philippians, and the theme of Rejoicing In The Lord throughout the letter.
THE CHOICE TO REJOICE
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
I. REJOICE IN THE WORD
a. The Powerful Word
b. The Planted Word
II. REJOICE IN SERVICE
a. Sacrificial Service
b. Single-Minded Service
III. REJOICE IN THE LORD
a. Rejoice Always
b. Rejoice Greatly
We look tonight into the book of Philippians which is one of the Prison Epistles of Paul along with Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians.
While in Jerusalem preaching the Gospel at one point, Paul became embroiled in a legal quagmire that dragged on for a period of about 2 years that landed him in Prison.
The Jews in Jerusalem had become incensed that Paul had come into the city preaching the Gospel, and had also brought Greeks into the temple which to them was an act worthy of death. The entire account of this can be read in Acts 21-28.
Paul asked to speak to the people, and in spite of his words and pleadings with the people to consider the cause of Christ, and His resurrection, they still called for his death.
Paul eventually had to bring out the fact that he was a Roman Citizen in order to avoid being beaten, and he eventually ended up in Rome in prison.
The "prison" that he was in was actually a form of house arrest where he was able to have a certain degree of freedoms, one of which was writing letters to some of the churches, hence we are able to read the "prison epistles" today.
As we look into the book of Philippians, we see a theme that develops in the book, where Paul not only considers himself a "slave of Jesus Christ", but also he encourages the reader of his letter to "rejoice in the Lord"
Many have called this "rejoice in the Lord" theme, the Keystone of the entire letter to the Philippians.
I know I shouldn’t have to define what a Keystone is to Pennsylanians, but for those who are unsure of it’s meaning, here it is...
The central supporting element of a whole.
Pennsylvania is called the Keystone State because it was the central state of the Union at the writing of the Constitution.
So, as we realize Paul is in Prison with no freedom to go where he wants to go, and do what he wants to do, we see a theme that continues to rise to the top, and that is "rejoice in the Lord"!
We’re going to look at this today, and see the "Choice To Rejoice" that each one of us can make as we live this Christian life.
We realize today that if we are going to Rejoice, then we must first have a reason to rejoice, and then if we have a reason to rejoice, then we need to make "the choice to rejoice".
First of all, I believe we can
I. REJOICE IN THE PREACHED WORD
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
One of many things we notice immediately about the Apostle Paul, and that is that he had a very selfless attitude.
He knew that some were preaching to build their own reputations, taking advantage of Paul’s imprisonment to try to make a name for themselves.
Regardless of the motives of these preachers, Paul rejoiced that the gospel was being preached.
Some Christians serve for the wrong reasons. Paul wouldn’t condone, nor does God excuse, their motives, but we should be glad if God uses their message, regardless of their motives.
Paul had no desire to get into a shouting match over whose territory was whose, and whose loyalty belongs where.
There was one thing he was concerned about, and that was that
the Word of God was being preached, and when he considered that fact in light of his own name and reputation being slandered, he gladly rejoiced in the Word of God being preached.
He knew that as long as the Word of God was being preached that people were being set free, saved, and healed, and God was being glorified.
He was rejoicing, because the Word is
a. The Powerful Word -
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
This same Word that Jesus preached that brought life while he walked the shores of Galilee, and the dusty roads, was the same Word that Paul was preaching at every opportunity he had!
Not only was this Word a Powerful Word that was going forth, it was also...