Summary: Part 1 of a Series on Philippians, focusing on the joy found in a community of believers.
The Joy of Community
A. God’s People and Joy
1. In the Old Testament
a) Nehemiah 8:10 – “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
b) Psalm 16:11 – “In your presence is the fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures evermore.”
c) Psalm 43:4 – “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy…”
d) Habakkuk 3:18 – “Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
e) Strength, fulfillment, worship, and salvation are part of God’s joy.
2. In the New Testament
a) Matthew 2:10 – “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”
b) Luke 17:10 – “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord even the demons are subject to us in your name.”
c) John 16:24 – “…Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
d) Acts 5:41 – “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
e) The coming of Christ, the power of God, evangelism, prayer, and suffering are part of God’s joy.
B. Paul’s Book of Joy
1. The book of Philippians.
a) Written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome – Acts 28:16-30
b) To the church at Philippi that was established on Paul’s second journey – Acts 16
c) One of Paul’s more personal letters to the churches of the first century.
2. Major theme is joy.
a) Five times the word joy is found.
b) The word, rejoice, occurs 11 times in the book.
c) Key verse is 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.”
C. Tonight we will being a series on the Joy of Christianity
1. Discussing the different aspects of the joyous life in Christ.
2. Remembering that in Christ we find real joy – Romans 5:11
3. Tonight, “The Joy of Community” – Philippians 1:1-11
a) Notice the word all (1) – Unity
b) Saints, bishop and deacons – Organization
c) Grace and peace from God – Deity
II. Three Keys to the Joy of Community
A. Being on each other’s mind (3-6)
1. “I thank my God upon remembrance of you…”
a) Paul thought of his brethren thankfully (3).
b) Paul thought of his brethren prayerfully (4a).
c) Paul thought of his brethren joyfully (4b).
d) Paul thought of his brethren spiritually (5).
e) Paul thought of his brethren confidently (6).
2. What do we think of each other?
a) Many times we never think of one another at all.
b) We probably do not pray for one another as we should.
c) Many members of the Lord’s church have a genuine dislike for each other.
d) Some have little or no confidence in each other’s ability to grow or to grasp spiritual concepts or ideas.
3. We need to think of….
a) Our young people – Proverbs 22:6
b) Our elderly – 1 Timothy 5:3-15
c) Our sick – Matthew 25:36
d) Our elders – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-16
e) Our members that struggle spiritually – Galatians 6:1-2
B. Being in each other’s heart (1:7-8).
1. “…just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart…”
a) The brethren loved Paul.
b) They were not ashamed of his chains.
c) They were not ashamed of his gospel.
2. Paul loved the brethren.
a) He shared in the grace of God with them.
b) The grace that brings salvation – Titus 2:11
c) The grace is partaken of by being baptized into Christ – Galatians 3:27
d) He loved them with the love of Christ.
3. Christ loves.
a) Universally – Matthew 20:28
b) Unconditionally – Romans 5:8
c) Sacrificially – John 15:13
d) Compassionately - Matthew 9:36
4. Love for another.
a) Is commanded – 1 John 4:7-8
b) Identifies us with Christ – John 13:34-35
c) Is a mark of spiritual life – 1 John 3:14
d) Is to be put into action – 1 John 3:18
e) Is a component of forgiveness – 1 Peter 4:8
f) Love keeps no record of wrongs – 1 Corinthians 13:5
g) Come from walking by the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-25
C. Being in each other’s prayers. (1:9-11)
1. “And this I pray…”
a) Notice what Paul prayed for was not material blessings.
b) Was not for physical health.
c) Paul’s prayer was for spiritual maturity.
2. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians.
a) Abounding love.
d) Purity – Not just rejecting the false but holding on to the true (1 Thessalonians 5:21)