Summary: We can rejoice as we obey these words from the Father’s heart!
Three Word’s from the Father’s Heart
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Three wealthy sons, wanted to impress their mother. One gave her a huge home. The second one, a Rolls Royce with a driver. The third one said, “Boys I’ve got you both beat. I found a parrot that was training in a monastery for 12 years to recite the entire Bible. You know mom can’t see very well, so all she has to do is give chapter and verse and the parrot will quote it.” “I had to pledge $100,000 per year to the monastery to get it. Mom wrote them to thank them and said “Son that house is too big I don’t have time to clean it.” “Son I stay home all the time and never use the car. And the driver is rude.” “Son you know just what your mother likes, the chicken was delicious!”
If we will follow the Word of God, we will have joy in our lives. That is what we are talking about, “the Journey to Joy.” In this series we are studying the book of Philippians, written from a prison cell, that tells us about the joy of the Lord.
In this passage there are three things that will steal your joy:
1. Lack of Good Conduct- a behavioral problem
2. Lack of Cooperation- a relational problem
3. Lack of Courage-an irrational problem
Let’s open this passage and see what it says about these issues!
II. Be of Good Conduct- vs. 27a
A. Your Conduct Should be Commendable
Think about this! Every person who ever lives will spend eternity in one of two places heaven or hell. What will determine the place is the decision they made to accept or reject Jesus Christ. The way that they will see or fail to see Christ is very much dependant on us, the church! That is huge!
This word for conduct meant citizenship. You should behave like a citizen of heaven even though you are living as a citizen of an earthly city.
Illus. -“The Ugly American”
You are writing a Gospel
A chapter each day
By the deeds that you do
And the words that you say
Men read what you write
Whether faithful or true
Just what is the Gospel
According to you?
B. Your Conduct should be Consistent
Paul warned them that their behavior should be good even if he was not present. We shouldn’t be one thing if front of our Christian friends and another thing in front of our lost friends.
“Character is who you are in the dark.”
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice , as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
III. Be of Good Cooperation- vs. 27b
A. Stand together in one Spirit
We will see later in our study of Philippians that there was division in the church at Philippi. Two women are mentioned that are not getting along with each other. We must guard against this in the church.
Standing firm here means to steadfastly hold one’s ground regardless of danger or opposition. It is both positive and negative. We must stand with God and against Satan.
If there is anyone in this body or in your life who you “have aught against” you need to let God open your heart and deal with that situation.
Now this is the law of the jungle
As old and as true as the sky
And the wolf that keep it may prosper
And the wolf that shall break it must die
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk
The law runneth forward and back
And the strength of the pack is the wolf
And the strength of the wolf is the pack.
B. Strive together in one mind
This word meant the striving together of athletes on a team. Talk about when one team members causes discord. Ball Hogs. “The man who puts the ball into the hoop has ten hands.”- John Wooden
Two sons were fighting. Father told his son to snap the cane. Then added canes to the bundle. Couldn’t break it.