Summary: A Study of Pauls Epistle to the Philippians
Sermon Series: “Help, I Can’t Find My Joy!”
(A Study of Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians)
Sermon #4 “You can have Joy in Godly Living”
Series Text: Philippians 4:4
INTRODUCTION: Welcome to our final study through Paul’s letter to the Church at Philippi.
We have seen that JOY is the overwhelming attitude displayed in this epistle.
We learned in chapter #1 how we can have joy in suffering as long as we remember that:
(1) God’s in control
(2) His plan is being worked out
(3) He isn’t finished yet!
We learned in chapter #2 how we can have joy in service by:
(1) Humbling ourselves as Christ did
(2) Staying the course as Timothy did
(3) Offering God our lives as Epaphroditus did
We learned in chapter #3 how we can have joy in believing because:
(4) Faith protects us from those who would steal our joy (false teachers)
(5) Faith reminds us of what confirms our joy (Christ’s sacrifice)
(6) Faith looks forward to the reason for our joy (Eternity with God)
***This week we see Paul beginning to wrap-up his letter to the members of the Philippian church, and he is encouraging them in their Christian walk.
This portion is the most practical in the entire book, as it really hits on subjects we all deal with in the Church today.
The idea he is expounding on is how to be Christ-like.
He teaches them that “godly living” requires us to:
I. Avoid Petty arguments (v.2-3)
a. Paul’s letter does not contain any rebukes over doctrinal errors in the Philippian church…But he does address some relational problems
b. Euodia and Syntyche were two women who were having some type of dispute within the church
i. We are not told what the dispute was over
ii. The very fact that he knows about it shows that it is a little more than just a silly disagreement
1. It is possible that the two women had started factions in the church
2. One had coerced a group into her corner, while the other did the same
3. Paul saw the potential that the two women of influence had and feared that the church may split over their dispute
c. This is typical of any ministry of any age
i. Paul was not dealing with a unique situation here
ii. Every pastor has, at one time or another, had to try to resolve differences between two opposing people or groups
iii. And the sad thing is that these are mostly petty arguments
iv. Illustration: “Most wouldn’t argue” I would venture to guess that not many in the church would stand up and voice their strong opinion about serious doctrinal error BUT many would fuss if we had a meeting to change the color of the carpets in the sanctuary!
1. Whole denominations have been formed by what type of music is played in the sanctuary
2. Instead of praying for unity in the Church, we often seek ways to band together and split up and it is almost never for a good reason!
d. Paul could foresee the danger in allowing the dispute between Euodia and Syntyche to go unchecked
i. So he encouraged them “to be of the same mind in the Lord”
ii. Notice he doesn’t say “be of the same mind about your disagreement”
1. And why not? Because they were obviously arguing over something that didn’t matter!
2. As long as they were of “the same mind concerning Jesus” they should be able to “disagree agreeably” about the things they differed on.
a. NOTE: This is where I should note that there are times to stand up and not agree (as our church did many years ago when we brok our denomination ties with the DOC) Concerning Jesus, we should all be of the same mind. If someone is teaching doctrinal error, which means they are NOT of the same mind concerning Jesus, we are not called to just “put up with it”.
b. We are called to acknowledge false teaching, separate ourselves from it, and beware of it.
iii. But in cases where we are dealing with petty squabbles, as Paul was dealing with here, we should be able to say, “We may not agree on the color of the carpet, or the type of music, or the size of the steeple…but as long as we agree on Jesus, we have a common ground to stand on – and we can disagree agreeably, without factions, splits and back-biting.
iv. Quote: “Godly living requires that we treat others in a godly way”
I. Avoid Petty arguments (v.2-3)
II. Focus on Holy things (v.4-9)
i. Paul encourages his readers to:
ii. (1) Avoid Worry
1. v.6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”