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 #1 “You can have Joy in Serving”
Series Text: Philippians 4:4
OPENING JOKE: ???
INTRODUCTION: Last week we began our sermon series through Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.
You will remember that we learned that this letter is called the “Epistle of Joy” as we can see references to Christian joy sixteen (16) times within its four (4) chapters.
We learned 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 also learned that “happiness depends on happenings, but joy depends on Christ”
***Today we are going to continue in this letter and learn how it is possible to have “joy in service”
Most people enjoy “being served” much more than they enjoy “serving others”
In the modern church the idea of “servanthood” has been forgotten and replaced by self centeredness
QUOTE: The Christian lifestyle, which was founded on humbling ourselves, seeking God and serving others has, in this present age, become a lifestyle of exalting ourselves, ignoring God and expecting others to serve us!
The sad thing about this is there is a great amount of joy that comes from service to God
And many Christians are giving up that joy because of a lack of service
Anyone who truly lives a lifestyle of servanthood will tell you the joy received by doing God’s will is much more rewarding than any paycheck
Illustration: “Mother Teresa wouldn’t take a million” Mother Teresa was working among the slums of Calcutta dressing the wounds of a leper. An American tourist observed her work and asked if he could take a picture. She granted permission and the tourist framed his shot. Through the camera’s lens he could see this world-renowned nun tenderly replacing a bloody bandage that covered a gaping hole where the leper’s nose used to exist. The photographer could also smell the stench of this wound as he moved in for a closer shot. After capturing several pictures, the American tourist said, “Sister, I wouldn’t do what you’re doing for $10 million!” Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I, my friend. Neither would I!”
There is a joy that comes with a life of committed service to God
***Last week we learned about Paul’s committed service as the “Prisoner of the Lord”. He goes on in chapter 2 to give us three more examples of the kind of service that pleases God:
I. Humble Service (Jesus)
a. Philippians is a book that contains more practical than theological information
i. But here we see Paul using a theological truth concerning Jesus as an example of why we should be humble in service.
ii. He shows that…
b. (1) Christ is the Pre-Existing Son of God (v.5-6a) “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God…”
i. The phrase “being in the form of God” actually can be translated “existed in the form of God”
ii. We sometimes get confused when studying about Christ and begin to believe that He didn’t come on the scene until Bethlehem
iii. But the Bible teaches that Christ is eternally existent with the Father
iv. This wonderful truth is found in no better place than in the opening words of John’s Gospel:
1. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
2. And just in case there was any question as to who John was talking about when he addressed “The Word” he goes on to say…
3. John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”
4. The ‘only begotten’ is Jesus Christ, who WAS God and IS God the Eternal Son of the Father
c. (2) Christ became a Humble Servant (6b-8) “…did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
i. Though Christ is equal with the Father in the Godhead, In His earthly life He never considered equality with God something to be grasped
1. “Consider it robbery” also means “consider it something to be grasped”
2. Instead of exalting Himself, He humbled Himself and became a servant
ii. QUOTE: Jesus could have come as a “conqueror”, yet instead He came as a “carpenter”
1. He made Himself of “no reputation”