This sermon was based on Philippians 3:20-4:9.
1Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
2I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
- Paul knows the difficulties and persecutions the church in Philippi are going through and he calls them to stand firm.
- He uses an illustration which is very real to him as he is surrounded by soldiers. Stand firm, this is where your protection comes from, standing firm in the Lord.
- This is what we are called to do in our circumstances, stand firm.
- Paul is thinking of two specific dear friends who worked alongside him but had somehow fallen into a public disagreement. He addresses them individually so they know he is considering each of them personally.
- God blesses unity, it is a precious commodity that we strive for.
- The one thing which we know about these women is that they had quarrelled – what do we want to be known for.
- It is often hard to rejoice in difficulty. The world at the time of Paul was volatile and the Philippian church contained some of those who had had to flee. Paul was real, ‘rejoice, again I say rejoice’ – he knows the reality of what he is asking.
- We rejoice in the Lord even in our sorrow. These two things are not incompatible. We need to learn to cry and sing and hallelujah.
- The Lord is a present help in time of trouble. The Lord is near. Paul knows the presence of God in his captivity.