Sermon: Rejoicing at All Times! The Lifestyle of a Believer
Bible Passage: Philippians 4:4-9
1. Paul writes from the prison in Rome expresses his thanks to the church for their partnership in the gospel (1:5) and for their generosity in sending him support through Epaphroditus (4:10-19).
2. Paul also writes to address several concerns;
a. External opposition that was causing suffering to the believers (1:28-29)
b. Warning them against Jewish Christians, called Judaisers (3:2-3)
c. He addresses the tension within the church, including the church leaders (4:2-3)
d. He challenges them to value others better than themselves and to have a sincere desire to know Christ and to be found in Him and to press on towards the goal (1:27-2:11, 3:7-10, 3:12-4:1).
II. Rejoice even when situation seems unpleasant/hurting (4:4).
1. Paul is a person who went through all sorts of persecution, shipwrecked, nakedness, hunger, imprisonment . . .
2. His life was driven by the truth and not the circumstances around.
3. The church at Philippi were facing oppositions, trials of several kinds, extreme poverty (2Cor. 8:1ff). Regardless of all those realities they were facing, Paul exhorts/commands them to rejoice always.
4. Our joy is not conditioned by situation around us. It derives from our understanding and experiencing who God is.
5. Joy is driven by the truth (Scripture) rooted deeply within us, that external situation cannot touch it.
III. Believers are to live lives different from those of the world (based on the Scripture) (4:5).
Philippians Christians may be a small community, and constantly under the pressure from other religious communities. The challenge is for them to be distinct and positively influence people around them.
1. Paul was in the prison, but he hardly speaks about his condition and drew attention to himself – he was selfless, always thinking about the spiritual wellbeing of others.
2. The internal change becomes evident and obvious externally.
3. Consciously cultivate on things that you know brings smile to God.
IV. Inexpressible Peace of God (vv. 7,9a) That comes by the incomparable worth of knowing Christ (3:7-11)
1. The peace of God is not based on circumstances like the world’s peace
2. “Guard your heart” – The peace that god gives, nobody can steal it from them.
3. Parable of the hidden treasure (Mt. 13:44-46). The farmer sold all his possession and bought the small plot of land, because he knows where the real treasure lays.
Take the truth (Scripture) and day by day focus on them, preach it to yourself, to your mind until it becomes a part of you, and becomes your lifestyle.