Month: July 2017

Realizing the Joy of Harmony

Realizing the Joy of Harmony

Sunday July 9 2017

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances

Part 9: Realizing the Joy of Harmony

 

What disharmony looks like.

 

What harmony looks like.

 

Which brings joy to your life and why?

 

Philippians 4:1-5, p. 832

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!  I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

 

Four exhortations (encouragement) for the joy of harmony

 

  1. Don’t be Defeated (Stand Victorious in Christ)
  • Followers of Christ were told not to march forward into battle, but were told to stand firm
  • In Paul’s letters, followers of Christ are not to be engaged in offensive warfare but to stand on the ground Jesus Christ has already taken from His decisive victory on the cross and resurrection.

 

Ephesians 6:13-14, p. 830

“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand Stand firm then….” 

 

  1. Don’t be Divisive (Stand Victorious together in Christ)
  • Followers of Christ are to live in harmony with each other: “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind” (vs.27)
  • “Be of one accord, of one mind” (2:2); “Let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (3:16)
  • Followers of Christ are not to let even the smallest irritation in a church body to grow to major disunity.
  • Unity in Salvation (“names in the book of life”)
  • Unity in Spirit (spirit of servanthood and humility)
  • Unity in Service

  

  1. Don’t be Discouraged (Stand Victorious together with confidence in Christ)
  • “Rejoice” used 9 times, “joy” used 4 times, “rejoice with” 2 times
  • Happiness is the world’s cheap counterfeit of Christian joy, of happiness depends on circumstances whereas joy is rooted in Christ

  

  1. Don’t be Defensive (Stand Victorious together with confidence focused on Christ)
  • Paul is redirecting our focus away from ourselves and onto Jesus Christ (“The Lord is near”)
  • The Lord is at hand; big picture thinking verses our petty concerns
Securing Joy by Going on to Spiritual Maturity

Securing Joy by Going on to Spiritual Maturity

Sunday July 2 2017

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances

Part 8: Securing Joy by Going on to Spiritual Maturity

 

Philippians 3:15-21, p. 832

“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is set on earthly things But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” 

 

Spiritual Immaturity

  • The Apostle Paul is pointing out a distinction between those who are spiritually mature (includes himself as an example of spiritually maturity)
  • Paul is identifying the Judaizers (false teachers and followers) as those who lack spiritual maturity
  • Identifying features (vv. 18-19)
    • Focused (mind) on this world and the things of this world only
    • Live for the flesh for “their god is their stomach” (earthly needs, pleasures)
    • All energy, commitment, and attention is earth bound
    • Their end is destruction (hell) and are enemies of the cross of Christ (Christ on the cross defeated the world and the flesh; cross speaks of sacrifice and suffering, yet these people live for the world and seek only to please themselves)

 

Spiritual Maturity

  • Share with Paul the pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness
  • Know our real home is in heaven, our citizenship is in heaven; when people become members of God’s family, they are written down in heaven (Luke 10:20, p. 734) which means they live for the glory of heaven and not for praise on earth
  • Are whole lives are pointed heavenward (passions, possessions, plans, purpose)
  • Will be found faithful and not ashamed on the Great Day of Judgment at Christ’s coming (1 John 2:28-3:3, p. 863)

 

1 John 2:15-17, 28, p. 863

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever… And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

 

 

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