Category: Victory

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
Basking in Joy from Victory

Basking in Joy from Victory

Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Basking in Joy from Victory
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Philippians 3:7-14, p. 832
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

We can bask in joy from our victory in Christ if we:

Let go of the problems “useless waste” of the past (vv. 7-8)

  • Paul reminds us what it takes to enjoy victory, to reach the goal, to achieve success in Christ.
  • Things that entangle us and hinder us from finishing our race in Christ.
  • Paul gives us his list in verses 4-6 (confidence and distractions of our “flesh”)
  • Acts 27 (p. 793) example throwing all the “cargo” of his past life overboard.

Keep your focus on the finish line (prize) for your future (vv. 8-12)

  • “Gain Christ”: not about gaining Christ as Saviour, Paul was expressing his deep desire to know Christ better and to develop Christlikeness in his life.

Knowing the Person of Jesus Christ 

  • “Know” means to know by experience.
  • You can know someone casually and not know them personally
  • Many Christians have a ‘knowledge’ of Christ that is intellectual but not experiential (need both)
  • Jesus prayer, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, p. 765)

 Knowing the Power of Jesus Christ 

  • We can know the power of Christ in our present from the Holy Spirit to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, p. 799)
  • We will know that power completely in the future when (our bodies) we will be raised up just as Jesus was resurrected (1 Corinthians 15, p. 815)

Knowing the Passion of Jesus Christ 
Matthew 5:10-12, p. 683
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

Knowing the Praise of Jesus Christ
Our Resurrection:  when the dead in Christ shall rise at the time of the rapture and those who are still alive will be transformed, then the saints (followers of Jesus Christ) will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ.  (Matthew 24:44-47, p. 701; 1 John 2:28, p. 863)

Develop the discipline to (vv. 13-14):

Focus
Hebrews 12:1-2, p. 852
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

Forget
Luke 9:62, p. 734
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Follow
“Straining toward,” “press on.”

X