Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Part 3: Experiencing Joy Through Integrity
Sunday, May 21, 2017

What does this old saying mean to you:  “One who refuses to stand for something will sooner or later fall for anything.”

New Christians go through these three stages:

  1. They become sons or daughters in the family (the fellowship of the Gospel)
  2. They become servants (the furtherance of the Gospel)
  3. They become soldiers (the faith of the Gospel)

Satan is out to defeat the church, and Christians need to have the single mind to face him and “fight the good fight of faith.”

Philippians 1:27-30, p. 831
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.  This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Three realities of encouragement to help us defend the faith of the Gospel

We are not standing alone (v. 27)

  • It is encouraging to know that there are others standing alongside us as we fight life’s battles
  • There is no substitute for the unity and harmony of the healthy church
  • Satan is the great divider and destroyer…Jesus Christ is the uniter and builder

We are on the winning side (v. 28)

  • It is encouraging to know Who we belong to God will save us for we are His children
  • Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4, p. 863)

We count it a privilege to suffer for Christ (vv.29-30)

  • It is encouraging to know that we have a “real or saving” faith as we suffer for it
  • We enjoy the free gift of salvation and the gift of suffering for Jesus Christ…for then we have fellowship with Christ in our suffering: “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41, p. 774)
  • There is a purpose in our suffering

This is the blessing of the single mind- that joyful confidence in God, knowing that He is in control of circumstances.

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