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Why is it important to stand firm in Christ?

A Study in Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Only as we stand firm in the Lord, in prayer, prayer, and prayer as well as faith can we persevere and finish the race that we are facing.

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Introduction

Work on Saturday at a conference for “Science & Faith” yesterday.
Co-worker invited me for dinner
Has a daughter who is absolutely adorable.
Well known for not being good with babies - didn’t like them but got fond of them over the years
One of the reason I do not like babies are that they always cry and need their parents around them
Noelle likes me - first time seeing me in her house - kept making eye contact all in the safety of her dad’s presence
how do I know? Once I try to pick her up, she would demand to be brought back to her dad.
I felt played around because she showed interest in me but only when her dad was around
when he went to the bathroom, she followed him, etc.
This made me realize and kind of look back my childhood - very dependent on parents - only knowing that they were there
Mother’s day
appreciate our parents
How blessed we are to have parents but even more to have our heavenly Father - we have broken families
In today’s text Paul tells us that we need to stand firm - more precisely, we need to stand firm in Christ. Why? Because, we all need a foundation in life and only Christ is the true rock on which we can stand.
So, today, we will go over why need to stand firm, why we need to stand firm in Christ, and how we actually stand firm in Christ.

Why stand firm?

The first question we want to ask is “Why stand firm?” We are not even saying “in Christ.” We want to consider the question why we need to stand firm in anything.
Back to opening example - we all stand on something
Believe it or not we are all dependent on something
Government
Providing infrastructure, services, safety, etc.
Nature
that earth will sustain us and stays calm and safe - no earthquakes, etc.
predictable
Own bodies
our mind and person can only live in our bodies - we depend on our instincts and natural body functions
Parents
Providing shelter, food, love
Example: Fences - the duty of parents
We see that many of these things we have stood on are falling apart
Even the definition of man itself falls apart leaving us nowhere to stand upon
People do not even know what politically correct is - anything can insult anybody
We are creatures, more importantly creatures that depend on many things - as mentioned nature, societies, especially closer relationships, knowledge - without any of those we could not survive.

The truth...

but the truth is - all of these things are falling apart, right?
Nature is collapsing under the greed of men just like societies and governments are
Relationship are destroyed by the introduction of social media
knowledge is more options than facts
It is not surprising that children and teenagers are more prone to depression and confusion in general in a society like this.
Paul also knew that the people of Philippi were suffering under such things were relationships and societies are falling apart, even amongst Christians. When we read in verses 2-3 we see that Euodia and Syntyche were fighting and Paul is telling them to take care of them.

Stand firm in Philippi

Paul know that life which they are supposed to live is full of such things and just being a Christian, the initial justification won’t change anything. The reason why Paul is asking for the 2 to be reconciled is because they are not by themselves. The reason why Paul is saying that they should rejoice is because most likely they are not rejoicing because of all the problems that they are facing.
Life is full of such things where we wonder on what we stand and what we can trust.
That leads us to the next question: What do we stand firm on and why does it have to be Jesus?

Why stand firm in Christ?

So, why in Christ?
We already answered the first question that we all need something to stand upon in this life, but why Christ?
The answer lies in the word “therefore” in our passage in verse 1. Paul is continuing and concluding his thought as well as this letter with these last paragraph and formulates a grand conclusion here with the word “therefore” - why therefore? What therefore?
The word “therefore” is a result conjunction that show the consequences of the previous content. What did we talk about so far? What did Paul teach these people here in Philippi?
Most likely the best summary is found in .
Philippians 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
What does that mean? Paul knows and refers to them as true Christians and as we have learned so far it is not because of any merit-bringing actions that we have done but only and solely through the grace and work of Christ Jesus our Lord, we are saved and redeemed and nothing can take that away from us.
He is talking to believing Christians and therefore, since Paul knows that they know about the Gospel, he is saying “therefore - stand firm in the Lord!” Don’t you know that the one who began will finish it? No matter what circumstance you will face, Christ will finish it! That is why Paul is giving his own life-experiences showing them as he stood firm in the Lord what has happened and therefore calls them to imitate him to do the same as him, here again in verse 9!
We are Christians and we have the promise of Christ and we already have seen Him working in our brothers and sisters. All things may fall apart but His Word shall stand forever! This is the reason why we should stand firm in Christ - because there is nothing else to stand upon at this point if you really understand the truth!

So, how can we stand firm in Christ?

Now, the next question is then, how can we stand firm in Christ? We all know standing firm is a figurative call - which is an heart issue. But how can we live it out?
First, rejoice and again rejoice.
Philippians 4:4 ESV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Paul is repeating this two times for a reason. Because joy is one of the best ways to stand firm in Christ. Paul does not just say be happy and that’s it. “Don’t worry, be happy” is a very famous catchphrase - but we know that this is not that simple because this phrase misses one essential point - why be happy? See, people just say be happy ignoring the fact that happiness is a reaction, a reactive emotion. This means there must be always a reason for that happiness. The same goes with joy. We cannot be just joyful. So, why does Paul say “rejoice?” - because he says be joyful in the Lord - in the knowledge of our God, the Father who redeemed us through His Son - knowing this rejoice he is saying!
Second, be gentle to everyone!
Philippians 4:5 ESV
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
Phillipians 4:5
He is probably referring this here to Euodia and Syntyche saying, why do you quarrel and fight? Be gentle to each other as you stand firm in the Lord knowing that you are in the book of life as it says in verse 3. In our knowledge in God and Christ we can do it because we know it is Christ who finishes the work for us but also because He tells us to love our neighbors.
Third, prayer, prayer and prayer.
Paul starts saying this:
Philippians 4:6 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything - why? First, because God is at hand and second, because related to the first point, he listens to us. This also important to point 1 and 2 - without prayer we cannot rejoice, without prayer we cannot be gentle, without prayer we cannot be thankful. Paul is talking about prayer - 3 times in 3 different ways - “prayer”, “supplication” which basically means in the Greek “to pray” and “let your requests be made known” which also is “to pray”. The reason why this is so important to pray is because prayer is the outward action of our trust in the Lord that not only did He redeem us but as our Father He is always with us - “at hand” and always “listens to us”.
I mean think about it - it is like the example from before. Knowing that your heavenly Father is constantly watching over you, there is not need to fear, no need to quarrel, no need to be anxious - just like a little baby trusting in his or her parents, we also must be like them - that is why Christ said, unless we are like those children we cannot enter the kingdom of God, which Jesus referred to their dependent character!
We need to pray more! Pray, Pray, Pray!
Then, lastly, to have faith - as you can see all these points are interrelated - from faith to prayer to rejoicing - they are all intertwined.
Philippians 4:7 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:
The peace of God that Jesus mentions in is the faith that comes through the Holy Spirit.
John 14:27 ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:15 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
He is here talking about the Holy Spirit - the peace that He will give - the peace He says to be with them - is the faith through the Holy Spirit.
John
It is through these things - actually all one thing - that we can stand firm in the Lord which is basically - TRUST in the Lord. As it is said wisely
Proverbs
Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Then, as you trust in Him, Paul is calling them to do focus on what is good.
Philippians 4:8–9 ESV
Finally, 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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Phillipians 4:8-9
He is telling them, since God is with us and does all things for us, now just focus on the good and not the bad for we have peace in Him, we have life in Him, we have trust in Him.
See how all these things work out? Since God is unchanging in His Word, promised us of not only justification but sanctification and glorification, in faith, trust and prayer for more faith, we can stand firm in Christ and therefore also rejoice!
If this is not enough, there is one more thing:

Stand firm together

Paul is mentioning the two sisters, for the church to reconcile them - why? Because being a believer is not about oneself - nor can it be. We are dependent people on God, on other people. In the end Paul even says - “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me...” - whatever you see in others - imitate them.
See, this is the design that God has chosen to not only be glorified but to help us - knowing that we cannot do it alone for it is just too hard, as He gave Eve to Adam, God also gave us helpers, each other here to stand firm. It is about being a family
Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
See here, the peace of Christ was given to us in one body! You are supposed to stand together. Honestly, the number one reason why we struggle in church is because of others, maybe even because of me. Maybe it is your family, siblings, etc. But see that is exactly why Paul is saying to reconcile, to look only at the good things, not only in oneself but in each other for we are all in God’s will and His control and there is nothing for us to be afraid and to be anxious about - just trust and believe in the Lord.
Even when enemies overcome us, we can pray for them, we can love them for Jesus loved us first. We have eternal life already in Him that allows us to do so - our foundation makes us strong, strong together - for it is through Christ’s blood that all of this is possible.

Conclusion

This is why we need to stand firm and why it is important to stand firm in Christ and also how you can stand firm in Him.
Again, like it is said in
Matthew 7:24–27 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
we are all building houses - the questions is upon what are you building your house. Only as you stand firm are building your house on the rock that allows you to overcome winds, floods, rain, etc. - to preserve and endure and to finish the race strong.
It is essential for our Christian life to stand firm in the Lord for only then can we finish the race that He gave to us.
Therefore, let us stand firm together in unity and give glory to God who is our rock and foundation.
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