Faithlife Sermons

Philippians 4 4-9

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2,029 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Word Study:

V. 4

  1. Rejoice- present imperative- rejoice continually in present sufferings

V. 5

  1. Gentleness-They said that epieikeia ought to come in when strict justice became unjust because of its generality. There may be individual instances where a perfectly just law becomes unjust or where justice is not the same thing as equity. A man has the quality of epieikeia if he knows when not to apply the strict letter of the law, when to relax justice and introduce mercy.

Ø  Let us take a simple example which meets every teacher almost every day. Here are two students. We correct their examination papers. We apply justice and find that one has eight per cent and the other fifty per cent. But we go a little further and find that the man who got eighty per cent has been able to do his work in ideal conditions with books, leisure and peace to study, while the man who got fifty per cent is from a poor home and has inadequate equipment, or has been ill, or has recently come through some time of sorrow or strain. In justice this man deserves fifty per cent and no more; but epieikeia will value his paper far higher than that.[1]

Ø  The Christian, as Paul sees it, is the man who knows that there is something beyond justice. When the woman taken in adultery was brought before him, Jesus could have applied the letter of the Law according to which she should have been stoned to death; but he went beyond justice. As far as justice goes, there is not one of us who deserves anything other than the condemnation of God, but he goes far beyond justice. Paul lays it down that the mark of a Christian is his personal relationships with his fellow-men must be that he knows when to insist on justice and when to remember that there is something beyond justice.[2]

  1. The Lord is at hand

V. 6

  1. anxious for nothing-to have an anxious concern, based on apprehension about possible danger or misfortune—‘to be worried about, to be anxious about[3]
  2. But in everything- Paul was trying to make a contrast between no worry and total trust in prayer
  3. by prayer – (prosuchce)in general, to speak to God or pray to God
  4. supplication- (deesis) in requesting needs to God to be met

  1. thanksgiving- (eucharistia) Regarded as one manner of prayer, it expresses that which ought never to be absent from any of our devotions (Phil. 4:6; Ephes. 5:20; 1 Thess. 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:1); namely, the grateful acknowledgment of past mercies, as distinguished from the earnest seeking of future.[4]

Ø  Root word charis meaning “gift, grace” is contained in the word for thankfulness. 

  1. requests (haitema) individual requests or petitions to God that make up the prosuche as a whole.  Derived from the verb haiteo, to ask for.  Lk. 23:24 shows that Pilate granted the requests made by the Jews to crucify Jesus. 

V. 7

  1. peace of God (eirene) Metaphorically peace of mind, tranquility, arising from reconciliation with God and a sense of a divine favor[5]  Rom. 5:1- peace of mind knowing of our justification
  2. understanding (nous) “mind,” denotes, speaking generally, the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, and those of feeling, judging and determining. Its use in the NT may be analyzed as follows: it denotes (a) the faculty of knowing, the seat of the understanding[6]
  3. will guard- a military term, “to keep by guarding, to keep under guard,” as with a garrison (a military post) (phrouros, “a guard, or garrison”), is used, (a) of blocking up every way of escape, as in a siege; (b) of providing protection against the enemy, as a garrison does; see 2 Cor. 11:32, “guarded.” kjv, “kept,” i.e., kept the city, “with a garrison.” It is used of the security of the Christian until the end, 1 Pet. 1:5, rv, “are guarded,” and of the sense of that security that is his when he puts all his matters into the hand of God, Phil. 4:7, rv, “shall guard.” In these passages the idea is not merely that of protection, but of inward garrisoning as by the Holy Spirit; in Gal. 3:23 (“were kept in ward”), it means rather a benevolent custody and watchful guardianship in view of worldwide idolatry (cf. Isa. 5:2). [7]
  4. thoughts- This word denotes the result of the activity of noús, i.e., “what is thought,” “thought,” “concept,” “point,” “resolve,” or “plan.” Only Paul uses it in the NT, and always in a bad sense (except in Phil. 4:7). Thus, in the plural, it means corrupt thoughts in 2 Cor. 3:14; 4:4; 11:3, the devices of Satan in 2 Cor. 2:11, and opposing thoughts that are captured and brought into Christ’s service in 2 Cor. 10:5. In Phil. 4:7 (also plural) the reference is to thoughts that proceed from the hearts of believers.[8]

 

V. 8

  1. true- truth, upright, true in chcaracter” (Phil. 4:5)
  2. noble- On the one occasion that it qualifies things rather than persons (Phil. 4:8), we have translated it by ‘honest,’ an unsatisfactory rendering; and this, even though we include in ‘honest’ all which was included in it at the time when our Translation was made. Alford has here changed ‘honest’ into ‘seemly’; if changed at all, I should prefer ‘honorable.[9]

Ø  comes from a word meaning “to revere,” or “to worship.[10]

  1. just- righteous, It describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, again as revealed in Scripture. Believers are to think on matters that are consistent with the law of God.[11]
  2. pure- speaks of purity in all things
  3. lovely- that is lovely in God’s eyes
  4. of good report- It describes what is highly regarded or well thought of.[12]
  5. meditate on these things- it means “to evaluate,” “to consider,” or “to calculate.” Believers are to consider the qualities Paul lists in this verse and meditate on their implications. The verb form calls for habitual discipline of the mind to set all thoughts on these spiritual virtues.[13]

V. 9

  1. learned- translates a form of the verb manthanō, which is related to the noun mathētēs (disciple). Manthanō refers to teaching, learning, instructing, and discipling. Paul is referring here to his personal instruction and discipling of the Philippians[14]
  2. received- that which is passed on in traditions
  3. heard – second hand knowledge of Paul from others
  4. saw- personal experience which they were eye witnesses to
  5. practice these things- the means by which this object is attained, as, for instance, hindrances moved out of the way, and the like; and also that the idea of continuity and repetition of action[15]

Ø  in conclusion a few excellent words of Bishop Andrewes: “There are two kinds of doers: 1. ποιηταί, and 2. πρακτικοί, which the Latin likewise expresseth in 1. ‘agere, ’ and 2. ‘facere.’ ‘Agere, ’ as in music, where, when we have done singing or playing, nothing remaineth:  ‘facere, ’ as in building, where, after we have done, there is a thing permanent.[16]

Dominating Theme: Christians should press on in the faith amidst trials and tribulations

Integrating Thoughts: Christians can press on in the faith by understanding three truths:

  1. (v. 4-5) Gladness and gentleness points out the position of the person
  2. (v. 6-7) Grateful prayer brings the protection of Godly peace
  3. (v. 8- 9) Godly pondering and preparation provides the presence of the God of Peace. 

Motivating Thrust:

Ø  To press on as citizens of heaven, we should express joy in our salvation and gentleness toward others

Ø  To press on from a worry filled life, we should pray to God with a thankful heart, expecting the promise of His peace

Ø  To press on toward the assurance of God’s presence, we should meditate and obey on the Word of God. 

Title: Pressing on in the Christian faith

Text: Philippians 4:4-9

INTRODCUTION

 

A.    The Rapport for the time

I am a student at Mid America Baptist Theological Seminary and I am happy to be here today to deliver a applicable message from the word of God that I know you will be able to take home and use to strengthen you walk with God.  Now I have to apologize on behalf of the seminary because in my preaching class, they never told us an appropriate amount of time to preach to a congregation.  Now I believe that an appropriate amount of time is 55 minutes of loud, foot stomping preaching (wait for laughter and gasps) but since this is my first time to ever preach in front of anyone besides my reflection and my wife, I will make sure I keep it to a good 30 minutes.  But knowing when to stop is the problem since my watch is broken, so I will begin to wrap it up when I begin to see groups of people getting up and leaving in time to make their Sunday lunch reservations. 

B.     The Reading of the text

So I ask that you turn in your bibles to Philippians chapter 4, verses 4-9, that’s Philippians 4:4-9 and please stand in honor of the reading of the mighty word of God,

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."

Let’s pray,

“Father, anoint our time together today as we seek out Godly truth and wisdom for our lives.  We desire to hear from you as we focus on pressing on in our Christian lives.  Teach us today with your Spirit, in Jesus name, Amen.”

C. The Relevance of the Text

            The writer of Philippians, the apostle Paul, while imprisoned in Rome awaiting his sentence from the Emperor, is addressing some issues with the Philippians, his favorite congregation of all the church congregations in the Bible.  Philippi was a giving church, a loving church and a supportive church and like many others during that time, they were trying to endure the entrance of false doctrine into their congregational teachings.  Paul’s main theme of the letter is to rejoice and stand firm in the trials, like false teachings, that Christians will face.  It is the latter part of that theme that we will focus on today; (KEY QUESTION) how do we press on in the Christian faith amongst trials and tribulations?  Paul challenges this congregation to stand firm or press on in the context of the passages we are studying today when he says,

"Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved." (Philippians 4:1, NKJV)

The word for “stand fast” provides us imagery of a soldier who stands firm in his post even in the danger of the enemy or even death.  Can we agree that the enemy, Satan, is prowling around like a “roaring lion” ready to devour the weak or injured Christian?  But we must stand firm and “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

TS:  Today, I want you to walk away with three important truths about pressing on in the Christian faith.

 

                   I.      Our Gladness and Gentleness Toward Others Points out the Position of Our Person ( Philippians 3:20-4:1, 4:4-4:5)

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved." (Philippians 3:20-4:1, NKJV)

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand." (Philippians 4:4-5, NKJV)

            (E) If we go back a couple of verses into chapter 3 of Philippians, we see Paul place special emphasis on the citizenship of heaven that Christians are apart.  Then Paul ties that into the hope of the return of Jesus Christ and this statement is the motivation for Christians to stand firm in the faith(v.1), rejoice in the faith(v. 4) and show gentleness to others(v.5).  All three actions are summoned back to our hope that Christ is going to return for his own and that because Christians represent our Savior, we must be compelled to act accordingly with perseverance, joy and gentleness. 

A.    Our Joy in the Lord

Paul rejoices because of his position as a regenerated person and thus he knows that when Christ does return, that he will accompany Him to Heaven.  He rejoices in this way in spite of the persecution that he faced and the imprisonment that he faces.  Paul wants Christians to rejoice in sufferings as well.  Joy in the Christian faith is a major theme in the Pauline Epistles, where he uses the word “rejoice” over 40 times, 12 times alone in the book of Philippians.  Think about the impact on the world that Christianity could have if we displayed a joyful attitude in all circumstances.  People would think we were crazy and they would want to know what was wrong with us.  Newspapers would write articles about those “loony Christians” because of the way we showed joy in even the most disturbing times.  We would get the world’s attention and people would be lead to salvation in  Jesus Christ. 

B.     Our Gentleness to Others

Paul also wants Christians to show gentleness to others because of their Heavenly destination.  The word gentleness in the NT Greek is a difficult word to translate and can best be explained by using the following example:

“Here are two students. We correct their examination papers. We apply justice and find that one has eight per cent and the other fifty per cent. But we go a little further and find that the man who got eighty per cent has been able to do his work in ideal conditions with books, leisure and peace to study, while the man who got fifty per cent is from a poor home and has inadequate equipment, or has been ill, or has recently come through some time of sorrow or strain. In justice this man deserves fifty per cent and no more; but epieikeia(gentleness) will value his paper far higher than that.”[17] 

 

This word can be summarized as grace, an unmerited favor on someone.  Imagine again for a moment in life, not only did Christians seem overly happy in tough times, but they also appeared to show supernatural amounts of graciousness to those around them, even to those who hurt them.  Imagine what an impact that would have upon the world if we began to show that “gentleness” or “graciousness” to others. 

 

TS:  To press on in the faith, not only must we show joy and gentleness to others but we must also avoid fleshly worry by praying to God.

 

                II.      Grateful Prayer Brings the Protection of Godly Peace( Philippians 4:6-7)

 

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)

A. The Prayer of Man

Paul makes a very important contrast in this set of verses.  He knows, as we know today, that worry or anxiety is a huge illness that plagues the mind of our world.  It is a way that Satan incapacitates us and keeps us in bondage to our fears of starvation, bankruptcy or emotional letdown.  So it is very important, when Paul covers the issue of worry, that he tells us to worry “in nothing” or “not one thing.”  Paul is not giving us a command to lessen our worry or even change the focus of our worry, and he is not even telling us to just eliminate our worry.  He is telling Christians to substitute our worry with prayer. 

He describes three elements of a believer’s prayer which are: general prayer to God (adoration), giving thanks to God (thanksgiving), and asking for needs to be met (supplication).  If you throw in the element of confession, found in many verses like Psalms 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:8-10, then you get the popular acronym for prayer that many people use as a model: A.C.T.S. which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  I do not believe that Paul is telling us to pray this way but he is giving us a model that is useful in prayer. 

B. The Peace of God

As we pray to God, Paul shows us that we shall receive the peace of God and that peace is a puzzle and a protector.  Paul says that the peace of God is superior to all human comprehension and understanding.  We gain our peace with God, according to Romans 5:1, when the sinner has been “justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”  So at salvation, humanity ceases the eternal separation from God and then begins to enjoy the inner peace that God grants in our minds as we know that we are granted eternal life in heaven and that God provides all our needs.  

            Jesus is trying to teach the disciples that God will supply all we need and He illustrated this point in Luke 12:22-28,

" Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Luke 12:22-28, NKJV)

            So as we look at the prayer of man and the peace of God, we see that Christians attain this peace when we get on our knees.  We must not worry about how we are going to provide for ourselves but instead, we should trust in God to provide for us.  I am reminded of an article that I read from the Communications Doctor on the internet that said that “85% of what we worry about never comes true,” and the unfortunately the good doctor’s prescriptions did not amount to more than systematically writing down and categorizing our worries.  If that is all the medicine we have for worry, we are in deep trouble. The physical effects that worry has on the human body are stagnating.  The same article states,

“Chemicals released during extended periods of worry wreck havoc on our physical being, with symptoms ranging from headaches to high blood pressure. Chronic worriers are prone to heart conditions and as a general rule are not too much fun to be around. Thus worriers often experience feelings of loneliness as isolation as individuals flee from their forecasts of doom and gloom.”

            So as Christians, we must not become a slave to the worry of the world, but instead through fervent prayer, allow the peace of God to consume our minds and hearts, which eventually allows us to press on in the Christian faith. 

TS: To press on in the Christian faith, we must express joy and gentleness, substitute worry for prayer, and lastly, meditate and apply the whole counsel of God’s Word. 

             III.      Godly Pondering and Preparation Provides the Presence of the God of Peace. 

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9, NKJV)

There are two important aspects that we must glean from the text above:  meditating on the Word of God and applying the Word of God.  Both of these elements of the Christian life will assist us in the defensive posture we take as we stand firm against the attacks Satan takes.  First, we must evaluate or calculate the following virtues and use them in our lives. 

God wants us to follow after the truth of his nature and His Word.  Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  God is the absolute standard that we must base our decisions on.  God also wants us seek after things in life that are honoring to Him or reverent.  This virtue is an example of seeking out a lifestyle of holiness.  In line with holiness, is seeking those things that are righteous, things “that are consistent with the law of God.”[18]  If God wants us to be reverent, and righteous according to His Word and standards, then we must exhibit the next virtue mentioned which is purity of mind, heart and soul.  If we exhibit all these virtues, then our lives will be lovely before the sight of God.  God desire for us is to live holy, blameless lives. 

If we focus our mind and thoughts on these virtues, then our next step is to apply the virtues to our everyday life.  Paul says that the Philippians should take what they have learned, which is the same root word from which we get the word, disciple.  This tells us that the Philippians were to apply what they “learned” as they were taught as disciples by the apostle Paul while he was there in Philippi.  He also exhorted them to apply what they “received” which could mean that they should accept that which they learned from the traditions of the elder Christians in Philippi.  Paul tells Titus in chapter 2, verses 4-5 that older women in the church should "… admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."   Paul also encourages the Philippians to apply what they have heard in secondhand stories and personal experiences about Paul and how he has served and suffered for the Lord.  Paul is an example to all of how we should live in the Word of God and to practice what we learn to our daily lives. 

Many in the church today are “hearers of the Word” but fail to become “doers of the Word.”  To quote the  words of Bishop Andrewes:

“There are two kinds of doers: 1. ποιηταί, and 2. πρακτικοί, which the Latin likewise expresseth in 1. ‘agere, ’ and 2. ‘facere.’ ‘Agere, ’ as in music, where, when we have done singing or playing, nothing remaineth:  ‘facere, ’ as in building, where, after we have done, there is a thing permanent.[19]  

 If we strive in our Christian life to be doers of the Word, then when the storms of life rage against us, we will have strong foundations built upon God’s Word that will hold us up. 

CONCLUSION

            We may not experience the same trials and persecution that Paul experienced, but we are still fighting a battle with the forces of evil.  As Christians, God is calling us to press on in our faith even though we are facing trials.  We can press on in our faith by expressing joy and gentleness to others, by substituting worry for prayer and by meditating and applying the whole counsel of God’s Word to our lives.  When we do these things, Paul tells us we will experience the Presence and Peace of God. 

            So let us begin today to be a church that shows joy in our salvation.  Let us start today to show gentleness to our evil world.  Let us become a congregation of prayer warriors instead of worry-warts.  Let us live a life full of Godly virtue and applications in the Word of God.

            Do you have a more active prayer life or worry life?  Maybe today you need to begin to let go of your worry and ask for the peace of God to fill your mind.  Maybe today you realize that you are not a student of the Word, make a commitment today to begin a time with God’s Word everyday.  Maybe today, you realize you have no joy because you are not in a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Let me tell you that Jesus died on the cross for you sins because he wants a relationship with you and he wants you to trust in Him for salvation.  Will you do that today?  Will you press on in your faith today?  As we sing, if you need to commit your life to God, there are counselors up front that can help you do that.  Just come forward and talk with them.  Maybe you just need someone to pray with you; just come forward and kneel at the altar.  If you want to be a part of this church body, come forward and we will gladly accept you into our fellowship.  We are waiting as you respond to God today!


----

[1]The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, ed. William Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 2000, c1975), 75.

[2]Ibid

[3]Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament : Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible societies, 1996, c1989), 1:312.

[4]Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament., 9th ed., improved. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 191.

[5]Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament, electronic ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000, c1992, c1993), G1515.

[6]W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1996), 2:408.

[7]W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1996), 2:284.

[8]Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Translation of: Theologisches Worterbuch Zum Neuen Testament. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995, c1985), 637.

[9]Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament., 9th ed., improved. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 347.

[10]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 290.

[11]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 290.

[12]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 290.

[13]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 285.

[14]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 291.

[15]Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament., 9th ed., improved. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 361.

[16]Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament., 9th ed., improved. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 363.

[17]The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians, ed. William Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, The Daily study Bible series, Rev. ed. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 2000, c1975), 75.

[18]John MacArthur, Philippians (Chicago: Moody Press, 2001), 290.

[19]Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament., 9th ed., improved. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 363.

Related Media
Related Sermons