Standing Firm in the Gospel Philippians 4:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 13

 

Below are my preaching notes for Sunday September 17, 2017

Php 4:1-3  Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.  (2)  I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.  (3)  Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Paul has taught well on straining toward the gospel. He mentions enemies of the cross of Christ, and reminds us that our citizenship is in Heaven.

Now he reminds us, to stand firm in the Lord.

  • Opposition is part of the Christian life.
  • To be without trials and opposition is to be a worldly church, for the world hates the Gospel message.
  • To be without trials is to be unloved by God, for God chastens and reproves those whom He loves.

 

Paul inserts an admonition to two women, Euodia an Syntiche.

  • Not getting along
  • Creating a disruption
  • We are not told the exact circumstance, only enough to know that whatever the problem, it was not gospel centered.
  • They have labored in the Gospel, but need help in regaining a focus of what is important.

Distractions such as these cause major problems in the church

  • Distraction from the goal of the Gospel.
  • Disunity among believers
  • Displaced worship.

 

Paul takes time to simply address the issue and the feel of the message ought to be that our mission is the gospel, not personal agendas.

I can think of several verses on this issue.

1 John states

1Jn 2:9-11  Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.  (10)  Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.  (11)  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

In Matthew Jesus teaches

Mat 5:21-24  “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  (22)  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.  (23)  So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  (24)  leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 

Today, I’d like to offer solutions to the heart.  We can’t make everyone happy with us.  But we are accountable to God for our heart condition.  Our focus is commanded to be gospel centered. And the heart of the Gospel is God’s love.

 

1Co 13:1-13  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  (2)  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (3)  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  (4)  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  (6)  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  (7)  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8)  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  (9)  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  (10)  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  (12)  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  (13)  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

Love is (Agape = Brotherly Love) a verb.  Brings about a harmony and unity.  It is a bond of Christianity like no other.

  • Patient- Longsuffering, put up with failures. Opposed to hasty anger or conclusions.
  • Kind- Purposefully seeking to benefit others by helping or assisting.
  • Not envy or boast It is not jealous or self-promoting.
  • Arrogant It has humility, not elevating oneself above others. Not self-inflated (Literaly means to blow wind)
  • Rude Does not act unbecomingly (Has manners)
  • Does not insist on its own way It does not insist on its own agenda or spotlight.
  • Not irritable or resentful Not easily put off or carries a grudge. Lets things go.
  • Does not rejoice at wrongdoing Not vengeful or happy when others suffer.
  • Rejoices in truth It cares more about what is right than looking good.
  • Bears all things Hides the faults of others.  Easily willing to overlook others lack of grace.
  • Believes all things It does not readily believe rumors or gossip.
  • Hopes all things Love gives second chances and focuses on the good of a person.
  • Love never ends Loves in not limited by time, distance, events. See romans 8:31-39

 

Christian maturity is evidenced by the fact that we have repented of fleshly ways and are learning to love like Christ.  We look like Jesus.

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