Philippians: Finding Joy in Uncertainty – Chapter 1 Part 1

Welcome Home everyone and welcome to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

This letter is often referred to as the book of joy.

Paul gives his own testimony as a basis of demonstration that Joy is accessible regardless of circumstance or position in life.

Paul does this by reminding them of his own situation, whereas, he himself is writing them from his current prison cell, circa 60-62 AD.

My big idea for today is that we would be bound in unconditional love with Christ and with each other. My prayer today is that by hearing this message, together, we would be able to discern what is good and godly, and that, together, we all would be prepared when we meet our Lord.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:1-11

In order to help me share with you today, I have separated my thoughts into 3 sections or points. So, let’s check out this first point.

We Must Greet Our Brothers And Sisters With The Grace Of God.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:1-2

These verses really begin to speak to a form of love communication that I believe the contemporary body of has lost along the way. We {well not you guys} have almost a competitive approach to fellowship. Women dress to impress other women for fear of judgment and one-upmanship. Sunday service in the west has become a social and business network hub rather a time of worship and personal reflection. In some cases, it is competition between churches. My church is because of XYZ, or my pastor is better because he’s really tall and has a deep voice and a really great beard. But if our focus is not on loving and supporting each other as a point of worship, then perhaps we have lost our way.

Watch now how Paul, true to his fashion, sets the tone.

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus…

Philippians 1:1

Paul states right off that he is a servant. This is not a popularity contest. He lowers his status and then immediately raises theirs.

“…To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:1-2

He addresses them as God’s holy people. Look at someone and say, “you are holy, and you belong to God.” Not like maybe you’ve heard it before, “Oh yeah, cuz you’re soo holy.” He first addresses the people and then the deacons and the overseers.

And in all earnest, Paul greets them with this…

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:2

These are not just niceties, there is a specific structure that Paul uses over and again to set the tone for others to properly understand humility and the equal value of each soul. Imagine if you considered the value of each soul before actually determining how that person would rate in importance. This is how we do this, is it supernatural. Let’s greet everyone with the grace of God. When sending out the 12, Jesus said this.

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 10:7-8

In all of this God has given us the supernatural power to love those who may seem unlovable or unlovely. Just imagine the impact if we love others with the love supernatural love of Christ.

We Must Greet Our Brothers And Sisters With The Grace Of God.

I’ll move on to my next point.

We Must Remember Each Other With Thanksgiving And Prayer.

I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:3-8

Paul remembered them in thanksgiving and in prayer. Why? Because he loved and valued them for their kingdom identity. He loved them with the supernatural love of Christ. He understood their value as faithful brothers and sisters in the ministry of the Gospel. And as a result, he prayed for them with joy.

In this joy, his focus was on others, on the presence of God, and on the work of the Holy Spirit. This love that manifests in Joy exists regardless of the fact that Paul is currently in chains, most likely in Ephesus. Not the kind of conversation one might expect from an inmate. Wouldn’t you agree? Yet this joy produced something else, confidence.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

God would sustain their shared mission until it was complete in God’s will and timing. God doesn’t quit on people he finishes what he starts.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:7-8

To be honest with you this is a picture of the heart of a pastor. The calling is to love and care for each of you to the best of my ability. And to help you prepare for eternity. This is Paul demonstrating that he is truly invested in this family of believers.

I’ll move to my final point.

We Must Prepare Ourselves For The Day Of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11

Paul is saying here that his prayer is that the Philippians would continue to grow and mature in the love and wisdom of Christ. That they would move closer and closer towards Christlikeness. In this maturing, they might reject the things that would pollute their hearts and minds and that they would remain pure and innocent before the Lord.

Many believers and even pastors have been lured and led astray by things they either could not or would not discern.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.

1 John 4:1-5

filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:11

Many places in the Bible use this phrase the fruit/harvest of righteousness. One writer puts it this way. It refers to the righteousness of God that is implanted in us. A practical righteousness flowing through us by way of Christ Jesus in our lives. This fruit is not attained any other way, but through and by Jesus Christ.

Finally, Paul gives all glory to God. The reality of all of these ideas I have presented to are a direct result of God’s mercy and grace, available through the Gospel of Christ. An authentic relationship with Christ will change how we see and treat others. This is for our benefit. These examples promote unity among believers and support for individuals. We must learn from these passages, the ones we usually skip over, because this is a team effort

Will you join me as we seek an authentic relationship united in Christ and each other? Rejecting division, embracing God’s reality in Jesus, and encouraging one another. It’s just between you and God. Here’s the thing, If we love God and abide in Christ we will find ourselves more and more loving each other. You will love more and you will love better.

We will experience God in spirit and in truth and we will share that amongst each other. Share all the ways God has shown you mercy and grace. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to stir faith in someone through your testimony? Would you join me as the Holy Spirit moves on us to be unified in the spirit of Christ? These are the kingdom values. This is truly the work of God. The intentional actions of the body of Christ. Remember the devil seeks only to kill steal and destroy. Steal your freedom, kill your joy, and destroy your destiny for hope and love. But God has a plan! He’s stealing from your neighbor, your family, and your loved ones today.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Jesus, He’s the Son of the living God, and we can receive from Him today His Righteousness, His purpose and His calling. Will you call on him today? Your salvation/forgiveness is just one prayer away. Will you trust in his ability to do what He said He would do? Will you believe today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today.

Is there some form of unbelief or a fracture of trust as it relates to God in your life today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life.

If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me

Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.

“‘“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26