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Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 15)
September 27, 2020

Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 15)

September 27, 2020

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Citizens: A Study on Philippians

(Part 15)

Final chapter of Philippians 

  • Week 15 of our study on this letter Paul writes to the church
    • He’s in Rome… In Prison… Waiting for trial
    • Longing to get back to the work God has for him
    • All the while… doing the work God has for him
  • God doesn’t stop working thru u when trials hit
    • Just because you aren’t doing what you were doing
    • Doesn’t mean God won’t use you in find yourself doing
    • God can use you just as much in your valley as on ur mountain

Review: Last week Paul pushes this idea of being a Colony of Heaven

  • The job of the colony of Philippi was to Romanize Philippi
    • Our job as a colony of Heaven is to Heavenize Phoenix
    • The assignment isn’t to long to go to heaven…
    • The assignment is to bring heaven to earth
  • We have the culture… love and Spirit of the King of all Creation
    • Jesus calls us to take that AND spread it to everyone we know
    • Because we are citizens of heaven
    • And we have the hope and truth our world needs

Phil 4:1-3


Paul is wrapping up his letter

After 3 chapters of thick/heavy Theology… he says “Therefore”

  • Meaning that “In light of everything that I said in this letter”
    • Here is one last thing that you need to know
  • And before he gets to the one last thing: He starts with…
    • Brothers & Sisters – Whom I love & long for
    • My joy & crown… stand firm in the Lord in this way dear friends

Notice the laundry list of names Paul calls the Philippians

  • He is saying this is his family “Who I love”
    • Who I love – One word in the Greek… Agapetos (Agape Love)
    • End of sentence he says “Dear friends” – Also Agapetos
    • Uses the exact same phrase twice in one sentence
  • Then he tells them he not only loves… but longs for them
    • He is just being honest – He really misses his church family
    • He’s homesick… longing for a hug/smile/conversation
  • Because they are his JOY and his CROWN
    • Joy – meaning that they bring life to his spirit…
    • Crown – Olympic symbol of honor for the champion
      • Where when you won to race… emperor would crown you
      • Before 1000’s of cheering fans
      • It was the greatest place of honor and accomplishment
  • Paul: My greatest accomplishment is seeing u become like Jesus
    • That is my joy & my crown

And I get that because I feel the same way about you

  • I love you guys so much…
    • Seeing you grow in the Word… Grow in your relationships
    • Going to coffee/lunch to hear what God is doing in ur life
  • That is what Paul is saying – You are my reward
    • In same way as… Parents: What is reward 4 raising ur children
    • Reward for raising your children well… Is your children
  • My reward for raising Joey and Lyla to love and follow Jesus
    • Is children who love and follow Jesus
    • Becoming who God intended them to be
    • That makes it worth all the blood, sweat and tears
      • That’s why Paul just said: I beg u with tears to listen to me
      • And not listening to those who are enemies of the cross
  • Paul knows his work – wants to see his kids grow up well
    • He says you are my joy… you are my crown
    • And through it all… the highs and the lows
    • I see God at work in and thru you… and even when I can’t see it
      • I trust God’s promises that he is still working

And to those he loves he says one last thing

Phil 4:1

‘Stand Firm” circles back to the way Paul starts the letter

  • Think back to Ch. 1 – Paul states the thesis of his letter
    • This is the central point of everything Paul writes to Philippi

Phil 1:27

  • And at end of his letter… Paul circles back and says one last time
    • Stand Firm: Military Metaphor
    • Roman Army – Shoulder 2 Shoulder – Never back down
  • Paul says: Stand firm – Dig in your heals – Don’t give an inch
    • Problem with this phrase is it seems “Ambiguous” at best
    • It sounds more like a pep talk to get you on board
    • More than instructions on how to practically live
  • Question: What does “Stand Firm” actually mean in day 2 day life
    • When you go to work tomorrow… what does stand firm mean
    • And from here to end of letter – gives examples of Stand Firm
      • Be of the same mind (v.2)
      • Rejoice in the Lord always (v.4)
      • Let gentleness be evident to all (v.5)
      • Don’t be anxious (v.6)
      • Think on pure/noble/right things (v.8)
  • Chapter 4 isn’t a sequence of thought… it’s a shotgun blast
    • But common denominator – Paul says in your ordinary lives
    • Here is what “Stand Firm” looks like

Today is the 1st example: Be of same mind

Phil. 4:2

So there are 2 women in the church at odds with eachother

  • Totally doesn’t apply in todays churches… interesting…
    • First woman named after the god of luck
    • Second woman named after the god of success
    • And luck and success never get along
  • We don’t know the disagreement… but odds are they were leaders
    • And their issues are causing issues in the church
    • Which is why Paul harps on unity all through the letter
  • B/C of that– Paul calls out these women in front of entire church
    • Remember this is a letter written to entire church
    • Would have been read out loud with Yodia & Centikeed present
    • Talk about an awkward situation (don’t make eye contract)

Paul tells them to “Be of the same mind”

  • That phrase “Be of the same mind” – Fronesis (used all over letter)
    • Means to be intent on the same goal
    • Not mean u have to agree on everything (unity isn’t uniformity)
  • Paul saying we need to be intent on the same goal (San Diego)
    • You and I might disagree on the best way to get there
      • You might take the 10 west to California and the 15 south
      • I might just take the 10 west to the 8 west
    • We might disagree and even go separate ways
      • But we both END UP IN SAN DIEGO
  • Paul is saying you might disagree on some of the details
    • But you need to be intent on the same goal (tellas)
    • What is the goal “same mind in the Lord”
    • Both stay focused in the Lord… on the Gospel… on the Church

Which means its not about you and its not about me

  • It’s what is best for the Lord – the Gospel – the kingdom of God
    • In your city and in your church
    • And Paul is calling you to have the “SAME GOAL”

Goes on to say…

Phil. 4:3

Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women…

Paul calls a 3rd party mediator – b/c he gets we need help getting along

  • Don’t know who mediator is… probably Timothy or Apathroditus
    • But the point is that Paul wants to help them work things out
    • And the reason why…

… since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel…

  • Get that…. These are not bad women (neither of them)
    • These are leaders in the church who Paul trusted with ministry
    • And he isn’t condemning one and protecting the other
    • He just wants them to figure it out and get along
  • This is so huge – Shows it doesn’t matter how Godly you are
    • You will have conflict in ur relationships… no matter how Godly
    • You/wife/girlfriend/church/leaders
    • Its not a question of if… it’s a question of how will u handle it
  • B/C if you handle it well… you will grow and continue to same goal
    • If you do not handle it well – You will not grow
    • You’ll find yourself lost/lonely/regretting

… along with Clement (mystery – Roman) and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Book of life was a metaphor all over Hebrew Scripture – People of God

  • Paul: Ur name is in the book of life… w/ all these other co-laborers
    • One day each of us will stand before God as a son/daughter
    • And we will all be together for eternity
    • Means… just work it out now – they aren’t going anywhere
  • Best case scenario… you avoid here for a couple centuries
    • But that’s just ridiculous
    • So figure it out now – You have a common ultimate goal

Notice… Paul calls them to deal with the problem (along w/ the church)

  • Not to leave – Not to bolt
    • The human tendency is to bolt… am I right
    • When u have conflict (friendship) tendency is make new friend
    • If you don’t like your churches coffee… find a new church
  • People move from 1 church to another… 1 relationship to another
    • Here is the problem – That doesn’t help the kingdom of God
    • Running from conflict doesn’t help u grow… it will happen again
    • B/C you stay the same – Paul says to stay and work thru it
  • Don’t leave ur (job/relationship/church) just because of conflict
    • It’s human nature for sure – b/c we don’t know how to deal
    • How to love and forgive… over and over… see the good

TAG: Paul is saying “We need to learn this”

Now look at what Paul doesn’t do: healthy leadership

1: Paul does not take sides – He says he pleads with both of them

  • Scholars show he uses the same word twice – Not on either side
    • Paul knows there are 2 sides to every story
    • Reason… the only side Paul is on is Jesus’ side

2: He doesn’t belittle their issue

  • He doesn’t say… just get over it… not a big deal
    • No it may have been a huge deal – We don’t know
    • But he says get through it and be better
    • Don’t just ignore it and pretend it doesn’t matter

3: He doesn’t say they have to be best friends

  • He just says: Be of the same mind… have the same goal
    • Do what’s best for the church and gospel of Jesus
    • Just make sure that you are advancing the Kingdom

Now look at what Paul does do: healthy leadership

1: He does deal with the issue – Doesn’t ignore it

  • He calls the 2 women out… no passive aggressive bone in Paul
    • He isn’t pulling a “I think in the Spirit there might be division”
    • Nope… Hey YOU and YOU… figure it out and get it together

2: He calls the whole church to help out

  • Meaning we all have responsibility to work/fight/pray for unity
    • Even if I’m not in the conflict?
    • Ya you still have a responsibility… b/c we are a family
  • Example: If you have lets say… 2 sisters
    • And those 2 sisters were at each others throats – Not right
    • I would step in… I have responsibility to do that
    • Step in and help my sisters work things out
  • In the same way… we are not a crowd of spectators… but a family
    • And we have a responsibility to help one another
    • Because NO ONE IS PERFECT… no leaders… no teacher… no one
      • We all fall on rough patches

3: Tells these women to see the issue thru the LENS OF THE GOSPEL

  • That right there… is the crux of the issue
    • He calls them to – Not what’s best for you… or Aaron… or Kyle
    • It’s not about your wounded ego… your hurt feelings…
  • You need to see the issue thru question: What is best 4 the gospel
    • What is best for the Kingdom of God
    • What is best for ur church/community/family/children
    • We need to get our eyes off of ourselves… even tho its hard
      • Because that is the way of Jesus
  • If you are thinking about lying to get ahead… not about the gospel
    • If u are thinking about revenge… not about the gospel
    • If u are thinking about holding a grudge… not about the gospel
      • See issue not thru: What’s best for me and my happiness
      • Your happiness IS NOT YOUR GOD
      • And you will find life not chasing happiness.. chasing Jesus

Mark 8:35

TAG: That is the truth of the Gospel

Question to think on…

1: Is there a Yodia in your life… a Centikeed – Not in harmony with

  • Need to be of the same mind… not b/c it’s the right thing to do
    • But b/c you care more about the Gospel than ur feelings
    • Need to forgive… ask for forgiveness and make things right

2: Are you in real community where someone can call you out

  • Do you have true friends… can look at ur life and speak hard truth
    • Because if they can’t… it’s not true community
    • You are probably friends… but God created u for community

3: Is your community showing people who Jesus is

  • Are you living in such a way that the watching world says…
    • Yes now I understand the gospel… and I want in


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