Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 16)

October 4, 2020   /   Jesus Church

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Citizens: A Study on Philippians

(Part 16)

In a study on the letter to the Philippians… written by Apostle Paul

  • What we know: this church was very dear to Paul
    • They have literally saved his life
    • And Paul not only calls them family…
    • But he also calls them his Joy and His Crown… which means
  • He sees this church growing in Jesus AS his reward from God
    • So as he concludes his letter (remember: long time b/w letter)
    • He is leaving his people with a final command
    • And then gives practical ways to walk that command out

Phil. 4:1

Paul tells the Philippians: Stand firm… which is how he started the letter

  • And again this is the imagery of the Roman army…
    • Relentless… Unified… Shoulder 2 Shoulder
    • Paul says this local church needs to be the same way
  • And he follows by giving practical ways to stand firm in unity
    • First way is by having the same mind
    • Meaning: Be in unity when it comes to the goal
    • Not that we always get there the same way… but to same place

Paul gives a case in point: Two leaders who are at odds with each other

  • Tells them… stop looking through the lens of your ego/feelings
    • Start looking thru the lens of the Gospel
    • Says: You need to fix this not for yourself… or b/c its right
    • But for the sake of the Gospel
  • And you don’t have to be best friends
    • But right now you are hurting the witness of the entire church
    • If we are supposed to be a glimpse of what heaven will be like
    • You are doing a terrible job

TAG: So we first stand firm by being of the same mind

Today we pick up in verse 4 as Paul continues

Phil. 4:4-7


Paul starts verse 4 w/ the final command of the letter

And its one of those commands sometimes… don’t want to hear

  • First thing I think: Well that’s a great concept… but not practical
    • Like is there anything worse that being in a bad mood
    • Having someone tell you to rejoice
    • I’ll rejoice after I punch you in the face
  • Paul actually commands us to rejoice (how often)… always
    • It’s not a suggestion – It’s not when you feel like it
    • It says to “REJOICE ALWAYS”
  • But if anyone can say: If I can rejoice… you can rejoice – Its Paul
    • He’s like that friend when you tell a story…
    • They tell a story that always makes ur story seem insignificant
      • Man I’m hungry > Well there are starving children in Africa
      • I’m super tired > Well I woke up at 2am this morning

Paul’s in prison – Not sipping lemonade in the Bahamas saying “rejoice”

  • So how can he rejoice with his life on the line…
    • B/C if I can figure that out… this is super applicable to my life
    • And Paul tells us why he is able to rejoice like he does…
    • It’s because he is REJOICING IN THE “WHO” – IN THE LORD
  • Paul chooses to find his joy… not in circumstances but in Jesus
    • B/C we all know – Can’t always rejoice in our circumstances
    • But I can always rejoice in Jesus

Not to say there aren’t times I can rejoice in my circumstances

  • Last Sunday… Seahawks beat the cowboys
    • Cardinals lost against the 0-2 Lions
    • And I destroyed my dad in fantasy football… I was
  • Listen when God blesses you… say thank you – okay bad examples
    • But when my son asks if he can go on a walk with Michelle & I
      • That’s a blessing!
      • And I will rejoice!
    • When you get the call you’ve been praying for from the doctor
      • That’s a blessing!
      • And you should rejoice!
    • I remember when I got married to my wife
      • By the end of the wedding reception my cheeks hurt
      • Because I never stopped smiling… those are good times
      • And I rejoice in those times

But maybe ur circumstances aren’t great – maybe ur storys the opposite

  • There are many of you today… you are going through a hard time
    • What about you… b/c that’s where the Philippians are
      • They are oppressed by Rome b/c of their faith
      • Their leader might die
      • Some of those listening are slaves… terrible circumstances
  • Paul doesn’t tell them 2 rejoice in circumstances… but in Jesus
    • B/C when ur joy is always in Jesus: Can rejoice in circumstance
    • But if ur joy is in circumstance – U won’t always rejoice in Jesus
  • And just to reemphasize how important this is… he says it again
    • “And I will say it again REJOICE”
    • B/C this isn’t just tongue and cheek… or a nice phrase
    • This is how you stand firm in the Lord

And when we discover that true JOY isn’t found in a place but a person

  • When I believe AND live like that… it changes everything
    • Question: Have you discovered – Is ur joy in a person or thing
    • Do you say: I’d be happy if…
      • I liked job more / Kids obeyed
      • Made more $$$ / It wasn’t always 110 degrees
    • Or can you say: I’m happy because
      • Jesus forgave me / My past doesn’t define me – Jesus does
      • My future is with Jesus / I have purpose in Jesus
  • I wonder how different our weeks would be w/ that mindset
    • If we actually chose to obey what the Bible says

And Paul goes on in verse 5

Phil 4:5

Gentle spirit: That Greek word is really hard to translate

  • B/C there’s no straight English word translation (Adj/Noun combo)
    • Big heartedness
    • Yeildedness
    • Considerateness
    • NLT – let everyone see you are considerate in all you do
  • And this specific word (EPI – I – KEES)
    • It was used when the expected reaction wasn’t kindness
    • When the expected reaction was retaliation…
    • And while our tendency is revenge – Say something bad back
  • Paul saying your joy should overflow into a life of gentleness
    • Now if your joy is found in a thing… how likely is that to happen

Phil 4:5

  • Not just believers… but to those who have no clue what God is like
    • Because we are the reflection of God to the world
    • When people see that u give to others what they don’t deserve
    • You are telling the gospel to them through your actions
      • Because we were given far more than we deserved
  • And Paul confirms that with the end of verse 5… “The Lord is near”
    • The word “NEAR” was used by Jewish Rabbi’s
    • In reference to when people would change their religion
    • Can be translated… they have access to God
  • So when you choose gentleness instead of retaliation
    • People will find Jesus… your boss/spouse/kids/mean neighbor
    • All of this because you choose to rejoice in the Lord

Now verses 6-7 – The destruction of Worry & Anxiety

Phil. 4:6-7 (1st… rejoice in the Lord > let ur joy overflow into gentleness)

That word in the Greek is Mari-not-o (comes from 2 Greek words)

  • Divide and Mind
    • So to be Anxious is to have a divided mind
      • Think of James… when we are double minded… unstable
    • Also has idea of being pulled in different directions/distracted
      • Not focused on the main thing… which Paul says a lot
      • Make sure you don’t forget the main goal of all of this
  • Jesus uses this word with Marth…

Luke 10:41-42

  • Remember Martha is in the kitchen making dinner for everyone
    • Which was great! (Jesus probably loved going there)
    • But Mary was just sitting at the feet of Jesus – focused on Him
    • Martha gets mad at Mary for not helping
      • But Jesus says… Martha, you are distracted by so much
  • Martha was doing a good thing… missed out on the best thing
    • She became anxious

When my priorities are wrong (joy isn’t in Jesus) I get distracted

  • When I get distracted… I don’t treat people with gentleness
    • And I fail to reflect Jesus in the way I should
    • And then I end up not trusting and start stressing
    • Has that ever described anyone here?
  • And Jesus teaches a ton on this in his time here on Earth
    • Shows us what worry & anxiety reveal in our lives

Matt. 6:25-26

1st thing worry reveals: We forget who our provider is

  • Jesus says: If the birds don’t freak out about food or shelter
    • Not worried about a worm shortage… b/c God feeds them
    • Remember… you are infinitely more valuable than a bird
      • Never forget who your provider is

Matt. 6:27-30

2nd thing worry reveals: A lack of faith

  • And you might have some faith… but is it little or is it great
    • Jesus said: If you worry – You have “LITTLE” faith not “NO” faith

Charles Spurgeon

Little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.

  • The Bible doesn’t say you need great faith in order to be saved
    • Just believe you’re a sinner… saved by grace in Jesus
    • Believe that Jesus truly is the Savior of the world/your life
  • But it’s when you have GREAT faith
    • You find that your soul can actually find rest
    • And that’s what Jesus is talking about…
    • Birds have more faith than you
  • And when we start to worry… destruction follows because
    • We want to have control over something
    • But honestly we don’t have control over much of anything

Prob 27:1

  • You don’t know what will happen tomorrow: God does – You don’t
    • But if you can’t control any of it anyways… why freak out
    • God’s always provided… you’re still here… he always will
  • AND truth: Most of what you worry about will never happen
    • Ask yourself: What was I worrying about 2 years ago – Today
    • Scary thing is some of you know that answer…
    • But most people have no clue now… giant in the moment
  • John Hagei in his book said: Win over worry… told a story
    • A woman who was worried at 40 that she would die of cancer
    • But she died of pneumonia at age 70
      • So she worried for 30 years for something that didn’t exist


Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere

Beware of the lie of worry… b/c it will rob your soul of Joy

  • You are commanded to rejoice in the Lord
    • But if you freak out every time something comes your way
    • Joy is gone… Gentleness is gone… And look just like the world
  • Where are you putting your trust… in faith or fear

Matt 6:31-33

3rd thing worry reveals: I forgot what Kingdom I am of

  • Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of God… His righteousness
    • Everything ur worried about missing out on…
    • God will give you what you need
  • When I worry or stress about something
    • I’ve forgotten what Kingdom I am truly a part of
      • B/C I’m not part of this Kingdom – Or this world
      • No… I’m called to serve my King, trust in my King
    • And everywhere I go… I must bringing kingdom of God w/ me
      • If I worry – b/c that thing more important 2 me than Jesus
      • Which is actually Idolatry (Worry about what u worship)
      • You worry about things that don’t even matter…
        • Because you forgot which kingdom you are a part of

The more I seek his kingdom… his righteousness: Less anxiety I have

TAG: That’s what worry does… it makes u forget & compromises you

So what about the HOW to do this (Paul tells us)

Phil. 4:6

  • So God’s cure for worry is prayer… and Paul uses a few words here
    • Prayer – Generalized word for community, worship of/to God
    • Supplication – Specific prayers… usually serious & urgent
    • Request – Ask God about anything and everything
  • And prayer isn’t a monolog… it’s a dialog
    • It’s just as much about listening as my list of requests
    • Yet He does want me to ask Him for things

And when you pray… remember 3 things (Love/Wisdom/Power of God)

  • The Love of God
    • He will only give you what’s best for you
    • Because he loves you so much
  • The Wisdom of God
    • He knows what’s best for you
    • I have know clue what’s best for me… I’d destroy myself
  • The Power of God
    • Nothing is impossible with God
    • There is nothing to hopeless for him

And the KEY is to pray with THANKSGIVING

  • That is where you FAITH is expressed… thanking God in our prayers

Phil 4:6 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.

  • We are not told to pray and THEN worry… pray and don’t worry
    • And that is where faith enters in
    • But it doesn’t mean the problem goes away
    • It means now you have God’s presence in midst of the problem

TAG: And if I actually do this verse 7 tells us what will happen…

Phil 4:7

  • This begins with the word “AND”
    • And it doesn’t just connect verses 6 and 7
    • It connects the thought of 6 with the reality of 7
  • So don’t worry… just pray… and as you pray
    • Then the result is the PEACE OF GOD GAURDING YOUR HEART

And surpassing comprehension means it is beyond what makes sense

  • The only explanation of your peace is unexplainable except in God
    • And many of you have experienced this type of peace
    • It’s not that the problem is gone… but we gave it away
    • And because we no longer carry it – WE CAN REST
  • And it guards out hearts and minds
    • Guard was military term of patrol and protection
    • So God’s peace will patrol and protect your heart & mind
      • Heart: Where you can have wrong feelings
      • Mind: Where you can have wrong thinking


  • What are you anxious about… what will you do about it
    • Will you trust in God or trust in something else
    • Will you ask God to increase your faith
    • Will you remember what Kingdom you are a part of
  • Are you experiencing God’s peace that surpasses comprehension
    • Maybe you have experienced it
    • But are you experiencing it

Ps 16:11

  • Stop giving things to God… just to pick it back up again
    • And the peace you are longing for (asking for) is flood ur life



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