Stand Firm in the Lord                                 (click here for audio)

Philippians 4:1-9

Coming to the End of the letter;   Winding down …  and some  Final thoughts…..    Stress a very important  reminder…  took my pen   circled   two words….  V.1   “stand firm”

Paul just finished speaking about…

  • Our citizenship being in heaven…. See 3:20
  • He urged the Philippian believers to  FOLLOW, or imitate him…keep their eyes on those who walk according to our example….
  • Many walks as enemies of the cross of Christ..

THEREFORE….    Transition …….  One thing you’ve got to do…..    STAND  FIRM IN THE LORD…

Why?      Stand firm –  Why?      We’ve seen what can happen when we don’t…

———-some….. have made shipwreck of their faith…1Tim. 1:19  Hymeanus / Alexander

2Tim 4:10   For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica

1 Timothy 4:1  Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons

——–Paul feared it could happen to himself …..he said –   lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified1Cor. 9:27

 

PAUL urges –   Stand Firm…     stay with the Lord….    don’t give up…

….. don’t lose heart…..  be persistent…..  have endurance….  Stick to it…

STAY on COURSE…

HOW CAN WE STAND FIRM?

  1. In the LORD

 

Not    “in your own ability ….not in our power”            “in your own skill and wisdom”    “in your own  strength”

NOTICE  how  often    IN THE LORD is used…     vv.1-9     v.2  “agree in the Lord”       v.4  “Rejoice in the Lord”

v.7  “the peace of God…..will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”

 

the key  to  STANDING FIRM is   “in the Lord”      This means our relationship with Jesus Christ.    In Christ – we have divine resources…. We have divine enablements..

A person who is NOT saved…  can not stand firm….  They are no match  when it comes to the devil who is the ruler of this world.   The flesh has no ability to stand against the forces of evil.

To STAND FIRM –  to live a “stable Christian life”  will require    “divine  resources”

We need God’s Help!

 

To STAND FIRM IN THE LORD……….

  1. In the Fellowship     “my beloved”

v.1 my brothers…  whom I love and long for….. my joy and crown….my beloved

there was true  loving fellowship in the church at Philippi…

The Philippians believers….the church at Philippi had genuine concern for Paul   4:10 “you had concern for me…”    they were family…

Also, Paul had great concern for them…  Paul said —   you are my brothers…  we are partners and we are in Christ –God’s family…   YOU ARE ALL PARTAKERS WITH ME OF GRACE  (1:7)

  • FOR our fellow Brethren….. you can’t just quit….  Must stand firm….  Others are counting on you to stay true….  Stay faithful…
  • For those you love…. You go the extra mile…   you stand firm for Christ…
  • United we stand, divided we fall
  • Loving relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ is essential to “standing firm” ……

Jesus taught his disciples  …..  the importance of loving one another…

John 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jesus gave this commandment because they will NEED each other;   there was this competitive spirit among the disciples—  they had arguments as to who was the greatest….

A competitive spirit…. Rivaling to be NUMBER ONE….  Jesus taught them about humility;   serving one another;  loving one another;   working together;

Holding each other up in prayer….  Supporting each other;     loving each other;  forgiving each other when wrongs are done;   We are NOT to be enemies…

The Devil—is our Arch Enemy

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:   1Peter 5:8

He seeks to divide,  disrupt, and destroy the fellowship.

To STAND FIRM….

(1) We need to stand firm  “in the Lord”

(2) Stand firm “in the fellowship”

 

To STAND FIRM IN THE LORD…….

  1. Work for Harmony. Vv.2-3

NKJV   I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

NASB   I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.

Euodia,  Syntyche –  must have been prominent women in the church.  The church began by a riverside where women were gathered for prayer.   We find that in Acts 16. There was a woman named Lydia…and these two were certainly a part of that group which formed the church at Philippi.

They were very helpful in the ministry.  Paul says  “they labored side by side with me in the gospel”

For some unknown reason there was this “falling out”  between them.    Paul does not speak in general terms;    he gets very specific by CALLING OUT THEIR NAMES…

Can you imagine when this letter was first read before the church at Philippi?  There were these women who heard their names being  called out…

When the harmony of the church suffers,  and something needs to be done,  you get at the source of the division.   You don’t say,  “there are some folks who need to get their heads together and get on the same page,  I won’t call names,  but you know who you are.”

By doing that,  you have other people scratching their heads…wondering   WHO CAN IT BE?     WHO CAN IT BE?     THEN you have the rumor mill running….and creating more discord, more division…

Paul –  get it out in the open…  let’s deal with it.

 

How can Euodia and Syntyche be of the same mind?   How can they be in harmony?

(1) Right with the Lord         “to agree in the Lord”    v.2

If both are right with the Lord,  then they will be “right” with each other.  It may be they were already working on their differences when another person was called to get involved.   There are times when we are called upon to be reconcilers.  Sometimes we are to be the reconciler to bring two brothers, or two sisters together when there has been a rift in their fellowship.  This is what Paul says to one called  “true companion” or “true yokefellow”.

(2) Assistance of others        “true companion”          v.3

Yes, I ask you also, true companion

KJV   And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow,

Another person   “true yokefellow”    “true companion”   Don’t know his name.  Unless the Greek word  for “yokefellow”  is  his name-   syzygus.

Paul knows his name.   so does the church at Philippi,   Paul urges him to be the peacemaker.

His name means  “yokefellow”  or  “a close companion” …  Maybe an elder in the church.  Be a true companion….  Demonstrate the meaning of your name by getting involved in bringing these two women together.

(3) Be Gospel-centered      (rather than  Me-centered)

What’s at STAKE?       Why is being of   “the same mind”      “be in harmony”   so important?      What’s at stake?         The gospel

 

The gospel –   CAN BE HINDERED  when we fail to be   “of the same mind”

Euodia, Syntyche…were complimented by Paul     “labored side by side”

Also

Clement  –

And

Rest of my fellow workers….    They all didn’t get named…   Clement’s name got listed in the letter…   other people who were just as important and useful didn’t get their name listed in the letter….

Here’s the thing to remember….   Where is your name listed?

In the book of life

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.

 

The Gospel is the FOCUS….    Not everyone’s name was mentioned.   Paul doesn’t remember everybody’s name.     He’s human.    There is ONE who remembers the name of all the redeemed,  and has their name recorded in the BOOK of LIFE.

To STAND FIRM in the Lord…..

  1. Work for a Joyful Heart v.4

Paul speaks of this again.    Great need to remember  to  “rejoice in the Lord always”

Underscores that thought again and again…   Again I say rejoice!

Why?

So much happens to steal our joy.

v.6 –  do not be anxious about anything————many things causes us to be under stress,  great concern….  Sickness,  loss of a loved one,  relationship problems;   financial concerns;  uncertain future,  burdens of various kinds  load us down….

 

REJOICE    in the Lord –      not in your circumstances.    Not when you get what you want.   Not when there’s no problems in your life.

Paul –  did not write the letter to the Philippians  while on vacation at some  fancy resort…. He was in prison.

Acts 16    Paul and Silas both were arrested for preaching the gospel at Philippi and beaten up…. Thrown in prison….    Sang hymns..

 

We Rejoice in the Lord….   rejoicing because we don’t get what we truly deserve –judgment….  And we receive what we don’t deserve—– salvation in Christ.

 

Rejoice ——how long???            Always…

Circumstances change…     Situations change    but our standing in Christ  Never changes….  Saved forever.

 

STAND FIRM in the LORD by  Rejoicing in the Lord…

Also,

 

TO Stand FIRM  in the Lord….

 

  1. Be Gracious. v.5

The Greek word that’s translated to “reasonableness”  or  “moderation”  is hard to translate….  Some translations use….

 

ESV     Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

NKJV     Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

HCSB      Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

KJV     Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand

Young’s     “forbearance

 

The opposite of being reasonable…gentle, or gracious..  is   to be  SELF-SEEKING…

To be  contentious….quarrelsome…argumentative…

 

BE GRACIOUS… is to be  Christlike…

1Peter 2:22-23

22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly

2Cor. 10:1

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ

 

Being gracious – is needed when we   STAND FIRM on God’s truth and are dealing with others who oppose God’s standard for marriage.     One man and one woman…  Not two men, or two women….

YES –  we must STAND FIRM on Truth….   But we must be   GRACIOUS,  GENTLE toward an unbelieving world… so we don’t lose Christlikeness in our response to others.

The Lord is at hand;   (2 meanings  or   could mean both)

1-   The Lord is right there with us…  to help us in having this Christlike spirit of GENTLENESS,

2-   The Lord is soon to come…. When he comes…he will bring judgment on all who oppose the Lord….. judgment and vengeance is not our place….

We are to STAND FIRM on biblical truth…. By being gracious toward those who oppose truth.

 

To STAND FIRM…we’ve got to unload our  “anxieties”..

“Anxiety is like carrying a huge pack for miles.”[1]

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,

  1. Get Relief from Anxiety through Prayer     vv.6-7

 

Good Worries!      Having concern for others;   being burdened over the state of someone’s soul….     JESUS Wept  over  Jerusalem…

Paul’s great burdens…

Romans 9:1-3

have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

2Cor 11:28

28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

 

W H A T    D O    Y O U   D O  W I T H  Y O U R    Worries and  Burdens??????

Jesus had great burdens —  wept over Jerusalem…   He prayed

Paul had great burdens for the salvation of his people…. He prayed  (Rom.10)

Romans 10:1

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

 

Negative  worries –  matthew 6   (go to Matthew 6…)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.

(1) In prayer…  present your  supplication   (your petitions…. Your list of concerns)

(2) In thanksgiving…let your requests be made known to God…

 

Results —    by spending  unrushed…unhurried and  undistracted  time with God… we can experience  PEACE  about things

 

V.7        PEACE OF GOD…  guard…  like an umpire…  referee….  Hearts and minds..

 

  1. Have Praiseworthy thoughts v.8

 

What we think matters !      We easily pick up the trash in the world… the old remaining flesh… hounds us  with evil thoughts….

Constantly need a  good dose of GOD’s WORD.

 

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:22-23

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

 

  1. Practice makes Peaceful             v.9

 

Key   “practice these things”        “do”    kjv

  1. Learned
  2. Received
  3. Heard
  4. Seen in me

 

What can we take from the lesson today and  put into practice right now?

 

[1] Christ-centered Exposition, Philippians, Tony Merida,  pg. 174