Sermon Tone Analysis

Overall tone of the sermon

This automated analysis scores the text on the likely presence of emotional, language, and social tones. There are no right or wrong scores; this is just an indication of tones readers or listeners may pick up from the text.
A score of 0.5 or higher indicates the tone is likely present.
Emotion Tone
Language Tone
Social Tone
Emotional Range

Tone of specific sentences

Social Tendencies
Emotional Range
< .5
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9
> .9
Joy in the Midst of Problems
Billy Sunday said, "To see some people today you would think that the essential of Christianity is to have a face so long you could eat oatmeal out of the end of a gas pipe."
William Barclay said that "A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms, and nothing in all religious history has done Christianity more harm than its connection with black clothes and long faces."
C.S. Lewis wrote, "It is not so much the joy of the Lord we are seeking as the Lord of joy Himself."
We all experience painful situations in life.
Sometime of our own making, sometime as a result of what others do to us, and sometimes simply as part of the human condition.
These situations can rob us of joy.
No matter the origin, they are painful and frustrating.
But God can provide us grace to thrive during these times and peace to comfort us.
He can replace our gloominess with joy.
And that’s the theme of Paul’s letter to the Philippian church.
As we begin our study of this heartfelt letter of Paul, let’s start by way of background.
Paul’s letter to the Philippians is undoubtedly one of the best loved of all his letters.
This is an intensely personal letter.
It lacks formality.
Paul seems to set down ideas as they come to him instead of having a structured outline and single-minded purpose.
The keynote of this letter, I believe is found in chapter four - “Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!”
The word “joy” in its verbal and noun forms appears 16 times in the letter, proportionately more than any of Paul’s other letters.
What’s even more remarkable is that this repeated call for joy comes from a prison cell.
This can only come from one whose life is centered in Christ (1:21; 3:8) and who has learned the secret of being content at all times and under all circumstances (4:10ff)
This letter was written to the church he had founded in the Macedonian city of Philippi.
Paul visited this city on his second missionary journey after receiving a vision in which a “man of Macedonia” pleaded with him: “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9)
This church included some familiar members: Lydia, a local merchant who sold expensive purple-dyed cloth (Acts 16:11-15), a slave girl who was rid of an evil spirit (Acts 16:16-24), and a jailer who heard Paul and Silas sing praises to God at midnight (Acts 16:30ff).
So Philippians is the second of what is called his “prison epistles”.
There can be no doubt that Christ was the source of the apostle’s joy.
His letter to the Philippians contains 104 verses.
In those verses, we find some form of the name of Christ or a pronoun referring to Christ a total of sixty-one times.
Another of Paul’s emphases is the mind.
He uses such words as ‘mind,’ ‘minds’, ‘minded,’ and ‘think’ a total of eleven times in this letter.
When we put all these things together we arrive at this truth: Christian joy comes through having a Christ-centred mind.
Multitudes are obsessed with happiness and frustrated because they cannot find it.
Why is this the case?
Is this not the problem: we search for happiness instead of the thing that creates happiness?
I get the impression that Paul did not seek happiness.
He sought to live for the Lord, and happiness found him.
We need to learn that happiness is a by-product and it comes to us as we occupy ourselves with serving the Lord.
So, with these things in mind, let’s begin our study of Philippians.
We’ll be looking at the various themes of the book.
But we’ll keep a constant lookout for the recurring theme of joy as it bubbles to the surface.
Today we’ll start with the first two verses, Paul’s introduction or salutation.
Let’s read...
Paul begins by greeting the church and includes Timothy in his greeting.
Timothy was not a co-author since he’s spoken of in the third person and Paul’s consistent use of singular personal pronouns throughout the letter.
And as with any study of the Bible we always begin with the writer, the audience and the proposition.
So for this letter, the sender is Paul, the recipients are the church along with the elders and deacons, and for this introduction the wish or proposition is that they would be recipients of God’s grace and peace.
And now for the “so what”.
This morning for the next few moments we’ll consider what God can provide us through Jesus.
Jesus Provides Us with His Purpose
We see this in the beginning of verse 1. Paul considered himself and Timothy the bondservants of Jesus Christ.
The word translated “bondservant” in this verse is the common Gk.
work for “slave”.
When Paul identifies himself and Timothy as “servants” he means they are the absolute possession of Jesus Christ their Lord, and owe absolute obedience to Him.
But this kind of servitude is more than a master-slave relationship.
He is undoubtedly thinking of the bondslave relationship where the slave is ultimately given his freedom, but willingly chooses to continue as a servant, a cheerful and willing service of complete servitude in an atmosphere of complete freedom.
It is this very relationship that provides us with our purpose in life.
And since this letter is written in the midst of a personally challenging situation, it reminds me of Romans 8:28-30...
As the servants of Jesus Christ, we are uniquely tied to His purpose in this world.
Don’t ever think your life is meaningless.
And if you’ve yet to surrender your life to Jesus, consider this… giving your life to him hitches your life to the greatest purpose in the universe.
What better than being on the winning team with an eternal purpose?
Consider trusting Jesus right now as your Savior!
Not only does Jesus provide us with His purpose, he goes one step further...
Jesus Provides Us with His Presence
Look back at verse 1...
Pay special attention to the second phrase.
The church members are called saints.
Now this doesn’t mean they were venerated and elevated to sainthood by the church.
There is no such ecclesiastical status where a particularly pious person is elevated to a status above other Christians and given a special pipeline to God.
They’re all called saints or literally “holy ones”.
This is a reference of forensic holiness (our legal standing before God) and not so much our moral holiness, although it is involved.
But what I want us to pay special attention to is the phrase, “in Christ”.
This is a favorite expression of Paul.
This phrase denotes our union with Christ in His death and resurrection.
And the new life we share together in His resurrection life.
“In Christ” often points to Christ Jesus as the sphere in which the Christian lives and moves.
In other words, we’re always in the presence of Jesus and He with us.
I love the way Louie Giglio illustrates this.
Here it is...
Jesus Provides Us with His Power
I know we’re all familiar with the term grace.
For Paul, grace underscored the salvation event.
Salvation is by grace through faith, in other words salvation is appropriated by faith through the working power of grace.
So grace is the catalyst, the power and means working to effect salvation.
How can you and I get through this life?
The answer: grace.
God’s divine enablement.
So how could Paul be so filled with joy considering his situation?
Only by God’s grace.
Jesus providing the power to rise above his circumstances realizing Jesus was with him, using Paul to accomplish a divine purpose.
We have a power implanted in us which would lift us above all circumstances, all difficulties.
This is the almighty power of the grace of God.
And lastly...
Jesus Provides Us with His Peace
This work “peace” as used here is not referring to a relationship between people, or even an attitude, but rather “a time of peace” or a “state of peace”.
There is no peace without grace.
Inward peace springs from a sense of divine favour.
No grace and peace but from God our Father, the fountain and original of all blessings, the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift, James 1:17.
< .5
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9
> .9