Good Tidings of Great Joy

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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So to start today, I have a video I want to show you.
Now, do you remember what the angels said to the shepherds? They said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.”
Do you know what a tiding is? It is news, it is an announcement made, an important announcement. An announcement that would bring joy to the people they were speaking too. News that should bring so much excitement that whoever hears it knows they have to go and check it out for themselves.
Do any of you just get incredibly excited when you get a package in the mail? I don’t know what it is but it is so fun to just open a package, even if you know what it is. It brings you great joy to open this package and see what this great gift it is that you have received. It is the same on Christmas morning, the joy you have going to your living room and seeing these present that you get to open.
As Paul ends this letter he reminds them that they are to have good tidings of great joy for all people. He reminds them of the gift that they have received and the news that they are to bring to others.

God’s Grace

Throughout the book Paul has discussed many things, the needs of these people, the dangers and sufferings they face, how they are called to live as Christians, and how they should love one another even when they have issues with others.
Paul has also reminded them of the incredible strength that the Lord gives, how He has supplied for their needs, and how the Lord will continue to provide for them in every way.
And through all this Paul reminds them at the end something that he told them at the beginning, that the grace of Christ be with them. What Paul makes clear to them, is that God’s grace is enough for them. “It is the remedy for every human need.” His grace includes the power that He has, His authority, His help, His riches in glory, all given sufficiently and graciously. So what ways does Paul reveal to us the ways that we receive God’s grace as He ends this letter?

Jesus brings us good tidings

So what good news does Jesus bring us?
Jesus is our Messiah
Notice that it says greet every saint “in Christ Jesus.” Do you know what “Christ” means? Christ means “anointed one” or Messiah. A term describing the one that has been chosen by God. The Messiah is the one who makes us righteous before God, He is the one who brings us salvation.
Therefore Jesus brings us the good news of salvation, the news that anyone who has believed in Him is now in Christ and received salvation from Him. In order to receive this salvation we needed Jesus to come into the world and we must be in Christ to receive the blessings.
We are never without a need for a Savior, because we all fall short. But only in Jesus can we find the strength and the riches to meet our needs.
He also gives us a heavenly citizenship, we now have the gift of adoption through Christ. This means as a citizen of heaven we are called
Jesus is our hope
In Christ and what He did for us He shows us that we have an incredible gift waiting for us in heaven. That is why Paul has said “to die is gain” and that we have a “hope that surpasses understanding.” How does Christ help us to have that hope?
Well because when we know we have something good waiting for us we are more likely to stay calm through all of life’s circumstances. That is why we might say something like “I just need to make it to the weekend.” Because even though things are difficult in the moment we look forward to a time where we can find rest and joy. Or as you finish up the school you can be getting tired and frustrated with class and with teachers and with other students and when you think about tests to end the semester you get stressed out. But then you remember that Christmas is coming up soon and you are filled with excitement because you know that something incredible is coming and it is worth waiting for if you can just deal well with the things you have in front of you. It helps you to not give up because you want to receive the reward. You know that you will be more relieved if you finish up your tasks now so that you can enjoy the reward later.
In Christ we have a hope, a hope that things will be better for us one day and it gives us the strength we need now to be obedient. This is what Paul looked at, even while he was in prison, even while he dealt with suffering and sometimes hunger, he knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that He reigned eternally. He knew the gift He was waiting for was better than anything he could comprehend so he waited in hopeful expectation.
What Paul wanted them to know more than anything was the grace of Christ’s Spirit with us would be the most satisfying and valuable things that they could have.

We are to have good tidings with all believers

Paul calls them to greet one another and that others send them greetings. And he calls them to greet one another “in Christ Jesus.” What he is calling them to do is to cross social, racial, and national divides in order to greet one another in Christ. What he is telling them is that Christ unified them through His Spirit. That no matter what tried to divide them and tried to create hostility between them, that they should remember that Jesus died for their sins, and that His grace calls them to forgiveness for one another. There were a lot of things that could cause them to have problems. They were of different religious backgrounds and beliefs that caused issues, people who were loyal to Rome while others fought against Rome, people who were rich and others who were slaves. Yet Paul tells them to greet every saint, not just the ones that they liked.
See, oftentimes what can happen is that we can become focused on a certain political issue, or certain friends, or certain beliefs that we have and those can cause us to make wars. You all know of social media wars, and the battles that happen over political opinions, and those people you just don’t like because of the type of person they are. Churches can also have problems because they are part of a different denomination, or a different theological belief.
But what Paul tells them is to forgive, to repent, and to be committed to one another. Because we all have Jesus, Jesus reminds us that we have something in common, Jesus reminds us that we have a love that casts our anger and worry and fear, Jesus reminds us to forgive and to care for one another.
One of the great things about Christmas is that it brings us all together, that you bring your family from all over the country and world and you join for presents and for food and for fun. You enjoy this time together even though you may disagree and you may get upset, and you may get annoyed at another family member. At the end of the day you are still excited for Christmas because with it comes the gifts and the delicious food, and just the excitement of Christmas. See, Christ brings us together in ways that we wouldn’t have on our own.
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