The Joy of Harmony

Joy Filled Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 8 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Philippians 4:2–9 (ESV)
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, 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.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Paul calls his readers to 4 things from our passage today. Let’s observe a few things…He calls for Unity in order for his readers to REJOICE, RELAX, PRAY, and Put these things into PRACTICE.
Point 1...

1. A Call for Unity [vvs. 2&3]

Philippians 4:2–3 (ESV)
Exhortation, Encouragement, and Prayer
2 I entreat [plead] Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.
3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, 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.
Paul had previously warned against 2 external conflicts which could threaten the church there at Philippi—the Judaizers [legalists] and the Libertines [liberals in their inhibitions].
And now he focuses on an internal conflict which could threaten the church.
He mentions two women by name—Euodia [YOUDIA] and Syntyche [SIN-TICKY].
These two women are having some sort of dispute.
This is the only place in Scripture where they are mentioned. If I were mentioned in Scripture, I would hope that it would be for a positive occurrence…and not a reprimand by the Apostle Paul.
Now the details of the dispute are not revealed for us and Paul doesn’t point out which one is at fault.
However, Paul is even-handed in his appeal to them—His only counsel is to urge them to live in harmony.
Maybe he had these 2 women in mind as he wrote the harmony portion found in Chapter 2…BE LIKE CHRIST—HAVE THE SAME MINDSET AS JESUS CHRIST… have the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
That is the Harmony that Paul expressed in this letter to his readers.
We read in the Gospel of John in Chapter 17, where Jesus prayed that His disciples would experience unity--- modeled after the same unity that Jesus experienced with His Father (John 17:11, 21–23).
We later read in the Book of Acts, that Jesus’ prayer for unity was realized in the life of the earliest church.
The first believers were together in one place; they shared their possessions and were of one heart and soul (Acts 2 and 4).
But the Bible is clear— sin can threaten unity.
Remember from the Book of Acts, the selfishness of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1–11),
Remember the neglect of those disciples who wouldn’t feed the Greek-speaking widows (6:1),
Remember the Judaizers and their rigid, legalistic demands that claimed Gentiles had to become Jews before becoming disciples (15:1)
—all of those examples threatened the unity of the church.
And Paul says, “I am pleading for you two women to get along and be unified in Jesus Christ.”
Paul understood the unity of the church reflects the unity of the Godhead: one God, one Lord, and one Spirit.
These Christian women were reflecting the Church and The Lord to the rest of Philippi.
What kind of example were they showing?
They were definitely Christians…as they had labored side-by-side with Paul in the work of the Gospel....along with some other Christians there.
Their names are written in the Book of Life---along with other Believers there.
Paul knew they had shared in that work of the Gospel together.
They had shared in Christ together as Sisters in Christ.
So, Paul knew they shared common ground.
But, we all know Christians aren’t perfect.
Sometimes this happens....this happened in the First Century Church and it still happens today in the 21st Century Church.
Sometimes, there are other Believers who you can’t stand to be in the same room with.
But for the sake the Gospel—we are called to put our wants and needs aside—we are called to put our self-interests aside...
We are called to humble ourselves…we are called to die to ourselves... and to forebear with one another....to carry one another’s burdens…to serve one another…love one another…and forgive one another.
And to make certain these women can reconcile their differences, Paul calls someone in that church to assist these women in resolving their conflict.
Paul doesn’t mention this person by name, but rather refers to him as “true companion” or “loyal yokefellow”.
This person was to serve as a mediator to assist these 2 women in reconciliation.
He may have been a pastor or overseer there.
Now, what causes conflict?
If you think back from our series in James; James Chapter 4 verses 1 & 2 state that conflicts occur due to selfish desires.
We want something that we can’t have—and that results in conflict.
The remedy for selfish desire, which lead to conflict—Paul has already addressed in Chapter 2:
Do Nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit---but in Humility, consider others better than yourselves.
Live your life worthy of the call of the Gospel.
So, unity and harmony are required to live in peace with each other.
And sometimes, it may require mediator to help resolve the conflict.
But the GOAL is Restoration.
Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
So, Paul pleads with these women to set aside their desires—set aside their feelings—for the sake of the Church—for the sake of the Gospel, because their division can hurt the Church—can damage how the World on the outside views Christ.
So, there needs to be Reconciliation and Restoration.
They need to find Peace with each other.
They have a mediator to help bring Restoration.
Now, we don’t know the outcome of that situation. I want to believe these two women made amends, with the help of their Pastor, who served as mediator.
As we see from here, and from what Tim shared with us earlier from Matthew 18—there is a way to resolve issues and conflict between one another.
Forgiveness also plays a big role in conflict resolution.
That’s why I wanted Tim to read from Matthew 18.
Remember Peter’s question to Jesus?
“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
It’s not the number of times that matter—what matters is you forgive the other person.
And forgiveness is for your well-being also—because a grudge can become bitter and rot you from the inside out.
It’s about forgiveness and humility.
We know conflicts will continue to occur--So, Paul gives us 4 ways to find peace with each.
This Peace comes from God.
To have peace with each other, it must come from God.
So, Paul says we need to REJOICE, RELAX, PRAY, and Put it into PRACTICE.
REJOICE, RELAX, PRAY, and PRACTICE.
POINT 2...

2. A Call for Joy & Peace & Prayer [vvs. 4-7]

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Paul gives his readers a practical way to be peaceable people.
a] He first calls them to REJOICE.
Remember—the Philippians were more than likely discouraged to hear that Paul was in prison—so they sent him support through Epaphroditus.
Next, the Philippians were discouraged to hear that Epaphroditus became sick and nearly died.
The Philippians were also discouraged because of these outsiders trying to influence the church.
And they are experiencing strife and conflict inside the church, because of Euodia and Sinticky.
SO, Paul calls them to rejoice—not once, but twice.
Be JOYFUL in all circumstances.
He is in chains, but He can rejoice---He is facing opposition—He is facing his court date—he is possibly facing a death sentence, yet, Paul can rejoice.
If Paul can rejoice in his circumstances, he expects the Philippians to rejoice.
We too, should rejoice in all things. This joy comes from God—not our present circumstances.
It’s a supernatural joy—and a supernatural peace—that comes from God.
It surpasses our human understanding—but even in the worst situations---even in the worst storm---God can calm the waters—God can calm the storm—and grant you peace, so, we must rejoice in that!
b] Paul says RELAX in verse 5.
What are Christians to be known for?
REASONABLENESS, which means GENTLENESS.
We are to be Reasonable and Gentle with each other. We are NOT to retaliate against a wrong-doing.
That is what it means to FORBEAR with one another.
The way we determine to react to one another or any given situation, will be noticed. By others…and by God.
We can respond in GENTLENESS or in HARSHNESS.
Paul urges us to respond in GENTLENESS---WHY?
Because he says THE LORD IS NEAR---Jesus could return at any moment. His return is AT HAND.
We need to live in Light of His Return.
Christ is coming soon—so live like that—relate to one another like that.
Be watchful of Christ’s return—be mindful of His return.
Have Peace with one another.
Forbear with one another.
RELAX, Release that anger—release that anxiety.
Take it to the Lord in Prayer.
c] Look again at Verse 6… Paul calls us to PRAY.
6 do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Anxiety is a real problem. If you are an anxious person, you understand what I mean—and we all suffer anxiety at some level.
But when it becomes debilitating, when it becomes very difficult to even function…it’s okay to seek help with that on a personal level.
Paul is aware that we get anxious—we worry.
He urges us to pray—God can help us in these times.
Paul says to pray about everything—and worry about nothing.
Now, that’s a challenge.
It is so natural to worry and become concerned over things—So, Paul says to take these concerns to God.
God knows about them. He knows things are difficult—but it’s vital that we tell God about our struggles---tell God about the things that keep us up at night—the things make it difficult for us to function.
Take those things to God in prayer.
Our focus gets misplaced…our focus gets misaligned.
Sometimes, We get so focused on the problems in front of us --we take our eyes off of Jesus.
Our problems seem to become bigger than God—but you know that is not true.
Scripture is clear—God is our Help in our present time of need—God is our Stronghold—He is our Fortress and Shield—God is our Rock and our Provider.
Prayer realigns us to Jesus…even in the most anxious moments.
It’s like Paul is saying “TAKE A BREATH—RELAX—PRAY TO GOD”.
There were these things going on in Philippi which created anxiety for these folks.
With Paul in jail—they were worried for his welfare.
Was the Gospel being stymied in its progress? That’s a true cause for concern.
Paul says “PRAY about these things”.
Instead of spending your energy on worry—spend your energy in prayer.
Take your prayers to the One who is in control.
A lot of the things we worry about, are out of our control—but we know the One who is in control.
Talk to Him. God will give you peace.
He will keep your heart and mind at rest.
Take it to Him in prayer.
God will give you peace and His peace will Guard your hearts and minds.
Oh what a wonderful encouragement.
Take it to God and He will give you peace and rest.
Jesus’s words are recorded for us in Matthew 6:25-34
Matthew 6:25–34 (ESV)
“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.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
What a great reminder from our Savior.
REJOICE, RELAX, PRAY and...
POINT 3...

3. A Call for Practice [vvs. 8&9]

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
These are the words to live by.
This is where our our realignment comes from.
Instead of focusing on the things that make us anxious and worry—Paul urges his readers to focus on these lovely things of God.
This goes back to our mindset.
These are the things we need to put into practice.
Paul says to dwell on these 6 things.
When our minds begin to worry and get off track,
We need to trust God and put our minds on these 6 things.
Focus on the things that are TRUE. Things that are Honest and Valid—because worry is usually filled with falsehood.
Focus on things that are NOBLE—Honorable—things worthy of your respect.
Focus on those things that are RIGHT—things that Conform to God’s Standard.
Focus on those things that are PURE and Holy—things that are undefiled.
Focus on those things that are LOVELY—things that are agreeable and lovely.
And finally, Focus on those things that are ADMIRABLE—things that are Praiseworthy.
These are Godly things—Heavenly things.
And to focus on these things require PRACTICE.
It is an intentional MINDSET SHIFT.
When worry begins to creep—be intentional in calling it out.
Is it Pure? Is it Right? Is it Lovely?
Does what you are worrying about hold up to God’s Standard?
If it doesn’t, refocus.
Feed your mind on these Godly things.
Be intentional in having a Mind Like Christ.
Turn your attention to these encouraging things.
Read some of David’s Psalms…he faced a lot of peril and even though things looked bleak at times—He took his problems to God—He cried out before God—He put his focus on God.
And David experienced God’s Peace.
Let’s practice these 4 things to have peace with each other and be blessed by the Peace of God.
REJOICE
RELAX
PRAY
and PRACTICE these things.
Let us Pray.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more