Monday, September 15, 2008

Philippians 4:1-3

Philippians 4:1
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Therefore, Stand Fast! Hold true to the Word of God.

Who is Paul talking to here? The Philippians but also to Christians, our brethren.
With a heart full of tenderness and compassion
He says, My dearly beloved STAND FAST
We are reminded in I Thessalonians 5:21 to Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.
We are to discern all things in light of the Word of God and sieze hold of that which is good or valuable or virtuous.

Paul is pleading with the people…Don’t follow the enemies of the cross
Just one enemy of the cross, one false prophet, one false teacher can cause much damage in the body of Christ. Paul tells us to Stand Fast! Yes our world may shake, and the enemy may surround, but Stand Fast! Don’t run, don’t hide, for there is nowhere to run where God cannot find you!!!!

Psalm 139:7-10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Don’t run, don’t hide, STAND FAST ON THE WORD OF GOD.
Let HIM, lead you , let Him hold you!
Do others see Jesus in us? Are we Christ like examples as we go through our days?
I’m sure we can all admit that there are times when each of is not, when our ungodly character shows through.

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment/discernment that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ

  • Sincere: means without wax. Unscrupulous potters would use wax to hide the defects in their goods. It looked good on outside until the heat was turned up, and the cracks would show as the was melted.
  • Sincere: means Real. My sister in law in Georgia would say, there ain’t no Southern Bells here Honey! ‘Cause when they gets wet in this heat and humidity, all the sugar and honey on the outside melts and …The Wicked Witch of the West pops out.

We’re not gonna tame our tongue it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8
But that doesn’t mean we can’t control the tongue? We will never truly subdue it in this lifetime but we can control it with the help of the Holy Spirit.

It’s been said that the number one reason ministries squabble, even split over is the Women’s ministry. This was exactly, one of the things Paul had to write about to the Phillippians.
Ladies, Ladies, I tenderly beg you to settle your differences due to your standing in the Lord . Be of one mind in Jesus.

Read 4:verses 2-3

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

With tenderness and compassion Paul is begging these women to settle their differences, to be like minded in the Lord. Paul asks the body to "help" them, not to take sides, and make matters worse. There is some speculation among scholars as to why these two were at odds. How many times do we let petty differences come between us ? Do we realize the strife that is created in the body? We are not all hands, or feet or mouths. We must learn to work together under the headship of Christ in submission to Jesus. We are all instruments of God, not one better than another.

One commentator suggested that…” it could not have been a personal matter or Paul would not have addressed it in such a public way, but that it was more possibly a matter in regards to the church, where one may have been drawn away by false teachers and the simplicity of the gospel.”
In any case we can stand fast on the Word of God already revealed to us…That we might love and serve Him with our whole heart.

Let’s Flip back

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels/ tenderness & mercies/ compassion, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be LIKEMINDED, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2
Paul asks the body to help these ladies who along with Clement were his co-laborers, to settle their differences.
Was is a church matter? Possibly, but Paul was still correct in encouraging, exhorting to keep Jesus as the focus and the object of their affection, that we may all serve shoulder to shoulder being likeminded, having the same LOVE, and being of one accord.
Some are weak, some are strong but in Christ we stand as one!
Paul believed these women to be truly saved. He mentions their names being written in the Book of Life.

Imagine the damage done in the body, when grudges are kept and wounds are nursed to protect self, when forgiveness and mercy is not extended as God has extended it to whosoeverwill! Unfortunately this is not confined to the first century Church. Our job is to Stand Fast on the Word of God!

Remember what you have been taught and have your actions match your endless words.

Philippians is usually referred to as the Epistle of Joy, but don’t forget, there are other themes in this book such as…Humility-Self Denial-Unity in Christ-and Christian like conduct.

Jesus made himself of no reputation, that is the best example of humility we have been given.
He humbled himself, became obedient unto death …on the cross. We have not suffered unto blood. We try to wriggle out of suffering any chance we get.
  • HELP!
  • Woe is me!
  • Oh poor pitiful me!

For God to make a change in our heart in our character we must stand fast under the suffering He allows in life. Yes, Life is hard, but God is good, all the time! Don’t be moved… Don’t be so faint hearted that we may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and fellowship in His sufferings. A life of FAITH in Christ will brings trials. In the midst of those trials choose to die to self.

Only after the Crucifixion was Jesus Resurrected!
Die to self to see the POWER of GOD in a Resurrected life!
A Seed in ground must die before it becomes new life.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Philippians 3:10

STAND FAST on the Word

To be continued….

originally posted by Hizladybug Aug. 2005

Blessings, Lady

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