Intro: One of the first sermons I ever preached was from Philippians and the
message was peace. My entire ministry Philippians has been a book I would go
to, to find peace. For years now I have called it the joy book. Being a
Christian isn’t easy and the world might allow you to have a temporary
happiness once in a while, but the Word of God as the Book of Philippians
teaches you, can give you a joy all the time. “Therefore” Christian do you have
that joy? I know a good book you can read.
One might say It is all about the depth: Picture a massive hurricane raging over the ocean. On the surface of the sea the violent winds whip the water into giant waves and create a scene of havoc and chaos. Yet, a mere twenty-five feet below the surface, the waters are clear and calm. The fish there go on living their lives totally unaware of the thunderous tumult just above them. When there is “depth,” there is peace. So it is in the Christian life. The Joy book offers you an inside view on how to acquire peace. Therefore work on that depth.
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 SO WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN TAUGHT?
Text: Philippians 4:1, 4-7 (NKJV)
“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.”
1. Therefore Stand Fast: “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
The first step to peace is standing fast. That could be the best advice I could give to all of you here right now! Stand fast with what God wants to do with this church and its future, no that God is in control. A crisis of belief is exactly what God allows to happen sometimes so He can do a great work through us. Therefore stand fast. If a person wants the God of peace, he must do the things which Paul taught and did, and one of the major things he taught was to stand fast in the Lord. If a person wishes the God of peace, he must stand fast in the Lord.
The word "stand fast" means simply to stand firm, persist, persevere. It is the picture of a soldier standing fast against the onslaught of an enemy. He refuses to give ground no matter the pressure and strength of attack. He does not flinch; he is not unstable and he is never defeated. The Christian believer is to stand fast, no matter how great the trial, no matter the pressure of the temptation, no matter the influence, offer, and allurement made by others.
There is only one place the believer can stand fast, and that is "in the Lord." Believers are to be walking in prayer and praise all day long. This is what keeps the peace of God dwelling in their lives—the "peace of God" that conquers all trials and temptations. Believers are to stand fast in the faith. Believers are to stand fast in the liberty of Christ. Believers are to stand fast in one spirit, striving together for the faith of the gospel. Believers are to stand fast in the Lord which is the secret of peace. Believers are to stand fast and hold the teachings or doctrines that have been taught. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15
2. Therefore Rejoice: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
The point of this whole passage is the peace of God and the presence of the God of peace. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
How many times have you heard that! How many times have you heard that and ignored it? Another step to peace is that of rejoicing in the Lord. A person is to rejoice always, that is, continually; and then they are to rejoice again, that is, repeatedly. Remember: Paul is in prison and the church is having a problem with some false teaching. Yet, Paul tells the believers that they are to walk about rejoicing in the Lord. In fact they are to rejoice in the Lord always—no matter the circumstances. “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.” Philippians 3:1 (NLT)
3. Therefore Gentleness: ”Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
The third step encourages gentleness. A ministry is not a ministry without reaching out to the unbeliever with gentleness and a genuine concern for their spiritual well-being. We must reach out to the world with the gospel and treat them with a loving gentleness. The reason we must be gentle to mankind is because the Lord is at hand. He is ready to come, and His coming is near. This simply means that when He comes, every one of us will need Him to treat us with gentleness. We are sinners—men and women, boys and girls—who sin too often. The Lord will have every right to be critical and condemning of us. Our only hope is that He will be gentle with us. Therefore, we must be gentle with all other men. Only if we are forgiving toward them will the Lord be forgiving toward us. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
4. Therefore Pray: ”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
5. Therefore Peace: ”And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
CONCLUSION: P+P+P = P Poise (Stand Fast), Praise (Rejoice always) & Prayer equals the Peace of God
Illustration of discouragement: The devil decided to have a garage sale. On the day of sale, his tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. There were a treacherous lot of implements: hatred, envy, jealousy, deceit, lust, lying, pride, and so on. Set apart from the rest was a harmless-looking tool. It was quite worn and yet priced very high. “What is the name of this tool?” asked one of the customers, pointing to it. “That is discouragement,” Satan replied. “Why have you priced it so high?” “Because it is more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a man’s heart with that, even when I cannot get near him with the other tools. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since so few people know it belongs to me.” The devil’s price for discouragement was high because it is still his favorite tool, and he is still using it on God’s people.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
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