In the Lord (Philippians #20)

Text: Philippians 4:1-4

These are Christian prepositions.  Notice these phrases in the following verses: stand fast in the Lord, be of the same mind in the Lord, and rejoice in the Lord.  These are what you would call prepositional phrases.  I remember helping the kids with their English grammar when they were studying prepositional phrases.  I told them the easiest way to understand a prepositional phrase is to know that it’s simply a statement of the position of one thing in relation to another: under the desk, around the corner, in the house, up the tree, down the tree, outside the city.  They are statements of position; one thing’s relational position to another.

“Getting saved” has become anything from asking Jesus into your heart to giving Jesus your life.  In so doing people miss what exactly they’re supposed to believe about Jesus Christ. Paul says believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead.  My sin leads to my death.  I’m trusting that Jesus Christ took my sin upon himself, God the Father was satisfied with his sacrifice, and Jesus Christ conquered death for me – raised him from the dead.  If I believe that by faith, then my life is transferred to Jesus Christ.  My affections, my emotions, my thoughts, my foundation has gone from here in the earth to the foundation at the right hand of God the Father.

Christian stand (vs 1)

  • Stand fast is like being fastened to something.
    • The idea is fastening one thing to another so they’ll be tethered together.
    • You take something that won’t stand on its own and fasten it to something strong and stable.
    • So stand in the Lord and you won’t fall into mischief.
    • Stand fast in the Lord is to take the position the Lord takes.
      • That means to first of all care about the position Jesus Christ takes.
      • If you care, then you’ll take time to find out the position he takes.
      • Then prepare to meet either persecution or pleasure to move you from that position.
      • Then hold steady as the pleasures of chasing your dreams are passed by you and the backlash of opposition tries to force you to fall from the Lord.
    • 2 Corinthians 7:5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
  • Stand in faith
    • 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
    • 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
    • If you were as resolved to stand fast in the Lord as you are resolved to please yourself it might could be said of your life that you actually do trust Jesus Christ.
  • Stand in liberty so you’re not put into bondage
    • Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
    • In Christ a soul is free to ignore the demands of his flesh and yield himself as instrument of righteousness.
  • Stand because of its affect on others
    • 1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now WE live, if YE stand fast in the Lord.
    • Don’t let go of the rope!
    • “Widely remembered to this day in Texas, the battle of Alamo pitted some 180 poorly armed Texans against a force of 1800 Mexican soldiers lead by the famous general Santa Anna.  Despite the odds, the Texans managed to repulse two attacks from their adversary but succumbed at the third attempt. Mexicans stormed the building and, after a period of bitter fighting, killed every single one of the defenders, their last stand being at the garrison’s church. Santa Anna hoped that the example at Alamo would quell the Texans’ resistance but rather it stiffened their resolve and made them more determined to win their freedom.”

Christian mind (vs 2)

  • Be of the same mind in the Lord.
    • That means a renewed mind.  Renew your mind (Romans 12:3) is the transformation that leads to knowing and doing the will of God.  Renew: Making new again; repairing; re-establishing; reviving; renovating.  We react to things the way the world tells us to react and not the way God tells us to.
    • Humbleness of mind (Colossians 3:12)
    • Be of one mind (1 Peter 3:8-12)
    • Thereunto called
    • Inherit a blessing
    • Love life
    • See good days
    • Then stop interjecting evil and guile into the conversation.  Stop responding with evil and anger and hatred.
    • Have the ear of the Lord.

Christian emotional life (vs 4)

  • Rejoice in the Lord
  • Rejoicing is and will be the natural state of the child of God.
  • Rejoicing is an instruction
    • Remember this is instruction being given from prison. If God gives you an instruction then you are capable of doing it.
    • Paul prayed with joy in 1:4
    • Paul rejoiced that Jesus Christ was being preached in 1:18
    • Paul rejoiced when he found faithfulness 2:16-18
    • Rejoicing in the presence of fellow labourers 2:28
    • Rejoicing in the Lord keeps you from condemning your life with confidence in the flesh 3:1-3
  • Joy, like fruit, can be used for energy
    • Joy of the Lord is your strength…
    • Joy is your strength, joy is your supply of energy.
  • Paul said rejoice alway, meaning there isn’t anything in Jesus Christ that is disappointing.
    • Lack of joy comes from confidence in the flesh that leads to depressing thoughts, cynicisms, discouragement, sadness, suicidal thoughts, and just seeking the next thrill.