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The Peace of Christ Philippians 4:4-23 Concluding message in our 7-part series on Philippians Sunday, May 6, 2012 Speaker: Doug Virgint.

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Presentation on theme: "The Peace of Christ Philippians 4:4-23 Concluding message in our 7-part series on Philippians Sunday, May 6, 2012 Speaker: Doug Virgint."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Peace of Christ Philippians 4:4-23 Concluding message in our 7-part series on Philippians Sunday, May 6, 2012 Speaker: Doug Virgint

2 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

3 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

4 1) Introduction The most beautiful word in any language « SHALOM » health, peace, well-beinghealth, peace, well-being tranquility, prosperity, perfectiontranquility, prosperity, perfection rest, harmonyrest, harmony absence of agitation or discordabsence of agitation or discord In A.T., peace flows from the kingIn A.T., peace flows from the king

5 1) Introduction The Messiah is the Prince ofThe Messiah is the Prince of « SHALOM » When our Lord was born, the angels announced “Peace on earth The unfathomable peace of the God who controls the universe, and who pursues a faultless purpose, is the peace that Paul commends to his Philippian friends.

6 1) Introduction Paul exhorts the Philippian Christians to rejoice despite circumstances They may have been threatened by their opponents (1: 28)They may have been threatened by their opponents (1: 28) Paul himself was experiencing this same conflict (1. 30)Paul himself was experiencing this same conflict (1. 30) Paul had been beaten and imprisoned during his first visit (Acts )Paul had been beaten and imprisoned during his first visit (Acts ) Paul was in prison in Rome, facing death, when he wrote this letterPaul was in prison in Rome, facing death, when he wrote this letter

7 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

8 2) Obtaining real blessedness Joy reigning within Spiritual stability is directly related to how a person thinks about GodSpiritual stability is directly related to how a person thinks about God Knowledge of God is the key to rejoicingKnowledge of God is the key to rejoicing God’s goodness to us – God’s love for usGod’s goodness to us – God’s love for us God’s redemption – saving usGod’s redemption – saving us God’s provision for us – meeting our needsGod’s provision for us – meeting our needs

9 2) Obtaining real blessedness Joy reigning within We rejoice in the Lord because we are in Christ, whose fruit is joyWe rejoice in the Lord because we are in Christ, whose fruit is joy The disposition of joy can be, and should be, cultivatedThe disposition of joy can be, and should be, cultivated

10 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

11 2) Obtaining real blessedness Bigheartedness all around Reasonableness (gentleness, moderation)Reasonableness (gentleness, moderation) “Epiekès” - sweet reasonableness, generosity, goodwill, friendliness, magnanimity, charity towards the faults of others, mercy towards the failures of others, leniency, bigheartedness, moderation, forbearance, gentleness“Epiekès” - sweet reasonableness, generosity, goodwill, friendliness, magnanimity, charity towards the faults of others, mercy towards the failures of others, leniency, bigheartedness, moderation, forbearance, gentleness graciousnessgraciousness

12 2) Obtaining real blessedness Bigheartedness all around graciousnessgraciousness patience to endure injusticepatience to endure injustice our culture emphasizes self-esteem, self fulfillmentour culture emphasizes self-esteem, self fulfillment those whose focus is not on themselves cannot be easily knocked off-balance.those whose focus is not on themselves cannot be easily knocked off-balance. spiritual stability belongs to the graciously humblespiritual stability belongs to the graciously humble

13 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

14 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “Engus” – near in time or in space“Engus” – near in time or in space Here it refers to a sense of the Lord’s presenceHere it refers to a sense of the Lord’s presence The LORD who is near:The LORD who is near: “Nothing is outside of His sovereign control or too difficult for Him to handle. A low view of God leads to a myriad of problems in the church.”

15 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “The LORD who is near is the almighty, true, and living God revealed in the Scripture. Those who delight themselves in His holy power, love and wisdom and cultivate a deep knowledge of him by studying and meditating in His word will live by the foundation of that truth and be spiritually stable.”“The LORD who is near is the almighty, true, and living God revealed in the Scripture. Those who delight themselves in His holy power, love and wisdom and cultivate a deep knowledge of him by studying and meditating in His word will live by the foundation of that truth and be spiritually stable.”

16 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence Attacks on who God is …Attacks on who God is … Let’s read the extensive quote from A. W. Tozer inserted into our bulletinLet’s read the extensive quote from A. W. Tozer inserted into our bulletin “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

17 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God.

18 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “For this reason, the gravest question before the Church is always God himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his heart perceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move towards our mental image of God.

19 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “This is true not only of the individual Christians, but of the company of Christians that compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self- disclosure of her witness concerning God.

20 2) Obtaining real blessedness Awareness of the Lord’s presence “Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, "What comes to your mind when you think about God?" we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.”

21 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

22 2) Obtaining real blessedness No worry - prayerful trusting in God We react to problems with thankful prayerWe react to problems with thankful prayer Being anxious betrays a lack of in God and is a species of “unconscious blasphemy” against Him (Oswald Chambers)Being anxious betrays a lack of trust in God and is a species of “unconscious blasphemy” against Him (Oswald Chambers)

23 2) Obtaining real blessedness No worry - prayerful trusting in God (proseuché) - prayer in generalprayer (proseuché) - prayer in general (deésis) – emphasis on our needssupplication (deésis) – emphasis on our needs (aitémata) - formulation of definite and precise petitionsrequests (aitémata) - formulation of definite and precise petitions (eucharistia) - recalling of God’s mercies and goodnessthanksgiving (eucharistia) - recalling of God’s mercies and goodness

24 2) Obtaining real blessedness No worry - prayerful trusting in God the result - peace “surpasses all understanding” – uniqueness, excellence, beyond comprehension “guard” – military term – Philippi was a Roman garrison town – a soldier maintaining his watch

25 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

26 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) “finally” – we have come to the final and climatic point “think about these things” “dwell on these things”. “logizomai” – evaluate, consider, calculate a necessary, habitual Christian discipline

27 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) this is so important for our day “how do I feel?” not “is it true?” but “does it work?” we have rejected the concept of absolute divine truth

28 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) “What scares me today is the anti- intellectual, anti-critical-thinking philosophy that has spilled over into the Church This philosophy tends to romanticize the faith, making the local church into an experience center … Their concept of “church” is that they are spiritual consumers and that the church’s job is there to meet their felt needs.” (Bill Hull)

29 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) “true” – false thoughts crowd out true thoughts – God’s Word is the truth “honorable” – used to describe the dignified lifestyle required of deacons. Not crudeness, coarseness, but worthy of awe and reverence “just” – (righteous) (dikaios) – that which is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal standards and laws.

30 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) “pure”(hagios) – holy, morally clean “lovely” – beautiful, pleasing, patient, generous “commendable” – (good repute) – that which is well thought of – lofty themes “worthy of praise” – the sum of all the other points

31 2) Obtaining real blessedness Proper thinking (meditation) The key to godly living is godly thinking GIGO “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23)

32 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

33 2) Obtaining real blessedness Serene contentment Knowing how to want “content” (vs 11) – self sufficient – a country that meets its own needs – not dependent on imports The serenity of contentment

34 2) Obtaining real blessedness Serene contentment Five principles of contentment confident in God’s providence (10) satisfied with little (11) independent from circumstances (12) strengthened by divine power (13) preoccupied with the well-being of others ( )

35 2) Obtaining real blessedness Serene contentment Knowing how to wait we live in a society that demands instant gratification the publicity on TV - your deserve this the sexual revolution the debt crisis we have become slaves to our appetites

36 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

37 3) The example Paul’s example – and ours ! “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things.”

38 The Peace of Christ 1) Introduction 2) How to obtain real blessedness joy reigning within big-heartedness all around awareness of the Lord’s presence no worry - prayerful trusting in God proper thinking (meditation) serene contentment 3) The example 4) Conclusion

39 3) The example Our example What model are we providing to our children? What are they learning about our God from our fretting and worrying ? What are they learning about our God from our consumerism and “thing” driven lifestyle ?

40 4) Conclusion Our example What model are we providing to our neighbors and friends? What are they learning about our God from our fretting and worrying ? What are they learning about our God from our consumerism and “thing” driven lifestyle ?

41 As we approach the Lord’s table... We can only enjoy the peace of God when we are at peace with God ! Christ made it possible for us to be at peace with God by his work on the cross

42 As we approach the Lord’s table... We were enemies of God: because of our sin because we did not honor him as we should because we did not love him as we ought

43 As we approach the Lord’s table... Christ bridged the gulf between us and God: He made it possible for us to be at peace with God He took on himself our sins and paid the penalty as a man he honored God as all men should have He offers the gift of His Holy Spirit to us to enable us to love God as we ought to

44 The Peace of Christ Philippians 4: 4-23


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