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Four D's that Can Cause Much Damage
June 6, 2004
INTRODUCTION: The "therefore" that connects Chapter 4 with the preceding truth reminds us of the great hope that awaits us in the coming of Christ. Realizing the truth of the preceding passages, with their promises and challenges, we are living as citizens of a heavenly common wealth, and having a hope of a coming Savior, the Philippians are exhorted to stand fast in the Lord.
Therefore, says the Apostle, "since you have such a great hope, don't let anything destroy the firm foundation upon which that hope is resting. Live in a way that is in keeping with the great truths that have been taught."
I. DON'T BE DEFEATED. 1
A. WORDS DISPLAY HIS DEVOTION. 1a
"my beloved" – (dearly beloved) – one good word; used for God's divine and self-sacrificial love; plural in number; Paul loves all of these individually and with a love produced in his heart by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5)
"longed-for brethren" – Paul viewed them as family; he valued the people for themselves; longed-for speaks of strong desire. Paul undoubtedly had endeared himself to the people. Love is always accompanied by desire. Speaks of an expression of affectionate energy.
Paul is writing from a Philippian jail and his longing also speaks to the deep pain of separation from those he cares deeply for.
QUESTION: Do I have a deep affection for my people?
B. WORDS DISPLAY HIS DELIGHT. 1b
"my joy and crown" – Paul views these Philippians as choice fruit of his ministry.
"joy" not derived from circumstances, but from fellow believers in Philippi.
"crown" – refers to a laurel wreath received by an athlete for winning a contest or by a person honored by his peers at a banquet as a symbol of success or a faithful life. Crown was also used as an expression of gladness.
These two words are significant in that they imply Paul had a people-centered ministry.
C. WORDS DISPLAY HIS DETERMIN ...
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