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Strength for the Journey (1 of 20)
Series: STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY: PHILIPPIANS
Dr. Chuck McAlister
... New Series .... STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY (the journey of life) .... a study of the book of Philippians.
(A) AD 62 .... When Paul writes this letter .... he is in Rome .... in prison .... preparing to appear before Caesar on charges of treason for spreading the gospel.
1- I.E. .... Paul is preparing to die .... to be executed .... He really doesn't know what Caesar will decide.
2- In fact, Paul was executed not too long after he wrote this letter .... This was one of the last letters he ever wrote.
* But when you open this letter .... you don't smell prison air or feel the tension of a man facing death.
* You smell the fragrance of joy and feel the strength of a man, who may be battle scarred, but he is not worrying about living or dying .... he has peace.
(B) This is the letter of joy .... Joy is the theme of this letter.
1- Paul .... in 104 verses mentions or refers to joy 18 times .... and refers to Jesus 70 times.
2- This letter is all about the joy that Jesus can bring into your life .... no matter what you're facing.
* .... Glimpse Paul's heart .... Ch. 1:21 .... 2:1-2 .... 2:5 (Introduces the 1st hymn of the early church) .... 3:1a (the theme verse of Philippians) .... 3:12-14 .... 4:4-6 .... 4:13 .... and 4:19.
* This is Paul's most personal letter .... it is as if Paul opens his chest .... risks being vulnerable .... and says, "This is what I am really like."
(C) As you probe the heart of Paul .... trying to find the secret of his joy .... you have to conclude that his joy grew out of one thing .... his relationship with Jesus Christ.
1- To Paul, Jesus was in control of everything .... If hardship came -- Jesus permitted it .... If pain became his companion -- it was because Jesus allowed it .... If he was under arrest, Jesus was still in control of his life .. ...
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