Sermons

Chapter 1

Finding Joy in Unprecedented Times
Sun, Aug 16, 2020
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Philippians 1:1–2 (ESV) You have seen the memes. You probably have talked about it or at least you have felt it. 2020 is weird. It's the oddest collision of circumstances I can remember in my lifetime. A virus, confinement, endless cancellations and re-arrangements, unrest, political conflicts, disconnection and disunity, financial instablity, etc. It will be a year to remember (although we'd like to forget). It might feel like it's so unique that we are on our own to sort it out, but what if there was help to deal with the craziness? What if there was a book written while in lockdown? What if there was a book that addresses the conflicts and divisions we face? What if there was a book that called us not only to survive but see the gospel advance in a time like this? This week we are going to begin studying the book of Philippians. This is an encouraging letter written by Paul while in prision. He wanted the church at Philippi to share his joy. Yep - joy in prision. He wanted them to struggle for unity and he wanted them to do all of this as citizens of a greater kingdom. I'm excited to jump into this book that I believe can help us navigate this odd and awkward time. Take a few minutes to read through Acts 16 and the first chapter of Philippians.
Joy Filled Prayers - Part 1
Sun, Aug 23, 2020
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. - Philippians 1:6–7 (ESV) In the Chinese calendar each year is represented by an animal. If I was making the calendar for 2020, I think this years animal should be Eeyore. That's right, the sad donkey from the beloved children's story. I mean that's what 2020 feels like right? It has seemed like an endless string of horible circumstances that only worsen. (You have heard there is a double-hurricane sorta headed our way). So I'm calling it! 2020 is the year of the Eeyore. In the midst of all of this where can we find joy? I'm not talking about slapping on a smiling face and ignoring hard realities. I'm talking about real, true, honest joy. Joy that shines in the middle of gray. Joy that holds even when things get worse. Paul is going to help us discover that in Philippians. He is in chains and may be facing death. But he has joy. Where does it come from? And what is it's source? And what sustains it? This week be begin with Paul's opening prayer in Philippians 1:3-11. Will you take a few minutes and read through Philippians chapter 1? Ask yourself, what is driving his prayers? What is giving him hope?
Joy Filled Prayers - Part 2
Sun, Aug 30, 2020
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. - Philippians 1:9–11 (ESV) Where did you find joy this week? Did you remember that God is not finished with you even when you feel like a failure? Did that bring you joy? This week we will look back at Philippians 1:3-11 to see what brought joy to Paul. We learned last week that Paul found joy in the Philippians partnership. He found joy in the truth that God's work is not finished in him or the Philippians. I want to encourage you to re-read Philippians 1 to prepare your heart and mind to worship together.
Gospel Spreading Joy
Sun, Sep 06, 2020
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. - Philippians 1:12–13 (ESV) What feeling or emotion comes to mind when we start to talk about evangelism? I think for many people it's fear. We are afraid that we won't have the answer to a question. We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of persecution. We are afraid our lives won't match what we say. There are a lot of fears, but what if one of the ways to discover joy was actually evangelism? This week we are going to explore Philippians 1:12-18. Paul's plans and programs for the advancement of the gospel didn't go as he planned. God had a different plan, a grander plan, a better plan. Watching that plan play out brought joy to the heart of Paul. Take some time to re-read Philippians 1 and see if you can hear the joy of his words over the clink of his chains.
To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain
Sun, Sep 13, 2020
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. - Philippians 1:21–22 (ESV) Imprisoned. Silenced from preaching and planting churches. Restrained from traveling. The real possiblity of execution looming. How would you respond? Hopelessness? Despair? This was the plight of the Apostle Paul. What would happen next was unknown. With all of this, Paul's mindset was different. He wanted to help both the Philippians and us to consider what that mindset looks like and where it comes from. This week Carson opens Philippians 1:18-30 to us. I want to encourage you to take some time to read through this passage. It might be familiar, but read with fresh eyes. Maybe even in a different translation. What is he saying? How does he want us to think? How does the gospel change our thinking?

Chapter 2

The Joy of Humility - Part 1
Sun, Sep 20, 2020
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. - Philippians 2:2–4 (ESV) You deserve it. Treat yourself. You have to love yourself. Without self love you can't show others love. These are all phrases and ideas that show up around us. How we think of our self is important, but how should we think about ourselves? How does that effect how we think and ultimately treat those around us. This week we venture into Philippians chapter 2. In this chapter, Paul addresses one of his big concerns for this church - their unity in the middle of difficulty. How are they to respond to others that disagree or annoy them? How are they to love those that are hard to love? What gives them the motivation and power to do something that seem supernatural? I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through Philippians 2. Side-by-side in this chapter are practical commands and mountain top theology. As we unfold it, we will see how they are vitally connected.
The Joy of Humility - Part 2
Sun, Sep 27, 2020
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. - Philippians 2:5–8 (ESV) Your true desires and character are often revealed in the pressure cooker of stressful situations. When the things you rely on get removed and the bare, raw realities of life are exposed, we simply have nowhere to run. It's in those moments that our selfishness is seen. Paul had lived in that state for many years. Imprisoned and awaiting a verdict that could mean release or death. In the midst of this, he found joy in humble service. Where did that orginate from? This week Paul points us to the center of the doctrine of Christ. His work and example provides not only the path but the power to live humbly in the middle of our strains and stresses. I want to encourage you to read and worship in Philippians 2 as we prepare to look at this passage. Many consider it an ancient hymn (that might even pre-date Paul). Take some time to slow down and soak it in. What is it telling us about Christ's nature, character, and work? And how does that help us to live beyond our selfish defaults?
Sermon 10-4-2020
Sun, Oct 04, 2020
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. - Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV) I'm thinking about starting a new program at Hope. I'm think of calling it the 'Tag-a-long' ministry. In this ministry, I'll come to your home and live with you for 72 hours. It won't be a teaching ministry. I'll just be around. I'll go with you to work and out on appointments. I'll just be there. Don't worry I won't get in the way. If I started the ministry by being with you, how would that change how you work? Or how would it change what happens in your home? How would it change your interactions with those in your life? We have a built-in tendency to act differently when we are being watched. We slow down when a cop drives by. Paul recognizes this idea. However, he wants to call the Philippians to a life of integrity and obedience if he is there or not. This week we continue to open up Philippians in chapter 2. Would you take a few mintues and read through the chapter to prepare your heart and mind to worship together?
Examples of Christ's Humility
Sun, Oct 11, 2020
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. - Philippians 2:25–26 (ESV) I recently learned a new skill. It's one that I have wanted to try for some time, but I've never had the occasion, equipment, and most importantly a teacher. A few weeks ago I tried welding for the first time. I'm not 'laying down dimes' as they say, but I can now stick a couple pieces of metal together in a pretty permanent way. Its fun and a little scary and I won't be leaving the pastorate for a career in fabrication anytime soon, but I would not have even attempted it without teacher (HT: to Ken S!) The Christian life is sort of like welding. You need to get the theology and you need to have some equipment. You also need people that will walk alongside you as you grow. This week in Philippians, we meet a few of those examples for the church at Phillipi - Timothy and Epaphroditus. These men were selflessly serving Paul and ultimately Christ. They were providing flesh and blood examples of what that looked like. This week Carson is opening up Philippians 2:19-30 to us. Will you take a few minutes and read it? Consider those that have provided not only instruction but example to you in your Christian life. What have you learned from them? How have they helped shape your journey?
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