#Philippians 4:2-5

GETTING ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS

Philippians 4:2-5

INTRODUCTION

Everyone of us sometime in our life will come to a situation when we need to speak but are afraid to speak. We see a need for correction in another Christian’s life but our fear is that what we say will be perceived as offensive by the other person or they just will not understand what we want to tell them.

Billy Graham has said, “Our world has become a neighborhood without becoming a brotherhood.” We could expand on it. Many churches have become a neighborhood without becoming a brotherhood.

There is an old poem that goes something like this:

To live with the saints in heaven above will be glory,

To live with them down here below is an entirely different story

Everything that Paul has been teaching in this book now comes to bear on this personal example of the need of unity, harmony, love and joy together in the local church

THEME: HOW DO WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS?

I. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY BEING IN THE SAME MINDSET        vs. 2

     A. Paul Had Been Addressing The Issue From The Beginning Of This Letter

          1. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment         Philippians 1:9

          2. Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel  Philippians 1:27

          3. Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2

          4. … let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Philippians 3:16

     B. We Are Begged To Minister United

          1. Apparently even the church was unable to resolve the problem

          2. Beseech

               a. Beg

               b. Call to one’s side

               c. Comfort

               d. Encourage and strengthen

               e. Exhort

               f. Instruct

              g. Strive to appease

          3. I beseech

               a. A call begging them to return to a harmonious disposition so as to work together as a team

               b. Notice to emphasize his love and high regard for each he beseeches each

     C. It Is A Personal Appeal

          1. Euodias

               a. Prosperous journey

               b. Success

          2. Syntyche

               a. Fortunate”

               b. Lucky

     D. We Must Be Of The Same Mind

NOTE: Some form of this word is found over fifteen times in this epistle

          1. The same mind in the Lord

          2. They both must have, and know, the mind of Christ in every matter

               a. Not the doctrines of Christ

               b. The attitude that Jesus had in relation to others

          3. Agree together

               a. Cherish the same views

               b. Be harmonious

          4. A militant unity in a world of unbelief and hostility

          5. The key to solving any disunity in the congregation: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus         Philippians 2:5

               a. He empties Himself to die for the well being of others

               b. We are to live in humility and self – sacrifice for other Christians in the church

     E. The Issue

          1. Not doctrine, otherwise Paul would have addressed it

          2. Personality, the problem of not really liking each other

          3. Because of this the fellowship and ministry of the church faced a major crises

          4. Their problem had grown to the point where it could hinder the unity and effectiveness of the church

     F. What Is Known About These Two Women

          1. They were, and had been for some time, members of this church

          2. They had been Paul’s fellow workers and had cooperated enthusiastically with each other, with Paul and the church

          3. An important disagreement, related to the work, had arisen between which caused them to break fellowship

          4. They were still the object of Paul’s high regard and deep rooted Christian love

NOTE: Paul refuses to take side; Maintained friendship with all

T.S. HOW DO WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS?

          I. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY BEING IN THE SAME MINDSET

II. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY LETTING OTHERS HELP US vs. 3

     A. Those Who Are United In The Church Together

          1. Yokefellow

               a. Actually the name of a person, Syzygus

               b. Greek; “Life together”

               c. Of those united by the bond of marriage, relationship, office, labour, study, business, or the like

               d. Colleague

               f. One who pulls well in a harness for two

          2. It they cannot solve this problem themselves then they need help within the congregation

               a. Paul is asking this highly esteemed member of the church to lend a hand in restoring harmony between the two women

               b. The problem was not moral or theological

               c. But it was a serious disagreement

NOTE: The answer is not to run away from the church

          a. The problem may not be with the church but with the lack of Christ-like humility on the part of the Christian

          b. Reasons why we leave a church

               1) We die

               2) We are transferred on our job

               3) Clear doctrinal issue

               4) Personalities that hinder spiritual growth among the membership

               5) Refusal to submit to other brothers and sisters in Christ in the church

NOTE: When we refuse to grow in an area of our life in one church, we will either:

          a. Never grow in that area

          b. Intimidate everyone in the new church and never grow

          c. Continue searching for the “perfect  church” (church hoppers)

     B. These Women Which Laboured With Me In The Gospel

          1. Laboured – an athletic term

          2. They strove side by side with me in the gospel

     C. Others In The Church Must Help

          1. Clement

               a. “Mild, merciful”

               b. Only reference in Scripture

          2. Fellowlabourers

               a. A companion in work

               b. Someone who works along side

          3. Whose names are in the book of life

               a. Only time mentioned outside of the book of the Revelation

               b. Paul is referring to brothers and sisters who have since died

               c. When earthly citizens die, their names are erased from the records

               d. Spiritual conquerors will never be blotted out

               e. Their glorious life will endure

NOTE: In medieval France there was a tax book with a page for each village where the annual collection of taxes were recorded. On the page for the village of Domremy were the words written in red ink: “Taxes remitted for the Maid’s sake.” The maid was Joan of Arc. For her military triumph in war for France no taxes were to be collected in village.

NOTE: In heaven is the book of life. Every name there is because of the victory of the Lamb in the war for our souls

          a. Every name in that book has a glory greater than that of the historical renown of this world

          b. Christ will acknowledge them before the Father and before His angels

         c. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.       Matthew 10:32

T.S. HOW DO WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS?

          I. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY BEING IN THE SAME MINDSET

          II. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY LETTING OTHERS HELP US

III. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY KEEPING OUR MIND ON THE LORD        vs. 4

     A. Rejoicing Is Supernatural

          1. We cannot rejoice in God’s mercy and goodness to us if we are busy nit-picking with fellow Christians

          2. … for the joy of the LORD is your strength.       Nehemiah 8:10

          3. Joy is a Christian virtue; happiness is the virtue of the world

NOTE: Charlie Brown cartoon. Happiness is a warm puppy. No puppy, no happiness.

     B. Rejoice

          1. Be glad

          2. Be well

          3. Rejoice exceedingly

          4. Thrive

     C. Alway

          1. At all times

          2. Ever

          3. We are to rejoice under all circumstances, no matter how trying

NOTE: At this time Paul is in prison. No situation is beyond the Lord’s help

     D. In The Lord

          1. Because of our oneness with Christ

          2. Because the fruit of the Spirit is joy          Galatians 5:22

T.S. HOW DO WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS?

          I. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY BEING IN THE SAME MINDSET

         II. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY LETTING OTHERS HELP US

       III. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY KEEPING OUR MIND ON THE LORD

IV. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY WATCHING OUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY       vs. 5

     A. Moderation

          1. There is not a single word in the English language that fully expresses the meaning of the original Greek word

                a. It does not occur in classical Greek

                b. Paul may have coined this word

          2. Literally, it means

               a. Reasonableness

               b. Being reasonable

               c. Sweet reasonableness

               d. The sentence is a warning not to be unduly strict about unimportant matters

          3. Synonyms

               a. Big – heartedness

               b. Equitable

               c. Fair

               d. Generous

               e. Gentle

               f. Kind

              g. Mild-mannered

              h. Patient

              i. Suitable

NOTE: The gentle person (moderate person) does not insist on his / her rights

NOTE: The superstar tenors Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotte performed together in Los Angeles. A reporter tried to press the issue of competitiveness between the three men. “You have to put all of your concentration into opening your heart to the music,” Domingo said. “You can’t be rivals when you’re together making music.” That’s also true in the church.

NOTE: It is that considerate courtesy and respect for the integrity of others which prompts a man not be forever standing on his rights; and it is preeminently the character of Jesus      Caird

NOTE: For the Christian it is far better to suffer wrong than to inflict wrong

NOTE: The key to our life

          a. Three times in the first four verses of this chapter “in the Lord” is used

          b. Nine times in the four chapters of this book

     B. The Lord Is At Hand

          1. When the Lord comes

               a. All wrongs done to us will be righted

               b. We will stand in the presence of the Lord fully vindicated

          2. The Lord will come as Judge

               a. This statement should sober every Christian

               b. He will expect to see these qualities in every Christian personally

CONCLUSION

HOW DO WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS?

I. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY BEING IN THE SAME MINDSET

II. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY LETTING OTHERS HELP US

III. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY KEEPING OUR MIND ON THE LORD

IV. WE GET ALONG WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS BY WATCHING OUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY

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