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4 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
Stand Fast in the Lord
- Stand Fast
- I’d like to begin with the end of this scripture- It’s the crux of this one verse- STAND FAST
- Paul encourages the Philippian church to stand fast- Which means Stationary Perseverance
- Paul has been admonishing them about so much they need to do and change and be
- His encouragement as he ends this letter? Stand Fast
- Paul knew that as these Christians attempted to live out their faith that they were going to encounter many a force that would attempt to get them to change who they were
- Stand fast- be Stationary and Persevere- Don’t move an inch- Don’t change your course
- This is a theme throughout scripture
- Hebrews 3:6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
- Standing fast in the faith is a requirement for those that hope to make it to the end
- Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end
- The Bible is clear that we must hold fast to the faith and stand firm until the end
- James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
- What does it Mean to stand fast?
- Don’t waver in what you believe- don’t be “double minded” as the world says
- You can’t say you trust God one day and then the next day you don’t- STAND FAST
- The same God that has brought you this far is the same God that is going to see you through
- It means not bending to the whims of the world
- You have to be willing to accept the fact that people are going to call you backwards and stuck in the past
- You must stand fast to the truths of scripture in the face of adversity
- Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ
- Sent to the principals office in Elementary school- Kid getting out of chair
- God never said to pick apart the Bible and find the flaws- it was intended to guide us and keep us in the truth and in the faith
- We have become a society that worships science and reason more than we worship God
- Evolution- I don’t care if the bible is wrong on creation- I don’t think it is- but even if it was
- I don’t think God is going to be mad that I took him at his word
- There is science that supports God’s word- but many scientists just want to undermine the Lord
- Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
- Why don’t people stand fast?
- Havent repented- Don’t realize their depravity- unwilling to change- Rebellious- Fight God on everything- Care too much about what the world thinks- Lack courage to be rigid
- Did you know the Bible says the cowardly will not inherit the kingdom of God?
- Paul gives us some insight on how to stand fast- how? He’s currently standing fast! He’s in the truth. He’s in the faith. He’s not giving up. He’s holding to the truth
- So how can we stand fast? What can we DO to give us this level of resolve.
- Be an encouragement to someone else
- I rarely preach what isn’t in the scriptures- but the context here is so beautiful.
- Notice- Paul is in chains- under house arrest- and is focused on other people not himself
- He’s going through hardship and his focus is- How can I help these people grow in Christ?
- He looks past himself and says- I can be an encouragement to someone else
- What does it mean to you?
- Be an encouragement to someone when you’re going through someone and it will teach you to hold to your convictions
- Everyone is going through something and everyone needs encouragement and you’re the one to do it
- The Bible calls us to encourage other people
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
- Look what Hebrews says
- Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as isthe manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
- The book of Hebrews says that we must also hold fast- AND CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER
- Many a person, and a Christian are too self focused and not focused on others.
- Pauls focus on others through his trials and encouraging THEM should give you direction in your life
- You can encourage other people when you’re going through something
- This will help you stand fast to the faith- when you remind someone of the promises of God you’re remembering them as well
- Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.
- Give people good words! Love on them! Encourage them- Look past your own circumstance and give what you wish you had-
- Listen to people more than you talk to them- LISTEN to them
- Some people are so overly consumed with their own lives they can’t even encourage someone else
- You helping others stand fast in the face of adversity, will help you as well
- If Paul hadn’t encouraged the philippian church, he himself may not have been encouraged
- Love people
- In this verse, Paul calls the Philippian church “my beloved”
- That’s not just a simple word- Paul is describing a deep love that he has for this church- He doesn’t merely attend church with them- He loves them
- I’m guessing that Paul didn’t show up right as the service started and left right when the service ended and avoided building relationships at every turn.
- No- Paul built deep love relationships with the people that he was spreading the Gospel with
- Can you appreciate that these are the same Christians that he was trying to kill earlier in his life and now he calls them “my beloved”
- Is that the love that you have for people? Is that how you view your fellow people in Church?
- Now- Christians talk a lot about “loving people” and I get it- we should love people
- But as they say “Charity starts at home”- We as Christians everyone in this room should be learning to love each other. Deeply.
- 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
- We are supposed to have “fervent love for one another”. When you have this type of love, you can change the world
- John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- This is Jesus telling his disciples this- “by this all will know you are my disciples”
- Why don’t people love like that?
- Been hurt- Don’t want to love anymore- Afraid of being hurt again
- Don’t know how- Many people don’t even know how to love or what that looks like
- Can’t even love their spouse- Some people haven’t even figured out how to live out this verse with the person they are married to
- Treat everyone in the world and church like they are the best and spit on their spouse
- Not willing to pay the cost- Loving is costly. Costs you time, energy, money etc
- But that’s what God wants for his people!
- Paul says “my beloved” and his encouragement to “Stand fast” is because he loves them!
- When you love people like this- it helps them to stand fast! To not give up, not be alone
- Treat them as family
- “my brethren” Paul says when speaking of the philllipian church
- Yes, we’ve talked about love and the love Paul has and the love we should have- but when you call someone “my brethren” it’s a whole different level of love
- Now, some of us may be at a disadvantage because we weren’t taught proper love in our own family
- I know families that fight, bicker, steal, hold grudges, get angry, and hate each other
- So when it says “treat them like family” some of you get the wrong idea because of how you treat your own family
- But God’s ideal family may not be your ideal family. God’s ideal family loves, forgives, serves, worships and lives together
- Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith
- We are supposed to be doing good to all people but especially those are that are in the faith
- Families stick together. Families support one another. Families love.
- Families get together- Cousin who lives close- wont hang out- what can I do?
- This may be a different concept to some of you that you’ve never experienced
- Church isn’t supposed to be like a drive through where you order, get your food and leave
- Its more like a big kitchen where we all work together to put on a meal
- 1 Timothy 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
- We are the pillar and ground of truth. How we conduct ourselves is paramount
- You can’t live out these verses without being around other Christians
- Paul encourages the Philippian church to stand fast as family- he loves them as family
- We should love each other like family
- Every family has takers- don’t be the taker of the family. Be a blessing not a burden
- 1 tim 5 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
- Know your value
- If you’re going to stand fast in this world , you have to know your value- you have to know how much you’re worth to God
- Paul describes the church people as “my joy and crown”
- Paul loved his fellow church folk because he saw them the way that God saw them
- Some of you don’t know who you are- You are beyond valuable to God!
- You are a child of God. John 1:12 you are a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life. John 15:1-5 you are a friend of Jesus. John 15:15 You have been justified and redeemed.
- Romans 3:23-24; Romans 6:6 you will not be condemned by God, you have been set free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 As a child of God, you are a fellow heir with Christ. Romans 8:17 you have been accepted by Christ. Romans 15:7 you have been called to be a saint 1 Corinthians 1:2; In Christ Jesus, you have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in me
- 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19 you are joined to the Lord and are one spirit with him.
- 1 Corinthians 6:17 The hardening of your mind has been removed in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:14
- You are a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 you have become the righteousness of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 you have been made one with all who are in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 you are no longer a slave but a child of an heir. Galatians 4:7 You have been set free in Christ. Galatians 5:1 you are chosen, holy, and blameless before God.Ephesians 1:4
- You are redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ. Ephesians 1:7 Because of God’s mercy and love, you have been made alive with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5 You are seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Ephesians 2:6 You are a member of Christ’s body and a partaker of His promise. Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 5:30 You have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ. Ephesians 3:12
- YOU CAN STAND FAST IMMOVABLE!