Let’s not forget that the letter to those in Philipi was written by Paul when he was in prison. And even though Paul was a prisoner, Paul was rejoicing. There was a secret to his joy: single-mindedness. He lived for Christ and the advancement of the gospel message of Jesus Christ alone. “Single-mindedness” is an attitude of the heart and mind that says “no matter the cost I long to see Christ glorified and the Kingdom of God advanced through sharing the life-saving gospel message of Jesus Christ.” And this, my friends, is what Philippians is all about. Philippians is a letter saturated with joy. It provides one of the clearest pictures of the way Jesus lived out joy throughout His life and it encourages us to have the same attitude, or mindset.

In order for us to truly unlock the power of single-mindedness in Christ and in the faith of the Gospel, we must simply be. As we finish up chapter one of Philippians this morning we will talk candidly about what must be in order to maintain that single-mindedness that says, “no matter the cost I long to see Jesus Christ proclaimed and the Kingdom of God advanced!” So what must we “be” in order maintain our single-mindedness and pursuit of true joy? Paul gives us several things to “be” in order to maintain a common purpose of serving Christ.

Philippians 1:27 & 28 – Way too often the unity we should have as believers is hindered, if not halted altogether by disunity. In these two verses, Paul gives us three things to “be” in order to maintain a common purpose of serving Christ. Paul says…

  • Be worthy

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”  (Eph. 4:1)

  • Be firm– be secure, be steady, be strong…

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Do everything in love.”  (1 Cor. 16:13-14)

  • Be contending – engage in a campaign to achieve – contend along with, be unified…

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Philippians 1:29-30 – In this these verses, Paul gives us three more things to “be” in order to maintain a common purpose of serving Christ. Paul says to…

  • Be gratefulyou be grateful for what you encounter…

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt.5:11-12)

  • Be faithfulyou be obedient & follow God’s leading; it has its purpose…

They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.” (Acts 14:21-22)

  • Be prepared for the struggle, for the fight…

“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.”  (1 Thess. 2:2)

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:3-4“)

Whatever happens…” Paul says – be worthy, be firm, be contending, be grateful, faithful and prepared. God doesn’t waste pain – He use suffering to build your character and your faith. We struggle with being worthy because our pursuit of true and lasting joy is found in what we can gain or get, rather than who we are in Christ and what we have in Him. We struggle with standing firm, together and thus unified because it’s more about “me and my agenda” and the hopeless self-promotion of “me” than for it to ever be “others” focused. We struggle with being grateful and that directly affects our faithfulness and obedience to Christ. See, and this isn’t just a generational thing either, humans would rather be the recipients of the efforts of hard work, faithfulness and unity – rather than do that work to accomplish that themselves. But if we aren’t willing to do the worked required of us to be faithful and obedient, then it’s no wonder we lack gratitude, the kind that produces true and lasting joy. Because, what is there to be thankful for when we haven’t focused on be-ing passionate about seeking to advance the Kingdom of God by living out a life of joy through the single-mindedness found in the faith of the Gospel of Christ Jesus?!

Paul begins to end this section of his letter to those believers in Philippi by saying “be worthy…!” And then he brings it down to an even playing field and says: we are in this together. We are His beloved and we have been created to be His example of single-mindedness, an example that point’s people to the lifesaving message found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The joy in the knowledge of this hope is unreal – it should blow your mind. It should prompt you seek more of Christ. This kind of encouragement can’t just be food for thought. It has to be fuel for your life today.

Listen to this message online at:  http://www.rwcsac.org/media/sermon-podcasts

Next week we will be looking at Philippians 2:1-18 and talking about the submissive mind. I want to encourage you to join myself along with others from RWC and daily read through the Scripture that we will be focused on next week. Read it on your own or with your family or a friend. Pray through it and daily ask God to reveal to you His heart within this truth.

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