Philippians 4

13 Outlines

 

Philippians 3:20, 4:1-3

GOOD CITIZENSHIP

 

Philippians 3:20 - For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

Because we are citizens of Heaven we should:

 

STAND FAST - Philippians 4:1 - Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

 

SHARE UNITY - Philippians 4:2 - I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

 

SUPPORT OTHERS - Philippians 4:3 - And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

 

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Philippians 4:1 etc.

STAND FAST!

 

"Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved."

 

When we stand fast in the Lord we will have,

 

CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD - Proverbs 3:5-6

 

COMMITMENT TO THE LORD - Romans 12:1

 

CONDUCT THROUGH THE LORD - Galatians 2:20, Philippians 4:13

 

CONVERSATION FOR THE LORD - Psalm 107:2, 1 Peter 3:15, Ephesians 4:29

 

 

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Philippians 4:1-5

A HAPPY CHURCH

 

The church at Philippi was experiencing some inner tension.  Paul gave some advice that, if followed, would make this church a happy place of worship and service. Our churches would be happier if we followed the same advice.

 

UNWAVERING STAND - Vs. 1

First, each church member must be strong in the Lord's power and might.

 

UNIFIED FAMILY - Vss. 2-3

Those who didn't get along were to receive help getting along.

 

UNENDING REJOICING - Vs. 4

We are to constantly have an attitude of joy in the Lord.

 

UNIQUE CONTROL - Vs. 5

Our moderation or "sweet reasonableness" is to be known to all. After all, "the Lord is at hand", and we want to be pleasing Him when He arrives.

 

 

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Philippians 4:1-7

ANTIDOTE FOR WORRY

 

The biggest problem I have faced in my dealing with Christians has been unforgiveness. The second biggest problem has been that of worry.

 

We worry about what people think.

We worry about what has happened.

We worry about will happen.

We worry about what could happen.

We worry about our children.

We worry about our parents.

We worry about our jobs.

We worry about health.

We worry about retirement.

We worry about money.

Some worry about dying.

My wife, Dottie, once pointed something out to me. What we are really worried about is ourselves! We are the center of attention when we worry!

 

As someone has said, "99% of what we worry about never happens."

So what is the cure, the antidote for worry.  It is found here in Philippians 4:1-7

 

STAND FAST! - Vs. 1

God's great power is inside of us (Ephesians 1:19-23).  By faith, let us stand fast in that power.

 

MAKE PEACE - Vs. 2

If there's going to be a disagreement between you and a fellow Christian, make sure that it's not your fault! Do everything you can Biblically to make peace (Matthew 5:23-24, Romans 12:17-21)

 

HELP OTHERS! Vs. 3

Sometimes those disagreeing need a third party to step in, and help resolve the conflict. (Matthew 5:9)

 

REJOICE! - Vs. 4

 

BE REASONABLE! Vs. 5

The word "moderation" has been translated as "sweet reasonableness."  Christians need to be gentle, kind, reasonable in their dealings with Christians and those who are not Christians.

 

PRAY! Vss. 6-7

 

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Philippians 4:6-7

ANXIETY RELIEF

 

A COMMAND TO OBEY - "Be careful (anxious) for nothing..."

A COURSE TO FOLLOW - "...but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known unto God.

A CONTENTMENT TO EXPERIENCE - "And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

 

 

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Philippians 4:6-7

WHAT PRAYER DOES

 

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

PRAYER REPLACES WORRY   

Instead of being careful and anxious, we are to pray continually.

 

PRAYER REVIEWS GOD'S GOODNESS

The word "prayer" is a general word that would include worship.  As we worship and pray with thanksgiving, we will review just how good God has been to us.

 

PRAYER REQUESTS HELP

Supplication and making requests means that we are asking God for help.

 

PRAYER RESTS IN PEACE

The peace of God that passes all understanding will reign in our lives.

 

 

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Philippians 4:6-9

HELP LINES

 

You might be familiar with help lines or help desks where you can call for assistance.

Philippians 4:6-9 are lines written in the Bible that help us.  Therefore, they are “help lines”.

 

HELP FOR THE HEART – Vss. 6-7 – PRAY!

    Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. [7] And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

HELP FOR THE MIND – Vs. 8 – THINK!

    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

HELP FOR THE LIFE – Vs. 9 – IMITATE!

    Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

 

 

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Philippians 4:8

YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK!

 

Introduction - Proverbs 23:7, Luke 6:45. Our words and actions are a result of our thoughts.  Philippians 4:8 shows us the right kind of thoughts

that produce the right kind of words and actions.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS - true, honest, just

 

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS - pure, lovely

 

POSITIVE THOUGHTS - good report, virtue, praise

 

For the Christian to develop the right thought life, he must meditate on Scripture (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3) and meditate on the Lord Jesus, who is true, honest, just, etc.

 

 

 

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Philippians 4:8

YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK

 

 

The Bible clearly tells us that we are what we think!  Eventually our words and our behavior will reflect what we are thinking on the inside.

 

Proverbs 23:7 - "For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he:..."

 

Matthew 15:18-19 - But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

 

Luke 6:45 ­ A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

 

If we are going to think the way God wants us to think, and as a result act the way God wants to act, we are going to have to learn how to think properly, because "You are what you think."

Changing your thinking begins with salvation.  If you have truly recognized yourself to be a sinner, and have truly turned to Jesus Christ, as the One who died for you, and have trusted Him for forgiveness of sin and eternal life, there will be a change in your life! 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

As a result of the new life in Christ, we are told to make some changes. One change is who our boss will be in life. Another change is how we think through life's situations. Romans 12:1-2

 

If our mind is renewed, it means that our thinking will be different than the way it was before we knew Christ as Savior. It means that we must learn how to think differently. This all brings us to our text, Philippians 4:8:

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

 

This verse gives us a pattern for our thinking.

 

We'll talk about how to implement that pattern at the end of the message.  But first, let's look at the types of things about which we should be thinking.  We can break down the types of things to think about into three categories.

 

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

 

I call these thoughts profound because they are certainly of the highest and deepest quality. They include the things that are true, honest, and just.

 

·        THE TRUE

 

The things which we think about should be true.

They should be valid thoughts.

They should be responsible thoughts.

They should be honest thoughts.

 

Have you ever stopped to realize how much we think about is just not true?

We worry about what this one is thinking.

We worry that this has happened or that has happened.

 

We worry about what will happen.

We assume people are saying and doing things that they are not saying and doing.

 

Why is this?  Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has been getting man to believe lies which he tells.  If he gets you to believe what isn't true, he can paralyze your testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ. John 8:44

 

Thinking about lies will upset you, make you worry, make you angry, make you ineffective for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE TRUE

·        WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE HONORABLE.

 

That's what the word "honest" means here.

What we think about is not to be simplistic.

What we think about is not be trash.

What we think about is not to be sheer imagination.

So much of what we think about is useless!

Thinking on the honorable takes us to a higher plane.

What we think about as Christians is to be better than what our unsaved friends are thinking about.

Our thinking is to be honorable, or reputable, or noble.

 

PROFOUND THOUGHTS

·        WHAT WE THINK ABOUT IS TO BE RIGHT

 

The word just would mean right.

Back in the Old Testament days of the Judges it is said that every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  It's not hard for me to view my own thoughts as right according to my standards.  I can easily justify the way I think.

But to have my thoughts conformable to God's standards is something else.

 

Micah 6:8 -  He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

To do justly, I must think justly.

To love mercy, I must think mercifully.

To walk humbly with my God I must think about Him enough to meditate in His Word and talk to Him.

 

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

 

We get the mistaken idea that when we think the way God wants us to think, that things will be dull.

I think quite the opposite is true.

 

The next two types of thoughts are precious to God and precious to others, because of the way we will treat them when our thoughts are precious.

 

And these thoughts will be precious to ourselves, because we will be so much happier when we think this way.

 

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS - There are two types here.

 

·        WHAT I THINK ABOUT IS TO BE PURE.

 

First and foremost my thoughts must be morally pure before God.

I am not to be dwelling on that which displeases God!

I am not to be dwelling on the filth of this world.

I am not to be dwelling on that which would make me blush if others knew what I was thinking.

Psalm 101:3

 

 

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS

·        WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE LOVELY

 

When we think about lovely things they are pleasing.

When we think about lovely things they are agreeable.

When we think about lovely things they are amiable.

 

Lovely thoughts are beneficial towards God.

Lovely thoughts are beneficial towards others.

Lovely thoughts are those which would put God and others first.

Lovely thoughts are probably the thoughts that motivate us towards service for God and kind deeds towards man.

 

When you've done something nice, it is because it began with a lovely thought.

 

POSITIVE THOUGHTS

 

Do you know why we are often critical?

Do you know why we are often unkind?

Do you know why we are often guilty of slander, and a judgmental attitude?

It is because we do not think positive thoughts.

 

·        WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT

 

Instead of dwelling on bad news dwell on good news.

Instead of trying to make yourself look good, try to make God and others look good.

 

This occurs when we think about the good we find in others instead of the bad we find in others.

There are some verses that Paul shared with the Philippians that should be our attitude towards other believers. Philippians 1:3-6

 

The words "good report" mean worth talking about.

If it's worth talking about something, it's worth thinking about.

If it's not worth talking about, then it's not worth thinking about either.

 

POSITIVE THOUGHTS:

·        IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE

 

The word virtue means "excellence".

We are to be so choosy about what we think that thinking just good thoughts isn’t enough. We must strive to think excellent thoughts.

 

We want to think about that which is excellent in God's eyes.

When we praise we should think on the excellent.

When we pray we should think about the excellent.

When we consider God's will, we should think about doing what is excellent.

Part of Paul's prayer for the Philippians in chapter 1 of that book is that they would "approve things that are excellent".

May we strive to do the same.

 

POSITIVE THOUGHTS:

·        IF THERE BE ANY PRAISE

 

We should think on things worthy of our praise.

We should think on things worthy of God's praise.

We are to think thoughts worth sharing to others, that they would think them too.

 

We have quite a list here:

PROFOUND THOUGHTS THAT ARE TRUE, HONORABLE AND RIGHT

PRECIOUS THOUGHTS WHICH ARE PURE AND LOVELY

POSITIVE THOUGHTS WHICH ARE OF GOOD REPORT, EXCELLENT, AND WORTHY OF PRAISE.

 

The question now is, how do we go about thinking such thoughts?

 

Let me give you three suggestions, remembering that you can't think thoughts pleasing to God, until you are a child of God.

 

1. Ask Christ to control your thought life, using Romans 6:13 as a model.

 

Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

Yield yourself to God as one who is alive from the dead in Christ.

Yield your thoughts to God as instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

2. Think of the ways the Lord Jesus fulfills all of these qualities found in Philippians 4:8. (Review)

    For instance, think of all the ways Jesus Christ is true, honorable, etc.

 

3. Memorize and Meditate on the Scriptures.

 

Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 

3X5 cards

repetition

reflection

 

God's word is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, worthy of praise, thinking on it and the Lord Jesus are the best ways to revolutionize your thought life.

 

 

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Philippians 4:10-19

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

 

The Philippians were very involved in supporting Paul in his missionary endeavors. Here is Paul's personal testimony concerning the gifts which the Philippians had sent.

 

SCHOOL OF FAITH Vss. 10-12

Paul had learned both how to abound and to suffer need.

He learned to trust God in the good times and the bad times.

 

STRENGTH FROM CHRIST Vs. 13

Whatever God wants us to face, we have the strength we need in Christ. Ephesians 3:16, Colossians 1:11

 

SACRIFICE TO GOD Vss. 14-18

Notice that gifts which the Philippians sent were "...a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God."

 

SUPPLY FOR NEEDS Vs. 19

Don't take this verse out of context!

The Philippians' gift to the Lord's work was sacrificial, and God met their needs.  Giving should be done in the right way and with the right attitude in order to expect God's blessing. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

 

 

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Philippians 4:19 etc.

ABUNDANT SUPPLY

 

Philippians 4:19 - "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

 

ABUNDANT GRACE

Romans 5:20 - "...But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:"

 

ABUNDANT PARDON

Isaiah 55:7 - "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

 

ABUNDANT SATISFACTION

Psalm 36:8  - "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."

 

ABUNDANT PEACE

Philippians 4:6-7 - "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

 

ABUNDANT LIFE

John 10:10 - "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

 

ABUNDANT JOY

Philippians 1:26 - "That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again."

 

ABUNDANT POWER

Col. 1:11 - "Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;"

 

 

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Philippians 4:14-19

HEAVENLY BANKING

 

Philippians 4:19 - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

Philippians 4:19 is all too often taken out of context, without Christians considering any conditions that God might place on the fulfilling of this promise.

 

Let's consider this verse in light of verses 14-19.  I think of this particular passage as a picture of Heavenly Banking.  I see the Christian doing what he should do, and our Heavenly Father responding.  Please note that Heavenly Banking:

 

HEAVENLY BANKING REQUIRES INVESTMENTS - Vss. 14-16, 18

In verses 10-13, Paul was thanking the believers at Philippi for their financial support.  It had been some time since they had helped, but they were again able to do so.  Paul did insist, though, that it was God who enabled Paul to flourish whether his financial conditions were good or bad.

 

Paul did not want the Philippians to think that he didn't need appreciate or their support.

Vs. 14 - Paul says here, "You've done well", or, "You've done a beautiful thing!” They had "communicated" or had fellowship with Paul. They were partners with Paul in his ministry. Their gift made them part of his team.

 

Vss. 15-16 - When Paul left the Philippians, they supported him financially so he could continue his missionary work.  You would think that churches would stand in line to support someone as great as the Apostle Paul, but the only supporting church Paul had was the Philippians.

According to Verse 15, the Philippians communicated with Paul concerning giving and receiving.  These two words were banking terms.  Today we would use the terms debits and credits.  This reminds me that giving is a business transaction.  Giving is an investment in God's business!

 

Vs. 18 - Paul had received a generous gift from the Philippians.

 

Notice how pleased God is when we invest in his work.

Paul calls it "an odor of a sweet smell".

Investments in God's Kingdom made with the right attitude smell good to God!

Investments in God's Kingdom are sacrifices given to God.

Giving to the church and to missions is actually an act of worship!

God is well pleased with the right kind of giving!

God is well pleased with sacrificial giving. Luke 21:1-4

 

What are God's principles for giving?

In the Old Testament the tithe is mentioned. That's 10 percent. I believe that for us as Christians, the tithe is the logical place to start.  Why should we give anything less, having received the wonderful gift of salvation?  And I believe that the tithe should go to the local church.

 

But above the tithe, the investment in the local church, there is the investment we can make in missions around the world.  And there are some New Testament principles that help us decide what we should be doing. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

 

HEAVENLY BANKING YIELDS INTEREST - Vs. 17

 

Paul is saying here, "I am more interested in your reward than receiving a gift."

When we give with the right attitude and with the right proportion God will allow you to bear fruit both in this life and in the next.  God pays interest on your investments for Him.

 

Paul knew that God rewards those who invest in God's Kingdom.

And there are many Scriptures that prove this. Proverbs 11:25, 19:17, 22:9, 2 Corinthians 9:8

 

God promises sufficiency so we can abound to every good work.

God multiplies our investments. They gain interest.

 

Imagine what God can do with your investments, if you make them willingly and cheerfully!

 

Matthew 6:19-21 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: [20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Money invested in earthly endeavors disappears.

Money invested in the Lord's work reaps eternal rewards.

Giving money does not gain you entrance into Heaven.

Only being born-again by faith can do that.

But giving money to the Lord's work means that God can reward the Christian in Heaven for the investment made on earth.

 

HEAVENLY BANKING IS FULLY INSURED - Vs. 19

 

Now hear me! We should never give to get!

Giving so we can receive is not pleasing to God.

 

But, when we give sacrificially

When we give cheerfully

When we give out of love first for God, and then for the individual then God promises that our giving is fully insured!

 

God promises that our needs will be met.

Notice it says "needs" and not "greeds".

God won't provide for our selfishness.

 

Notice how God will provide for us.

He will take care of ALL our needs and will do it according to His riches in glory.

 

If you ask a rich man for a donation to your favorite charity and he gives you $10, he has given to you out of his riches. But that's a donation you and I could also give out of our riches.

 

If you ask a rich man for a donation to your favorite charity and he gives you $50,000, he has given according to his riches.  He has given as only a rich man can give.

 

Get the point? God gives according to His riches.  That means that God will give to us generously in order to meet our needs.

 

Perhaps our thoughts can be summed up with Matthew 6:33,

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

It seems to me that God is saying, "You take care of my business, and I'll take care of yours."

 

So now we know the principles of Heavenly Banking.

Heavenly Banking:

 

REQUIRES INVESTMENTS

YIELDS INTEREST

IS FULLY INSURED

 

 

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Philippians 4:23 etc.

BEST WISHES

 

Most of the epistles end with a benediction of some sort.

I see these benedictions as sending someone best wishes.

In Paul’s epistles I discovered that Paul gives for basic wishes in his benedictions.

Paul wishes us the blessings of:

 

GRACE – Philippians 4:23, Romans 16:3, Colossians 4:18 etc.

 

PEACE – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

 

LOVE – Of God: 2 Corinthians 13:14, Of Paul, 1 Corinthians 16:24

 

COMMUNION (FELLOWSHIP) – 2 Corinthians 13:14, 2 Timothy 4:22

 

 

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