"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"
Introduction To The Epistle
1. Of all the letters written by the apostle Paul, Philippians is perhaps
the most personal and heartwarming in nature.
2. So revealing is it of Paul's character, this epistle has been called
"a window into the apostle's own bosom."
3. Throughout the epistle, the keynote is the word "JOY"
a. Note how frequently the word "joy" (or a variation of it) is found:
Ph 1:3-4; Ph 1:18; Ph 1:25; Ph 2:1-2; Ph 2:16-18; Ph 3:1; Ph 4:1; Ph 4:4
b. In view of this, we can understand why some call this epistle
"Paul's hymn of joy"
4. As we begin to study this very short epistle, it might be helpful to
see the VALUE this book has for us, especially in light of today's
I. THE SEARCH FOR PEACE OF MIND
A. "PEACE OF MIND" IS SOMETHING MANY PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR TODAY
1. To find it, many are swallowing tons of tranquilizers
2. In addition to DRUGS (both prescription and illegal drugs),
there are tranquilizing BOOKS (e.g., best-sellers promising
secrets to having peace of mind)
B. BUT SUCH "PEACEFULIZERS" OFTEN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, FOR IN MANY
WAYS THEY FAIL...
1. They fail to provide LASTING PEACE in the face of life's often
2. They fail to deal with the PROBLEM OF SIN, the true underlying
cause of much anxiety
3. They do not provide PEACE WITH GOD, the only true basis for
lasting peace of mind
4. Those trusting in tranquilizers, whether books or pills, are
trying to ESCAPE rather than face reality
[What does all this have to do with the book of Philippians?]
II. PHILIPPIANS AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE OF MIND
A. THIS SMALL BOOK IS WRITTEN BY A MAN WHO HAD FOUND TRUE PEACE OF
1. Even though he was imprisoned at the time! - Ph 1:12-18
2. Even though he might soon be a martyr! - Ph 2:17-18
3. He had the joy that comes from peace of mind, and wanted to
share it with others! - Ph 4:4-7; Ph 4:11-13
B. THEREFORE, HERE ARE SOME GOOD REASONS FOR STUDYING THE EPISTLE
TO THE PHILIPPIANS...
1. It reveals the NATURE of true peace and joy!
a. The joy is found only "in the Lord" - Ph 4:4
b. The peace is one that "surpasses understanding" and is like a
fortress - Ph 4:6-7
2. It reveals a MAN who provides AN EXAMPLE of what produces
joy and peace (again, the epistle is like "a window into the
apostle's own bosom.") - Ph 4:9
a. His love for his brethren - Ph 1:8
b. His devotion to his Lord - Ph 1:21; Ph 3:7-11
c. His striving for perfection - Ph 3:12-14
d. His concern for the enemies of the cross - Ph 3:18
3. It reveals the CHRIST Who is the ultimate source of this joy
a. The mind-set of this Lord who provides peace and joy
- Ph 2:5-8
b. The exaltation of Him who gives this peace and joy
- Ph 2:9-11
1. These are some of the reasons why this epistle is certainly very
relevant for present-day living!
2. Do you have the PEACE that "passes understanding"? The JOY that
comes with being on a winning team, the JOY that is "in the Lord"?
a. If not, then I hope you will want to learn more about it from this
b. If not, and you know why and what you should do about it, then why
not do it today?
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