Ep 77 – Philippians Pt 1
Okay, hi there, this is tom Harris with. It’s all greek to me and Vicki and I are gonna get into a book in the new testament. That is very familiar with the most believers. It is the Book of Philippians, the Book of Joy. So exciting that we want to not just see one verse or a couple of verses, but to go and give you a kind of panoramic view of the whole book. It’s part of the prison epistles. And you can join Vicky and as we go into our discussion in Chapter one welcome back to It’s all greek to me with me Tom and my wife Vicki and we just want are thrilled to be able to begin teaching a whole new book just for the next four weeks. We want to teach the little book of Philippians. We’re gonna try to attempt that. It may take us eight weeks, but we’ll try to attempt four weeks. And I remember learning this book, Vicki with our friend Warren Weir’s B 54 years ago at a place called Word of Life Island. And we’re talking over 50 years ago, we first heard this beautiful treasure like a pearl. It is in God’s word four chapters. But the theme is the Joy of christ the Joy of the Lord. It’s Joy. And how many times does he use the Word Joy five times and rejoices used nine times. And but there’s plenty to rejoice about this. And. And again, you know, we did a whole series way back on the word Grace, forgiveness gifts joy and thanksgiving. And the word Joy is sarah and it comes from grace carries. And so true joy. Right? I mean not just happenstance or circumstance, but true inner joy Vicky. Why don’t you explain a little bit about that in relationship to Grace? Well, Paul says in Philippians 4 13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me so the source of our grace and our joy and our gifts all come from God and our thanksgiving comes from our own heart being thankful to him. But it all begins with God’s wonderful grace that was bestowed upon us through the death, burial and resurrection of jesus christ. Yes. And so this little book tells us why we’re supposed to have uh Joy and what are we rejoicing about? And he gives us clarity. Now, Warren, where’s B was a master of the english language. And he not only gave us the theme Joy the Joy of the Lord, but he also gave us how to have that, how to get to that joy. And he and he talked about chapter one, you remember what it was The Single Mind, right? And chapter two was The submissive mind. That is correct. Chapter three The Spiritual Mind in Chapter four. The secure, secure mind. So a little bit insecure there. So here we are with the single mind, the submissive mind. The spiritual mind. And also the secure mind. Now, when you have that going on in your mind, in your heart, in your spirit, in your soul you now have joy. You know Joy usually uh satan always is constantly trying to tempt us and thwart us and steal that joy away from us. But we’re gonna look and see the purpose and the reason for that joy beginning with chapter one. But we want to go back a little bit to the history of philippi and he’s writing to this little northern Macedonian town in Greece, I’ve been to philippi many times and uh you know priest, there is a modern day church in philippi. It’s about three hours away from what Thessaloniki by bus. And uh and I remember in the modern day city is Kavala and about 30 minutes west of Kavala is right on the water, right on the Aegean. But about 30 minutes inland going towards Italy, the ignition way, we’re talking over 1200 miles of road all the way to Rome from Rome to modern day Kavala or uh Annapolis back in the first century is this little town of philippi very famous town of philippi. So several things happened there and uh we want to talk about some of those things Philip the second the father of alexander the great established that area as his center command in Macedonia. We call him Philip of Macedon or alexander the great of Macedonia of Macedon And it was because there were gold mines there. So he went there for the gold to be able to build a large army. Uh It was in the initial um it was the place of many springs in the greek language initially And then after he established the city, we know that in uh you know in the later on in history we have we have some famous things that have happened like in 42 BC. I’m just gonna read some of the notes from my friend john Macarthur who from the john Macarthur study bible. He says this in 42 Bc. The forces of Anthony and octavian remember a to Brutus in the in the William Shakespeare uh you know Julius caesar, they killed Julius caesar, Anthony was on was a friend of Julius caesar. He didn’t kill him, it was Brutus. So you have Anthony and octavian uh defeated those of Brutus and cassius Brutus who killed and cassius who killed Julius caesar at the battle of philippi in in A. D. Excuse me in B. C. 42. And so reading on a little more thus ending the roman republic and ushering in the empire after the battle of philippi became a roman colony and that’s what it says in X 16 12 and many veterans of the roman army settled there. So here was a town that was like going to florida a lot of people snowbirds go down to florida from from maine from uh Illinois from michigan Wisconsin. They take that trip down to Miami. Or they go down to boca raton or Naples uh, florida is the destination point of many people trying to retire. Well, the generals and the high class citizens of, of Rome would travel all the way to Philippi, which is 30 minutes from the Aegean in NEapolis back in those days, the modern day Kavala. And that’s where they would go to retire. It was, that’s why they built that road, not only to conquer those lands, but especially now in these, it’s called the ignition way in fact. And that’s all I’ll say about a little bit about the past of philippi. But the apostle paul goes through an experience in Acts chapter 16 Vicki and I’m gonna just have you to go ahead and read it beginning in verse six if you would uh in chapter 16 all the way to verse 13, could you do that? Yes. All right. And they pass through the fridge ian and elation region having been forbidden by the spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come to my CIA, they were trying to go to into Bethenny a and the spirit of jesus did not permit them and passing by Macia, they came to Trow as and a vision appeared to paul in the night, a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him saying come over to Macedonia and help us. And when they had seen the vision immediately, we sought to go into Macedonia concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them Now, it’s interesting. And I want to point this out that in Matthew Mark luke and john we are given, even in the Book of Acts, chapter one verse eight, we are given the great commission which I call the Mission is the great commission. Uh, this is, you know, to me, there is one focus, there is one single mindedness of the believer and that is to take the mission, which is the great commission to go into all the world and to preach the Gospel to every creature. That’s Mark chapter 16 and verse 15 and you this is it. And when you preach the Gospel, you share the gospel. You’re traveling or in the store or in your life or your neighbors, your family and somebody actually repent and accepts the gospel. God gives them that clarity, that revelation in their mind and they actually understand it and they repent and they ask God to forgive them and they cry out to jesus christ, jesus, please forgive me. Come in my life and save me and changed my life. I believe you died for my sins. I believe you were buried and you rose again from the dead. That’s the Gospel. According to First Corinthians 15, that’s the most important message. The first three verses of first Corinthians 15 in the whole bible, in fact from genesis all the way through revelation, That’s the most important message, would you say that? I agree. You agree and all the way. And so here we have that the mission, which is the Gospel, which is the most important thing. Now the Apostle paul is saying, look, God told us, we we concluded because this already was in his mind, This already was in his heart to go and preach the gospel to everyone. Now he was trying to go to the East. God stopped him. He kept on trying to go to the East. God stopped him. And finally, when he had that vision, God actually helped him with a vision and was able to conclude that God wanted him to go to the west, over across from Trow as to neapolis uh and then eventually to philippi and then South working his way down to Thessaloniki veria and then down further to Athens and Corinth to bring the Gospel to those cities as well. So now we’re gonna look at the joy comes when we’re focused on the mission and the purpose that God has called us to live. You know, you can’t be happy if you’re not really the kind of person you’re supposed to be the kind of daughter, the kind of sister to your brother and sister, the kind of wife, the kind of believer. If God wants you to go a certain way. Speak a certain thing, do a certain how are you going to have joy in your life if you know, willingly you’re disobedient. That’s a question to you. You won’t obviously uh Joy comes from being in a right relationship with God and with myself knowing that I’m not deceitful, I’m walking in the truth, I’m praying. I’m reading the word, I’m actively living out christ’s life and me, I’m listening to his voice. They listen, they had a very special vision, but God still gives us visions through the word of God. He the sometimes the message jumps out of the page and God speaks to you when you’re having your devotions and God says, no, you are to act this way in this relationship or in this situation. You are to forgive your enemies. You are to to to put other people instead of yourself first in life. So that’s how you get joy. But I always think of when I read this book that it’s the all sufficiency of christ in every circumstance. And to me that’s how we have joy when we go back to the source, which is the sufficiency of christ and his grace and his word is the power in our life. I meet many christians who don’t open the bible except on sunday mornings. You will never have the joy in your life if you don’t have that personal relationship with christ and God’s not gonna be able to use you for the destiny that he has prepared for you. We have to be turned into the image of christ through these years. I’m a christian? We decided 54 years. I wish I looked more like him in 54 years than I do. But I have tried to be consistent to here be still the Bible says and know that I am God, I’m not God, but I’m his daughter and I have authority because he’s entrusted to us authority and the word of God. And I love the book of Philippians as you can see in my Bible, which you can see, I’ve been writing promises all over for over 50 years. But you know, the joy of the Lord the joy, you know Harry’s that starts with grace that provides forgiveness for us. That gives us gifts to function and then creates the joy. The power within Joy really is power within the Grace of God, impacting me in such a way that internally I have power to energize my spiritual life. If I don’t have that, I can’t energize my spiritual life. And then I have the power to be thanks giving and talks about thanksgiving uh resto which which is the fifth of the those words that are rooted in grace. So just kind of wrapping up this first introduction to the Book of Philippians. We’re giving you these five these four chapters, the single single mind, we get the joy out of being focused on the Gospel. The submissive mind that submitting And you have in chapter two, the illustration of jesus christ, you have the illustration of the Apostle paul, you have the illustration of timothy and you have the illustration of Aphrodite Isse and then in chapter three you have the spiritual mind and the Apostle paul identifies his credentials. And you know, if you wanna think spirituality is is a legalistic thing, forget about it because paul says no, it is, it is based on God’s spiritual standards. And then finally the fourth chapter, the secure mind, what it is that maintains this joy continually in our hearts and in our lives. I’m gonna see you next time uh with uh it’s all greek to me tom and Vicky and God bless you. We want to look at the Gospel. We want to look at what it says in Philippians chapter 123 and four. And paul identifies the centrality and the crystal centric and Crystal Gospel centric message of this book. It is so fantastic. It says uh just going back to a little bit of history that they passed through frigia and violation regions having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. Think about the Holy Spirit telling them, no, don’t go to the east. I want you to go to the West, stopping them literally blocking them and after they came to Macia, they were trying to go into Bethenny. Yah, and again, the Spirit of jesus did not permit them. So now here is the Spirit of God. Now the Spirit of jesus. So one person of the trinity, the second person of the trinity didn’t permit them. And passing by Macia, they came down to Trow as and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. So they’re in the city of Troy, Troy or Trow as which is modern day Turkey. And uh a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him and saying, come over to Macedonia and help us now what a vision! There’s so many people all over the world that need help. But God centers in on this one area. Macedonia, the northern part of Greece A. K. A. Is the southern part of Greece. Corinth, Athens those places. But the northern part of Greece is referred to as Macedonia. And so when he had seen the vision, this is the Apostle paul. Now, immediately it says, we sought to go into Macedonia concluding that God had called us to preach the Gospel to them. Act 16 verse six through 10. It’s interesting they got up the next day, they took off, they went, we’ll see that in a minute they went to summer thrust from Trow as they spent the night there. Then they went over to neapolis which is right on the coast of the Aegean Sea, the most the furthest eastern part of of Greece in the north. And uh And they went and then about 30 miles in from that is the city of Philippi which was the leading city there. And uh so uh this is the passage, the background to the book of Philippians and we go to this incredible uh journey that the apostle Paul was there from the northern part of Greece right up here, throw as and he goes over to Samothrace here and then goes over to leopoulos over here and uh and into philippi which is right up here and he uh went to preach the Gospel. He knew that God had called him to preach the gospel there. Absolutely fantastic. Now when you get a vision, it was Helen Keller who said the only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision and the believer needs to have vision that comes from heaven, this message from God, this Gospel of God, which is the vision from God to go and preach this message to all of the world where there is no vision, a zone in hebrew, the people perish literally are are doomed Proverbs 29 18. And then the bible defines this. Now, the boy, Samuel was ministering to the Lord before eli and word debar debar rather from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. First Samuel three and verse one. So vision and the word of the Lord are here synonymous. So when you get a vision from God in those days, it was the word of the Lord coming to you because um This is what 1st Samuel 3, 1 says God after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions in many ways in these last days has spoken to us in his son whom he appointed heir of all things through whom also he made the world. This is found in Hebrews chapter one verse one and two. And how God has communicated his message through dreams through uh visions through all kinds of ways. Even even animals like the donkey that spoke to bail him. The bible says in Hebrews two verse two through 44, if the words spoken through angels after it was first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard God also testifying with them through signs and wonders, wonders and all types of miracles God did speak And here in this passage of scripture, he was speaking directly through a vision in Matthew chapter four verse 23 24 Jesus was going throughout all of galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, healing every kind of disease, every kind of sickness among the people. In verse 24 the news about him spread throughout all of Syria and they brought to him all who were ill, those suppose suffering from with various diseases and pains, damo, damo maniacs, epileptics, paralytic and he healed them all. But jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom. This is what he was teaching and preaching. This was his primary message. And then he was that was accompanied with the miracles of healing that accompanied this in Matthew chapter nine verse 35 through 38. This is the whole Gospel to the whole man for the whole world, Jesus was going through all of the cities and teaching and and he was not only going to the city, but even the smaller places, the villages teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming what the Gospel of the kingdom, Evangelos Vassilios in the greek language and healing every kind of sickness and disease and every. And seeing the people, the bible says he felt compassion as blackness inside because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into his harvest. It is the Lord’s harvest. He will send the preachers to go and preach the gospel to bring them home Matthew 10 verse five through seven, these 12, jesus sent out after instructing them. Do not go in the way of the gentiles and do not enter the city of the Samaritans, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and as you go, preach saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, what a fantastic message! The Gospel message verse 18, I also say to you, chapter 16 verse chapter 16 of Matthew verse 18, I also say to you that you are peter and upon this rock, I will build my church the gates of Hell will not overpower it and I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the Gospel. And whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Matthew 1618 and 19. And then Matthew 28 18 through 20. The background to the message of the Gospel. But the 11 disciples proceeded to galilee to the mountain which they had designated and when they saw him they worshiped him, but some were doubtful and jesus came up and spoke to them saying all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and lo I am with you always even to the end of the age. This is the Gospel mark 16 19, he said to them go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. Now, this is what he spoke to paul, to go into Greece into Macedonia and preach the Gospel. It’s it’s a fabulous message. It’s referred to as the Gospel of the Kingdom. It’s referred to as the Gospel of God, of jesus christ It’s referred to as the Gospel of the Grace of God In Acts 2024. It’s referred to as the Gospel of power. The Gospel of Light, the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Peace, the Gospel of Faith, the Gospel of Hope, the Gospel of Divine Revelation. And it’s also referred to as the Eternal Gospel. Now we know that in Philippians he gave these beautiful pictures of the fellowship, the prisoner, the road maker, the apologist, the citizen, the athlete, the light shining, the child and the father, the partner and the economist. All related to this incredible message that God loves us that God sent jesus christ, his son to bleed and die on a cross for us. He came into this world uh and he in the flesh, he took on flesh and he obediently went to the cross and bled and died on the cross. The just for the unjust to bring us to God. He took our sins upon his own body As Isaiah 53 says all we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us have turned to his own way. But the Lord has laid it on him. The iniquity of us all, jesus christ is the person of the Gospel. He preached the gospel. He lived the gospel and now he is the gospel. He died on that cross. The good news Evangelion, which means good news, good glad tidings is that he loves all of us. He didn’t come into the world to condemn us. He came into the world to save us. He was buried. He physically bodily arose again from the dead after he died. And this is the great gospel of jesus christ. That we can tell everyone in this world that we can go anywhere in this world and speak to a black man, a white man, a yellow man, a brown man that we can speak to. An educated man or a person who’s never had, can’t even read a person who is strong or a person who is weak, a person who’s rich, a person who’s poor. The good news of the gospel of jesus christ, a person who has violated all of God’s laws and yet a person who’s grown up living in his home, honoring his parents, going to a church or a synagogue or a mosque. Being very religious and yet not knowing that it’s not about religion, but about a relationship with God. Now, how can you have that relationship with God? If you are lost? If you’re a sinner, If you’re trying the best you can. But you don’t know how to have a personal relationship. Simple God’s provided everything through jesus christ. He is the way the truth and the light. No, the life no one comes to the father, but through him and all you and I have to do is humble ourselves and ask God to forgive us father. God, please forgive me, jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross. For me. Please come into my heart, forgive me and save me and change me. I believe you rose from the dead. I believe the bible is your word, teach me your word in jesus name. Amen. Now listen, take Matthew, Mark luke and john the gospels live in them, learn about jesus and then the story of the Book of Acts after that, on how the church went everywhere, preaching and teaching, how Jesus christ loves everyone, the jew, the gentile, the educated, the uneducated, the religious and the pagan. He loves all of us and he’s provided forgiveness and salvation for all of us. Will you call upon him today? Will you humble yourself before God and cry out and say God, Please forgive me and come in my life and save me. God bless you.