Faithlife
Faithlife

Growing up in the Body - Part 4 - God of Peace

Growing up in the Body   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We experience growth when we stay in the Peace of God.

Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Thesis: We grow in faith when we find peace in Christ
Thesis:
We grow in faith when we find peace in Christ
For Kids: Girl With Stripes book
Calming ourselves by talking to God
Me
Me

Learning to drive stick shift

Learning to drive stick shift
Stuck at the stop sign, on the hill, with dad
Stopped by the police officer
Had it in the wrong gear
Neither of us noticed for 15 minutes
We

We don't learn well when we are stressed

We don't learn well when we are stressed
But we learn most often when facing challenges
How does this work when it comes to our faith?
God
God
Philippians 4:2–3 NRSV
I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Exhortations
2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Be of the same mind

Euodia and Syntyche?

Called by name
Called by name
The very fact that Paul must single them out and address them directly is eloquent testimony to their importance and influence in Philippi. And here is where we mention that in Greek and Roman oratory, women were not mentioned by name unless they were very notable or notorious. - Witherington
Women co-workers of Paul
Furthermore, these women are characterized as coworkers who fought for the gospel, not as patronesses. Furthermore, it will not do to suggest that Paul sees these women as his adversaries in Philippi, as Paul does not name his adversaries nor commend their good qualities. “Each of these interpretations loses sight of the fact that Paul speaks of these two women as persons who have struggled alongside him and Clement in the cause of the Gospel.” The proper rhetorical approach is to name your friends in a discourse, and give your enemies the silent treatment by refusing to give them a name, and Paul follows this practice again and again. - Witherington
If one wants to see the enmity conventions in play with name-calling and anonymous opponents, one should examine
Philippians 3:2 NRSV
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh!
2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh!
Book of life?
Paul does not tell these women to be of one mind with him; rather, the Greek means for them to be of one mind with each other, between the two of them.
The rhetorical tone here is gentle and not abrasive as in 3:2. S. Fowl puts things well: “Despite the fact that Euodia and Syntyche are at odds with each other, Paul assumes the common life of the Philippian church is capable of surviving this disagreement and generating the practices needed to reconcile these two leaders.”
And make no mistake: since Paul does not specify the problem here, and does not even bother to take sides in the quarrel (it would appear), it is probably the divisive social consequences of this dispute that concern him, not some theological or ethical matter.
One of the telltale signs, along with the very brevity of this appeal, that this dispute is not considered spiritually life-threatening is the way Paul ends this appeal in v. 3b. He says about all these folks that their names are written in the book of eternal life (on which cf. ; 1 Enoch 47.3; 90.20; 1QM 12.3; ; ; ; ; ; , ; ; Hermas, Similitudes 2.9; 1 Clement 53.4). One of the interesting things about the Christian use of this phrase is that, as opposed to the use in some places in the OT (see ), it refers to everlasting life rather than this present physical existence. The other interesting thing about this phrase is that according to Christian person’s name can be blotted out of the book of everlasting life if they do not behave. This is a sentiment Paul would have agreed with since he, like various other NT authors, believes in the possibility of genuine Christians committing apostasy (cf., e.g., ; ; ). As Lightfoot says, this phrase about the book of life does not imply some sort of absolute predestination of persons to be saved. The phrase also makes evident Paul’s eschatological perspective on all things. The Philippians, whose names would be in the civic register in this city, would understand the significance of this metaphor here, as it provides yet one more reminder that the commonwealth, the citizenship, and the “life” and status that really matter are what they have in Christ. The issue here in Philippi, however, is social discord, not soteriology. Were it otherwise, we would expect this appeal to be longer and have more theological substance.

Be at peace with one another

How?

Philippians 4:4–7 NRSV
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Godly characteristics:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Godly characteristics:
Joy
Gentleness
Praying for help with thanksgiving
God's peace will guard you if you remain in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:8–9 NRSV
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Focus your mind on the good
Keep doing the things you have learned.
The peace of God will stay with you if you stay with the God of peace.
You

Most challenges in life you cannot run away from

You have to go through
There is real growth on the other side
We
The best kind of church we can be is one that
Can hold people as God challenges and grows them
Can give them small breaks in the midst of frustration
Can show them where God is growing them.
It doesn't matter how good we look, how good we cook, or how well we sound... if we are not helping each other grow closer to God and follow our calling, what is the point?
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