The Anatomy of a Healthy Church Part 1 | TBN

The Anatomy of a Healthy Church Part 1

Watch The Anatomy of a Healthy Church Part 1
December 7, 2019
27:34

The Connection with Skip Heitzig

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The Anatomy of a Healthy Church Part 1

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  • Looking for a ray of light
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  • Looking for something better than this
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  • Oh, so tired of the black and white
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  • longing for prism light
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  • Oh, the bliss
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  • Flowing at the speed of light
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  • Was a color in the night
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  • Moving at the speed of light
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  • Was a color in the night
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  • Joy unspeakable and full of colors
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  • Found a hope so bright and clear
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  • Living in the realm of grace so vivid
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  • Our Savior's radiance so very near to me
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  • male announcer:: The Apostle Paul instructed believers
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  • to speak truth in love, and today on Connect
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  • with Skip Heitzig, Skip unpacks that principle sharing how
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  • unconditional love and uncompromised truth go
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  • hand in hand.
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  • Pastor Skip Heitzig: Over the years, I've had
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  • an interesting journey with the church.
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  • I grew up having to go to church.
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  • I had to go.
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  • My parents made me go, and they even called that my Sunday
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  • obligation, and they gave me that term because my church
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  • talked about the Sunday obligation.
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  • You may not want to go, but you have to go.
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  • And so, I grew up having to go to church.
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  • Well, when I was 18 years of age, I had a real encounter
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  • with the Lord Jesus Christ, and something changed, I didn't
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  • have to go to church now.
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  • I wanted to go to church.
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  • I'll be at a completely different church,
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  • but I I wanted to go there.
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  • So, I went from having to go to church to wanting to go
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  • to church, and then, as I grew in my faith, I wanted to plant
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  • a church.
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  • So, I moved back east.
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  • That's what I told all my friends and family
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  • in California.
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  • I'm moving east to Albuquerque.
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  • So, I--because, you know, the West Coast,
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  • everything's east, right?
  • 00:02:33.080 --> 00:02:34.270
  • So, I moved 800 miles east to plant a church, and I've had
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  • the distinct privilege of pastoring for over 30 years.
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  • [congregation applauding]
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  • And though I love his church, and I believe that, as Paul said
  • 00:02:45.260 --> 00:02:51.120
  • to Timothy, the church is the pillar and ground
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  • of the truth.
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  • I believe that.
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  • I also have come to know that sometimes the church
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  • can get weird.
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  • Am I right?
  • 00:03:05.110 --> 00:03:06.210
  • We can get wonky.
  • 00:03:06.220 --> 00:03:08.010
  • All right, so, we as church people can have a tendency
  • 00:03:08.020 --> 00:03:14.200
  • to have all sorts of disagreements
  • 00:03:14.210 --> 00:03:18.000
  • over trivial issues.
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  • There can be personality disagreements
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  • and leadership quarrels.
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  • I heard about a church who had a huge argument over which
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  • picture they would agree to put of Jesus in the foyer.
  • 00:03:27.270 --> 00:03:32.270
  • Now, I don't know why anybody would argue about that since we
  • 00:03:32.280 --> 00:03:35.130
  • really do not have an accurate picture or rendition of what
  • 00:03:35.140 --> 00:03:38.260
  • Jesus really looked like.
  • 00:03:38.270 --> 00:03:40.060
  • Some artists just make stuff up, but it was a huge division
  • 00:03:40.070 --> 00:03:43.180
  • in the church over which picture we're going to put
  • 00:03:43.190 --> 00:03:45.240
  • in the bulletin.
  • 00:03:45.250 --> 00:03:47.110
  • Another church sent a petition around to the congregation
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  • to have all of the church staff clean shaven.
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  • Apparently they didn't like facial hair.
  • 00:03:55.050 --> 00:03:57.130
  • Again, they wouldn't do too well in the Old or the New Testament
  • 00:03:57.140 --> 00:04:00.120
  • times, but they wanted to make sure their church staff was
  • 00:04:00.130 --> 00:04:03.090
  • clean shaven.
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  • And then, there was another church that I read about that
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  • had an argument if the church had allowed deviled eggs
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  • at their potluck suppers.
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  • C'mon, really?
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  • You're going to go that far, deviled eggs.
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  • It's like they're demon-possessed eggs,
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  • or something.
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  • There's a magazine that's been around for years called,
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  • "Leadership Magazine."
  • 00:04:27.080 --> 00:04:28.180
  • Great magazine, and it's very helpful articles,
  • 00:04:28.190 --> 00:04:32.060
  • and "Leadership Magazine," a Christian publication, always
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  • has cartoons about church life, and a one cartoon, they showed
  • 00:04:36.130 --> 00:04:42.130
  • a picture, a little cartoon of a pastor grim- faced pastor
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  • behind his pulpit, and he had stopped in the middle
  • 00:04:46.110 --> 00:04:49.140
  • of the sermon and was reading a note, and it said
  • 00:04:49.150 --> 00:04:52.180
  • in the cartoon, "We interrupt this sermon to inform you that
  • 00:04:52.190 --> 00:04:56.050
  • the fourth grade boys are now in complete control of their
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  • Sunday School class and are holding Miss Most-Be hostage."
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  • Now, we have never had any of our teachers taken hostage,
  • 00:05:05.170 --> 00:05:09.010
  • yet.
  • 00:05:09.020 --> 00:05:10.250
  • But over the years, we've had some very interesting times as
  • 00:05:10.260 --> 00:05:14.160
  • a church.
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  • The ministry of a church is always the ministry of people.
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  • It's never about brick and mortar, carpet and pews.
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  • It's never about property.
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  • It's really about people.
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  • That's what a church is.
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  • It's a group of people that are called out to be together.
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  • So, if a church lives, it's because the people in it
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  • are alive.
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  • They're vibrant, they're vital, they're involved.
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  • If a church withers and dies, it's because the people in it
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  • have withered and died.
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  • I heard a story about a pastor who went to a little town
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  • in Oklahoma to takeover a church.
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  • It was a troubled church.
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  • He'd heard about it, but he was a young man, and he had stars
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  • in his eyes, much optimism, and he believed he had what it
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  • would take to turn this church around.
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  • So, he went and had all sorts of fresh ideas to no avail.
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  • They wanted none of it.
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  • They didn't want to change.
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  • All of his ideas were shot down.
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  • All of his attempts were pushed away.
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  • So, he was very frustrated.
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  • He had he had one final idea.
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  • He decided he would take out, in the local paper,
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  • on a Saturday, an ad that read, "The church that I pastor
  • 00:06:24.060 --> 00:06:31.100
  • has died.
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  • The church has died.
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  • Tomorrow afternoon, Sunday afternoon, please come for its
  • 00:06:34.140 --> 00:06:38.030
  • funeral service.
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  • We're gonna give her a proper burial."
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  • Well, this got everybody's interest, not only
  • 00:06:41.260 --> 00:06:44.060
  • in the church, but in the community.
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  • So, that afternoon, for the first time in years,
  • 00:06:45.180 --> 00:06:47.280
  • the church was packed, packed to the gills,
  • 00:06:47.290 --> 00:06:51.100
  • standing room only.
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  • People were on the outside looking in, tryin' to listen
  • 00:06:53.020 --> 00:06:54.210
  • through the windows, and they noticed that it looked
  • 00:06:54.220 --> 00:06:57.220
  • like a funeral service.
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  • There was a casket up front.
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  • There were flowers draped over the casket.
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  • The pastor got up at this afternoon funeral service, gave
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  • a eulogy, gave the history of the church, where it's come
  • 00:07:05.050 --> 00:07:07.220
  • from, but he said, "It died, and we're going to bury it."
  • 00:07:07.230 --> 00:07:12.210
  • And then, afterwards the flowers are taken off the casket.
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  • The casket was opened up and he invited everyone to come
  • 00:07:15.060 --> 00:07:17.250
  • down and pay their respects to the dearly beloved.
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  • As people walked down to that open casket and they looked
  • 00:07:21.270 --> 00:07:25.040
  • inside of it, they were shocked, and they turned their face away
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  • because the pastor had placed a large mirror in the casket,
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  • so that as people walked by, they could see the church
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  • that had died.
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  • He made his point very, very vividly.
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  • Well, as we read our text in the fourth chapter
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  • of Philippians, you will notice the hint of a problem that is
  • 00:07:46.230 --> 00:07:52.040
  • threatening the church.
  • 00:07:52.050 --> 00:07:54.010
  • Verse 1, Philippians chapter 4.
  • 00:07:54.020 --> 00:07:56.090
  • "Therefore," or furthermore, "my beloved and longed-for brethren,
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  • my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
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  • I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind
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  • in the Lord.
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  • And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who
  • 00:08:14.070 --> 00:08:17.230
  • labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest
  • 00:08:17.240 --> 00:08:21.080
  • of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
  • 00:08:21.090 --> 00:08:24.280
  • Rejoice in the Lord always.
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  • Again, I will say rejoice!
  • 00:08:26.230 --> 00:08:29.060
  • Let your gentleness be known to all men.
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  • The Lord is at hand."
  • 00:08:32.150 --> 00:08:34.160
  • You'll notice right off the bat a series of exhortations,
  • 00:08:34.170 --> 00:08:38.010
  • refrains.
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  • Obviously, written by somebody who has a deep concern for this
  • 00:08:39.190 --> 00:08:44.150
  • church at Philippi.
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  • You'll notice in verse 1, the word, "stand fast."
  • 00:08:46.120 --> 00:08:50.100
  • In verse 2, "I implore," that is "I beg."
  • 00:08:50.110 --> 00:08:54.010
  • Verse 3, "I urge," and verse 4, the command, "rejoice."
  • 00:08:54.020 --> 00:09:00.140
  • We can, by reading this, infer that there must have been some
  • 00:09:00.150 --> 00:09:04.110
  • disagreement, some arguments, some spat, some wrangling
  • 00:09:04.120 --> 00:09:08.220
  • between two women that are mentioned here in the text,
  • 00:09:08.230 --> 00:09:12.000
  • and their argument is affecting the whole church at Philippi.
  • 00:09:12.010 --> 00:09:16.290
  • So, I have outlined for you what I am calling the anatomy
  • 00:09:17.000 --> 00:09:20.160
  • of a healthy church.
  • 00:09:20.170 --> 00:09:22.180
  • We're going to sort of look at it in an anatomical
  • 00:09:22.190 --> 00:09:25.250
  • formation, and I want to give you five components
  • 00:09:25.260 --> 00:09:29.020
  • of a healthy, vigorous, strong church.
  • 00:09:29.030 --> 00:09:33.250
  • I'll begin with the first in verse 1.
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  • A healthy church has a big heart.
  • 00:09:36.170 --> 00:09:40.170
  • As we read verse 1, I want you to notice something.
  • 00:09:40.180 --> 00:09:43.090
  • It's very rare, because Paul, what he does, he just sort
  • 00:09:43.100 --> 00:09:45.290
  • of piles on these tender phrases toward this church.
  • 00:09:46.000 --> 00:09:51.050
  • "Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren,
  • 00:09:51.060 --> 00:10:00.050
  • my joy and crown.
  • 00:10:00.060 --> 00:10:02.070
  • So stand fast in the Lord."
  • 00:10:02.080 --> 00:10:04.000
  • Then he repeats himself, "Beloved."
  • 00:10:04.010 --> 00:10:07.150
  • This is the big heart of a loving leader.
  • 00:10:07.160 --> 00:10:11.040
  • In one sentence, he is able to express his gracious,
  • 00:10:11.050 --> 00:10:15.180
  • pastoral heart toward this group.
  • 00:10:15.190 --> 00:10:19.040
  • Now, in affirming them, he provides an example of what is
  • 00:10:19.050 --> 00:10:24.200
  • needed in every church, a big heart, people with big hearts.
  • 00:10:24.210 --> 00:10:31.000
  • Don't you love that he refers to them, "My beloved."
  • 00:10:31.010 --> 00:10:33.110
  • Maybe I should just start calling you my beloved.
  • 00:10:33.120 --> 00:10:36.150
  • I love that because it means my loved ones.
  • 00:10:36.160 --> 00:10:39.210
  • Loved ones, you are loved by God, you are loved by me.
  • 00:10:39.220 --> 00:10:42.050
  • This is Paul's way of saying, "I Love you," to this church.
  • 00:10:42.060 --> 00:10:47.200
  • And we all know that, according to Jesus Christ, the mark,
  • 00:10:47.210 --> 00:10:52.210
  • the mark, the hallmark of the church should be love.
  • 00:10:52.220 --> 00:10:58.140
  • Alright, not truth, though that's super important.
  • 00:10:58.150 --> 00:11:02.190
  • Not holiness, though that's super important, but the one
  • 00:11:02.200 --> 00:11:08.040
  • that takes precedence over all his love.
  • 00:11:08.050 --> 00:11:10.060
  • Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my
  • 00:11:10.070 --> 00:11:14.180
  • disciples, if you love one another."
  • 00:11:14.190 --> 00:11:17.020
  • Now, why is that?
  • 00:11:17.030 --> 00:11:18.120
  • Why is that the singular, most important attribute?
  • 00:11:18.130 --> 00:11:21.110
  • Well, stands to reason.
  • 00:11:21.120 --> 00:11:23.100
  • How will you ever preach the gospel of the love of God if
  • 00:11:23.110 --> 00:11:27.150
  • you don't practice the gospel of the love of God?
  • 00:11:27.160 --> 00:11:31.020
  • You can't just exhort people to love.
  • 00:11:31.030 --> 00:11:33.190
  • You have to exhibit love.
  • 00:11:33.200 --> 00:11:35.260
  • So, that becomes preeminent.
  • 00:11:35.270 --> 00:11:38.240
  • And we have another problem, and that is that our God is
  • 00:11:38.250 --> 00:11:43.210
  • invisible, and the unbelieving world loves to point that out.
  • 00:11:43.220 --> 00:11:48.140
  • "You talk to me about God.
  • 00:11:48.150 --> 00:11:49.290
  • Prove God to me.
  • 00:11:50.000 --> 00:11:51.180
  • Let me see God."
  • 00:11:51.190 --> 00:11:53.180
  • That's just a way that weak people have of getting
  • 00:11:53.190 --> 00:11:57.040
  • through a difficult life, believing in a higher power.
  • 00:11:57.050 --> 00:12:00.200
  • So, what love does, it takes the invisible God
  • 00:12:00.210 --> 00:12:05.250
  • and makes him visible.
  • 00:12:05.260 --> 00:12:08.190
  • 1 John chapter 4, verse 12, "No one has ever seen God, but if we
  • 00:12:08.200 --> 00:12:14.050
  • love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought
  • 00:12:14.060 --> 00:12:18.090
  • to full expression in us."
  • 00:12:18.100 --> 00:12:21.120
  • So, you see if the world could possibly see a community
  • 00:12:21.130 --> 00:12:24.290
  • of nurturing, caring, loving, forgiving people that love each
  • 00:12:25.000 --> 00:12:29.000
  • other across the barriers of race, and rank, and age,
  • 00:12:29.010 --> 00:12:32.160
  • and sex, they might listen.
  • 00:12:32.170 --> 00:12:36.020
  • A big heart.
  • 00:12:36.030 --> 00:12:37.150
  • So, he says, "My beloved," and he says it twice in verse 1,
  • 00:12:37.160 --> 00:12:40.070
  • but he didn't stop there.
  • 00:12:40.080 --> 00:12:41.170
  • He didn't say, "Now, my beloved, now that I've gotten past that,
  • 00:12:41.180 --> 00:12:44.290
  • let me slam you with this."
  • 00:12:45.000 --> 00:12:47.020
  • He doesn't stop there.
  • 00:12:47.030 --> 00:12:48.120
  • Notice, he pours it on.
  • 00:12:48.130 --> 00:12:51.220
  • "Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren."
  • 00:12:51.230 --> 00:12:57.230
  • Now, I was thinking about this little phrase, my longed-for
  • 00:12:58.160 --> 00:13:01.220
  • brethren, and I was thinking that Paul had known this group
  • 00:13:01.230 --> 00:13:07.080
  • at Philippi about 10 years.
  • 00:13:07.090 --> 00:13:09.040
  • I tried to figure it out.
  • 00:13:09.050 --> 00:13:10.140
  • I'm thinkin' between 10 and 11 years he had known them.
  • 00:13:10.150 --> 00:13:12.220
  • It had been that long since he first went there and founded
  • 00:13:12.230 --> 00:13:15.090
  • the church at Philippi.
  • 00:13:15.100 --> 00:13:17.060
  • So, he'd known them for at least 10 years, a decade, but he had
  • 00:13:17.070 --> 00:13:20.020
  • not seen them for about five years.
  • 00:13:20.030 --> 00:13:22.220
  • So, now he's in prison in Rome, you know the story, and he's
  • 00:13:22.230 --> 00:13:25.060
  • thinking back to when the church started, the people he knew
  • 00:13:25.070 --> 00:13:27.250
  • and met, and he starts longing for them.
  • 00:13:27.260 --> 00:13:31.010
  • He misses them.
  • 00:13:31.020 --> 00:13:32.110
  • He wants to be with them.
  • 00:13:32.120 --> 00:13:34.140
  • And though I certainly don't compare myself to Paul, I would
  • 00:13:34.150 --> 00:13:39.100
  • say I understand that at least a little bit, because about 13
  • 00:13:39.110 --> 00:13:43.180
  • years ago, I left here for about two and a half years,
  • 00:13:43.190 --> 00:13:47.000
  • and I went out west again for a number of reasons, but
  • 00:13:47.010 --> 00:13:50.250
  • I was absent from this church, and when I, when I was alone, I
  • 00:13:50.260 --> 00:13:54.130
  • would find myself thinking back and greatly missing New Mexico,
  • 00:13:54.140 --> 00:14:00.240
  • and it wasn't just the green and red chili either.
  • 00:14:00.250 --> 00:14:03.250
  • Although that does rank high on the list, right,
  • 00:14:03.260 --> 00:14:07.180
  • on anybody's list.
  • 00:14:07.190 --> 00:14:09.080
  • It wasn't--pizza or something.
  • 00:14:09.090 --> 00:14:10.190
  • What it was for me is, I had in my mind, my mind took me back
  • 00:14:10.200 --> 00:14:14.150
  • to all the people that I had counseled or prayed with,
  • 00:14:14.160 --> 00:14:19.160
  • or prayed for, or married, or dedicated their children,
  • 00:14:19.170 --> 00:14:22.150
  • and this enormous longing for them, for you developed
  • 00:14:22.160 --> 00:14:27.240
  • in the heart.
  • 00:14:27.250 --> 00:14:29.040
  • So, I understand when Paul says, "My beloved, my longed-for."
  • 00:14:29.050 --> 00:14:33.110
  • And then, he didn't stop there.
  • 00:14:33.120 --> 00:14:34.210
  • He calls them my joy.
  • 00:14:34.220 --> 00:14:37.100
  • Now, here's why this is significant, because what's
  • 00:14:37.110 --> 00:14:39.220
  • the theme of this book, joy.
  • 00:14:39.230 --> 00:14:43.130
  • Technicolor joy, 18 times he mentions either joy,
  • 00:14:43.140 --> 00:14:48.100
  • or rejoicing, or rejoice, in this book.
  • 00:14:48.110 --> 00:14:51.140
  • So, the theme is joy, but now, in saying this, we understand
  • 00:14:51.150 --> 00:14:56.050
  • a part of his joy was wrapped up in them, in people.
  • 00:14:56.060 --> 00:15:02.110
  • So, this is a healthy, tender relationship.
  • 00:15:02.120 --> 00:15:04.140
  • It wasn't a toxic relationship like the pastor putting a mirror
  • 00:15:04.150 --> 00:15:07.240
  • in a casket.
  • 00:15:07.250 --> 00:15:09.090
  • This was a healthy, tender one.
  • 00:15:09.100 --> 00:15:11.230
  • So, my beloved my, longed-for brethren, my joy,
  • 00:15:11.240 --> 00:15:16.000
  • but he didn't stop there.
  • 00:15:16.010 --> 00:15:17.210
  • He calls them my crown, my crown.
  • 00:15:17.220 --> 00:15:21.250
  • Now, this word crown is the Greek word, Stephanos.
  • 00:15:21.260 --> 00:15:27.240
  • It is the crown of an athlete.
  • 00:15:27.250 --> 00:15:30.160
  • It's a little leaf laurel wreath that was put on the head
  • 00:15:30.170 --> 00:15:35.240
  • of somebody who runs a race in an Olympic event and wins.
  • 00:15:35.250 --> 00:15:40.230
  • So, it's not the crown of a ruler who rules
  • 00:15:40.240 --> 00:15:44.280
  • over something.
  • 00:15:44.290 --> 00:15:46.080
  • It's the crown of a runner, of an athlete,
  • 00:15:46.090 --> 00:15:49.200
  • and who gets a reward.
  • 00:15:49.210 --> 00:15:51.130
  • So, when Paul says you're my crown, he's not saying,
  • 00:15:51.140 --> 00:15:54.100
  • I'm ruler over you he's.
  • 00:15:54.110 --> 00:15:55.210
  • saying, "You're all the reward I need.
  • 00:15:55.220 --> 00:16:00.050
  • Knowing you in this relationship of love that we have,
  • 00:16:00.060 --> 00:16:03.100
  • that is reward enough.
  • 00:16:03.110 --> 00:16:04.260
  • You are the icing on my cake."
  • 00:16:04.270 --> 00:16:07.250
  • So, I'm pointing all these out because this verse shows us
  • 00:16:07.260 --> 00:16:10.290
  • what a big heart the founder of this church had toward
  • 00:16:11.000 --> 00:16:14.210
  • the flock at Philippi, and that's an ingredient, that's
  • 00:16:14.220 --> 00:16:17.080
  • a component of a healthy, vigorous, strong church,
  • 00:16:17.090 --> 00:16:19.250
  • a big heart.
  • 00:16:19.260 --> 00:16:21.120
  • But that's not all.
  • 00:16:21.130 --> 00:16:22.230
  • A big heart needs to be balanced out by a firm stance.
  • 00:16:22.240 --> 00:16:25.050
  • So, verse 1, "Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren,
  • 00:16:25.060 --> 00:16:30.030
  • my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved."
  • 00:16:30.040 --> 00:16:37.230
  • All right, now, he's asking them to take a firm stand
  • 00:16:37.240 --> 00:16:40.290
  • in the context here over an issue that is dividing
  • 00:16:41.000 --> 00:16:44.270
  • them by these two gals mentioned in the next couple verses.
  • 00:16:44.280 --> 00:16:48.220
  • He's asking them to take a stand in healing the division that has
  • 00:16:48.230 --> 00:16:53.070
  • gotten out of hand.
  • 00:16:53.080 --> 00:16:55.170
  • So, what does that tell me?
  • 00:16:55.180 --> 00:16:56.280
  • It tells me that a church isn't just a nice place to get a pat
  • 00:16:56.290 --> 00:16:59.130
  • on the back, and feel good about yourself, and feel
  • 00:16:59.140 --> 00:17:01.180
  • affirmed, and feel love, though that's important, but it's also
  • 00:17:01.190 --> 00:17:04.230
  • a place filled with people who have deep convictions that keep
  • 00:17:04.240 --> 00:17:09.180
  • them rooted and grounded in a world that is hostile
  • 00:17:09.190 --> 00:17:12.220
  • to them.
  • 00:17:12.230 --> 00:17:14.030
  • The word stand fast is the word, it's a command, by the way.
  • 00:17:14.040 --> 00:17:18.110
  • Stekete is the Greek word.
  • 00:17:18.120 --> 00:17:20.100
  • It means stand in one place immovable.
  • 00:17:20.110 --> 00:17:23.240
  • Be stationary, persevere.
  • 00:17:23.250 --> 00:17:25.290
  • It's a military term for a soldier standing
  • 00:17:26.000 --> 00:17:28.170
  • in a battle and not retreating.
  • 00:17:28.180 --> 00:17:31.190
  • Now, this happens to be a theme throughout the New Testament.
  • 00:17:31.200 --> 00:17:35.200
  • This idea of spiritual stability or perseverance;
  • 00:17:35.210 --> 00:17:41.000
  • 14 times in the New Testament, we are told to stand fast,
  • 00:17:41.010 --> 00:17:45.160
  • or we are told to be steadfast.
  • 00:17:45.170 --> 00:17:48.170
  • So, evidently, as a Christian, there are tendencies to make us
  • 00:17:48.180 --> 00:17:53.110
  • not wanna hold our ground, but retreat, or hide, or go
  • 00:17:53.120 --> 00:17:57.030
  • away, or quit following Christ.
  • 00:17:57.040 --> 00:18:01.230
  • In Acts chapter 11, a new church starts up in Antioch,
  • 00:18:01.240 --> 00:18:06.240
  • up in Syria.
  • 00:18:06.250 --> 00:18:08.050
  • People in Jerusalem hear about that.
  • 00:18:08.060 --> 00:18:09.150
  • They sent Barnabas up.
  • 00:18:09.160 --> 00:18:11.120
  • It says when Barnabas got there, when he came, he had--and had
  • 00:18:11.130 --> 00:18:14.200
  • seen the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all,
  • 00:18:14.210 --> 00:18:19.170
  • that with purpose of heart, they should continue with the Lord.
  • 00:18:19.180 --> 00:18:24.080
  • Why would he tell him that?
  • 00:18:24.090 --> 00:18:25.180
  • Because he knew that, in the opposition that they
  • 00:18:25.190 --> 00:18:28.100
  • faced, they're gonna wanna not continue in the Lord.
  • 00:18:28.110 --> 00:18:30.240
  • They're gonna want to sort of drop off the map
  • 00:18:30.250 --> 00:18:34.050
  • and stop following.
  • 00:18:34.060 --> 00:18:35.270
  • 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes, "My beloved brethren, be
  • 00:18:35.280 --> 00:18:40.240
  • steadfast, immovable always, abounding in the work
  • 00:18:40.250 --> 00:18:45.040
  • of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain
  • 00:18:45.050 --> 00:18:47.200
  • in the Lord."
  • 00:18:47.210 --> 00:18:50.000
  • So, if you want any strength in a church, you need a big
  • 00:18:50.010 --> 00:18:53.140
  • heart and a firm stance, spiritual stability, because
  • 00:18:53.150 --> 00:18:59.090
  • spiritual instability leads to doubt, discouragement,
  • 00:18:59.100 --> 00:19:04.060
  • disappointment.
  • 00:19:04.070 --> 00:19:06.030
  • Unstable people are crushed by trials, overwhelmed
  • 00:19:06.040 --> 00:19:10.000
  • by circumstances, overtaken by temptations.
  • 00:19:10.010 --> 00:19:14.090
  • As James said, "A double minded man is unstable
  • 00:19:14.100 --> 00:19:18.120
  • in all his ways."
  • 00:19:18.130 --> 00:19:20.030
  • So, with a big hearted love, we need a firm stance that says,
  • 00:19:20.040 --> 00:19:25.270
  • "I'm going to follow Jesus no matter what."
  • 00:19:25.280 --> 00:19:31.180
  • Sometimes, when people come to me for counseling, depending
  • 00:19:31.190 --> 00:19:33.270
  • on the issue, I asked them a question that surprises them.
  • 00:19:33.280 --> 00:19:39.040
  • I will say, "What would it take for you to stop
  • 00:19:39.050 --> 00:19:41.140
  • following Jesus?"
  • 00:19:41.150 --> 00:19:44.070
  • "What do you mean?"
  • 00:19:44.080 --> 00:19:45.170
  • "So, well is there some kind of event you can think of,
  • 00:19:45.180 --> 00:19:47.070
  • some catastrophic event that if, like, if God crosses that line,
  • 00:19:47.080 --> 00:19:51.280
  • or he takes that person away from, me I quit.
  • 00:19:51.290 --> 00:19:56.030
  • What would it take to get you to stop following Jesus?
  • 00:19:56.040 --> 00:20:00.000
  • Or, are you like the song that his song?
  • 00:20:00.010 --> 00:20:02.270
  • I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning
  • 00:20:02.280 --> 00:20:07.120
  • back.
  • 00:20:07.130 --> 00:20:08.230
  • I'm standing firm.
  • 00:20:08.240 --> 00:20:10.030
  • I'm standing fast."
  • 00:20:10.040 --> 00:20:12.130
  • An African pastor in Zimbabwe died, was martyred for his faith
  • 00:20:12.140 --> 00:20:19.100
  • in Christ by persecutors.
  • 00:20:19.110 --> 00:20:21.200
  • After he died, among his papers was found something he wrote,
  • 00:20:21.210 --> 00:20:27.270
  • and it turns out that this was his like philosophy of life.
  • 00:20:27.280 --> 00:20:31.230
  • But it's noteworthy.
  • 00:20:31.240 --> 00:20:33.040
  • Listen to what he wrote.
  • 00:20:33.050 --> 00:20:34.170
  • He said, "My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is heaven.
  • 00:20:34.180 --> 00:20:39.190
  • My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few,
  • 00:20:39.200 --> 00:20:44.240
  • but my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
  • 00:20:44.250 --> 00:20:48.220
  • I cannot be bought, compromise, detoured, lured away, turn back,
  • 00:20:48.230 --> 00:20:53.140
  • diluted, or delayed.
  • 00:20:53.150 --> 00:20:55.230
  • I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate
  • 00:20:55.240 --> 00:20:59.080
  • in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table
  • 00:20:59.090 --> 00:21:02.280
  • of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander
  • 00:21:02.290 --> 00:21:06.200
  • in a maze of mediocrity.
  • 00:21:06.210 --> 00:21:09.120
  • I won't give up, shut up, let up, or slow up, until I preached
  • 00:21:09.130 --> 00:21:16.090
  • up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for Christ."
  • 00:21:16.100 --> 00:21:25.250
  • And that's how that's how he-- That's steadfastness,
  • 00:21:25.260 --> 00:21:30.100
  • and it got him killed.
  • 00:21:30.110 --> 00:21:31.290
  • I think he was okay with that.
  • 00:21:32.000 --> 00:21:34.170
  • I think right now he's goin', "Yeah, I made the right choice."
  • 00:21:34.180 --> 00:21:38.290
  • So, a big heart, a firm stance.
  • 00:21:39.000 --> 00:21:42.190
  • There's a third component, and that is a warm embrace.
  • 00:21:42.200 --> 00:21:46.250
  • A warm embrace, that is the ability to take two parties
  • 00:21:46.260 --> 00:21:50.260
  • that are in disagreement, to embrace both of them,
  • 00:21:50.270 --> 00:21:53.240
  • and helping them to resolve the conflict.
  • 00:21:53.250 --> 00:21:57.090
  • Verse 2, "I implore Euodia, and I implore Syntyche--"
  • 00:21:57.100 --> 00:22:04.250
  • Aren't you glad you have the name that you have?
  • 00:22:04.260 --> 00:22:10.070
  • And pardon me if I offended anyone here named, Syntyche,
  • 00:22:10.080 --> 00:22:13.140
  • but I doubt that is the case.
  • 00:22:13.150 --> 00:22:15.280
  • But, "I implore these two gals to be of the same mind
  • 00:22:15.290 --> 00:22:19.120
  • in the Lord, and I urge you also true companion, help these women
  • 00:22:19.130 --> 00:22:25.060
  • who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement
  • 00:22:25.070 --> 00:22:27.180
  • also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are
  • 00:22:27.190 --> 00:22:31.150
  • in the Book of Life."
  • 00:22:31.160 --> 00:22:34.130
  • Now, we don't know anything about who these ladies
  • 00:22:34.140 --> 00:22:37.060
  • really are.
  • 00:22:37.070 --> 00:22:38.160
  • We don't know any details about their argument.
  • 00:22:38.170 --> 00:22:40.000
  • They're not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament.
  • 00:22:40.010 --> 00:22:43.120
  • We just know that something between them happened.
  • 00:22:43.130 --> 00:22:47.080
  • We do know what their names mean.
  • 00:22:47.090 --> 00:22:49.120
  • Euodia is a word that means good journey, or have a good trip.
  • 00:22:49.130 --> 00:22:54.190
  • The word, Syntyche is a Greek word that means fortunate,
  • 00:22:54.200 --> 00:22:58.050
  • or lucky.
  • 00:22:58.060 --> 00:22:59.150
  • So, forgive me, but I'm going to give them these names.
  • 00:22:59.160 --> 00:23:01.260
  • I'm gonna call one Mrs. Goodtrip,
  • 00:23:01.270 --> 00:23:03.280
  • and the other, Miss Lucky.
  • 00:23:03.290 --> 00:23:05.210
  • So Mrs. Goodtrip and Miss Lucky loved each other
  • 00:23:05.220 --> 00:23:09.140
  • and were a part of this church, and fellowshipped together,
  • 00:23:09.150 --> 00:23:12.160
  • and probably brought deviled eggs to the pot-luck,
  • 00:23:12.170 --> 00:23:16.090
  • but something happened between Mrs. Goodtrip
  • 00:23:16.100 --> 00:23:19.200
  • and Miss Lucky, and the disagreement got to be
  • 00:23:19.210 --> 00:23:23.000
  • so advanced that it polarized the church and groups developed
  • 00:23:23.010 --> 00:23:30.150
  • around both opinions.
  • 00:23:30.160 --> 00:23:33.100
  • And Paul writes about it, and he's had enough of it.
  • 00:23:33.110 --> 00:23:35.270
  • He needs to get it resolved.
  • 00:23:35.280 --> 00:23:38.020
  • There's something about these women we do know.
  • 00:23:38.030 --> 00:23:39.240
  • They were prominent women.
  • 00:23:39.250 --> 00:23:41.040
  • They weren't just any woman.
  • 00:23:41.050 --> 00:23:42.150
  • They were prominent women.
  • 00:23:42.160 --> 00:23:43.250
  • How do we know that?
  • 00:23:43.260 --> 00:23:45.060
  • Because verse 3, Paul said, "They labored with me
  • 00:23:45.070 --> 00:23:47.090
  • in the gospel."
  • 00:23:47.100 --> 00:23:48.190
  • That's significant.
  • 00:23:48.200 --> 00:23:50.170
  • I'm guessing, I can't prove it.
  • 00:23:50.180 --> 00:23:52.010
  • I'm guessing that they were among the first women who were
  • 00:23:52.020 --> 00:23:55.240
  • at the first prayer meeting in Philippi.
  • 00:23:55.250 --> 00:23:58.040
  • Remember the story, Acts chapter 16, I'll refresh your memory.
  • 00:23:58.050 --> 00:24:02.210
  • Paul goes to Philippi.
  • 00:24:02.220 --> 00:24:05.120
  • There is no Jewish synagogue there.
  • 00:24:05.130 --> 00:24:07.120
  • The law required at least ten males, ten men
  • 00:24:07.130 --> 00:24:10.050
  • to form a synagogue.
  • 00:24:10.060 --> 00:24:11.240
  • There weren't any.
  • 00:24:11.250 --> 00:24:13.050
  • So, it says on the Sabbath day, we went outside the city
  • 00:24:13.060 --> 00:24:15.090
  • to a river side where prayer was customarily made and we spoke
  • 00:24:15.100 --> 00:24:20.030
  • to the women.
  • 00:24:20.040 --> 00:24:23.020
  • There were praying women, Jewish women at a river side.
  • 00:24:23.030 --> 00:24:26.030
  • That was the first meeting Paul attended.
  • 00:24:26.040 --> 00:24:28.000
  • I'm guessing these women, Euodia and Syntyche, were a part
  • 00:24:28.010 --> 00:24:33.180
  • of that first group.
  • 00:24:33.190 --> 00:24:34.290
  • I love the idea that a church was birthed out of a group
  • 00:24:35.000 --> 00:24:38.130
  • of praying women.
  • 00:24:38.140 --> 00:24:40.180
  • We talk about, "The Founding Fathers."
  • 00:24:40.190 --> 00:24:42.170
  • These are the founding mothers of the church, but a personal
  • 00:24:42.180 --> 00:24:46.220
  • conflict has erupted into two antagonistic groups.
  • 00:24:46.230 --> 00:24:49.270
  • So, Paul wants this stopped.
  • 00:24:49.280 --> 00:24:52.200
  • Now, here's what I want you to think of.
  • 00:24:52.210 --> 00:24:55.080
  • The only time their names are mentioned in the Bible is
  • 00:24:55.090 --> 00:25:02.100
  • over an argument they had, and now it's immortalized.
  • 00:25:02.110 --> 00:25:08.060
  • For the next 2000 years, people are going to read the Bible
  • 00:25:08.070 --> 00:25:11.000
  • and go, "Wow, those are the two gals in Philippi who had
  • 00:25:11.010 --> 00:25:15.210
  • a disagreement."
  • 00:25:15.220 --> 00:25:17.140
  • Wouldn't you hate that?
  • 00:25:17.150 --> 00:25:20.080
  • And so, Michael Bentley asks this.
  • 00:25:20.090 --> 00:25:22.160
  • "If in 100-years' time your name was to be discovered
  • 00:25:22.170 --> 00:25:25.010
  • in an old document, what one thing would you like
  • 00:25:25.020 --> 00:25:28.200
  • the finder of that document to learn about you?"
  • 00:25:28.210 --> 00:25:32.160
  • It's a good question, because these two women at Philippi
  • 00:25:33.060 --> 00:25:36.080
  • go down in history, being remembered for a disagreement.
  • 00:25:36.090 --> 00:25:40.140
  • Now, notice the solution.
  • 00:25:40.150 --> 00:25:41.260
  • I think the solution is found here.
  • 00:25:41.270 --> 00:25:44.230
  • The solution to their disagreement is found
  • 00:25:44.240 --> 00:25:47.100
  • in the phrase, don't overlook this phrase, in the Lord.
  • 00:25:47.110 --> 00:25:51.020
  • Look at it.
  • 00:25:51.030 --> 00:25:52.120
  • "I implore," verse 2, "Euodia and I implore Syntyche
  • 00:25:52.130 --> 00:25:56.200
  • to be of the same mind in the Lord."
  • 00:25:56.210 --> 00:26:02.250
  • Now, this is not Paul throwing in a spiritual phrase
  • 00:26:02.260 --> 00:26:06.150
  • so it will sound good.
  • 00:26:06.160 --> 00:26:08.000
  • This is really the solution to the problem.
  • 00:26:08.010 --> 00:26:11.050
  • It's the same thing as in verse 1.
  • 00:26:11.060 --> 00:26:13.090
  • Notice, he says, "Stand fast in the Lord."
  • 00:26:13.100 --> 00:26:16.150
  • Verse 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always."
  • 00:26:16.160 --> 00:26:21.140
  • The solution is always in the Lord
  • 00:26:21.150 --> 00:26:23.150
  • because he's usually the one people forget.
  • 00:26:23.160 --> 00:26:26.160
  • announcer: You play a vital role in helping
  • 00:26:31.270 --> 00:26:33.080
  • your brothers and sisters in Christ
  • 00:26:33.090 --> 00:26:34.260
  • resolve conflict and live in unity with one another.
  • 00:26:34.270 --> 00:26:38.020
  • Now, we want to let you know how you can dive deeper
  • 00:26:41.180 --> 00:26:43.200
  • in your Bible study with this great resource we're offering.
  • 00:26:43.210 --> 00:26:46.210
  • Skip: Hi, I'm Skip Heitzig,
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  • have you ever found yourself getting lost in Scripture
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  • wandering from verse to verse?
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  • I've discovered people want to understand God's Word,
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  • but they don't know how to approach it.
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  • I wrote, "The Bible From 30.000 Feet"
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  • to provide a fly-over approach to God's Word,
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  • giving you an understanding of the major themes
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  • of every book, and I'll show you
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  • how to apply biblical principles to your everyday life.
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  • Give me a year and I'll give you the Bible.
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  • announcer: Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation
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  • of Connection Communications, connecting you
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  • to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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