Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians

Skip Heitzig

In the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians, we learn how to find joy in the most unlikely places as we discover that God can add color to the most black and white moments in life.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Philippians 1:1 A Joy Unexpected
2 Philippians 1:1-2 News Flash: You’re a Saint!
3 Philippians 1:3-8 The Family Business
4 Philippians 1:9-11 Pray for Love
5 Philippians 1:12-14 The Happy Prisoner
6 Philippians 1:15-18 Pest Control
7 Philippians 1:18-21 Can You Predict Your Future?
8 Philippians 1:22-26 Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven
9 Philippians 1:27-30 How to Stand When They Want You to Fall
10 Philippians 2:1-4 Being Around People--While Still Being Sane!
11 Philippians 2:5-8 What Would Jesus Do?
12 Philippians 2:8-11 Be Humble or You'll Stumble
13 Philippians 2:12-13 How to Have a Great Workout
14 Philippians 2:14-18 Glow in the Dark!
15 Philippians 2:19-24 A Little Help from My Friends (Part 1)

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: A Joy Unexpected
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:1
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4190

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful. In fact, ease of living and joy of heart have little to do with each other. Joy is not the absence of trouble but rather the presence of Jesus. Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi is a letter dripping with joy and surprisingly so—it’s not what anyone would expect given the circumstances surrounding the author and the recipients. As we dip our toes into the joyful waters of this epistle, it’s my prayer that your smile will grow bigger and your heart will become lighter.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: April 23, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Joy Unexpected"
Philippians 1:1

Path

Life doesn't have to be easy to be joyful. In fact, ease of living and joy of heart have little to do with each other. Joy is not the absence of trouble but rather the presence of Jesus. Paul's letter to the church at Philippi is a letter dripping with joy and surprisingly so—it's not what anyone would expect given the circumstances surrounding the author and the recipients. In our new series, Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians, Pastor Skip began by unpacking the first verse of the book:

  1. A Dynamic Pair
  2. A Difficult Place
  3. A Divine Purpose
Points

A Dynamic Pair
A Difficult Place
A Divine Purpose
Practice

Connect Up: Joy is defined as a great pleasure and delight. What is it about your relationship with Jesus that brings joy? Be specific (His love, guidance, character, etc.).

Connect In: James said, "Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials" (James 1:2, NIV). Discuss how Christians are to be dispensers of joy in the journey of life, especially in the midst of trials and tribulation. What does it mean to bring joy to a fellow Christian? Crosswalk recommends the following: Remember what God intends the church to be. Welcome one another. Be subject to one another. Forbear one another. Pray for one another. Serve one another. Encourage one another. Bear one another's burdens.

Connect Out: Talk about how Christians are to exude joy and love (see John 13:35). How can joy and love be a witness to a watching world? Share about a person in your life that emanates love and joy? How does it affect you? In sharing joy with unbelievers, Guideposts recommends the following: Smile at the people you see. Radiate grace. Sing throughout the day. Write a kind note to someone. Talk to strangers.

http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/how-to-love-one-another-even-other-christians-11577126.html
https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/positive-living/7-ways-to-bring-joy-to-the-world-today

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Joy is one of the most infallible signs of the presence of God; it is an unmistakable badge of divine ownership
      1. A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms
      2. We are called to preach the gospel, which means good news
        1. A joyful believer is a beautiful believer
        2. A joyful Christian is a good representation of the good news
      3. The joy of the Lord is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10, NLT)
    2. There is a great difference between joy and happiness
      1. Joy is fixed; happiness goes up and down depending on the happenings
      2. Hap is an old word for chance
      3. Two-thirds of Americans claim to be unhappy
    3. Philippians was penned in AD 62 by Paul, who was incarcerated in a Roman jail
      1. He had been incarcerated in Jerusalem
      2. Taken to Caesarea, standing trials for two years
      3. He finally appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome
    4. Paul had always wanted to go to Rome (see Romans 1:8-12)
      1. He expected to go as a preacher, not a prisoner
      2. The Roman government paid for it
      3. He was chained to soldiers
      4. He did not know which way his sentence would go
    5. However, running through this letter is the theme of joy
      1. Takes us out of the black and white of life
      2. God colors our lives with His joy
  2. A Dynamic Pair
    1. Paul
      1. You would not have associated joy with the person Paul was before he met Christ
        1. His name was Saul of Tarsus
          1. Religious, legalistic Pharisee (see Philippians 3:5-6)
          2. Judgment, jihad (see Acts 8:3; 9:1)
        2. Something happened to him and then in him (see Acts 9:1-19)
          1. He received Christ
          2. The seed of joy was planted in his heart and grew, and he went on three missionary journeys
      2. First missionary journey
        1. To Antioch of Pisidia
        2. Kicked out of town (see Acts 13:14-52)
        3. Filled with joy
        4. Paul changed from legalism to lightheartedness (see Romans 14:17)
      3. He was told not to go to Jerusalem because he risked arrest (see Acts 20:22-24)
      4. Paul listed joy as one of the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23)
      5. There is more joy in Philippians than in any of Paul's other books
        1. Mentioned at least nineteen times
        2. Apostle of joy
    2. Timothy
      1. Timothy is another person with whom you would not have associated joy
        1. Mixed parentage: mother was Jewish, father was Greek
        2. Raised by his mother, Eunice, and grandmother Lois (see 2 Timothy 1:5)
      2. Paul preached the gospel, and Eunice, Lois, and Timothy accepted Christ
      3. He followed Paul on his missionary journey
        1. Discipled and mentored by Paul
        2. "Son in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2)
      4. Paul sent him back to the Philippians to represent him (see Philippians 2:19-20)
        1. Isopsuchos = like-minded
        2. In Paul's mind, sending Timothy was as good as going himself
    3. The real reason for Paul and Timothy's joy is found in the word bondservant
      1. Doulos = a slave
        1. Refers to someone who serves willingly
        2. They were devoted to serving Jesus as their master
      2. Joy is never found by direct pursuit; it's a byproduct of pursuing Christ and His will
      3. The more you do what you please, the less you will be pleased by what you do
      4. Joy is the flag flown over the castle of your heart when the King is in residence
  3. A Difficult Place
    1. Rocky Start at Philippi
      1. Paul never wanted to go to Philippi
        1. On his second missionary journey, he planned to go through Galatia and expand northward and southward
        2. God resisted him going to the places he planned (see Psalm 37:23)
        3. Sometimes God says no
        4. God's no is as important as His go (see Acts 16:6-7)
      2. Paul went to Troas and received a vision telling him to go to Macedonia (see Acts 16:8-10)
      3. He arrived in Philippi and went to the river where women were praying (see Acts 16:13-15)
        1. There was no synagogue because they did not have enough Jewish men
        2. Lydia was saved because of Paul's presence at the river
      4. Things went from bad to worse: Paul was arrested and beaten (see Acts 16:23-40)
    2. Rough Circumstances for Paul
      1. Years went by, and the church at Philippi received word that Paul was in jail again
        1. They sent money to Rome for his ministry
        2. The book of Philippians is his joy-filled thank-you letter to them
      2. As believers, we are told to rise above our circumstances (see Romans 8:37)
        1. The Christian life is to be lived above the circumstances, not under them
        2. In their pain, Paul and Timothy found God's purpose
  4. A Divine Purpose
    1. Spiritual Family
    2. Spiritual Fathers
    3. The church at Philippi grew
    4. Whatever negative experience Paul faced, he looked for how God was working (see Philippians 1:3-4)
      1. When life happens unexpectedly, God is moving supernaturally
      2. There are two sides to every event: the factual side and the actual side
        1. The factual side: who, what, when, where, how
        2. The actual side: why
      3. All the bad things that happened to Paul ended with furthering the gospel (see Philippians 1:12)
      4. A book of joy written by a guy who was once a killjoy who became the apostle of joy
    5. Place a dynamic person in a difficult place with difficult people and have them discover the plan of God, and the result will be joy
    6. You can expect joy if you are filled with the Holy Spirit
Figures referenced: William Barclay, Tim Hansel, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., E. Stanley Jones, C.S. Lewis, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Louis Stevenson, Billy Sunday

Works referenced: Be Joyful; The Joy of Living: A Study of Philippians; Laugh Again; The Life of Joy and Peace: An Exposition of Philippians; Philippians, Life at Its Best; Philippians: The Believer's Joy in Christ; A Study in Philippians (How to be Happy in Difficult Situations); The Wizard of Oz

Greek words: doulos, isopsuchos

Cross references: Psalm 37:23; Nehemiah 8:10; Acts 8:3; 9:1-19; 13:14-52; 16:6-10, 13-15, 23-40; 20:22-24; Romans 1:8-12; 8:37; 14:17; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 1:3-4, 12; 2:19-20; 3:5-6; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:5

Topic: Joy

Keywords: joy, gospel, good news, happiness, jail, bondservant, slave, circumstances, plan of God, will of God, Holy Spirit

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: News Flash: You’re a Saint!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:1-2
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4192

MESSAGE SUMMARY
You've heard it before. Someone excuses his or her crude behavior by saying something like, "Well, I'm no saint, but I do the best I can." Or, "She's so wonderful; she's a saint!" The idea most folks have is that saints are those who've died and attain special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on earth. Nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote this letter to living "saints." I hope you're one.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: April 30, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "News Flash: You're a Saint!"
Text: Philippians 1:1-2

Path

You've heard it before. Someone excuses his or her crude behavior by saying something like, "Well, I'm no saint, but I do the best I can." Or, "She's so wonderful; she's a saint!" The idea most folks have is that saints are those who've died and attained special status because of their unusual accomplishments while they lived on earth. Nothing could have been further from Paul's mind when he wrote this letter to living "saints."  In this teaching, Pastor Skip defined a biblical saint:


Points

A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres
A Saint Behaves Submissively
A Saint Believes in the Scriptures
A Saint Benefits Spiritually
Practice

Connect Up: In 1 Peter 1:16, Peter echoed Leviticus 11:44, where God said, "Be holy, for I am holy." How does our holiness honor and bring praise to the Holy One? How can we make sure we are genuinely holy, not acting in a pretentious way but honoring God?

Connect In: The biblical understanding of saints is a group of people who are set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. Discuss how both the individual Christian and the church is to be holy. What are the marks of holiness?ii

Connect Out: How can a biblical understanding of the word saint be used as an outreach tool to unbelievers? Where is the good news to be found in our being set apart—holy—for God's purposes? Explain your answer.

iFor help, read this article: https://www.gotquestions.org/saints-Christian.html
iiFor help, read this article: https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/june-2007/12-marks-of-holiness

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Saint is one of the most misunderstood words in the Christian language
      1. The dictionary does not define saint the same way the New Testament does
      2. Dictionary defines saint as essentially a near-perfect person who has died
    2. This definition of saint came about in the early church
      1. It was believed that anyone who died a Christian martyr would be declared a saint
      2. As time went on, the Vatican in Rome established a process called canonization to keep unworthy people from becoming saints
    3. The New Testament knows nothing about canonizing a dead person; it knows everything about recognizing a living person
      1. Paul wrote to saints in his letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Philippians, and Colossians
      2. He did not write to dead people
    4. Most people do not associate sainthood with joy
      1. Saints are portrayed as gloomy and sad
      2. Due to old artistic renderings of saints
  2. A Saint Belongs to Two Spheres
    1. Because you have a spiritual address, you also have an eventual address in heaven (see John 14:2)
      1. Dwelling on earth, but destined for glory (see Philippians 3:20)
      2. God's people have dual citizenship
      3. Those who live only in the physical address should suck as much pleasure out of their time on earth as they can, because it will be the last good times they will ever experience
    2. They Have a Spiritual Address
      1. In Christ Jesus
      2. We are united to Jesus' life (see John 17:23)
      3. We share the same life as Christ (see Galatians 2:20)
      4. We should live in this world with a light touch because we are just passing through
    3. They Have a Physical Address
      1. On earth
      2. Since we are residents of two realms, we should live responsibly in both
      3. Jesus never intended us to be disassociated from our world and society (see Matthew 10:16; John 17:15)
      4. The struggle is how to balance both passports
        1. Make sure you are talking to Christ about your Philippi
        2. Make sure you are talking to your Philippi about Christ
  3. A Saint Behaves Submissively
    1. A saint is a servant
      1. Paul wrote as a servant to servants (see Philippians 2:5-7)
      2. They were humble
    2. In the Roman Empire, 40 percent of the population was under slavery
      1. In Judaism, slaves were released after seven years
      2. Bondservant: if a slave wanted to serve longer, they became a voluntary servant for life
    3. Redeem
      1. It means to go to the slave market, pay for a slave, and release the slave from the slave market to work for you
      2. Set free to be a slave of Jesus (see Romans 6:17-18)
      3. Being a believer means you ran away from the master of sin to a higher form of slavery
      4. Being a saint is not an emotional goose bump but a submissive heart (see John 14:15)
      5. It's not how high you jump but how straight you walk when you hit the ground
  4. A Saint Believes in the Scriptures
    1. When the Philippians received Paul's letter, they read it, obeyed it, and circulated it
      1. They believed what Paul wrote was from God, to be applied to life
      2. Peter referred to Paul's writings as Scripture (see 2 Peter 3:15-16)
      3. Paul was confident he wrote with God's authority (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13)
    2. Saints are people who believe that God had no problem superintending the writing of a book
    3. What is your attitude toward your Bible?
      1. Is it the Book or just a book?
      2. Your love for the Bible is directly proportional to your relationship with the Author
      3. Look at the Bible as God's love letter to you
  5. A Saint Benefits Spiritually
    1. They Experience Grace
    2. They Enjoy Peace
    3. Paul combined greetings from the Western and Middle Eastern worlds
      1. The common Greek greeting was chairó—rejoice
      2. The common greeting in Israel was shalom—peace
      3. Paul changed chairó to the similar word charis—grace, kindness
    4. You always find grace and peace together; God's grace produces peace
    5. Grace is the fountain and peace is the stream that flows from it (see Romans 5:1-2)
  6. Closing
    1. A saint is a person who the light shines through
    2. Saint means holyhagios
      1. God sees us that way even if we don't feel that way, because we are in Christ
      2. He sees us through bloodstained glasses because of what Jesus did on the cross
Figures referenced: Caesar Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Diognetus, St. Anthony, St. Barbara, St. Christopher, St. Drogo, St. Genesius of Rome, St. Isidore of Seville, St. Jude

Works referenced: Sixth Sense

Greek/Hebrew words: chairó, charis, hagios, shalom

Cross references: Matthew 10:16; John 14:2, 15; 17:15, 23; Romans 5:1-2; 6:17-18; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:5-7; 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 3:15-16

Topic: Saints

Keywords: saints, martyr, canonization, joy, citizenship, heaven, servant, bondservant, redeem, redemption, submission, the Bible, grace, peace, holiness

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: The Family Business
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:3-8
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4194

MESSAGE SUMMARY
No matter what you may do for a living, there is a higher purpose for your life. No matter what you do for work, God is at work in you and through you. You may have a career in mind, but God has a calling in mind. These are not contradictory paths but complementary ones. The apostle Paul assured his audience of God's work collectively, personally, and practically. We are the objects as well as the instruments of God's work in the world.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: May 7, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Family Business"
Text: Philippians 1:3-8

Path

No matter what you may do for a living, there is a higher purpose for your life. No matter what you do for work, God is at work in you and through you. You may have a career in mind, but God has a calling in mind. These are not contradictory paths but complementary ones. We are the objects as well as the instruments of God's work in the world. As Pastor Skip revealed, the apostle Paul assured his audience of God's work collectively, personally, and practically:


Points

Be Thankful for God's Work Collectively
Be Confident in God's Work Personally
Be Aware of God's Work Practically
Practice

Connect Up: Paul said, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). How does a thankful heart reflect a redeemed heart? Why is it God's will that we be thankful?

Connect In: The church is one of the largest families in the world.  Some estimate there are 2.2 billion members of this family. Just as a biological family shares DNA, what is the DNA of our spiritual family (Christ, the Holy Spirit, Communion, love, fellowship, service, etc.)? Name some more characteristics of our shared spiritual DNA. How should our common bonds affect the way we treat one another?

Connect Out: The famous missionary doctor Albert Schweitzer said, "Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." Talk about the people you're thankful for, including but not limited to Christ. On a similar note, how can you represent a thankful heart for others, particularly unbelievers or those who have hurt or angered you? How does your attitude—good or bad—affect unbelievers?



1http://www.success.com/blog/9-traits-of-trustworthy-people

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. We have a spiritual business—a high and holy business
      1. God's business
      2. A family business
      3. We are part of God's spiritual family (see Luke 2:49)
    2. Fellowship
      1. Koinónia = partnership
      2. God is our Father (see John 20:17)
      3. We are in a partnership with the Lord and with others
    3. Our product is the gospel
      1. Only the gospel creates life change
      2. The good news is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough to get us from earth to heaven
      3. The gospel has changed many lives
  2. Be Thankful for God's Work Collectively (vv. 3-5)
    1. Paul wrote from a prison cell in Rome, reminiscing about the church at Philippi (see Acts 16)
      1. Paul didn't even want to go to Philippi
      2. One woman named Lydia received Christ as her Savior
      3. Paul healed a demon-possessed girl and was arrested, beaten with rods, and put in jail
    2. When the Holy Spirit filters your memories so you see God working, you will have joy
      1. Paul was thankful for what the gospel had produced: life change
      2. Paul's joy and thankfulness were directly proportional to the growth of the family business (see Philippians 1:12-14)
  3. Be Confident in God's Work Personally (v. 6)
    1. God's work
      1. Paul was not referring to what the Philippians did or what he did—he just showed up and God did the work
      2. Poiéma = a thing made, a work, workmanship (see Ephesians 2:10)
      3. God is the skillful Artist who is always seeking to express Himself
    2. A gradual work
      1. God has begun a good work in you
      2. It is an ongoing work, a work in progress
      3. Holiness is not a light switch; it's not a sprint, but a marathon
    3. A growing work
      1. God's work is always an inside job before it's an outside one; He works in you before He works through you
      2. God wants to make His music through you
    4. A good work
      1. He makes you guilty
        1. He makes us aware of our lost condition
        2. This drives us to seek salvation
      2. He makes you hungry, causing you to long for something more
      3. He makes you happy; He puts the joy of a forgiven life inside of you
      4. He makes you holy; He takes off the rough edges
    5. A guaranteed work
      1. Whatever God starts, He finishes (see Hebrews 12:2)
      2. God won't stop working on you until Jesus shows up and we're in His presence in our glorified bodies
      3. God never quits on us
  4. Be Aware of God's Work Practically (vv. 7-8)
    1. Partakers
      1. Related to fellowship
      2. Sugkoinónos = a partaker with, co-partner
    2. You can be sure that God is really working in you
      1. When you stand up for the gospel
        1. Apologia = a verbal defense
        2. Defense of the faith (see 1 Peter 3:15)
      2. When you spread the gospel
        1. Bebaiósis = confirmation, ratification, establishment
        2. When the gospel is preached and received, it is confirmed
    3. The practical proof that you are part of the family business is that you believe in the product
  5. Closing
    1. Christianity is always one generation from extinction
    2. A New Testament church is a joint partnership together in the family business
    3. In order to be part of the family business, you need to be part of the family through salvation (see John 3:3)
Figures referenced: R.C.H. Lenski

Works referenced: Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post

Greek words: apologia, bebaiósis, koinónia, poiéma, sugkoinónos

Cross references: Luke 2:49; John 3:3; 20:17; Acts 16; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:12-14; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:15

Topic: God's Work

Keywords: spiritual family, partnership, gospel, Holy Spirit, thankfulness, joy, guilty, happy, holy, fellowship, partaker, faith

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Pray for Love
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:9-11
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4196

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Love is the subject of more songs than any other topic. It's a word that falls off countless lips effortlessly and often without thought. But as someone noted, "One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed." The great apostle Paul had a deep love for the Philippian believers, and they for him. But love must be understood and developed intelligently. On this Mother's Day, when we celebrate the unique love of a mom, let's also consider how our love can become mature and God-honoring.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: May 14, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Pray for Love"
Text: Philippians 1:9-11

Path

Love is the subject of more songs than any other topic. It's a word that falls off countless lips effortlessly and often without thought. But as someone noted, "One of the great illusions of our time is that love is self-sustaining. It is not. Love must be fed and nurtured, constantly renewed." The great apostle Paul had a deep love for the Philippian believers, and they for him. But love must be understood and developed intelligently. On this Mother's Day, when we celebrate the unique love of a mom, let's also consider how our love can become mature and God-honoring. Pastor Skip's path through the text is as follows:


Points

Our Love Should Be Plentiful
Our Love Should Be Perceptive
Our Love Should Be Pure
Our Love Should Be Purposeful
Practice

Connect Up: God is love, but not all love is God (for example, loving pizza is not the same as loving your mom). Discuss the difference between the two. Read 1 John 4:8, 16. What does "God is love" mean?

Connect In: Love is the main fruit of the Spirit. All the other fruits come from love. Christian thinker Thomas Aquinas said that love finds a voice in virtue, acting with integrity and right-mindedness toward others. Discuss why our behavior should reflect our Christian love. How can love be incorporated in and through the church?

Connect Out: Jesus said the world will know we are His followers by our love (see John 13:35). How can love act as an evangelism tool with unbelievers? Here's an acronym to discuss:

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. In many of Paul's letters, he included a prayer for the recipients
      1. He prayed for people
      2. He prayed regularly
      3. It is not recorded that he prayed for anything physical
      4. He prayed for the spiritual issues
    2. In Philippians 1, Paul prayed for love
      1. Love is the hallmark of the Christian faith (see John 13:35; 1 Corinthians 13:13)
      2. Love is the culmination of our faith
  2. Our Love Should Be Plentiful (v. 9a)
    1. Abound in love
      1. Abound = to be present in large numbers or in great quantity
      2. The Philippians already loved one another
      3. Paul wanted them to continue to love one another
    2. It's possible Paul was speaking about loving different kinds of people in the world
      1. As God loved the world
      2. John 3:16
    3. It's more likely Paul was speaking about love within the church
      1. Sometimes it is easier to love people you never see instead of the people who are actually around you (see 1 Thessalonians 3:12)
      2. Does your love abound?
        1. The love of God has been poured out (see Romans 5:5)
        2. We have an unlimited capacity to love
      3. If God's love has flowed into your life, it ought to flow out of your life
        1. No one around you should ever feel love-starved
        2. They should feel love-soaked
  3. Our Love Should Be Perceptive (vv. 9b-10a)
    1. Love needs parameters
      1. Love is like a river; if it has free flow with no restraints, it can kill people
      2. If our love is just pure emotion without discretion or direction, it can bring devastation
    2. Balanced by Knowledge
      1. Epignósis = recognition, knowledge
        1. A mature knowledge brought on by experience
        2. Paul often combined or contrasted love and knowledge in his writings (see 1 Corinthians 8:1; 13:1-2)
      2. Love needs knowledge for it to be responsible (see Romans 10:1)
      3. Placing feeling above knowledge is the most dangerous, irresponsible thing you could do
        1. You can feel out of love with your spouse and feel in love with someone else
        2. A parent can feel that they should give their child anything they want
        3. You can feel it is loving to let another Christian do something they shouldn't do
        4. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is confront your Christian brother or sister (see Matthew 18)
      4. Our love should be growing, but it should also be knowing (see 2 Peter 1:5-6)
    3. Balanced by Discernment
      1. Discernment is mature insight
        1. Love is expressed in different ways at different times
        2. Different contexts
        3. Example: Jesus Christ
      2. The most frequently used Greek word for love is agapé
        1. God's love for us and what we aspire to
        2. Make sure your agapé is not sloppy (see 1 Corinthians 13:6)
  4. Our Love Should Be Pure (v. 10b)
    1. To approve used to refer to testing metals to determine purity
      1. We must carefully examine every expression of our love in light of God's Word
      2. It's an issue of what the Bible says about how we feel
    2. Paul prayed for the expression of their love
      1. Sincere comes from the Latin words sine cera
        1. Without wax
        2. Used by porcelain dealers and statue makers to indicate that their wares had not been broken and repaired with wax
      2. Pure love without offense
        1. Don't let your love be phony
        2. Sometimes our love can be insincere (see Romans 12:9)
        3. Best example of insincere love is Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus with a kiss (see Luke 22:48)
    3. The best testimony is a genuine Christian life without hypocrisy
  5. Our Love Should Be Purposeful (v. 11)
    1. The purpose of all love is to glorify God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 4:10-11)
      1. It will be evident in our lives
      2. If our love glorifies God, people around us will feel loved and cared for
    2. Our love should be growing, knowing, and showing
  6. Closing
    1. Pray that your expressions of love would be pure
    2. Spiritual entropy
      1. We are constantly being pulled toward the world's ideals
      2. The only way to counteract this is to infuse ourselves with new energy (see Hebrews 10:25)
Figures referenced: Matthew Henry, Jaron Lowenstein, Dwight L. Moody, Malcolm Muggeridge, Tertullian

Greek/Latin words: agapé, epignósis, sine cera

Cross references: Matthew 18; Luke 22:48; John 3:16; 13:35; Romans 5:5; 10:1; 12:9; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 10:31; 13:1-2, 6, 13; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Hebrews 10:25; 2 Peter 1:5-6; Revelation 4:10-11

Topic: Love

Keywords: prayer, love, abound, church, parameters, knowledge, discernment, responsible, approve, purity, sincere, hypocrisy, glorify

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: The Happy Prisoner
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:12-14
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4199

MESSAGE SUMMARY
What does it take to steal your joy? To answer that question honestly, you would need to discover what you're passionate about--what drives you and what your expectations of life are. Why is this so important? Because things won't always go your way. Unfavorable winds will toss the ship of your life around on the ocean of circumstances and heartbreaks. What do you need then? The right perspective! Let's learn these truths from Paul's prison cell in Rome.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: May 21, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Happy Prisoner"
Text: Philippians 1:12-14

Path

What does it take to steal your joy? To answer that question honestly, you would need to discover what you're passionate about—what drives you and what your expectations of life are. Why is this so important? Because things won't always go your way. Unfavorable winds will toss the ship of your life around on the ocean of circumstances and heartbreaks. What do you need then? The right perspective! Pastor Skip continued unpacking the book of Philippians, teaching truths from Paul's prison cell in Rome:


Points

Godly Passion Is Commendable
Great Problems Are Inevitable
Good Perspective Is Essential
Practice

Connect Up: Share with your group the things about Jesus you are passionate about (e.g., His love, compassion, salvation, etc.). How does Christ's character help you draw close to the Father? What does Christ's character reveal about the Father (see John 10:30)?

Connect In: How does your passion for Christ influence the body of Christ? What ministry roles do you perform in your local church? What ministry roles have you wanted to take part in, but time or other priorities took precedence? What difference would it make if you made the gospel your priority? What would the risks and rewards be?

Connect Out: As Bob Dylan said, "You're gonna have to serve somebody." To put it another way, we're all imprisoned to someone or something. How is this analogy helpful in reaching out to nonbelievers? Besides sin itself, what things were you chained to before coming to Christ? It could be a life you didn't anticipate or expect (e.g., a job, an illness, or even an actual prison cell). How can you use your story about how you found purpose in Christ to help others in similar situations?

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. You would not expect to find joy in prison
    2. Paul wrote this letter as he was incarcerated for his faith in Christ
      1. He was a prisoner in Rome
      2. He was not in the best of conditions
    3. The theme of this book is joy (see Philippians 1:3-4, 18; 2:17; 3:1; 4:4)
      1. Spiritual maturity can be measured by what it takes to steal your joy
      2. Paul had no outward reason to be joyful
  2. Godly Passion Is Commendable
    1. Paul had a passion in his life
      1. He was determined and highly motivated
      2. Everyone has a master passion—what you want more than anything else
    2. Paul's passion was the gospel (see Philippians 1:5, 7, 12, 17, 27)
      1. Paul mentioned the gospel seventy-two times in all his writings
      2. Romans 1:15; 15:20
    3. At one time, Paul tried to stop the gospel
      1. The gospel was the only thing that could change him
      2. When he saw Jesus, his life was never the same
    4. Until you have experienced the gospel's power, you'll never have a gospel passion (see Romans 1:16)
  3. Great Problems Are Inevitable
    1. A godly passion always invites great problems
      1. When you are passionate about souls, you enter a battleground on which Satan has been fighting a long time
      2. The Great Commission will always bring great conflict (see Matthew 24:9)
    2. Something happened to this passionate man
      1. He was in jail
      2. This had happened many times before
      3. He was stuck—he did not have the freedom to minister like he wanted
      4. He had always wanted to go to Rome, though not necessarily in this capacity (see Romans 15:30-32)
    3. How did he get there?
      1. Arrested in Jerusalem
      2. Imprisoned two years in Caesarea by the Sea
      3. Appealed his case to Caesar
      4. Sent by ship to Rome
      5. Ship went down and had to swim to shore
      6. Ended up in a Roman prison
    4. Incarceration always challenges your joy
      1. Confinement or restriction
      2. Job, relationship, circumstances
  4. Good Perspective Is Essential
    1. The furtherance of the gospel
      1. Prokopé = progress, advancement
        1. A forward movement in spite of obstacles
        2. Used of pioneers and soldiers advancing in obstacles
      2. Paul wanted them to know that none of what happened to him had stopped the gospel; in fact, it had furthered it
    2. Three ways the gospel was furthered
      1. For Roman soldiers
        1. Praitórion = praetorium
        2. The elite personal soldiers for the emperor
        3. Paul was chained to a praetorium guard
          1. They were chained to him in six-hour shifts
          2. Whether he ate or slept, a guard was always there
        4. Some of those soldiers were reached (see Romans 4:22)
      2. For Roman citizens
        1. Paul was under house arrest (see Acts 28:16)
        2. He had certain freedoms: people could visit him (see Acts 28:30-31)
        3. The longest period of Paul's incarceration was the greatest period of Paul's impact
          1. The prison became his pulpit
          2. He wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon during this time
      3. For reluctant saints
        1. Christians in Rome were afraid to announce they followed Christ
        2. In watching and hearing about Paul, they became more bold
        3. They reached the people Paul could not reach
  5. Closing
    1. Many people feel chained to something
    2. Maybe you could be a happy prisoner
      1. Not a sappy prisoner
      2. Not a scrappy prisoner
      3. 2 Timothy 2:9
Figures referenced: William Booth, John Bunyan, Charlotte Elliott, Martin Luther, F.B. Meyer, J.C. Penney, Charles Wesley, John Wesley, Susanna Wesley

Works referenced: Pilgrim's Progress, Psychology Today, Winnie the Pooh

Greek words: praitórion, prokopé

Cross references: Matthew 24:9; Acts 28:16, 30-31; Romans 1:15-16; 4:22; 15:20, 30-32; Philippians 1:3-5, 7, 17-18, 27; 2:17; 3:1; 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:9

Topic: Joy

Keywords: joy, prison, spiritual maturity, passion, gospel, problems, Great Commission, jail, incarceration

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Pest Control
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:15-18
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4205

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Every group—whether it’s a club, a corporation, a homeowner association, or a church—has its share of problem people and detractors. Such can be touchy, irritable, irrational, unreasonable, contentious, or legalistic. Their words may hurt us deeply. Their actions may confuse us greatly. So how do we handle these pesky folks? Most importantly, what should we do or not do with those who name the name of Christ but act like pests?

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes:  June 11, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Pest Control"
Text: Philippians 1:15-18

Path

Every group—whether it's a club, a corporation, a homeowner association, or a church—has its share of problem people and detractors. Such people can be touchy, irritable, irrational, unreasonable, contentious, or legalistic. Their words may hurt us deeply. Their actions may confuse us greatly. So how do we handle these pesky folks? Most importantly, what should we do with those who name the name of Christ but act like pests? Pastor Skip identified a threefold strategy:

  1. Identify the Troublemakers
  2. Ratify the Truth-makers
  3. Magnify the True Message


Points

Identify the Troublemakers
Ratify the Truth-makers
Magnify the True Message
Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip noted that "God reserves the right to use people who disagree with you." What are ways that you can keep your focus on Him and His message, rather than letting yourself get lost in the frustrations of certain believers' motives?

Connect In: Pastor Skip said, "We often make too much over what divides us, and not enough over what unites us." Read verse 18. What was Paul's litmus test for deciding whether to stand against believers or to let God sort them out? What are some challenges you see in the body of Christ? Which ones do you need to confront, and which ones do you need to let go?

Connect Out: How does a poor witness within the church affect your witness outside the church? How does the perfection of the message offset God's imperfect messengers? Make a list with your group of what you stand for as a Christian. What difference does it make to be known for what you stand for rather than what you are against?

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Church history is filled with contention
      1. Unbelievers have noticed this
      2. Many denominations hold to many varying beliefs and practices
    2. There were Christian people who were opposed to Paul
      1. We are all imperfect, but we all get together (see Luke 4:18)
      2. We are a messy bunch
    3. How do you deal with people who claim to be Christians but are pesky?
  2. Identify the Troublemakers
    1. Troublemakers emerge on their own
    2. These people were believers (see v. 14)
      1. Some people like to idealize the early church
      2. The New Testament is filled with early church issues
        1. Corinth was divided over leadership
        2. It was filled with rampant divorce and immorality, and lacked love
    3. Satan loves to exploit and amplify any issue that may be among us
    4. They were jealous of Paul
      1. Paul was an easy target: intelligent, gifted, successful
      2. This is human nature
    5. They were a contentious group
      1. Argumentative
      2. Some people thrive on this and are known more for what they are against than what they are for
      3. They exist to slam others
    6. They were selfish (see v. 16)
      1. A political term that refers to a politician canvassing for self-promotion
      2. They put down Paul to make themselves puffed up
      3. Not new in the early church (see 3 John 1:9)
      4. When you hear gossip, someone's ego is being exalted
    7. They were malicious (see v. 16)
      1. Thlipsis = persecution, affliction, distress, tribulation
      2. Irritation caused by the rubbing of one object over another
      3. They wanted to add to Paul's already irritating situation
      4. They were not anti-Christ, but they were anti-Paul
  3. Ratify the Truth-makers
    1. There are troublemakers, but there are also good people
    2. Starve the problem and feed the solution
      1. Run ahead of the troublemakers
      2. Their voice will diminish as you go further ahead
    3. Paul most likely lost his life as a result of troublemaking Christians in Rome
      1. He was beheaded by Caesar Nero
      2. Many of the jealous Christians in Rome denounced Paul, adding to the sentence handed down by Nero
      3. Onesiphorus (see 2 Timothy 1:16-17)
        1. Came to visit Paul in prison in Rome
        2. No one would or could tell him where Paul was
        3. He had to search for him
        4. It seems that many people were embarrassed that Paul was in prison
      4. Clement of Rome
        1. Wrote a letter to the church at Corinth addressing anger and jealousy among God's people
        2. Listed deaths, trouble, and issues plaguing seven specific church leaders as a result of these problems
        3. One of the examples was of Paul
        4. Envy among Christians somehow brought about Paul's execution
      5. 2 Timothy 4:16-17
        1. No one stood with Paul except the Lord
        2. He was utterly alone
  4. Magnify the True Message
    1. What then? means So what?
      1. Though he was persecuted by unbelievers and picked on by believers, Paul still rejoiced
      2. Paul was not impervious to the criticisms of others
      3. He was a person with emotions and feelings, and he was wounded deeply
    2. He rejoiced because the gospel was being preached
      1. The power is in the message, not the messenger
      2. If people tamper with the message, go at them (see Galatians 1:6-8)
      3. If people tamper with the messenger, ignore them
    3. They were brothers in Christ
  5. Closing
    1. We often make too much over what divides us and not enough over what unites us
      1. We are often known more for what we are against
      2. God reserves the right to use people who disagree with you
    2. You don't get to heaven by being a certain denomination, but by trusting in Christ's death and resurrection
Figures referenced: Caesar Nero, Clement of Rome, C.S. Lewis, John Trapp, John Wesley

Works referenced:The Screwtape Letters

Greek words: thlipsis

Cross references: Luke 4:18; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Timothy 1:16-17; 4:16-17; 3 John 1:9

Topic: Division

Keywords: joy, contention, denominations, troublemakers, early church, division, jealousy, envy, argument, selfishness, gossip, anger, persecution, gospel

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Can You Predict Your Future?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:18-21
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4209

MESSAGE SUMMARY
If you were going to sit down and write a short description of what you wanted your future to look like, what words would you choose? Let me suggest four that come straight out of Paul's experience: joy, confidence, hope, and life. After musing over past events that brought him to prison, Paul looks ahead to his uncertain future. But these four words sum up what he expected his future to include--even if it meant his possible execution.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: June 25, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Can You Predict Your Future?"
Text: Philippians 1:18b-21

Path

If you were to sit down and write a short description of what you wanted your future to look like, what words would you choose? Pastor Skip suggested four that come straight out of Paul's experience: joy, confidence, hope, and life. After musing over past events that brought him to prison, Paul looked ahead to his uncertain future. But these four words sum up what he expected his future to include—even if it meant his possible execution. Pastor Skip pointed out the thoughts that kept Paul anchored in Christ:

Points

Joy
Confidence
Hope
Life
Practice

Connect Up: In addition to the words discussed in this study (joy, confidence, hope, and life), what are some other characteristics that define believers (see Galatians 5:22-23)? How do they help us maintain an eternal perspective, focusing our attention on Christ and not on the world—providing us with a proper "up-look"?

Connect In: In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul tells the church to not be like those who don't have hope. In these verses, Paul linked our hope to Christ's return. How is the second coming of Jesus intricately linked to a believer's hope for the future?

Connect Out: In a world where many have no future or hope, how can we use this message to communicate to unbelievers that God does have a beautiful future for those who believe? How can you use Jeremiah 29:11 as a witness tool?

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. Predicting the future has been a favorite pastime since antiquity
      1. People's desire to know the future makes horoscopes and fortune-tellers popular today
      2. We want to know what is coming in the future
    2. All forms of fortune-telling are forbidden in the Scriptures
      1. They are fake
      2. They call on nothing to predict the future they don't know
      3. Only God can predict the future
    3. You can predict your future responses
    4. Up to this point in Philippians, Paul spoke in past tense
      1. Philippians 1:3, 5, 12
      2. Paul wrote to the Philippians about what happened in the past and what was happening in the present
    5. The future was uncertain for Paul
      1. He did not know what the outcome of his trial would be
      2. He made predictions about his responses to those circumstances
      3. If you are a follower of Christ, you can predict your responses as well
  2. Joy (v. 18b)
    1. Philippians is a letter
      1. Originally there were no chapters or verse identifications
      2. Until the year AD 1227, all of the Bible was text
      3. Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, decided it would be easier to find things in the Bible with chapters and verses
      4. In AD 1382, the first English Bible to have verse numbers was the Wycliffe Bible
    2. Paul was saying that the things of the past would not rob him of his joy
      1. They had furthered the gospel
      2. Past circumstances
        1. He was arrested in Jerusalem
        2. He spent two years in jail at Caesarea by the Sea
        3. He went through three mistrials
        4. He was shipwrecked on his way to Rome to appeal to Caesar
        5. He was put in jail again in Rome
      3. Past and present people were also trying to rob him of joy
    3. Paul did not know what would happen in the future as far as circumstances went
      1. He would stand trial before Caesar Nero
      2. Caesar would either exonerate him or execute him
    4. Joy is an act of the will
      1. It is tethered to something different than happiness
        1. Happiness is a temporary feeling of delight if the circumstances go your way
        2. Joy is fixed
        3. The Bible mentions happiness about thirty times; it mentions joy 300 times
      2. The difference between happiness and joy
        1. Happiness is externally triggered; it goes up and down depending on the circumstances
        2. Joy is internally triggered; it is based on a relationship with God
        3. Happiness has its source in events, people, and things
        4. Joy has its source in God
      3. Though Paul may have been emotionally unhappy, he stated that nothing and no one would steal his joy
  3. Confidence (v. 19)
    1. Your outlook is determined by your uplook
      1. Paul saw not only the stars, but the God who made the stars
      2. If joy is an act of the will, then confidence is a statement of faith
    2. Paul knew he would be delivered
      1. Sótérian = deliverance, salvation
      2. Paul knew things would turn out for the best (see Romans 8:28)
    3. Confidence is developed by prayer and provision
      1. Prayer of God's people
        1. Most believers marginalize prayer
        2. If we really thought prayer had the power to change things, we would be doing it a lot more
        3. We should pray because:
          1. Spiritual work requires spiritual tools
          2. It produces confidence
      2. Provision of God's Spirit
        1. Epichorégia = supply, provision, equipment
          1. We get the word chorus from this
          2. It literally means one voice upon another
        2. The reason Paul was confident was because the Holy Spirit provided everything he needed to handle the future
        3. The hand of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you (see Zechariah 4:6)
  4. Hope (v. 20)
    1. Earnest expectation is like an intense form of hope
      1. It literally means to watch something with outstretched head
      2. Paul hoped more than anything else that he would be a faithful witness for Christ
    2. Hope looks for opportunities to point to Christ
      1. Paul wanted to express his faith and exalt his Savior
      2. He wanted to be bold
      3. While the world is breaking bad, the church needs to be breaking bold
        1. The world is bold about what it believes
        2. They want to get out there and get it in your face
        3. That is how Christians need to be about our faith
      4. Ask God to make you a bold Christian
    3. Paul hoped for Christ to be magnified
      1. How can you make the greatest Person in the world greater?
        1. To most people, Jesus was just someone from 2,000 years ago
        2. When you show up, Jesus is either magnified or minified through your life
      2. We should want God to be greater through our life (see Romans 12:1)
  5. Life (v. 21)
    1. Paul was passionate about Christ; he lived for Him
      1. Christ was the summation of Paul's life
      2. John 11:25
    2. Life happens even in the face of death
      1. Later, Paul was arrested again, placed in solitary confinement, and sentenced to death
      2. In one brutal moment, Paul went from the imperial city of Rome to the eternal city of heaven
  6. Closing
    1. The only circumstance you can predict is whether you will spend eternity in heaven or in hell
    2. John 3:3
Figures referenced: Dale Carnegie, Howard Hendricks, Stephen Langton, Abraham Lincoln, Leonard Ravenhill, A.T. Robertson, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom

Works referenced: Wycliffe Bible

Greek words: epichorégia, sótérian

Cross references: Zechariah 4:6; John 3:3; 11:25; Romans 8:28; 12:1; Philippians 1:3, 5, 12

Topic: Joy

Keywords: future, joy, circumstances, happiness, confidence, prayer, provision, hope, boldness

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:22-26
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4214

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Knowing what Paul knew about heaven made him think very differently about earth. As Thomas Watson said, "Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven is in us, the less earth will content us." It's like a kid eating his vegetables while eyeing the chocolate cake promised after the meal (the salad becomes a means to an end). Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come," indicating we should be longing for heaven. So how do we effectively live on earth with heaven ahead?

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: July 9, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven"
Text: Philippians 1:22-26

Path

Knowing what Paul knew about heaven made him think very differently about earth. As Thomas Watson said, "Spiritual things satisfy; the more of heaven is in us, the less earth will content us." It's like a kid eating his vegetables while eyeing the chocolate cake promised after the meal (the salad becomes a means to an end). Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come," indicating we should be longing for heaven. So how do we effectively live on earth with heaven ahead? Pastor Skip shared three points to describe Paul's approach to finding the balance:


Points

Wrestling with a Predicament
Wanting to "Push-Off"
Willing to Persist
Practice

Connect Up:  In the book Between Two Worlds, John Stott wrote, "Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of every truly human aspiration. To find Him is to find ourselves." How do we find ourselves in Christ in life and death?

Connect In: Apply Paul's principles to the universal church. On one hand, the church is looking to be with the Lord. On the other hand, the church is to be salt and light in the world. How does the church fulfill the truth of living on earth, but longing for heaven?

Connect Out: The mark of a spiritual person is someone who puts his or her own desires on pause for the needs of others. How does sharing your faith put your own desires on pause, seeking the best for nonbelievers? Take a moment to pray for one person that you know is not a believer. Ask God to give you wisdom in sharing Christ with them.

OUTLINE


  1. Wrestling with a Predicament (vv. 22-26)

  2. Wanting to “Push-Off” (v. 23)

    1. It Will Be a Departure

    2. It Will Be an Encounter

    3. It Will Be Much Better

  3. Willing to Persist (v. 24)

    1. For Fruitful Service

    2. For Needful Progress


 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: How to Stand When They Want You to Fall
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:27-30
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4216

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The truth is, we’re surrounded and outnumbered! The vast majority of the people we encounter in life don’t share our values nor worship our God. The difficulty of the Christian life is that we’re called to stand up for Christ when the rest of the world wants us to sit down or fall flat. They would much rather that we keep our mouths shut and conform to their standards. Let’s consider four spiritual weapons that will help us in the fight to stand strong in our faith.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: July 16, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "How to Stand When They Want You to Fall"
Text: Philippians 1:27-30

Path

The truth is, we're surrounded and outnumbered! The vast majority of people we encounter in life don't share our values nor worship our God. The difficulty of the Christian life is that we're called to stand up for Christ when the rest of the world wants us to sit down or fall flat. They would much rather we keep our mouths shut and conform to their standards. Pastor Skip considered four spiritual qualities that will help us in the fight to stand strong in our faith:


Points

Consistency
Unity
Bravery
Agony
Practice

Connect Up:  How does Christ's work on the cross bring together the four qualities discussed in the teaching: consistency, unity, bravery, and agony? Discuss each characteristic as it relates to Jesus.

Connect In: Paul wrote to the Galatian church, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). How should the body of Christ bear one another's burdens in times of trial and tribulation? How can we be brave and consistent in the midst of persecution, especially since the worst of it happens elsewhere in the world?

Connect Out: Throughout history, the persecution of Christians has led many nonbelievers to Christ. One is the founder of the Voice of the Martyrs, Richard Wurmbrand. Recalling his time in a communist prison, Wurmbrand said, "It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted [the communists'] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy." How can enduring persecution be a witness to an unbelieving world?

OUTLINE


  1. Consistency (v. 27a)

  2. Unity (v. 27b)

  3. Bravery (v. 28)

  4. Agony (vv. 29-30)

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Being Around People--While Still Being Sane!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:1-4
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4220

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Relationships are hard. They take a lot of work. If you think about it, every person in the world is incompatible with every other person. Enough time together would reveal this truth. Because of this, tensions rise, emotions flare, and bad responses ensue. Every friendship, every marriage, every family, and every organization (including every church) has its relational challenges. The church at Philippi did, too, and it was that disunity that tested Paul’s joy. Let’s consider the basics and the basis of successful relationships, and move from surviving them to thriving in them.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: July 30, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Being Around People—While Still Being Sane!"
Text: Philippians 2:1-4

Path

Relationships are hard. They take a lot of work. If you think about it, every person in the world is incompatible with every other person. Enough time together would reveal this truth. Because of this, tensions rise, emotions flare, and bad responses ensue. Every friendship, every marriage, every family, and every organization (including every church) has its relational challenges. The church at Philippi did, too, and it was that disunity that tested Paul's joy. In this teaching, Pastor Skip considered the basics and the basis of successful relationships, and taught how we can move from surviving them to thriving in them.

Points

The Basics of Great Relationships
The Basis of Great Relationships
Practice

Connect Up: How should our relationship with the Lord influence our relationships with people? What are some similarities and differences between the two (e.g., God is perfect in His relationships and we are not)?

Connect In: What are some key characteristics of our relationships with other believers?  Look up these verses for insight: Romans 14:13; 15:7, 14; 16:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:19, 21; Colossians 3:13, 16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Connect Out: When developing relationships with nonbelievers, what tactics can you use to lovingly share the gospel? Look up Matthew 5:16 and 1 Peter 3:15 to help you form an answer.

OUTLINE

  1. The Basics of Great Relationships

    1. Negatively--What Not to Do with Others

      1. Don't Be Selfish

      2. Don't Be Prideful

    2. Positively--What to Do with Others

      1. Do Be Humble

      2. Do Be Respectful

  2. The Basis of Great Relationships

    1. Because the World Won't Provide It

    2. Because You Belong to Jesus Christ

    3. Because His Love Is the Catalyst

    4. Because We're a Spiritual Family

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: What Would Jesus Do?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:5-8
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4222

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The campaign What Would Jesus Do? has been around for years, challenging Christians to think about what Christ might actually do in any given situation so they might do likewise. Before us, we have an example of what Jesus actually did do. His example of humility and self-sacrifice is Paul’s illustration to fortify his exhortation of loving people through lowering ourselves.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: August 6, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "What Would Jesus Do?"
Text: Philippians 2:5-8

Path

The campaign What Would Jesus Do? has been around for years, challenging Christians to think about what Christ might actually do in any given situation. Before us, we have an example of what Jesus actually did do. His example of humility and self-sacrifice is Paul's illustration to fortify his exhortation of loving people through lowering ourselves. Pastor Skip focused on four characteristics of Christ:


Points

His Divinity
His Humility
His Humanity
His Desirability
Practice

Connect Up: Discuss the interrelationship of those within the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). In theology, the relationship is known as the perichoresis, a mutual exchange of love within the Godhead. Scientist and theologian Alister McGrath said perichoresis "allows the individuality of the persons to be maintained, while insisting that each person shares in the life of the other two." Though we can't fully comprehend the pure unity of God, we can apprehend it in a formal sense; it is not a contradiction.¹

Connect In: How is the church to reflect Christ's humility and humanity? In what ways can the church be Christ's hands and heart to a hurting world—including those in the church? Give practical suggestions.

Connect Out: How can Christ's divinity serve as a talking point for nonbelievers, particularly those from different faiths? How would you defend this doctrine from those who claim Christ wasn't divine?²

¹ For further study, visit calvaryabq.org/teachings_view.asp?ServiceID=4185.
²Here's some help: bible.org/article/apologetics-jesus.

OUTLINE

  1. His Divinity (v. 6a)

  2. His Humility (vv. 6b-7a)

  3. His Humanity (vv. 7b-8)

  4. His Desirability (v.5)

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Be Humble or You'll Stumble
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:8-11
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4224

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Humility is that slippery quality that once you think you have it, you don't! Also, the pathway of humility is a hard one. For Jesus, it meant the cross. But humility will always be rewarded. Using Christ as our ultimate example, Paul demonstrates how Jesus' voluntary humiliation was compensated by the Father’s lavish exaltation. So even though humility doesn't come without a price, without it, there will be no harmony, no unity.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: August 13, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Be Humble or You'll Stumble"
Text:  Philippians 2:8-11

Path

Humility is that slippery quality that once you think you have it, you don't! Also, the pathway of humility is a hard one. For Jesus, it meant the cross. But humility will always be rewarded. Using Christ as our ultimate example, Paul demonstrated how Jesus' voluntary humiliation was compensated by the Father's lavish exaltation. So, even though humility comes at a price, without it, there will be no harmony, no unity. Pastor Skip covered three fundamental facts about humility:

Points

Humility Is Sometimes Painful
Humility Is Always Hopeful
Humility Is Ever Needful
Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip quoted Martin De Haan: "Humility is something we should constantly pray for, yet never thank God that we have." Take a moment to pray for a humble heart in relation to the following areas of your life: family, work, church, and outreach and service.

Connect In: Augustine said, "It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels." Discuss the truth of this quotation as it relates to the body of Christ. What are some ways the church can show humility in the world today, reflecting Jesus in word and deed?

Connect Out: As you reach out to your community with Christ's love, how can humility be a bridge between you and nonbelievers? Consider this quote by Wes Simmons: "Courage. Boldness. Confidence. These are the words we typically associate with evangelism. But what if evangelism is more about our weakness than our strength, more about humility than boldness? What if it's more about sharing why you need Jesus, inviting people into your brokenness, than it is about trying to convince them why they need Jesus?"

OUTLINE


  1. Humility Is Sometimes Painful

  2. Humility Is Always Hopeful

  3. Humility Is Ever Needful

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: How to Have a Great Workout
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:12-13
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4226

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Every day in every city, people go to the gym to get in a workout. Running on a treadmill, spinning on a cycle, working the stair-climber, and lifting weights are becoming more and more frequent in our health-conscious culture. But money spent on a gym membership is pointless unless we take the right approach. In this message, I want to consider what it means to have a healthy spiritual life by showing you what it means to "work out your own salvation in fear and trembling." Let's be determined to stay in top spiritual shape.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: August 20, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "How to Have a Great Workout"
Text: Philippians 2:12-13

Path

Every day in every city, people go to the gym to get in a workout. Running on a treadmill, spinning on a cycle, working the stair-climber, and lifting weights are becoming more and more frequent in our health-conscious culture. But money spent on a gym membership is pointless unless we take the right approach. In this message, we learn how to have a healthy spiritual life, looking at what it means to "work out [our] own salvation in fear and trembling." Pastor Skip unpacked five choices we must make if we want to stay in top spiritual shape:

  1. Get a Good Trainer:"Therefore my beloved"
  2. Pump Some Iron:"Work out"
  3. Follow a Personal Plan:"Work out your own salvation"
  4. Don't Flex in the Mirror:"With fear and trembling"
  5. Use Power Supplements:"For it is God who works in you"

Points

Get a Good Trainer
Pump Some Iron
Follow a Personal Plan
Don't Flex in the Mirror
Use Power Supplements
Practice

Connect Up:Read 1 Peter 1:2-8. Discuss what it means to be "partakers in the divine nature." How does the sequence of actions Peter described relate to working out your salvation? What does it mean to add virtue to your faith, and knowledge to virtue, and so on?

Connect In:Read 2 Corinthians 10:12. What was Paul warning Christians about? How does comparing yourself with others boost your ego or rob your joy? Why is it important to keep your eyes on Jesus as an example (and on others who are following Him)?

Connect Out: Read Psalm 37:1-9. How do these verses reflect what it means to work out your salvation with fear and trembling in the world around you—with your family (both immediate and extended), at work, and in your community?

OUTLINE


  1. Get a Good Trainer: "Therefore my beloved"

  2. Pump Some Iron: "Work out"

  3. Follow a Personal Plan: "Work out your own salvation"

  4. Don't Flex in the Mirror: "With fear and trembling"

  5. Use Power Supplements: "For it is God who works in you"


 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: Glow in the Dark!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:14-18
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4228

MESSAGE SUMMARY
To make an object glow in the dark, a phosphor that will energize by ambient light and have a very long persistence (like zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate) must be applied. For a Christian to glow (shine the light of truth and salvation) in a dark culture, there are four considerations that will energize us. Today let’s study how we can penetrate a murky world.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 27, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Glow in the Dark!"
Text: Philippians 2:14-18

Path

To make an object glow in the dark, we must apply a phosphor (like zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate) that energizes by ambient light and has a lengthy, persistent radiance. For a Christian to glow—to shine the light of truth and salvation—in a dark culture, there are four considerations that will energize us. Pastor Skip showed us how we can shine the light of Christ to penetrate a murky world:

Points

Analyze the Condition of the World
Recognize Your Position in the World
Advertise Your Vocation to the World
Maximize Your Action for the World
Practice

Connect Up: In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said Christians are the light of the world. How are both lights similar, and how are they different? For example, as God, Jesus is pure light, but Christians only reflect His light. So how do we reflect God's light? Furthermore, how do non-Christians reflect God (imago Dei, made in the image of God)?

Connect In: Just as individual Christians are to glow in the dark, so, too, is the universal church. List the things the church has done that reflect the light of Christ. Then list the things the church has done that do not reflect the light of Christ (i.e., the Inquisition). What can you learn from these two lists?

Connect Out: The noted Bible translator Desiderius Erasmus said, "Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself." Or consider D. L. Moody's words: "We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine." Light penetrates darkness. How can living in the light of Jesus be a witness to a watching world? Share an example of a time when someone saw your actions and made a positive comment.

OUTLINE


  1. Analyze the Condition of the World (v. 15)

  2. Recognize Your Position in the World (v. 15)

  3. Advertise Your Vocation to the World (vv. 14, 16)

  4. Maximize Your Action for the World (vv. 17-18)

 


 

SERIES: Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians
MESSAGE: A Little Help from My Friends (Part 1)
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:19-24
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4234

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Life without friendship is like the sky without the sun. Paul knew the value of having true friends who stuck with him during difficult times. And right in the middle of this letter, he mentioned two of them—Timothy and Epaphroditus. These two guys helped shoulder the burdens for the apostle and brought him great joy. As we consider Timothy's friendship profile, see how many of these qualities are present in your own life.

STUDY GUIDE
Recap Notes: September 17, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "A Little Help from My Friends" (Part 1)
Text: Philippians 2:19-24

Path

Life without friendship is like the sky without the sun. Paul knew the value of having true friends who stuck with him during difficult times. And right in the middle of this letter, he mentioned two of them—Timothy and Epaphroditus. These two guys helped shoulder the burdens for the apostle and brought him great joy. As we consider Timothy's friendship profile, see how many of these qualities are present in your own life:

  1. A Good Friend Is Reliable
  2. A Good Friend Is Compatible
  3. A Good Friend Is Thoughtful
  4. A Good Friend Is Loyal
Points

A Good Friend Is Reliable
A Good Friend Is Compatible
A Good Friend Is Thoughtful
A Good Friend Is Loyal
Practice

Connect Up: Jesus called His disciples friends (see John 15:15-17). What does it mean to be God's friend? What does this tell you about the importance of good friendships?

Connect In: In the body of Christ, we are all spiritual brothers and sisters. But sometimes we lack good friends. Using Pastor Skip's points, discuss how you can become better friends with fellow Christians. Here are some ideas: really listen when they speak, call them frequently, hang out with them, share with them your goals for life, buy simple gifts of appreciation, be there for them during the big moments of life (births, birthdays, marriage, deaths, etc.).

Connect Out: In addition to Christian friends, many of us have non-Christian friends.  Some define this as friendship evangelism. One Christian site states this relationship as follows: "Friendship evangelism as a method of bringing people to Christ or sharing the gospel of Christ has several meanings and connotations. Some people believe that friendship evangelism requires Christians to become friends with unbelievers, establishing a relationship before attempting to address their need for a Savior. Some see friendship evangelism as living a solid, righteous life—a living testimony—before others so that they desire that kind of life and ask how to achieve it. At that point, the gospel is shared."1 How can you use your friendship with a non-Christian to be a witness for Christ?

1 Blue Letter Bible, "What is friendship evangelism?" https://www.gotquestions.org/friendship-evangelism.html, accessed 9/17/17.


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