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Skip's Teachings > Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians > How to Stand When They Want You to Fall

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How to Stand When They Want You to Fall - Philippians 1:27-30

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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.

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7/16/2017
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How to Stand When They Want You to Fall
Philippians 1:27-30
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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Series Description

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Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians

Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians

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.

Outline

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  1. Consistency (v. 27a)

  2. Unity (v. 27b)

  3. Bravery (v. 28)

  4. Agony (vv. 29-30)

Study Guide

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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:
  • Consistency (v. 27a)
  • Unity (v. 27b)
  • Bravery (v. 28)
  • Agony (vv. 29-30)

Points

Consistency
  • In the first part of Philippians, the apostle Paul addressed the church as saints, then as servants. In this section, he addressed them as soldiers. Paul understood that the Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground.
  • "Only let your conduct be worthy" (v. 27a). Conduct is Paul's main topic. The Greek word for conduct (politeuomai) is where we get the words politic, police, etc. It is a verb that carries the idea of being a good citizen.
  • Worthy (in Greek, axiós) means to balance the scales. A person is worthy of honor because their beliefs are balanced out by their actions.
  • Christians must be consistent in our conduct; we must not live beneath our theology.
  • The greatest weapon against the Devil is a godly, consistent life. Our lives should be filled with evidence of the gospel: love, forgiveness, hope, and all the qualities of godly living.
  • Probe: Discuss areas in your life where you need more consistency. What steps will you take to live a more consistent life?
Unity
  • Paul urged the Philippians to "stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together" (v. 27b). Stand fast is soldier talk: it carries the meaning of staying at your post while under attack. Striving together is an athletic term: it highlights the church working together as a team, a unified approach.
  • Unity does not mean unanimity (everyone thinks alike) or uniformity (everyone acts alike). Unity means harmony, people working together and cooperating over essentials.
  • As a saying in the medieval church went, "In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity."
  • Probe: In Ephesians 4:3, Paul said, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit" (NIV). How are we to keep unity in the body of Christ? What does it mean to "make every effort"?
Bravery
  • Verse 28 can be translated as "don't be intimidated by your enemies." We must not let unbelievers scare us into silence or inaction because fearful people can be controlled, manipulated, overwhelmed, and shut down.
  • Christians are called to be brave nonconformists, to stand out like a diamond against a dark backdrop.
  • Don't shrink from the world. Stand and make a difference. Jesus said, "Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Too often, we flip it around. If you bow before God, you will be able to stand before men.
  • Probe: Read Joshua 1:7, 23:6, and 2 Chronicles 32:7-8. What characterizes a life of Christian courage? Share stories about individuals that you feel were brave.
Agony
  • "It has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me" (vv. 29-30). The first part of these verses (believe) guarantees the second part (suffer). If we believe in Christ, we will suffer for Christ. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33).
  • Conflict is a strong word, meaning agony. It's the same word used to describe what Jesus felt in Gethsemane.
  • Suffering is granted; it is a gift from God. Suffering will make us strong (see Romans 5:3-5).
  • Suffering makes us long for heaven, increases patience, and helps us relate to others who are suffering.
  • Probe: Helen Keller said, "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world." How do agony, suffering, and persecution bring joy to the Christian? How does Jesus' triumph over death and the world (see John 16:33), giving you courage to stand fast in the face of 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?

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
4/23/2017
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A Joy Unexpected
Philippians 1:1
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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4/30/2017
completed
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News Flash: You’re a Saint!
Philippians 1:1-2
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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.
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5/7/2017
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The Family Business
Philippians 1:3-8
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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.
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5/14/2017
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Pray for Love
Philippians 1:9-11
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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.
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5/21/2017
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The Happy Prisoner
Philippians 1:12-14
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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.
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6/11/2017
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Pest Control
Philippians 1:15-18
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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?
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6/25/2017
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Can You Predict Your Future?
Philippians 1:18-21
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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.
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7/9/2017
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Living on Earth; Longing for Heaven
Philippians 1:22-26
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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?
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There are 8 additional messages in this series.