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Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak? - Philippians 3:1-3

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I have a bicycle pump in my garage that stands constant guard to reinflate my tires. It seems that I have a slow leak in one of them. Perhaps from a very small thorn or a defect in the tube, the air slowly leaks out, leaving the ride spongy. Spiritual thorns that deflate joy can also threaten our Christian experience. Let’s consider some simple principles that firm up our life journey and keep "the joy of the Lord" intact.

Date Title   WatchListenNotes Share SaveBuy
10/8/2017
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Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak?
Philippians 3:1-3
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
I have a bicycle pump in my garage that stands constant guard to reinflate my tires. It seems that I have a slow leak in one of them. Perhaps from a very small thorn or a defect in the tube, the air slowly leaks out, leaving the ride spongy. Spiritual thorns that deflate joy can also threaten our Christian experience. Let’s consider some simple principles that firm up our life journey and keep "the joy of the Lord" intact.
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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. Joy Must Be Guarded (v. 1)

  2. Legalism Must Be Avoided (v. 2)

  3. Identity Must Be Comprehended (v. 3)

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Recap Notes: October 8, 2017
Teacher: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Has Your Joy Sprung a Leak?"
Text: Philippians 3:1-3

Path

Pastor Skip stated, "I have a bicycle pump in my garage that stands constant guard to reinflate my tires. It seems that I have a slow leak in one of them. Perhaps from a very small thorn or a defect in the tube, the air slowly leaks out, leaving the ride spongy. Spiritual thorns that deflate joy can also threaten our Christian experience." In this message, Skip considered some simple principles that firm up our life journey and keep the joy of the Lord intact:
  1. Joy Must Be Guarded (v. 1)
  2. Legalism Must Be Avoided (v. 2)
  3. Identity Must Be Comprehended (v. 3)
Points

Joy Must Be Guarded
  • Famed evangelist Billy Sunday once said, "If you have no joy…there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere."
  • Circumstances, people, everyday problems, overwork, sin, doubt, disease, and chronic pain can all cause leaks in our joy.
  • Paul used strong language as he instructed us to guard our joy. Notice the word finally. It can better be understood as furthermore. Paul told the Philippians to constantly rejoice. The verb tense indicates that it's meant to be an ongoing activity.
    • Joy has less to do with what is happening around you; it's what's inside you that brings joy.
    • Joy is not automatic; it's a learned response, a choice to make.
  • Joy was Paul's outlook because Jesus was his uplook. Joy centers on a spiritual reality: God is on His throne. Because of that truth, you can say, "I am joyful because I have a relationship with the Lord."
  • Paul repeated himself in this passage to help us remember the importance of joy.
  • Probe: The word guarded means to be cautious, to have reservations. Besides joy, what other characteristics must be guarded in a Christian's life? Here are some to think about: prayer, Bible reading, serving others, loving others, and life priorities.
Legalism Must Be Avoided
  • Paul spoke against Judaizers, those who mixed the law and grace. Paul gave three warnings against legalism because being joyful means being careful.
    • Legalists can be scavengers: "Beware of dogs" (v. 3)
    • Legalists can be evil, but think they're doing good: "Beware of evil workers" (v. 3). Good works are a by-product of salvation, not its basis.
    • Legalists can be destructive: "Beware of the mutilation" (v. 3). Legalists taught that circumcision, a work of the flesh, was vital to salvation. Legalism mutilates the grace of God and the work of Jesus Christ.
  • Probe: Legalism is defined as excessive adherence to the law or formula. In what areas do you find you lean too much toward legalism? How can you learn to lean back toward joy? What would you share with a fellow Christian who leans too heavily toward legalism? What Scriptures would you share concerning our freedom in Christ?
Identity Must Be Comprehended
  • In verse 1, Paul described a true Christian believer:
    • True follower: "we are the [true] circumcision." Christians are those who have a true, inward cleansing, not a meaningless outward mark.
    • True worshipers: "who worship God in the Spirit." Worship is an inward position of the heart, taking an outward form: singing, prayer, etc.
    • True celebrators: "rejoice in Christ Jesus." This means to boast of or honor. Legalism boasts in its own works, minimizing the work of Jesus Christ.
    • True believers: "have no confidence in the flesh." The humanist message is to pull yourself up. The legalist message is to work your way to heaven. But the biblical message is that Jesus paid it all and all credit is His.
  • Probe: To comprehend is to grasp something mentally, to understand it and follow it.Look over Pastor Skip's four points. In what ways do you comprehend them, or follow them? In what ways do you not—and how can you improve your comprehension as a follower, worshiper, celebrator, and believer? Consider 1 Corinthians 13 and Colossians 3:5-13.
Practice

Connect Up: Jesus said that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and truth (see John 4:24). Discuss what Jesus meant by spirit and truth. Would you agree with the following statement? "Unless there's a real passion for God, there is no worship in spirit. At the same time, worship must be ‘in truth,' that is, properly informed. Unless we have knowledge of the God we worship, there is no worship in truth."1

Connect In: Within any given church, you will find both legalists and antinomianists (those who think they are not obligated to follow any law). How are Bible-believing Christians to strike a balance between the two extremes within the church?

Connect Out: When sharing the gospel with an unbeliever, how would you respond to the following charge? "All Christianity is about are a bunch of dos and don'ts; it's all about following a set of rules."

1 "What does it mean to worship the Lord in spirit and truth?," https://www.gotquestions.org/worship-spirit-truth.html, accessed 10/8/2017.

Additional Messages in this Series

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4/23/2017
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A Joy Unexpected
Philippians 1:1
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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
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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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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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7/16/2017
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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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7/30/2017
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Being Around People--While Still Being Sane!
Philippians 2:1-4
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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.
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8/6/2017
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What Would Jesus Do?
Philippians 2:5-8
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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.
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8/13/2017
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Be Humble or You'll Stumble
Philippians 2:8-11
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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.
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8/20/2017
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How to Have a Great Workout
Philippians 2:12-13
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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.
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8/27/2017
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Glow in the Dark!
Philippians 2:14-18
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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.
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9/17/2017
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A Little Help from My Friends
Philippians 2:19-24
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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.
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10/1/2017
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How to Treat Good (but Imperfect) People
Philippians 2:25-30
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Some of the greatest people I have ever met have been relatively unknown individuals. They serve diligently behind the scenes with no desire for the limelight. Their names are not known to men, yet they are known to God. But even the choicest servants of God are not perfect. We all have our blemishes, shortfalls, quirks, idiosyncrasies, and oddities. Paul gave us an excellent way to treat such people in his words about his friend Epaphroditus.
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10/15/2017
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Get a Real Testimony!
Philippians 3:4-8
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I have heard various people give their testimony over the years. A testimony is the story of how you came to believe in Christ personally. What is your story? Could you tell it to someone? You should be able to trace the steps you took in your life’s journey from aimless wandering to purposeful living as a Christian. These verses are Paul’s personal testimony. Let’s consider three essential ingredients to building a real testimony.
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There are 17 additional messages in this series.