Philippians,  William Daly

Philippians -Part 1: Introduction

“Experiencing Joy In God’s Sovereignty”

Part 1: Philippians: “Outline, Purpose, and Content of The Letter”

Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

  • Good evening, Welcome to Bitterroot Valley Calvary Chapel. If you happen to be joining us online, we’re glad you’re here!

Alright, so we’ve wrapped up our study in Galatians. That took us about 6 months on the nose. And it was a really great study. Personally, I learned a bunch from it and of course, the business of applying the truths we learned from it to our own lives never ends. And so now we’re going to begin a new study. This time we’ll be looking at what Paul has to say to the church in Philippi by way of his letter to the Philippians…
So in our first look at the book of Philippians, I thought it might be helpful if we begin our study, I thought we’d start with a couple of questions. And the first question I’m curious to know the answer to is how many of you have read the book of Philippians within the last 12 months? This is the first time I’ve read Philippians in the past couple of years. But if you’ve read it recently enough to remember anything about it, what would be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Philippians? Well, I’d be willing to bet that your answer would have something to do with the word “joy” or “rejoicing”. This whole letter is perfumed and is permeated with the theme of joy in the life of the believer. In fact, one of the key verses in this book is Philippians 4:4 where Paul says “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” So this book is all about the supernatural joy that belongs to those who have come to know Christ as Lord & Savior. 

Now, if you were here with us as we made our way through the book of Galatians, you’ll remember that we made a distinction between happiness and JOY. And it’s an extremely important distinction that we need to make. And it’s something that we need to be reminded of over and over and over until our understanding of the difference becomes almost gut-level. Because when life happens, and we’re faced with whatever difficulties that the Lord has permitted us to go through, we’re wise to remind ourselves that Joy and happiness are 2 very different things. 

For example, happiness is a fleeting, temporary emotion that’s tied to circumstances. An easy way to remember it is to think of how happiness is tied to happenings – or happenstance. Happiness and happenings and happenstance are words that sound similar. So it makes it easy to remember that happiness is dependent on those things. So for example, when life is going great and your circumstances are favorable, you have happiness. You experience the emotion of happiness when you find out that your grandchild got into college. You just got a new job. Your wife just let you get a new puppy. Your husband surprises you with flowers on a day OTHER than your birthday or Mother’s Day. Things like that. Those things might bring you a measure of happiness. But when circumstances aren’t great, and things begin to go south, then your happiness just kind of evaporates and disappears. So happiness is something that “stuff” or “circumstances” can give you. Or another way to think of it is that happiness is something that the WORLD or things IN the world can give you. It’s something that your external circumstances can give you. So you might say that happiness is conditional and temporary. And it’s also very uncertain. So you can’t even DEPEND on happiness. Because it can change at any second.

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