Sermon from January 1, 2023
O to enter the new year with the realization that the one who loved me and gave Himself for me, accompanies me into it! Then why should I fear, what may lay ahead me? Whatever may be my circumstances, whatever changes I may pass through, whatever I may be called to bear – Christ Himself will be my constant companion! But only faith – not imagination or feelings will be able to realize and appreciate His presence.” – AW Pink
Why I chose these reasons: I chose these 23 for two reasons. First, I chose what anyone who would read through the book of Philippians could see for themselves as reasons to rejoice or conclude from reading the book. Second, perhaps in listing 23 reasons to rejoice, the Lord will use at least some of them to apply to people who are in different situations. Some may be grieving. Some may be anxious and worried. Some may be bitter. Some may be discouraged. My prayer is the Spirit of Christ will perform His work of conviction and comfort and instruction through these 23 reasons.
Second, the meaning of rejoice is to be glad… It comes from the Greek word Chairo which is closely related with the word charis from which we get our word grace. The implication of this is that the Christian is to know yourself as graced/favored by the Lord because you are.
Third, the Apostle Paul commands the saints in Philippi to be glad (3:1; 4:4). It was not an option. Paul commanded all the saints in Philippi to rejoice. No one in the church got an excused absence from rejoicing. And if you’ve ever read through the book, you know that Paul’s own rejoicing amidst his own circumstances is an impetus for these people to rejoice. Paul: If I can rejoice while in prison, you certainly can rejoice!
- Rejoice because God is good – He is the essence of good, the definer of good, the judge of what is good, the giver of all that is good. And because He is good, He will not change in being the essence of good, the definer, judge, the giver of what is good any less in this new year. See how Paul identifies these people and his opening statement of encouragement to them 1:1-2. Out of God’s goodness people are saints in Christ Jesus.
2. Rejoice because God is great and has been great in His mercy and love for you
For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.. – Psalm 96… I Tim. 6:15-16… That God must do something great in order to consider sinners “saints/holy ones”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – I Peter 1:3
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) – Ephesians 2:4-6
3. Rejoice because God will complete in you what He began with your conversion – Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:1, 31-32
4. Rejoice because God in His love for you will challenge and help you grow in God-honoring love for others – 1:9-11
5. Rejoice because you have others striving together with you for the faith of the Gospel – 1:27
6. Rejoice because it’s not just us four and no more – Matthew 16; John 10:16; Colossians 1:6
7. Rejoice because enduring in faith amidst opposition to Christ will confirm your salvation – 1:28-30
8. Rejoice because it has been granted you to not only believe savingly in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake 1:28/II Tim. 3:12
9. Rejoice because with Christ and His people there is always an opportunity to be united in love – 2:1-5
10. Rejoice because the knowledge of Christ will always confront our sinful bent toward arrogance and self-centeredness – 2:5-8
11. Rejoice because the Christ who has saved us and humbles us now is the highly exalted One to whom all will one day bow – 2:9-11
12. Rejoice because all that Jesus Christ has done, is doing and will do, only brings glory to God the Father – 2:11 (Unlike prophet Moses, unlike King David, Our prophet priest and king Jesus never has to be corrected Presents His bride spotless – Eph. 5; Jude 24, 25)
13. Rejoice because the efforts you are making to live a life that reverently honors God is evidence of His work in you – 2:12-13
14. Rejoice because that work of God in you erases any sinful notion of murmuring and disputing – 2:14 (sovereignty = God reigns and rules over everything in the created realm… providence = His timely preparation and protection of His children to fulfill all His promises to them)
15. Rejoice because your growth in resting in God’s sovereignty and providence will shine forth as light in this crooked and perverse generation – 2:15-16
16. Rejoice because faith in Christ will keep you aware of those who distort the Gospel – 3:1-3
17. Rejoice because God will give us godly people to learn from and follow their example – 3:17
18. Rejoice because enemies of the cross do not go unnoticed (3:18, 19)
19. Rejoice because a resurrected glorified Savior means a glorious resurrection salvation for us– 3:20-21
20. Rejoice because standing firm in the Lord confirms one’s name is in the book of life (4:1-3)
21. Rejoice because anxiety about our future has never once proven God to be wrong – 4:6
22. Rejoice because though we are so limited in our comprehension of how He is working out all things for our eternal good, the knowledge of who God is and the resurrection and ascension of Jesus brings peace and guards us from unbelief – 4:6-7
23. Rejoice because joyful generosity and faithful interest in the spread of the Gospel confirms you really do believe God is good and God is great. 4:18-2
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