December 17, 2017
Rejoice Always: A Prelude to Christmas

Rejoice Always: A Prelude to Christmas (Philippians 4:4-7)
• Context: Phil 3:18-21 Here Paul is comparing the ungodly, those whose god is their stomach.
o To those who know that their citizenship is in heaven with Jesus.
• It’s into this context Paul gives us this command to rejoice.
• Verse 4 It’s an active imperative in the Greek. Which means it’s an action we take.
o Since it’s an imperative, it’s also a command!
• The word itself means rejoice, or even rejoice exceedingly.
• First, rejoice in the Lord. Not in our selves or what we have done. But in the Lord, in Jesus. (3:20)
• Second, Paul says we are to rejoice always, not just sometimes. A way of life, a posture of heart.
• Third, he repeats the command to rejoice a second time. He is really driving home the point
• This command to rejoice comes approximately 27 years after Paul’s conversion.
o Paul has endured 27 years of hardship and abuse, and yet he can say rejoice always!
• What does Paul mean when he says rejoice? “be rejoicing exceedingly all the time, rejoice exceedingly.”
• So again, this isn’t a onetime event nor is it something that we do when we feel like our circumstances will allow it. This is to be a way of life, a posture of heart.
Verse 5 This is the spiritual outflow of always rejoicing. It’s hard to be mean when you are rejoicing.
• And during the craziness of Christmas, an evident gentleness, as the result of a posture of rejoicing, would be a witness in itself.
Verse 6 In contrast to the command to rejoice always Paul gives us a command to not be anxious about anything.
• Being anxious in not a requirement it’s a choice.
o Paul goes on to explain this choice, rather than being anxious, we are to take everything to prayer.
• The first word translated simply as prayer in the NIV means or refers to a “place of prayer.”
o This word can refer to a physical location, a geographic place of prayer. A prayer closet if you will.
• The second word translated as petition means just that, a petition or request.
• So, there are two concepts here. First, get ourselves to a place of prayer. Second, then make the petitions.
o This kind of prayer that Paul is talking about here, is more than just the quick breath prayers.
• Then Paul adds with thanksgiving.
• The word here translated as thanksgiving is the word eucharistia from where we get our word Eucharist.
o But the Eucharist is the celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus.
o So, this is more of a sacrificial thanksgiving.
Verse 7 This now is the result, the benefit of the rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving. Peace that we cannot understand. It transcends our earthly understanding.
• It also has an ongoing sense to it. Will be “transcending”
• This peace then becomes a guard around our heart and our mind.
o This peace become a barrier to future attacks of anxiousness.