• Matt Beaney

#130 – A LIFE WORTH LIVING REVOLVES AROUND JESUS - PURSUES UNITY AND PAROUSIA (19/6/20)

If you missed Sunday's broadcast, please catch up by following the link below. (For the foreseeable future, we be running our Sunday morning services digitally. Please go to our website on Sundays at 10:30 to join in)






Today we finish looking at the major themes of the book of Philippians that are briefly touched on in the first chapter.


PURSUE UNITY

‘God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best…’ (1:8-10)

Christian unity has a very distinct character. Many unite around views, lifestyle, politics, views on sexuality, race, wealth, nationality…


However, for the Christian, their unity is ‘in Christ Jesus’: We know that we are created equal; we are equally worthy of God’s wrath; we are equally righteous in Christ; we have the same Holy Spirit in us; we share the same eternal destiny - all in Christ.


Unity is something that we have in Christ. However, it’s also a battle to fight for. That’s why Paul urges two people in this church,

‘I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.’ (Philippians 4:2-3)


PAROUSIA

‘So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.’ (1:10-11)

Jesus is coming again in order to restore all of creation and bring in Kingdom fully. All Christians share this destiny by grace. As we revolve around Jesus, we live in light of His return and His judgment.


RESPONSE

Are we pursuing unity? Are we seeking to build fantastic relationships? Do we abuse our freedom of speech? Paul prays,

‘This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best…’

Our love and pursuit of unity will be made real as we ‘discern what is best’.


Parousia (the coming of Jesus) is our ultimate vision. This is what we are living for. Jesus is coming and we are to help others to be ready. Let’s not be distracted. Jesus warns us,

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.’ (Matthew 24:45-46)

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE IN CHRIST JESUS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News

Particularly, talk about our upcoming online Alpha Course.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

We all have to make various choices each day. What do you find it hardest to make choices about and why?


Introduction - please share in your group

This week we began a series in the book of Philippians. The bible is always relevant and I particularly want you to notice that in these trying times of lock down and racial tension, Philippians speaks into both of these contexts.

Please use the devotionals each day for fuller consideration on the themes of this book, but today I want to think about the words of Paul in Philippians 1:1,

'Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons'

Christians are 'God's holy people in Christ Jesus'. To be holy means to be chosen and set apart for God.

Let's briefly look at the planting of this church to shed light on this idea.

Please read Acts 16:14-15

How did Lydia become a Christian and how does this help us to understand what it means to be God's 'Holy people'?

We become God's holy people because God chooses us and moves in us by the Spirit to believe in Jesus.


To be chosen and set apart by and for God means also means that we are to live entirely for Him. In Philippians 1:1, Paul describes himself and Timothy as 'Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus...'

How do we become Jesus' servant (slave) and how does or should this affect your life?


Discuss/share/pray in smaller groups:

1. What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about (maybe from Sunday's message or your bible reading this week)?

2. What will you do in response?

3. How can we pray for you?

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