Central Christian Church
Joy: Ants in a Flood
Joy -- Rising Above My Circumstances. Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi from a Roman jail yet the book of Philippians is full of joy. Pastor Nathan leads us through an in-depth study of Philippians to discover Paul’s secret to find joy.
Locations & Times
  • Central Christian Church
    204 S Broad St, Lampasas, TX 76550, USA
    Sunday 10:00 AM

Series Page

All resources for the series can be found on the series page.

Announcements for Aug 27th
Sept 3 1st Sunday Collection for the Mission -- Need canned me
Sept 10 Fall Kick-Off Sunday-- New Bible Study classes for all ages.
Sept 11 Patriot's Day Community Prayer Service 6 PM
Sept 16 Men's Breakfast 8 AM
Sept 20 CWF 9 AM
Sept 27 See You At The Pole (Student Lead prayer service)
Sharing is not always easy, but Paul argues that it is essential for Christians to share. Christianity is not to be lived in isolation, and our relationships do not depend on circumstances. Not only is Paul in Christ, but he is also shares in God's grace with the Philippians. Isn’t it exciting that we all share in God’s grace together? No Christian is an island.

Sharing in God’s Grace
While the word teamwork does not appear in the Bible, the Word of God does contain a lot of information about working together. Teamwork is evident in the societal structures of marriage, family, community, and business. Advice for daily living, conflict management, and related issues is available in Scripture; you just have to know where to look and how to apply the Bible’s principles of teamwork to today’s business or ministry model.

To feel this way about all of you. To be in this mind; to have this feeling on behalf of you all. The word here rendered “to feel” is used with especial frequency in this Epistle (see Philippians 2:2; Philippians 2:5; Philippians 3:15; Philippians 3:19; Philippians 4:2; Philippians 4:10), as also in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 8:5; Romans 11:20; Romans 12:3; Romans 12:16; Romans 14:16; Romans 15:5). It is variously rendered; but it always refers, not to a single definite opinion, but to a habitual conviction or feeling.
Whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel. —These words are certainly to be connected, as in our version. St. Paul unites his chains with his evangelism and defense of the gospel—that is, with his pleading for it against objections, and establishment of it by positive teaching—on the ground stated in Philippians 1:12-13, that these, his bonds, had tended “to the furtherance of the gospel.” He accepts the help sent him by the Philippians, in which they had (see Philippians 4:14) They fellowship with him in the whole of this work of evangelization.
Our fellowship and teamwork begins with our relationship to God. The most foundational team is the one created when someone accepts Christ as Lord and Savior. From that very instant, the newborn child of God is never alone (Hebrews 13:5). The believer has the advantage of being part of their own “God team,” with the benefits of the guidance of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27), the priestly provisions of Jesus (Hebrews10:19–22), and the eternal love of a faithful Father (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13).
We are designed to need God and each other. No one has all the skills, gifts, or wisdom necessary for a successful life. We are exhorted to use the gifts we receive—the talents and unique bents of our created nature, as well as our spiritual gifts—to serve one another with kindness, respect, and appreciation.
“To you it is given”—that is (in the original), “given as a grace”—not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”

Both in my chains - While I have been a prisoner - referring to the care which they had taken to minister to his needs; Philippians 4:10, Philippians 4:14, Philippians 4:18. Other churches did not support Paul as much. They neglected their duty to support an apostle.
The faithful Philippians consistently helped Paul and glorified Christ. Faithfulness is important for all Christians.
And in the defense He is probably referring to the time when he made his defense before Nero, and vindicated himself from the charges which had been brought against him; the Philippians showed him all the attention which they could.

And confirmation of the gospel - In my efforts to defend the gospel, and to make it known; see Philippians 1:17. The allusion is probably to the fact that, in all his efforts to defend the gospel, he had been sure of their sympathy and cooperation. Perhaps he refers to some assistance which is now unknown to us.
All of you share in God’s grace - "Or, with me of grace." The meaning is, that as they had participated with him in the defense of the gospel; as in all his troubles and persecutions they had made common cause with him, so God would also bless them with grace. This is the kind of unselfish service that Jesus expects of His followers. We are members of the family of God.

He expected that the divine blessing would follow his efforts in the cause of the gospel, and he says that they would share in the blessing. They had shown all the sympathy which they could in his trials; they had nobly stood by him when others abandoned him. He anticipated that they would all share in the benefits which would flow to him in his efforts in the cause of the Redeemer.

Ephesians 4:12 refers to the church—the community of believers—as the “body of Christ.” The church is to work as a team. First Corinthians 12:17–31 unpacks the idea of the church as a body in greater depth, using the systems of the human body as an analogy for the way team members need to rely on each other. Strong teams, just like strong bodies, are made up of interdependent members fulfilling defined tasks. There is a role for all of us in the church.

God is always calling people to love and serve.
The affection of Christ Jesus

The power of the gospel is shown in the supernatural affection that it produces not only for Jesus Christ himself, but also for those who belong to Jesus Christ. This affection is deepened as believers experience fellowship in the gospel.

People who have little or nothing in common on an economic, social, political, or ethnic basis are brought together by the Holy Spirit in unified devotion to Christ and the advance of his gospel. Racism and sexism are offensive to God because they divide the body of Christ. Whether Christians live in Lampasas, Mexico City, Moscow, Bagdad, Beijing, or Mogadishu; they are all children of God. We are all made in the image of God.

The divisiveness in our society goes beyond racists. The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs approved of someone posting a flyer on the school’s campus that says veterans should be “banned” from four-year colleges and universities. The pamphlets claim that “many veterans openly mock the ideas of diversity and safe spaces for vulnerable members of society.”

Socialists, the alt right, conspiracy theorists, fascists, communists, Black Panthers, gang members, drug addicts, illegal immigrants, environmentalists, vegans, lawyers, Yankees, feminists, Hell's Angels, Wall Street Bankers, the homeless, disorderly teenagers, alcoholics, skinheads, fundamentalists, anarchists, racists, sexists, dictators, politicians, lobbyists, Muslims, atheists, millennials, North Koreans, Russians, Syrians, prisoners, the poor, the wealthy, jerks; God calls us to sacrificially love everyone. Whether we love people as family, friends, neighbors, or enemies. In other words, we love everyone.

What Paul solemnly affirms is how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. The verb translated yearn means “to have a strong desire for something, with implication of need.” Paul regularly uses this verb to describe an intense desire for fellow believers (Rom 1:11; 2 Cor 9:14; 1 Thess 3:6; 2 Tim 1:4), and will do so later in the letter to describe Epaphroditus’s longing for the Philippians while he was with Paul (Phil 2:26). In the Psalms it expresses a longing for God (42:1]), his courts (84:2), his word (119:20, 131) and his salvation (119:174).

Paul uses this strong term to indicate the depth of his longing to be with the Philippians and experience in person their fellowship in the gospel. And again, he emphasizes that he longs for all of them, not merely some. We should also remember that community and fellowship are much stronger words than what we often mean when we say them.

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42,
Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia.
Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ.[1]

Are we Christ followers who cling together when the flood comes? Are we like the ants who keep each other from drowning? Does disappointment, conflict, crisis, and pain drive us closer to Christ and other Christians? Paul notes that all believers share in God’s grace. God never called anyone to be a Lone Ranger Christian. We are much stronger together than apart.
Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love to one another and to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.