1. A description of our Heavenly Father frequently used by Paul is the God of peace
a. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen - Romans 15:33
b. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly - Romans 16:20
c. and the God of love and peace will be with you - 2 Corinthians 13:11
d. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely - 1 Thessalonians 5:23
e. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead - Hebrews 13:20
f. In similar fashion Paul refers to God in Philippians 4:9
2. In our text, we learn from Paul the key to having the God of peace blessing us in our lives
3. It involves doing the things:
a. Learned from Paul
b. Received from Paul
c. Heard about Paul
d. Seen in Paul
4. What are some of the things seen in Paul, which if we do, will assure that the God of peace will be with us?
A. AS EXPRESSED IN PHILIPPIANS
1. With the case of Eudoia and Syntyche - Philippians 4:1-3
2. Indeed, with all the brethren there at Philippi - Philippians 1:8-11
B. ELSEWHERE, PAUL REVEALS HIS CONCERN
1. For all the churches - 2 Corinthians 11:28-29
3. As seen in Romans 15:3, this concern for his brethren is simply a reflection of Christ's concern for us, and therefore certainly worthy of our imitation.
A. TO THE PHILIPPIANS, PAUL WROTE
1. Of his admission that he was not perfect - Philippians 3:12a
2. Of his desire to press on, to reach forward, to press toward the goal - Philippians 3:12b-14
B. TO THE CHURCH AT CORINTH, PAUL REVEALS
1. That he viewed his Christian life as a race, a boxing match - 1 Corinthians 9:24-26
2. Where there is always room for improvement, lest he become disqualified - 1 Corinthians 9:27
3. Why this desire for perfection?
a. As revealed in Philippians 3:8-11, it was part of his magnificent obsession to gain Christ and be found in Him.
b. If we want the same for us, then we need to have the same desire!
A. AS EXPRESSED IN HIS EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
1. His efforts continued despite being under house arrest - Philippians 1:12-14
2. He would willingly offer himself as a martyr if it would help - Philippians 2:17
B. THE DEGREE TO WHICH HE WOULD GO IS SEEN IN HIS EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS
1. He made himself a servant to all - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
2. He endured much suffering as a minister of Christ and His gospel - 2 Corinthians 11:23-27
A. THIS JOY IS ESPECIALLY SEEN IN THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
1. Which we have seen time and again is an epistle of joy
2. For example, his joy in Christ being preached, despite his imprisonment and the efforts of false preachers - Philippians 1:12-18
3. Even if it meant martyrdom, he viewed it as a reason to rejoice, and wanted them to rejoice with him! - Philippians 2:17-18
B. IN ROMANS, HE EXPLAINED WHY HE WOULD "REJOICE IN TRIBULATIONS"
1. Such trials and sufferings would produce perseverance - Romans 5:3
2. Which in turn would produce character and hope - Romans 5:4
1. Such were some of the qualities seen in Paul, which we also learn from him if we take his epistles seriously.
2. And we should, if we desire the God of peace to be with us and He clearly was with Paul throughout his life and service as a disciple of Jesus Christ!
3. Are the things seen in Paul, also seen in us? Are we living in such a way that we could say to others: The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you?
5. May the God of peace help us to live in such a way that we can be an example like Paul!
-- Don Treadway, March 2009 --