INTRO: In so many ways the Philippian church was a model church. It was a church which loved the gospel and the Lord. It was a church which carefully followed the pattern revealed for the church in Gods word. It was a church which loved its ministers and its teachers. It was a church ready to defend the truth. It was a mission-minded church which was determined to find ways to support its preachers and evangelists in distant places. But it was also a model church in the fact that in it there were Men and Women Working Together. Perhaps there is more specific notice of women in this church than in any other mentioned in scripture.
I. LOOK AT SOME WOMEN WHO LABORED IN THE FAITH
A. There were notable women assisting the Lord
1. Lk 8:1-3 companions, supporters of Him, His work
a. I do not know specifics of their labor
b. nothing unnatural, immoral as some have critically written ... devoted friends, companions, encouragers
2. Mt 26:6-13 Marys anointing of Jesus (Jno 12:3)
3. Lk 23:55,56 and 24:1 desire to perform last loving acts
B. Paul refers to several women who assisted him
1. Rom 16:1,2 Phebe, who provided for material needs
2. Rom 16:3 Priscilla - helper, teacher, loyal friend
3. Rom 16:6 Mary, who bestowed much labor on us
4. Acts 16:15 Lydia, who provided while he was in Philippi
C. What was the nature of their work?
1. they were encouragers, supporters part of an emotional support system (2 Jno 1,12)
2. they were teachers (especially, Priscilla)
3. they provided hospitality for teachers, preachers
4. all of this is labor in the gospel (Phil 4:3)
D. Yes, roles differed with men ... but not privilege
1. women did not take roles of public leadership - such as evangelist, elder, deacon
2. and they apparently did not have problems with that!
3. and their privileges in Christ were most assuredly equal with those of men
4. it seems to me that it took (takes) both men and women laboring in respective roles to accomplish the spread of the gospel! (mention sisters Jones and Gillespi; sister Paull)
II. BUT HERE, IN PHILIPPI, THERE IS NOW A CONFLICT (4:2)
A. We do not know the nature of it
1. perhaps nothing more than personalities, hurt feelings
2. was probably not doctrinal Paul did not take sides
3. it is so easy to let our feelings, our pride come between us and someone we love, respect, admire - but Rom 12:10
B. Whatever the cause, seeds of division
1. the strong beseech implies great concern in Paul
2. so many divisions have been the result of wounded pride, misunderstandings, etc these need resolution
3. Eph 4:1-3 note particularly v.2 ... if our temper is always ready to flare, if our rights are more important than anything else, unity and peace will be hard to find!
C. Paul enlists aid of a special person to help these women
1. true yoke-fellow ... what a wonderful assessment!
2. here is a person whom Paul know to pull well in a harness for two - certainly not everyone enjoys such a role! but in Christ it is so important that we are pulling together
3. perhaps the two women really wanted to lay aside the differences, the conflicts but did not know how or where to start ... thus, a peace maker (a very special person) was needed
D. The same mind in the Lord basis for all unity
1. Paul had his own conflicts - Mark, Barnabas, Peter
2. but no matter how sharp the contention, those conflicts had been resolved because in the Lord meant so much to each party
3. these women valued the church, the gospel ... and could resolve their differences if they could priorities in proper order
CLOSE: There is a grim thought here. These women are really remembered only because they quarreled! ... that they broke the peace. What could be the one sentence verdict on our lives if they should end right now?
Cecil A. Hutson
10 September 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)