Philippians 1 | Joy in Serving Jesus

Download (right click and choose save as)

AUDIO Podcast from Lakeshore Baptist Church by Pastor John Cole. Released: 2020. Genre: Preaching.


Joy in Serving Jesus

Philippians 1:1–2

Paul, Timothy, and the church of Philippi were believers who found joy with one another in Jesus as they served Him. You and I can find joy in serving Jesus too.



Philippians 1:1–2 KJV

1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul and the church at Philippi have a deep love for one another.


Paul and his team (Silas, Timothy, & Luke) were in Troas when God gave him a vision of a man calling for help in Macedonia. This was around AD 50, during what many call Paul’s second missionary journey.

•              I preached about this in Acts 16 in January of last year.


In obedience to this vision, Paul brought the Gospel to Macedonia and to what we would now consider Europe.


The first people God led Paul and his company to was a small group of Jewish worshipers in Philippi.

•              No synagogue, so probably under 10 Jewish males in the city

•              Instead, found a group of Jewish, God-fearing women meeting by a riverside on the Sabbath for worship.


The first of those to believe the Gospel and become a follower of Christ was a wealthy, entrepreneurial  woman named Lydia—from Thyatira. Her household and others followed.


Not long after, Paul and Silas are imprisoned for “troubling” the  city after commanding a demon out of a fortune teller.


Paul is able to visit these believers at least one or two more times and help establish them in the faith and organize as a church.


The church became committed supporters of Paul as he went on to bring the Gospel to other people in obedience to Christ.


This letter might be called a “missionary letter” today as Paul writes to this supporting church of his gratitude, his well-fare, and the fruit of the ministry.


Being that this church was more than a supporting church, but also his “ children in the faith’ and church he established, he also encourages and instructs them.


The key themes in this letter are

1.            Joy

2.            Gospel fellowship

3.            Knowing and being in Christ


Therefore, I have entitled this series: “Joy with You in Jesus.”





Today, I wish to start with just the first two verses.


Here, we see the:

1. Authors and their attitudes

2. Audience and their applications

3. Area and its affluence

4. Appeal and its affection






1) Authors and their attitudes


Former persecutor

Convert of Christ

Sold-out follower of Christ

Spiritual father

Benefactor of their prayers, love, finances, and helpers



Probably secretary for this letter

Disciple, companion, and friend of Paul

Pastor in Ephesus


“The servants of Jesus”

In many of Paul’s other epistles, he introduced himself as “Apostle.”

Not here…Paul did not have to establish his authority with them.


They were trusting, dear friends.

If I had to pick one attribute both necessary for teams to function and leaders to lead, it might be trust.

It is simply difficult to reach honesty and decisiveness when there is lack of trust.

It is difficult to teach and lead without trust.

I am not referring to  unaccountably here…actually, trust is necessary for true accountability.


Paul and Timothy knew they were owned by Christ.

From slaves to sin to slaves to Christ.

Romans 6:22 KJV

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Paul modeled the humility he would go on to instruct in this letter.



2) Audience and their applications


Common address of Paul

“Holy ones” set apart from the world for God.

God’s special possession purchased by the blood of Christ

“In Christ”




Same as elders and pastors/shepherds

Followed Jewish patterns in this area

Paul specifically addresses the church leaders, along with the saints and deacons


Acts 14:23 KJV

23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Acts 20:17 KJV

17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 20:28 KJV

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

1 Timothy 3:1–7 KJV

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

James 5:14 KJV

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

1 Peter 5:1–4 KJV

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

1 Timothy 5:17–20 KJV

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.




Administrators or staff


Acts 6:1–7 KJV

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

1 Timothy 3:8–13 KJV

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.


3) Area and its affluence

At Philippi

Philippians: Verse by Verse Circumstances and City

The city had been named after Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great, and it was located on a major trade route called the Egnatian Way. However, it did not become important until 42 BC, when Mark Antony and Julius Caesar’s nephew Octavian defeated Cassius and Brutus (the assassins of Julius Caesar) on a battlefield near the city. In honor of that victory, Octavian made Philippi a Roman colony and a settlement for veteran officers and soldiers. Considered a miniature copy of Rome itself, it became one of the region’s leading cities, with about 10,000 inhabitants.


While they were at Philippi, Paul calls them “in Christ” and then goes on later to point out that they are citizens of Heaven.


It’s important you and I know find our identity in Christ, not our achievements, abilities, location, vocation, or anything else.


4) Appeal and its affection

Grace  & Peace

Greeks wanted grace (charis)

Jews wanted peace (shalom)

The qualities they both wanted in life were now available  in Christ.


God our Father

Not only were they slaves, but they were sons.

“from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus.”

In Christ, we are adopted children of God.


The Lord Jesus Christ

The Triune God

Jesus is exalted and glorified as He ought to be

Lord (Master, Jehovah)

Jesus (Savior)

Christ (Messiah)





Paul, Timothy, and the church of Philippi were believers who found joy with one another in Jesus as they served Him.


We saw the:

1. Authors and their attitudes

2. Audience and their applications

3. Area and its affluence

4. Appeal and its affection


Do we have attitudes of a servant of Christ? (ownership)

Are we surrendered to help our church function as a body under Christ?

Do we find our identity in Christ?

Do we look for grace and peace in God our Father and in Christ?


Let’s have joy together in Jesus.


Begin by finding joy in serving Jesus.