Philippians - New Series for Autumn 2017
We don't seem to use the word 'joy' that much these days.
Maybe it sounds a little old-fashioned. Yes, it crops up in a few Christmas carols but, like the tree decorations, the word 'joy' then tends to go back in the loft until next year.
But, for Christians, joy is an important concept. It speaks of something deeper than happiness, and is a fruit of God's Spirit growing in us. True joy doesn't arrive because of any given circumstance, but is a gift from God - even in spite of our circumstances.
In Paul's letter to the Philippians, he keeps calling them to rejoice. It is a letter full of joy, even though he writes from a Roman prison. But it isn't a superficial, pretend-everything's-ok-when-it-isn't, facade. This is about knowing Jesus so well, we can rejoice in every situation. That's because every situation is an opportunity for God to be at work. For Paul, includes that includes all of life and death.
From September, our time together will be shaped around this letter. This 'Ode to Joy in Christ.'
It's lessons and it's encouragements are as relevant today as they have ever been. Can we know true, lasting and deep joy?
Paul says, you can when you know Christ.
There are study notes to download from our Downloads page (which can be used in small groups or individually.)
The Sunday talks from this series are available here.