Key Verse: 4:4
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
The major theme of Philippians is to know Christ and to grow in his likeness. Thus far, Paul testified that he had a clear life goal to know Christ and that he pressed on toward that goal. In doing so, he fought against two enemies: legalism and antinomianism. Paul didn’t turn to the left or to the right but pursued Christ with all his heart and strength. It was possible because he had hope in heaven for the Second Coming of Jesus. His mind was not bound by earthly things. Rather, he lived as a citizen of heaven. Now, in chapter 4, he exhorted the Philippians with practical teachings about how to live in this world as citizens of heaven until Jesus comes again. There are many important things we should learn in this passage. One of them is to rejoice in the Lord. This is one of the main themes of Philippians. A characteristic of citizens of heaven is rejoicing in the Lord always. But it is not easy to rejoice always. There are many joy robbers who try to take away our joy, including conflicts between coworkers, anxiety, impurities, greed, and so on. Frankly speaking, it is hard to rejoice in the real world. So many painful things happen. Unexpected tragedy and hardship seems to be waiting right around the corner. People are afraid to rejoice. How can we rejoice always? In this passage we can find four exhortations that guide us to rejoice always.