Rejoice in the Lord and let your gentleness be known to all men; is a pattern of life Paul exampled in his life even though he was a naturally powerful man in the Jewish and Roman community. Remember he counted all of his personal accomplishments as rubbish for the knowledge and excellence of Christ.
Philippians 4:4-5 “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”
Rejoice is a verb which is a call to action. This does not mean that we are to always be happy, that is impossible. We are, however, to rejoice in what Jesus did for us on the cross. Only through the full knowledge of Jesus and everything He did for us on the cross, can we reach a point in our lives where we will be able to rejoice even when the circumstances surrounding us don’t warrant happiness. Paul is not telling us to do something impossible as he had to learn this for his own walk. In 2 Corinthians Paul tells us he was sorrowful yet always rejoicing. Later in this chapter verse 11-13 Paul tells us how he has learned to handle every state he is in. This level of maturity only comes with knowledge of the word which is available to us today. Paul had to rely on Spiritual revelation, but today we have the bible and the Holy Spirit.
Verse 4 is also a statement or even a command, not a suggestion leaving us with the decision to follow or not. In the Greek language they did not have exclamation marks, so to add emphasis to a point made they immediately repeated it. Paul is emphatic that we learn to rejoice “ALWAYS”. Remember that we have an enemy walking around like a roaring Lion, (1 Peter 5:8) seeking who he might devoir. He can only affect us in the areas we are week. He is not omnificent and all-knowing like God, but is a fallen angel created by God. The only way he can know where our weaknesses’ are is from our actions and words; mostly our words. He cannot harm us unless we are walking outside of God’s will in sin. Our sin does not cause us to lose our salvation, but it will pull us out from under God’s blessing and protection.
Christianity has several truths that make us different than any other religion. First of all we follow the only true God (Exodus 3:14), second we follow the only way to God, (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5) Jesus. Thirdly and the one thing that outwardly expresses our difference form all other religions is that we are called to love our neighbor as our selves (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39, Luke 10:27). Unless we learn how to rejoice always we will never be able to let our gentleness be known to all men that Paul tells us to do in verse 5. We need to remember that it is the goodness of God that draws people to repentance (Romans 2:4) not the condemnation of the sin in the person. Since God is sitting on His throne in heaven and Jesus is now sitting at His right hand, Christians through the power of the Holy Spirit are the ones left here on earth to show people God’s love to them. Ephesians 4:30-32, “30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. In Ephesians 5:1-4 Paul added filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting as additional personality traits we need to overcome. These personality traits are outward expressions of inner turmoil. Since the Holy Spirit can only work through Christians, we cause Him grief when we show anything other than our gentleness toward men. We must learn how to rejoice always in what Jesus has done for us. As we meditate of the life we now have in Jesus, Philippians 4:8, we overcome the personality traits that cause others grief enabling us to rejoice always and eventually we will be able to let our gentleness be shown to all men.
One last point, Paul is in prison with a possible death sentence on his head when he wrote this. If anyone should have a natural physical reason to be in the Mulley grubs it was Paul and yet he told us how he survives his situation and encourages us to overcome our petty complaints.
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