Discovery Prescott

RITES OF PASSAGE – Part 1

rites-of-passage-1

Rite of passage is a celebration of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another. It involves a significant change of status in society.

Philippians 1:1-6

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the Bishops and  deacons

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

THE BACK STORY TO PHILIPPIANS.
The best way to get a grip on Philippians is to get the “back story” from Acts 16 (Paul arrives in Philippi around 50 A.D. )
Philippi is near today’s modern day Kavala, in North eastern Greece.. Philippi as the first city to be evangelized in Europe.

Some quick key points to Philippi

1. Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi Acts – 16:11-14

This is the first person according to historians to come to Christ in Europe!
Lydia
From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city  to the river, (Gangites River (or the Crenides river) where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.  

A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.” So she persuaded us. — Acts 16:14-15 World English Bible

philippi_river-t

BaptistryAtPhilippi

2. Paul and Silas in Prison because of a teenage demon possessed girl. –  Acts 16:16

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.

3. Jail house rock.

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

So here we have Two families (households) that have come to Christ.

One by a river and the other in a jail.

Now fast forward about 10 – 15 years….Paul is in another Prison, this time in Rome writing back to the Church he started at Philippi.

Philippians 1:1-6

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the Bishops and  deacons[a]:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

We have “rites of Passage’ but have we ever thought about the RITES OF PASSAGE FOR GOD?

NOT JUST WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR US TO GET TO GOD….BUT WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR GOD TO GET TO US?

RITES OF PASSAGE OF JESUS TO GET TO LYDIA AND THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER?

1. It took a DREAM.

2. It took a RIVER.

3. It took some JAIL TIME.

4. It took some PRAISE and PRAYER.

5. It took an EARTHQUAKE.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

Paul saw him about to destroy himself and shouted, “Do thyself no harm: for we are all here” (Acts 16:28). The jailer called for a light and came in trembling before Paul and Silas and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul responded, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31). 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RIGHTS OF PASSAGE  FOR GOD?

1. TO GET TO US HE HAD TO BECOME LIKE US.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

2. TO GET TO US HE HAD TO LIVE LIKE US.

 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

” Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.” – Hebrews 2:18

3. TO GIVE US LIFE HE HAD TO GIVE UP HIS.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – 1 John 15:13

“who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” – Galatians 1:4

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. ” – 1 John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Jesus went through the RITES OF PASSAGE to get to you. He suffered, obeyed, gave up, sacrificed and loved even when we did not love him back.

rites

The RIGHTS OF PASSAGE OF GOD to get to you.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”

 

 

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