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To Live As Christ

The Incarnation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:44
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As we step out of a decade, a year gone by, and as we step into 2020; I want you and I to clearly see how God desires, even mandates that you and I should live.
This Christmas season we looked at what was entailed in God sending us His Son Jesus Christ.
We closed up the various sermons of Acts seeing Paul in Roman custody under house arrest.
We have witnessed the ongoing message of the Gospel that accompanied the early church.
During this time of imprisonment, Paul writes to the Philippian Church… we looked at some things briefly last Sunday that Paul wrote.
In this letter Paul has expressed his love for the people
He has expressed how some preach the gospel just to make life hard for him
He has expressed his desire to be with Christ, yet the greater need of being present to declare God’s Truth
Now Paul directs his instruction and mandate to the people… Philippians 1:27(a) sets the thesis statement for Paul’s instruction. (I will be in the New Living Translation today)
Philippians 1:27 NLT
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

WHO YOU ARE

Comprehend the impact of that statement for just a moment… YOU are a citizen of Heaven!
You and I are adopted into the Family of God
We take on His residence! We now represent His Name!
Even though Heaven is our home (& we desire to be there even as Paul did)
This world where is where God has us for His purpose, His Glory for the time being...
This means that you and I are on temporary assignment as Ambassadors! 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
2 Corinthians 5:17–20 NLT
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
I was speaking with my brother the other day and discovered something about ambassadors… when one takes on that role or position as ambassador it is a title you hold for life! One is always aware that their actions, words, attitude is representing something far greater than themselves.
This speaks to ones conduct… :a mode or standard of personal behavior especially as based on moral principles (Merriam-Webster)
Are your words, actions, and attitudes WORTHY of the message you carry as an ambassador, as a citizen of Heaven?
Do you represent well to the world around you
This is a role and position you carry for LIFE! and truth be told this life is brief.

WHAT’S YOUR MESSAGE

You and I carry through this life a message spoken and demonstrated to those around us.

1: an official envoy especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment

We are representatives of the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ.
His Death Burial and Resurrection!
A message declaring what Christ did allows the OLD to be gone and what the NEW looks like
Is it appealing?
Is it an accurate message?
Does your life represent well this gospel message?

HOW IT LOOKS

Paul in the following verses lays out well how this should look… Philippians 1:27-2:4
Philippians 1:27–2:4 NASB95
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Practical Practices for living this life as a citizen of Heaven… as His Ambassador: (These are mandates not suggestions)
Stand firm… don’t be wishy washy, or as James states it “tossed to and fro by the waves” take a stand! Its hard, people won’t like it, it can bring suffering
Believe in Him, suffer for Him… take it on as part of your calling as His child!
Paul gives four rhetorical statements to encourage us of what we have in Christ as we live for Him
1… Encouragement through Christ
2… comfort in His love
3… fellowship union/unity with the Holy Spirit
4… affection and compassion or sympathy
Unity… because we don’t live this life alone
He didn’t leave a bunch of index fingers to point at others, He left the body to work together
Notice as we are challenged in how we live all the ways we are encouraged in unity with others
Then finally DON’T … BUT statement in verses 3-4
Don’t be selfish or have empty conceit, look only to your intrest
But have humility, consider others… and consider them as more important, look out for their interest
Preoccupation with self is SIN… yet we live in a world that is all about self help, self care, take care of number one, all about me… and it has even filtered into the church! So the question has to be answered, in a world that places so much focus on self why live contrary to this...

WHY LIVE THIS

Because we represent something far greater than ourselves…
We represent Christ
Christ gave the ultimate example for you and I to live by Philippians 2:5-6
Philippians 2:5–6 NASB95
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Paul goes on to explain the Incarnation of Jesus Christ!
If God being who He was and is… demonstrated humility he is our example… we are merely His Ambassadors with the honor and privileged to represent Him to a lost and sinful world.
As you begin 2020 let us make sure that the world around us sees clearly who we are and who we represent in a powerful way!
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