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Phil 2

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Text: Philippians 2:1-16

PRAYER

I. Our Task - 2:1-5

      -Like-mindedness - Rom. 15:5; I Cor. 1:10; II Cor. 13:11-12

            -The same love - v.2

                        We are to love others in the Body of Christ

            equally, not because they are all as lovable as

            the next guy, but because we are all to be

displaying in our lives the sacrificial, serving love that was poured out by Christ at Calvary.

John 15:12-14; Rom. 12:9-10

            -Of one accord - v.2

            The thought here is that of “united in spirit”. It

            literally caries the meaning “one-souled”. It is a

            thought that describes believers that are knit

            together in harmony, having the same

            passions, desires and dreams.

                        ILL: Nana knitting

            -Of one mind - v.2

                        This phrase focuses on the thought that we are

                        to be all focusing on one purpose. What is our

            purpose? Well, the chief end of man is to

            glorify God by enjoying Him forever. If we are

            looking for our purpose as a body of believers,

            that’s a pretty good place to start. We must all

            be focused on being accurate reflectors of the

            greatness of our God to the world around us.

            -Without selfish ambition and conceit - v.3

                        The word here for this self ambition is also

                        translated “strife” when it is found other places

                        in the New Testament. It carries the thought of

                        a rivalry or factions. Paul is here condemning

                        any who would through pride push their own

                        agenda in the church. This contentious spirit is

                        one that is found in Galatians in the list of the

                        works of the flesh and it aught have no place in

                        God’s church.

            -With lowliness of mind - v.3

                        Paul. Though of himself as “the least”

                                    I Cor. 15:9,10

                        Paul thought of himself  as chiefest of sinners

                                    I Tim. 1:15

            -Esteeming others and their interest above our own -

             v.3-4

                        This is what true humility really is, putting the

                        needs, cares and thoughts of others before our

                        own.

                                                                                                          

            The exhortation that Paul gives in verses two and

            three is not optional or obscure in any way. As we

            have seen, as we looked at this verse, numerous

            places throughout the New Testament echo the same

challenge. Our task as Paul has set forth is that we be like-minded - having the same love, being of one accord, being on one mind, acting without selfish ambition or conceit, having lowliness of mind and put the interests, cares and needs above our own.

Read verse 5. Verse 5 tells us in a nutshell our like-mindedness is the mind of Christ.

II. Our Example - 2:5-11

      -Emptied Himself

            What this is not-

Many years ago, there was a man named Arias and he was teaching that God had in some way emptied Himself of His, for lack of better terms, “Godness”, when He became a man. Much of his belief came from this verse. After all, in the original, the verse does say that Christ “emptied Himself.” However, this teaching was soon condemned as heresy.

            What this is-

This was a self-renunciation and not an emptying of His deity to take on humanity, for when Christ came to this earth, He was 100% God and 100% man. Many people have tried to use illustrations to help us understand this truth, but all illustrations seem to fall short. Here are a few:

The Universe - matter, time and space

The Egg - shell, white, yoke

The Apple - peal, stuff, core

The Closet - change of clothes

These all seem to fall short as illustrations of Christ’s emptying Himself. So what is this emptying? This was Christ setting aside his privileges in several aspects.  He set aside His heavenly glory, for while on earth He did not have a face-to-face relationship with God the Father. We see this illustrated in John 17:5.  Christ also gave up His independent authority as we see Him completely submitting Himself to the will of the Father while in human form.  John 5:30. He also set aside the voluntary display of His attributes of divinity. Matthew 24:36. He also gave up the immeasurable riches of heaven. While on this earth Christ had very little in the way of earthly possession.  

One other thing that He gave up that I believe is very significant is a favorable relationship with God the Father. The Father turned His back on the Son as He hung on the cross. He took on Himself the wrath of the Father for you and me.

           

      -Became a bond-servant

            This is a choice.

      -Obediently humbled Himself

            Obedience is a display of belief. If there is true belief,

            obedience will follow. That is the point of much of the

            book of James. He says many time and in many ways

            that “faith without works is dead.” You say you have

            faith, then show me your faith by your obedience to

            me.

III. Our Choice - 2:12-13

      -You have true character

      -But you must work out your salvation

            -Is this a works salvation? No

                        Rom. 3:12-24; Eph 2:8-9

            -“work out your salvation” = “work to bring

            something to completion or fulfillment”

                        As believers, we are to actively be involved in

                        our progressive sanctification. What’s that?

                        When we are saved, we are justified, that is, we

                        are legally declared righteous in the eyes of

                  God as He sees us through the shed blood of

                  Christ on the cross. After justification, we

                  begin this process of sanctification. We can it

                  progressive because it is not something that

                  instantaneously. Once we accept Christ, we

            begin the process of being conformed to His

            image. Ephesians 4:22-24 This will never be

            completely fulfilled in this lifetime, but it is our

            task to work toward that end, in other words

            “to work out our salvation”. Our salvation will

            not be completely “worked out” until we are

            with the Lord one day, and that is our

            glorification.

            -What is salvation?

That may seem a silly question to this audience, but I’ll ask it any way?

This morning I heard two different invitations given by preachers on TV. The first went something like this:

“We never like to end a broadcast without giving you an opportunity to get saved. All you need to do is pray a prayer like this…We believe that if you prayed that prayer this morning, you got born again.”

The other went something like this.

It started out by saying the same things, but in closing the preacher said. “If you prayed that prayer, here is promise for you. God says that if you trust in Him as you Lord He will never leave you.”

I content that the first is not a true offer of salvation, but the second is. The first is focused on a prayer you prayed. The second is focused on the heart behind the prayer. I dare say that there are many who have pasted into eternity simply trusting their eternal destiny to a prayer and not to real, saving faith. True saving faith places trust in Christ as our Lord, as our Master.

Many people speak of dedicating their lives to Jesus Christ some point after salvation, and I would say that any who are saved have dedicated their lives to Christ. That is what true salvation is. Everything after that is part of the process of progressive sanctification, growing to become more like Jesus Christ.

      -Each choice we make we are either becoming more like

       the world or more like Jesus Christ?

When we choose selfishly…

When we choose selflessly…

      We are to work to bring our salvation to it’s completion.

      We know that it will not be completed on this earth, but

      one day will once we are in heaven and in our glorified

      state with our Heavenly Father. That is our choice. And if

      we choose rightly, setting ourselves aside and living for

      the good of others, what will be the result?

IV. The Result - 2:14-15

      -Command to live the like-mindedness of Christ - v. 14

      -You will be blameless and without fault

      -You will accurately reflect the greatness of your God to

      the world around you. That is what shining as a light it!

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