SERIES: “The Book of Philippians”

TEXT: Philippians 2:1-11

MESSAGE: “A Call For Humility”

Q: What causes so many fights and quarrels in our world today?
“…Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask God.” — James 4:1-2
“The Philippians afflictions have brought discouragement to the community…they have lost, or at least are in danger of losing, the fundamental Christian perspective of joy…” — Moises Silva
“…Judgement starts with the household of God…” — 1 Peter 4:17
TEXT: Philippians 2:1-11
“Their (Christians) death was made a matter of sport; they were covered in wild beast’s skins and torn to pieces by dogs; or were fastened to crosses and set on fire in order to serve as torches by night…Nero  had  offered  his  gardens or the spectacle and gave an  exhibition in his circus, mingling  with the crowd in the guise of a charioteer or mounted on his chariot. Hence…there arose a feeling of pity, because it was felt that they were being sacrificed not for the common good, but to gratify the savagery of one man.” — Tacitus (Historian)
In this passage Paul is calling believers to recognize…(1. The enemy within 2. The greatest victory 3. The eternal implications)
  1. The enemy within (v 1-4)
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — Romans 5:8
“Christians must be critical thinkers and question the assumptions and conclusions presented to us. We shouldn’t simply accept the issues as they’ve been framed by political parties, ideological tribes, or the media – because these sources usually aren’t analyzing the issues from the standard of the gospel.” ― Justin Giboney
What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything of the sort. Christians come together…because they have been saved by Jesus Christ and owe him a common allegiance. In the light of this common allegiance, in light of the fact that they have all been loved by Jesus himself, they commit themselves to doing what he says—and he commands them to love one another. In this light, they are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’s sake.”  D.A. Carson
“…This is the spirit that makes you take things personally. This is the spirit that makes every discussion about you, not about an issue, not about a truth…and some people are way down here with this spirit, eritheia, this selfish ambition, this spirit of rivalry…The spirit of rivalry is that which makes it impossible for you to think about the issue in front of you. Instead, you think about, “What is this doing to my pride? What is this doing to my relationship? What is this doing to my reputation, my standing? How does it make me look?” Most of us use the term personality clash. We say, “Well, you know…this discussion in our office is a debate between this person and that person over this issue, but the fact is they hate each other. They’ll find anything to argue about.” That’s what Paul is talking about here. There is a pattern of behavior, the spirit of rivalry, that makes you take everything personally. So instead of being governed by thought or reason…it’s not about truth, it’s not about those issues, it’s really not a matter of content; it’s personal. “This has to do with me.” Paul is saying that is the pattern of behavior that creates all this strife.” –Timothy Keller
C. S. Lewis once said, “Christian humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
  1. The greatest victory  (v. 5-8)
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
“Oh, so this is Jesus Christ, I am really quite surprised. You look so small, Not a king at all.” — Pilate (Jesus Christ Superstar)
  1. The eternal implications (v. 9-11)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
“Our fights are spurned by our coveting desires to be satisfied in the world. But what stops our fights is our proximity to God. What stops our fights is our wanting who he is. What stops our fights is finding our souls satisfied by what we believe is our ultimate good. The solution to our conflicts is not emotional numbness. The solution is to become awakened to new desires. The resolution to our fury is to have souls that are broken by sin, washed in humility, and now not only attracted to God, but redeemed and made lovely — humble souls that in turn further attract the affection of God.” — Tony Reinke
TAKEAWAYS: How can you be different?
  • Admitting there’s an enemy within
  • Being shaped by the way of Jesus
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” – John 14:6
“That every human being possessed an equal dignity was not remotely a self-evident truth. A Roman would have laughed at it. To campaign against discrimination on the grounds of gender or sexuality, however, was to depend on large numbers of people sharing in a common assumption: that everyone possessed an inherent worth. The origins of this principle . . . lay not in the French Revolution, nor in the Declaration of Independence, nor in the Enlightenment, but in the Bible.” — Tom Holland
  • Choosing today who you will serve
GOSPEL: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
— Isaiah 53:3-5

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