The Mind of Christ
27Above 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/contending together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. (Commands - It is not easy, natural to live as citizens of heaven on this earth)
This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. (Promises)
30We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. (Example)
Desired response - The whole church help one another stand strong together.
1Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? (Promises/truths - especially in suffering)
2Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Commands - because it is not easy to live this way)
Desired response - Major change! Be like Jesus!
5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Command - to follow Example of Jesus)
6Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
7Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,
8he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. (Example - from highest high to the lowest low)
9Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Promises - it was worth it to Jesus, and will be to us.)
Purpose, Desired response - To motivate them/us to follow example of Jesus, choose the role of a servant
What was Jesus' most repeated teaching? Should we know?
Matthew 16:24 ESV
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Also Matthew 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; 14:26; 17:33; John 12:23
“Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event …the humiliation of its God” - Bruce Shelley
To Live Is Christ
Philippians 1:9 ESV
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Example - of how Paul prayed, for changed worldview and behavior - so it is like a command.
Promise - Righteousness comes from Jesus, and righteous character brings glory and praise to God.
Purpose: To show how Paul prayed for them, (and to pray that for others.)
DESIRED RESPONSE: They would believe they could please and honor God, and that it would motivate them to keep growing in the way they showed love and in righteous character.
Philippians 1:12 ESV
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
Example of Paul’s life and values. He was willing to suffer for others to hear about Christ. His example was necessary to authenticate his message.
Philippians 1:14-18 ESV
14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
Examples - some bad, (for personal gain, revenge) some good (cared about lost people, name of Christ more than their own safety.)
Example of Paul - praising God in spite of circumstances, confident that God is still sovereign over the sins of others
Purpose: to increase confidence, boldness and praise when life is unfair.
Philippians 1:19-26 ESV
19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
Examples - of Paul’s convictions:
- God honors the prayers of common people
- He would be ashamed if he gave in to fear.
- He had suffered before and would trust God’s grace for the future.
- Honoring Christ’s name [Hallowing it] was more important than his freedom.
- Living was Christ - “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal 2:20
- Dying, being with Christ was gain, better by far.
- Helping others grow, find joy and pride in Christ was his reason to live.
Desired Response: They/we have same convictions, values and choices as Paul.
For next week: Philippians 1:27-2:11
Thanking, Praying and Partnering
All communication has a purpose and a desired response.
We hate it when others ignore us.
Everything in scripture was for an original audience, but God also chose to keep it in the Bible to speak to us today.
3 “Lenses” - will clarify almost everything
Promises - divinely revealed truths or facts about God, or people, about the past, present or future.
John 3:16-18 NIV
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 14:6 NIV
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
Romans 5:1 NIV
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Purpose of promises: For us to know truth we couldn’t know otherwise.
Desired response: Claim them, as basis for our actions, values and worship,
Commands - exhortations to change behavior
Purpose: To change behavior. Desired response: Obedience.
4 Principles behind every command
- they aren’t doing it now
- there is some advantage if they do it, negative consequence if they dont
- it isn’t automatic, natural or easy- or they would already be doing it. Identify and help get past those obstacles.
- it is doable - with the help of the Holy Spirit.
10 Commandments; “Fear not”; “Love one another”; “Take heart”
John 16:33 NIV
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Ephesians 4:25-28 NIV
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
Examples - living pictures of values, choices and consequences
Philippians 2:19-22 NIV
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
Purpose: to observe the choices and consequences of another person’s life.
Desired Response: Imitate the good ones, turn away from the bad ones.
First, pray, “Lord, please let me hear you speak to me from this passage. With your help I will do what you want me to do.”
Philippians 1:3-8 NLT
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, (Example of how Paul prayed) for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.(Example of Philippians) And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Promise/truth) God began a true work in them, and He will continue it till Jesus returns. So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. (Example of Paul loving them, and them helping him.)
He TOLD them he thanked and prayed for them. (verses 3-4)
He told them WHAT he was thankful for (verse 5)
WHAT he prayed for (verses 9-11)
That they had a special place in his heart
PUPOSE of this paragraph: to encourage them
DESIRED RESPONSE: for them to do what he was doing
Why did God choose to keep this in the Bible?
Purpose: for us to be informed and inspired by Paul and the Philippians.
Desired response: For us to imitate Paul and the church in Philippi.
- Is there someone you are thanking God for and praying for?
- Have you told them? Do you tell them WHAT you see that makes you think God has begun a true work in them? And what you are asking God to do? And that He will keep doing it?
- Are you in any partnership of spreading the gospel? Either the primary person, or the support team? Do you have the passion for it? Will you? With whom? When?
- Is there anyone with a special place in your heart like that? Have you told them?
For next week: Philippians 1:9-26