TEXT: Philippians 2:1-11
TITLE: To Live: Humility (part 4)
SERIES: TO LIVE
OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, June 5, 2009
PROP.: Paul wants us to continue to get along…and to continue to get along with one another, it will require HUMILITY!
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Turn to the book of Philippians with me. We are studying the entire book of Philippians…all four chapters. It will take us a total of 10 weeks.
I’ve asked you to do two things while we are studying this book together.
1. Bring your Bible and a Pen. Hold up your Bible and pen today!
2. Read through the book of Philippians
I want you to take ownership of this book. Read it as though Paul is writing this letter with your name at the top of it! I want you to become familiar with this book.
If you’re new with us, we are on week 3 of a message series called: To Live.
And what we’re doing is we are going through the book of Philippians verse by verse and learning what Paul tells us on how we are to live!
And that seems strange to you and me because Paul is a prisoner. Now normally, you and I wouldn’t take advice on how to live life from a prisoner.
But what makes Paul so different is that he is in prison…falsely accused of being a blasphemer and a traitor…he’s been beaten…he’s away from friends and family and yet…HE HAS JOY!
That is someone I want to learn life from, how about you?
So here are the big ideas we’ve learned so far from Paul:
Week 1 - To Live - Grace & Peace
What we learned in week one is that Paul is a slave of Jesus Christ. And because Paul is a slave of Jesus Christ there are two things that he has that he wants us to have: GRACE & PEACE! How do you get God’s grace? How do experience a peace in life that only Jesus can give? Become a slave of Jesus Christ!
Week 2 - To Live - Grow. In week 2 we learned that God is working in your life…RIGHT NOW! God is working because He wants you to grow! He wants to shape you and mould you into the person He desires you to be. And God is causing you to grow by using bad times in your life…all the stuff that you are going through and living through right now, God is using that to shape you into the person he wants you to be! But God is also causing you to grow using good times too.
Week 3 - To Live - Deliverance. Last week we learned Paul was confident he was going to be delivered. It was going to take time and while we are waiting to be delivered, there is three things you need to do:
1. Read God’s word
2. Continue Your Mission
3. Understand God’s plans are perfect
We now find ourselves in Philippians chapter 2:1-11
Before we read our text this morning, I want to give you a little background of the church.
--The composition of the Philippian Church
You can read about how this church got started in Acts 15 & 16. So I want to tell you a little bit about this church.
The city of Philippi is around 50,000 in size. It was very much a roman city…even though it’s located in what we know as Greece. It was composed of several ex-Roman military types…once these soldiers were done serving the emperor, they would move their families to this city and settle down.
So Paul has come to visit this city to start a church there. And even though it was a Roman city, it was multi-cultural. It had men, women, slaves, people who were free…it was a diverse area.
And this is the flavor that the church in Philippi was soon going to have. It was very diverse…in fact, here are the people we know belonged to the church there….
THE FIRST PERSON TO JOIN THE CHURCH WAS A WOMAN NAMED…
1. Lydia. She was a business woman, she sold purple clothes. She had heard the message of Jesus Christ from Paul and her and her entire family were the first members who were baptized into Christ!
THE SECOND KNOWN CONVERT TO THE PHILIPPIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH was a..
2. Slave girl. - She was probably a teenager. She was possessed by a demon. And what the apostle Paul did was he cast out the demon and it ended up getting him in trouble but it freed the girl from the influence of that demon.
THE NEXT PERSON TO JOIN THE CHURCH WAS…
Probably an ex-Roman soldier who has now become a
3. Prison Guard
You see, after Paul had gotten rid of the demon in the girl, Paul got in trouble and went to prison because that demon possessed girl was making her owners a lot of money because she could tell the future. So the owners of the slave girl had Paul put in prison.
So now Paul and his buddy Silas are sitting in prison when all of a sudden, there was this earthquake and all of the prisoners were going to escape, but Paul made sure they all stayed put.
And this prison guard was going to kill himself but Paul told him, “hold on, we are all here…don’t do it!”
This then gave Paul an opportunity to tell this prison guard about Jesus Christ! And so the prison guard, and his entire family put their faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized into Jesus Christ that very night!!!!
So are you beginning to understand that the composition of the church in Philippi is very diverse?????
This church was comprised of VERY, VERY, VERY different people!
The three that we know about were:
A business woman and her family
A slave girl
A Prison guard and his family
And so what Paul is getting ready to tell the church is something that they needed DESPERATELY to hear!!!!!
SO WITH THAT IN MIND…LET’S READ OUR TEXT FOR THE MORNING: Philippians 2:1-4
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if you have an comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,”
(hold on right there…what Paul is saying is that if you are a Christian, Christ gives you 5 things…are you wondering why you should become a Christian? Here is the list: Encouragement - Remember when I shared Jesus with you for the first time? You were ENCOURAGED! Because now you have answers for life! You have answers for the problem of sin. You have answers for the problem of death! You have encouragement!
Comfort - Jesus offers you comfort through His unconditional love. When the rest of the world has turned its back on you, you are surrounded by the love of Christ…how comforting!
Fellowship - Jesus gives us a new family! Brothers and Sisters who believe the same things as we do. Family who will support us, love us, be there for us. All because we are given the Holy Spirit and now we have something in common! FELLOWSHIP OF THE SPIRIT!
And then Christ does a work on your heart…He changes your outlook and behavior towards others…he turns your hard heart into a heart that is filled with
So he’s reminding the Philippians of all the good stuff that Christ offers. Let’s continue to verse 2.
2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Let’s stop right there for a moment
This diverse church in Philippi needed to be reminded that in order to live…to get the most out of life…to live life to the fullest…they needed to get along with one another…
And Paul says to LIVE: HUMILITY.
--BURNSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH:
As I look around here today, it doesn’t take long to understand that Burnside Christian Church is made up of a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds!
We have farmers. Bankers. Teachers. Nurses. Insurance salesmen. Police officers. Carpenters. Mechanics. Funeral directors. Janitors. The list goes on and on…we are a very diverse church!
And even though we get along really, really well, there is a threat of not getting along. So Paul is telling us here at Burnside Christian Church…continue to get along…continue to have joy in your life…by being humble!
In these four verses, Paul gives us the “how to guide” on humility. Let’s examine that this morning:
T.S. HOW TO PRACTICE HUMILITY?
I. See the big picture (verse 2)
2)“then make my joy complete by being likeminded, by having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
A. Be likeminded
It’s important that we are like minded. Does that mean that we all have to like the color purple? Or that we all must think that John Deere is the best tractor or that we all have to like coffee? No. You get to retain your personality. But what it does mean is this:
We have to believe the same things about Jesus Christ. We don’t have to have the same opinions! But it is important that we all believe the same in matters of Faith and doctrine.
That’s why when someone wants to place membership or become baptized we take their confession of faith. We ask them if they are on the same page…and they usually verbalize in front of everyone:
I BELIEVE, WITH ALL MY HEART, THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD…
So if you’re having a disagreement with someone in the church, you need to see the big picture and understand that at the end of the day, we all believe the same thing…we are likeminded!
Then Paul says to us that we can make him joyful by
B. Have the same Love
As who? As Jesus!
All of us must love like Jesus loved. In other words, Lydia - the professional businesswoman - must love the slave girl and the prison guard in the same way that Jesus loves them!
And that means that you must love the people in front of you beside you and behind you the same way that Christ does!
LOVE covers a multitude of sin. If you want to get along with the people in the church…see the big picture humble yourself and love as Christ loved!
And then Paul commends us to
C. Have the SAME purpose
He writes: “being one in spirit and in purpose…”
Notice there that the word spirit is NOT capitalized. This isn’t talking about having the same HOLY SPIRIT. This is talking about a spirit of unity.
ILLUSTRATION: Think of it this way…when you go to a basketball game or a football game you are one in spirit with the other fans around you. You are united in the purpose of cheering for your team! There is a spirit of unity among all the fans. When something good happens, you will be high-fiving the people next to you whom you don’t even know!
This is what Paul wants for us in the church. That when all is said and done, you are going to be rejoicing, united in what we are about!
WHAT ARE WE ABOUT AT BURNSIDE CHRISTIAN CHURCH? What is our purpose?
“To provide structure in which the church family can best accomplish its God-given purpose of winning souls and making disciples for Christ.”
THAT’S IT…BOTTOM LINE…OUR GOAL IS TO GET PEOPLE SAVED…AND DEEPEN THAT RELATIONSHIP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!
And there is a lot of things that can distract us from our purpose…
A. Hymns or contemporary music?
B. Home schooling or public schooling?
C. Political opinions
I don’t care if you like hymns or if you like contemporary music. I don’t care if you home school or if you public school…I love you! Because I see the big picture! Do you?
2nd way to practice humility:
II. SET YOUR PRIDE ASIDE (vs. 3)
3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.
“HEY LOOK AT ME!” These may be the words of a young child who has just climbed in a tree…but these are too often the words of an adult. And what’s the difference?
The child has a sense of joy!
The child says: “Wow! I can’t believe it! Can you? This is great!!”
The adult has a sense of pride!
The adult says: “Wow! I’m really something! Don‘t you wish you were as good as me?”
There is this PRIDE inside of us all that if not kept in check can demand that we be treated better than those around us. That demands I be treated better.
It was Jesus Himself who said, “humble yourself as a child!”
Two things that pride does…
A. PRIDE LEADS TO SELFISHNESS
Paul warns against it…”do nothing out of selfish ambition”
Selfishness is caring more about what “I” want.
B. PRIDE LEADS TO VANITY - How will this make me look?
One other thing pride can do is cause you to be vain. You can be consumed with upholding a certain image…whether in the community…or in the church. And pretty soon, your self sacrificial service and lead to serving your image and then all you’ll be concerned with is:
HOW WILL THIS MAKE ME LOOK?
If you want to be humble, check your pride at the door!
3rd way to practice humility:
III. Move from ME to WE (vs. 4)
Look at what Paul says in verse 4...
“4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
What I love about what Paul says in verse 4 is this
Is it wrong to be concerned about yourself? To worry about your comfort? To worry about your wants and needs? No! As long as you concern yourself with the needs, want and comfort of others!
It’s ok to be concerned about ME…but be concerned about WE. Me is included in the ‘we’.
A. We are connected!
1st Cor 12 talks about us being connected…that we are a body. And when one part suffers…the whole body suffers with it…when one part is honored, the whole body rejoices with it!
By taking care of the we…you are taking care of the me. Why?
We are connected…
And then Paul does something to make sure he his not misunderstood. What does humility look like? He writes out the lyrics to a familiar hymn that was learned and then sung about. And this hymn that he writes out gives detail as to how Jesus was the ultimate example of what it looks like to live a humble life!
IV. EXAMPLE OF JESUS! (vs. 5-11)
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
A. SAW THE BIG PICTURE
.Jesus’ entire mission…his purpose was all about others. That is the essence of the cross! Jesus thought about the needs of others before His own interest!
B. JESUS PUT HIS PRIDE ASIDE
Jesus is equal with God…but He didn’t consider Himself to be equal with God! Jesus IS better than everyone else! And yet, we see Jesus hanging out with sinners…tax gatherers and prostitutes.
C. Jesus was exalted by God!
AND THAT’S THE REWARD of being humble. You will be given recognition and honor…by God…in due time.
CONCLUSION: What a perfect example of how humility should be lived out. IS there any better way to serve? Is there any better way to show love to others than by doing what Jesus did?
By hiding your glory so that you could serve mankind? Jesus could have very easily flexed the proverbial GOD MUSCLE and said, “you serve me!” But that’s not what His life was all about. That’s not how He taught us to live!
SEE THE BIG PICTURE. LAY YOUR PRIDE ASIDE. MOVE FROM ME, TO WE. LIVE WITH HUMILITY.
Maybe you’re here today and your not there yet. You don’t have this level of humility. Please listen to this…your level of humility, your level of putting the needs of others ahead of your needs is closely tied to your relationship to Jesus Christ!
How close to Christ are you??? Get to know Jesus. Spend time with him. Work at your relationship! And now we are going to offer a time of decision for those who are outside of Christ…