Summary: True followers of Jesus strive to live out the attitude of Jesus.
The Attitude Adjuster
Text: Phil. 2:1-11
1. Illustration: When Melissa was about 5 years old and Daniel was 3 we went on a vacation to South Dakota. While we were there we stopped at a gift shop and one of the things we purchased was a paddle made of cedar. Written on this paddle was the phrase "Attitude Adjuster!" Needless to say, we put it to good use!
2. As Christians, we all sometimes need an attitude adjustment.
a. We need to change our attitudes towards God, other Christians, non-Christians, and even ourselves.
b. God adjust our attitudes not with a paddle, although sometimes it might feel that way, but he does it through the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
c. Often times he uses times of prayer and Bible study to speak to us about the need to adjust our attitudes.
3. In our text today Paul talks about attitude...
a. An Attitude Of Selflessness
b. An Attitude Of Imitation
c. An Attitude Of Result
4. Let's stand together as we read Phil. 2:1-11
Proposition: True followers of Jesus strive to live out the attitude of Jesus.
Transition: Paul begins by talking about...
I. An Attitude Of Selflessness (1-4).
A. Interest In Others
1. What kind of attitude should a Christian display?
a. What does a Christian look like?
b. How can you tell a Christian just by looking at them?
2. Paul begins to answer these questions by saying, "Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?"
a. Paul begins this chapter by asking four rhetorical questions, and all of which are related to their common experience of know Christ.
b. The first question asks if there is any encouragement from belonging to Christ, and of course the answer is yes!
c. We are encouraged by our the simple fact that the Holy Spirit living inside of us, and in fact, the word translated encouragement is the same one used to describe the Holy Spirit as the comforter in John's gospel.
d. Second, he asks if there is any comfort in his love? The answer is again clear because our coming to Christ is an evidence of God's love for it he who reached out to us!
e. Third, he asks if there is any fellowship together with the Spirit?
f. Well of course there is because he draws us close together with him and with each other.
g. Finally, he asks if our hearts are tender and compassionate?
h. Again the answer is yes because God has changed us and made us to be more like him, who is, of course, tender and compassionate.
i. So why does Paul asks these questions? Well very simply Paul is saying, "has Christ made your life better?" (Fee, 177-182).
j. If Jesus has truly made a difference in our lives then it should show by how we live.
3. So if Jesus has made a difference in our lives, "Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose."
a. This whole section speaks volumes about Paul's pastor's heart.
b. He wants to know that his congregation is doing well both physically and spiritually.
c. He says you will make me very happy if I know that you are getting along.
d. First of all he wants to know that they are agreeing wholeheartedly with each other.
e. Literally this phrase means "setting your minds on the same thing."
f. He wanted not only to know that they were not arguing with one another, but also that they had the same mindset and purpose.
g. Furthermore, he wanted to know that they were loving one another.
h. He wanted them to be displaying the same kind of love that both he and Christ had shown them to each other.
i. In addition, he wanted to know that they were working together with one mind and purpose.
j. He not only wanted them to have a common goal, but also to be working together towards that goal (Fee, 183-186).
4. Paul adds to the ideal Christian attitude by saying, "Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."
a. Paul now moves from what he wanted them to do to how they can accomplish that desire.
b. He says only way to achieve this attitude is to not be selfish.
c. Selfishness stands at the heart of all that is wrong with the human race.
d. Whenever we put our interest in front of others bad things are going to happen.