Summary: How would the world see you if Christ fully changed places with your heart for one day? Would they see a noticeable difference?
Scripture Ref: Philippians 2:1-5
Other Ref: Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines
Believer’s Bible Commentary
a. In 1882 Mark Twain published the novel The Prince and the Pauper in the United States.
b. Set in 1547, the novel tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Edward VI of England, son of Henry VIII of England.
(1) Tom Canty has always had aspirations to a better life, encouraged by the local priest who taught him to read and write. He hangs around the palace gates one day and sees the Prince (the Prince of Wales - Edward the Sixth).
(2) The prince invites Tom into his palace chamber. There, the two boys get to know one another, somewhat - and each becomes fascinated by the other's lifestyle, and even more fascinated by the fact that they each bear an amazing and uncanny resemblance to each other.
(3) They decide to switch clothes (and thereby, lives) "temporarily."
(4) Edward leaves in a hurry, before they boys are caught.
(5) Soon Prince Edward is attempting to escape from the brutality of Tom's abusive and drunken father, while Tom posing as the prince, is attempting to cope with court customs and manners.
c. Let’s jump forward to 2010 and reenact this novel, only the prince is now Jesus Christ and you are the pauper. We’re going to give it a slight twist. Our pauper, rather than getting to live as the prince, gets to be a silent observer, watching the effects of the prince inhabiting this new body.
d. For one day, Jesus becomes you.
(1) Wakes up in your bed
(2) Walks in your shoes
(3) Lives in your house
(4) Assumes your schedule
(5) With one exception, nothing changes — health, circumstances, schedule, problems
e. He lives your life with His heart, yours gets the day off.
(1) His priorities govern your actions.
(2) His passions drive your decisions.
(3) His love directs your behavior.
f. What would you be like? Would people notice a change?
(1) Family see something new?
(2) Co-workers sense a difference?
(3) Would you treat the less fortunate the same?
(4) Would your friends detect more joy?
(5) Would you your enemies receive more mercy from Christ’s heart than from yours?
g. What about you?
(1) How would you feel?
(2) What about your stress or mood swings?
(3) Your temper?
(4) Would you see sunsets, death, taxes differently?
(5) Would you need fewer aspirin or sedatives? Would you still dread what you are dreading?
(6) Would you still do what you are doing or what you had planned for the next 24 hours? Would anything change? What about obligations, engagements, outings, or appointments?
h. This test shows you what God wants. He wants you to think and act like Jesus.
2. The Example of Christ
a. Read Philippians 2:1-5
b. The “if” in Verse 1 is not the “if” of doubt, but of argument. It lists four points that should draw us as believers together in harmony and cooperation.