Sermons

Summary: By adapting our lives to Christ’s humility we will find out what it means to truly live life to the fullest.

IF THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL IS GOING TO BE HEALTHY AND SPIRITUALLY SOUND, THEN EACH ONE OF HER MEMBERS MUST BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF THEIR MINDS. BUT TO WHAT OR TO WHOM DO WE "RENEW" OUR MINDS?

OUR MINDS NEED TO BE RENEWED TO REFLECT THE MIND OF JESUS CHRIST. WHEN WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST AND ARE TRULY IMMERSED INTO CHRIST, WE CANNOT HELP BUT BECOME A NEW CREATURE. WE CANNOT HELP BUT BECOME REFLECTIONS OF JESUS.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17, "WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT THOSE WHO BECOME CHRISTIANS BECOME NEW PERSONS. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME ANYMORE, FOR THE OLD LIFE IS GONE. A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!"

COLOSSIANS 3:10-11, "…YOU HAVE CLOTHED YOURSELVES WITH A BRAND-NEW NATURE THAT IS CONTINUALLY BEING RENEWED AS YOU LEARN MORE AND MORE ABOUT CHRIST, WHO CREATED THIS NEW NATURE WITHIN YOU."

WE HAVE AN ACTIVE PART IN THIS RENEWING PROCESS. WE ARE A PRODUCT OF WHAT WE PUT INTO OURSELVES. SINCE THAT IS THE CASE, ARE WE FILLING OURSELVES UP WITH THE WORD OF GOD? ARE WE RECHARGING OURSELVES WITH SERVICE TO OTHERS? ARE WE DEEPENING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD BY COMMUNING WITH HIM DAILY?

WE WILL NEVER BE FULLY TRANSFORMED UNLESS WE ARE WORKING HARD AT FILLING OUR HEARTS AND MINDS WITH THE THINGS OF GOD. IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR US THEN, AS VERSE 5 TELLS US, TO "HAVE THE SAME ATTITUDE AS CHRIST."

OUR ATTITUDE, CONDUCT, AND WAY OF LIFE SHOULD BE FUELED WITH, YET TEMPERED BY, HUMILITY. BY ADOPTING AN ATTITUDE OF HUMILITY, WE ARE TAKING ON THE EXACT SAME "FRAME OF MIND" THAT JESUS HAD IN HIMSELF.

AS SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIANS WE NEED TO HAVE THIS ATTITUDE. ONLY THEN WILL WE HAVE PEACE OF MIND AND PEACE IN OUR HEARTS. ROMANS 8:5-6, "…THOSE WHO ARE CONTROLLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THINK ABOUT THINGS THAT PLEASE THE SPIRIT. IF YOUR SINFUL NATURE CONTROLS YOUR MIND, THERE IS DEATH. BUT IF THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTROLS YOUR MIND, THERE IS LIFE AND PEACE."

WHEN WE TAKE ON THE ATTITUDE OF JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE ALLOWING EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT US TO GROW DIRECTLY OUT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

THIS IS WHY IT IS SO CRUCIAL TO HAVE A DEEP, PERSONAL, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST BECAUSE WITHOUT HIM WE HAVE NOTHING AND CANNOT LIVE LIFE THE WAY IT WAS INTENDED TO BE.

ALTHOUGH WE MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO DUPLICATE THE PRECISE MINISTRY OF JESUS, WE SURE CAN DISPLAY THE SAME ATTITUDE AND HUMILITY THAT HE DID.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE SUPREME EXAMPLE OF THE HUMBLE, SELF-SACRIFICING, SELF-DENYING, SELF-GIVING, SERVANT IN WHICH WE IMITATE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ONE ANOTHER.

PAUL IS TRYING TO TEACH US A SIMPLE TRUTH OF CHRISTIAN LIVING WHICH STATES: "THAT THE SUREST WAY UP IS BY STEPPING DOWN, THE SUREST WAY TO GAIN FOR ONESELF IS BY GIVING UP ONESELF, THE SUREST WAY TO LIFE IS BY DEATH, THE SUREST WAY TO WIN THE PRAISE OF GOD IS BY STEADFASTLY SERVING OTHERS."

WHY DID PAUL WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH? THE PHILIPPIANS HAD BEEN ACTING IN A SPIRIT OF AMBITION, THINKING THEMSELVES BETTER THAN OTHERS, BELIEVING THAT THEY WERE ABOVE SERVING THEIR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

THEY WERE SPENDING, YET WASTING PRECIOUS TIME STUDYING HOW THEY MIGHT PROMOTE THEMSELVES AND GET AHEAD WITHOUT GIVING ADEQUATE ATTENTION TO THE WELFARE OF THEIR NEIGHBORS.

THIS LETTER FROM PAUL TO THE CHURCH OBVIOUSLY BECOMES A CHALLENGE TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR BELIEFS THAT THEY HAD BUILT FOR THEMSELVES. HE CHALLENGES THEM TO LOOK TO JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE ULTIMATE MODEL OF MORAL AND SPIRITUAL ACTION.

THE LETTER GOES ON TO GIVE A BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTION OF CHRIST BEFORE THE INCARNATION. PAUL WROTE ABOUT HOW JESUS POSSESSED THE NATURE OF GOD AND WAS EQUAL WITH GOD. BUT, WITH THAT "EQUALITY" JESUS NEVER ABUSED THAT PRIVILEGE NOR PURPOSELY USED IT TO HIS ADVANTAGE.

HE GAVE IT ALL UP OR, IN OTHER WORDS, "LEFT IT ALL UP IN HEAVEN" WHEN HE CAME TO EARTH. HE CAME "EMPTY HANDED" SIMPLY TO DO THE FATHER’S WILL TO RECONCILE US BACK TO GOD AND TO ENRICH OUR LIVES PHYSICALLY "NOW" AND ETERNALLY "LATER."

HEAR THE GOOD NEWS! JESUS CAME TO EARTH SO THAT LIVING LIFE WOULD BE TO OUR ADVANTAGE! HE CAME TO EARTH TO HELP US AND TO ENSURE THAT WE HAD A WAY TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH THE FATHER IN HIS HEAVENLY KINGDOM. IT WAS ALL FOR US FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!

JESUS DELIBERATELY PLACED HIMSELF IN THE HUMBLEST OF POSITIONS: HE WHO WAS IN THE FORM OF GOD BECAME A MAN, A FULLY HUMAN BEING, A SLAVE EVEN. SO THAT HE MIGHT SERVE OTHERS.

IN THIS SELF-HUMBLING ACT OF BECOMING HUMAN, OR AS WE WOULD SAY, "GOD INCARNATE," JESUS PUT HIMSELF IN THE POSITION TO BEGIN SEEKING THE THINGS OF LIFE THAT WOULD BE TO OUR ADVANTAGE AND TO BRING ABOUT THE THINGS THAT WOULD PROMOTE OUR WELFARE.

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