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Summary: Paul addresses the church with the instruction that our concern is to be primarily with serving the community, but … obedience begins with the individual before the community can be served. Will we serve our neighbor before serving ourselves?

"Imitating Christ (Part 1)"

Philippians Sermon Series, Part 6

Philippians 2:1-4 (quickview) 

Introduction

- Last time we examined an incredible message of what I’d call, pillars of the faith

-- Bro Mike gave us a real encouragement for living for Christ everyday

-- Paul outlined four pillars that we can hold too in everything we do

- Remember what they were? Paul said we must be:

-- United in Declaration

-- United in Direction

-- United in Defense

-- United in Determination

- Today, we will continue on that thought with a specific challenge to us:

-- We are called to imitate Christ; to literally show Him through our lives

-- But more than that … through our words, actions, and even our thoughts

-- When we imitate Christ, we are wholly following the example before us

- APP: This allows us to be witnesses of who He is …

- This is the challenge before us as we grow closer to Him

- Read Philippians 2:1-4 (quickview) 

∆ Point 1 – Paul’s Encouragement

- v1: Therefore (ties to what was just said and directs us to act)

-- Phil 1:30 is the tie in statement here, “… since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”

-- Since we are partners in this calling, we must see Paul as an encourager

-- He has been strong enough to make it; will we be brave enough as well?

-- APP: We are walking on the same truth, with testimony about Christ

- Paul makes four statements which challenge us and how we live

-- These are opportunities to check yourself and your own testimony

-- Are you a follower of Christ who has also received or been through this as well?

- Four IF’s to focus on:

1) … if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,

2) … if any comfort from his love,

3) … if any common sharing in the Spirit,

4) … if any tenderness and compassion

- All four of these are basically saying the very same thing

-- “If you have received from this community behavior characterized by love”

--- “If you have been blessed to be given the same hope that I have …”

-- APP: If you are truly a believer in Christ, then you can tackle the next thing

- I think it is safe to say that if you are a Christian; these four “If’s” cover us all

-- We have all received at some point in your life one of these encouragements

- When you have an “IF” statement, it is almost always followed by “then”

- v2: “then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”

- APP: Then make me proud in your life by showing Christ’s love to other people

- They can do this, only if they show love to each other

-- If they are not united, their witness to the world will be weak

-- Paul is already very happy about the Christians’ joy (see Phil 1:4)

- But his joy can be even greater

-- He wants to hear that they are living at peace with each other

-- It is then that Paul’s joy will be even greater; this would please him even more


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