Summary: Part 3 of a series on the Book of Philippians. This sermon is on what it means to imitate Christ.
Text: Philippians 2:1-11
Title: Imitating Christ
Imitating Christ does not mean we dress up in a robe/ grow a beard…
Imitating Christ means Giving to others what Christ has given to us
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, If any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (v1-2)
If Christ has encouraged you; if Christ has comforted you; If Christ has shown you tenderness and mercy; then you go and do the same to others.
We pass on things to others all the time
We pass on our colds to others
Here we are told to pass on to others what Christ has passed on to you!
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, (v3)
And when you go and do these things to others don’t do them for the wrong reason.
Don’t do all these nice things for others to promote yourself.
Don’t do them just to get elected…
Instead be humble about it.
but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (v3-4)
Do them because you consider others better than yourself.
Do them because you are looking out for the interests of others first.
How do we feel about this?
How do we feel about the thought of considering others better than our self?
How do we feel about looking out for the interests of others first?
We probably don’t feel too happy about it at all!
Especially if we don’t think any one looks out for our interests first
Especially if there is nobody who treats us better than they treat themselves
To which Paul would answer; “We are wrong”
Somebody did come and look out for our interests first
Someone did come and treated us better than we treated him
Who was that person?
Jesus came and put our interests first
Jesus came and treated us far far better than we ever treated him.
We mocked him, we spat on him, we crucified him…
And He… forgave us
Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Listen to what Paul says inV5-8
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross.”
Look at what Jesus did for you
He divested himself of his invisible glory
He laid aside the independent use of his divine attributes
He took on a sinless human body
He took on the form of a servant
He took the likeness of a man
He humbled himself to the point of – death on a cross
He did this for you and me because He loves us!
Jesus loves us and to prove it he died on the cross for our sins
And because Jesus died on the Cross for our sins
The door is now wide open for us
To receive from God everything that Paul speaks about in verses 1-2.
To receive from God encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness and compassion
Does it not encourage us that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins?
Does it not comfort us that our sins are all forgiven?
Does what Christ did for us not show us God’s tenderness and compassion?
Does what Jesus did not promote fellowship with the Spirit?
And to do everything that Paul tells us to do in verses 3-4
...but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (v3-4)
So what should we do in response to what Jesus did for us?
Our motive: I’m going to treat you the same way Christ treated me!
What will God do for the person who treats others better than themselves?
Will we be better off or will we be worse off?
We don’t necessary know…
We do know what God’s response was- to what Jesus did for us.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
He exalted him to the highest place
He gave him the name that is above every name.
And we do know what our response should be to what Jesus did for us
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)