6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: *This sermon and series is based from the package marketed by Outreach Ministries and was adapted for my personal use* Showing us how to live as Jesus did- a servant to all

“Learning How To Live As A Servant”

Philippians Series

Key Scripture: Philippians, Chapter 2

Welcome to week number two of our four-week series on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This is the story of the community learning how to live together in times of testing in trouble.

As we saw last week, the Book of Acts, chapter 16, records the roots of this church. Then nearly 10 years later, the Apostle Paul is in prison in Rome, and he writes a letter to encourage the church he planted a decade before.

I still find that amazing- Paul is writing the letter from inside prison and he is encouraging those outside of prison. The people of that day needed encouragement because persecution was becoming an everyday part of life.

How many people here can testify that there comes a time when we need encouragement, too.

Perhaps we do not face the kind of persecution that the early church faced or that the church in China or Iran faces these days, but as individuals we certainly faced times of testing and trial. This letter, Philippians, is God’s instruction to us about how to live during tough times:

Our Journey though this book will look like this-

• Last Week- Learning how to live as if God is in control as we looked at Philippians chapter 1.

• This week- Learning how to live as servants in chapter 2, as we study Jesus’ example to us.

• Learning how to live a life of loss. In chapter 3, Paul will use his life as the example of a life that is laid down for the sake of the Gospel

• Our final message will be “learning how to live a life of generous friendship” in Phil chapter 4.

Because these messages kind of build on each other, let’s briefly review last week.

We talked about Learning How to Live as if God is in Control.

God is in control, isn’t he?

Yes, of course, He is. But there is a big difference between saying God is in control and living as if God is in control.

It is the difference between our theology and our actions.

If we can just bring ourselves to surrender to Christ and believe the words found in this book, together, like the church in Philippi, we can become a community of believers that demonstrates God is in control by the way we live.

Last week we broke chapter 1 into three parts:

1. We can learn how to live as if God is in control by taking on God’s priorities. We saw Paul’s example, that he was gospel-centric. And we asked ourselves, “Do we look at the outrageous national or world events swirling around us in terms of their effect on God’s plan, or do we ask, ‘why is this happening to me?’ as if things are out of control?”

2. We can learn how to live as if God is in control by trusting Him for the outcome. Paul wrote to his friends in Philippi that, “what has happened will turn out for my deliverance.” From this very important phrase we learned that Paul understood God is in control in terms of outcomes. Whatever the outcome, Paul was rock solid about the fact that he would experience glory and goodness from any set of events.

3. And finally, we can learn how to live as if God is in control by receiving suffering as something that is sometimes granted by God to the community of the faith. This is very challenging to our 21st-century ears—our ability to suffer together is a sign to us and to the world of God's kingdom in the earth here and now.

This week, we turn our attention to chapter 2 and discover that Jesus is our model for living in troubled times. His model is not only praiseworthy or notable; it is accessible for us. Paul challenges us to live up to the example Jesus set.

We will read through the chapter today, but let’s just look at a few verses to get going this morning.

Phil 2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,t if any tenderness and compassion,u 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded,w having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.y Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,z 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.a

Prayer

There are 4 points I want to make today of how we can live as a servant, just like Jesus did for us while he was on this earth.

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