Summary: Fifth in series. A look at the identity we truly have in Christ.
Introduction: Mirror, mirror in my hand; tell me how beautiful I really am!
Arrogant to fucus on such external values.
As though I had control over my genetic makeup. Determining which genes I wanted/
As a church we do the same
Superficially evaluating ourselves
Value ourselves by what is seen
A "good church" has
• quality outreach programs
• diversified Bible study classes
• meaningful small group ministry
• active fellowship
• first-rate education programs
• dynamic music ministry
• well kept facilities
We become so focused on these externals that we begin to define who we are by them
We must ask ourselves "What does the people of God look like?" "What criteria determines our identity?"
Paul describes three traits which define Christian Identity
1. Community (vss 1-2)
"Does your life in Christ make you strong? Does his love comfort you? Do you have fellowship with the Spirit? Do you feel kindness and compassion for one another? I urge you, then, make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind." Philippians 2:1-2 (TEV)
"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." Philippians 1:1-2 (NIV)
We are to be as one body. Paul describes this as the body of Christ. Last week we studied the dynamics of this body, this singular mind, purpose. The Body, which stands in stark contrast to individualism. Although each member is Unique as a body we are a Union, each member of equal Worth, and each member Belonging.
2. Servanthood (vss 3-4)
"Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4 (RSV)
Stark contrast to the supremacy of self.
We live in the era of self
Prized at school
work (Look out for #1 attitude)
marriage (What works best for you; It’s not about the spouse/kids, but me. Am I happy)
church (Take out of context Paul’s words, "Work out your own salvation". We take this as a call for individual growth apart from the community
Then-women & children first
Now-equality of the sexes; each one for themselves
How would you respond?
Paul’s words were spoken in the context of Philippians 1:29-30
"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict which you saw and now hear to be mine." Philippians 1:29-30 (RSV)
In the face of persecution put others first. When your packing your bags to get out of town, out of harms way, make sure your neighbor has a ride.
3. Christlikeness (vss 5-8)
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Jesus Christ, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:5-8 (RSV)