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Summary: This series was developed from the chorus of a wonderful song by Casting Crowns. The lyrics of the song were originally written by J. Wilbur Chapman in 1911. However, John Mark, Hall and Michael Bleecker rewrote the tune in 2009 for Casting Crowns.

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“Living He Loved Me” Philippians 2:1-11

Sermon by Don Emmitte, Grace Restoration Ministries

Today we begin a series developed from the chorus of a wonderful song by Casting Crowns. The lyrics of the song were originally written by J. Wilbur Chapman in 1911. However, John Mark, Hall and Michael Bleecker rewrote the tune in 2009 for Casting Crowns. The chorus is:

Living He loved me,

Dying He saved me,

And buried He carried my sins far away,

Rising He justified freely forever,

One day He's coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day.

The original hymn actually appears in our Baptist Hymnal on page 193! I suppose I, like many others, was not struck with its powerful message until the tune was contemporized. At any rate, the theology and inspiration of these five statements in the chorus are incredible basics of our faith. The first in the series, Living He Loved Me, is a principle laced throughout the Scripture, however, I have chose Paul’s letter to Philippians to center our focus today.

TAKE YOUR BIBLES PLEASE…

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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 2:1-11 ESV).

Martin Luther was correct when he said, “The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.” Perhaps that is what strikes us so clearly in the chorus. That the God of all, the only God, creator, sustainer, and almighty God of life itself would make himself human, in every way just like us, is indeed a great mystery. This is the declaration of the Apostle Paul.

Our text today is one of the most well known and moving passages in Paul's writings. It is known as the Kenosis Hymn (from the Greek word ekenosen, "he emptied"). There is a lack of consensus on how exactly to interpret the passage, and still less agreement on the role it should play in the life of the community of faith. However, few would deny the centrality of this particular passage in the Book of Philippians or its broader importance for a deeper understanding of the person and work of Christ. The act of Jesus’ incarnation is the clearest and most profound act of love we could imagine.


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