Summary: My argument is God gives the gifts of power, peace, person and provision to you, to me, and to us so we who believe will have one mind to serve and one mission to love.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
One Mind: Service
Text: Philippians 2: 1 – 11
During the month of December, we explored the theme “What God Gives … we look at four aspects of the blessed gifts of God: Power, Peace, Person, and Provision. There is still an unanswered question on the table, why did God give those gifts to us or why does God give those gifts to you?
My argument is that God gave those gifts to you, to me and to us so that those of us who believe, would have one mind to serve and one mission to love.
The meaning of Jesus Christ must be true to his prophetic nature. The prophetic nature of Jesus Christ is best described by the Prophet Isaiah.
Almost 800 years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah provided the Hebrew people with a working definition of who the Messiah would be:
His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace.
His government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David.
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
He shall judge with righteousness, not after the sight of his ears or the hearing of his ears. He shall judge the poor, and provided equity for the meek.
He shall cause the wolf to dwell with the lamb. The leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion shall be together; and the little child shall lead them.
In his day, people will praise the Lord and will know that God is there salvation. They will trust and not be afraid.
In his day, people will call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, mention that his name is exalted and sing unto the Lord for he hath done excellent things.
He will shallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.
In that day, we will say, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
The Book of Isaiah is an interesting book. It parallels the Bible in many ways: (1) it has 66 chapters or divisions; (2) Isaiah I have 39 chapters, like the Old Testament; (3) Isaiah II have 27 chapters, like the New Testament.
II Isaiah beginning at Chapter 40 comes onto the scene with the powerful and familiar words of the Messiah:
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people saith your God. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made straight and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
For over 800 years there was an expectation of an heir to the throne of David, who would liberate the people of God and restore them to their rightful place.
Then the Christ Child is born with a star in the sky, angels singing, wise men looking, shepherds watching, and a king disturbed.
About 100 years after the birth of Christ and about 65 years after the death of Christ, Paul seeks to have the people of Philippi and those who love the Lord understand the true nature of the mind and mission of Jesus Christ.
When I was young we use to receive gifts that required you to do something: construct a mold, or from a mold fashion some object. We would get a picture, but it would be in pieces like a puzzle, and we would have to put it together.
Today, young children, and adults receive gifts already made, and as a result we have no cure that can fix anything if it is broken. We don’t understand how things are constructed.
The Hebrew people imagined the Messiah as an entity, as an object, as a thing; not as a model or a construct.
The Messiah as an entity, an object, or a thing meant that it would do something.
However, the Messiah as a model or a construct means that we would have to be something. It meant that we would have to become the replica of the model.
Therefore, Paul develops that idea of Jesus Christ being a model for us to learn how to serve and to love.
He steps onto the stage of life and says, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”