6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A look at how the world would see us if Christ’s heart were to complete reside in our body for one day with nothing else changed. How would we be perceived.

Sharing Places

Scripture Ref: Philippians 2:1-5

Ephesians 4:20-24

Other Ref.: The Bible Knowledge Commentary

1. Introduction

a. In 1983 a movie starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd and entitled Trading Places was released.

b. In the movie, two millionaire commodity brokers wager a bet that pits environment vs. biology and turns the lives of their two unsuspecting victims upside down. Eddie Murphy plays Billy Ray Valentine, a streetwise hustler who gets dragged off the street and into the proper life of top Duke Bros. broker Louis Winthorpe III, played by Dan Aykroyd, who in turn gets tossed out of his posh townhouse and onto the mean city streets. The comic team of Murphy and Aykroyd struggle to comprehend their new lives. Murphy is forced to learn proper etiquette, manners, and business sense while uptight Akroyd scrambles to make it on the streets, befriending a prostitute who takes him in and saves him from starvation--or worse. When the two innocent victims realize the scheming brothers’ plot, they unite and devise a fabulous revenge to prove that their lives can’t be controlled by the power-grubbing Duke brothers.

c. The movie was a comedy designed to tackle the debate of which molds character: nature or nurture, genetics or upbringing.

d. Let me suggest to you another scenario of trading places which might be comedic for those whom you encounter, but certainly would not be very funny.

e. What if for just one day Jesus was to become you?

(1) What if He—

(a) Wakes up in your bed

(b) Walks in your shoes

(c) Lives in your house

(d) Assumes your schedule

(e) With one exception, nothing changes — health, circumstances, schedule, problems.

(2) He lives your life with His heart, yours gets the day off.

(a) His priorities govern your actions.

(b) His passions drive your decisions.

(c) His love directs your behavior.

2. What would you be like?

a. Would people notice a change?

(1) Family see something new?

(2) Co-workers sense a difference?

(3) Would you treat the less fortunate the same?

(4) Would your friends detect more joy?

(5) Would you your enemies receive more mercy from Christ’s heart than from yours?

b. Would you notice a change?

(1) How would you feel?

(2) What about your stress or mood swings?

(3) Your temper?

(4) Would you see sunsets, death, taxes differently?

(5) Would you need fewer aspirin or sedatives?

(6) Would you still dread what you are dreading?

c. Would you still do what you are doing or what you had planned for the next 24 hours? Would anything change?

(1) Obligations

(2) Engagements

(3) Outings

(4) Appointments

3. Spiritual Cohabitation

a. The scenario just presented is in fact a simple test. It shows us what God wants.

b. While we can’t physically trade places with Christ, we can spiritually cohabitate with Him.

c. Because of being in such close proximity to Him, while we may not physically resemble Him, our actions, thoughts, and emotions will, if we allow them to.

d. Read Philippians 2:1-5

(1) In this passage, Paul calls for us to show a spiritual unity with Christ.

(2) He writes about realities, not questionable things.

(a) He says if you have these things:

(1) encouragement from being united with Christ…

(2) comfort from His love…

(3) fellowship with the Spirit…

(4) tenderness and compassion.

(b) Then show in practical ways the unity you have with Christ. Those practical ways would take the form of:

(1) being like-minded

(2) having the same love

(3) being one in spirit being

(4) one in purpose.

(c) How demonstrations of “Christ-likeness” should not demonstrated.

(1) Out of selfish ambition—such behavior is of the flesh and not the Spirit

(2) Vain conceit (empty glory)—the root cause of their selfish ambition

(d) How demonstrations of “Christ-likeness” should be demonstrated.

(1) In humility consider others better than yourselves

(a) Humility before God and man is a virtue every child of God needs to strive for.

(b) A spirit of pride in human relations indicates a lack of humility before God.

(c) Paul exhorted the Philippians to consider others before themselves.

(2) How humility can be expressed Instead of concentrating on self, each believer should be concerned for the interests of others.

(e) We are exhorted to have the same attitude—selfless humility—Christ exhibited in His humiliation and condescension. EXPOUND

4. God’s Plan For Us

a. God’s plan for us is nothing short of a new heart.

b. He wants us to be JUST like Jesus.

c. Read Ephesians 4:20-24

(1) In contrast with the “old man” we did not come to know (“learn”) Christ that way.

(a) Our minds are no longer darkened

(b) Our lives are no longer alienated from God

(c) Our hearts are no longer hardened and impure.

(2) Christ is the SUBJECT (we heard of Him) and the environment (we were taught in Him) of our learning.

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