Summary: Expounding Phil. 2:5-11 message examines deity, incarnation, crucifixion, and exaltation of Christ, His mindset/attitude is presented as an example of unselfishness and servanthood. His exaltation is celebrated.
There is a lot going on in the world around us. With the election just around the corner groups are posturing and contending for political power. Some are legitimately expressing reasons for their position on issues. Others are rioting in the streets. There are so many lies in the media that it’s hard to know what we can believe. We don’t have the time and resources to investigate each allegation. We must work, make a living, and fulfill our personal responsibilities. It is an intense time, and most people feel the anxiety. On the one hand, we need to be informed and prepare for what may be coming in the days ahead.i On the other hand, we must maintain our peace by trusting the Lord with whatever happens. When your peace is disturbed, you know it’s time to get with the Lord and hear His voice.
Perhaps the most important thing we can do is to keep our minds stayed on the Lord. We have this promise in Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (NKJV).ii That’s one reason we continue to preach Christ and don’t allow ourselves to be overly influenced by the political upheaval. In our text today we will focus on Christ; we will learn from His example, and we will enjoy comfort in His exaltation Our text is in Philippians 2:5-11.
Before we get into the text, I want to read a little further in Isaiah 26 because it reinforces the call to trust in the Lord, and it reminds us of God’s sovereignty. These are important truths to keep in mind during these volatile times. The heathen may roar and imaging vain things. But ultimately God’s will shall prevail.iii Isaiah 26:3-6: “Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. 5 For He brings down those who dwell on high, The lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down --The feet of the poor And the steps of the needy" (NKJV). There are some high and lofty things that are coming down. There is a shaking that will bring down the arrogant. And it will be God’s doing. Isaiah 26 continues, “The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just. 8 Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O LORD, we have waited for You; The desire of our soul is for Your name And for the remembrance of You. 9 With my soul I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:7-9, NKJV). The judgments of the Lord often bring hard times. But they have a purpose. They are designed to teach righteousness. They help people realize there are consequences to their choices.
We are not in that ultimate shaking that will occur in the Tribulation Period.iv But we are in a time of shaking. We are in a time of sifting. As Jeanie mentioned last Sunday, the winds are blowing, and they will separate wheat from chaff.v Not long ago people could get up on Sunday morning and mindlessly go to church, passively sit through the worship, be entertained by the message, and go home unchanged. It was a weekly habit of token religion. That pattern has been broken. The responsibility to stay spiritually fed and alert falls more on the individual now. Anyone desiring to draw back from the Lord can do it more easily. Some will simply drift away and become entangled in other things. But we are persuaded of better things in you. We are persuaded that you will press in and remain faithful. We are persuaded that you will find a way to gather in His name and encourage one another in the faith—even if it is harder to do than it once was. I am reminded of the exhortation in Hebrews 10:23-25: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (NKJV). Even if we must gather in groups of ten, let us gather! Even if the bells and whistles. light shows, and entertaining music are absent, let us gather! Even if the surroundings are humble, let us gather! Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together. We need one another in times like these.