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Summary: THE ISSUES OF HUMILITY AND UNITY ARE VITAL TO THE CHURCH

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THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE BEHIND HUMILITY AND SELFISHNESS

PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 DO NOTHING FROM SELFISHNESS OR EMPTY CONCEIT, BUT WITH HUMILITY OF MIND REGARD ONE ANOTHER AS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOURSELVES; 4 DO NOT MERELY LOOK OUT FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS, BUT ALSO FOR THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS.

PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 (MSG)

3 DON'T PUSH YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT; DON'T SWEET-TALK YOUR WAY TO THE TOP. PUT YOURSELF ASIDE, AND HELP OTHERS GET AHEAD.

4 DON'T BE OBSESSED WITH GETTING YOUR OWN ADVANTAGE. FORGET YOURSELVES LONG ENOUGH TO LEND A HELPING HAND.

PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4 (AMP) DO NOTHING FROM FACTIONAL MOTIVES [THROUGH CONTENTIOUSNESS, STRIFE, SELFISHNESS, OR FOR UNWORTHY ENDS] OR PROMPTED BY CONCEIT AND EMPTY ARROGANCE. INSTEAD, IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF HUMILITY (LOWLINESS OF MIND) LET EACH REGARD THE OTHERS AS BETTER THAN AND SUPERIOR TO HIMSELF [THINKING MORE HIGHLY OF ONE ANOTHER THAN YOU DO OF YOURSELVES]. 4 LET EACH OF YOU ESTEEM AND LOOK UPON AND BE CONCERNED FOR NOT [MERELY] HIS OWN INTERESTS, BUT ALSO EACH FOR THE INTERESTS OF OTHERS.

PROPOSITION: THE ISSUES OF HUMILITY AND UNITY ARE VITAL TO THE CHURCH

INTRODUCTION: IN OUR TIME THIS MORNING, I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE VERY ROOT OF THE ISSUE PAUL IS DEVELOPING IN THIS SECOND CHAPTER OF PHILIPPIANS – HUMILITY AND UNITY. FOR ITS ROOTS GO BACK TO THE VERY TIME OF ETERNITY PAST, AND WIND THEMSELVES THROUGH HE FABRIC OF SCRIPTURE AND DIG DEEP INTO THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH TODAY.

TRANSITION: ACCORDING TO JONATHAN EDWARDS, “THE BEST PROTECTION ONE CAN HAVE FROM THE DEVIL AND HIS SCHEMES IS A HUMBLE HEART”.

OPENING ILLUSTRATION: THERE WAS ONCE A STORY ABOUT A PASTOR WHO WAS VOTED THE MOST HUMBLE PASTOR IN AMERICA. HIS CONGREGATION GAVE HIM A MEDAL THAT SAID, “TO THE MOST HUMBLE PASTOR IN AMERICA”. THE NEXT SUNDAY THEY TOOK THE MEDAL AWAY FROM HIM – HE WORE IT TO CHURCH!

I. THE REALITY OF SELF CONCERN

a. INGRAINED AND UNCONTESTED IN US

b. LOVERS OF DARKNESS

JOHN 3:19 "THIS IS THE JUDGMENT, THAT THE LIGHT HAS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, FOR THEIR DEEDS WERE EVIL.

c. KNEW BUT CHOSE NOT TO ACT

ROMANS 1:21 FOR EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, THEY DID NOT HONOR HIM AS GOD OR GIVE THANKS, BUT THEY BECAME FUTILE IN THEIR SPECULATIONS, AND THEIR FOOLISH HEART WAS DARKENED.

d. THE PRIORITY OF ONE WHO IS NOT FULLY DEVOTED TO CHRIST

i. FOR THE UNBELIEVER IT IS: ME, YOU AND GOD

ii. FOR THE CARNAL BELIEVER IT IS ME, GOD, AND YOU

e. RESULT OF LESS THAN FULL DEVOTION TO CHRIST CREATES DISCORD IN THE BODY OF CHRIST

i. WHAT IS DONE IS NOT DONE WITH A PURE MOTIVE

ii. ACTIVITY WITHOUT PURE MOTIVES PRODUCES

1. FACTIONS

2. DRIVES PEOPLE AWAY

3. LEAVES NEGATIVE IMPRESSIONS THAT LAST

f. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SELF CONCERN

i. SELFISH AMBITION OR STRIFE

1. THE GREEK WORD MEANS TO SEEKING TO WIN FOLLOWERS, FACTIONS OR PARTY MAKING

2. THINKING AT A LEVEL THAT DOES NOT ALLOW ONE TO THINK HIGHER

3. A LEVEL OF ACTIVITY OR THOUGHT THAT PUSHES GOD OUT.

ii. VAIN CONCEIT OR VAINGLORY

1. EMPTY GLORY

2. IT IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE FOLLY OF WORSHIPPING IDOLS

3. IN OTHER WORDS THERE IS NO POSITIVE RESULT TO IDOL WORSHIP

4. EMPTY – KIND OF LIKE BREAKING OPEN YOUR FORTUNE COOKIE, ONLY TO FIND THERE IS NO FORTUNE!

iii. LACK OF CONSIDERATION

1. EVIDENCE OF A LACK OF HUMILITY

a. HUMILITY MEANS TO HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF ONES SELF

b. KNOWING WHO YOU ARE WHEN COMPARED TO GOD

2. CONSIDER OR ESTEEM

a. GREEK WORD MEANS TO LEAD

b. HUMILITY IS A QUALITY OF LEADERSHIP AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST – A SIGN OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY

c. IN ACTS 7:10 IT IS USED OF JOSEPH AND HIS LEADING THE PEOPLE THROUGH THE FAMINE

ACTS 7:10 AND RESCUED HIM FROM ALL HIS AFFLICTIONS, AND GRANTED HIM FAVOR AND WISDOM IN THE SIGHT OF PHARAOH, KING OF EGYPT, AND HE MADE HIM GOVERNOR OVER EGYPT AND ALL HIS HOUSEHOLD.

d.

iv. PRIORITY OF INTEREST

1. “OTHERS BETTER” – TO ELEVATE

2. “INTERESTS OF OTHERS” – FIXING YOUR ATTENTION

a. DO OTHERS DRAW OUR ATTENTION IN THE BODY OF CHRIST?

UNITY AND SELFLESSNESS CANNOT EXIST IN THE BODY OF CHRIST IF VANITY AND SELFISHNESS ARE THERE!

II. THE ORIGIN OF SELF CONCERN – IT GOES BACK FURTHER THAN YOU THINK!

EZEKIEL 28:14-17 "YOU WERE THE ANOINTED CHERUB WHO COVERS, AND I PLACED YOU THERE. YOU WERE ON THE HOLY MOUNTAIN OF GOD; YOU WALKED IN THE MIDST OF THE STONES OF FIRE. 15 "YOU WERE BLAMELESS IN YOUR WAYS FROM THE DAY YOU WERE CREATED UNTIL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS WAS FOUND IN YOU. 16 "BY THE ABUNDANCE OF YOUR TRADE YOU WERE INTERNALLY FILLED WITH VIOLENCE, AND YOU SINNED; THEREFORE I HAVE CAST YOU AS PROFANE FROM THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD. AND I HAVE DESTROYED YOU, O COVERING CHERUB, FROM THE MIDST OF THE STONES OF FIRE. 17 "YOUR HEART WAS LIFTED UP BECAUSE OF YOUR BEAUTY; YOU CORRUPTED YOUR WISDOM BY REASON OF YOUR SPLENDOR. I CAST YOU TO THE GROUND; I PUT YOU BEFORE KINGS, THAT THEY MAY SEE YOU.

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