Summary: The joy of the Lord and having the attitude of Christ is being a focused Christian
Traits of a focused Christian
This morning we will begin a two part series of a focused Christian.
I hope you will be able to hear both messages and I hope your heart is open for the Lord to be able to speak to you.
Being united with Christ is a basic reality of salvation.
To be united with Christ is to be in an active relationship with Christ and you realize that your salvation hangs on what he has done and not what you have done or will do.
To be in that kind of relationship reaps benefits as the Spirit of God not only works in your life but controls your life.
The comforting love of God is demonstrated at the cross. Jesus loved others, and our love for Him is demonstrated by our love for others, not because we have to but because we want to.
A focused committed Christian takes on the humility of Christ, not only loves Christ, but also love God’s people.
Philippians chapter 2:1-2:11
In our text this morning, Paul is speaking to the church at Philippi.
The Philippians people, believers who were Roman citizens, called out to stand firm in the face of persecution and to rejoice in the Lord no matter what the circumstances.
Chapter 2 is an encouragement for believers to live out their lives for Christ and make an impact on the people they come into contact with- both believers and non-believers.
You know what the difference between a focused Christian and at best lukewarm believer is?
The lukewarm believer says I could, I might, I should, and a focused Christian says I will. (Amen.)
Apostle Paul puts us up against the magnifying glass of what Christ did for us. It’s is the only way we can measure your walk with Christ.
He calls us to be the image of God and Christ is our role model.
The comfort, encouragement, assurance that a believer has rest is what Christ has done for us on the cross. The forgiveness of sins, offered eternal life, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to equip and empower us to do what Christ has asked us to do. If we are to live a life pleasing to God, we are to be like minded, and one in Spirit and purpose.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself, each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others.”
The mortal enemy of any church is self ambition and being conceited. It takes away harmony and unity.
Self-ambition- acting on sinful nature instead of Spirit lead goals.
Conceitedness- forgetting where you came from and what Christ has done for you. Elevating yourself above others because you feel you are a seasoned Christian that has arrived.
Believe me there is churches that visitors or guest come in and members of that church tell them that they are in their seats. I have always sat there! Conceited in the fact that newcomers have to pay the price to be a part of this congregation.
Members think that they are the image of Christ but running people out of churches.
Preachers preaching messages so theologically deep that no one understands.
Announcements so churchy- the WMV’s will meet in the CLC in the room where the GA’s usually meet.
Those things are inclusive and anyone new won’t be back if they are removed from their seat or don’t understand what is happening!
Back up a minute, remember the lukewarm believer.
I will, I should, and the committed Christian- I will.
The I will Christian looks at the church totally differently than the lukewarm believer. The lukewarm believer approaches the church with what can they do for me! Come in the door and it is all about them.
What programs do they offer
How will they meet my needs?
Preachers ability, friendliness to me!
These are not necessarily bad things. I have said before that if you attend a church where you are not fed, find a place where you do get fed. I also say don’t come to the table of God once a month and wonder why you are starving.
The committed Christian , the I will believer views the church different, he/she doesn’t ask what can I get out of church, but how God would have me serve through a church.
Consider instead of I want- I will.
“Everyone should look not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others.”
There is divine truth in this verse- the reason many people are miserable at work, at home, in their relationships, and yes, finding and getting plugged into a church is because it is all about them instead of about others.