About the sermon:
There are times when the Lord uses a particular text to preach to me. For some reason, since we’ve been in Philippians, it has felt like the Lord has been preaching to me more than normal. This past Sunday was no exception. I received some unexpected news last weekend and the thought of counting others more significant than myself and looking out for their interests, was something I needed to hear and apply. I sure hope that Sunday’s messages are as helpful for others as they have been for me.
A point of clarification & confession:
After I preached on Sunday, someone contacted me about a point in my sermon that they thought was flippant and disrespectful to the Lord. Please know at the outset of this that I’m very grateful that someone would point this out and ask about. After hearing this, I asked Perry to listen for the comment and to flag it so I could listen to you. The comment I made was: “This is what I love about Jesus…that dude is all about winning…and I like winning.” In context, my desire was to exalt Jesus for His victory and praise Him for his greatness. However, using the term “dude” was flippant and could be seen as very disrespectful. I asked our other pastors about it and while they remembered the comment, they knew that my desire was not to be disrespectful. However, it’s important for me to clear this up. I have asked Perry to remove that section from the sermon and I have seen that this was a moment of me being flippant. I don’t believe I should have done that or said that way and in the future, I will make an adjustment on this to be more careful with my terms. If you were offended by this, please forgive me.
From the cutting room floor:
The text Sunday is one of the most challenging and debated texts in the Bible. So there was a lot that had to be cut out.
- I didn’t have time to develop or discuss the false idea that Jesus “emptied Himself” of being God and was only a mere man, while on earth. Some have said that when Jesus came to earth, He was not God in that moment…only a man. This is obviously a false teaching because Jesus Himself makes reference to being God. Further, only God could do what Jesus did.
- I didn’t have time to discuss how His two-natures (God and man), worked in perfect harmony and unity. There was never a moment in time when Jesus’ God-ness was in conflict with his human-ness. They were perfectly in harmony.
- There wasn’t time to cover the future exaltation of Jesus. That day is coming, friends. What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see.
- There wasn’t time to clearly define selfish ambition or conceit…those things are discussed in chapter 1 as well & Paul seems to see this as an issue for our hearts. Not sure about you…but living for me, myself, & I, is a daily battle for me.
Quotes I left out:
I didn’t use many quotes this past week mainly because I felt very clear on the text & thought my explanations of the text were clear. Here’s some choice cuts:
- “Looking back, we can picture Paul’s teaching from 1:27 to 2:4 as an upturned triangle. The long line at the top is the place where the church faces the world, finds it hostile but yet stands fast. But this steadfastness depends on the strength of the ‘legs’ which support it, and they are not ‘splayed out’ for strength, but triangle-wise come to a point—the point of individual responsibility. Paul does not leave the question of the worthy life which produces the steadfast stand until he brings it to rest on the worthy life as it is found in the individual, not self-seeking and conceited but with a correctly humble estimate of himself, seeking the welfare of others and putting them first. Steadfastness depends on unity, and unity depends on me.” J.A. Motyer
- “‘Christ, indeed,’ says Calvin, ‘could not divest himself of Godhead; but he kept it concealed for a time … he laid aside his glory in the view of men, not by lessening it, but by concealing it.’” J.A. Motyer
- “Death was the mode, not the master, in his obedience; the obedience was yielded to his Father: this was ‘the cup which the Father has given me’.” J.A. Motyer
- “The great God is expressing a value-judgment about his Son: nothing will do but that he should be lifted up to the highest of all, for, in the Father’s eyes, he is the highest of all. Therefore, before the eyes of chosen witnesses the Father gave visible demonstration of his estimation of Jesus: that he is Lord of all, heaven, earth and hell alike, that his deity is unquestionable, for he is worshipped in heaven where none can be worshipped but God only, and that he has now emerged from incognito into his full and acknowledged possession of the divine name and Lordship. The historical, physical event of the ascension is a moral and spiritual comment on Jesus.” J.A. Motyer
- “Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus (verse 5)—the mighty description of the ‘mind of Christ’ (verses 6–8) is given both in order that we might know the life which matches our new nature and also in order that we might set ourselves to copy him.” J.A. Motyer
- Reminder to your heart: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) What are the things that are your chariots & horses? “Some trust in their money & possessions”; “Some trust in their strategies & plans”; “Some trust in their intellect & beauty”…you get the point. Join me in trusting in the Lord our God.
- I was reminded this week of what can happen to our hearts as we get older or we lose influence. We can get sad & depressed. Well, don’t be like this guy Ahithophel when his counsel was not followed. 2 Samuel 17:23 points out what happened to him: “When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.” So often when don’t have the influence they used to have; they retire from being the boss or they stop being the star; or they’re just not “needed” as before, they feel like they’ve lost their place in this world. Instead, let’s keep pushing to invest in others, for the glory of God & for others’ good.
- Reminder, groups start this week. If you’re looking for a place to connect, there’s lots of opportunities. Click here or contact the church office for more details. 9 community groups, some new ladies’ options & a few study groups going on. Come join us!