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February 17, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” with a message from Philippians 2:1-2 entitled “Be Like-Minded.”
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform.
Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series entitled live worthy of the gospel, which is a study of the book of Philippians. The title of today's message is be like-minded from Philippians 2 verses one into please take your Bibles and turn with me please to the book of Philippians Philippians chapter 2 this morning. Well, we are now in our third week of studying the theme live worthy of the gospel and we started out by talking about the book of Philippians in the rider and why the book was written in last week we got into the basic theme of live worthy of the gospel where Paul writes in Philippians 127 as he writes to the church. They are the loveseat he keep cares for them is thankful for them and he tells them in verse 27 the Philippians wind that our conversation or our life, our citizenship should be lived in such a way that we reflect the worth and the value of what Christ is done for us, so all of us are to be living as examples to live worthy of the gospel and how do we do that by striving together for the faith of the gospel to get the gospel out to be faithful to the Lord, even in the midst of suffering in this life. This morning were going to look at the first two verses of Philippians chapter 2 where Paul is encouraging us to be like-minded and to fulfill his joy is. Let's read the Scripture and will begin this morning. Verse one. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any, bowels and mercies fulfill ye my joy that you be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind, I heard the story about a play that portrayed the intense conflict between a father and the son and the plane came when the father in the sign had had such a troubled relationship that they decided to part ways. While in the middle of the night. The sun had trouble sleeping, so we got up he went down to the kitchen to fix him a sandwich and when he got there. His father was in the kitchen because he couldn't sleep either. And so after they fix their sandwiches. They began to talk about past. They talk about the years in Little League baseball about their great hunting and fishing trips about their swimming together when it seemed like there was some needed healing that was taking place. The sunset dad, do you remember the time we were out on on the lake in that green boat. His father said the boat was loose on the son said no it was and it was green.
The father said your mistaken. It was blue green, blue, green, balloon, and his son left and he never returned. Sometimes differences don't really matter, but sometimes it is difficult for us to see what is essential what is important and what is not. Paul is concerned that the Philippians no clearly what is essential and wide are they to be committed to the main thing is always to keep the main thing the main thing. And last week as we heard of Paul's command to live worthy of the gospel this week we come to his second command and that's failed here in Philippians chapter 2 verses one through four. Now we only read the first two verses and that's the only wheel that's the time that we have two look at this this morning but actually in the Greek verses one through four is one long sentence and the main clause of the main idea is actually found in verse two, and it is a command. Notice what he says in the opening verse two, he says fulfill ye my joy. Now Paul is writing this book and he's explaining how Christians can experience joy and Paul himself is an example. So when we look at his joy, his joy can become our joy. And so Paul writes any says fulfill ye my joy board fulfill is the idea of filling up your cup to the top of the brim's like when you go out to eat at a restaurant and the waiter comes by.
The waitress comes back and they pour the water and they bring it all the way up to the top. Paul is saying feel up my joy glass all the way to the top of the brim. All of us here at seeing the filling up of joy in many ways. Maybe when you first brought your report card home to your parents for the first time and they read it and there was a big smile on their face, and a joy broke out in joy broke out in your heart. Or maybe you seen the fist pump of a pro golfer who makes a long provide any wins the match. Or maybe you see a football players dog piling on each other after they just scored a touchdown. So Paul is writing and he says fulfill my joy. So how does that take place in and how does it work in our own lives. So this morning I like to try to ask and answer three questions from this passage of Scripture that will help us understand better what Paul meant by that. The first question is what would calls Paul's joy to be for pool or to be complete with you at first it may appear that in that statement fulfill ye my joy is a little bit self-serving. I like like make me joyful and yet we know Paul is not self-serving because we read in verse three, he says, look not every man on his own things on the things of others. So is not serving himself. What then would calls Paul's joy to be complete will notice he tells us in verse two, when he says that you be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. If I could put in in modern language. He says there needs to be in alignment among all of you in the church are unanimity of mind a consensus among all the believers you say a consensus of what what should they be little outlined about very interesting there the book came out a few years ago, written by an author Leslie Flynn in the name of the book is called great church fights and it is a little coin that he quotes it goes like this believe as I believe no more, no less, that I am right and no one else confess feel as I feel, think, only as I think, eat what I eat and drink what I drink look as I will do. Always as I do in then and only then, I'll have fellowship with you.
Do we have to agree on everything in order to have alignment and unity. The answer is no. However, Paul establishes the centerpiece of Christian unity and that's what he writes in verse 27 of chapter 1, when he says let your citizenship be as it become of the gospel of Christ, that whether ICU or else be absent from you. I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind doing what striving together for the faith of the gospel. What is it that we should be aligned about is the gospel. We are to stand for the gospel serve the gospel strive for the gospel to get it out and be willing to suffer for the gospel. So Paul is saying here, how is it that you can fill up my joy glass and that is that we all are aligned together for the gospel sake, don't let any self-serving thing come between you. We already know there was a brewing conflict in the church between the two ladies found in chapter 4 and verse two and the very idea that Paul is saying fulfill ye my joy means that obviously this is a very emotional thing to him. This is something he feels very deeply so that leads me then to the second question and that is what is calls Paul to be so emotionally charged over the unity of the church. Why is it that he is so passionate about it and the answer is found in verse one, when he says if there be therefore any consolation in Christ any comfort of love any fellowship of the spirit, if any, bowels and mercies. Now if you look at the verse very carefully you'll notice that Paul is referring here to the three members of the Trinity, Christ, consolation the spirits fellowship and is not mentioned here specifically but is consistent with the New Testament and that is the love of God the father and what Paul is passionate about is that he understands the nature of God. He knows what God is like that God is one God found in three persons. The father the son and the spirit and in general what he is saying is this, that the Trinity models unity because they are three and wine and they are all working together. You see the father son and the Spirit is the template for us as believers. They are all striving together.
They have a purpose. We think of our salvation. The father planned it. The sun purchased it and the spirit prepares our hearts to receive it their all aligned together, working together, you can say collaborating together to fulfill their purpose. So in general we have the unity that is found in the Trinity and more specifically what he is saying is that this father the son and the Spirit are working on the behalf of the believers to support them while they are going through suffering. The Philippians are suffering as Christians in their home city. The Trinity is unified and working together for the benefit of all God's suffering children.
It's not that they're helping some, and not helping others. They are helping all because Christ is all and he is in all. So as we break it down. Notice the statement if there be therefore any consolation in Christ. The word consolation is the word for comforter one who comes alongside of you. How many of you have been encouraged by your relationship to Christ.
Have you ever experience the sense in your heart that you really are a child of God.
I remember when the Lord gave me the assurance of salvation. My sophomore year of college and I had such a sense of connection to Christ. Have you felt the piece in the joy that you know your sins have been forgiven. Have you ever had that lifted. Have you ever had the sense that Christ is your mediator to God in you can calm and you can cast your burdens on the Lord and you know that he cares for you. Have you ever been thrilled with the awareness that you are rich in Christ. Do you live with the awareness that Jesus is your shepherd and you are the sheep of his pasture and he's leading you and he's guiding you anything guarding you.
In other words, all of us who are believers have that experience consolation in Christ, the notice, he said, is there any comfort of love word for the word for comfort. There is the idea of of a persuasive motive is God's love not powerfully working in your heart when you look at the cross. What you see you see the bleeding sacrifice which you also see the love of God because God sent his son for you. Do you not know that God loves you unconditionally that you cannot ever measure up to his standard.
So it is not us coming to him but him coming down to the sense that God shows you before in eternity.
Start before before time started that this is a love that will not let you go. You are in the palm of his hand and nothing can take you out.
Has God not put his love in your heart, where he is given you a love for his church a love for his word. A love for his presence.
When God's people suffer together. We all share together in that love in the notice. The third any fellowship of the spirit that word fellowship means of a participation or a sharing like a shared meal of family sitdown meal where you all take a piece of meat off the plate, together you share together and so objectively we all share in the spirit by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, the church in subjectively.
What is that mean it means we all experience the work of the Holy Spirit is strengthening his empowering his illumination. His hunger for the word he puts within us a desire for prayer and a burden for those that are lost. This is a unity that is created within us to the father the son and the spirit and the notice he says if any bowels and mercies. What is this mean he's referring to the way that this is touched you deep in your heart.
Word for bowel there refers to your stomach.
The Greeks believed that your stomach was the seed of your emotions. It's, like, you know how it is when you get nervous and you get butterflies in your stomach. My wife asked me one day she said do you love me and I said yes. I love you with all of my guts is not very romantic but that's the deepest way you can say it biblically. I love you with all of my guts, that probably will make a meme. I'm sure by the end of the day. Are there any bowels and mercies.
Another words, have you not experience God's own affection and compassion in your own heart and what is this point he's point is that there is this shared experience among all believers. If the Trinity is working for you, then, should you not be unified amongst one another. If if they or if this father son and Spirit are supporting us.
Why would we not support one another.
So what he is doing here is easy.
He's explaining why it is that this will fulfill his joy. He had a deeper understanding of the work of God in his life, and then notice the third and last question and that is hollow.
How then do we fulfill Paul's joy. That's what brings us here to verse two when he becomes very very specific. You could say he's becoming granular, he's getting down in the we and he says fulfill you my joy that any is explaining it uses for phrases here. The first phrase, and the fourth phrase are essentially what, with slight difference. The same thing. Notice what he says fulfill you my joy that you be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. So let's take the first like-minded and the fourth of one mind board from buying their like-minded one mind same exact words. The Greek word for a net of it's the way that you think is the way you look at things and he says.
First of all, you should be like-minded, it means that you should think the same way now to get people to think the same way as really hard. Therefore, it cannot be your thoughts.
It has to be somebody else's thoughts we think the same thing and water those thoughts.
Paul's already given them to those thoughts. Thoughts are found in verse one, when he says the Trinity has a unity there unified and the gospel has become the priority so you have unity and priority.
So this is the way that you think he says be like-minded and then he says of one mind, the word there one mind means think the one thing he's narrowing it down to everybody thinking this way best illustration I could give us what we have done here on campus when you came back to campus and we knew that we were going to have to set them protocols for covert, 19, there were two things that I said number one, we have we have a threat code 19 and we have a goal. The goal is not to wear a mask. The goal is not to socially distance the goal is to mitigate the spread of the virus. It's that simple. It's not complicated and therefore where the best way we know to do it is to follow these protocols and that's the way were all supposed to think that if we think differently from that, then we will inevitably do hat will inevitably have disunity and so what he is saying here is we are to think the same and we are to think the one like mindedly mind this one thing. And of course that one saying is the gospel where that is our central focus of the notice he go zone.
He says he says like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord that little phrase one accord means it it it means the same or to a means literally means together with soul primary word is soul is the word for psychology, Sukkoth. You could say it this way, we are soul brothers and soul sisters.
We don't do it much anymore but when I was a younger Christian, you always called a Christian young man you always called them brother and I actually went to the old school kind of churches where they called the ladies sisters so my wife was often called sister Terry. I love that because we are all soul brothers and soul sisters were brothers and sisters from another mother. We have different parents. But we are all saying we are soul to soul united in spirit as well as singing together so powerful because your singing from your heart.
Your singing from your soul. So what is he saying here he says fulfill you my joy.
How do you do that where you are like-minded. You are of one mind and your also love one soul and then the last phrase is that you have having the same love love in the Bible is always the glue that holds us together. Love binds everything together in perfect harmony and what is this love.
Specifically, it's actually not your love for God.
It's actually your love for one another and he explains it in verses three and four for when he says don't look every man on your own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus. He's talking about the way that we look at each other.
If you are brothers. If you are sisters. What do you do you love one another. I just came back this weekend from the marriage of my youngest son, Michael. It was up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. So all of our family was there are four children were there are five grandchildren were there and then we had friends from literally all over the country that came Dr. Sam Horn was there about why Sam Horn is lost 53 pounds. He looks like he's in the third grade and so we were all there together and you know it's always a blessing because though in a way were all unique were all different. We all have the same love for God and that same love for each other you know churches actually grow they actually grow. We talk about church growth being based on you know, building relationships and building connections.
We use a lot of phrases like that but actually no I churches grow because they love each other.
There's a real love.
I want to churches and they were cold as refrigerators.
There was no love. I walked in pace, places, and I knew that the people love me and cared for me and here's what Paul is saying. I know I know what brings joy in life and that joy is when you, as believers are committed together. First of all because of the unity that is in the Trinity and what they are doing for us and that commitment to the gospel and that we as soul brothers and sisters are thinking the same thing and what we choose to do. We choose to love one another.
It's not if you love me, it's me loving you. You see, you may not love me but that's not gonna change anything about me. I'm to love you no matter what.
And Paul knows it.
Paul has experienced it. Where there is unity where there is alignment, where there is collaboration together over the most important thing the gospel what is the end result. It is always a heart that is filled to the brim with joy. For where there is the presence of the Holy Spirit. There's always the presence of joy. It wouldn't be a wonderful thing here on campus if we could experience what Paul said one man, one heart, one love, committed together for the faith of the gospel, you know, coming to a Christian college is a great experience, but is also selfish experience because college students can can become the most selfish people on the planet. You know why because college is about you is about your education is that your classes so that your friends about this is that when you graduate you suddenly find out that guess what is not about you at all. And yet, what an opportunity you have to have some of the greatest if I could say this way unit T love experiences as a believer that you ever have in your life on a campus where people are fulfilling one another's joy by being like-minded, I hope that you get to experience that as a student here Bob John's father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your love.
We pray that our joy would be full because of the way we think and the way we feel in the way we love in Jesus name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon from the book of Philippians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
If you would like to order the study booklet titled live worthy of the gospel which was written for the series, visit our email@example.com. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
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Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in Philippians on The Daily Platform