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February 18, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” with a message entitled “The Call to Humility” from Philippians 2:3-4.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. We have been going over chapel series that is living with any of the gospel and the main things I've been reminded HSR unity in Christ and for and is to be like-minded with other believers because of our bond in Christ would be worthy of the gospel is about like you know being humble enough to not just like we concerned about yourself will go for others like sharing the gospel with people with honestly like one of those prideful things you can do your content with going to heaven.
But, like you also okay with people going to hell for sharing the gospel really sets for your actions show.
I get to rejoice morning God no matter what the circumstances. Those were Bob Jones University students who been blessed by the chapel messages from the Philippians series called live worthy of the gospel was to listen to today's message entitled the call to humility from Philippians 2, three and four. Would you please take your Bibles and turn with me to Philippians chapter 2 we been working through Paul's theme of living worthy of the gospel and as we have looked at this passage of Scripture we ask will how do we live worthy of the gospel only talked in our first message on being steadfast in both serving ministry and also being steadfast in the unity and Paul talked about how important unity was where we are one mind, one heart and one soul and what is the key to unity.
How do you have unity among believers in basically it's all being aligned together when you step into life and leadership roles. One of the most important things that a leader can do is to get people aligned together because every individual produces energy but two people together produce synergy and the reason why you're able to accomplish amazing things is not because you have an amazing person is because you have amazing persons very very important if you want to go fast, go by yourself. If you want to go far you have to go with others, and so Paul understands the importance of the alignment of believers.
So the question is how do you get people aligned together. And of course you need to have the same mission in the same purpose, but it's a little bit more than that in verses three and four Philippians chapter 2 Paul is putting me on the loans to his charge to be like-minded to be unified. He's fleshing out right kind of an attitude because attitude makes the difference. And he shows us that the way that you get every body on the same page is not only do you have the same mission live worthy of the gospel, but you have the same attitude and is the attitude of humility. So tomorrow this morning. I like to speak to you on the theme of the call to humility because Christianity does not work without people being humble. So let's look at Philippians chapter 2 verses three and four Paul is, he has called them to fulfill the joy that he looks for in unity and then in verse three says these words let nothing be done through strife or vain glory. But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. So what is Paul doing here. He's establishing this call this cry out for all of God's people to be humble and in his communication. What he does is two things here. Number one key contra well first of all, he basically contrasts what humility is to secondly what humility is not an in that contrast, we come to understand what it is that were to be doing so those two things I want to look at this morning. What does it mean to not be humble and secondly what it means to be humble now. This is a hard subject to speak about because none of our so overly that that humble is a got is is is about the God who talk about being humble and he said how became humble at all my friends wrote books about me you know it doesn't really can't quite work that way. So what is humility, not any begins by telling us in verse three when he says let nothing be done through strife or vain. These two expressions are the very things that work against being humble and being being unified as believers in this phrase is very interesting that there is no verb in the Greek language and in the main verb is back in verse two, when he says be like-minded to think the one thing and so basically reads this way, thinking nothing in relationship to strife and vain glory.
There are two attitudes that should either be totally absent from our way of thinking or when they do appear, we should throw them out the front door as fast as possible and what are those two attitudes number one strive and number two vainglory let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. I could put it this way, we should be ruthless with ourselves when we see these attitudes and our own life and by the way, one of the evident signs of maturity is you are self aware of your own thoughts. You know sometimes I get with people and I think I think your little clueless. You know you really don't really see yourself and your really not self-aware and God calls us to be aware of our own attitudes.
One of those attitudes number one is the attitude of strife. The word strive was used back in the days in the Greek days to describe somebody that was running for political office. Do you know anybody running for political office today. This is someone it was striving to put position themselves against arrival in order to win that we use words like I don't play politics or people are so political the idea of the word strive is one whose motivation is working for your own personal gain or your own selfish ambition but here's a question.
Does the apostle Paul, give us any illustration of believers that were living with the attitude of strife and the answer is course as a rhetorical question. The answer is yes.
When we find that look at verse 15 of Philippians chapter 1 Paul is talking about his experience of being in Rome and there were many believers in the city of Rome, and he makes this statement innocent is a is a sad commentary because it's so true of all of us. He said some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife and some also of goodwill, the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to them to my bonds.
What is Paul saying apparently there were those Christians who were preaching the gospel in Rome and I'm in a manner and with the motive to actually antagonize Paul.
Evidently they were jealous of Paul's ministry and they were trying to get some of Paul's followers and for Paul, he decided that he would rejoice over there preaching. If people were being say, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and I'm excited for that. I can be like, I can be excited about anybody who is preaching the gospel.
Why, because when the gospel is being preached people were getting saved whether I preach it or not. Remember years ago experiencing this when I was a new convert and I was working at a church in Denver Colorado.
We went out on a Saturday morning doing house to house visitation and a man came to the door and I began to talk to about the Lord's short story is that I led this man to the Lord standing there sharing the gospel with and I got back in my car with another gentleman that was with me was older than me. I was just you write fresh out of college, and he's probably up in his 30s, and we close the door. I say praise the Lord, and he looked at me and he said you stole my convert went what he said you stole my convert. I could've led that guide of the Lord, but you did it. I went to in the world are you talking about, and all of a sudden there was a strife and contention over this guy getting saved. The apostle Paul said that there were people that were being saved. And yet, he was grieved over their motives because there was not a unity. Let nothing be done through strife. Contrast that to the to the response of John the Baptist when he was told that Jesus was getting more followers than John and he testified something that we all must testify. She must increase and I must decrease.
Andrew McMurray said the humble man feels no jealousy or envy.
He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praise while he is forgotten because he has received the spirit of Jesus to please not himself but Saul, not his and in whose salt, not his own honor in the church.
The obstacle to unity is not differences of opinion, but self centered, seeking, but nothing be done through strife in the notice number two vainglory.
The word vainglory means to be conceited is set up as an inflated opinion of yourself. We call it the big head, my mother mother used to say a proud boy.
He's too big for his britches.
Oscar Wilde was a famous Irish playwright in the late 1800s when he was asked as he went through customs. If he had anything to declare he answered only my genius your mentor and people like that.
Their arrogant pride thinks I'm up here when in reality I'm down here, CS Lewis said of a man thinks he is not conceited.
He is very conceited. Indeed, and St. Chrysostom said there is nothing quite so foreign to a Christian as arrogance with people develop an inflated opinion about themselves. It can always prove to be deadly. If you ever heard of a puffer fish.
It has a self-defense mechanism where it can quickly transform itself into an odd looking ball like creature that scares away its predators.
If you look like that it would scare me to.
It's also the second most poisonous vertebrae in the world whose tocsin is 1200 times more powerful than cyanide one puffer fish can kill 30 adult men, but they are also considered a delicacy in Japan, but it takes a specially trained chef that can clean the fish and deliver a toxin free meal being puffed up can prove to be deadly.
What is the book of Proverbs, a pride goeth before what destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. If you think you're up here and you face reality. You're always going to go down but conceited people. They lived with an inflated opinion of themselves. They they live with a sense of entitlement they think they deserve the best seat in the house. What did Jesus say about this. He said if you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the place of honor let someone more distinguished than you be invited and he who invited you both will come and say do you give your place to this person and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place, he said, but when you're invited, go sit in the lowest place. Don't sit in the front seat sit in the backseat, so that when your host comes he may say to you, friend, move up higher, then he will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you for everybody who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Is it wrong to be praise. No, it's not wrong. I don't think so is long as you're not singing the two. The Bible says let another man prays they are not unknown lips, a stranger or not yourself. Conceited people are motivated by self interest in the advancement of their own personal agenda. We hire a VP Bob Jones University. My number one concern is not their abilities, but it is there humility because if you come here and we smell an agenda, then you know what it stinks and we don't want to be around people that are smelly and agenda driven person. A person that seeks entitlement is a person who is a inflated, they have a sense of vainglory is almost impossible to not have conflict when people have their own agenda only by pride cometh contention. So Paul says think nothing in relationship to strife and vainglory. It is obvious that this is not natural for us to think this way. We have to be hard on ourselves. We have to be hard on our attitude we have to constantly praying our faults back in and bring them into captivity to the obedience to Christ because this is obviously not Christ attitude. So first of all Paul tells us what humility is not the secondly he tells us what humility is Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Jerusalem in intent and in anticipation of Jesus becoming the Messiah ruling king two brothers, James and John begin to jockey for position of prestige.
They come to Jesus and they ask if they can sit on either side of Jesus on his throne when he rules in rain even their mother gets into the action and request that her sons have the best seats in the house and understandably the other disciples were angered at the audacity of the two brothers selfish ambition nose interesting to me that they ask for a position of sitting on either side of Jesus when he when he reached his glory and they did not realize that that glory was not on the throne, but it was on a tree. It was not wearing a crown but it was hanging on the cross and there were those on either side of Jesus on that cross of glory and who were they they were the thieves on the cross.
Do you know what it must've been humbling for James and John to see that Jesus took this little group together and he readjusted their thinking he clarify the fact that leaders of the world rule over people importance is measured by power and control in the world but it is different in the kingdom of God.
Greatness means service success means ministry it means to subordinate yourselves not just to Jesus but to your own servants who of you want to be the chief Jesus said then become the servant of all. I knew a Bible college once that on the day of graduation. They were's. They gave to all the graduating seniors two things.
Number one I gave them a diploma number two they gave them a trowel MO metallic said be great/serve! Jesus made it very clear that if you really want to be great. You must become a servant doing things motivated by strife and conceit is the spirit of the world doing things motivated by humility is the spirit of heaven. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Paul is telling us that in order to be like minded.
We have to be below minded. Let me say it again in order for us to be like-minded to be unified.
We need to have the same attitude we must be low minded was that mean to be low minded. I read the story of the two famous evangelist George Whitfield and John Wesley, who were both contemporaries and friends. However, they had grade great disagreements over theological matters with Phil was very careful not to create problems in public over these disagreements because he did not want to hinder the preaching of the gospel when someone asked Whitfield if he thought that he would see Wesley in heaven.
Whitfield replied I fear not, for she will be so near the throne of God and we had such a distance, we shall hardly get sight of him. He was low minded was it mean to be low minded does it mean to think lonely of yourself will in one degree. The answer is yes. What did Jesus say in Luke 17 of verse 10 he says when you have done all that you were commanded to do say we are but unworthy servants because we've only done what is our duty. When you say this way before God before God we all should feel unworthy because when we do our very best. We know that there's all kinds of problems even in our best. So how should we be before God we should lay ourselves low like a doormat.
This is the best position to be in because this is what you get. Grace God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Humility is not a quality that was praised in the ancient world. It was scorned in the ancient world and is still scorned today, but it brings the praise of heaven.
Isaiah 5715 thus says the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy. I dwell in the high holy place with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit when compared to God. We should always go below, but with man. It's different. Humility is not putting yourself down in front of others.
Humility is lifting others up above you look not every man on his own things that's easy to do but every man also on the things of others.
It's not neglecting yourself is just not think being about yourself. Someone said that when you're 20 years old. You worry about what people think about you when you're 40 years old. You don't care what people think about you and when you turn 60 years old, you realize that nobody is thinking about you anyway. My mother who is 89 years old and I will say a word about her in a moment when she was about 80 years old got a Facebook account.
It lasted less than a week.
We said mom thought you were own Facebook.
She said I was.
She said but I got all of us and why did you get off and she said why in the world would anybody care that I went to the grocery store, social media can inflate your ego to be low minded means to think of others to value others to serve others to esteem other better than themselves. Have you ever heard this him, Lord, help me live from day to day in such a self forgetful way that even when I kneel to pray. My prayer shall be for others others Lord. Yes, others let this my motto be. Help me to live for others that I may live like the biblical times lowliness was to depicted in slavery. A slave stood on the slowest lowest rung of the social ladder.
Everybody was above a slave, a slave had nothing to do in life, but to serve those that were above him and told him have you ever stopped to consider that Paul and James and Peter and Jude in John all introduce themselves, as in their writings as slave of Jesus Christ. We are to go below and we are to adopt a slave mentality look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. This means to pay careful attention to serve and anticipate the needs of others. This is what Paul said Timothy's attitude was in chapter 2 in verse 19 and 22 when he says that as a son with the father. He is served with me in the gospel.
Timothy was an example of the quality that enables us to live worthy of the gospel.
But as we finish up this morning go back to James and John remember the guys is that we want to sit on either side of Jesus and his throne and glory and on the night before Jesus was crucified. The disciples did not do something that they should have done and that is in ancient times when people would come over to her home for a meal. The slaves would watch the feet of those that were attending the meal and when they came into the house to have what we call the Last Supper. No one was there to wash their feet and during the meal Jesus got up and took his clothes off and wrapped himself in a towel and he went to every single disciple and he washed their feet because he wanted to show them what it meant to be great in the kingdom of God that greatness is always found in serving others.
So how are we like-minded is when we are low minded is when we are seeking to serve others and not serve ourselves. So let me conclude with this that Bob Jones University got you a lot of opportunities to be one way or the other where it's all about you and everybody else is sort of a pain. It only or is an opportunity to look for multitudes of opportunities to be a servant to be a blessing to wash others feet. Father, we thank you for your goodness to us. We thank you that you love us. We thank you that you have tender mercies on us and you are a shepherd and we are your sheep. We pray for those there many in this room that have struggles they have family health. These issues, they they are all facing the same things and more. May we lift up one another in prayer and I pray for your blessing in and as we continue to walk with you. 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. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow is we continue the study in Philippians on the daily plan