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February 19, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” with a message entitled “Thinking like Christ” from Philippians 2:5-8.
John Philippians I get how to rejoice more in God no matter what the circumstances that humility alive and spitting at any of my own not being so selfish ways that even in trials that we get there. God has a bigger plan for us, something I think it especially right now during everything we think those were Bob Jones University students who been blessed by the triple messages from the Philippians series called live worthy of the gospel in today's message Steve will demonstrate how Paul presented Jesus Christ as the ultimate example of a humble mind.
The message is titled, thinking like Christ from Philippians 2, five through eight are famous men live worthy of the gospel that Paul commanded Christians to live this way. They also urged the church at Philippi to be unified together to be aligned together, be of one mind, one heart, one soul committed to the truth of the gospel and then as we last met together as we had a message. It was been two weeks now Paul is calling the believers not to look at their own things, but to be servants to love others to be humble and today we're going to look at what is been considered to be one of the most important passages of Scripture in the entire New Testament. Some of considered it to be a beautiful diamond in a 24 karat gold setting because the apostle Paul is appealing to believers to a higher way of thinking. Spiritual maturity is actually developing the way that you think it's not following rules. Although you have rules.
That's a part of life but is actually having a higher mindset a higher way of thinking a higher attitude be good beginning here in Philippians chapter 2 and verse five the apostle Paul tells us that we are to have a humble mindset and he sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme illustration of the humblest survey who took the lowliest position and he wants us to think that way. So let's take time this morning to look at this call to be humble. As we learn to think like Christ. Look at verse five. He says these words let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross were to stop there because if you go to verse nine.
All of a sudden, the gears change because the apostle Paul begins the passage with a downward move to the lowest depths and then suddenly he soars upwards to the highest heights in verses six through eight, we find the, the dissension of Jesus Christ from heaven to this earth and ultimately to the cross. In verses nine through 11 we find Jesus ascending back into heaven into the realms of glory. And as we look at this passage is morning, we have to understand it in the light of what the Paul the apostle wanted us to do.
He wanted us to understand to show us the humble mindset of Jesus Christ how Christ thinks and in so doing, he is commanding us that we should all adopt or adapt the same attitude. It is interesting to me that Paul's approach is actually not negative but is actually quite positive. In other words, he could have corrected the church and he could've rebuked the church for the problems that they had they had a problem with Pickering. They had a problem with worry that was there was tension within the framework of the church, but instead of approaching it from a negative standpoint which is always the easier approach. He actually approached it from a positive standpoint in heat that requires much more thinking someone is said this I found to be very interesting.
It's is great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people. What is Paul doing he is elevating our mindset by pointing us to the beauty, the man just the glory and the humility of Jesus Christ and we are being compelled by the highest motive to obey God's command and adapt this attitude in the think like Christ. The most compelling reason why we should live worthy of the gospel is because this is the way Jesus lived. So how did Jesus think wellness to see three very simple truths that are found here in this passage of Scripture and actually it's more like a biography of Christ's attitude and the first thing that we see is Christ's humility in heaven. Notice what he says in verse five let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
Paul is showing us here the mindset of Jesus before he came into this world before his incarnation because Jesus lived before he ever lived.
In other words, he was the divine God in heaven before he became a human being on this earth and notice what Paul says he makes an emphatic declaration as to the nature of Jesus. He says who, being in the form of God.
The word form. There is a Greek word more say and it refers to somebody's inner character their inner attributes that is reflected in their outward actions.
So is what Paul is saying that Jesus was God or is God, both inside and out. John Calvin comments on this verse. He says the form of God here means the majesty of God, he said, for as a man is known by the appearance of his form. Another words you and I know each other because of our physical form so the majesty of God is displayed in God's brilliant light. In other words, if somehow we could see God. What would we see we would definitely see a brilliant right light listen is Psalm 104 verse one. He is clothed with splendor and majesty in. He covers himself with light as with a garment. Think of it this way. There was one time in the life of Jesus where Jesus if I could say this way, zip down his humanity and he displayed in some form his pre-incarnate state dinar that was that was on what we call the Mount of Transfiguration when we was with was with Peter, James and John and Moses and Elijah shows up in the Bible tells us that a brilliant bright light exploded. It bursts forth out of the person of Jesus Christ and that lie that emanated from Jesus was a blinding light and for a few moments. We saw all Jesus display his glory. But here's what the apostle Paul is trying to tell us that Jesus Christ is God inside and out. He doesn't just reflect the glory of God that something you and I can do. He actually radiates the glory of God. And if there's any question as to the nature of Jesus.
Paul go zone any says Jesus is equal with God, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. So Paul is saying that Christ's displayed the eternal majesty of God before he ever came to this earth. He was God himself. But how is it that Jesus was thinking that is in that state of glory. How did he think it is here that we see not only be eternal majesty of Christ, but we see the eternal humility of Christ for notice what he says though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. That's from the ESV he thought it not robbery to be equal with God was that mean the idea is that Jesus did not hold alone to his equality with God is something to use for his own advantage. Jesus did not consider his his equality with God as a treasure to be grasped, to be clutched to be held own to not give up or I could say this way, giving your rights and your privileges is was actually a display of a divine attribute.
I was thinking about a gentleman you may never have heard of him but his story is quite well known is the story of a fellow named Pat Tillman. Tillman was an NFL linebacker who was selected in the 1998 NFL draft for the book to play for the Arizona Cardinals from Arizona State University was number 226 in the draft while playing in his fourth season of the NFL.
He watched the events of 9/11 and eight months later he left professional football. They join the United States Army on 31 May 2002 and he became an Army Ranger was quite a story that he would leave professional football to fight for our country.
That was a big story in itself, but the bigger shock came on April 22, 2004 when he was killed in action and when he gave what he gave up what he gave up was only magnified by the sacrifice of his life and his death.
Jesus did not see his equality with God is something to be kept, but rather something that qualified him to come and be our Savior.
So what we see here we see the astonishing humility of Jesus because Jesus was not a grass for he was a giver.
He was not sought to take her, but he was one who gave you and this is the whole concept of grace because grace and humility go together that God was willing to give of himself to come to this earth and that is the mindset of the eternal humility of God, not think about it, if that was Christ mindset in heaven.
And that's the way he is as God, should we not be humble in our mindset that leads me to the second thing that Paul says here that not only was his disposition humble in heaven but was also seen on earth. So we see Christ humility on earth and notice what the Scripture says.
It says he made himself of no reputation. He took upon himself the form of a servant, and he was made in the likeness of man. Paul is describing through Jesus's action what he was thinking when he became a human being and we find here three phrases in this verse the first phrase is the main point.
This is what he saying and in the following two phrases define the main point. So what's the main point. The main point is this that Jesus made himself of no reputation.
What is that mean it means he emptied himself when I say he emptied himself, he didn't empty himself of the qualities of his deity. He was always God in heaven. He is always God on earth and he is always God when he went back to heaven, but he if I could say this way he emptied himself of some of the displays of those attributes you could say this way, that there were things sitting gave up. He gave for example, his status for when he was born he was born into a humble family and he grew up in not only poverty but he grew up in obscurity. I mean he's the King of Kings. But there was no fanfare at his birth, except for the angels, who shouted glory when Jesus came into this world gave out some of the prerogative.
Some of the privileges some of the suggested it this way, he gave up the holy atmosphere of heaven to think about student succumb to Bob Jones University and they move into the dorms. In some cases for you. It's an upgrade for other cases. It's like a real downgrade. There are some things that you give up. He gave up the display of easy of his eternal glory. In other words, when you saw Jesus, you are not attracted to him as if he appeared to be God because he appeared to be a very humble human being somebody on the street you would never notice it by looking at him.
He gave up the wealth and the privileges of his deity and power. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He could call 12 a lien legions of angels to come to protect him, but he gave those things up.
Why because he came on a mission and that mission was to redeem us. He came with the purpose to be our mediator tour.
He came to be our sacrifice. Keep to die for us, so the Bible says he made himself of no reputation, and then he further explains, it is as he took upon himself the form of a sort of a servant.
When Jesus emptied himself, he took on the form of a literally a slave when he says the form of the slave.
The word form is a same word for the form of God. So when we say Jesus had the form of God. It means both inside in his person's character's attributes and will be outside. All of it. He was God and is the exact same thing as him being a slave he took upon himself. Both the attitude and the appearance of a slave he was a slave inside and out. By the way, if anybody understands slavery, it was Jesus so he had both the form of God in the form of a servant at the exact same time he did not exchange the form of God for the form of a slave. Rather, he was perfect God and he was perfect humble man at the exact same time. Can you wrap your brain around that.
I'm not so sure I can but to wrap her mind around the idea that Jesus Christ was was God himself and at the exact same moment he had the mind slip mindset of a slave in this humility was his mindset both before and after he came into this earth and listen to what Isaiah wrote about Jesus 700 years before he was born in Isaiah 42 verse one. Let's listen to it says behold my servant, whom I uphold mine elected who my soul delighted.
I put my spirit upon him, he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry nor lift up nor calls his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax. That's a faintly burning wick shall he not extinguish or quench. It's interesting what Isaiah is saying that Jesus when he would come would be so humble that he would not break a bruised reed and he would not quench a smoking flax. Tom Schreiner, in his commentary said this about those two objects. The smoking flax and the bruise would read.
He said they are symbolic of anybody who is bruised, abused, worthless and about to be discarded. A bruised or crush read may not be of much value to some people but the servant will not destroy the lonely and weak people that others might reject his useless this attitude of not destroying oppressed and suffering people reveals the compassionate and true nature and true servant perspective of this individual. No one is unworthy of help. No one will be treated harshly or as unimportant or as expendable. You can say it this way, Jesus treats no one as work lessors and usable. In fact, is the opposite. He came to die to make all of us our lives as valuable and worthy. He came to die so that we could become his own sons and daughters and so he came and he took upon himself the form of a servant and notice it says he was made in the likeness of man, Jesus fully identified with the human race by fully participating in human experience. There is nothing, not one that thing that you have ever gone through or ever will go through in your life that Jesus has not fully and completely experienced. You know why that's so important because you have a friend you can go to and bear your heart to understand, you thoroughly. Most of us are somewhat unwilling to get counsel from people that we don't feel comfortable with. They don't understand is they don't know what they don't know where were coming from.
Will Jesus knows where you're coming from.
There is no one news ever lived that Jesus is not sympathetic because he can feel the same exact things that you feel and you know for you and I we can go through an experience and over time. We forget what things feel like Jesus never forgets with things for Jesus was full as a human being. He understands and has participated in hunger and thirst and pain and tears and rejection and death. The only difference is he did not have a sin nature and Jesus went from the highest heights the form of God, to the lowest depths to become to take upon himself the form of a slave.
That's his humility that leads me to the final thing that is Paul talks about Christ, humility in his death, Jesus is humility is seen in his coming to die. Listen to what Paul writes, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross in every way.
Jesus is visible appearance was unmistakably a man as a real man is a real man. No one humbled himself as much as Jesus did. He always took the role of the low road.
As I mentioned he was born in poverty raised in obscurity grew up like any child had no formal education or training by his appearance.
He would never be judged as divine in his lifestyle. He chose the path of a commoner in his ministry.
He reached the outcast of society and in his disciples he worked with the mostly ignorant and unlearned in and perhaps there's nothing quite so revealing is our own struggle with being both human and humble, because when Jesus came he joyfully obeyed his father. There was no assistance within his will. There was no rebellion in his heart there was no independence in his spirit.
There was no insecurity about being under authority and there was no wanting to be his own person. He said I came down from heaven not to do my will but the will of my father would send me the right to rule his own life was not in his mind to make his own decisions to control his own choices. Those are the very heart of the desire to be independent but Jesus made a choice to humble himself and become obedient even to die for his father's will, in the garden, he said, Lord, not my will but then be done and he died a painful death.
A shameful death, humble death for the Messiah to die on the cross didn't make sense to the Jews because he would come to God's curse to the Greeks.
It did make sense because the gods can't die at the hand of men but to those of us, you and I sitting here today.
It makes total sense to us because here's what Jesus did. He went to a cross and on that cross, God displayed his love when in obedience to his father's will. The spotless Lamb of God, the sinless son of God took upon himself the sins of all of us on ability cross, he satisfied God's offended holiness. He suffered God's judgment and wrath and condemnation and why did he do that because he wants to take away our sins, he left our sins in the grave when he rose from the dead and now we can praise God because through Jesus Christ, our sins are gone. It makes sense to us. The humblest man who ever lived is Jesus Christ and he is the God man. He was eternally humble in heaven. He was astonishingly, astonishingly humble in his incarnation and he is infinitely humble in his death he was humble before he came to this earth, and he was humble when he went back to his glory in heaven. So we go back to what Paul said let nothing be done through strife or vainglory but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus you know what, that's a tall order. That is a tall order.
It is nothing anyone of you could do by yourself, you cannot live this way but where there is an impossible command. There is always divine grace and if you will humble yourself. God will give you the grace to let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus Lord help us. This is something that is beyond us way beyond his way beyond me, Lord, to be humble is so opposite of the world.
The world in the world is filled with an entitlement mentality of the mentality it's everybody else's fault. It's all my rights. That is so not like you Lord and forgive us of our thoughts that are filled with self perpetuating a self-perpetuating attitude and your attitude. The Lord was to die and dying and giving up rights and privileges and surrender is so not what we are by nature, but thank you Lord that your natures within us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and help us Lord to be humble like you were humble 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 firstname.lastname@example.org you been listening to the daily I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and I invite you to join us at our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina to see how you can be prepared academically and spiritually to serve the Lord through one of our more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.btu.edu or call 800-252-6363.
Thanks for listening. Join us again next week as we continue the study of Philippians on the daily plan