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1705. Thinking Like Christ

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2024 2:37 pm

1705. Thinking Like Christ

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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February 9, 2024 2:37 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” with a message from Philippians 2:5-8.

The post 1705. Thinking Like Christ appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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From Philippians, I get how to rejoice more in God, no matter what the circumstances.

I'm learning about humility a lot and putting other people's needs above my own, not being so selfish. So the Lord's been teaching me a lot this semester, but one of the big things is that He is sufficient for my every need, whether that's in a class because I'm struggling or even in friendships, that Christ is all I need and I can trust Him in every circumstance. Those were Bob Jones University students who've been blessed by the chapel 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, 5 through 8. Our theme has been Live Worthy of the Gospel, that Paul commanded Christians to live this way. And he also urged the church of 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 has 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 has been considered to be one of the most important passages of scripture in the entire New Testament.

Some have 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. Social 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 it's actually having a higher mindset, a higher way of thinking, a higher attitude. Beginning here in Philippians chapter 2 and verse 5, 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 servant 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 5.

It 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. Now we're going to stop there because if you go to verse 9, 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 6 through 8, we find the, the dissension of Jesus Christ from heaven to this earth and ultimately to the cross.

And in verses 9 through 11, we find Jesus ascending back into heaven into the realms of glory. And as we look at this passage this 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. And it's 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 have rebuked the church for the problems that they had. They had a problem with bickering. They had a problem with worry.

There 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 and he, that requires much more thinking. Someone has said this I found to be very interesting. It says great minds discuss ideas. Large minds discuss events.

And small minds discuss people. What is Paul doing? He is elevating our mindset by pointing us to the beauty, the majesty, 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 and to 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? Well I want us 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 the Greek word morphe and it refers to somebody's inner character, their inner attributes that is reflected in their outward actions. So here's 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, in other 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, bright light. Listen to Psalm 104 verse one. He is clothed with splendor and majesty and 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 it this way, zipped down His humanity and He displayed in some form His pre-incarnate state. Do you know where that was? That was on what we call the mount of transfiguration when we was with Peter, James, and John. And Moses and Elijah shows up. And the Bible tells us that a brilliant, bright light exploded, it bursted forth out of the person of Jesus Christ. And that light that emanated from Jesus was a blinding light and for a few moments we saw Jesus display His glory. Now 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's 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 goes on and he 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 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, and it is here that we see not only the eternal majesty of Christ, but we see the eternal humility of Christ. For notice what it says, who 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. What does that mean? The idea is that Jesus did not hold on to His equality with God as something to use for His own advantage. Jesus did not consider His equality with God as a treasure to be grasped, to be clutched, to be held on to, to not give up.

Or I could say it this way, giving up 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. It's the story of a fellow named Pat Tillman. Tillman was an NFL linebacker who was selected in the 1998 NFL draft for the, to play for the Arizona Cardinals from Arizona State University. He 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 and he joined the United States Army on the 31st of May 2002 and he became an Army Ranger. It 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 as something to be kept, but rather something that qualified him to come and be our savior.

So what do we see here? We see the astonishing humility of Jesus because Jesus was not a grasper, he was a giver. He was not a taker, but he was one who gave 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. Now think about it, if that was Christ's mindset in Heaven, and that's the way He is as God, should we not be humble in our mindset? And that leads me to the second thing that Paul says here, that not only was his disposition humble in Heaven, but it was also seen on earth. So we see Christ's humility on earth. And notice what the scripture says, it says, he made himself of no reputation, he took upon himself the form of his servant and he was made in the likeness of man. Paul is describing through Jesus' 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's saying, and then 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 does that mean? It means he emptied himself. And 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 it this way, he emptied himself of some of the displays of those attributes. You could say it this way, that there were things that he gave up. He gave up, 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, he gave up some of the prerogatives, some of the privileges, some of the suggested it this way, he gave up the holy atmosphere of Heaven. I often think about students that come 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 his eternal glory. In other words, when you saw Jesus, you were 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 owned the cattle on the Thousand Hills. He could call 12 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 a purpose, to be our mediator. He came to be our sacrifice, to die for us. So the Bible says he made himself of no reputation and then he further explains it, it says he took upon himself the form of a servant. When Jesus emptied himself, he took on the form of a, literally, a slave. And when it says the form of the slave, the word form is the same word for the form of God. So when we say Jesus had the form of God, it means both inside, in his person, his character, his attributes, and on the outside, all of it, he was God and it's 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 out. By the way, if anybody understands slavery, it was Jesus. So he had both the form of God and 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 our mind around the idea that Jesus Christ was God himself and at the exact same moment, he had the mindset of a slave. And 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.

Listen to it. It says, behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. I have put my spirit upon him.

He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause 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 Shriner, in his commentary, said this about those two objects, the smoking flax and the bruised reed. He said they are symbolic of anybody who is bruised, abused, worthless, and about to be discarded. A bruised or crushed reed may not be of much value to some people, but the servant will not destroy the lowly and weak people that others might reject as 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 could say it this way, Jesus treats no one as worthless or as unusable. In fact, it's 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 thing that you have ever gone through or ever will go through in your life that Jesus has not fully and completely experienced. Do you know why that's so important? Because you have a friend you can go to and bear your heart to who understands you thoroughly. Most of us are somewhat unwilling to get counsel from people that we don't feel comfortable with. They don't understand us. They don't know us.

They don't know where we're coming from. Well Jesus knows where you're coming from. There is no one who has 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 what things feel like. 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. And that leads me to the final thing, and that is Paul talks about Christ's humility in his death. Jesus's 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 a cross. In every way, Jesus's visible appearance was unmistakingly a man. As a real man, as a real man, no one humbled himself as much as Jesus did.

He always took 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 men.

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 resistance 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 which sent 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 at the very heart of the desire to be independent but Jesus made a choice to humble himself and become obedient even to dying for his father's will. In the garden, he said, Lord, not my will but thine be done. And he died a painful death, a shameful death, a humble death. For the Messiah to die on a cross didn't make sense to the Jews because He would come under God's curse.

It didn't 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 a bloody 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 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 any one 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 us, way beyond me Lord. To be humble is so opposite of the world. The world is filled with an entitlement mentality, a victim 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 oh 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 nature is within us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

And help us Lord to be humble like you are humble in Jesus' name, amen. We would like to make you aware of the textbook division of Bob Jones University called BJU Press. BJU Press produces textbooks and educational materials for preschool through 12th grade and the textbooks are filled with biblical worldview integration, not just in the Bible course textbooks but in all academic subjects. As stated on their website, we shape each subject according to the lens of scripture. Each discipline takes on a new meaning when we apply the themes of creation, fall, and redemption. If you would like more information about BJU Press for both Christian schools and home schools, go to www.bjupress.com slash about where you can find out more about how biblical worldview, academic rigor, and critical thinking is integrated into all of their textbooks and classroom material. Once again, that's www.bjupress.com slash about. Join us again next week as we continue the study of Philippians on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-11 17:00:07 / 2024-02-11 17:09:26 / 9

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