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1703. Be Like-Minded

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2024 2:34 pm

1703. Be Like-Minded

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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February 7, 2024 2:34 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Live Worthy of the Gospel” with a message from Philippians 2:1-2.

The post 1703. Be Like-Minded appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features to as he writes to the church there that he loves. He cares for them.

He's thankful for them. And he tells them in verse twenty seven of Philippians 1 that our conversation or our life or our citizenship should be lived in such a way that we reflect the worth and the value of what Christ has 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 we're going to look at the first two verses of Philippians chapter two, where Paul is encouraging us to be like-minded and to fulfill his joy. Let's read the scripture and we'll 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 a son. And the point came when the father and the son had had such a troubled relationship that they decided to part ways. Well in the middle of the night, the son had trouble sleeping, so he 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 fixed their sandwiches, they began to talk about the past.

They talked about their years in Little League baseball, about their great hunting and fishing trips, about their swimming together. And when it seemed like there was some needed healing that was taking place, the son said, Dad, do you remember the time we were out on the lake in that green boat? His father said, the boat was blue, son. The son said, no it wasn't, it was green. The father said, you're mistaken, it was blue, green, blue, green, blue.

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 know clearly what is essential and what 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 found here in Philippians chapter two, verses one through four. Now we only read the first two verses and that's the time that we have to look at this this morning. But actually in the Greek, verses one through four is one long sentence.

And the main clause or the main idea is actually found in verse two and it is a command. Notice what he says in the opening of 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 and he says, fulfill ye my joy. The word fulfill is the idea of filling up your cup to the top of the brim.

It's like when you go out to eat at a restaurant and the waiter comes by, the waitress comes by and they pour the water and they bring it all the way up to the top. Paul is saying, fill up my joy glass all the way to the top of the brim. All of us here have seen 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 joy broke out in your heart. Or maybe you've seen the fist pump of a pro golfer who makes a long putt and he wins the match.

Or maybe you see 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 and how does it work in our own lives? And so this morning I'd 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 cause Paul's joy to be full or to be complete? Well, at first it may appear that in that statement, fulfill ye my joy is a little bit self-serving, 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, but on the things of others.

So he's not serving himself. What then would cause Paul's joy to be complete? Well 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 it in modern language, he says there needs to be an alignment among all of you in the church, a unanimity of mind, a consensus among all the believers. You say a consensus of what?

What should they be aligned about? It's very interesting there that a book came out a few years ago written by an author, Leslie Flynn, and the name of the book is called Great Church Fights. Then it is a little poem 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 but what I drink, look as I look, do always as I do, and 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. That's what he writes in verse 27 of chapter one when he says, let your citizenship be as it becometh the gospel of Christ, that whether I see you 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? It 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's 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 four 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 has caused Paul to be so emotionally charged over the unity of the church? 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'll look at the verse very carefully, you'll notice that Paul is referring here to the three members of the Trinity. Christ's consolation, the Spirit's fellowship, and it's not mentioned here specifically, but it's 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 in one, 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. When we think of our salvation, the Father planned it, the Son purchased it, and the Spirit prepares our hearts to receive it. They're all aligned together, working together.

You could 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 the 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 of God's suffering children.

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 experienced 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 a connection to Christ. Have you felt the peace and the joy that you know your sins have been forgiven? Have you ever had that burden lifted? Have you ever had the sense that Christ is your mediator to God and you can come 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 and he's guarding you? In other words, all of us who are believers have that experience, consolation in Christ. Then notice, he said, is there any comfort of love?

The word for comfort there is the idea of a persuasive motive. Is God's love not powerfully working in your heart? When you look at the cross, what do you see?

You see the bleeding sacrifice, but 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 a standard so it is not us coming to him, but him coming down to us. The sense that God chose you before eternity, 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 has 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. And then notice the third, any fellowship of the spirit. That word fellowship means a participation or a sharing, like a shared meal.

A family sit-down 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're all baptized into one body, the church.

And subjectively, what does that mean? It means we all experience the work of the Holy Spirit. His 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 through the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. And then notice he says, if any bowels and mercies. What does this mean? He's referring to the way that this has touched you deep in your heart. The word for bowel there refers to your stomach. The Greeks believed that your stomach was the seed of your emotions.

It's kind of 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. That's 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? In other words, have you not experienced God's own affection and compassion in your own heart? And what is his point? His 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 the Father, Son, and Spirit are supporting us, why would we not support one another? And so what he is doing here is 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 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 weeds. And he says, fulfill ye my joy that, and he's explaining it. And he uses four phrases here.

The first phrase and the fourth phrase are essentially but with slight difference the same thing. Notice what he says, fulfill ye 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. The word for mind there, like-minded, one mind, same exact word. The Greek word phrenao, it's the way that you think, it's 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 is really hard, therefore it cannot be your thoughts, it has to be somebody else's thoughts. We think the same thing, and what are those thoughts Paul's already given them to us? Those thoughts are found in verse one when he says the Trinity has a unity, they're unified. And the gospel has become the priority.

So you have unity and priority. So this is the way that you're to 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 is what we have done here on campus. When you came back to campus, and we knew that we were going to have to set in protocols for COVID-19, there were two things that I said. Number one, we have a threat, COVID-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 the best way we know to do it is to follow these protocols. And that's the way we're all supposed to think. Now if we think differently from that, then we 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 thing is the Gospel, where that is our central focus. But then notice he goes on, he says like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord. That little phrase one accord means, it means the same, or it literally means together with soul.

The primary word is soul, it's the word for psychology, sukkah. 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 him 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. We're brothers and sisters from another mother.

We have different parents, but we are all same. We are soul to soul, united in spirit. That's why singing together is so powerful, because you're singing from your heart. You're 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 you're also of one soul. And then the last phrase is that you 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, 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. Our four children were there, our five grandchildren were there, and then we had friends from literally all over the country that came. Dr. Sam Horn was there. By the way, Sam Horn has 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 we're all unique, we're 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 and we use a lot of phrases like that.

But actually, you know why churches grow? Because they love each other. There's a real love there. I've walked into churches and they were as cold as refrigerators.

There was no love. I've walked in places and I knew that the people loved 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 do 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 going to change anything about me.

I'm going 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's the presence of the Holy Spirit, there's always the presence of joy. You know, wouldn't it be a wonderful thing here on campus if we could experience what Paul said, one mind, one heart, one love committed together for the faith of the gospel. You know, coming to a Christian college is a great experience, but it's also a selfish experience because college students can, can become the most selfish people on the planet.

You know why? Because college is about you, it's about your education, it's about your classes, it's about your friends, it's about this, it's about that. And when you graduate, you suddenly find out that guess what, it's not about you at all. And yet what an opportunity you have to have some of the greatest, if I could say it this way, unity love experiences as a believer that you'll ever have in your life on a campus where people are fulfilling one another's joy by being like-minded.

I hope that you'll get to experience that as a student here at Bob Jones. 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 and the way we love. In Jesus' name, amen.

You've been listening to a sermon from the book of Philippians by Dr. Steve Pettit. My name is Wyatt Smith. I'm a senior here at Bob Jones University studying multimedia journalism. And I want to tell you a little about my experience here at BJU. I've been here a little over three years and I truly cannot say enough about the community here at BJU. Whether it has been in the halls of the dorms, in my incredible society, or even in the classroom, I have always felt a very strong sense of community around me that has aided in my growth as a person and as a Christian. If you or someone you know is interested in an experience such as mine, I would encourage you to check us out online at our website bju.edu and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at bju.edu. For any further information, please feel free to give us a call at 800-252-6363. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in Philippians on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-11 16:41:57 / 2024-02-11 16:51:10 / 9

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