The “Can Do” and the “Want To”

One of my favorite passages of Philippians is verse 13.  Here are verses 12-13:  “12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”  We should remember that these words come after Paul’s incredible discussion about the humility of Christ and His exaltation.  Verse 12 exhorts us to “work out our salvation in fear and trembling”.  God has granted us salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit to do […]

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Humility Leads to Exaltation

After describing the humble nature of Jesus Christ, a nature that moved Jesus to lay down His life on a cross, Paul goes on to describe the exaltation in Philippians 2:9-11:  “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  We don’t often think that humility leads to exaltation.  I think most of us desire the exaltation part.  […]

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Humble Unto Death

To me, one of the most interesting paragraphs in the New Testament is found in Philippians 2:5-11. Yesterday, I asked you to consider if you have the “mind of Christ”.  Today, in verses 6-8, we get a glimpse into exactly what the apostle Paul has in mind. I’ll include verse 5 as well: “5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled […]

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Do You Have the “Mind of Christ”?

I just have one sentence this morning.  Here is verse 5 of Philippians 2:  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”.  The word “mind” means “to have understanding, to think”.  Paul is clearly stating that we can think like Jesus.  In fact, the verb is a command.  We are commanded to think like Jesus, to have understanding like Jesus.  Tomorrow we will look at what kind of mind we are to have but this morning I’d just like you to think about the fact that we CAN have a mind like Jesus.  This is available […]

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Humble Unity

Chapter 2 begins like this:  “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  Paul calls the Philippians, and all followers of Jesus, to a divine attitude of humility.  This attitude goes against the sinful nature of selfishness.  What would our world look […]

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The Gift of Suffering

We are getting close to the gift giving season and at the end of the first chapter of Philippians the apostle Paul is writing about a gift; though not something we would normally consider a gift.  Here are verses 28-30:  “28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.”  The revelation of God […]

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Believior Determines Behavior

The Christian faith rests on faith.  We receive the benefits of the gospel by believing the gospel.  We don’t receive the gospel through good works or behavior. However, the revelation of God is crystal clear that genuine belief will be evident in how one behaves; thus the phrase “believior determines behavior”.  What you believe drives what you do.  We see this in verse 27 of Philippians 1: “27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with […]

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Do You Desire to Be With Christ?

As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach many people are excitedly and expectantly looking forward to seeing people that they don’t normally see…family members/friends who live in other parts of the country or world who make a special effort to get together at this time of the year.  Do you have a desire to see anyone this holiday season?  Something struck me as I read the next section of Philippians chapter 1. After writing the famous words, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” Paul writes the following paragraph: “ 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what […]

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A Truly “Win-Win” Situation

I think all of us are familiar with the phrase, “a win-win situation”.  The phrase is used to describe a circumstance or a solution where two people or two groups of people are able to reach a compromise or be involved in a circumstance where both individuals or groups, “win”.  They both get what they want or they get what is best for them.  The apostle Paul describes the ultimate “win-win” situation in verse 21 of chapter 1:  “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  The sentence is so glib on the surface that it […]

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The Power of “Knowing”

Yesterday we sang the song, “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle.  The words of the chorus were very moving to me.  They begin like this:  “If You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move…if You don’t part the waters, I wish I could walk through…If You don’t give the answers, when I cry out to You…” How would you finish the chorus? If you’ve spent any time at all engaging with Jesus Christ there are times that He has not moved the mountains or parted the waters that you thought He should.  There are many times that He doesn’t answer […]

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