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Our humble example

Philippians 2:1-16 (ESV)
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So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Lights in the World
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Instruction to the church (internal)
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There are 2 contrasting attitudes and actions.
Listing things we already have in Christ, things we Pursue amongst one another as Christians, then the contrasting things not to do.

Firstly we have to be in Christ.
The uniting factor between believers is that in which we believe - Jesus Christ. If we don’t all believe in him then its going to be a whole lot harder to be in unity.
In Christ we have encouragement, comfort, the Spirit, affection, sympathy. Which means we have what it takes to be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord.

How does having the same attitude as Christ affect you personally?

Having the same attitude strengthens the church community, our community, and also creates an environment in which each of us can become more steady/sure/certain in our faith.
It is also within such an environment that we see real wisdom in action.
James 3:13-18 paints a picture of wisdom from heaven being together with purity, gentleness, sincerity, good fruits. Whereas wisdom in the midst of selfish ambition and bitterness is described as being earthly, unspiritual and demonic.

In verse 3 of Philippians 2 we see a contrast to what we have and should be pursuing.
This is what not pursuing unity looks like
selfish ambition - self-seeking.
conceit - its another word for egotism or narcissism.
1 Tim 3:6 talks about the qualifications of an Elder/overseer and  it uses the same word in reference to the devil - “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil." the devil is condemned for his pride, wanting to put himself above God.

"Pride causes us to filter out the evil we see in ourselves. It also causes us to filter out God's goodness in others. Pride will kill you. Forever. Pride is the sin most likely to keep you from crying out for a savior because those who think they are well will not look for a doctor." - Jonathan Edwards

Rather
“Count others more significant than yourself”, more important than yourself

The humble example
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This is the mindset we are to have amongst ourselves, which we already have if we are in Christ, verse 5 says "which is yours in Christ Jesus,"

This Jesus, although being God himself, humbled himself so much that he didn’t even dare to reach for equality with God.
Instead he emptied himself, he did not build up himself, there was no selfish ambition.

He not only humbled himself to the point of becoming one of his own creations, but a servant among them.
While being this servant man, he took it even further, to the point of death. not for his own sake, but for the sake of others.

In verse 8 it says Obedience - meaning to submit to someone else's will.

Then not only dying for others, but being humiliated & tortured on a cross. There's dying, and then there is crucifixion.
We see here the extent to which Jesus, who holds all things that exist together, submitted, gave and humbled himself.

Col 1:15-23
By him, through him and for him were all things created, and then he goes and does this.
emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Can we take a moment to just digest that?

In verse 9 we read Therefore. In light of this, as a result of... God has highly exalted him.

By the one who he obeyed, He is highly exalted - made much of.

Not just exalted but to the utmost, above every other name, in every realm of existence. It doesn’t get any higher than this.
He who bowed his will and obeyed becomes the receiver of all creations bowing.
Everyone, those who believe as well as those who don't, will acknowledge him as Lord, his exalted position.

Challenge & encouragement
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As we have obeyed, let us continue obeying, regardless of who might be around.
Working out our salvation with fear and trembling, fear of offending so awesome a holy savior, and not taking our salvation lightly.

What a gracious God. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
He gives us the desire to work out our salvation, as well as does the work itself, simply because it pleases him.

Heb 13:21

Instruction to the church (external)
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What does grumbling & disputing sound like?
complaining, murmuring. Arguing, fighting.
These are things that we do with pride rather than humility. Grumbling and disputes arise from concern for own selves (ego, pride)

Why avoid grumbling?
So that we would be considered innocent and without fault, before God.
This being “in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”

Now we are looking at it in terms of how we stand out in the midst of the world we live in. Not just on a Sunday where we all get together, but out in the work place, on the trams, in the traffic, at the Finanzamt, wherever.
If we step out into the world each morning with the same mind of Christ, imitating the example he gave us, would we not stand out, shining brightly?

Disunity amongst us can bring the transformative power of the gospel into question, causing the gospel message to lose credibility amongst unbelievers.
On the other hand unity amongst us supports the gospel, when people see how the gospel has so transformed our lives, it supports its credibility.

We do this by holding fast to the word of life. Having a firm grasp of Scripture, and by the hope we have of the imminent return of Jesus Christ who has been so highly exalted.
When Jesus returns, don’t we want to be able to stand before our savior who so humbly chose to become a servant man dying on a cross, but is now exalted above all creation, and not be ashamed?

Conclusion
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With so great an example of humility and obedience that Jesus Christ sets, we the church, are modeled humility and also instructed on how we are to live amongst one another and out in the world.

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Amen

Amens

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