A New Mind and A New Life
Speaker: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Philippians
Philippians 1:27-2:18 (ESV)
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 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, 16 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. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
How can your mindset change (2:5) so that your life is characterized as “worthy” (1:27)?
1. Choose a form of service
2:3 “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit”
2:14 “do all things without grumbling or disputing”
2. See the form of true service
2:6 “though he was in the form of God… by taking the form of a servant…”
2:8 “he humbled himself…”; 2:9 “therefore God has highly exalted him…”
reflection questions: 2:1-2
3. Live as a newly formed servant
2:13 “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”
2:15 “so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God…”
1:27 “only let your life be worthy of the gospel of Christ”
Questions for Reflection
Do you have any ambition that is not “selfish ambition”? What are differences between ambition and selfish ambition?
When do you grumble? What are typical causes or triggers? Have you ever tried to stop? What has worked, and what hasn’t?
What reaction does the instruction to be a “servant of God” stir in you?
What kinds of things do we learn about Jesus from the description of his being in the form of God, but humbling himself by becoming a man and dying on a cross?
Do you have encouragement in Christ (in particular, when suffering)? Do you have any comfort from his love?
Do you have any participation in the Spirit? What does this look like?
Do you have any affection or sympathy? Where does this come from, and how does it affect your life?
What does it look like to want God’s pleasure? Why should you want it? How do you work for it? How does this new goal and outlook shape how you do all things?
Practice living a life worthy of the gospel. What do you need to remind yourself of as you do this? How is joy an indicator of whether or not you are getting this right?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in heaven, our redeemer and provider, we confess our selfish ambition and conceit. We admit we grumble and dispute. We have resisted serving you, choosing instead to be servants of our own desires. Our hope is in Christ, who humbled himself to the point of death, and we welcome and receive the forgiveness you offer to us in him. We honor the one you have exalted, and pray that you form our minds to be like his. Renew our will, so that we work for your good pleasure. Teach us to live in a manner worthy of this great gospel of Jesus. Amen.