Stanford Baptist Church Notes: Sept. 29, 2016
By Laura Lee Wesley
Sermon Title: “What About Me Living The Selfless Life?”
Scripture Passage: Philippians 2:1-4
The Apostle Paul, who was in a Roman prison, wrote to thank and encourage Christians in Philippi. They faced their own trials and had multiple problems. They, like many churches today, had some petty disagreements and selfishness. Paul pointed them to a better approach through interpersonal relationships. Paul reminded the members of the Church of Philippi of the blessings they had been given by The Messiah. “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 ye be like minded having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” 2 Philippians: 1-2. Paul did not just ask the Philippians to think like one another. The Apostle shared that he wanted them to be like minded by having the same kind of attitude, goals, and love as Christ had displayed to all people. When the members of the Church of Philippi practiced living more Christ centered lives, Paul found his joy among them had grown more complete, for Christ’s Gospel produced great fruit in their church.
Brother Nick Manzie continued his sermon series in The Book of Philippians by explaining to our congregation that when The Bride of Christ, The Church, experiences suffering, it is because Satan is standing against the Saints of God. Every church that is Christ centered should strive to have unity. As the Church of Philippi demonstrated, this Body of Christ had to endure certain qualifications before becoming a caring church. These qualifications included: encouraging one another, having the comfort of love not only from Christ’s love, but comfort from fellow church members, enjoying fellowship with one another, and to show affection or mercy to each other. Pastor Nick said church members should abide in unity by giving up selfish ambition or greed, not being conceited or proud, being considerate by favoring others, and through rejoicing because of other people’s blessings. Unity of thought, unity of love and unity of the spirit produces one accord and one mind within a church congregation. “ Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4.
Paul told the Philippians that followers of Christ should not be motivated by selfishness or pride, for they destroy all unity and are the essence of sin. Instead, “in humility consider others better than yourselves.” We need to strive to develop a selfless life in the midst of our self centered world. Paul did not say that others are better people- only that we should consider them better. Christian unity must be built on thinking of others ahead of self. This is the example Jesus Christ gave us to live by. Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage. The Messiah willingly set His ivory palaces of Heaven aside; and in humility The Son Of God became a human, serving our needs. The obedience and humble example of Jesus Christ was completed by His death and ultimate sacrifice on the cross. At the end of His life on the earth, Jesus Christ’s desire to serve was finished as He endured the most painful and shameful form of death to save us from an eternal Hell void of the presence of The Almighty and peace. God resurrected His Son and exalted Him to the highest Heaven. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of The Father where He is continuously interceding for His followers. Jesus Christ is always worthy of worship and deserves to be called “Lord”. Because Jesus was humble, He is now The King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever. Jesus Christ modeled how to be a servant and the humility of our Savior is praiseworthy. “Glory to God.” Luke 2:14.“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10.