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.
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 Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 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.
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.
14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
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All right so this morning we are away from Genesis we finished Genesis up there last week my messy dots titled have the mind of Christ we’re going to turn to for Libyans Chapter 2 verses one through 16 let’s begin with the word of prayer Heavenly Father we do praise you and magnify you we thank you for your presence Father we thank you for your creation that makes us and all we thank you Father for your love that is so amazing we thank you Father for your Holy Spirit that encourages to give the speech that comforts us and Father empowers us and Father we invite your spirit into this place but not just this place we invite your spirit into every home every person is listening father may your spirit be upon them while they may your spirit be upon your Church Father God that we would be faithful to proclaim your good word to claim the news and father we know that your word will not go forth void by the we pray that every word spoken on your behalf will grow and produce fruit father we just pray for an abundant crop we know that the field is white for harvest and we do pray for revival board in this land and across the earth Father God is prayed for revival that hearts to be changed by the you are the hope of the nation you are the hope you are the one that we must put our trust in because there is no other that we can find salvation then your Son Jesus Christ by the way we put our trust in our hope in the way and we ask all this in Jesus name Amen Libyans chapter 2 verse one through 16 here the word of the lower. Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ if any comfort of love if any fellowship with the spear if any affection and mercy fulfil module by being like minded and having the same love being of one accord of one mind this is a good let nothing my friends let nothing be done through selfies ambition or conceit what a word for believers let nothing we do before our own selfish ambition or can see but in lowliness of mine let each esteem others better than themselves let each of you look not only for his own interest but also for the interest of others that this mind being you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in a form of God did not consider robbery to be equal with God but made himself of no reputation taken of form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even the death of the cross therefore God has Holly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name 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 and that every time to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father 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 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing another good word for us do all things without complaining and disputing that it may become Blaine that you may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world holding fast the Word of Life so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain May God have His blessings to the hearing in your reading of any reading of His Holy Word just a little bit of history 1st about the city of Philip high the city to where this letter was to go Philip Ians was to the church and Philip the church that Paul had just started there Philip I was originally founded by immigrants from threats the city was famous now you would you know we live in Mineral County that autumn eneral isn’t in our soil in our area you know there was a lot of natural minerals found near and you would love to have what they were famous for on your property they were famous for abundant gold mine it’s been a delight to have a gold mine your property right there also famous for the plentiful springs of water that was found in that area from these springs the town received its original name. Credence may not have pronounced that right but it means fountains the city was later renamed Philip after Philip of Macedonia the father of Alexander the Great by the New Testament time to city become had come under the rule of Roman rule it was a very diverse population had 3 seasons Greeks and Romans. We know that when the Apostle Paul would go nice journeys or go into a city it was always his custom to 1st go to the synagogue he would go to the synagogue and preach to the Druze preach the word to God to give a name but there was no synagogue in Philip high so he also knew there was no synagogue the most likely place to go where he would find Jews gather together worship or believers would be down by the river so that’s where he went it was there that he met Lydia and it is believed that Lydia was the 1st Christian convert in Europe and we’ll find that in Acts Chapter 16 verse 13 through 15 and on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside where prayer was customarily made and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there now a certain woman certain woman named Lydia heard us she was a seller of purple from the City of Fire tyrant who worshipped God Little would open her heart to heed to things spoken by Paul and when she and her household were baptized she begged us saying if you have judged judge me to be faithful to the Lord come to my house and stay so she’s persuaded us so now to our passage our passage began with the word therefore therefore if there is any consolation in Christ so whenever a passage begins with the word therefore it means for that reason or consequently we must look it what preceded this to get the right understanding of what Paul was saying here so we must look at that therefore to find out why did you say is there any consolation is there any comfort we must see what preceded that so we must look at flipping chapter one verses 27 to 30. He says only that 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 spear with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel and not in any way terrified by your adversaries another good word for us believe or do not be terrified by your adversaries which is to them a proof of perdition but to you of salvation and that from God for to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him but also to suffer for His sake having the same conflict which you saw in me and now here is in me this gives insight Paul’s main topic here and in much of the book of the entire book of Libyans is surrounding suffering suffering on Christ behalf he tells the flippin Church it has been granted on behalf of Christ to suffer for His sake granted or grant as it used here means to grant as a favor to great to Asli it means he has graciously been given the privilege or the honor to suffer on behalf of Christ your think your sake in your head your life will wait a minute I know that the thought of suffering the thought of persecution for most of us as a foreign audience most of us think well yeah we know that there is persecution we know that those are those that suffer on behalf of Christ but we for the most part when that happens in other parts of the world it really doesn’t happen much here and that is true it’s really not a big issue here yet when I look to for Libyans and I felt the Lord leading leading me there. No way was suffering to be my main topic but as I studied this and got into this that’s the way the Spirit lead maybe is God’s way of preparing us for what may be coming maybe it’s his way of letting us know that he’s going to grant us the favor the privilege to suffer on his behalf there is a pastor name Andrew Bronson he is a Presbyterian missionary has been to Turkey many times and one of these last trips there he was falsely accused of being part of a failed coup attempt against the country’s president and he spent a few years in prison in Turkey because of these false claims against him Brunson believes that there is coming a time of persecution for American Christians and he gave these remarks during an interview with a Western conservative summit according to the examiner Brunson said this 1st of all I think it is coming to the us that there will be persecution he says I was isolated for a few years and coming back to the United States was almost like coming back to a different country in many ways to what I experience a few years before he says I’m astounded at the speed with which I think the u.s. is imploding there are any number of issues where it seems that it is no longer enough for a person of faith to get along with or to serve or to treat Well someone they disagree with is that I think that the political business the media celebrity class and also academia it seems that there is much more a demand that people approve of that they validate that they actually celebrate the things they actually disagree with. In moral thing things that we disagree with because we feel there and moral there is that side it wants us to celebrate it to approve it he says persecution is nothing new the thing is that we in the West have not experienced persecution very much is very unusual for a Westerner to be arrested for his faith we haven’t experienced it but I think we are going to I think it is coming to this country he says One might argue that persecution is now alive and well in America with the purging of Christianity from the government the muzzling of state officials employees and appointees who are Christian the public attacks on churches and Christian businesses the media and Hollywood disparaging of anything Christian how true that is in almost every film they make the examiner said the kind of persecution that Andrew Bronson endured in Turkey has not arrived yet in the United States Nevertheless as he suggests it could be right around the corner as frightening as that prospect may seem no one in their right mind desires it who here desires who wants to be who wants to suffer right I don’t see any hands going up but persecution could have a positive effect when true religion for example Bishop Polycarp an older man at the time was put to death for his faith in Smyrna in the year 167 a day he had tried very hard to escape arrest but was eventually tracked down when apprehended he was ordered to curse Christ. Polycarp replied 68 years have I served him and he has done me nothing except good how then can I curse my Lord and my Savior at that profession his of doctor sends him to death would was gathered powder in an open square and the white haired old man was made to mount a large heap of wood but when they sought to fasten him to the stake he told them no leave me thus he who has strength in me to encounter the flames will give me the power also to stand firm at the stake and this manner Polycarp suffered a moderate death persecution has a way of making a genuine follower with Jesus Christ an individual of sturdy and profound faith other Christians died as part of car Polycarp during the 2nd century their heroism had a positive outcome in making Christians of that time nobler pure and vigorous in their walk with God the persecuted became as totally and said a fan which cleanses the Lord’s threshing floor Moreover Christianity began to sweep the land at that time to quote her Tilly and again we conquer in dying we go forth triumphant at the very moment we seem subdued the oftener we are mowed down the more do we grow in number he says the blood of Christians is the seed of the church someone once was we said be careful what you pray for you just might get it. Many faithful Christians have been praying earnestly for revival when the church and its spiritual awakening to sweep America the answers to said prayers may be on the way via an unexpected means it may be by the means of persecution and suffering we my friends might be granted the honor to suffer on Christ behalf versus $2728.00 of chapter one said only that your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see your I am absent I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one spirit with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel 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 For as there is only one Holy Spirit and we as Christians are to be united in the Holy Spirit we are to stand united against the enemy we are to be united a united front against them we are not to strive against one another but against the enemy that’s out to destroy us we are not to be terrified by our enemy the chirked church of Philip I was under persecution and Paul instructed them that it was an honor an honor to be persecuted for the cause of Christ and encourage them to be and to be united and have the mind of Christ says Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in a form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God but made himself he made himself of no reputation. Taking the form of a bondservant and the and coming in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man He humbled in self and became a bt and to the point of death even the death of the cross therefore God is highly exalted him and given him the name above every name this is actually the part of the passage it drew me to Philip Ians that was going to be my main focus I get a daily devotional every every morning to an e-mail to a well known pastor and he says the main reason the people never aspired to be like Jesus Christ is they think that he had an advantage they think a Jesus had supernatural power to live the sinless life that he lived in yes after the temptation and you know one of the Holy Spirit he had the Holy Spirit but before that he did not the statement that he made himself of no reputation more literally reads He emptied himself instead of asserting his rights instead of asserting his deity he waived those rights he really like wished them he voluntarily gave up those rights gave up bad did he gave up bad supernatural power so compared to the fullness of God I’m sure he indeed felt empty but he gave them up for us for us making himself of no reputation remember form is the outward expression of our inner great sure. It indicates an exchange he exchange that deity to become a servant exchange that inner nature a previous expression of his nature servant had was not his normal expression but after he freely gave it up. So Sensi voluntarily waived his right to the divine power was he God or was he man yes and yes you know think of the sun we’re all thankful the morning it’s even those extremely cold out there the sunshine in this beautiful the mound is beautiful the sun’s coming up we know that every morning the sun’s going to come up right well on an extremely cloudy day which to morrow morning is probably going to be because it’s supposed to be snow and you’re not going to see the sun but is the sun still there is a sun still the sun right the sun is still the sun even though you can’t see it you can’t see it’s our expression it is still the sun you know that the sun’s up there it’s rich rays are radiant up from it we know that the heat is still radiating from the sun we know that the sun does not cease to be the sun just because you can’t see it it’s still the sun we know that Jesus Christ was still God even though he voluntarily gave up his deity to take on man he was still the son he did not stop being God He did not empty himself of his deity but rather his outward expression His deity and all that implies as the one author put the empty to him self of this entity is myself of his existence in a manner of being equal to God He set aside his legitimate and natural desire of deity so that he might express himself as a servant that he might fully experience humanity. Hebrews 41415 says see in then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens Jesus the Son of God Let us hold fast or confession for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin you see he couldn’t have fully experience the temptations or the things that would come against humanity if he would not have made himself of no reputation but he did what he did an event that happened in Jesus’ life might help further explain this and that is that the Transfiguration Luke tells us in chapter 9 says now it came to pass about 8 days after these sayings that he took Peter John and James and went up on the mountain to pray and as he prayed the appearance of his face was altered in his robe became white English and you see if Jesus hadn’t made himself of no reputation haven’t become a servant his face would have always been glowing like that the way he did all mount Transfiguration he would have always looked like that but he didn’t he didn’t want to mount a trench figuration was changed from that human outward expression to that of his deity there are a number of inadequate views of the person of Christ the Apollo and Marian ism view is that Christ had a human body but not a human mind or spirit the Nestorianism view is that there were 2 separate persons in Christ the divine and human the Monophysite tism view is that Christ had only one nature was was more human but less than divine. The child see it in its chalcedony and rather definition of the person of Christ refuted these inaccurate of views and became the standard orthodox statement on the biblical teaching on who Christ is who he was in a firm that the eternal Son of God took to himself a truly human nature His divine and human nature remain distinct and detail and retain their own properties yet there are eternally in and separately they are eternally in a separately united together in one person this definition means that one nature does some things and the other nature does not and anything either Nature does the person of Christ does enough on that one not believe that in the be true I believe that Jesus Christ lived the perfect sinless life in His humanity without the help of the deity he did it being a man in his flesh he freely chose to experience every temptation known to man and he did this for our benefit he did this without the help of the Holy Spirit the amazing thing is that now he has sent us the Holy Spirit to help us to empower us to live a godly life even though he didn’t rely on the divinity he gives us that to empower us to live like him to empower us to have the mind of Christ the Holy Spirit. Gives alit the believers the power to live like Jesus. To be bold witnesses for Him Jesus said in John $167.00 that it was to our benefit that he would go away so that we would receive always fear he says but in fact it is best for you that I go away because if I don’t the advocate won’t come if I do not go away or if I do go away then I will send him to you if Jesus said it is best for us that he goes away then it must be because there is something valuable about what the Holy Spirit was coming to do and here is one instance that gives us a clue but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere in Jerusalem throughout Judea in some area and to the ends of the earth that is x. one verse 8 from that Scripture we gain the foundational concept of what the Holy Spirit does in a Christian life he sends us out sends us to be witnesses to give us power to do it effectively there are many ways that the Holy Spirit works in and through Christians but they all share one common goal to make us more like Jesus to make us more like him the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control again sets there is no law the Holy Spirit my friends will guide us into all truth one beautiful title that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth he calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth John 163 when the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth he will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard he will tell you about the future. He brings us closer to other believers and one final thing I want to touch on is a unity brought by the Holy Spirit Acts 432 says all believers were united in heart and mind and they felt that they earned what they earned was not the room so they shared everything they had everything that they had they were completely united in speared oneness had the same mind we are to have the same mind where the have the mind of Christ and through the Holy Spirit we can gain that we can gain in friends we will need the mind of Christ if if I’m not to say when but if if that persecution comes if suffering comes we must have the mind of Christ to be able to endure to endure it on his behalf for his kingdom for His glory and maybe we will have that our Maybe we will have that privilege my friends it will take the mind of Christ to think of it as an honor will it not because the flesh does not like to suffer he likes suffering who likes pain we do not but with the mind of Christ we will be able to endure whatever we need to bear for the cause of Jesus Christ amen.