Sunday, May 24, 2020

“Your Attitude” [Matt's Messages]

“Your Attitude”
LEFC Message for Worship at Home
May 24, 2020 :: Philippians 2:5-11

I invite you to open your Bibles to the book of Philippians and follow along with this video as I teach from it to you.

This recorded message is intended to be used with the Guide to Worship At Home for Sunday May 24, 2020. And it’s the sixth message in a series on the Book of Philippians, Paul’s joyful letter to his beloved church friends at Philippi.

If you haven’t already, you might want to pause this video and watch some of the other ones first, especially the one right before this one because this is kind of like the sequel, part 2.



We’re in Philippians chapter 2 and the Apostle Paul has just asked the Philippians to make his joy complete “by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” and to humbly put each other first.

Paul wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

You before me.

If you don’t remember that, you should go back and watch last week’s message.

Apparently the church at Philippi was struggling to get along with each other, and Paul’s answer to their problem was to ask them all to put each other ahead of themselves.

And that would work, wouldn’t it?

If I put the needs and interests of someone I’m struggling with ahead of myself, and they put my needs and interests ahead of themselves? That’s a great answer to relational conflict!

Think about the marriages that could be rescued if both spouses would do that.

Think about the church splits that could be avoided if all of the members did that.

Think about the family squabbles that could resolved if every family member put “you before me.”

Workplaces.
Schools.
Communities.
Nations!

“You before me.”

Now, hold that in your mind, because Paul is NOT going to change the subject in the our paragraph for today. He’s still talking about the same thing in verse 5.

In verses 6 through 11, Paul is going to wax eloquent with an amazing poem, probably a first century worship song about Jesus. And it’s easy to get caught up in the complicated theology of that worship song about Jesus. (And that theology is worth thinking about!)

But Paul is using that song to make a point for the Philippians’ lives.

To use the big words, this passage is more about ethics than about Christology. Or it might be better to say this high Christology is used in this passage in the service of Christian ethics.

This passage is very practical. It is all about “Your Attitude.”

Listen to verse 5. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus...”

I like that translation, “attitude,” for a word that can be a little hard to translate.

Your version may say, “mind.”

“Let this mind be in you.”
“Have this mind among yourselves.”

And that’s a good translation, too, as long as you don’t think it’s talking about mind-control or some kind of mind-transfer or telepathy.

It’s talking about “mind-set.” It’s another word about your thinking like the thinking words back in verse 2.

Today we use the word “headspace.”

Where is your head at? What is your mind-set? What is your attitude?

Paul tells the Philippians that their mind-set should be the same mind-set as Jesus Christ!

Does that describe you?
Does that describe me?

Would somebody watching our lives say, “That guy has the same attitude as Jesus Christ?”

“I can see that she has the same mind-set as Christ Jesus.”

That’s the goal right there.

And remember, he’s still talking about the same thing. Putting you before me.

Because what was Jesus’ attitude? He tells us in verse 6. Here comes the worship song:

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness...”

I have three points of application for this message. Here’s number one.

Your attitude should be one of:

#1. HUMBLE SERVICE.

Our attitude should be one of the humble service of others. That’s the point of this worship song.

Jesus put other people first by humbling Himself (and so should we).

Think about what verse 6 says that Jesus gave up.

He was God! In His pre-incarnate state God the Son had all of the rights and privileges and glory and exalted status of God! If anyone ever had “rights,” it was God the Son.

But what was His mindset? What was His attitude?

Verse 6 says that He did not “consider” (there’s a thinking word) equality with God “something to be grasped.” That’s another hard one to translate.

The idea is that the Son did not clutch at His glorious status and think it was more important to hold onto than to achieve the mission of the incarnation. Some other translations say that He didn’t think His divine rights were something to be exploited. Held onto at any cost.

Here’s the picture I have in my mind. He let get go of His rights and jumped down.

Down, down, down, down, down.
Jesus humbled Himself.

He chose it. Verse 7 again.

“[He] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

That’s Christmas! He became LIKE us in every way. He assumed our humanity to serve us.

He was still God with all of the attributes of God, but now He was also man with all of the lowly attributes of man. Talk about self-denial!

Look what He gave up.

How would you like to become a bug?

Well, the difference between us and a bug is infinitely different from the difference between us and God especially in status!

But God came down to our level to serve us. That was Jesus’s attitude!

But that’s not how low He went. He went all the way down.

Down, down, down. Verse 8.

“And being found in appearance as a man [showing up as a man], he humbled himself [further] and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” It doesn’t get any lower than that.

Everything we just studied in the Gospel of Matthew this Winter. Remember “It just gets worse?”

He just went lower and lower and lower until He was on a Cross and then in a Tomb.

That was Jesus’ attitude!

You and I should be amazed at what Jesus did, but we should also be inspired to do it, too.

Jesus is our model. The Cross is our paradigm. This should be our attitude. Humble service.

So, take an inventory right now of your relationships and ask yourself what is your attitude to the people in your life?

Are you serving them? Or are you demanding that they serve you?

I was talking with Nancy W. this week about the survey went sent out about re-starting in-person ministry on our campus, and Nancy said that as much as she’d like to be at church together with everyone right away, she was probably going to hold back for a while not for herself but for others that might be affected if she were to contract the virus.

I came away from that conversation thinking how Christlike that attitude was.

I’m not saying that’s the only way to be Christlike in that situation, but I could see how Nancy was thinking about it and trying to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus.

“You before me.”

Monday is Memorial Day. And the soldiers who gave up so much for our country were also putting others ahead of themselves, and we should be a grateful nation because of their sacrifices.

How about you? How about me?

Do we have a Christlike attitude of humble service in our relationships?

Down, down, down.
Lower, lower, lower.
You before me.

Of course, Jesus didn’t stay there. God raised Him from the dead. In fact, God raised Him higher than just to new life.

He raised Jesus to the highest place! Verse 9.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 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.”

What a great worship song!

Jesus went from the lowest place to the highest place!
He went from the lowest rank to the highest rank!
And was given the highest name.

If possible, He is even higher now than He was before the incarnation.

Because something new has happened. He has humbled Himself and taken on humanity and accomplished our salvation.

So He is exalted like before and perhaps unlike ever before!

Exalted as the God-Man Jesus Christ.

Lord of all.

“...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth [that’s everywhere!,] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Now, let me blow your mind for a second.

Remember, this song is not here just to teach us good theology.

It’s here to inspire us with Christ’s example.

Because our attitude should not just be one of humble service.

Your attitude should be one of:

#2. JOYFUL ANTICIPATION.

Joyful anticipation of exaltation!

You and I will also be exalted.

Not to the highest place, of course, but what does the Bible say?

“Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you.”

Notice that word there in verse 9, “Therefore.”

It doesn’t say, “nevertheless” or “in spite of Jesus’ humiliation on the Cross, God exalted Him.”

It says, “therefore” BECAUSE Jesus humbled Himself, He was exalted.

Humility is the way to glory, and Jesus is showing us the way!

Listen. If you have the same attitude as Jesus Christ, you can expect the same kind of treatment.

If you go down, He will lift you up.

You and I have that to look forward to in joyful anticipation.

How’s that for a reason to serve others in love?

Do you see what Paul was trying to do the Philippians?

He was trying to get them to pour themselves out in Christlike love for each other and put each other first with the joyful expectation of Christlike exaltation!

Up, up, up!  What more motivation do you need?

One more thing about your attitude.

It should be one of:

#3. GLAD SUBMISSION.

Because one day every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

One day every tongue will be made to confess that.

But right now we have the opportunity to confess Jesus as our Lord voluntarily, from our hearts, putting our trust in what He did for us on the Cross in paying for our sins and owning Him as our Master and King.

Don’t wait until every tongue confesses. Confess Jesus as your Lord right now.

The Bible says, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10, NIV84).

Don’t let yourself get a bad attitude that refuses Jesus as Lord.

Your attitude should be glad submission to Jesus as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


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