The Acts of Like-mindedness
Theme: The conduct of like-minded manners is motivated by humility to acts of service.
Introduction: These past few weeks we have been looking at the topic of the unity of the body of Christ from these passages here in Philippians. Verse one spells out four ways Christians are unified. Verse 2 gives a fifth way which is that they are responsible to be like-minded and he gives 3 means to get there. Now in vv. 3 and 4 we have two commands to guarantee the success of a like-minded community. Both commands support the spiritual principle that the things of God normally are opposite the natural inclinations of our nature.
I. Motivation of Humility
A. What it is not
1. Selfish ambition
i. Definition: KJV “strife”; “self-seeking pursuit of one’s own ends.”
ii. Example: Attempt to get ahead by stepping on and demeaning others. It is regarded as a virtue in today’s secular society and listed as a virtue in many ancient writings (James 3:14-16:
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
2. Vain conceit
i. Definition: Phillips “personal vanity”; NLT “Don’t live to make a good impression on others.” Akin to boasting about one’s abilities or qualities with nothing to boast about.”
ii. Illustration: Kids playing baseball one claiming he can hit a home run every time. Shoots off his mouth to make himself look better in front of his friends. But when he bats, he cannot live up to his boasts.
B. What it is
i. Finding esteem in God (Self-esteem is self centeredness; God-esteem is God centeredness; Psalm 8:4,5: 4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? 5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!” - we have value because we are His creation; Illustration: child bringing home sticks to mother)
ii. Being released to esteem others (Not looking at my worthiness, but their worthiness; “true humility is not to think low of oneself but to think rightly, truthfully of oneself.”)
2. Right prioritiesi. Honoring others over yourself (Jesus-Others-You; Romans 12:10: “10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”)II. Acts of Service
A. What it is not (Looking out for number one)
1. Not being taking advantage of which is bondage (“feeling you have to do something”) or feeling you have to take care of their perceived need
i. Luke 16:19-31 = Rich man placed his greed before Lazarus’ need.
ii. Observations of people’s driving and reactions to them when encountering a merge into single lane construction situation
Transition: “Looking out for #1 is not to be the focus of our lives. Looking out for others is”
B. What it is
1. Going beyond the things related to self to the things related to others. (Acting for the good of others)
i. Armed Service Chaplains award (Named for chaplain who on a sinking ship in WW 2 died after giving away all the life jackets to other sailors.)
ii. In Christ who placed the interests of mankind ahead of His own (Phil. 2:5-8).
Conclusion: What it all comes down to is for us to have the mind of Christ. We need to free ourselves from the old way of thinking and repent of the self-centeredness we were taught by our society and to let God develop in us a new perspective of others and ourselves. To attempt to see others through His eyes, and then to act in service toward them. But first it begins with a change in our heart.
- Level 3