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The Mind of Christ

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Genre: Epistle

 

"The Mind of Christ"

 

Theme: Three attitudes of the mind of Christ which the Christian should have.

 

Introduction: In recent years an old slogan became a popular fad.  Now it seems to be fading out of the picture.  Like many fads, you could find the slogan on bumber stickers, t-shirts, and even bracelets.  WWJD - what would Jesus do?  It is a valid question to adk assuming one knows who Jesus is and what He is like.  But it is useful in discovering something deeper, that is, the mind of Christ.  This passage of Philippians presents three attitudes that Christ had.

 

I. Selflessness (v. 6)

  A. Christ contrasted with Satan (Passage believed to be about Satan: Is. 14:12-14)

     1. Satan displayed pride by believing he could become greater than God

     2. Christ did not consider equality with God something to be clung to. (Equality of the Persons of the Trinity;  Athanasian                    Creed)

  B. Second Adam contrasted with the first Adam (Describes Christ as the last or Second Adam: 1 Cor 15:45ff.;  You will be like            God: Gen. 3:4-6)

     1. First desired to be "like God" or equal with Him for his own glory.

     2. Second  desired to be "like man" for the sake of man.

  C. Challenge: How can you display the selflessness of Christ?

II. Servanthood (v. 7)

  A. Poured Himself out


     1. He did not give up His deity (John 1:1, 14; Word was God & Word became flesh) [Wood is made into furniture, but                            it is still wood: different form, but the substance is still the same]

     2. Gave up His Heavenly position for a lower one ("made Himself of no reputation" KJV; 2 Cor 8:8, 9; Heb. 2:6-8 quoting                     Ps 8:4-6 "was made little lower than the angels.")[Illustration of a king becoming a servant in His household]

B.Filled Himself with service

1. Came to serve men  (Christ came to serve not to be served: Matt 20:28; Christ=s example: the foot washing                                         John 13:5ff)

2. Invested His life in men by placing Himself at people=s disposal  (While mourning John=s death, He still                                                  ministers to the people: Matt. 14:13, 14)[Neighbor=s illustration]

C. Challenge: What are you doing to serve others?

III. Submission (v. 8)

A. Positional: To God=s Authority

1. Understood His position(Humble before the Father )[Illustration of the functions of the Trinity]

2. Accepted His position

B. Practical: To the Father=s will

1. Fulfills God=s commandments (John 14:31)

2. Compliant to God=s desire (Matt 26:36-42;  let this cup pass). [Lord, whatever You want me to do and wherever You                           want me to go]

C. Challenge:  Have you submitted yourself positionally and  practically to the Holy Spirit?

 

Conclusion: I cannot hope to understand completely the mind of Christ in my lifetime, much less this morning.  I challenge you to allow the Holy Spirit to search you heart and mind and shape in you, mold in you, and form in you the mind of Christ.Begin with asking yourself: How can you display the selflessness of Christ?  What am I doing to serve others? Have I submitted myself to the Holy Spirit?

    [PRAY]


Ruth and I took our 12-year-old son Randall to war-torn Vietnam in January of 1975.  We did not remain there long, for Saigon fell in April to the harsh soldiers from the north.  During our brief stay, I heard about a man who was simply known as "The Brother."  His fame had travelled all the way from the east side of the city to our area miles to the west.  Reg Reimer and I set out to find him.  We parked my beat-up microbus on a street beside massive slum area.  Reg used his perfect Vietnamese to ask a passerby, "where can we find  =the Brother=?"  His eyes brightened as he said, "Turn into this alley.  Watch out for the mud.  God about one minute=s walk and ask again.  Someone will help you."  We sloffed through the winding path through the wooden and bamboo shacks and kept asking, "Where can we find =The Brother=?"  These destitute slum dwellers all knew him,  and slowly we found our way to his house in the heart of the area.  It was larger than the one-room shacks, but built out of the same materials.  We entered to meet "The Brother," who was dressed in the rough cloth worn by rice farmers.  he was feeding some half-starved people, doling out plates of rice and fish to them.  When he finished, we sat doen to visit.  He spoke perfect english and frience, and had a Ph. D. from the Sorbonne in France.  Formerly a Catholic priest, he had broken with the finery and ritual of the catherdral in the center of the city to live among the poor.  he said to me, "our Lord became a servant to tell us that God loves us without any condition attached.  These people have nothing, and so no one cares about them.   Christ has put me here to be is heart of love in the middle of this slum."  As we shared, he told us he had spent years translating th book of Psalms from Hebrew to Vietnamese.  Tediously, he had made every line a translation that could be sung using the tones of the Vietnamese language.  From a dusty book case, he presented me with a printed copy that had little worm holes in it,  one of a dozen or so he still owned.  I was overwhelmed by my encounter with this brilliant man who lived in the center of a rat-infested, diseased community!  He explained he held mass every night a eight  o=clock and sang the Psalms in Vietnamese, and all were welcome to come.  I returned with Ruth several times to attend this service, standing with residents of the area in a circle as he led us in wordship.  He in turn came often on his bicycle to hear me preach at the little church I pastored far to the west. His conversations with me turned to Philippians 2:5-8.  He said, "We must have the attitude of Christ.  He made Himself nothing, and became a Servant.  There is no other way to show a ruined world the Father=s love!"  Never before, or since, have I known a person who so totally penetrated a community with the knowledge of God=s love.  Not only were scores of people in that slum kept alive by the food and medicine he procurd, but hundreds also came to pray with him  and worship the Eternal Father instead  of Buddha.  He was simply a man committed to revealing Christ.

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