“The Servant of All, Part 2” (Philippians 2:1-5
I. Introduction. A. Orientation. This morning, we were looking At what Jesus was willing to do to save us: Being God, He was willing to become man, To become a servant to us, Even to the point of taking our curse on Himself – The wrath of His Father Against our sin – So that we could be saved.
He did this because it was the only way We could have been saved – Only a God-man could pay the price, And so a God-man did.
But Jesus did this for another reason – To provide an example for us:
So that we might love the Father, As He loved Him, And do all we can to bring glory to Him.
2 And that we might love our neighbor, As Jesus loved His And seek to serve them By ministering the Gospel to them.
B. Preview. If there’s one thing The Lord puts a premium on in Scripture, More than anything else, it’s service.
What did Jesus come into the world to do? He didn’t come to be served, But to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).
What does He call us to do above all else? To serve one another – To lay down our lives for one another As He laid down His life for us (John 15:12-13).
Whom did Jesus say Would be the one most greatly honored in His kingdom? The one who becomes the servant of all (Mark 9:35).
This is what the Lord calls us to do Through the apostle Paul in our passage: “Have this attitude in yourselves that was also in Christ Jesus” (v. 5).
Let’s consider this evening First, some motives that will help us do this. Second, some methods on how to do this. And third the reward the has promised if we will. II. Sermon. A. So how can we reflect This same attitude that was in Jesus Christ?
First, we must have the right motives. What should be our motivation? Paul gives us four things: “Encouragement in Christ.” “Consolation of love.” “Fellowship of the Spirit.” “Affection and compassion.”
Paul indicates through the particular sentence structure he uses, That these things were already in the hearts of the Philippian believers, As they will already be in yours as well, If you have trusted Jesus Christ And have His Spirit.
First, there will be “encouragement in Christ.” Paul means the desire will already be in your heart
4 Based on what Jesus has done for you.
What has He done That should move you to imitate Him?
We already saw several things this morning: He became one with you – He took your nature – He became a man to save you. With it, He took your obligation to obey the law, And He obeyed it! He also took your obligation in God’s court to pay for your crimes – And He paid it! And He did it out of a heart of infinite love for you. All that He did are so many reasons That will move you to do what He calls you to do.
Second, there will be “consolation of love,” Or the motives/incentives that love gives.
When you think about all that Jesus has done for you, What do you experience in your heart? You should experience love – That’s generally what we feel When someone shows us extraordinary kindness.
This love of gratitude will move you to do
What He calls you to be.
Third, you will have the “fellowship of the Spirit.” This refers to the communion we have In the nature of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus saved us, He gave us His Holy Spirit To change us from the inside out – To make us more like Him, To give us the same love that is in Jesus’ heart.
What will this love move you to do? Whatever you must to please the object of that love.
Whatever has control of our hearts - whatever we love – Will control our lives. That’s why you need to guard your heart And not allow it to love anything That will lead you away from Jesus.
Instead, you are to do all you can To strengthen the love you have for Him, Because if you love Him, You will do all in your power to please Him. If you have this fellowship –
This communion with the Spirit – You will want to be more like Jesus.
And fourth, you will have “affection and compassion,” By which Paul means a deep seated love And a heart that is touched by the sufferings of others, Even as Jesus’ was. This will move you to love others As Jesus loved His neighbors.
So first, if you are to do What Paul next exhorts you to do, You must nurture these particular motives in your heart – To the degree that you do, To that degree you’ll find That attitude that was in Jesus.
And so meditate on what Jesus has done for you – The devotionals on the Lord’s Supper Should help you here.
Think about how much this obligates you To love Him in return.
Nurture the Spirit’s work in your heart
7 Through the means of grace – Read your Bibles in faith, Pray in faith, Be faithful in attendance at worship, Participate regularly in the Lord’s Supper, Spend time with other believers That are strong in the faith, And be careful to separate your hearts From sin and the world.
Exercise also your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ – Let your hearts be tender towards them.
B. With this in mind, Let’s move to the second part: The methods or ways in which Paul tells us we should express the attitude of Christ.
Let me just say at the outset, That we really need to be strong in the virtues We just surveyed, If we are going to be able to do What Paul exhorts us to here, Because these things go against our flesh.
8 As a matter of fact, If we negate the things he calls us to do It gives us a pretty good description Of the flesh we’re supposed to be fighting against – Which wouldn’t be a bad way to approach them Since they will provide a sharp contrast With what the Lord calls us to do.
We should also bear in mind That since we will have sin in our hearts Until we leave this world, We will be struggling To put these things off until then.
What are the sinful and worldly traits That Paul implies we should be fighting against And seeking to put to death in our hearts.
They would be: Being of a contrary mind and disposition toward others, Especially with the Lord and His people; Not loving, or even hating others, Especially your brothers and sisters, Or loving some and not others;
9 Being divisive, or having your own agenda, Rather than furthering the Lord’s agenda;
Being selfish – wanting your own way in everything –
And conceited – thinking you’re better or more gifted than others – Considering yourself as being more important than others;
Looking out solely for your own interests – or what is best for you – And not being unconcerned for those around you.
Now remember, this is the opposite Of what the Lord calls us to do. These are the things our Lord calls us to put to death.
Considering how ugly these are Should help us to see the beauty Of what the Lord does call us to.
What are we to do? First, as much as possible, to be of the same mind. Literally, we are to “think the same thing” – Believe the same truths, Submit to the same commands, See them the same way. In other words, we are to agree!
Granted there are times when we must disagree, When our brother or sister Believes something contrary to God’s truth.
But I think what Paul has in mind here Is our tendency to disagree Just because in our flesh We tend to be disagreeable. Our Lord wants us to be of the same mind!
Second, we are to maintain the same love – That is, we are to love each other – Really care for each other – And we are to maintain that love – Keep it alive and not let it die.
Let me just mention That if we’re not able To cover over minor offenses in love, It’s very unlikely that we’ll be able To maintain love for anyone. We must be willing to overlook and forgive.
Third, we are to be united in spirit. Or harmonious in soul,
As A. T. Robertson put it, having souls that beat together, In tune with Christ and each other. We need to seek to work well together.
Fourth, we need to intent on one purpose: We are to have the same goal, The same thing in mind, Which should be advancing the work Jesus Christ has given us to do.
Fifth, we are not to do what we do Thinking only of ourselves, Seeking to gain more attention and notoriety for ourselves.
Instead, we are to humble ourselves, And rather than thinking We’re so much better than others, We are to think that others are better than ourselves.
Following on this, we are to be care for others as well. We are not to be concerned merely for our own needs, Or the needs of our own households, But also for the needs/interests of others. We are to share in each other’s lives, Care about what happens to them,
Minister to them, help them.
If we do this, we’ll be more like Jesus Who put His Father’s concerns above His own – If you’re willing, let this cup pass, Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done (Matt. 26:39) –
And those of His people – The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11).
This is what His sacrifice and servanthood calls us to do.
B. What does the Lord promise If we will yield to the graces God has given us by His Spirit And follow Jesus’ example?
The one who humbles himself like Jesus To become the servant of all, Will be the greatest in God’s kingdom.
Not only will you have a stronger assurance That you are the Lord’s As you see His graces at work in your heart,
Not only will there be the blessings in this life
13 For being on the giving, rather than the receiving end (Acts 20:35),
But there will be rewards in heaven: The more you are like Jesus below, The closer you will be seated to Him above.
And so let’s encourage ourselves By what Jesus has done for us.
Let us stir up our love for Him in our hearts.
Use the means of grace to gain more of His Spirit,
And then let’s serve Him as faithfully as we can By serving and caring as much for others As we do for ourselves. Amen.