Messages from Pastor Raddatz
Mount Olive Houston, September 27, 2020 Other Readings: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-35 and Matthew 21:23-27
BEING OF THE SAME MIND, HAVING THE SAME LOVE, Philippians 2:1-18
Philippians 2:2-4, (ESV) “…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others . . .”
Have you ever met someone who had a great attitude? In LA, a man took a woman’s car keys. She was taken back. She just wanted to valet her car and she found herself surprised. She was amazed by his attitude. He greeted her by thanking her for coming and asked her about her day. He was a man 60’s and he really seemed to enjoy his work. -Marie Forleo
Attitude in Phil. 2:5, from the Greek “Phroneo” - essentially equates to personal opinion fleshing itself out in action (see J. Thayer). This idea is difficult to translate into English because it combines the visceral and cognitive aspects of thinking. It is probably best understood in the phrase, “ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS”.
It’s about NOT thinking more of yourself than you should and focusing on being a servant of the Lord.
BEING…In a polluted world yet of the same MIND as Christ
The world has been corrupted by sin. It happened long before we were born. It happened when Adam and Eve decided to follow their own way and disobey God’s way. This is the universal temptation to remove God from his throne and we want to become God. (Satan’s temptation to Adam and Eve: “You shall be Gods” Genesis 3:5 They were punished and the whole world fell into disarray. We, children of Adam and Eve are polluted with sin. Genesis 3:19f, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Creation fell into disharmony because of sin. This is why we are called to be of the same mind, having the same love v. 2. Our being was cleansed by Christ. He changed our attitude by becoming man, v. 5. His action transformed us. In v. 6f we read, “For Jesus, who being in the very nature God, …made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross.”
Martin Luther wrote: Before God, however, all men being servants, this situation is impossible with men; no one has so done but Christ. He says at the supper (John. 13:13-14), “You call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and you say well; for so I am,” and yet I am among you as a servant. And in another place (Mat. 20:28), “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
Because Jesus served his heavenly Father by becoming obedient to death on the cross we are saved through the servant of Christ. Our service does not compare to his. Still he calls us to have the same love.
HAVING…the same LOVE
Not everyone has the same kind of Love that Christ had. Some people serve out of selfish ambition. In this life we shine like stars as we hold out the word of life, vv. 12f.
This is the beauty of the energy of stars. NASA wrote
Every star does not reflect the sun. It produces its’ own light through nuclear fusion. Stars shine because they are created through nuclear fusion. Stars are matter that is made up of different kinds of atoms — hydrogen atoms, carbon atoms, and iron atoms, for example. Each kind of atom has a certain unique number of particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons in it. The protons and neutrons cluster together in the center of the atom in what is called the nucleus. The electrons orbit around the nucleus. When they collide they create energy. Atoms are ridiculously small. A hundred million atoms placed side-by-side in a row would only be about 1 inch long! Starchild/NASA
We have the spirit of God in us. This is the “energy” of God. In the Bible the Holy Spirit is called “dynamos”. This energy or dynamite is not our energy for it is the power of God to do the will of God. God calls us to stay connected to this power
“Power.” Dunamis is the word we get dynamite from and is used over 100 times in the New Testament. It indicates raw power or strength. 2) “Working.” Energeia, from which we derive our word energy, means “inworking” and suggests the inward propulsion of power. - Gregory Brown
Power can be used in at least two ways: it can be unleashed, or it can be harnessed. The energy in ten gallons of gasoline, for instance, can be released explosively by dropping a lighted match into the can.
Or it can be channeled through the engine of a car in a controlled burn and used to transport a person 350 miles.
Explosions are spectacular, but controlled burns have lasting effect, staying power.
The Holy Spirit works both ways. At Pentecost, he exploded on the scene; His presence was like “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). Thousands were affected by one burst of God’s power. But He also works through the church—the institution God began to tap the Holy Spirit’s power for the long haul. Through worship, fellowship, and service, Christians are provided with staying power. -unknown
We stay connected to this power by Holding fast the word of life, v. 16: The phrase holding fast could also be translated holding forth. Holding fast also means not letting go of. Both meanings are true, and Paul could have meant it in this dual sense. We hold fast - in the sense of holding strong - the word of life, and we also hold forth the word of life. "It is not so much the conduct of the Philippians that justifies the assertion that they shine as luminaries, it is their having life's Word. This Word makes them luminaries irrespective of what the world judges about it and about those who have it." -unknown
It was Jesus who showed us what attitude is all about. Our being is found in Christ. May we have the mind and the same love as He. “We loved, because he first loved us”, 1 John 4:19
Walk in the light and truth of God’s word following Jesus to your last breath serving the Lord. Knowing this: that your labor is not in vain: we will be successful because God and his word are reliable. Amen.
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