Los Alamos Church of Christ

Let the Word Dwell

#25 Philippians 2:6

Not Grasping

 

This morning we are in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  Listen as we begin in Philippians 2.

 

ESV Philippians 2:1-5 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 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 this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

 

If…

--Any encouragement in Christ? Every spiritual blessing is in Christ.

--Any comfort from his love?  The love of Christ is incorruptible.

--Any participation with the Spirit? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you?

--Any affection or sympathy?  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

If… Then…

--Have the same mind of love.

--Do nothing from tribalness.

--Turn your tribal love outward toward the others; toward the ethna.

--Do what is in the other’s best interest.

 

How do we do that?  That sounds hard.

Have this mind… the mind of Christ.  The mind of Christ is yours!

--I can think like Jesus…

--I can see the ethna like Jesus sees the marginalized…

--I can feel like Jesus…

--I can be untribal like Jesus…

--I can interact like Jesus…

--I will obey like Jesus…

--I am love like Jesus…

 

I have the mind of Christ.  The mind of Christ is ours!

 

The point of this sermon is to connect our hearts to the mind of Jesus.  The point of this sermon is to explore the mind of Christ… which is ours!

 

Let’s continue in Philippians 2 talking about the mind of Christ.

 

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ESV Philippians 2:5-11 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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.

 

These 7 verses are some of the most powerful verses ever written; at least top 10.  I think this would make the 10 Memory Verse challenge.

 

These 7 verses are arranged in a chiasm. A chiasm is a poetry thing. Poetically, it is the ABCBA thing.  The As go together, the Bs go together.  They point to the C. 

 

Jesus did not grasp

Jesus made himself nothing

Jesus was obedient to the point of the cross

God exalted him with the name

Every knee will bow before Jesus

 

Notice the connections… As, Bs, point to the C. 

 

Let’s explore this chiasm.  This is the heart of the Gospel.  This is who Jesus is.  This is what Jesus did.  These verses are some of the most powerful words ever written; top 10.  In this chiasm there is a model for connecting our heart to the mind of Christ. Let’s dig.

 

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Jesus did not grasp…

 

ESV Philippians 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

One of the great mysteries of Christianity is the Godhead.  We call it the trinity, although the Bible does not use that word.  It certainly contains the concept of the Trinity.  But, I think it is beyond our comprehension to get how God is both one and three.  We can understand 3.  God the Father, God Jesus, and God the Spirit all existing from all eternity.  I can understand 3 beings.  I can understand 1.  They are all God.  God’s power is the Spirit.  God’s appearance as a human is Jesus.  All these are aspects of one God.  We can get our head around 1… sort of.  But how is it both ways?  How is it 3 together as 1.  I don’t know.  But I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit all as One.  

 

But our verse teaches us that Jesus, even though he was in the form of God, in his very nature God, Jesus was God, Jesus did not hold onto his equality with God.  Jesus was willing to give up being God.  Being God was not something that Jesus held on to.  Jesus did not grasp his deity. He gave it up. 

 

I can’t even  imagine what that meant… 

--The all-present one was confined to one body; a baby’s body. Jesus went from one with the universe to one with a diaper. 

--The all-knowing one was confined to only one human brain; seeing through the eyes of a baby. From knowing the galaxies to knowing he was hungry. 

--The all-powerful one was reduced to the weakness of a human… baby.  Jesus went from speaking light into existence to burping. 

--The all-connected one was alone in one body…  Jesus went from his mysterious connection to all that it meant to be God to his baby to mama connection to Mary.

--The all-loving one was now loved by only his mother and Joseph.

 

Jesus, one with God, did not grasp!

 

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Jesus made himself nothing…

 

ESV Philippians 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

 

The mystery… Mary and the Holy Spirit conceiving a baby… half human/half God; born in a barn; to peasants; in the insignificant town of Bethlehem; in the back-water country of Israel… is the model of his life.  Jesus came to this world not to be ruler, although he was, but to be a servant.  From God of all the universe; the one who made humans in his image, now a human, himself.  Born to serve the very ones he had created. 

 

Jesus, one with man, a servant!

 

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Obedient to the point of the cross…

 

ESV Philippians 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

 

If that were not enough, not grasping his divinity; being a servant, it gets even more amazing… Jesus humbled himself in obedience to death on a cross.  The most important moment in all history happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus, the human, said to God the Father, “Your will be done”. Those words changed everything... 

--Obedient to the point of death. 

--Obedient to death on a cross. 

--Deliberately choosing to walk out of the Garden knowing he would be arrested; knowing the pain of abuse; knowing the humiliation of a cross… all awaited. 

To me, that is the most important moment in human history.  Jesus who did not grasp, became a human servant, was obedient…from the Garden all the way to the cross. 

 

Jesus, one with man, was crucified!

 

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God exalted him with the name…

 

ESV Philippians 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…Jesus.

 

That obedience; that amazing obedience, that world-changing obedience, resulted in God raising Jesus from the dead and exalting him to the throne… and gave him the name Jesus; Jesus (haysus), Joshua,  Savior!  The human name, not the name YHWH, but the name Mary spoke… haysus… is now exalted to be the name that is above all others!  Jesus is restored to his god-ness.  Jesus now reigns as Savior-God!

 

Jesus, one with God, exalted!

 

 

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Every knee will bow before Jesus…

 

ESV Philippians 2:10-11 so 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.

 

 

One day, every knee will bow to the name of Jesus.  One day, all will realize who Jesus is and confess his name.  Every tongue will confess that baby human Jesus was raised from the dead in confirmation as the Messiah and reigns with God as YHWH.

 

Jesus, one with God, glorified. 

 

I told you these are some of the most powerful words ever written.  Let’s not forget the point of the sermon… the point of the Philippians 2… connecting our hearts to the mind of Christ. 

 

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With the mind of Christ we follow the same chiasm.  We follow the same path.

 

We don’t grasp our rights

                We become nothing-servants

                                We give it all up for others’ needs

                We are raised with Christ to the throne of God

We get a name above other names

 

We reenact Christ.  We give up our rights. We don’t grasp what is rightfully ours.  We give up our privilege. We chose to serve others. We are willing to give it all up for others.  We lay it all on the ground in the service of the ethna.  We actively place others above ourselves.   We do memory verses #23 and #24…

 

#23 Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.

 

 

#24 Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

 

Both of these verses point to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ powerfully at work within us. 

 

It is by the power at work within us that we are able to love the ethna.  It is through the power of love incorruptible that we change the world.  It is not grasping. It is serving.  It is giving in up that we rise to sit on the throne with Jesus and are given his name… Christ-ians!  The name that is above every name. 

 

Here is the memory verse for the week.

 

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#25 Philippians 2:6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.

 

 

 

Tree List

 

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Over the last couple of years I have made an interesting observation about myself. I have noticed that when I say, to myself, “That person is being selfish.” it is a sign that I am being selfish.  When I notice that someone else’s selfishness is conflicting with my own selfishness, it is a signal to me that I am also being selfish.  When I notice someone else’s selfishness I need the reminder… Don’t grasp.  Don’t grasp onto my rights.  Let it go and be a servant.  Be willing to put the other person above myself. 

 

Here is the challenge of the week.  As you memorize Philippians 2:6… don’t grasp.  Let it go.  The challenge of the week is to take that first step… not grasping. 

 

#25 Philippians 2:6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.

 

Tim Stidham

July 5, 2015

Los Alamos Church of Christ