The Way Up is Down

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The Way Up is Down
Text: Philippians 2:1-11
Occasion: General
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Community, Sacrifice
Author: Jeff Mammen


A community of believers is strong when we take on Jesus' humility

How to Get There

  • We need to remember what Jesus' coming cost God, or we will take it for granted and just use it for ourselves.
  • Paul was worried that the Philippian Church was doing this, forgetting about the cost of their salvation and instead dividing into petty factions.
  • When we let the price of the gospel slip from our view we become petty, not honoring the gift that cost so much.
  • Our life is to revolve around the gospel, or we're just going to let ourselves be guided by pride.
  • And Paul warns that the mission goes down if we do anything from our pride and conceit.
  • When we act from our pride and not because of the gospel our actions are tainted and we separate ourselves from the community.
  • Our pride has been unraveling humanity for generations. The only solution is the gospel, God with us. Paul mentions all the benefits from being with God.
  • But that cost God a lot. It was Jesus' humility that enabled him to come and forsake heaven. And it was that humility that sought out our best before Jesus' own.
  • Jesus used his status as God to give, not to seek to get more. His own needs were put second.
  • Jesus' humility allowed him to be completely vulnerable and to lose more than we will ever have.
  • Our mind should be the same, a humble one that uses what status we have to help others, not ourselves, one that gives.
  • That is how a community is formed and lives strong, when we are humble like Jesus, the gospel before us, and look out for each other before ourselves and our own status.
  • The only status we need is that we are worth a son to God.

Things to Watch For

Real examples of things to let go of are crucial here. But there is always a balance between being honest and starting trouble. Every community has trouble and problems and it is up to the pastor to discern what ones need to be publically addressed and what can be obliguely dealt with.

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