Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Attitude of Christ - Philippians 2:5-11

The Attitude of Christ - Philippians 2:5-11
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 26, 2009 AM

When we look into the pages of Scripture we discover a portraiture of Jesus that is truly amazing. It is amazing because we realize that even though He was God in human flesh, He willingly took upon Himself the mantle of humanity and all of its frailty. But He not only willingly did this but Jesus also demonstrates for us that we as human beings do have the capability to live lives worthy of the Lord. We can indeed be the people He desires us to be. Jesus has shown us the way for this to be true in Him. It is the attitude that all Christians should display as we walk in the Lord.

Over the centuries there have been many portraits and painting depicting Jesus. Of course we have no idea what Jesus physically looked like, but we do have a pretty good idea as to how He lived and what He believed. In fact, we get a very good picture of who Jesus was by those who walked with Him and wrote about Him. Those who knew Him intimately give us a wonderful portrait of Jesus. Paul came to know Jesus intimately as well. We find that in our lives lived for Jesus we can also come to know His features so that we can get a clear picture of who Jesus is. Paul writes the Philippians just what their manner in life should be because of Jesus and His example. He says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 2:5) This morning we can discover, with the help of Paul, what the attitude of Christ is to be in our lives…

READ: Philippians 2:5-11

Some folks tell others, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say!” This is hypocritical. We show others what we truly believe and what we really think about ourselves and our lives by the way we live. This is especially true of Christians. To say you are a “Christian” means nothing until others see Christ in you. It is a way of thinking, a way of living, a specific attitude. As we look at Jesus we discover that…

I. The attitude of Christ is one of service!

1. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) The attitude of service in the Christian church has gone out of vogue. Too many seek first what pleases them rather than what pleases God. We would do well to remember that Christians are to be like Christ in every area of their lives. We are recreated to serve others before ourselves. If the Son of God “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,” should not His followers do likewise? Servanthood is hard to grasp when you want to always be first. Paul would write, “we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work!” (Colossians 1:10) Why? Because Paul knew that God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14) Our attitude of service should come from our changed nature. Jesus was a servant, His followers should be as well: “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13) The attitude of Christ is one of service.

EXAMPLE: A potluck lunch was happening at a church and one of the older Deacons told some of the youth, “You are acting just like Jesus’ disciples.” Puzzled, they wanted to know what he meant. He reminded them that Jesus had once told His followers some startling news after they had been arguing about who should sit on His left or right in places of honor. Jesus related that only those who were ungodly sought to be first but, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28) Christians sometimes forget that we “were called to be free” and not to use our “freedom to indulge the sinful nature” but rather to “serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13) Our “attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” one of service!

We can serve with the wrong motives, thinking that we are gaining something in return for our efforts. Or we can serve with a begrudgingly, with insincerity and a non-conformed heart simply out of duty. But, service that is genuine and real comes from the attitude of Christ. Therefore, we discover that…

II. The attitude of Christ is one of humility!

1. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love… He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. (John 13:1, 5) Humility is something everyone readily wants others to convey to them first, but rarely express it themselves! We willingly admire those who seem to be truly humble in nature, like a Mother Teresa or a Billy Graham, but few folks practice humility. In fact, many in our day see it as awkward, a weakness, and have totally forgotten that all Christians are called to a life of humility. Perhaps it is because we misunderstand what true humility is. It is not being weak-willed, limp-wristed, or soft-spoken. Paul would write, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2) Humility seeks the best for others and never places oneself above another. It is not self-abasement but rather an inner strength and quality of character. The Proverbist writes that “Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4) Paul says that Jesus “being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient.” And that is what true humility is for the believer! Obedience to the Lord first and foremost! It demands integrity, being true to one’s faith, and practicing it even when it is not fashionable. Humility does not seek its own, but is happy when others benefit from its practice. The attitude of Christ is one of humility.

EXAMPLE: We will speak of Jesus’ sacrifice in a moment, but in the picture of Christ we see painted with bold strokes the glorious color of humility. When He stood before the Sanhedrin and was falsely accused, beaten, and ridiculed; when He silently stood before Herod who wanted a private performance from Him; and especially when He stood tall before His Roman judge we see in Jesus a strong beautiful vibrant humility that is unashamed in all of its glory. Yet for those who claim Jesus what kind of humility do we discover? Do we find the humble lines of the Master’s brush strokes on the life of His followers? Does the world stand in awe of the Christian who displays the same humility? Dearly beloved remember Paul writes that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” who “humbled himself and became obedient!” There, in that picture, is found a humility that stops the world and will give a sinful heart pause. Pilate could only utter in response, “I find no basis for a charge against this man!” (Luke 23:4) Could the same be said of you? Our “attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” one of humility!

There is nothing worse than false piety. It can be brought about because we think that by being humble and serving we deserve a certain acquiescence from God and others of our display. Also, we can begin to fool ourselves into thinking that we have arrived spiritually and have reached a state whereby we understand deeper spiritual truth when in reality we do so out of emotions or desire rather than a true revealing of what is holy or not. True humility and service comes from an attitude of Christ. We therefore finally discover this morning that…

III. The attitude of Christ is one of sacrifice!

1. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2) Sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with service and humility. It is part of the package, so-to-speak, because when Jesus humbled Himself He displayed sacrifice by being “obedient to death— even death on a cross!” He obeyed God and became our sacrifice by willing dying for our sins. We do not want to hear it, but it is this same cross-like death all Christians are called to as well. No, we are not called necessarily to be beaten, nailed to crossbeams, and exposed to the world in shame. However, we are called to a life of sacrifice as Christians. Christians are called to be “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God,” which “is our “spiritual act of worship!” (Romans 12:1) We may have heard this so often that we begin to misunderstand what it means. Let’s therefore remind ourselves of what Paul is teaching us here. Paul had just gotten through writing about God’s mercy to us “disobedient” sinners. He then waxes eloquent about by asking “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” (Romans 11:35) And the answer is: “None!” Paul says we can begin, “in view of God's mercy,” by offering our “bodies as living sacrifices!” Just as Jesus gave Himself for us as a sacrifice, so we can now as His followers give ourselves away as sacrifices to the Lord for His use in His body the church. Paul says “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” (Romans 12:3) but rather with sober judgment we should serve one another as “one body,” where “each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5) We sacrifice when it costs us something, like our time, our talent, and our treasure. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” who sacrificed Himself for you! The attitude of Christ is one of sacrifice!

EXAMPLE: Sacrifice is more than recycling our left over junk. It is more than giving God a few moments of our time or the leftover pickings of our paycheck. Sacrifice demands exactly what it describes: Forgoing and surrendering our wants, desires, and needs to the glory of God! It costs the individual dearly. It is more than a “Lential” self-imposed half-hearted giving up of TV for a month or not eating sweets for 40 days. It is more than throwing God your leftovers and expecting to be blessed in return for your less than half-heartedness. Bible-believing Christians do not sacrifice in order to get into God’s good graces, they sacrifice because that is how a Christian lives their lives for the Lord – period, end of story. I am constantly amazed and shocked that there are self-imposed theological ignoramuses, who call themselves believers, that actually think they need to return to a false mysticism of giving up something for God, one time a year, in order to gain some kind of favor from Him. UGH! Double ugh! John lays it straight up when he writes: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1) When we try to appease God, we are claiming that we truly do not know Him! If, however, we are living lives of sacrifice because we have already been changed from within through the power of the Holy Spirit, then we know we do not need to “do” something for God, we just live a life of sacrifice! Why? Our “attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” one of sacrifice!

Christians are to display in their lives the attitude of Christ. It is an attitude of service, humility, and sacrifice. Do you display the attitude of Christ in your Christianity?---This article is the copyrighted 2009 © property of Lee Hemen and may not be copied or reproduced in any way shape or form without using the full text of this entire article, and getting the permission of its author.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Humility of Faith - Philippians 2:1-4

The Humility of Faith - Philippians 2:1-4
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 19, 2009 AM

What encouragement or comfort in this life do you experience or do you display? For the believer this is a very good question because it speaks about our faith. Here is what I mean: If we say we love the Lord but do not love those who claim Christ, then what does that say about our faith? It speaks to the humility of faith each Christian is to display to fellow believers.

Paul had written about living the Christian life in harmony with the gospel message on which it is based. He followed this idea with a call to exhibit spiritual unity. This unity is possible because of the reality of the qualities he writes the Philippians about and is expressed in their humility of faith in Jesus. Do you show the world your faith by the humility you display in life? Let’s find out what this means for us this morning as we discover what humility of faith truly means for our lives in Jesus.

READ: Philippians 2:1-4

When Paul queries matter-of-factly, “If you have any” to his readers. He knew that…

I. Humility of faith will display four character qualities! (v. 1)
1. Christians are encouraged by “being untied with Christ!” The wording Paul uses here for “encouragement,” as in the NIV, is parakle?sis, and is the same derivative from the word used for “comforter” for the holy Spirit as found in John 14:16. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and encouragement. God calls (kaleo) us alongside (para) Him. We are to walk with Jesus and He will encourage us as we do!
2. Christians enjoy and find the “comfort from His love!” When all else in this sin-ridden world fails us, the love of God never does. It is from everlasting to everlasting. A result is that God’s love in people’s hearts produces spiritual unity in their lives. Why? Because…
3. Christians have “fellowship with the Spirit” of God! It is an effect of the Holy Spirit’s permanent indwelling in the life of God’s chosen people. It is this fellowship that comes from the Holy Spirit, just as our encouragement comes from Christ, that…
4. Christians experience God’s “tenderness and compassion!” All Christians have experienced for themselves God’s wonderful matchless grace. His tenderness extended towards us through the sacrifice of His Son and the compassion of His mercy even while we were yet sinners is amazing in its grace!
EXAMPLE: I have to give a big loud hardy-har-har to those who publicly proclaim they “love” brother so and so in the Lord but they actually think he actually is a “so-in-so!” (You know what I mean.) If you cannot love the brethren first, you then have no room for Jesus in your life. Jesus declared, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” He meant fellow believers, not the world at large! How do I know this to be true, because Jesus immediately says, “By this all men (the world) will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) His disciples loving one another, go figure? Your life should display the harmony you claim you have with Jesus with your fellow brothers and sisters in the same Lord. After all did not Jesus pray that we would all be “one” in Him as He was in the Father? United together in the brotherly bond of Jesus in our lives through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit? John would write, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.” (1 John 3:14) Paul used that little catch word “if” at the beginning of his rhetorical enquiry. Humility of faith will display these four character qualities.

“Then,” Paul writes, “make my joy complete.” How? We discover that…

II. Humility of faith will display four legitimate outcomes! (v. 2)
1. Christians will be “like-minded,” that is to exercise one’s mind! This is something many Christians are lackadaisical to do in our day and age, because it takes effort, and willingness to do so! You have to be willing to weigh what you think next to what the truth of God is and submit to that instead! While Individual Christians can disagree, they have to submit to the truth of the gospel. Why?
2. Christians will have “the same love!” This is the sacrificial love of God: “This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us.” (1 John 3:19-20a) John continues by saying, “Everyone who (sacrificially) loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 14:7) This is not some feel good “Small World” kind of love, but rather a true deep spiritual oneness because of God’s love poured out into our hearts through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit! How is that possible? Paul writes that…
3. Christians will be “one in Spirit!” We are “soul mates.” Literally “sumpsuchos,” or “in the same breath.” We would say we are “simpatico” in outlook and focus! Unified under the leadership and authority of the Holy Spirit. Believers always know when another person shares the same faith they do, because they are “one in Spirit.” We share the same inspiration and empowerment from God! This is why…
4. Christians will be “one… in purpose” as well! We are to be “one minded” in that our focus is on the gospel message getting out to a sin-fallen world. That is our purpose in life. This is why Paul would boldly declare that he was a “minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:16) Paul would say that he “put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:12) and “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings!”(1 Corinthians 9:23) In fact, he would write, “I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
EXAMPLE: I am amazed at the young women who do synchronized diving in the Olympics. They moved, jump, and hit the water as if they were the same person, especially the Chinese women. It was therefore kind of humorous to hear them share that although they try to dive with the same motions, their lives were totally different. One liked computers, the Internet, and movies, while the other like books, boys, and shopping. They even had different philosophies about diving! One admitted she was more “lazy” than her diving companion. She loved to sleep late and come to practice at the last minute. While Christians can individually differ in many ways, we are to display a unity in the Lord. Our humility of faith will display these four legitimate outcomes that Paul described for us. However…

The final outcome of a Christian’s life is when we find that…

III. Humility of faith focuses on others first! (Vv. 3-4)
1. Christians are to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit!” These kinds of things focus on ourselves and not the kingdom principles of God. The underlying problem Paul addressed here was evidently prompted by self-centeredness among Christians in Philippi! Hard to believe I know. Even then there were those who sought their own personal kind of kingdom and self-righteousness, rather than God’s. Instead, Paul says, “in humility…
2. Christians are to “consider others better than” themselves! We are to look first to see if we can carry another’s burden before asking for help with our own. He would write, “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:2-3) The idea of burdens was one whereby the spiritually stronger in faith would help the weaker one caught in sin. (Galatians 6:1) In fact, Paul continues by telling the Philippians that…
3. Christians “should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others!” Fixation on oneself is sin and much of the church of today has forgotten this Scriptural truth. Humility of faith focuses on others first. James would declare that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead!” (James 2:17) John would admonish us by writing, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) Humility of faith focuses on others first.
EXAMPLE: Don Tack wanted to know what life was like for homeless people. So he concealed his identity and went to live on the streets of his city. He found out that food and shelter were offered by many organizations. At one shelter he could spend the night if he listened to a sermon beforehand. He appreciated the guest speaker’s message and wanted to talk with him afterward. But as Don reached out to shake the man’s hand and asked if he could talk with him, the speaker walked right past him as if he didn’t exist. Don learned that what was missing most in ministry to the homeless in his area were people who were willing to build relationships. So he began an organization called Servants Center to offer help through friendship. What Don encountered at the shelter was the opposite of what the people who heard the apostle Paul experienced. When he shared the gospel, he gave himself too. Humility of faith focuses on others first.


Christians are to live like the faith they say they have. In all humility like that of Jesus. Paul writes that the humility of faith will display certain character qualities, have legitimate outcomes, and focus on others first. What about your humility of faith?
This article is the copyrighted 2009 © property of Lee Hemen and may not be copied or reproduced in any way shape or form without using the full text of this entire article, and getting the permission of its author.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Conduct Worthy of the Gospel - Philippians 1:27-30

Conduct Worthy of the Gospel - Philippians 1:27-30
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 5, 2009 AM

My father would come home from work and ask, “Boys, how have you behaved today while I was at work?” If we had been at school, he would ask, “Boys, how was things at school?” When he asked us these questions we knew it was not some quick acknowledgement of us, but he wanted to know exactly how we conducted ourselves whether at home or at school. Our personal conduct, behavior, and appearance were important for my father. Why? Because he knew that how we acted or how we displayed ourselves to others spoke volumes not only about our own behavior but about his parenting of us as well. It reflected on him and who he was. Therefore, we knew whether we were with him or away from his sight, we had better conduct ourselves in the right way. This is true for Christians and their relationship to Jesus as well. Christians should display conduct worthy of the gospel.

Paul related as much to the Philippian church and whether he was released from prison or had to suffer martyrdom, he wanted them to live lives worthy of the gospel they proclaimed. Their lives in Christ reflected to a lost world what they truly believed and it reflected on who Jesus was and what He proclaimed. Paul wanted to remind them to have conduct worthy of the gospel. Let’s discover why and how this morning…

READ: Philippians 1:27-30

There is an old saying that states that “while the cat is away, the mice will play,” and often as we grow up we have a tendency to think that what our “parents do not know about, will not hurt them” as well. In fact, this ungodly notion has so infected our society that we even think that we have a personal right to justify ungodliness by telling ourselves that “What someone does in the privacy of their own home, is none of my business.” However, this is patently a false notion because our conduct as individuals is not something that we can justify with an “out of sight, out of mind” attitude. Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel…

I. Christians are to live for Christ even when no one else is looking!

1. What do you look like when others cannot see you? Like any good parent, who desires that their children mature, Paul reminds them to live as if he were always watching them. Paul told the Philippians that “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippi, being a Roman colony, the Christians there would understand what Paul meant. The wording for “conduct yourselves” is a political term that literally means “live as citizens.” He meant for them to “live as citizens” of the gospel no matter what happened to them or himself! Roman citizenship was seen as something you were no matter where you lived. You were to always remember that you were a Roman citizen! Christians are to never forget that they are King’s kids and are to live like it in an ungodly world. Paul also wanted these believers to realize that whether he was there personally or away from them, they were to “conduct” themselves in a “manner worthy of the gospel!” Why? Paul knew that the Lord could return at any time, or even Paul himself could, and this was kind of a inferred warning for them. Jesus reminded His followers that “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.” (Luke 12:38) This was a constant theme for Paul to the early church. He would write, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1) He told the Corinthians, “Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit? (1 Corinthians 4:18-21) Paul would tell the Philippians, “our citizenship is in heaven!” (Philippians 3:20) Paul reminds us therefore that for conduct worthy of the gospel, Christians are to live for Christ even when no one else is looking!

EXAMPLE: A good leader remembers that they always represent the people who placed them into power. The President of the United States represents the people of the entire country, not just those who voted for him. In fact, people take very seriously the words he speaks, the things he does, and how he conducts himself. Our newly elected President has found himself under a microscope and has chafed at the personal examination his every action and his every word undergoes. However, this comes with the office of being the President of the Untied States of America. Too many politicians have forgotten they are accountable, not to be elected again and again, but to the people they represent. The same is true for the believer in Christ. This is why the writer of Hebrews would remind us that “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3) Christians are accountable to the gospel they believe. Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel, Christians are to live for Christ even when no one else is looking!

While sometimes God calls individuals to stand by themselves for the Lord when no one else will stand up for godliness, God does not like Lone Rangers in His ranks. He hated it when Eve tried it, Abraham, Moses, King Saul, David, Solomon, Peter, Judas, Ananias and Sapphira, Simon the Sorcerer and others. We find that a call to Christ is a call to unity with other believers. This is one of the foundational truths of why Jesus established His church here on earth until He comes again. His body, the church, is to stand strong together weathering the storms of evil that is hurled against it. Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel…

II. Christians are to stand firm, united together for the gospel’s sake!

1. What message are you sending to others about the gospel? The warning of Paul is clear to the Philippians. He writes that “Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know…” What is it that Paul “will know” about these Philippian Christians? Mainly that they will “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel!” Notice that there are not many different opinions on theology here for Paul. He was not a religious “rainbow coalition” kind of guy. He did not want to hear excuses as about how or as to why they were not getting along as a church. He had seen this with the Corinthian church before and did not want to hear about it in the Philippian church. He had written the Corinthians: “I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.” (1 Corinthians 11:17) Wow! What was the problem? Unity! Some thought they were better than others. Paul warns them, “I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.” (1 Corinthians 11:18) Paul understood the words of Jesus when He prayed about the unity Christians were to enjoy: “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23) It displayed to the world who they now lived for – the Lord of love, Jesus Christ! Christians are to “Be completely humble and gentle… patient, bearing with one another in love. Making “every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3) Christians are to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power,” (Ephesians 6:10) unified together for the sake of the gospel. Unity does not mean we cannot disagree as believers, but we must be going in the same direction! Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel, Christians are to stand firm, united together for the gospel’s sake!

EXAMPLE: My brother and I were competitive siblings. “Sibling rivalry” was too tame a term for some of the knock down drag out battles we waged with one another as brothers. There were the buckets of water over the doorway, the passing gas bags on chairs, peanut butter plastered… well, let’s just say we had a healthy ongoing survival of the fittest battle going on between us. However, no matter how hard we fought for dominance with one another, everyone around us knew that we both could depend on each other in a pinch. Being the thin skinny one of the duo, I was picked on sometimes until my foes found out that “Big Ed” was my brother. In fact, I remember one time when I was being harassed by one particular bully in school. I believe it had something to do with the fact he found his locker glued shut. Of course I was the one who perpetrated the crime, and now he was going to try his vengeance out on me. That was until “Big Ed” came up on him from behind and stuffed him into his unstuck locker. He told the kid, “He can be a real pain sometimes, but he is my pain!” We left together, united as brothers. For Paul the church was to epitomize Jesus in the world. It was His body and Paul wanted the Philippians to act like it. Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel, Christians are to stand firm, united together for the gospel’s sake!

Paul would remind us that for conduct worthy of the gospel 1) Christians are to live for Christ even when no one else is looking! 2) Christians are to stand firm, united together for the gospel’s sake!
This article is the copyrighted 2009 © property of Lee Hemen and may not be copied or reproduced in any way shape or form without using the full text of this entire article, and getting the permission of its author.