Today’s Scripture: Philippians 2:1-15
1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Continuing on in this series, we stop here in Philippians 2:1-15. We’ve been talking about the Characteristics and Attributes of God, and what we’re going to talk about today is going to be short, but sweet…and hopefully quite powerful.
Holy Spirit, I’m relying upon Your Supernatural power to help me with this message. I know that without You I am incapable of writing a message that’s going to impact lives, and that’s the whole point of what I’m working to do. So…I just ask You to help me write that which You would have me to write, and say that which You would have me to say. I yield, Lord, to the Holy Spirit now…and ask for Your help in Jesus’ name…Amen
You know, as I was getting set to write the introduction of this message I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. There isn’t much commentary on these verses, and so I began to think about my inability to write anything good on my own. So…imagine the joy that came to my heart as the Holy Spirit gave me a bit of an idea of what to say. So…here it is.
We’ve been talking about God’s Character Traits and Attributes, and that’s important because knowing those helps us to understand who He is, and I surely hope that’s given you a deeper desire to seek to know Him better. I know the more I find out about God…the more I want to know…not just from a knowledge standpoint neither, but I want to seek Him so that I can have personal revelation of these attributes.
So…what was it so profound that the Holy Spirit reminded me during the introduction? How about this. To understand where I’m going let’s take a look all the way back to Genesis 1:26 (KJV). Ready!?! Here it is:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
I want to focus on the point: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”. It’s by reading a verse like this in addition to our text today: Philippians 2:1-15 that brings us to the following understanding…
If I am made in the image and likeness of God…the I have His Character Traits and Attributes on the inside of me.
How’s that!?! No. We aren’t Omni-potent, omnipresent, or Omniscient. We aren’t everywhere, we aren’t all powerful, and we don’t know everything. However, there are some of God’s Character Traits and Attributes that we can and do have.
Take, for instance, one of Pastor Stephen Robbin’s favorite Christian Contemporary song to pick on, and I think for the fun of it…I’ll post the lyrics, and I believe that will help us to explain where we’re going with this message.
“More Love, More Power”
More Love, More Power,
More of you in my life.
More Love, More Power,
More of you in my life.
I will worship You
with all my heart.
I will worship You
with all my mind.
I will worship You
with all my strength.
For you are my Lord.
You know, I used to love this song until I understood just how little faith, and how religious this song really is…and I’m going to explain it a little bit at a time…and let you know why it’s faithless…and why as an attribute of God…we have it…because we’re created in His image.
That means, friends, that every single one of us has the God-kind of love for the world on the inside of us. I didn’t say for those you love…I said the world. The Bible says that “God so loved the WORLD”. That love is the love of God…and that love is the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. We have the Holy Ghost living on the inside of it. So…not only is it shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, but it’s inside of us because the Holy Ghost is on the inside of us.
So, while it sounds really wonderful to sing a song about wanting more love…we have ALL of the love that we could ever possibly hope to have or express on the inside of us. The problem is that we haven’t had our minds renewed to this fact, and therefore we run around singing this song like it’s our heart’s cry, and God is saying to us is this:
I have put MY love on the inside of you. Instead of asking me for more love, ask me to help you to discover the love that’s on the inside of you, and for help in allowing me to love the world through you. I’ve already given you all the love you’re going to need…now what I need you to do is believe and receive it…and walk in it…and walk it out.
We already have all of the love that God can possibly give us because it’s not our love that’s on the inside of us…it’s His. So…More Love…how about this: “Lord, help me to discover the love that You have placed within me, and express it to those You would have me to show and share it with…help me to discover it…and release it.”
Umm. I think this one might actually be pretty easy. In Luke 24:49 (KJV)Jesus tells His disciples: “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Listen, we know that the Holy Spirit is God, and everyone who is of God has the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us. We just covered in yesterday’s message that the very same power that created the world and raised Jesus from the dead is on the inside of us in the person of the Holy Spirit. That means that we have the fullness of the power of God residing within each and every one of us.
Since we talked about the fact that God has all power, all authority, and all dominion…and that He’s returned that power to us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit…and the use of the name of Jesus…which is the name far above all principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this age or that which is to come…then I would have to say that if we want more power…then we need look only as far as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to get it.
Our power and authority comes in the name of Jesus, and because the Holy Spirit dwells on the inside of us…so we have more power than the most powerful bolt of lightning. More power than a locomotive. More power than Superman. We have the very power of God…the power that created the world and raise Jesus from the dead…living inside us.
I’m afraid to have to tell you we cannot be or get or have more power than that…just like the love of God that’s shed abroad in our hearts…by the Holy Ghost…what we need is to realize what power and authority we have because of Who we are IN…and use it.
More of You in my life:
Now…I am well aware of John the Baptist who said: “I must decrease so that He can increase.”, and before you write me a comment…let me say that I understand the desire here, and all of us should have it. The desire to know God more, and have more of God’s work to be made manifest through our lives. That’s not what I’m getting at…but what I am getting at is this statement from Jesus…found in John 14:16-20:
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Let’s take a look at verse 17 and 20. In verse 17, Jesus says: “He (talking about the Holy Spirit) is dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you.”, and then in verse 2o He says: “At that day (when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell IN you…that day is the day you become a “whosoever that calls upon the name of the Lord to be sozo’ed) ye shall know that I am IN my Father, and ye IN me, and I IN you.”
We’ve already established that the Holy Spirit is God, right!?! I would hope that we’ve already established that Jesus is God, right!?! So…if that’s the case then the Holy Spirit (God) dwells with us…and IN us, and furthermore according to Jesus (who is God) we shall know when we receive the Holy Spirit that He is IN the Father, that we are IN Him, and that He is IN us.
What does all that say? We have God living on the inside of us in ALL THREE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY. Jesus said the He is in the Father, we are in Him, and He is in us…right after He says that the Holy Spirit shall be IN us. For all of you who don’t believe in the Trinity…Jesus just gave you the trinity right there. He is the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Ghost are all right here in this passage of Scripture…so unless Jesus is talking to Himself as being three different personalities…there’s your “I need proof of the trinity” answer.
By the way, while we’re on the subject of the trinity. It’s also found in Genesis 1:26 where God says: “Let US make man after OUR likeness and image.”. Now, if anyone thinks for a moment that God’s talking to Himself…then again…you just need to read a little bit more. In fact, from the beginning we know the trinity exists.
So…More of You in my life is a great thing to pray, and I’m certainly not discouraging anyone from knowing and asking for more of God and less of us. However, if what we said about the love of God is true (that it’s shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit), and what we said about the power of God “according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)…and now Jesus tells us that all the fullness of God lives on the inside of us…and that we’re in them…then we have ALL of God in our lives.
So then, the question becomes this:
Why don’t I see the love of God, the power of God, or God in my life?:
Well, I’m glad you asked because the Bible has an answer for that question as well.
First of all, it’s because we need our minds renewed by the Word of God to understand things like we have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost…and therefore I have all the love that I could even need to love the world with…because God so loved the world…and if God is love…and He loved the world, and if what Paul says is right…and His love is on the inside of us…then what I need is a renewed mind and revelation that I have all the love my heart can contain. It’s the same thing with the power of God, and the indwelling of God in us. We need our minds renewed that we have ALL of the power of Heaven at our disposal, and we need to understand that we can USE it.
Secondly, where there is no knowledge, people perish. We’re dying with this knowledge on the inside of us. I don’t doubt that maybe some of you are having your minds challenged and renewed because this may be the first time someone has taken this song, and broken it down so that you can see just how full of doubt and unbelief that song really is…because if we truly believe the Word of God…then we don’t need to pray for more love…we need to use the love we have living on the inside of us. We don’t need to ask for more of God’s power…we need to discover the authority we have in Christ…and begin to use it…and while it’s a good thing to desire more of God in our lives and less of us…what we really need is to know that ALL the fullness of God is living on the inside of us…and we’re living on the inside of God. We cannot get anymore of God than what we have…but what we can do is ask God (like John the Baptist) to help us to decrease, and think less of ourselves…and exalt God more in our lives, circumstances, and the way we live…and suddenly we’ll see more of God working in us and through us…and less of our old self.
Finally…we don’t believe any of this is actually true for us based upon what we feel we’re worthy of…and frankly many of us just don’t believe what I just told you. How do I know that? If we did…then we wouldn’t need a song like this to sound religious…and act like we do. Instead of asking for more love…we’d be asking for more revelation of the love that’s on the inside of us, and the ability to share it with the world. Instead of asking for more of the power of God…we’d be asking God to revel the power that works within us, and how to walk in the authority as children of God in Christ Jesus. Instead of asking for more of God in our lives…again we’d be asking God to reveal the areas in our lives that hinder Him from being able to work in and through our lives so that the world we live in sees more of God coming through us, and less of the obnoxious jerk we used to be still being made manifest years after we’ve been born again.
So…while it’s a wonderful song…the truth is that it’s full of doubt and unbelief. Now I do like the part about worshipping Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength…that’s actually Biblical…and it’s making a declaration that no matter what I’m going to worship God…see that desire to worship God like that comes from the knowledge of knowing that God has already provided everything you would ever need at the Cross…but we still want to make it more difficult than that. It’s not. All that we need is at our disposal because of the Cross…and that’s why I desire to seek God more and more because I want the revelation of what’s on the inside of me and at my disposal so that I can learn to use it…and walk in it…Amen!?!
Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:
This is a good assignment for this message. Again, I’m not going to check to see if you’re actually doing these things. That’s between you and God. I’m just giving you the opportunity that if you’d like to dig deeper than what’s written here…this might be worth doing…and seeing what God does…and if you do these assignments…it would be cool if God shows you something that you’d share it…so that our faith can be built up…knowing that if we really desire to seek the face of God…we can find it…and part of seeking the face of God requires turning off the TV…and maybe taking the time to do what’s suggested here:
Add to your character traits list.
What does your attitude usually look like?
Does it resemble the attitude of Christ?
Spend time meditating on the nature of Jesus. Ask the Father to increasingly change you into the image of His Son.
Man, did we get behind or what!?! I’m terribly sorry. I had such a fantastic weekend visiting Life Connection Church in Rogers, Arkansas to be able to hear the fantastic worship from Jonny Hale, and awesome preaching from Evangelist Josh Radford. Then, to follow that Friday and Saturday up, I got to hear an awesome message at New Life Christian Center – Centerton, Arkansas Campus from Pastor Cass Hill…and in addition to that I have been working since Thursday night/Friday morning.
So…while I regret getting behind…I’ve to say it was worth it, but we’ll get caught up over the next couple of days because I’m finally off work both Thursday and Friday this week. So, from the time I get off tomorrow…all the way through Friday we should be able to get caught up so we can finish this series on time…and not have it impact our family time for Thanksgiving weekend.
So…I hope y’all are still with me, and I promise you we’ll finish this series on time. I’ll double and triple up on messages to be sure this happens.
I want to take a moment to let those of you who just follow me here on WordPress that we’re going to do our very first Christmas Series. It’s called “Carol: A Christmas Devotional”. It will start on November 30th and run all the way through Christmas Eve…and I’m extremely excited that God’s desiring for us to do a Christmas Series.
In order to let me know you’re going to be doing this series with me…please visit the following link: “Carol: A Christmas Devotional”. While you’re there…you’ll notice it’s Facebook, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit and “like” us on Facebook…please stop by our page…and hit the “like” button. We’re approaching 80 fans…and I’d sure like to see more.
So…I hope to see you join me in the Christmas Series…I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be fun, informative, and I believe it’s also going to speak to our hearts.