Continuing the sermon series through Philippians at the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. The sermons below were preached at the Monday Morning session.
Jimmy Meek, Immanuel Baptist Church, El Dorado, AR
People are inherently not unified. People who aren’t reconciled to each other aren’t a good advertisement for the Kingdom.
Dogs who aren’t doing what they’re wired to do, who stay penned up, sometimes get lazy. Sometimes they create a hierarchy that doesn’t seem to make sense to those on the outside. Other times, they fight about trivial things. Hunting dogs who stay penned up aren’t receptive to new dogs being introduced into the pen. The old dogs will fight the new dog, and the new dog will fight to stay out of the pen.
People in our churches who aren’t doing what God has called them to do often
“In Christ” means you’ve come to understand who the King of Kings is. When we are united in Christ, we don’t trust what we do. We trust fully in Christ.
What will complete Paul’s joy? Thinking the same way, having the same love, and being united in purpose. That purpose has to do with the good news of the gospel: Jesus Christ crucified and raised in power. It must be unity in the gospel. The builders of Babel were unified, but it was for the wrong purpose.
Looking out for the interests of others does not come naturally. That’s why we must deny ourselves and die daily.
Acts 1:8, if you become a believer you will receive the Holy Spirit and become a witness. Scripture doesn’t say after you take a class or have been saved a long time, but after receiving the Holy Spirit.
The Great Commission also unites us in the gospel. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords telling us what we should know: “I’ve got all the power.”
You might say, “But our church is little and we can’t do much,” but don’t forget who gave you the Great Commission. He has all the power.
When the hunting dogs are doing what they are wired to do, hunting rabbits for instance, they no longer have a hierarchy, they no longer care about who eats first, they no longer are lazy. The same can be true in our churches. When we focus on the lost around us an those in the world who do not have the gospel, we will unify around a purpose that makes a difference.
Nathan Rose, Liberty Baptist Church, Liberty, MO
We and our churches too often allow the busyness of our daily lives to distract us from Jesus and the beauty of His grace.
Verses 6-11 comprise an early Christian hymn. It’s a worship song about Jesus. Paul’s strategy to combine pride is to get them to stop and listen to this beautiful gospel music.
The biblical solution for fixing behavior always begins with fixing our gaze on Jesus Christ. “As we behold the glory of the Lord, we will be transformed into his image.” Our behavior as Christians is directly related to our beholding of Jesus Christ.
There are three realities in this passage:
The son of God as a human servant. Before Jesus took on a body, he existed as God.
Jesus did not consider his equality with God something to be exploited for personal gain. Contrast this with Adam who desired to be equal with God and plunged humanity into ruin.
Jesus did not empty himself of deity when he was incarnated; he added humanity to his characteristics. He “emptied himself” by becoming a servant. He did this to benefit and bless self-absorbed sinners like you and me.
Christ’s downward decent did not stop with his incarnation—he was obedient to the point of death on the cross.
The cross was so vile it was reserved for slaves and traitors.
Unlike us, Jesus was perfectly obedient. He was obedient in his life and he was obedient in his death.
Jesus’ death was obedience and sacrifice. He needed a body so he could bear our sins on the tree.
Before we can think about emulating Jesus, we must embrace him as our substitute.
The reality of Jesus’ crucifixion demonstrates the reality of Jesus love for everyone, including pastors.
Christ’s sufferings gave way to his exaltation. He is a vindicated sovereign.
A grammatical switch takes place. Jesus had been the main subject, but the subject now switches to the Father.
The way to be honored by God is through humility and sacrificial service.
The resurrection is the stamp of the approval by the Father. Jesus accomplished what he came to accomplish. Jesus isn’t just the best option among all religious leaders.
Christ who was God in the flesh was vindicated at his resurrection (his present vindication) and will be finally vindicated at his Second Coming (future vindication).