3rd December 2023

Have this mind in you that was in Christ Jesus

Passage: Philippians 1:29-30, 2:5-11
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

So this season of the year, just as it happens, we're moving into the Christmas time, and thank you to Joey for giving us a communion which was tying together that fax with where we're presently at in going through the teaching of Matthew. And the teaching of Matthew, we've been going through the Beatitudes. It's a funny word, Beatitudes. You've got to not double the T when you spell it, Beatitudes. But the Beatitudes, there's eight of them actually that we've been going through, and very interestingly, the question is raised, the Beatitudes, there's eight of them, and up until this point of time, they've all been positive. And by positive, they're putting forward the characteristics that Christian disciples should have. And in the book of Matthew, the beginning of the Beatitudes, I think it's in chapter 3, our very first verse, we'll put it on the screen, Jesus goes up a mountain, and he sits down, we've been over this, and his disciples came to him. Now notice that discipleship is a voluntary thing, but his disciples seeing him sit down, which is what the leaders, the teachers, the rabbis would do when they're going to be teaching. They used to, the leaders, the rabbis, the teachers, when they wanted to be serious in the teaching, they'd sit down, and those who were willing to be disciples would come and sit around them and listen. And this is the beginning of the Beatitudes, as Jesus is actually teaching those closest to him, the twelve disciples, and maybe some others that came with them. He's teaching them about what it is to be a real disciple. And there's eight things that he says, and up until where we've come to so far in the exegesis, the exposition of these, they're all positive. They're things that are shown in the life of a person who seeks to be under the kingly rule of Jesus. And so anyway, here we have Jesus teaching the disciples. And that's what the Beatitudes are all about. But as we come down to about verse 20 or so, you'll discover that there's a reversal. There's a reversal. There's a reversal. We were condemned by the law of Moses. We were condemned by the laws of God. The old covenant was given by God. It wasn't a bad thing. And Jesus lived under it in order to buy us out from under it. And by his death and his resurrection, he set the scene for the introduction of the new covenant. The new covenant is the Christian era, and people first getting into it was when they responded to Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost. As he told the gospel and gave a call for those who would come into this covenant with God to know the forgiveness of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. As Joey was talking about, it's both Jesus died for us, but also that he made available the Holy Spirit so that this covenant would continue on. And the receiving of the Spirit is a part of the deal, not only getting your sins forgiven, but receiving the Spirit into your life. And that offer was made first on the day of Pentecost. And there were 3,000 people who got in on the deal. Talk about a big deal offered, and many people chose to say yes. But all 3,000 of them, as far as we know, were Jews. Because the new covenant was a new covenant that God had promised that he would make with Israel. Now, just for a moment, understand this, that this new covenant that God was going to make with Israel was to be one which would be open to all persons to join in. Without necessarily having to be a Jew. It would be open to both Jews and Gentiles, simply on the basis of faith in Christ and trust in him. And so the old division between Jews and non-Jews would be broken down, that all people would be able to come on the same basis to make one new body. And that's the central teaching of the book of Ephesians, which we in our church have gone through. That when the new covenant was started, it did away with the distinction between Jew and Gentile. It didn't do away with there being Jews and there being Gentiles, any more than it did away with there being males and females. But what it meant was that the way you became a part of that new covenant was the same for everybody. It is that you came trusting in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. And thereafter, in Jesus talking through the Beatitudes, he shifted from not just putting it in the positive, and he talked about the positive, and he talked about the positive, and he talked about good things in the positive, as to what it was to be a person that trusted in Jesus. And somehow he shifted to also then explain what it meant in the negative. So he talked about things like hate. He talked about divorce. He talked about a divorce. He talked about enemies that you're hating when you should be learning to love them. Jesus talked about some of the negatives. Now it opens the questions, of course, as to whether it was harder to be under the old covenant, or harder to be under Jesus' new covenant. Or was it easier to be in Jesus' new covenant? Actually, it's a bit of both. The reason why it's harder under the new covenant is that Jesus pressed the claims of God, he pressed the claims of discipleship, as to how you'd have to be if you were a disciple, past just the actions, like don't murder, don't commit adultery. He put the spotlight on the motives of the heart, and the fact that if you have anger, you're just a few steps away from the possibility of murder. Maybe for some of us our training is such that we don't ever get near murdering people. But Jesus was explaining that the hatred of the heart is the same. Well, I was going to say devil, but it is the same bad response. And similarly, in terms of the breaking of marriage, the problem of lust sometimes is that which causes the breaking of marriage. Not always, but that's one of the causes. And Jesus put the emphasis on not just the outward action, but the inward attitudes and sinfulnesses, which it really takes. And as Jesus did so, it became very, very clear that none of us could ever succeed in being what is really required. But Jesus also emphasised that, that what's needed to get in with the kingdom of heaven, as far as how he was proclaiming it in the New Covenant, was something that was beyond the reach of any of us. He said to his disciples, you've got to be even more righteous than the scribes and the Pharisees, referring to them trying very hard to keep all the rules. But the reason is that, what Jesus was actually teaching is that the righteousness that gets you into the kingdom of heaven is not any righteousness that you can achieve by trying to obey the laws because of sinfulness of heart, which all of us have. And even our best attempt to obey the old covenant laws is going to result in a failure. And the demonstration people of God had in the Jewish nation, that's exactly what it showed. If you follow their history from the beginning to the end, it is one of failure after failure, after failure, after failure, God having to forgive them and help them. God re-establishing them, God having to defeat their enemies, God having to punish them and send them off into captivity and then bring them back again. The whole story of the Jews is a story of the failure of the human race. We never could perfectly keep the law of God. And so the whole purpose of God in sending his son and coming in his son, there's Joseph. as Joey was explaining, to be with us, was that he was in the first instance going to be a man, the God-man. It would take God to be a man and to live a life that kept the law. Jesus kept it and by so keeping he volunteered himself to be a perfect, sinless sacrifice that the Old Testament law had pictured was necessary for forgiveness. If you're going to have a substitute, it has to be a perfect one and he came to be that substitute, the perfect man who obeyed the law, who did what was right and by his innocence qualified to go to the cross and pay for your guilt and mine. That's what the gospel is all about. Jesus came and suffered in our place and because of how he died and offered it as a sacrifice, he could say it is finished. The Father could accept his sacrifice and the way the Father demonstrated the sacrifice was accepted was by raising Jesus from the dead and the New Testament teaches that by that mighty hand of God, God has spoken to the world and said it is finished. It has been paid. You can be forgiven. Now, what I'm wanting us to understand this morning and my big point of the sermon I'm wanting you to catch on to is not only did Jesus die on the cross, that the penalty for the old failures is paid, but Jesus rose again to be the source of righteousness in you that would keep the new commandment, that would keep the new covenant. Jesus and his presence would be the source, the resource for you to be able to satisfy the conditions of discipleship. And one of the growth moments and one of the growth moments in any young Christian's life having become a Christian is when they finally wake up to the fact that they've become a Christian, yes, but they don't have what it takes to be perfect in God's eyes. But they then learn that Jesus not only offered himself to be the sacrifice for all of their sins, but he rose again to be the righteousness in their lives that would make them what they need to be. And so you'll find that in the new covenant, God makes available all the resources that you haven't got of your own. When we begin to read through what Jesus says about being in the new covenant, it's exciting to realise that though we can't do it on our own, he's offering to do it in us. And so I have a Bible verse I wanted us to arrive at at the end of the message, which is from Philippians. Now it's not out of Matthew, but it's a verse where this idea is present in the book of Philippians. And so we'll start with chapter 1 and then go to chapter 2 in Philippians. In chapter 1 of Philippians, he's talking here at the end of the chapter, for it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake. Not that your suffering will earn you anything or is necessary, but the suffering is because if you have been given the righteousness of God in Christ, God's righteousness draws suffering from an evil world. There isn't any way that you can live as a strong Christian in this present age, but that it won't have the result of attracting to you persecution of one sort or another, depending upon other factors, in the society, just how bad it is. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him that you're becoming a Christian, but also suffer for his sake. Because the righteousness that he gives you in the sense of your being forgiven and therefore there's no guilt, the righteousness that he'll bring into your person to help you live the Christian life will cause you to grow and become more and more righteous. That's what Christian sanctification is all about. Gradually being set apart more and more for Jesus. And the more that happens, the more the unbelieving world will dislike you. In the home groups, and I'm often talking about the home groups, there's so much beautiful stuff that goes on in our home groups. And one that's on the Gospel of John, actually we've got more than one on the Gospel of John, but, has been going through Jesus and the Pharisees arguing. And the fantastic picture, fantastic in a sense of the vividness of it, of those stupid Pharisees, those ridiculous Jewish leaders, that they should be so blind as not to see the eternal Son of God who's taken on humanity, Jesus. That's what Christmas is about. Not to see, not to see the glory of who he was, the Gospels about the facts, that Jesus came to express the very person of God. He that sees me, says Jesus, has seen the Father, not meaning that he is the Father, but meaning that he is the expression of the Father. He's in fact, the Bible teaches the exact image of the invisible God. And when you see Jesus, you see God. The way to know God is to come to Jesus and when you receive him as your own personal saviour, God, comes to live in you. What a fantastic Gospel we've got to preach that Jesus not only come and has dealt with our sins, but in the offer he says, not only will I forgive you, but I want to give myself to you. I want by my Holy Spirit to come and live in your person and to bring myself to be at the very centre of your being. Jesus offers himself to be the righteousness that we could never achieve on our own. Oh, the tremendous blessing of being a Christian because our righteousness is that which he brings. Not that we ever deserve. He died for us in the negative sense to get rid of our failures and in the positive sense he comes to be your righteousness. That sounds like very religious words, but boy, is it true. And when you've been struggling to live as a Christian and realise you keep faltering, realise that you're not much of an example, realise at times you let the world know that you're not much of an example, you let the Lord down and then to hear that Jesus says it's okay, I'm here to be your righteousness. Trust in me. Surrender to me. Let me be what you cannot be on your own. For me to live is Christ, said the Apostle Paul. It's been granted to you not only for the sake of Christ. What does it mean for the sake of Christ? Well, you're doing it for him to suffer in his place, but for the sake of the opportunity that he will have to be in your life and to do what you cannot do. Well, let's go to chapter 2 of the book of Philippians and the thing that I want to leave you with this morning, the direction of this sermon, is I'm talking about the new covenant and the facts that the new covenant is where Jesus offers his righteousness for you to live by. He's not there with a big whip, hurry up and get in line, you're not very righteous enough for my kingdom. No, that may be true, you're not. But he's offering himself and his righteousness to be yours. And so we're looking here in the book of Philippians in the second chapter and let me just see exactly which verse I wanted to start on. But as we're looking here in Philippians, I think that'll do as it is verse 5. Have this mind among yourselves. Now I need to tell you, in the Greek, I do this now and then, please forgive me, but the little word among is one choice legitimately you can make, but another one is in. It's just the word en. In Greek it means in. But if you take it in a plurality sense, then it's in the group of you. If you take it in each individual sense, then it's in the individual. Both are true. Have this mind in you. Other versions we'll read. In the one from our Bibles, in the Pew Bibles, it says have this mind among you because it's meaning plural, amongst you as a group. Then it says, which is yours in Christ Jesus? And that phrase, that little comment, in Christ Jesus, is how the Bible explains what's happened to you when you became a Christian. You became joined to Christ. You became a part of him and he became a part of you as Joey was explaining. The Holy Spirit came into you and it's what in communion we're reminded of that we've come to Jesus because of his death, because of his resurrection, he's giving himself for us and now also because he's come to bring God to live in us. It's the Holy Spirit who came into your heart at your conversion, whether you were not aware of it or whether you did know, it's what happens when people come to Christ and they do business with Christ, my business, I mean when they admit that they're a sinner and they say, Lord, I know I need forgiveness, please, please take away my sin, be my saviour and when you take Jesus to yourself to be your saviour, it means you're accepting him for how he came into the world to be and you let Jesus be the Lord and saviour of your life, at that moment, God gives you the Holy Spirit to come to your person and in his coming, he brings the Spirit of Christ. So, have this, mind among yourselves, have the mentality, have the understanding, have the attitudes in you, which is yours in Christ Jesus. Do you get it? Because you've come to Christ, this mind, this outlook, this understanding and experience is yours in Christ Jesus because you're united to him. Who, and then it describes what this mind is, this attitude is, who though he was in the form of God did not crown equality with God a thing to be grasped after, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant. He wasn't just a servant, he was Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, but he took on servanthood and how low did he stoop, he became a human. He took on all that was to be human, though still the eternal Son of God, second person of the Trinity. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, willing to die for sins he did not commit, even the death on the cross. Therefore God, that's God the Father, has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name, the name, is the name of God, the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, we'll go to the next slide, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. So something's happened in heaven after Jesus ascended and the Father took the name of Jehovah, if you like, or the name of God which has ultimate authority and made the name Jesus to have that authority. He gave him the name that every knee should bow in heaven and earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, the Lordship of Christ is that which he's been instated with as he completed his mission and returned to heaven to the glory of God the Father. The Father's not missing out, he's the one that's doing this for his Son, making Jesus Lord of Lords and King of Kings. To the glory of God the Father, Jesus so has that. And that's what God has done to him. And the next thing that happens is that the Father and Jesus together sent the Holy Spirit down to earth to the believing disciples waiting for the day of Pentecost in order to fill them with himself, those believing disciples, and to have his availability so to fill the human soul to every person who responds to the gospel, even to as many, the Apostle Peter says, to those who, whom the Lord our God shall call. And when God calls a person to become a Christian, a part of what that call is not only to know the forgiveness of sins, but is to give the presence of Jesus to fill their hearts. Jesus in his righteousness, Jesus in his completeness, Jesus in his magnificent kingly leadership. And what it is to be a disciple is to let this Jesus who comes and floods your soul take over your life. Take over control and the Christian life is one where Jesus very carefully points out little spots to you where you haven't been doing it, where you need to hand over to him, where you need to trust him. And as time goes by, you learn more and more that to you to live is Christ, like the Apostle Paul said. He understood the whole deal eventually and wrote it up in the book of Romans, but he talks about it and says, I am crucified with Christ. So in other words, the old me and the me that was sinful died on the cross, as it were, by Jesus dying for me. And then when he rose again and he's come by his spirit to live in me, this new Christ, this new Jesus, that's what makes me a Christian. What a tremendous thrill it is to realise it's not up to you to live the Christian life. It's up to you to hand over to him to do his doings, fulfil his will, give his lead. And the more you submit to the indwelling leadership of Jesus, the more you live out what it is to be a disciple. That's the Beatitudes, what they're getting to. And though there are some negatives to avoid, it's actually harder, I believe, to be in the new covenant because to have Jesus come and tap you on the shoulder about your attitudes when you're angry or your lust, it's all very good to do all the right things outwardly, but what about inwardly? Or when Jesus talked about anger, he also talked about loving your enemies. You know, it's one thing that the Jewish people were very poor at doing and the ones that are there in Jerusalem and Judea and Jerusalem in Israel today are not very good at doing, I'll better tell you. I don't expect that they'll live good Christian lives at the moment because they're not yet converted. They're not yet to have what we celebrated we have at the time. That is, we've had Jesus forgive our sins and come into our lives. Most of the Jewish people in Jerusalem are not Christians yet. And they are actually like a bunch of, many of them, atheists. Why is it that God seems to still stick up for them like the Six-Day War, like getting them through the Holocaust, like granting them the promised land that he gave promise to Abraham in chapter 12 of Genesis? Those promises that God's says he'll never fail on because he made the promise. They don't deserve that promise but God's going to do it. So I know where all of this business is going to end up. The Jews will win. They'll get a lot of opposition from neighbouring nations but the Bible prophesies who will win in the end. That's because God keeps his promises. But a part of those promises I believe is that those Jewish people are going to have their backs against the wall by some certain political events that will make them cry out to God and then they're going to remember their history and they're going to remember that they rejected their Messiah when he came and they're going to repent. They shall look on him whom they have pierced is a prophetic statement of a moment coming that the Jewish people as a nation are going to recognise the failure they had to crucify their Messiah and they'll be converted to Christ. And then they'll be given the mission not to be out fighting but gospelising. And so in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke it talks about the fact there'll come a time when this gospel of the kingdom Jesus returning and setting up the kingdom for them is going to be fulfilled one day. And they will go about from town to town. Many of them killed for taking this message but it won't be quite the same as what we're watching in the news. At the moment I believe that God is for the Jews. That chapter 12 go home and look up chapter 12 verses 1 to 3 and tremble. Thank goodness our politicians are behaving well and they've assured the Israeli nation they stand with them. And that those verses in Genesis 12 and 1 to 3 says that those who bless Israel will be blessed of God but those who curse Israel will be cursed of God. No nation goes on standing if it turns against Israel. And history is on the side of those people who support the Israeli people because God made a promise but that doesn't mean they're acting Christianly yet. But there will come a moment when they will when they come to Christ. The book of Romans talks about the fact that we the non-Jews Gentiles have gotten into God's plan. We've gotten into his kingdom. We've gotten been given a place with this gospel message of God. We've disseminated it and being the ones and the Jewish people are out of it because they turned it down. But there will come a time when the time of the Gentiles is complete and God calls those Jews to come back into their plan. Who knows how that will happen exactly but the point is that there will be a time when Jewish people will act far more Christianly than what we see them today. What a wonderful thing that will be. Now that doesn't rule out the other promises God has given for what he's going to do at the end of the age. The new heaven and the new earth. But it's all a part of that which is to come in the future and the God who always fulfils his promises has given a lot of promises to be fulfilled and you can be sure they're going to happen. And we who are Christians are praying that God's will will be done about Jerusalem. We're asked to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We're asked to pray for God's people, the Jews. That's not to deny the fact that God's people now the Jewish covenant the new covenant is what we're in as the church. And that's why there's no difference between us and the Jewish person. In Christ there's neither Jew nor Greek. There's neither male nor female. There's neither slave nor free. Every person whatever may be their circumstance comes to God the same way and so in this new body called the church there is no division. There's no anger against Jew against Christians or Christians against Jews. We're all one in Christ Jesus. That's often what is one of the claims of the Christian church that we follow. But that's a part of something that God is going to work out and it will include a place for the Jews and the prophecies that have been made for them. Anyway here I've wanted to bring your attention to the fact of how you can live out being someone who's got the power of the new covenant it is in this Philippians verse. If we go back to Philippians please the chapter 2 one and this chapter 2 says have this mind in you individually or among you corporately we should as a church have this mind among you which is yours in Christ Jesus if you're in Christ Jesus you have this mind because of him who though in the form of God didn't count equality with God a thing to be grasped he was not looked at as just perfect perfect he was a perfect person but Jesus didn't cling to his authority he had as the eternal son of God the second person of the trinity he came and took on humanity and in humbleness walked in the form of a servant he prayed our father who is in heaven he prayed not my will but yours be done he humbled himself to do as the father led be born in the likeness of men and he was men but he wasn't he was a lot more than men but not the people necessarily saw it and being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death and when we take on board that attitude this mind that we have in belonging to Christ then we do as the apostle Paul said I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me and that is the great cry of Christians who find the victory is in Jesus and what he does in you not in your efforts and your strength but when he does it when at last you call on Jesus the one who lives within please express your righteousness in me please help me where I failed the flesh turned up and made a rather bad mess please forgive me and the Lord takes your hand and you walk on and gradually in sanctification you get a bit more a bit more closer to letting Jesus be the one who's seen in you how do you do it by taking on this mind in you it's yours in Christ Jesus this one who humbled himself and as a consequence of his humbling eventually God has exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name this is the secret to the Christian life the secret is Jesus and his righteousness and not ours and our simple trust in him I hope you remember the verse Ephesians not Ephesians Philippians 2 and this beautiful verse 5 have this mind in you among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus that's the secret to the Christian life let's pray Heavenly Father I thank you for the Beatitudes and I thank you for Jesus who wanted so much to teach this discipleship to his followers to help them understand the salvation that is theirs because of what he has accomplished thank you Lord that you came to be present on this earth thank you for Christmas Lord may we not miss an opportunity to broadcast to this fallen world that you're for them and you want to be with them and you want to be in them bless our Christmas rally on December the 17th 5 o'clock it starts outside the church and then inside in here this sanctuary put your hand on that and would you bring along people may those signs that Cameron has arranged for find places to be put up by different people that will bring folk along would you bring along someone who doesn't yet know Christ someone who maybe has celebrated Christmas many times and never understood it it's God's gift for them what he'd do in his life in dying for them and what he'd do in his life what he'd do in their lives when he comes as their Saviour and Lord may that happen on that night we pray that people will come to Christ we ask in Jesus name Amen.

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