SERMON – Living for the Good of Others – Philippians 2

SERMON – Living for the Good of Others – Philippians 2 June 24, 2008

Here are some notes from the sermon I preached this past Sunday at Jubilee Church in Enfield Cineworld. You can download the audio or listen to it online in the following player:

I began by sharing the story of a mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and refused the abortion she was offered in order to give the gift of life to her daughter.

She told her husband, “If I am going to die, my baby is going to live.”

Said her husband after she had died, “She knew all too well she didn’t have long to live. So she put little Liam’s life before her own.”

Full story in the Telegraph.

The sermon is based on Philippians 2. The notes are very much just an outline, but they are nearly identical to the notes from which I preached. I have been experimenting with preaching from shorter notes, so I hope they will still at least make some sense to you. If not, you will just have to listen to the message itself.

We will come later in the book to the ultimate goal for living—to know Jesus. But one key way we express our love for God is by loving each other and the world. Jesus said in John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

It is this love for each other that I am going to call “living for the good of others.”

What is our motivation to live for the good of others?

“Because of” (verses 1-2) NOT “if” — but “assuming there is”

  • Encouragement in Christ (paraklesis) ;
  • Comfort from love (paramythion) ;
  • Participation in the Spirit (koinonia);
  • Affection (splanchon – spleen – bowels!) ;
  • Sympathy.

Also, we do this to complete our leader’s joy!

What does living for others look like? (verses 2-5 and others)

  • The same mind (agreement).
  • The same love (warmth, compassion, undertanding).
  • Full accord “with united souls” (a combination of the two above – i. e. TRUTH AND LOVE).
  • One mind (not clones, but scratch us and we bleed the same way).
  • NO rivalry or conceit = opposite = poor me ‘no one talks’ versus living for self.
  • Humility, NOT Mariah Heap “ever so ‘umble.”
  • Count others more significant than yourselves.
  • Look out, not only for your own interests, but for those of others = being kind to others. “IF ONLY EVERYONE WAS LIKE THAT.” JESUS WOULD BE LIKE THAT.
  • Do all things without grumbling or questioning (verse 14).
  • We are to do EVERYTHING for the good of others, not ourselves (e.g. ministry, workplace, etc.). CHOICES FOR THEIR BENEFIT ARE NOT EASIEST!
  • Genuinely concerned for your welfare (verse 20).
  • They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ (verse 21).

How and why do we do it? Mixed in!!! (READ verses 5-13.)

  • Constant refrain – “IN CHRIST.” This mind is in Christ—ours by union with him and by following his example.
  • MODEL = DO LIKEWISE. He who lived and died for others.
  • We have PURPOSE!
  • CHOICES—He didn’t grasp his right of equality. he laid his rights down.
  • Made himself nothing, rather than self-fullfillment or getting that promotion.
  • Made himself like us, not holding himself aloof as superior (e.g. racism).
  • Became obedient—not independent. JOURNEY FROM HEAVEN TO THE CROSS.
  • Sacrificed himself for us—not just his preferences, but his life! — OUR CHOICES.
  • Another reason here is because God raises the humble up.
  • James 4:6—But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
  • Matthew 23:12—”Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
  • Because we need to learn to OBEY this Lord over all! CHOOSE TO FOLLOW.
  • Lloyd-Jones: Best summary of the Christian life is to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (verses 12-13).

For the unbeliever, it’s no use to just try and live like this. You need the Jesus who died for you and was raised for you to come and live in you and empower you.

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