One Purpose Philippians 2:1-4 NASB Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to have his mind about things. We are to think his thoughts, feel what he feels, love what he loves, hate what he hates, and share the same purpose as he has for our lives, which is that we walk in holiness and in his love. Then, and only then, can we, as his followers, be of the same mind, love, and purpose as one another. For, unity of mind with Christ is the only thing which should unite us all together. For example, God/Jesus Christ loves purity, righteousness, godliness, holiness, honesty, and faithfulness, but he hates lies, deception, adultery, immorality, wickedness, and selfishness. So, if we love what is immoral, selfish, deceptive, hateful, and faithless, and we resist and reject the good, by our lifestyles, then we may be likeminded with others of similar minds, but we are not of the same mind as Christ. A Bond-Servant Philippians 2:5-11 NASB Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. If we have the mind of Christ, we will care more about others’ true needs than we care about our own. For example, what everyone needs most is a relationship with Jesus Christ, and salvation from sin, and the hope of eternal life with God. So, we will sacrifice our own lives and reputations in order to share with others the truth of the gospel, so that they can be delivered from their slavery to sin, and live in Christ’s righteousness. We will be willing to be hated, rejected, misunderstood, mistreated, gossiped about, misjudged, falsely accused and abandoned because we stand on the Word of Truth, and because we share the truth of the gospel with others, because we love others more than we love our own lives. This is because we love them with God-like love which prefers what God prefers, and which hates what he hates. Seeing others free from their bondage (chains) to sin and able to walk in freedom and the joy of the Lord, in purity of relationship with Him, is worth whatever we may have to suffer in this life for telling them the truth. Work it Out Philippians 2:12-13 NASB So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Our salvation is not a one-time experience after which we live our lives and then one day we go to heaven. It is not a religion or a religious experience or some creed we follow nor an intellectual assent to some belief or practice. It is life altering, though. We can only be saved from our sins because of God’s grace to us, and Jesus’ death on a cross, and his resurrection back to life. By God’s grace we are saved from our sins, through faith, both of which are a gift of God to us. For, the faith necessary to bring about our salvation is divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives, thus it submits to God and to his purposes for our lives. It, then, turns from sin, and it turns to follow our Lord in obedience. But, this change in our lives is of the Spirit of God, not of our flesh. In the same respect, the ability to turn from sin and to follow our Lord in obedience is also of the Spirit of God, but we have to cooperate with the Spirit’s work in our lives. We don’t become puppets on a string when we trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. Daily we must die to sin and self and take up our cross and follow Christ, empowered by the Spirit within us. Hold it Fast Philippians 2:14-18 NASB Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me. We are not to be those who love to complain about everything or to argue about everything. We are, nonetheless, to be those who hate what God hates, and who love what he loves, and who stand on truth, and who refute lies, and who put on our armor daily in order to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. We are to be those who stand on truth and who expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and who do not compromise with the world. Being lights to the world means we are like Christ, in how he shone the light of truth, the light of the gospel, and the light of his love to the world. He cared about people’s legitimate needs, and he sacrificed himself, his time, his thoughts and his energies in order to help meet those needs. But, not only did he heal the sick and afflicted, raise the dead, deliver from demons and comfort the sorrowful, but he told people the truth about their sins, too. In order to appear as lights to the world, we need to hold fast to the Word of Life. That Word of Life teaches that we must die with Christ to sin in order that we might live with Christ to righteousness and have eternal life in Him. It teaches that if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity. And, it teaches us that God’s grace to us instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. If we are not teaching the truth, but we are giving people a false notion that they can have salvation from sin apart from true repentance, obedience, or submission to Christ and his cross, then we are not being the Light to the world that Jesus was or that he wants us to be. This crooked and perverse generation longs to hear such feel good messages as which tickle their itching ears, but which leave them still in bondage (chained) to their sins. So, we need to shine the light of Christ on the lies so that people will not believe the lies, but so they will believe the truth, and thus be saved. Thus, we also need to be telling them the truth, i.e. the truth as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it, regarding our salvation and eternal life with God. 10,000 Reasons Matt Redman Bless the Lord oh my soul Oh my soul Worship His Holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul I'll worship Your Holy name The sun comes up It's a new day dawning It's time to sing Your song again Whatever may pass And whatever lies before me Let me be singing When the evening comes Saturday, April 28, 2018, 1:01 a.m. – Yes, Lord, let me be singing the truth of Your Word, the Word of Life, always, for as long as I live. Amen!