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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 1 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 13, 2009


Philippians 2 is my favorite chapter in the second half of the Bible because it is an illustration given by Paul, which turns out to be the greatest description of Jesus in the Bible.  I want to explore it over the course of the next few posts.

Read the whole chapter HERE.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (vs. 1-5)

 This is the story behind the illustration Paul is about to give.  The goal Paul is seeking is that the church would be “Like-minded”.  The like mindedness is based on your condition in Christ (e.g. encouragement from being united, comforted by His love, fellowship with the Spirit, tenderness and compassion). Here’s the outline of Paul’s desire for the believer in being like minded.

  1. Same Love – We may have different approaches to methodology, but we are of the same source of Love.  Agape type love is the strongest love in the universe.  It is not dependent on feelings, but is selfless, loving others even when you feel they don’t deserve it. Jesus did it for you, you have no right not to love others in the same way.
  2. One in Spirit and Purpose– (lit. one mind of understanding) This spirit is not the “Holy Spirit”, but represents being on the same playing field in the spiritual understanding within each and every one of us.  We are three part beings – body, soul and spirit.  The spirit is the foundation of the person and if we aren’t unified here, the rest of our unity will crumble.
  3. Don’t function with selfish ambition – The word is erithia, which means “electioneering”. It is a political word that has come to define the cut-throat life of politics.  The believer’s attitude has no room for electioneering.  Churches that play this game, are not exhibiting a Christ-like attitude.
  4. Don’t have vain conceit – Literally, “empty-glory” – We like to be recognized for accomplishments, but when that attitude consumes us, we begin to take glory for things we really don’t have anything to do with.  When we take glory, God doesn’t get it.  But when we direct glory to God, it reflects back to us.  Empty glory leaves God out of the loop. Fulfilling glory focuses on Him.
  5. Humbly consider others better than yourself–  This humility is a “modest consideration of one’s own self”, literally, “low-hearted”. Christ was one of the most meek and humble individuals to walk the planet.  He had every reason to consider himself something special, but it was his heart’s desire only to bring glory to God.  John the Baptist understood this when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30).  Jesus echoed that with his Father (John 8:12-30).  A good acronym is JOY (J)esus first, (O)thers second (Y)ourself last.
  6. Look to other’s interest first – He is not saying to neglect your things, he is saying that you have to consider others needs equal to your own.  This is hardest of all because we are selfish by nature, but through Christ, even this is possible.

All of these are examples of the attitude the Christ has.  If we are “Christians”, then we are to be “Christ Like” (that’s what that word means).  Therefore, if you want to be Christ Like, then these seven attitudes need to be adopted as your attitudes.

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One Response to “The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 1 of 4”

  1. […] The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 2 of 4 July 14, 2009 Posted by undergroundchurch in Phillipians 2. Tags: Christian living, Christianity, doctrine, faith, Forgiveness, Jesus, life, love, people, prayer, religion, Thoughts trackback Continuing the look into Philippians 2,  See Part 1. […]

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