Our sermon series in Philippians at St Andrew’s this term has this title: “Becoming Like Jesus”.
And, now we’re at the halfway point, what have we seen of Jesus so far?
Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8)
Jesus loves people like me and you so much he chose to serve us.
Let’s ponder this once again.
Though he is God, he left his home in Heaven to come to Earth. He was God and Man on Earth, and yet humbled himself to submit to cruel humanity and die the worst of deaths.
He did this so that guilty people like me and you can enjoy eternity with him. We will bow before him, acknowledge him as Lord, worship him and enjoy Him forever – if we turn to Him as Saviour now.
And yet Paul has been clear through the letter that this free gift of eternity – this extraordinary gift of Jesus serving us and removing our sin, this grace which he gives to us only through faith…
…is only part of the gift. As we believe in Christ, what happens?
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more…” (Philippians 1:9)
“If (you have) any comfort from his love, … make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love…” (Philippians 2:1-2)
“Value others about yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
“It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”. (Philippians 1:29)
As we believe in Christ, what happens? We Become Like Jesus.
Christians love like Jesus. We serve like Jesus. We value others above ourselves like Jesus. This may mean we suffer like Jesus – either the scorn of the world, or the cost of serving others above ourselves.
But as we become like Jesus, we will recognise that becoming like him is a blessed gift from God himself.
Which causes me to ask: how are you Becoming Like Jesus as we have listened to Philippians?
Allow me to remind you of some of the challenges we’ve heard so far. Why not determine to pray over these questions this week – and consider your own response?
- Are you thanking God for other Christians – and telling them how grateful you are for them? (1v3)
- Are you growing in your knowledge of Christ from the Bible? And asking God to help you love more like Jesus as a result? (1v9)
- Do you rejoice when Jesus is “preached” – or spoken of – in church, in personal conversation, around your dinner table at home? (1v18)
- Are you asking other people to pray for you, and asking for the Spirit’s help? So that, whatever your circumstances, you are able to delight all the more in knowing Jesus? (1v19)
- What change could you make this week in how you relate to other people to live more “in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ”? (1v27)
- In which moments are you most likely to look to your own interests? What might looking to the interests of others look like in these moments? (2v4)
As we ponder, pray, and choose to act in response to God’s Word, may He make us all the more like Jesus.
With love in Christ,