Here is a rough outline of the sermon for this week, to help you follow along.
I. Many Christians and Churches have claimed Jesus' name while doing things that don't reflect Jesus' character.
A. This is not a catholic problem, a protestant problem, an orthodox problem or a non-denominational problem. This is a Christian problem, of every tradition.
B. This is not a medieval problem, or an ancient problem, or a contemporary problem. It is a Christian problem from all times in the church's history.
C. Christians have too often used Jesus' name while ignoring Jesus' instructions and example.
II. Philippians 2:1-11
A. Paul gives the Philippians the most important instructions they'll ever receive.
B. He tells them to be of the "same mind" as one another, caring for one another and putting each other above selfish interests.
C. Paul goes on to encourage them to be of the same mind, not just with one another, but of the same mind as Jesus.
D. Paul then lifts up Jesus' humility as a model for them.
III. Jesus' character
A. One of the things that is most fun about preaching is that eventually, we always come back to talking about Jesus.
B. Jesus' humility wasn't just one trait amongst others. It was central to who he is and who he revealed God to be.
C. Paul takes us a step deeper by letting us see that Jesus' humility was a core part of God's being.
IV. Paul's words in Philippians 2:5-11
A. Jesus doesn't see his status as being God in human form as something to be exploited.
B. Christian leaders, in contrast, regularly see the power associated with Jesus' name and exploit it.
C. Paul tells us every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. The fight is already won and we know how this will play out.
D. Christians too often believe that they have to fight God's fights, which leads to Christians claiming Jesus' name while not doing things that reflect Jesus' character.
E. God has already accomplished whatever victories need to be accomplished. Our job is to point to the work God has done.
F. How can we reach the lost, if we spend most of our time fighting with them?
V. Bill's story
A. We aren't good Christians by fighting with people.
B. We are good Christians by modeling Christ's humility, caring about people, serving them and meeting them where they are.
VI. Same mind as Christ.
A. May we be of the same mind as Christ, modeling his humility.
B. May we show the world who Christ is, by giving them an example of Christ's character, through how we treat one another and treat others.