Authentic Faith Philippians 2: AUTHENTIC HUMILITY

Join us as we continue our journey through the book of Philippians, looking at the scriptures from the perspective of Authentic Faith. In Part 2, Fr. Michael Sorialleads a discussion about true humility, what it looks like and how it impacts the community of Christ.

Transcription

today we're going to be talking we're gonna be looking at Philippians chapter 2 as a source for us to learn from about what is authentic humility this whole series is about authentic faith and for us as they we're looking at humility humility it's a relational attribute okay it has to do with our relationship with God has to do with our relationship as a church community has to do with our relationship as married people relationship as parents has to do with how relationally we are at work and humility that I think is one of the most misunderstood attributes or characteristics or virtues but I think the reason humility is so important for us is a few reasons I'll give you two one is because it's it's the model that Christ gives for us but secondly and importantly one of our core values here is transparency I think it's very difficult to be transparent as a community as a married person as a friend if there's no humility it's very difficult to be able to speak what's in your heart and your mind if you're dealing with a proud person it's very difficult because you don't know what the response is going to need and so for that reason for us as a growing community to maintain a healthy sense of community of relationship humility is a necessity I think for us one of the problems that we find starting to happen in the Church of Philippi is disunity in Philip I as in other churches Corinth was another one there was disunity there was harmony there were schisms now corinth was a bit extreme hey the Corinthian church they don't were much further along than the church Philip I was but you start seeing some disunity brewing within the Church of Philippi if you have your Bibles I'm going to ask you to open up to flip in chapter 2 and we're going to just I want to read for you just the first sentence as you're opening up first verse says therefore if there's any consolation in Christ whenever you see the word therefore underline it and look backwards because what he's saying is something you just read what I'm about to say has to do with what we just read okay therefore so if we backed up a little bit in chapter 1 verse 27 to 30 which you read last week says only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you or I'm absent I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one sphere what might strike instead of the faith the gospel and in verse 28 of chapter one and not any way terrified by your adversaries which is to them a proof of perdition but to you salvation and in verse 29 for to you has been granted on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him but also to suffer for his sake in Chapter 1 st. Paul is telling the Church of Philippi to stand strong for the Lord against external conflicts in Chapter two he's going to turn our attention to internal conflicts within the body of Christ hey in some ways folks the external conflicts are much easier to deal with if there's internal unity doesn't matter what's happening outside if a marriage is strong doesn't matter what the in-laws are saying doesn't matter how my finances are to an extent there's stress there but if the marriage is strong we're good the second there's an internal conflicts the kingdom starts to get in shape and the same goes for the church people can say whatever they want to say people can attack people can attack faith people can attack what we think what we believe what we practices but as long as there's an internal strength between us and an internal unity between us doesn't matter what's going on externally and so in some ways the internal conflict is more detrimental for the unity of the church because this unity doesn't come from outside comes from inside years ago my father reminded me of something that I think many of us have heard which is every great Empire Falls from within every greater plan Falls from within okay it's not because someone bigger and better comes from outside it's because internal corruption or them within the Empire internal conflict internal disunity and so we want to look at this morning is how do we maintain an internal unity between us there were some were fighting there were divisions within the body and this happens in most churches okay to be fair this happens in most churches it's happens in most families most marriages where there's conflict people get irritated with each other people fight they get annoyed he looked at me funny she smelled funny he whatever it is right I can't stand her laugh I can't stand the way he talks I can't stand the way she looked at me I can't stand weird get upset by other people the things they do the way they talk the way they dress the way they look at us or the way we think they looked at us and so this causes disunity we don't like the attitude or tone of voice someone uses when they speak to us and so disunity starts the result is we get cliques and divisions people start forming their own little factions we find this happening in Corinth and the warning signs started happening in the Church of Philippi the cliques and divisions come and we feel like these people are dead to us we don't have anything to do with them we see them in church we turn our back we don't want to have anything to do with these people and we see this happening and I'll be honest in family ministry I see that when I see this happening in families this is warning sign like danger danger for the church to maintain a sense of vitality it needs to avoid a sense of pride pride is destructive to the life and the vitality of the church and so we look to Christ our model Christ is our example in dealing with difficulties and problems in dealing with difficult people and problematic people life principle I'd like to give you this morning is that disunity among Christians can only be overcome by humility that's followed by Christ this unity among the body of Christ can only be overcome by the humility that's modeled for us and that we can sharing by sharing in the life of Christ first principle that we're going to see in chapter 2 verse 1 to 11 is that humility produces unit humility produces unity in chapter 2 verse 1 st. Paul says the pharmacist therefore if there's any consolation in Christ if there's any consolation in Christ if any comfort of love if any fellowship of the Spirit if any affection of Mercy fulfill my joy by being like-minded having the same love being of one Accord of one mind what's he saying here he's saying if there is any and then he lists a bunch of things that they're clearly hard something of those things right if there's any consolation in Christ which there certainly is if there's any comfort of love any fellowship of the spirit any affection any mercy he said in other words if water is wet it rocks are offered he could have gone on and said that it fire is hot then fulfill my joy by me okay what he's saying is that unity is something worth working towards and the basis of that that unity being worth something worth working for is all of these things that we have in Christ that the consolation that we have in Christ by what we receive in Christ the comfort that we have in Christ the affection the mercy all these things it's a fellowship of the Spirit in the NIV version it says if you have any encouragement from being United with Christ if you have any encouragement by the United with Christ then do all these things be like-minded in other words what he's telling us here is our ability to be like-minded and like one spirited with each other comes from our being United with Christ humility produces unity humility is not something that we can do on our own humility is an attribute that comes by living in Christ and that humility produces you need now st. Paul and the letter to the Philippians especially this chapter in Ephesians in Corinth he continues to emphasize to the people that unity is in goal worth working towards that the church the body has to be one that we didn't have factions in schisms that the kingdom cannot be divided against itself in the words of Christ in verses 3 and 4 he kind of lays out for us certain steps towards humility and he lays out five aspects or five steps or five things that we need to work towards in order to achieve humility number one he says let nothing be done through selfish ambition then he says in other words number one thing is don't act out of selfish ambition selfish ambition is motivated by the flesh selfish ambition is he doesn't say don't act out of ambition he's not criticizing ambition he's not saying he shouldn't despite her for good things he says just don't let respirations your ambitions be selfish as one of y'all sentence it's about if I'm in a group situation a group and I present a case and someone else presents a different case but I want my we're going where I said because it's my pride my ego this is selfish ambition we're gonna do things my way because it's about me okay I would say Paul up here saying is don't let anything be done out of selfish ambition that means when we discuss things we listen to all parties and we move forward not always with the popular idea and not always with my idea your idea but we work together towards the common goal that's going to lead us to Christ but nothing should be done he says out of selfish ambition not all ambition is selfish there's good ambition that brings glory to God for those of you are working in corporate your ambitions who work in to strive and to succeed in your workplaces can be bring glory to God for those of you who are parents your ambition to be good parents and to raise children godly parent children can bring glory to God the second thing that he says that we need to do is to reject conceited thoughts he says don't let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit or conceit conceit simply put it's an excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability importance or intelligence now a lot of us have believed in the lie that our moms y'all know the line what's a lot lie is you're this dumb not just so smart smart you're the smartest you're the best best-looking you're the grapes there's no one else like you and no that's not what's - alright I feel that my brother's sister that's what I heard alright a lot of us believe this idea that we nothing the world cannot function without us that the like we make the world go around when I was leaving my previous ministry in Queens I really struggled with this idea of the church house the church is going to survive how are you going to get on without me and I'm so grateful that what am I really really close friends he says to me says listen this is a boon if you think these youth are not going to survive without you this is primary part it says if you really wholeheartedly believe that the church can't get on without you you got a problem concedes if we think the world if we think the company the church whatever it is can't get on without us conceits and what what st. Paul's tell us is we need to reject and see the thoughts the idea that what we have to offer is the best and there's nothing like there's no one else that compares to what my opinion about the subject is or what I think because I have the highest degree in you okay or I make the most money or I mean whatever it is or I'm the best look or on the funniest or whatever it may be okay we reject and see the thoughts the third one he says is not only let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind and lowliness of mind he says okay now this is the problem where some people are talking about in corporate America okay lowliness of mind in Christianity this is a virtue this is a virtue it's being content when we're not in control or the steering things our way this is what the idea of lowliness of mind comes comes down to okay it's not thinking that I'm a piece of trash or a piece of rubbish okay it's not going through the opposite extreme of Obama told you growing up okay but this is simply saying I am comfortable knowing that I'm not completely in control and I'm fine with that in other word this means moving forward interacting with people without brand or without him free from pride an ancient Greek world this was seen as a weakness this was seen as a detriment the aim during ancient Greece saw humility and specifically lowliness of mind as being something that was against manhood because men men were to be assertive men were to be strong and to be lowly in mind you this was the equivalence of groveling like a dog before Christianity this was had a negative connotation to it not being having this brand new earth walking around what the chest puffed out okay afterwards because of the model of Jesus Christ they say within one century the whole idea of humility as a positive attribute began to change in sweep through the entire Roman Empire fourth aspect he says this is don't only preserve lowliness of mind but esteem others but esteem others better esteem others better leads to having a concern for their and their concerns Hey what I'm looking out for others and I I actually respect other people whether they make more money than me or the homeless guy on the street what i esteem them is better than me because they have them that the images Christ I'm instantly going to look after their needs the second I stop looking at someone with the image of Christ being created as the image of God I'm not going to be concerned but there needs to be longer CS Lewis said it nicely he said humility is not thinking less of yourself it's thinking of yourself less fifth and final point he says here is that as a result of these things we will seek the interest of others st. Paul doesn't tell us wrong that it's that we should care for our own interests or that we should have an opinion or that we should offer an opinion or that we should seek certain things that were interested in but he says clearly here he says let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also the interests of others worst thing in the world growing up this one guy every time we went out we're always going wherever you want to eat okay hey did when he was around was always even the world okay because we never have to go where the rest of us wanted to go to eat hey look it's not it's not a problem to want to have your interests at times but we all sure also should here in the interests of others and look to encourage and satisfy the interest in the needs of others the second principle the first principle he says is that humility produces unity the second principle is that identity characterized by humility actually elevates your unity actually does the opposite of what we think sometimes this is a counterintuitive point okay an identity that's characterized by humility elevates your dignity sometimes we think the question what if you don't elevate yourself what will happen and that's a fear that we have is what if I don't puff myself up what's gonna happen to me I think this can only come by having the mind of Christ is what which is what st. Paul tells us here he says let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God now this next six verses guys many people many commentators suggest that this is actually a hymn of the early church that Paul's actually fusing in to this letter because it's something that the people already knew he's saying in our relationships with one another let the mind of Christ be number one he says you have the mind of Christ he says let this mind which is let this mind be in you which was also in Christ he says this is something you already have you have the - price you've put all the mind of Christ so in other words he's saying express what you already have Express what's yours don't express words warn to you don't express what the world expresses express what's Christ's what he has offered to you humility in verse six doesn't deny who you are says who being in the form of God humility doesn't Express me doesn't deny who you are Jesus didn't see speed God humility does not deny who we are doesn't deny your gifts it doesn't deny your talents doesn't deny your intelligence it doesn't deny your contribution and the second part it says and he did not consider it robbery to be equal with God at the same time humility does not leverage position humility does not leverage position when it says here he didn't consider it robbery to be equal to God the imagery that's here is that he wasn't grasping for being who he wants as God in other words he wasn't leaning on his position as God he didn't say listen I'm God y'all watch my feet okay I'm God y'all carry the bags God yeah I'm God y'all don't take care of those people over there never did that he never leveraged his position never said just like one of the bishop said something to be really nicely we're on retreat this last summer and I was like save me let me get your plate for you and he says if I can do it myself why do I need someone else to do this is the reason that I might do it myself or I might have someone do it is if I'm in the middle of doing something else that I can't physically go do it okay it doesn't look like you didn't leverage its position as a bishop just because I if I can do something I will do it okay and what st. Paul here is telling us is we shouldn't leverage our position within community life we shouldn't leverage our position as the people who have the purse strings happens in churches people with the purse strings they call the shots okay that kind of attitude divides the church the people who are the quote/unquote servants love this word servants what's a servant servant a position of Honor or servant someone who watches feet and a lot of churches it's a position of Honor it's leveraging position st. Paul you're saying if you're serving your serving Phil leverage your position the leverage your position it's not about your title how much money have or how well you know this person or that person he says Christ himself here didn't leverage he didn't consider it he didn't consider it robbery to be equal with God he didn't grasp for who he was think about that the greatest relationship that could possibly be true of any person or be or rather than clutching to it he emptied himself and that's exactly what st. Paul talks about in verses 7 and 8 he says tells us that humility here requires a self empty but he made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself became obedient to the point of death even the death of the cross let me promise you something if you have to yourself your fights with soft-top see if you add to yourself your fight your son canosa's our self empty this is what Christ does for us he models for us and if y'all remember saying that Vanessa was explaining why in all the Incarnation he says crisis was not cut in half or beheaded or whatever because the church can't be divided and I think this idea for us at the church not being divided I'm telling you arguments and if the arguments they're not external but they're in your minds the only way this will stop is by emptying ourselves our internal bickering will stop when we empty ourselves of our conceded selfish prideful thoughts and desires Hosea 11 for God tells the people God is speaking he says I drew them speaking about the Jews eyes drew them with gentle ports with bands of love and what's to them as those who take the yoke from their neck I stooped and I fed them I stooped and I said I want you to imagine this God Himself Stoops down and he comes to us someone said it nice once I said when you're picking up a child you should bend down and pick them up okay and when you bend down and pick them up this prevents them from getting hurt and it prevents yourself from getting hurt is above the ICB builder okay but this is exactly what price does he condescended same ethics he says to our level in order to lift us up he emptied himself for our sake he became what he wasn't so that we might become what we couldn't he became what he wasn't so that we could become what were not he became a man he became a human so that we could become defined so that we could share in the divine nature this is the greatest thing only can be accomplished because we have on verses 9 to 11 he says and for that reason God has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those in heaven those in the earth those under the earth every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and the glory of God the Father other words his humility humility brings about exaltation number 1 he's elevated Christ admit I'll make himself the father elevation number 2 it says he's given a name and I want you to acknowledge it in Hebrew thought the name it's everything the name is everything the name yahwah it's everything hey but he's given the name that's that's above every name and all of creation is going to be subjected to thanks all of creation why all this because he humbled himself not because he elevated himself tell you if we're really looking if we're truly looking and understanding that an identity characterized by humility will lead to your dignity you'll understand this exactly what price promise for us Christ didn't come and say give me my name your mom okay God come on now no better do what I'm saying he watched me died on the cross came a man here a human like what like this is this is this is a scam that God becomes man hey st. Cyril attenders he talks about the scandal the Incarnation God becomes man think about the humility okay as a result of his humanity his humility brings about dignity disunity among Christians can only be overcome by humility that's modeled in Christ and that we shared in his life third principle these last three will move through quickly humility creates a concern for God's work in your own life humility creates a concern for God's work in your own life verses 12 and 13 really highlight this beautifully a lot of times we as Christians we're concerned about everybody else okay once a person doing that person doesn't know God that person that walk with Jesus that person that person that person that person people outside of the church let's start with the people that aren't here today okay st. Paul actually tells us here that humility actually creates a concern for God's work in my life in my life therefore my beloved as you have always obeyed not as in my presence only but now much more in my absence work out your own salvation with fear troubling it's God's work God who works in you both to do to will it's a do his good pleasure he's telling us give attention to your own son a lot of folks say come to church because they want their kids to be saved or they want their painter their spouse to be saved they want their parents to be safe they want their neighbor do same same all same an humility humility treats a concern from God's work in your own life forth humble attitude leads to an exalted view of God really concerned about others and God begins to work at us what'll happen is out of humility God will begin to elevate now we won't even realize and that exalted you that that humble attitude will lead to an exalted view of God in verse 14 he says do all things without complaining the disputing that you may become blameless and harmless or pure children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among among whom ye shine as lights in the hope he says they're complaining and disputing includes our attitude towards God towards others towards our life circumstances humble attitude leads to an exalted view of God Natalia alstory back from 2006 we're on our way home from Queens we were still living in Jersey at the time and we were passing over the Pulaski Skyway anyone no plastics have it it's only the single most dangerous stretch of highway in the entire United States it's a great place to go give a death wish go take a spin right this young boy there was an accident this this leave out some of the details of this two year old boy Moore and I where the first part of the scene it's two year old boy he dies I held him in like in my hands ambulance comes he dies a few hours later funerals of a couple days later so I ended up going by the funeral and I got to tell you I was so hungry so by the response of the people in their wake service the person who hit them was an off-duty drunk police officer killed this two year old male these people weren't complaining weren't disputing weren't arguing these people were praising God I was I was brought to tears I was so I said like that to me was the greatest witness of humility that I've ever seen my life okay these people who could have been complaining and fighting writing letters and and by the way the off-duty drunken cop was the nephew of the mayor of Newark then they could have been raising havoc but they did and for me I got such an exalted view have gotten through their act of you know any complaint okay they didn't others spoke out for them but they didn't complain in an argument in dispute and as a result of that he tells us we shine as lights in the world that's what he's telling us here in verse 15 says do all these without complaining and disputing that you may become blameless pure children of God that fault the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine his lights these people Shh but shine as lights shine stood out as lights fifth and final principle is that acknowledging humility it encourages unity acknowledging humility encourages unity just going to spend a minute on this in verse 17 and 18 verse 17 and 18 he says I be poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith I'm glad and rejoice with you all for the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with st. Paul is accepting what he's received okay his life actually becomes a model for the people in Phillip mine now I want you to remember st. Paul's writing this from where resort resort beach beachfront property man he's read this from prison he's saying I poured out whatever God give me I'm accepting humbly okay so his life becomes a model for those in Philippi he says I'm being poured out in the present tense I'm suffering now in verses 19 to 24 st. Paul acknowledges the humility of Timothy and in verses 25 to 30 he talks about app aphrodite's and he talks about the humility in the humble care that Pafford IVs offers to the church what he's saying here is when we can look out and see the humility of others this actually and we we can embrace it in our church this will actually incorporate current encourage a sense of unity for us in the button okay a lot of times the most difficult thing to do is to look at someone else and say man that person and you just you honor something beautiful a person that comes from a place of humility when st. Paul's tell the Church of Philip I acknowledge and honor those who are all knowledge are in first 29 he says we receive him therefore the Lord of Goddess and halt such madness team he saying we should esteem these women these men who are out of their humility are serving the church are serving what I want to really encourage you all to do is when you deal with one another honor humility and honest when you find someone doing something as an act of humility I know on the flip side we've been like trained a whole lot if someone does something good like beat them down so that they don't get puffed up right okay I I think that's a bit excessive alright a bit okay I think when someone does something we can honor that person we can esteem this beautiful act of humility okay and I believe when we do so this encourages us to continue leading on Christ which becomes our sources true humility can only come through unity with Rice's I want to tell you that the most difficult thing guys is for us to think that we can just walk around in our chests and like this is humility humility is not meet my chest looking down on the ground and thinking of a piece of rubbish okay humility is knowing who I am as a son as a daughter of the king in union with him living in community with them and this creates a sense of unity in our minds because now when I look out I see the same thing in every person okay and now I'm no longer to see myself because I see the same thing that everyone else I understand that my source of life my source of dignity as a person comes down to myself not from what I have been given not from what I've been received or not from what I worked on but it comes from the image that I have living