Bible Ballistics: The Call? January 12, 2014 Vol.3 No.9
I’m sure you’re wondering about our title today, ‘The Call’. What kind of call are we referring to? A phone call? Maybe. A bird call? A duck call? No, but sometimes we try to ‘duck’ out from the call we have from God. We’ll look at part of Philippians 2 as we consider this ‘call’. Paul’s letter to the Philippians was a letter to relatively new converts at Philippi. Those with whom Paul had spent a good deal of time, the place where Paul wound up in a Philippian jail because of preaching the gospel. He writes this letter as a challenge and encouragement, and includes some of the most deep and enlightening truths about God’s call on us and how we are respond.
Philippians 2:1-11, “ If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
A lengthy passage, but one we can walk through and hopefully gain an understanding of the call, and how to answer that call. Paul ends chapter one by calling them to endure the persecution they are experiencing because of Christ and goes on in chapter 2 to remind them of where their confidence should be—in Christ. What do we have in, and through Christ according to this passage? Let’s just walk through it and see.
Part of our confidence can be in the profitability of scripture, remember 2 Timothy 3:15-16,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
inspired by God—
profitable for knowledge—
and instructing us in righteousness.
All so that we may by—perfect (mature)—prepared by God to do good works.
Our confidence is in
what God has done in saving us,
what God is doing in growing us and
what God will do in using us for the glory of HIS kingdom,
until He returns or calls us to Himself. Our call—is God’s call, and we can be as confident as Paul is in Phil 1:6, that what ‘GOD’ begins, HE will complete. We didn’t, don’t and can’t save ourselves, but it is the work of God in us,
John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Therefore, according to Philippians 2, in Christ we have:
a consolation in Christ Jesus
the comfort of His love
the fellowship of HIS Spirit
and His compassion and mercy to share.
Because we have these things we can:
bring joy to others when we obey
be like-minded (in Christ Jesus)
have and express —Christ’s love
—like-mindedness in Christ
—accord (oneness not the car)!!
We are not to:
cause strife —but be lowly in manner (humble)
be vain and selfish—but put others first.
That’s a pretty tall order all by itself. How are we to do these things? Well, dear one, I’m glad you asked. Paul goes on to give us on of the most profound answers in all of scripture as to how we can live the ‘Christian’ life. Jesus, our Lord, our Savior, our example, is set before us here. (also see 1 Peter 2:21-25)
‘let this mind be in you’—which mind?
‘which was also in Christ Jesus’—.
Was God (John 1:1-4)
Was ‘equal with God’ (John 1:1)
Became man (John 1:14)
Took the ‘form of a servant’ (Matt 20:28)
As a man he ‘humbled HIMSELF… unto death‘—
‘Death on the cross‘
For you and me (see Ro. 8:3 & 1 Cor. 15:3)
‘Wherefore’—and because HE did that GOD:
Has highly exalted HIM—
‘Given HIM a name… ABOVE every name‘—
SO THAT at that NAME—JESUS
‘Every knee should bow’— (all will bow)
Of things ‘in heaven’
Of things ‘in the earth’
Of things ‘under the earth’
‘Every tongue should confess...’— (all will confess)
That’s every tongue–
‘THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD‘
‘TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.’
Not to be abrupt, but enough said. Think on it, ponder it, and see if you have answered the ‘call’? Have you ‘bowed’? Have you confessed HIM? The question isn’t if, but when?