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Well, I have some good news for you. Normally, when Pastor Nathaniel asked me to speak, I get all excited and I go running to all my books, and I start just pouring over all these different commentaries and all these different things. And by the time I’m done, I have enough material for about five sermons, and then I come here and try to fit that, all that into to, you know, one, one sermon. Well, I have some good news for you guys today. Everyone’s like, oh no, here we go. Uh, because of the two services, they have forced me to condense my material down so we don’t have to worry about it. They gave me this thing. They call it a mic, but I’m pretty sure it’s a shot caller to to hit me and buzz me once. Uh, once I’ve reached my time limit. So good news. I won’t keep you here until after lunch. Uh, just have a short time to present God’s word. I’m thankful for the opportunity. It’s a blessing to be here at Alpine Bible. Be in front of you all to share God’s word. Uh, if you have your Bibles with you, we’re going to open today in Philippians chapter two. Um, just a for a brief, um, background of what’s going on. Pastor Nathaniel has been in the book of Philippians for a few weeks now, and we’ve gone through chapter one and discussed how we’re broken people and in the brokenness, God has loved us and demonstrated his love and brought his grace through His Son, Jesus Christ.

But in reality, that grace is messy because we’re broken. And so we see grace not only important in the means of salvation, but in the means of living for God. Um, as as a people of God, for his glory. And so grace is indeed important, and grace is as messy. And then in chapter two, we’ve started to pastor Nathaniel led us through the first 12 verses last week or so, and we began to see, um, the importance of unity in the church and just how important that is and, uh, the importance of expressing that unity or obtaining that unity in reality. And that’s what we’re going to be discussing today, obtaining that unity through humility. All right. So that’s what kind of going to be digging in today. Um, Philippians chapter two verse 12. We’re going to start there. And it says, so then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure. Children of God who are not, who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.

Hold firmly the message of life, then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing. But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way, you also should rejoice and share your joy with me. This is the Apostle Paul writing to the church in Philippi, the Philippians and the Apostle Paul is writing from a jail cell at this moment. And here he is penning these wonderful words and and giving such encouragement in the bleakest of circumstances. And the prison cell, no doubt, um, discouraged, wanting to be discouraged and all that. But yet he expresses that he has joy and is, uh, just has that God given joy, even though in the midst of circumstances God is with him and God is using his circumstances to work things out. And so it’s a it’s a book about unity. Yes. And how we are to be unified. But it’s also about experiencing God, the fruits of the spirit, God’s joy in the midst of our circumstances, in the midst of our brokenness. So the passage I kind of want to focus on here is in verse 14, do everything without grumbling and arguing. Okay, that’s, uh, in the context that he’s writing about, he’s writing about in the context of the church, okay? He’s writing and telling these believers, hey, you guys need to be doing things without grumbling and arguing.

But he gives us a good reason why. Why is the unity important? Why is this important not to grumble and argue with one another, he says, so that you may be blameless and pure children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation. Now notice this among whom you shine like stars in the world. So I think it’s interesting that he talks about children of God being blameless, pure and faultless. You think that he would list, uh, a number of things that were do’s and don’ts and things that we’re supposed to do and commandments that we’re supposed to follow to be pure and blameless in front of God. But what is he focusing on here is unity within the church. He says, we want to be like stars. We’re supposed to be the light of the world, and we can’t do that if we’re bickering and fighting with one another. God is a God of unity, and he desires his church to be have unity as well. And so Paul’s focus here is not a list of do’s and don’ts, but church. Do everything you can without grumbling and arguing. Be unified. Presenting the gospel, the message of life. Why? Because we’re God’s light in the world.

This world is full of darkness, right? God sent his son into this world to be light. He has established his church to be the light, to be God’s representative in this community around us. And what this verse is saying is, is if we desire to be that light shining in darkness, the church needs to be unified. We’re not to grumble and argue with one another and even going out into the world for me. You know, I have to admit, um, grumbling. Okay. Uh, for me, when I first pastored, Nathaniel first assigned me this passage of text I began, and I saw the context that it was in the church. But God immediately laid on the fact that I had a grumbling problem. It wasn’t necessarily in the church, but it was at. It was at my work. And grumbling, ultimately, is a disconnect between what we know to be true about God and the way we live. So bear with me as I tell you the story. But he began to show me that I work in a job where, um, there’s lots of guys. I show up in a garage every morning and there’s 40 guys all there, right? And it’s a it’s a seniority system. So the longer you’ve been there, the easier the work you get. You got to kind of get to cherry pick your work. And, you know, the guys have been there for 30 years.

They hardly get out of their trucks. Right. If you’ve only been there for a short time, guess what? You get all the stuff that’s left over, right? And that’s where I am. I’m only about a year into the job, and so I have to go to work every day knowing that my day is going to be filled with problems. Like, the guys will show up to the job. Wow, this one’s a hard one. Throw it back in the pool for the younger guy. Right? And so I have to face that every day. And so as I was, as I do that, I, I begin to get frustrated and angry and begin to murmur against my manager or the guys in front of me. And it’s like, man, you know, this is so hard. But in reality, it’s a disconnect with my theology, because if we look at Scripture, we see that God is in control of all things. Everything. He has me in that spot for a purpose. All right. Let me read you a few. This is a prayer. One of my favorite prayers from King David. In First Chronicles 2913 ten through 13. Um, and it just talks about how God is in control of all things. So then, David, praise the Lord in the sight of all the assembly. David said, May you be praised. Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory and the splendor and the majesty. For everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from you. You are the ruler of everything. In your hand are power and might, and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we give you thanks and praise your glorious name. God is in control of everything. You know, when I first read the the Old Testament and I saw the deliverance of God’s people out of Egypt and all those miraculous supernatural things that God did to get them out of there and cross the Red sea. Then he begin to feed them food coming from heaven every day, right? He even provided quail to mix things up a little bit. Right. And then but you read and you see that the people grumble. Why is it so hard on us? It was easier back in Egypt. Slavery was easier, is what they’re telling God, right? And you just go, man, those people have a lot of gall to just grumble after all that God’s done for them. Well, my example that I give you today, God’s done a lot for me. He’s blessed us beyond measure, and he has done all these things and and yet I he’s placed me in that place to be a light to those men, to be a light to my manager, to be able to be God’s light in their darkness, in their lives and their brokenness that I struggle with, too.

But I have the light. He’s put me there for a purpose. But yet I grumble. I don’t see, I see a disconnect between what God demonstrates about himself, all these different verses. God in the heavens. He he is in the heavens. He does whatever he pleases. Psalm 115 three whatever the Lord pleases, he does in heaven and earth. Psalm 135 six From Him and through him are all things. Romans 1136 and how about this one? Everyone knows this one, right? Everyone throws this one at you when you’re grieving. Romans eight. All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. All things. God’s put me in that place to first refine me and to shape me. And I need to understand that. That he has me exactly where he wants me. And in the meantime, he continues to bless and continues to provide for me and my family and all these things. But yet I grumble. So I’ve had to do some repenting the last few weeks, right? It’s like if you’re going to get up and tell God’s people to not to grumble, you probably should work on it in your own life first, right? So I’ve had a few weeks to demonstrate that, and it’s actually led to some great opportunities.

I had my Bible with me, I brought it in to the desk, and there was just a few guys lingering around the shop, and the guy noticed the Bible. One of my good coworkers, he’s like, oh, what are you doing? I’m like, I’m studying for. I’m preaching. Come, you know, in a week or two. And my manager was like, well, what are you preaching on? And I’m like, well, it’s actually unity and how you’re not supposed to grumble and and argue. And she goes, practice what you preach. I’m like, I know I’m trying. And I gave her permission to be my accountability partner. Right. I said, you’re right, you’re right. Next time you send me to the worst place I know it’s not you. I know it’s just God working on me, trying to refine me. So I give you permission to let me know, to correct me and not allow me to grumble. So the good news is, is this problem with grumbling? I don’t have to conquer in my own strength, right? As a child of God, we have this amazing thing, this the God, the spirit residing in us. We’re born again. We’re given a new heart. All these amazing things that happen to us at salvation. And it’s this wonderful promise that I think we have another disconnect in our theology, this this fact that God desires to do a work in us.

He’s the one that’s going to give us the power and the strength to overcome our obstacles, overcome our trials. It’s called enabling grace. And again, grace is the thing which saves us. For by grace are you saved through faith? But grace is the thing that continues us on in our mission and our walk with him. And Philippians 213 talks about that, right? For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for his good purpose. I like that both to will. So maybe you’re sitting here today. Well, I don’t even desire to do these things or, you know, live for God. Well, if you’re one of his, he has the grace to give you just the desire to follow him, desire to be more like him. He can give you that desire in your heart because of his enabling grace. And again, it’s action as well, right? I know that God’s doing this work in me, but I have to daily, as Nathaniel preached on last week, it’s not about and that’s what happened. The guy came out. He was kind of religious. We have several religious conversations a week and he says he goes, so what’s you’re telling me is, is that God’s in control of everything. And and you need to not grumble as much because he’s let these things into your life.

And I said, yes, that’s exactly right. And he’s like, yeah. And he turns around and he starts walking back to his van with his head down. And I thought to myself, no. It’s not right, because that’s not the entire story. We’ve identified the problem, but he’s walking back to his van, beating himself up because he can’t do it in his own power. And he knows it. And he’s beating himself up spiritually, emotionally, because he knows he’s not doing a good enough job. But the power of the gospel says, as I relent myself and my own desires and turn away from them and turn to God and seek his face every day, more and more he gives me the grace to overcome. He gives me the power to be conformed to his image. I don’t have to do it in my own strength. I just have to surrender, which is hard for most of us men, right? Have to surrender to him. I have to renew my mind and the things of the gospel and surrender to him. And so I’m praying for an opportunity to correct that with him, because he’s trying to do it in his own power. He knows that he needs to do better, right? But he’s not surrendering to to the Lord and his power to be able to do it.

All right. Arguing. Again, this is in the context what he’s writing to is the church. And grumbling can happen in the church. Um, boy, you know our hearts and the leadership team as we’re changing, we’ve just gone to two services and more and more people are coming through the doors. We have new visitors every week, and our biggest concern is that we’ve become so big that we don’t become unified, that there’s so many people. I see people that I know and I love, and it’s there will be three weeks sometimes before I actually get to have a conversation with them. Right? Because we’re going to two services and everything’s going. And our heart is that we stay unified. But what can happen during all that during this time of change, during this period of growth for our church? Because we do, we want to get the message of life out there. We want to grow. We want to be the light that God has given us. But our fear is that people become discontented and they begin to grumble and they begin to argue with one another. And so instead of unity, there’s disunity. And it doesn’t matter how nice our building ever becomes or how big it is, if we don’t have unity within the body, we’re nothing. It’s all vain, it’s all exterior, and we don’t want that. At this church, we desire unity amongst Christ’s people and Christ’s body.

And so Paul’s telling us here how to do that. We can’t grumble. We can’t argue. Arguing is, uh, in reality, a great way to exercise humility. Right? We have consensus with one another. We’re broken. We have hurts from past lives that we don’t quite understand one another. Right. And arguing and grumbling can, can, can pop up in the church and it can be devastating. You know, you look at the picture of who God describes himself to be a triune God in perfect harmony and unity. And he’s established his church, Christ, ever the church, and he desires his church to be in unity. That’s what we seek after here at Alpine Bible. Is to be one. With the headship of Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, our chief Shepherd. Philippians two verse three. So again, arguing is a great way to practice humility, to exercise humility. Personal conflict. It’s going to happen. And it says here, do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. That’s the heart we need to carry. Humility looks like that. Humility is preferring others before oneself. The greatest commandment love your Lord your God with all your strength, all your mind and all your soul. Right? Second greatest commandment is love others of you as you have loved yourself. Right. This is the second commandment in action, preferring others before yourself. And he gives us.

Paul gives us in the letter of Philippians, lots of examples of this humility. Exercising humility. First, we have our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This song, and I know we’re kind of going over some things reviewed last week, but it’s what this passage is, what chapter two is all about. Make your attitude that of Christ Jesus. What are we supposed to do? We’re supposed to conform our image to the attitude of Christ Jesus. Conform our thoughts. Conform our mind, our actions. Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for his own advantage, wasn’t about him. Instead he emptied himself, God of very gods, emptied himself. By assuming the form of a slave taking on the likeness of man, God stepped into his creation to save a people, to save us. To restore the brokenness of sin. That’s what Christ did for us. He abandoned, temporarily abandoned the glories and majesties of heaven to step into his creation as a man. Verse eight. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death. There’s only one person that did not deserve what’s in the penalty that sin bears and that is Christ Jesus. But he humbled himself for us, for our account. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even to death on a cross. And so that’s what Paul is telling us to do.

Start thinking of our church in those terms. Others before me. I desire Christ to be glorified more than my. I’m going to try to die to self today. And guess what? We have day after day after day. I’m going to go to work next week, and I’m probably going to fail about grumbling in some respect. But I’m going to have another day, Lord willing, to get up and try it again. Surrender myself to Christ. Give him another opportunity to work his grace through me. Right. And it’s the same way here. We look to Christ, we ask to be renewed in him, and we see his example that he’s given us. And then Paul goes on in Philippians two to give us others examples, right. Because we might be going, well, that’s that’s God in the flesh. Of course he’s humble. I’m not God in the flesh. Okay. Well, here’s Timothy 220, for I Paul is writing. He’s telling me, I want to send Timothy to you. I’m in prison, but I want to send Timothy. Timothy is like his spiritual son. Timothy has been under Paul Paul’s tutelage for all this time and have just grown really close father son relationship. And he says it tells the church, I want to send Timothy to you so he can minister to you. He says, for I have no no one else like minded who will genuinely care about your interests. So here’s Paul saying he’s looking around.

He’s like, who can I send to minister to the church of Philippi? There’s only one Timothy. No other person generally cares about their interests. That’s preferring others before themselves. Paul’s looking around and he says, I don’t have but one, and that’s Timothy. It’s kind of sad, right? And we can look at this passage and go, well, that’s what our leaders of the church need to be. And that’s true. But that’s what we need to be as well. Putting others before oneself. Seeking other people’s interests before your own. All seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. So Timothy would have been a great pastor to have, right, because he was seeking the things of of Christ. And I think it’s still rare today to find leadership that truly, genuinely want to pursue those things of Jesus Christ. And that’s what we need to pray for our pastor and his family and just our church, because I think we have something special here. And we don’t want it. We we want Christ to be glorified. And so that’s those are great things. But we need to practice this as well. Those are great things to have for a leader. But in reality we need to practice them in our own lives. And just in case you disagree with me, he provides Epaphroditus as an example. Paradisus wasn’t a pastor. It wasn’t some church leader.

Epaphroditus was a Philippian native who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, probably from the light that was given in shining in that area from the church of Philippi. And he sold was sold out for Jesus Christ. And so they Philippians heard that Paul was in prison. And so Epaphroditus volunteered to go on their behalf to go up and to minister to Paul in prison. And Paul mentions here he after he was done, Paul sending a letter saying, I’m sending Epaphroditus back to you, and I want you to know he served honorably. He served Christ well. So I’m not sending him back because he failed. I’m sending them back in good rapport. And these are some of the things that he’s done for me. Therefore welcome him in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him and honor, because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up what was lacking in your ministry to me. You sold out so much to the point that he was willing to gamble his life away for the cause of Christ and to minister to Paul to. He was on a mission and he put others before himself. And so Paul gives us these wonderful examples of what it means to what humility looks like. And so we’re not to grumble. We’re not to argue. We’re supposed to put others before one’s self. Right? And the great thing is, is it’s not in our own power.

It’s through God’s enabling grace as we look and behold our eyes on Jesus, and we see what he’s done for us, and we come together and we prefer others before oneself. If I got five other people preferring me, I don’t need to worry about myself, right? And that’s what God Christ’s church needs to look like or what we desire. That’s what Christ desired. It’s to look, to look like. And. We have to admit, though, that it can all be, you know, a better roses. It it’s tough because we’re broken people and so you might be out there to go. Well, I understand we’re not supposed to grumble amongst the church and we’re not supposed to argue, but this one person has done this one thing, and it’s just hurt me so bad and I just can’t get over it. And there’s an issue and I just can’t look past it. Well, Christ is the Bible. Christ has given us the means in which we’re supposed to work out conflict resolution biblically. Okay, so if there’s something like that, there’s a way to handle it, to get it handled, to restore that unity back. If you have something against your brother, we need to get that fixed. The unity of Christ’s church is that important, where we have to face, come face to face with our problems with one another, sometimes not for the sake of besting that other person or getting one over on them, but for the sake of the unity of the church.

And so Christ has provided those that way, those means in which we can overcome those conflicts. The first one is to overlook. Proverbs 1911 says that person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense. Okay. And so that means that as a Christian, we’re walking and someone offends us here at church, the first thing we want to try to do is, you know what? I know that person’s circumstances. I know their life story. I know that wasn’t meant to hurt me in that regard. So I’m just going to choose to overlook it. That means I’m not going to hold it against them. I’m not going to go talk to somebody else about what that person did to me. I’m just going to overlook it. It’s all under the blood, right? Because the unity for Christ’s church is much greater importance than this little thing that’s happened. However, if you can’t overlook it, the Bible has means to look to work those things out. And it’s in Matthew chapter 18. And a lot of people refer to this as church discipline. And I don’t like that Terme. I think it’s church reconciliation. Right? We don’t want to discipline just to discipline. We’re trying to reconcile with one another, right those wrongs and move on.

So reconciliation, you go to that person face to face. If your brother sin against you, you go to that person face to face in private. Hey, I can’t overlook this. I tried to overlook this, but this thing keeps every time I look at you, this one thing that you’ve done, it’s between you and I. And we need to get this out on the table. And I just want to confess to you my wrong in this. And I just want to tell you how you’ve hurt me. And I’ve done it before. And guess what? That relationship is ten times stronger than it was prior to saying anything. What I could have done is not said anything and then told other people. But then there’s no reconciliation, right? Half the time the person doesn’t even know that you’ve offended them or that they’ve offended you. So you need to go to that person in private. If that person doesn’t listen, then you take someone mediation, right? You take another person that’s objective. Say, hey, maybe I maybe I have something going on in this too, that I’m not seeing. I want you to come with me, and I want to get the story out. We attempt to reconcile, right. Mediate, have an objective person. 1 or 2 people come in and offer their opinions. And again, in order to reconcile the relationship to be unified accountability. And that’s the the next step.

If they still that person still won’t listen. And if he’s still not, he or she is still not pursuing unity and trying to reconcile the the wrong, then the church needs to be let known. So I’m not telling you to just take it and swallow it for the good of the body. If you have a problem, Christ has a way to biblically work out those conflicts for the sake of the unity of the church. And why? Why should we prefer others before ourselves for the sake of unity in order to advance the gospel? So that ye may be blameless and pure. Children of God, who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. If we want to be God’s light in our community. We need to be unified. And I love that. Hold firmly. The message of life. We have the message of life. Those of us who have experienced the gospel in a true and genuine way have experienced what it is to have the message of life. I come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. Christ says in John chapter ten, I give them unto them eternal life, that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. For by grace are ye saved through faith in Jesus Christ and His accomplished work. Is the message of life.

We have it. There’s times where I just want to beat people over the head with that message, because I know they need it, but I can’t do that, right. But what I can do is working on my humility and making sure that as I see these precepts in Scripture, saying, God, where are areas in my life that I need to not grumble in because I know you’re ultimately in control and you’re using these for all things work together for good. So even this situation is for my good and for your glory. Help me to understand that. All right. I don’t know what happened here. There we go. Hold firmly the message of life. I just, uh. I pray that we can. I just pray that we can be a just a beacon of light here at Alpine Bible. Our friends and our neighbors and our coworkers, they need the gospel, the message of life. They need the gospel. And although we can’t force it down their throats, we can at least do these precepts. We can work to be unified in the body. We can ask God to show us these places where we’ve grumbled or, uh, ask God to give us the grace to approach that person that’s hurt us in love, that we can get this out on the floor and get it taken care of and reconciled for the sake of the body of Christ, for the unity of the Body of Christ, so that our light may shine forth in our community.


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