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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Sep 20, 2011

Focus Passage Phillipians 2:1-13

Today I want us to look at the passage from Philippians. Ever since Early July the readings we have been following from Paul’s Letters from Romans and now from Philippians have essentially been dealing with the same problem. How do we live as Christians? How do we live out our faith? Today’s reading is also dealing  with this same question. What is the basis of our ethical action? What is our motivation?

I want to argue that the answer to that question is not the one that we at first may think of when we read this passage. The end Paul is getting to is to remind us that it is God who is at work. It’s not us who are at work, but God. God is the one who gives us value, who transforms us. And amazingly, here in this passage Paul, as I said, takes the radical step of saying, that even for Jesus, this is true. It is God the Father who gives Jesus his value. It is the Father who exalts him above all other names. If this is true for Jesus, God’s eternal Son, how much more true must it be for us? Our motivation for Christian living is that we are loved children of God.  

(sorry a bit longer than 10 miutes toay I will try to edit it down a little and re issue it if I have time)

Questions for thought or discussion

In what ways is it true that we often turn this passage upside down? How do you see what Paul is saying here?(For instance is this passage about being good in order to win God’s favour, or is it about how God is at work in us and so we try to be Christlike as our thanksgiving for God’s love?) What should be our motivation for Christian living?