Tuesday, February 23, 2021

2021.02.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Philippians 2:5–13

Read Philippians 2:5–13

Questions from the Scripture text: What mind are we to have in us (Philippians 2:5)? Who is in the form of God (Philippians 2:6)? What was not robbery for Christ Jesus? What form did He take (Philippians 2:7)? What likeness? How low did Jesus humble Himself (Philippians 2:8)? Who exalted Him (Philippians 2:9)? What name did He give Him? Which knees will bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10)? What will every tongue confess (Philippians 2:11)? To whose glory? How does the apostle connect Philippians 2:12 to verse 11? What does he call them here? What have the Philippians always done? Under what circumstances? What are they to do? in what manner? Why (Philippians 2:13)? Who works where? To do what two things? For what?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Philippians 2:5–13, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Union with Thee

Union with Christ forms in us the mind of Christ, Philippians 2:5. Being transformed comes by the renewing of our minds (cf. Romans 12:2). We offer our bodies as living sacrifices (cf. Romans 12:1) by having in us the mind of Him who took a body to give Himself unto death as a sacrifice for us (Philippians 2:6-8).

Union with Christ joins us to Him in the atonement of His death (Philippians 2:8, cf. Romans 6:3–11) and in the power and purpose of His resurrection life (Philippians 2:9-11, cf. Romans 6:4b–11)—that God might be glorified in Christ’s being glorified by our living as His subjects and worshipers (cf. Romans 6:12–19). This is why…

Union with Christ demands that we be zealous for obedient holiness (Philippians 2:12). Though we often think of Philippians 2:12-13 in isolation from Philippians 2:3-11, the apostle joins them with a “therefore.” It is the worthiness of this Jesus Whose mind we have, and by union to Whom we are saved, that demands this holy zeal for working out that salvation.

Union with Christ guarantees the success of that zeal, Philippians 2:13. We lack the willing, but God works in us to will. We lack the doing, but God works in us to do. It pleases Him to produce in us that which pleases Him!

Dear believer, everything that you (newly) are, and everything that you must do depends entirely upon your being united to Christ through faith. This is why such a heavy focus of your Christian life ought to be upon those particular means that He has appointed by which He graciously works out in you your union with Himself. 

In action, the ordinary means of grace are acts of devotion (worship by Word, sacrament, and prayer weekly in the assembly and by Word and prayer daily in the home). But in function, they are especially acts of dependence (coming to Christ, for Christ Himself, because we have no goodness or strength in ourselves). 

He gains nothing by our worship, but when He gives us Himself by that worship, not only does He magnify Himself in the worship, but also all the glory for any good in us redounds all the more unto Him!

How are you saved? How can you love others well? How can you love God well? What then should you do?

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH448 “Union with Thee”

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