- Paul is writing to the church he had planted in Philippi, a prosperous Roman colony with a large number of retired Roman military men. All thing considered, it had been an eventful visit!
- Now a few years later, sitting in a prison cell once again, this time in Rome, Paul is writing to the church in Philippi to thank them for their support of his ministry and to encourage them to live out their faith and honor those who are doing so from their own local community.
- Notice what he says in verse 4:
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” – Philippians 2:4
- He outlines three things that will be required to truly make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need all around us.
A. ATTITUDE – “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus….” Philippians 2: 5-11
- If we truly want to make an impact on our community, it has to start with our attitude! We have to come in the right way!! Just look what Paul says:
Christ humbly adopted a “servant identity”
- We too must be willing to be inconvenienced, to go where the people are, to invest the time and energy to empathize with their needs, and to remain faithful even if we are misunderstood.
“God didn’t save you to be a sensation; He saved you to be a servant”
B. APTITUDE – “…continue to work out your salvation” – v. 12-13
- Aptitude is a special talent, knack or ability to learn how to do something with the likelihood of success in doing so.
- Spiritual growth in ministry is a process.
- We all have the ability to learn how to serve others in ways that we may not already be doing so.
“Salvation is not merely a gift received once for all. It expresses itself in an ongoing process in which the believer is strenuously involved”.
C. ACTION – “I have no one like him….” v. 19-22
- If our church wants to lead a rebellion against poverty and hopelessness in our community, it will only happen when we put such Christ-like humility into real, measurable, consistent action.
- We must model the compassion and empathy Jesus demonstrated.
- Jesus invested himself, his time, his energy, and his resources in other people!
“When all is said and done, too often more is said than done”.
- God is still looking for some men and women of action who will step up!
- Will we be people of action, or will we stay on the sidelines and watch others?
- I think Paul would give us a little advice: Get into the action!
“IT’S BETTER TO WEAR OUT THAN TO RUST OUT”
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1. What memories do you have of eating an ice cream bar as a child?
READ: Philippians 2:1-4
2. What do you think Paul means when he says in verse 4? What are some ways we can do that practically in these days?
READ: Philippians 2:5-11 ATTITUDE
3. How did Jesus adopt a “servant identity”? How did that impact his daily routine?
4. What’s your normal response to being misunderstood or inconvenienced?
READ: Philippians 2: 12-13 APTITUDE
5. What special talents, knacks or abilities do you have? How do you use them?
6. How should a believer be “strenuously involved” in working out their own salvation?
READ: Philippians 2: 19-22 ACTION
7. What do you know about Timothy, the example Paul holds up as being a man of action?
8. Why is it so important to put our faith to work in measurable action?
9. How do you think we can best use this “Good News Truck” to make a difference in our larger community?