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February 20, 2000 PM


Phil 2:1,2

INTRO: I particularlylove and appreciate the opening verses of the second chapter of Philippians. The plea, of course, is for unity among disciples, among the family of God. But so much that is said in this section of scripture may apply to and enhance any close relationship. There is a special tenderness throughout this letter ... yet, there seems also to be a conscious concern for the unity of this church. That concern is couched in careful, loving, appealing terms ... for these are special friends between whom there is a bond of fellowship in Christ and the bond of affection.


A. The stimulus or exhortation of being in Christ

1. this is appeal/influence of Christ in our lives

2. if our being in Christ has made no difference to our thinking, in our lives we are out of contact with Him

B. The persuasiveness of love

1. Christs love for them? theirs for Him? theirs for each other? Pauls love for them? theirs for him? so many directions to proceed here, and all are powerful

2. remember, Paul is appealing for unity there are some things totally inconsistent with love in a fellowship ... disunity is one

C. The involvement with the Holy Spirit

1. both through the word He supplies, His influence through the word and in the joy of fruits of His being in our lives (Gal 5:22-25)

2. can spirit led life be factious, disruptive? No, such things are works of flesh

D. The power of natural human feelings

1. these people had demonstrated their caringness toward him and others ... compassion was there

2. but the same tender compassion expressed away from home was necessary at home in order for unity to prevail

E. The consideration of the feelings of their friend Paul

1. story of musician whose teacher did not applaud

2. consider my feelings, my joy before allowing any disruptive spirit within you


A. Likemindedness think the same things

1. obviously, everyone is not carbon copy of the other

2. yet, God - by providing His word - gives us the means to be like-minded in essential matters of life

3. Lk 10:25-28 we are referred to written word

B. Th same love

1. unity without love would be enforced discipline - robots moving in lockstep - controlled bodies, behavior ... but not controlled minds there is little virtue in such

2. what is this same love? Eph 5:1,2 the same love with which Christ loved us!

3. thus, we are caring, sensitive, giving, forgiving all of which promote unity among people in fellowship

C. The same disposition, feeling

1. the word accord suggests two hearts in perfect key

2. original word might well suggest soul with soul -- a bonding of people in such a way that what affects one or touches one always affects or touches the other

3. this would be true sympathy (Rom 12:15) and would make any kind of division virtually impossible

D. The same mind oneness in action, in doing

1. a sense of being on the same side

2. with our use of the word to be like minded we will certainly be predictably similar in behavior

3. this, of course, would make a tremendous impact on the world around us

CLOSE: The reasoning in these verses, then, goes something like this. If all of your blessings in Christ mean anything at all to you, you must be one people. Immediately, Paul moves to give some very common causes of division in churches (and among people). We will begin our next lesson with those causes ... and proceed to the great cure.

Cecil A. Hutson

20 February 2000

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)