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Sermon outlines
by Edward Thomason
The Power of Attitude
text: Philippians 2:1-8

Source: written by Edward E.Thomason – Preach today.com
adapted from David Bragg

Date _______  place: Church of Christ
Objective: Consecrative
Sermon Plan Theme
:
Our Personal Growth - Expository

The Power of Attitude
text: Philippians 2:1-8

1. One of the most powerful tools in our arsenal of mental health is our attitude. (what we think about and how we think - matters) It often determines the course of our lives whether it will be spent in bitterness or joy. But attitude cannot always compensate for reality.

Circumstances do not always improve because of a positive attitude. The past is not changed and pretending does not make what one's desires magically materialize.

2. But when a positive attitude is united with the truths uncovered in Bible study, (which is an obvious benefit of faithful attendance in weekly Bible classes), and each Christian is dedicated to following Jesus' example. Then the power of that attitude will make a tremendous difference in our lives!

3. Paul commends the Philippians, and by them us, to embrace just such a powerful attitude, the attitude of Jesus (Phil 2:5).

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"

I. This attitude will make us Servants (verses 6-7 read).

A. The amazing statement of Paul regarding Christ's pre-fleshly status was a legitimate claim (Jn. 14:7). "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him."

1. This is confirmed by the reaction of those who were first troubled by such a concept:

Jn. 10:30-33 "I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."

John 5:18 "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."

2. They clearly understood the implications of Christ's claim. Convinced of the truthfulness of this claim John opened his Gospel record with that very thought (1:1-5). Understanding who Jesus is adds emphasis to the fact that he came as a servant not as Creator (Mt 20:28) "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

B. Think of those who have made great sacrifices in your life (parents, teachers, mentors, friends, etc.).

1. Those sacrifices pale in comparison to the sacrifice of this Servant.

2. It demands that I ask myself - how can I serve like Him? How can I refuse to adopt His attitude of servanthood?

II. This attitude will make us Humble (8a).

"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,

A. Estelle Smith stated that "humility is strong - not bold; quiet - not speechless; sure - not arrogant."

1. Ralph Sockman adds that "true humility is intelligent self respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us mindful of the nobility God meant us to have. Yet it makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be."

2. And Jane Porter aptly describes humility as "the Christian's greatest honor; and the higher men climb, the further they are from heaven."

B. Although seldom sought, humility is a great goal for any believer.

1. Those who would be greatest in the kingdom must be servants...

2. But not servants for the purpose of achieving greatness... But servants from genuine humility.

C. False humility can be achieved - what does it really benefit?

1. Some have observed that "humility is the ability to look properly shy when you tell people how wonderful you are."

2.  "Humility is the ability to look embarrassed while bragging." The art of appearing to be humble is an "actor’s roll" and often those in business work at it as an angle or gimmick to help achieve success.

3. While Jesus was lowly in spirit, false humility is lowly in appearance while being proud in spirit. Such pride will blind us to the needs of others bcause we are too busy looking at ourselves.

4. Someone else correctly observed that "humility is elusive. It is such a fragile plant that the slightest reference to it causes it to wilt and die." (Like the man who won an award for being humble and put the award on the mantel for all to see.)

D. Jesus, the humble Master, calls his servants to be humble, to think of others first 
(1 Cor. 10:24; Ro. 15:2-3).
"Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification."

1. In doing that we can become more like Him! Note: We must have a willingness to serve.. but not for reward but out of humility.... not to be seen of men or recieve man’s praises. 

2. Our humility must be genuine like that of Christ. The true test of such humility may be our willingness to obey God regardless of the cost or circumstances.

When we have the mind of Christ:
III. This attitude will make us Obedient (8b).
read

A. Paul Harvey told of a recent vote from the leadership of a major denomination accepting regarding whether or not to accept Paul's statement in Ephesians 5:22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  Upon confirming the validity of that verse... representatives of that denomination in Texas were holding a special vote to decide whether to accept that ruling or not.

B. Obedience is not subject to vote or convenience.

1. Obedience is first an attitude.

2. We choose to obey or disobey God, our parents, the speed and parking regulations, etc.

 

C. Jesus adopted from the beginning an attitude of obedience: As a youth he told his mother... "Know ye not that I must be about my father's business?"

Jn 8:29, And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

1. God early expressed his confidence in the obedience of his son. 
(Mt. 3:17 "This is my beloved... in whom I am well pleased.").

2. In Phil 2, Paul reminds us that Jesus maintained this attitude to the cross. (The cost may be great - the test can be as real as reality gets.)

D. Paul, the author of this epistle knew more than his share of suffering (2 Cor 11:23-28) and he held to his faith to the end (2 Tim. 4:5-8).

1. And in all circumstances he maintained a joyful attitude. ("joy" or "rejoice" is used 18 times in the 104 verses of this letter, almost one out of every five verses).

2. It almost makes us forget that this letter was written from prison.

IV. This attitude will also make us like minded... we all can be on the same page so to speak... because we have the mindset of Christ.

A. From prison Paul boldly preached the need to adopt the attitude of Jesus.

B. He found great joy knowing that others were adopting that same attitude in their Christian lives. (Read v. 1-4).

Conclusions:

1. If we truly develop the mind of Christ... then like Jesus we will have the attitude of : serving rather than being served, humility rather than arrogance, obedience rather than disobedience.

2. Then regardless of the circumstances in life - we will be able to be victorious in what really matters in life.

3. What about you - do you possess the mind of Christ? The test of you williness to serve and humility is in your obedience...

-- Well I would die for Christ... yes, but will you live for him?

* I appreciate my friend Dave Bragg of Cape Girardeau MO who first shared this sermon idea with me. You can visit his site by clicking on  his name at the top of this page. David is a great man of God and excellent student of the word.

 


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