Christ Jesus Our Lord - Philippians 2:5-11 - Skip Heitzig
God isn't really something to worship.
He's just waiting to destroy all of us.
I guess there's a God out there somewhere.
I hope there is a God.
God isn't really something to worship.
God is everywhere.
Good morning. Would you turn in your Bibles this morning to the Book of Philippians, the second chapter. Philippians chapter 2. So we have been granted by the state government 40% capacity as opposed to 25% capacity. So we're happy for that. We'll take what we can get.
And if you are listening by radio, or you're watching online live, maybe it's time for you to come back to church. I think you're going to be safe the sky is not falling. I think you're going to be just fine.
So let's get into the word this morning, shall we? We're in Philippians chapter 2. We're in a series called 2020, Seeing Truth Clearly. And it's essentially a series on biblical doctrine.
We've been looking at God, His attributes. We kind of slightly pivot as we concentrate on the Lord, Jesus Christ, in Philippians chapter 2. But would you join me in a word of prayer?
Father, with joy we come before you, and we are thankful that we are together again, fulfilling what you said in your word, that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some. But to be able to stimulate each other to love and good works. Father, thank you for the ability to sing and to be transformed by the worship and by the word.
So Lord, we pray that you'd strengthen us. Strengthen us in our faith. Prepare us, Lord. Prepare us today in truth, by truth, to be able to be effective in the world in which we live. I pray that we would be filled with a sense of peace and joy in the midst of a crazy time. In Jesus' name we ask. Amen.
The name Charles Templeton is probably not a name you're familiar with. Most people aren't. But many years ago, it was said of Charles Templeton, who was an evangelist at the time, a preacher for an organization called Youth for Christ. They said of him he is the most gifted and talented young man in America for preaching.
Yet you probably haven't heard of him. But you have heard of his associate at the time, who also was a young evangelist in Youth for Christ, by the name of Billy Graham. Billy Graham went on to be the world's most famous evangelist, preaching the gospel to more people in history than any other single human being.
Charles Templeton did not. That's because five years after they made that announcement concerning him, he walked away from Christ. He walked away from the faith. He said he didn't believe anymore.
50 years later, a man by the name of Lee Strobel decided to hunt him down, find out where he lived, because he was writing a book called The Case for Faith. He wanted to interview this man who walked away from the faith.
So he met Charles Templeton in his home. He was in his 80s at the time. His health was starting to fail a little bit, but he was very cognizant, very with it. And so Strobel conducted an interview. And in the interview, one of the questions he asked him is what do you think of Christ now? What do you think of Jesus Christ.
Charles Templeton said, concerning Christ, He was the greatest human being who ever lived. Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus Christ. And then unexpectedly, Templeton's voice began to crack. Tears welled up in his eyes. And he uttered these words, I miss him.
I miss him, concerning Jesus. I miss him. Now, here's a man who 50 years before said, I want nothing to do with him, 50 years later saying, I miss him. And by the way, after he said that, he covered his face with his hands, and he wept like a baby.
Very obvious that Jesus Christ had a significant impact even still in the life of this man. And that's because Jesus is the most compelling and captivating personality in all of history, in all of history. I want you to look at just a sampling of some testimonials of different famous people through history and what they said of Jesus.
First of all, Albert Einstein said, "I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene." Then there was Napoleon Bonaparte, who said, "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world, there is no possible term of comparison."
The British author HG Wells admitted this. "I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as an historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all of history."
Another novelist from the 1800s, in Russia, Theodore Dostoevsky, said, "I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic, and more perfect than Jesus. Not only is there no one else like Him, there never could be anyone like Him."
My favorite quote of a famous person about Jesus is from Elvis Presley. Look at what it says. "No, honey, I'm not the King. Christ is the King. I'm just a singer!" Right? Elvis.
I've even often found that those people who reject Christ do so because they're rejecting Christians more so than Christ. Christ himself is still a very captivating personality. Well, this section deals with Jesus Christ. Philippians chapter 2, verses 5 through 11 is what we're going to look at.
It deals with, in a nutshell, the life of Jesus. It speaks principally of the incarnation of Christ. If you've never heard the term incarnation, it is not referring to a flower, it is referring to a miraculous event of God becoming a man. This section has been called a Christological gem. One author said it is the greatest and most moving passage that Paul ever wrote about Christ.
Most scholars believe the section we're about to read was a hymn that was sung by the early church. That's why some of your Bible versions have it set out in poetic fashion, because it was something that became a creed, that became recited, and then it became a hymn that was sung.
It is a section that shows how God reached out to humanity. Somebody once said, you can tell the depth of the well by how much rope is lowered. This section is about God lowering the rope, showing the depth of the hole of sin and how God reached down to save us.
One of my favorite authors ever was a guy by the name of Donald Grey Barnhouse, who said, "Love that reaches up is adoration. Love that reaches out is affection. But love that stoops is grace."
In this section, God is stooping. It's all about how He does that. So what I want to do in this section that we're about to read is notice three mountain peaks of the personality of Christ. Very simply put, His humility, His glory, and His mentality. His humility, how He humbled himself, His glory, God the Father's response to that, and then finally, His mentality.
But what I'd like to do in beginning is not read it to you in the version I'm teaching out of, the New King James version, I just want the passage to wash over you in a fresh way. So I'm going to read it to you from the New Living Translation, which says this.
"Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing. He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form, He obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father."
Incredible passage. We're going to begin with the humility of Christ. In verse five, Paul writes-- now I'm reading from the New King James version-- "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men."
These verses take us backwards into eternity past. They describe Christ before He came to the earth, before He humbled himself. And Paul says He humbled himself in three ways, in His birth, in His life, and in His death. We begin with His birth.
You'll notice he says, who-- that's referring to Christ-- who, being in the form of God. Now, allow me to give you a quick little language lesson here. It's important to the text. The word "form" that is used in this translation, who being in the form of God, is the Greek word morphe, morphe. We would spell it in English, M-O-R-P-H-E.
You're familiar with the word. It's right in the middle of the word metamorphosis or morphological. We talk about people morphing or things morphing. We usually mean changing form.
But the word morphe, for form, speaks about the essential form or nature of something that doesn't change. Did you get that? The essential form or nature of something that never changes.
There is another word in Greek for form that is not used here. It would be the Greek word schema. Schema refers to the outward form that does change.
So here's an example. Our essential form, our morphe, is that we are human beings. You are a human. That never changes. It never changes. You are always human.
But you have a schema that does change in outward form. So the way you look now, you didn't look like that 10 years ago, 20 years ago. You won't look the same in years to come. You are changing, your outward schema. But the morphe, the essential form, stays the same.
You began as a two-celled entity called a zygote. Maybe nobody ever called you a zygote before. But you were one. And then you changed your outward form again. You became an embryo. You kept changing. You were a fetus. You kept changing. You were a newborn.
That's your schema. You're still human. That's your morphe. But the outward form is changing. After a newborn, you were a toddler. After toddler, you were a small child. You then were a pre-teen. And then you went to a teenager. You became an adult, then an ornery adult. That's the stage I'm at now. I'm an ornery adult.
So what Paul is saying by using the word like that, he's saying Jesus Christ possessed, possesses, the unchangeable, essential nature of God. And look at the word being. Who being in the form of God. That's present active. It means He always has been and continues presently to be God. That's why Jesus could say, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.
Understand that. Jesus never became a God. He was God before Bethlehem. He was God pre-human. That's His essential morphe, His essential form.
But then, Paul says, who being in the form of God, now get this, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. You might read that and go, what on earth does that mean? Didn't think it robbery to be equal with God. Well, the word robbery means to grab or clutch, to hold on to. To seize something.
If you ladies are walking with your purse in a crowd, and somebody comes up to you and bumps into you to grab, to seize, to hold on to your purse, you clutch it tighter. You grab it tighter. You might belt the guy in the face for doing so. But you grab a hold of it. You don't release it.
So what Paul is saying is here's Jesus. His form, His morphe, His essential, unchangeable nature, is God. But surrounded with all the privileges of that, He didn't think that holding on to that was important. He released that to go on a mission.
Now, just keep that in mind. I'll flush all that out for you in just a moment. It goes on to say, in verse 7, He made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant coming in the likeness of men. Now, that phrase, made himself of no reputation, literally means to empty. To empty of content.
So if I had, for instance, a pitcher of water on the platform, and I decided-- and I almost brought one out, just to do it, but I'd have to have a basin to catch it in. If I turned it over and emptied it all out, that's the idea of the word, made himself of no reputation. It's a Greek word, kenosis. [NON-ENGLISH], to empty of content, to divest.
So Jesus, whose essential nature was God and is God, didn't think that holding and clutching onto all the privileges of being God was important. But He released. He divested. He emptied himself.
Now, the question becomes of what. What did He empty himself of. Not deity. Don't ever think for a moment that Jesus stopped being God when He came to this earth to redeem us. That's where the cults want to take you. And that's not what He is saying.
When it says He emptied himself, He divested himself, He can't empty himself of His nature. That's who He is. He is God. Always was, always is, always will be. So what did He empty himself of? Two things. Privilege, or let's say the prerogatives of His deity, the prerogative of His deity.
For example, the glory of heaven, the anthems of the angels, all the presence angels, the Seraphim, the cherubim, who gave constant praise and glory. He gave that environment up. That is seen in the prayer of Jesus in John 17, when Jesus prayed, glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world was. Glorify me again. I want it back.
He gave that up. He gave up the prerogatives of His deity. Second thing He emptied himself of is independent authority, independent authority. In other words, while He was on the earth, He voluntarily surrendered, submitted to the will of only one, that is the Father in heaven.
So He said in John 5, I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me. Jesus said, I always do those things that please Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He didn't want to suffer. He didn't want to go to the cross.
And He said, if there's any way this cup can pass from me, let it pass. That's how He felt. That's what He wanted. But then He said, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done, which is the exact opposite of Satan's philosophy. Satan said, not thy will, but mine be done.
Satan was a creature who wanted to be the creator. Jesus was, in fact, the Creator, who surrender to being a creature. That is love stooping. That is humility.
I will leave heaven, Father, surrender myself to you for this plan, for this purpose. So that is the humility of His birth. He came in the likeness of man.
Look at verse 7. He made himself of no reputation, taking the-- what's the word? Taking the form. There's that word again, morphe. Taking the form of a bondservant, the nature, the essential, unchangeable nature of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
So now we understand this. Jesus, who had the unchangeable essential nature of God, also took on, at a point in time and space, the essential, unchanging nature of man. So Jesus wasn't a good man. Jesus was the one and only God man. He was what theologians call theanthropos. He was God, fully God, He was man, fully man, in one person. Had both natures, divine and human.
So that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He entered into a physical body, listen, permanently. He entered into a permanent physical body, from which there was no escape. So when Jesus died on the cross, He died physically. When Jesus rose from the dead, it wasn't a phantom. He rose physically, in a glorified human body.
When He ascended into heaven, He ascended there physically. And today, Jesus is at the right hand of the throne of God, physically. Interesting to think, today, right now, there is a man in heaven, at the right hand of God. Jesus Christ. And He will return to Earth physically one day. Both natures.
One author put it this way. The tongue the called forth the dead was a human one. The hand that touched the leper had dirt under its fingernails. The feet upon which the woman wept were calloused and dusty. And His tears, oh, don't miss the tears. They came from a heart as broken as yours or mine has ever been.
What this means is when Jesus cut himself, He bled. When He stumbled up a stairway, He fell. When He slept at night, He probably snored. You don't like to think of Jesus that way, I know. But that's humanity. That's the limitations of humanity.
Think of it this way. What Jesus went through in the incarnation would be considered the ultimate cross-cultural experience. You have traveled to third world countries. You know what it's like to have a cross-cultural experience.
You go to a place that is 103 degrees and 98% humidity, and you live there for a few weeks, and it can be brutal. You go, man. This is so different. I miss air conditioning really badly. Or you think, I haven't had a McDonald's hamburger for weeks. This is-- how can I survive. That's cross-cultural experience.
Now think of leaving heaven and coming to the dust bowl of Bethlehem and living in Nazareth and marching up and down Israel and Judah in Jerusalem. It says that He took on the form of a bondservant. That is his very nature. Jesus didn't act like a servant. Jesus served people.
He served fishermen. He served harlots. He served sick people. He served suffering people. He said, the son of man has not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.
In the upper room, He even put on a towel, like a servant would. Bent down and washed the dirty disciples' feet. Peter's feet, Judas' feet. Cleaned them like a slave would. Form of a bondservant.
So that's the humility of His birth and His life. Paul keeps going in verse 8, shows us the humility of His death. "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross." That's another way of saying, and can you believe it? Not just death, but a certain kind of death, a cross kind of death, the worst known at the time.
This is the ultimate act of service. He willingly gave His own life breath, His own blood, for a mission. Yes Jesus' birth was miraculous. Yes, His life is extraordinary. But His death, that is the epicenter of redemptive history.
And every time you see a cross, I hope you don't just go, oh, a cross. Nice piece of jewelry. Must be a Christian. Think of the cross as a token of love and grace. When you see the arms going sideways on the cross, think of God's love reaching out to grab you.
When you see that vertical stake coming down, think that represents grace. That's God stooping so that he could love me. Grace and love. In short, God took on a body, moved into the neighborhood. Then He went to the cross.
The reason He left heaven is we couldn't be saved unless He did, unless He worked His stoop. And the perfect one took on all of our junk and filth and imperfection on Himself, crucifixion. It could be summed up in one word. Forgiveness, that's why He did it. Forgiveness.
Why such humility? Forgiveness. It's so that He could, on the cross, say-- and I believe He couldn't wait to say it-- Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. It's so that He could grant us forgiveness. That's humility.
I grew up not with a lot of hymns in my life. There were a couple of hymns in church. Never paid much attention to it. I like rock and roll music. But since I became a believer, I've studied the hymns, and it's hard to come close to the kind of depth that some of those old hymns produce.
And one of my favorite is a song written by Frederick Lehmen, called "The Love of God." Listen to how poetic he puts it. Could we, with ink, the oceans fill. And were the skies of parchment made, where every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love of God would drain the oceans dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky. The love of God, how rich, how pure, how measureless, he writes. That's humility. That's love and grace, the cross.
So first mountain peak in Paul's little pericope about Jesus is His humility. Second, His glory. Now, look at God, the Father's response to that humility. Verse 9.
Therefore God also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow of those in heaven and of those on Earth and of those under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
First Paul talks about the humility, now he talks about the glory. First he talks about what Jesus voluntarily did. Now he writes about what God the Father voluntarily did in response to what Jesus voluntarily did.
He exalted Him. So Paul says, Jesus went down, down, down. Birth, life, death. God the Father took him up, up, up, all the way up. Name above every name. Humiliation followed by exaltation. The lowering followed by the lifting.
So it was in a few stages. Number one, first stage, Resurrection. Jesus conquered death. Three days after His death, walked out of the tomb. That's stage one. Second stage, ascension. Disciples were there when it happened. They saw him on the Mount of Olives go [WHISTLES] straight up. Right? Like a slow rapture, just up into the heaven.
Third phase was dominion. Resurrection, ascension, dominion. Seven times, the New Testament tells us Jesus, when He got to heaven, sat down at the right hand of God, of God the Father. That speaks of authority. That speaks of power.
That's why when John the Apostle, in the Book of Revelation, gets this vision of Jesus, he sees Jesus very, very differently than he had seen him on this earth in Galilee, in Jerusalem. And John, in Revelation, chapter 1, John writes, His face was as bright as the sun in its brilliance.
In Revelation chapter 19, on His head were many crowns, and He bore a name, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That's glory. That's authority. That's power.
So here's Jesus going down, down, down. Here's the Father saying, now I'm going to bring you up, up, up. Please notice, it's pretty obvious, that God the Father's estimation of Jesus Christ is the polar opposite of this world's estimation of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus was on the earth, people said He's crazy. They despised Him. They talked smack about Him. When He raised Lazarus from the dead, they plotted to put Him to death. The world's reaction to Jesus was rejection and extermination. Kill Him. Get rid of Him.
God the Father's response is glory and exaltation. Vastly different. And something. Notice in verse 9, therefore, God is also highly exalted. It means to lift up. He lifted Him up. And given Him the name-- notice this. Not a name. Did you notice the definite article?
God the Father gave Jesus the name, the name, which is above every name. God gave Jesus some superlative name. What is the name above every name?
You say Jesus, that's our gut reaction, because again, it says in verse 10 that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, those in heaven, those on earth. And yes, that was the name given at His birth, the name of Jesus. The angels said, you will call His name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.
However, that was a pretty common name. A lot of people had the name Jesus. He was one of hundreds, if not thousands of people named Yeshua at the time. But it was a pretty standard, common, ordinary name at the time.
It seems to me that there's one name that is mentioned here in the text that is above every name. That's the name Lord. Verse 11, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Ah, now we understand God the Father called Jesus Lord. Does that surprise you? Well, it shouldn't. Because the greatest texts in all of the New Testament on the glory and exaltation of Christ found in Hebrews chapter 1. I'll read to you just a couple of verses from there. Hebrews chapter 1, verse 6.
When He-- that is God the Father-- when He presented His honored son to the world, God said, let all the angels of God worship Him. That's God saying, here's Jesus. I want all the angels to worship him.
Same chapter, verse 8. But to the Son, He says-- now, this is God the Father, speaking to the Son-- look at what He says. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness.
So we have God the Father calling Jesus God and the Philippians 2 calling Jesus Lord. So get the flow of the passage. Jesus, in unchanging nature, was God. At some point and time in space, took on the unchanging nature of physicality, of humanness, became a man, God man. Humbled himself in birth, humbled himself in life, humbled himself in death.
And so God, the Father, lifted him up, up, up, to the highest position ever. All of that to make a little point here. If you ever wonder if your act of self-sacrifice is worth it. If you ever wonder if you being humble is worth it, if the pain of all that humility is worth it, please take note of Jesus, because he would say, oh yeah, it's worth it.
Because when I humbled myself, my father raised Me up. You say, well, of course. You're Jesus. But what about me? Well, 1 Peter Chapter 5, He says, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.
He promises to do the same for you. Maybe not to that degree, of course not. But at the right time, when you humble yourself and obey Him, He will, in His own time, and by His own means, exalt you. Jesus put it this way. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.
You want that in a nutshell? The way up is down. The way down is up. You keep pushing yourself up, you're going down. You humble yourself and go down, He'll bring you up. The way up is down, the way down is up.
Now, this leads us to, really, the central point of Paul's entire passage. And that is mentality, the mentality of Christ. He talked about His humility and His glory, but the main thrust is the mind, the mentality of Christ.
Look at verse 5. Let this mind be in you. Some of your translations say attitude. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Then he gives the example of the humility and glory. So the thrust of the passage is he's saying, I'm writing these words not so much to distill for you the incarnation as much as to provide for you the motivation for your humility.
In other words, he presents the ultimate reason we are to humble ourselves and serve others. Because Jesus did it. And you know why Jesus did it? It was in His mind first. He thought it.
Did you ever see the little bracelet, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do. You know, you really can't answer that question till you understand and answer the question, what would Jesus think. Because Jesus did based on what He thought.
And so He thought in his own mind in heaven, it's worth it. I'm going to do that. And he did it. But he first thought that. Let this mind to be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
Now, go back a couple verses. Let's take it at the very beginning of the chapter, verse 1. Therefore, if there's any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, any fellowship of the spirit, if any affection and mercy fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind-- there it is again-- let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of what?
Mind. Lowliness of mind. That's another phrase for humility. Lowliness of mind. Let each esteem others better than himself.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Jesus was God, is God, but was a servant. He came and served. We too should serve. That's His mentality.
Some of you know nothing of servanthood. You and I were raised in a narcissistic society. It is all about you all the time. It's hard for you to get out of the mold of that and to look out and serve others.
But I guarantee you, if we as a church just practice these few verses, there would be no other church like us in this community. If you did this in your business, there'd be no other business in town like your business. If you did this at home, you would stand out on the block as being different from everybody else. Just this. This is Christ likeness in a word, humility. Humility.
Now, I found a lot of us are weird when it comes to the idea of humility. A lot of us think humility means putting on a dopey smile or a weird look on our face and kind of hanging our head and talking smack about ourselves. And people give us a compliment, no, I'm really not good. It's all the Lord, it's not me. And just that weirdness.
That is not humility. That is false humility. And whenever you exercise self-deprecation like that, oftentimes, it is done as a mask to hide your pride. You want people to think you're humble. It's why you do it. That's really the essence of pride.
You see, humility is not thinking badly about yourself. Humility is not thinking of yourself at all. Humility, you might say, means the willingness to give up my will for another's good to accomplish what is best.
Once again, it's the willingness to give up my will for another's good to accomplish what is best. Two times in the New Testament, once in the Book of James, once in the book of 1 Peter, both of them say the same quotation, from the Book of Proverbs, by the way. They say this. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Did you hear that? God resists the proud. You know what that means? It means the quickest way to pick a fight with God is to be proud. When you swell up with pride, you're choosing God off. You are shaking your fist at Him.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. DL Moody used to say, be humble, or you'll stumble. I like that. Be humble, or you'll stumble. Humility is a tricky thing, because it's a virtue that once you think you have it, you've lost it.
Oh, I'm so humble. Not anymore. [LAUGHS] That's out the window. It's like the preacher who said he had a great sermon on humility but was waiting for a much bigger crowd before preaching it.
Listen, the Titanic took 12,000 men two straight years to build. When it was completed, it was the largest sailing vessel ever in history up to that point out on the seas. The Titanic was considered unsinkable. In fact, the captain of the Titanic went on record as saying even God Himself cannot sink this ship. Famous last words.
April 14, 1912, the unsinkable ship sank. And as that went down, people should have thought of Proverbs 16, "pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Think of the damage pride has done. Pride got Satan kicked out of heaven, Lucifer.
Pride got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden. Pride got Saul kicked out of the kingdom. Pride got Haman kicked out of the Persian court. Pride got Nebuchadnezzar kicked out of the Babylonian court.
Pride ruins marriages, families, businesses, churches. Pride is a cancer of the soul. Left undiagnosed and untreated, it will destroy you.
The only antidote is humility. To think like Jesus thought, with that mentality, followed by His humility, leaving the glory to God in His due time. That's the only cure.
Here's my question, in closing. If Jesus humbled Himself to accept death, can't you humble yourself to accept life? If He is willing to give you a free gift of life by you saying, I admit, I need help. I'm a sinner. I receive Christ and Christ alone.
If He's willing to give that to you, If He's willing to accept His own death, can't you humble yourself and say, I accept His life. I'm going to quit saying it's all about me. I'm a good person. I'm going to work my way to heaven. I'm religious. Stop. Receive. Take it. It's a gift. Say yes to Him. Admit you have a need and be cured.
Some of you have only admired Christ up to this point. That would be the word. You admire Him. You have seen Jesus help your wife become a nicer wife. You admire Jesus for that. You like what He's done to your husband or your children or your parents.
But you yourself have not received Him. Some of you even miss Him, like Templeton. You miss Him. You remember a level of intimacy and closeness and clarity. You walked away from that, and you miss Him. So miss Him no more.
Stop where you're at. Turn around. That's called repentance. Turn around. Say yes to Him. Receive Him. Make that choice. Do it today.
Father, thank you for the opportunity to see in these few sentences the clear personality of Jesus in His humility, in His nature as God, in His not needing to hold on to all of the pleasure and prerogatives and privilege that that afforded, but to become a baby and a man to live among us. And thank you for that sacrificial death that brought us life, free, eternal life.
All it takes is receiving Christ, believing in Him. Turning from the past and stopping and just saying, come in, Lord. Be my Savior. I pray for those who have never done that. They've only looked from afar and admired Jesus, or they at one time walked with you, and they miss that. They miss Jesus.
I pray, Lord, that You would just bring them back. If either of those describe you. If you've never given your life to Christ, if you've wandered away from Him, today you want forgiveness. Today you are willing to say yes to life. Because that is the cure that is needed. The real pandemic is not a virus. The real pandemic is a thing called sin.
That is a 100% kill rate. It will kill everybody that doesn't come to Christ. It will send people to hell forever. That's what we ought to be scared about.
The wonderful grace of God stooping down to offer free salvation is offered to you right now. If you want that, if you're willing to come to Him or come back to Him, if you are willing to receive Christ as your Savior, with our heads bowed, with our eyes closed, I want you to raise your hand up in the air. Just raise it up boldly. Keep it up for a moment, so I can acknowledge you. Keep it up. Just hold that hand up.
Raise it up. This is your choice. This is you before God. God bless you, sir, on my right-hand side. Anybody else? Raise it up. In the back. God bless you. Receive Christ as your Savior. Say yes to Him.
God bless you in the back. Who else? Raise that hand up. If you're in the balcony, raise your hand up. Family room? Yep. I see a few hands over there. God bless you guys. If you're outside, raise your hand if there's a pastor out there who will acknowledge you. Yes ma'am, to my left.
Father, thank You for just this place of honesty. This has been so needed. And thank You for these who have responded. I pray, Father, that you will reveal deeply and personally right now that this is the right thing.
This is the right move. This is the right choice. Strengthen and fill with the power of your Holy Spirit to see life change and to walk in obedience to You from this day forward. Fill them with a joy they've never had before, I pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
Let's all stand. We're going to close with a song. I saw hands go up around the auditorium, and it's been a while since we've done this next stage, but we're going to do it today. If you raised your hand, you can get-- I'm going to ask you to get up from where you're standing. If you're in the back, find the nearest aisle. Come and stand right up here in the front.
You can distance a few feet apart. I'll get up here, just in case that worries you. I don't want to get too close. But if you raise your hand and prayed that prayer or did that, I'm going to ask you now to come forward, and stand right up here.
I'm going to lead you in a moment in a personal prayer to receive Christ. So if you've raised your hand. If you're in the family room, please, come through those doors. Come through those doors, and come through the hallway, and stand here.
I saw some on the side. Please find an aisle and stand here. If you're in the back, please do that. It won't take long. Allow us to cheer for you. [CLAPS] Yes. Yes. You come.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Oh, Jesus Christ, we'll come to the altar.
And the Father's arms are open wide. Forgiveness was born with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Come on up. Stand right here. That's good. A few feet apart. You raise your hand. You almost raise your hand. Or if you just know, I need to receive Christ now, you come. You come and stand right up here. Come on. Come on up.
Come on this. God bless you. Good. Welcome.
Forgiveness was flowing. The precious blood of Jesus Christ. Going to the altar for Jesus Christ.
OK. I'm going to leave you who have come in a word of prayer. I'm going to ask you to pray this prayer out loud, after me. You say these words from your heart to your Lord.
Say this. Say, Lord, I give you my life. I know I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus. I believe He died on a cross, that He shed His blood for me. That He rose again from the dead.
I turn from my sin. I turn to Jesus as my Savior. I want to follow Him as my Lord. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. Amen. Amen. It's so good. Welcome. Welcome to God's family.
Now, don't leave. We're going to be responsible about this. Pastor Antonio, he has that mask on he's waving. Would you follow him. We're going to take you to a room. We'll be distanced. We'll be careful. But we want to share with you next steps of following Christ. Just right over this way.
We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church. We'd love to know how this message impacted you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynn.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.