Josh Brage


11.18 ReAction – Philippians 2 and 3
November 19, 2007, 6:33 am
Filed under: ReAction

Tonight we started with a simple question, “If you could be in any band which band? Or what rockstar would you want to be?” GREAT answers. I found out we have a whole group of older metal fans. Answers ranged from Stryper to ACDC to Metallica. We had a couple of classic shout-outs – Bob Dylan, Will Ferrell from the Blue Oyster Cult sketch. I choose Bono – – duh.

Tonight we continued our discussion about Philippians with Chapter 2. The night actually developed into most of us just getting our mind blown by hearing Philippians 2 out of the Message Bible. (I have posted a PDF of the entire book of Philippians from the Message, do yourself a favor. Print it off and read through it this week, I guarantee you will get a ton out of it! I will be spending all of my devo time immersed in it this week.)

The main question we had after reading the first passage which is Paul imploring us to get along with each other is what makes that so difficult? The main answer that we had was that our most base human nature is completely self-motivated. Completely. Think of a very young child. The only thing that motivates them is their needs. They want what they want and they want it now. They do not take into consideration the people around them or other people’s needs. We are much like that. We have to fight our very nature to prefer others.

So now the question turned to how in the world do we rid ourselves of that? How do we move forward and more towards Christ? A main answer is that we can’t. Based on the understanding that our very nature, the make-up of who we are, is NOT going to behave that way we MUST look elsewhere. That is where the great mystery of Christ living in us and through us comes into play. We must look to Christ – who’s nature is different than ours’. Christ is the One.

Zach made a great point that one of the largest hindrances to this process is our culture. We live in a microwave culture. We expect things immediately. Our culture has taught us that we can and should have whatever we want whenever we want it. We want quick-fixes. That is not how Christ operates. That is not how Christianity functions. We will change, our nature will change, we will develop character, but all of things will come over time – lots and lots of time.

The next verse that we settled on was verse 12 which tells us that we must “work our our salvation with much fear and trembling?”

Sarah made the observation that we must run the race. Again we talked about how our paradigm of salvation must not be limited to a “Ticket to Heaven” idea. It must be one where we understand salvation as a two-fold process – both the legality of “now I am going to heaven” and the constant “I am being saved from myself.” We are being saved. Not from sin alone, not from hell, but we are being saved from the thing that is most at odds with Christ and a relationship with Him – our SELVES. That is a constant process. God will always bring more things to the table to save you from. You will always create more selfish things that you need God’s help to rid your life of. Salvation is cool.

We talked about the fact that that kind of perspective allows for mistakes, but not for patterns of sinful behavior. God is disappointed we we fall/sin. He isn’t mad at us, but He hates the sin because it gets in the way of us relating to Him. BUT we think that He would be far more disappointed when we do not learn and grow from those mistakes. Mistakes are one thing, but willfully being stupid is another.

One of the highlights of our discussion of humility. We find that humility is NOT being totally mild-mannered and weak-willed about things. We found that true, deep humility comes from honesty. Honestly about who you are. Humility and confidence go hand in hand. Christ was able to be completely humbled to the point of BECOMING FLESH AND DWELLING AMOUNG US because He knew who He was. (This idea of humility and pride is something that God is working with me on and I will have some further discussion of later this week . . . stay tuned.)

Verse 15 – DO ALL THINGS WITHOUT COMPLAINING AND DISPUTING

Renee had the quote of the night with her response to this verse – “Complaining is just annoying anyway.”

We ended by spending a little time in the first part of Chapter 3 and again just realizing how awesome of a relationship Paul had with Christ. His relationship came through experience and through trials. We must follow his example and realize that no matter how much we have – it is all worthless compared to actually knowing Christ.

It was a good night. We played some poker afterwards and wrote some more songs. If you are a participant – thanks for coming! Aaron and all the leadership team welcome ideas and input about what is going on. Let us know what you think. Email me, myspace Aaron, communicate with us! My email is joshbrage@gmail.com Have a great Thanksgiving and I will see you all very soon!

(Here are these notes in PDF)

(Here is Philippians from The Message)

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