Invincible Humility

I

I have seen God’s grace! Indeed I have. I have seen it in the servants of Jesus Christ. How I thank God for these saints. I refer not to any patrons canonized by the Roman church. Rather, I speak of humans that live in our midst. I speak of those that have found peace with God. These are servants that have other servants overseeing them. What joy enters my heart as I behold such a thing: community in the good news of God’s love in Christ.

This thanksgiving becomes my prayer. I desire to serve a Lord that makes my fellow humans servants to me and me to them. Christians are a confident people because God has started His work in them, continues it in this life and completes it upon the day that the risen Christ returns.

What strength. What hope. To witness God’s grace shared one with another. Christians are either confirming or defending God’s love for a lost world. They experience a daily intimate affection with Christ. Such is the affection among themselves. It is so incredible. When they are apart from each other they actually miss each other.

This is a fellowship of authentic love. They seek to abound in God’s love. They abound in factual knowledge of God that they may abound in their personal knowledge in God. Their measure of excellence is found in an ongoing learning of God’s grace which separates them from the worldliness that causes people to stumble. This grace comes from Jesus Christ. They breath Christ, they think Christ, they talk Christ, they sleep Christ. They are a righteous people not because of what they do, and they do much, but because who they are in Christ.

They give God all the glory because of His love and faithfulness. They dare not bring any glory unto themselves. God inhabits their praise because their praise comes from a thankful heart.

Advancing the good news of God’s love in Christ is their service to a broken world. Courage is their badge, fearlessness their strength.

Make no mistake, I am not speaking about the popular GO$PEL PEDDLING of counterfeit religion. As despicable as the latter may be, if Christ is preached, even for that Christians praise God. Undoubtedly, Christ has been mostly advanced by those who truly love God and humanity. So long as the message preached is true, it matters not whether the messengers are insincere or sincere in their motives. God will be their judge not us. Methods and messengers are the variables, not the message. The gospel, i.e. the good news, is God’s truth- the constant.

Today the Christian church suffers under two primary forms of persecution in the Western World: elimination and assimilation. Elimination is a more direct form of persecution. Christians are told that government buildings cannot have Nativity sets. Court rooms cannot display the Ten Commandments. Schools must not allow a moment of prayer. Sharing the Christian faith can be grounds for being fired from employment. Federal funding will be cut off if Jesus is preached.

Then there is the indirect form of persecution called assimilation. Introduction of worldly concepts that dilute the original message of salvation. Generic prayers that do not specifically address Jesus Christ. Admixture of Christianity with Eastern Religions. Allowance of worldliness into the very sanctuary of the Christian faith: GO$PEL PEDDLING, heretic beliefs, philosophies over the kingdom of God, appeasement instead of discipleship, evolution not creation, accommodation replacing sound instruction, and political correctness displacing preaching righteousness.

Last but not least, the non-Western world practices the oldest form of persecution- execution. The greater part of the planet’s population lives under regimes where Christians are killed. To preach the gospel is a capital crime or a life sentence in prison. Muslim nations and communist China are but two examples of these atrocities. It is no coincidence that where tyranny rules Christianity is outlawed.

A quick note if I may, the best strategy that Satan has used against the Christian church is the intellectually popular belief that “educated” people “know” there is no devil. This is the finest stealth any enemy can possess.

Christians make the best lemonade. Christians are a people that take the sourness of life and convert such trials into a sweet lemonade of their own salvation and deliverance. They rejoice and continue to rejoice. They pray, pray and pray. They seek “help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:19)

Whether in life or in death, there is an eager expectation and hope for the necessary courage to share this wonderful love. Christians do NOT want to be ashamed of the living God. (vs. 20)

This is their prayer:
“FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN.”

God has given every human his/her life. Christianity recognizes that this life journey is a perilous trek. It is the desire of Christians to leave this plane of existence and join Christ in eternity. Nonetheless, because of their love for Christ they savour this present life as an opportunity to strengthen the body of Christ and reach wandering souls.

Progress of believers and joy in the faith. This is the crux of their fellowship. It’s not only a desire for others to personally know Christ, but a total commitment that others may OVERFLOW in the “joy in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 26)

Christians endure suffering in this life for the sake of Christ. This is a religion that calls its followers to daily walk in a manner that is worthy of God. This is the testimony of true religion. Where elimination, assimilation and/or execution are confronted, there will be suffering. Christianity is not a passive faith. It is a life of affirmation! Such a life unites the body of Christ to contend against ungodliness. The church is the champion of broken lives. The church gives sanctuary to the oppressed. The church is the beacon of light for those lost in darkness.

THE CHURCH ARE AN INVINCIBLE PEOPLE

II

What is the secret of this invincibility? Answer: Humility. The humility of Christ. When the humility of Christ is imitated in all that one is and does, the Christian heart is invincible.

• This union with Christ encourages.
• His divine love urges action.
• There is a personal sharing with the Spirit of God- a relationship!

It is in the intimacy of this fellowship where affection grows. The original Greek word for affection is “splagchnon” (Strong’s Dictionary, 4698) defined as:

“the inward parts (heart, liver, lungs, etc.), fig. the emotions.”

Oh, my, my, my. What an overwhelming picture of tender intimacy! This is where the compassion of Christ touches the human soul. Mercy becomes the modus operandi (method of operation): we don’t judge others because we have not been judged. Grace becomes the modus vivendi (a way of living): we give good things to everyone because He daily gives us the salvation we don’t deserve.

• Joy is made complete.
• Happiness is not fleeting.
• Rejoicing repeatedly!

The end product? A community that is “like-minded” (Philippians 2:2). A people that are connected by the same attitude and by the same divine love which is a union with Christ and with one another.

The church is not divided. Why?
The fellowship is not in conflict. Why?
The body of Christ is not dismantled. Why?
The bride of Christ is not divorced. Why?

BECAUSE this is a people with one singular purpose: to love God and others as self.

Humility calls for a genuine equality among all, not a uniformity of opinions but a conformity to a common call.

This is precisely why selfish ambition has no place in such an assembly. Ambition by definition (Oxford Dictionary) is a “desire and determination to achieve success.” Ambition with humility is a good thing. Progress becomes an accomplishment where all affected do well. Vain glory, that is vain conceit, contraindicates the call of Scripture:

“in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

Twenty five years ago a student of mine once remarked, “It’s not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less.” Whether he was quoting another source or this was his own insight I do not know. Regardless, the statement is right on target with the Bible,
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Humility tells us that succeeding by yourself and at the expense of others is not really success at all. This is a skewed (slanted) competitive individualism that has proven, even in the business world, to be a failure. Humility is a belief where success is defined as a win-win proposition. Not only is it a win-win, but, if the win is not perfectly equal, then the greater part goes to the other party. This is critical because the moment I want the “bigger half” then selfishness is seeded. At first, I’ll take the 51%. Later 53%…This grows to a 60/40 scenario, not that bad. Heck, a 70/30- where 30% is them and 70% me becomes downright justifiable. The rationales are more than numerous and equally complicated. After all is said and done, malefic ambition produces and/or causes harmfully negative results that range from simple unfairness to evil inequalities.

The human journey is seriously hampered by selfish ambition and insidious arrogance. The body of Christ is no exception. Even so, God in His magnanimous compassion, i.e. generous forgiveness, provided humankind with the quintessential (perfect example) life for all to emulate (imitate):

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (2:5)

There are a handful of biblical passages that stand out as utterly awesome. These magnificent descriptions are breathtaking and literally leaves the readers, more accurately- the beholder, speechless. Such is the case for Philippians 2:6-11. Read and ponder this scripture, consider these living words:

6Who, being in very nature God, 
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
7but made himself nothing, 
taking the very nature of a servant, 
being made in human likeness. 
8And being found in appearance as a man, 
he humbled himself 
and became obedient to death— 
even death on a cross! 
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
and gave him the name that is above every name, 
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.

How very profound! How wonderful! 

This Jesus is the Christ- the Messiah, the Deliverer. Behold the ultimate and unique anthropomorphism ever! (definition- the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal or object). The humility of Christ is where the divine and human meet.

Without the humility of Christ, atheism (disbelief in God) sets in. 

Without the humility of Christ, the loneliness of deism rules (a belief in a god that does not intervene in the universe).

The humility of Christ is a blossoming of the greatest love story ever told: the divine Christ in a relationship with humans. Yes indeed, the incredible humility of Christ is a monotheistic belief in a God that is both providential and relational. God intervenes and interacts with humans through the love of His Son.

All children, men and women have known, presently know and will ever know God because of, and through, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Appendix II)

The church is God’s shining star on earth. Christians are His shining stars. These stars are lit with the brightness of obedience to God’s word of love. These stars burst with the fusion of gratitude. The brightness of infinite candles radiate in the lives of Christians. God Himself enters the human heart and deposes, that is- gives His sworn evidence of, His promise to humankind. Salvation disperses the fruit of God’s love, otherwise God’s will.

The humility of Christ affords,
“You (and me) to shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.” (Philippians 2:15, 16)

Stars do not complain. Stars don’t argue. Stars are clean, pure, honest and uncontaminated. Stars are humans that are burning with God’s love in their hearts. Stars are the clusters that are truly glad and rejoice in the power of unity. The wavelengths of this glorious ecstasy are God’s work in human works- where heaven and earth meet.

A shining star is a life ignited by God’s love. Where once a blackhole of human misery without God ruled, now shines a star with the heavenly hosts.

When a human responds to God’s call in Christ, a star is born. This star glows with the humility of genuine interest in the welfare of others. Above all, the concerns of Jesus Christ Himself become the concerns of every believer. Where humility governs a life, there is found the Spirit of God. There is found the fellowship of servants. These luminous lights are workers, soldiers, helpers, encouragers. They even risk their lives to share the healing love of Christ to a broken world. These are the true heroes, oddly enough, the “masters” of the universe.

III

Counterfeit religion looks out for its own interests, never those of Christ. False religion is an institutional blackhole- a collapsed star. Such religion places its confidence in the pride of the flesh. 

“Dump Your Resume” is one of Pastor Lucas’ sermon titles (www.christianfc.org). I strongly recommend it. Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul spoke of his illustrious vitae. Today this standard is still highly regarded in the affairs of men and women. Christ does not read any resumes. God only reads the heart and the works that flow from that heart. 

If a man or woman should gain the whole world and all that is in it, there would be no profit to the soul. Possessing material wealth, obtaining a remarkable education, achieving world renowned fame and/or possessing unspeakable power remains a loss without the love of God.

To whatever degree these are owned, even to a Christian they must be lost spiritually to participate in the “surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus.” (3:8). It is a loss by comparison but it must not remain a metaphorical loss. For the Christian, cherished things of this world are literally rubbish that can be discarded. They have no probity. The man or woman of God does not hold on to anything but Christ.

Literately speaking, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall want for nothing.” (Psalm 23:1) Wealth beyond any dreams is found in the richness of God’s love, infinite wisdom (of universal knowledge) in His word, esteem from the Creator of all that is and all that is not. Having nothing of the world, but rather, all of the heavens becomes our destiny.

“I want to personally know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him (conformed) in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (3:10, 11)

This is eternity!

No one is really giving up anything. What is a Ph.D. in the light of eternity? What is a blirp of fame? What is anything?

It’s not that these things are disdained. Rather, it’s that they truly are less than nothing in the backdrop of infinity.

This blissful life forgets the past: sins, failures, pain. The past is forgotten and forgiven. We are called to press forward. Yes, eternity is our reward as we receive the grace of God in Christ.

Can we see how very silly we are when our definition of success comes from the size of a home, the luxury of a car, the brand of jewelry, design of clothes and size of bank accounts?

The spiritually mature have this attitude of humility. Invincible humility has only God as Master. All things, all things, are subordinate to God’s love.

My earthly citizenship is in the United States of America. But my spiritual citizenship is in Christ. Christ will return a second time to eternally unite all Christians everywhere on this globe. All who have truly loved God and received in this life His peace, kindness, compassion, gentleness and grace are citizens in heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ will give each of His children a new body- a glorified body, i.e. a wonderfully eternal body. The humble body of this life with its frailties, weaknesses and ailments, decays into dust. But, it is invincible humility, firstly in Christ and secondly in His children, that ushers mortals into eternity.

IV

Selfish pride is evil.

Arrogance is evil.

The word of God admonishes that believers must watch out for this evil. Such evil pride will tear anyone up like a vicious ravaging dog. Such pride has plunged so many into uncontrollable destruction:

“Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. THEIR MIND IS ON EARTHLY THINGS.” (3:18, 19, emphasis added)

Humility is invincible because the humble hear the voice of God calling and they come as they are: spiritually and mentally and emotionally bankrupt. Humility is invincible because the humble cry out to God for forgiveness and receive His grace in Christ. Humility is invincible because the humble become the elect in the precious blood of the Lamb. Oh yes.

Oh yes. Humility is invincible because the humble share in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering and in the power of His resurrection. Humility is invincible because the humble are empowered by the baptism of the Holy Spirit to live sanctified lives. Humility is invincible because the humble are transcended by the hope of the second coming of Christ- awaiting Him in keen anticipation.

God loves the humble and detests the proud (See Appendix III).

“The arrogant cannot stand in your presence.” (Psalm 5:5)

Accordingly, humility is invincible because the humble do stand in God’s presence. Alleluia! And Alleluia!

Read the following Scripture and be utterly awed because the Lord declares it:

“This is the one I esteem (behold, consider, gaze, pay attention, regard; Strong’s Dictionary, 5027): he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles (with reverence and joy! ,emphasis added) at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)

Look at your brothers and sisters and children in your church: love them and long for them when you are separate because they are the joy and crown of the humble. God does not call us to stand alone in the faith, rather, He calls us to stand together as dear friends and family.

Put differences aside and “agree with each other in the Lord.” (4:2) The humble don’t just tolerate each other, even sinners do as much. The humble are genuine companions, true and loyal yokefellows. The humble (men, women, children) strive together as fellow workers. 

Know this, their names are written in the book of life!

“Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Rejoice in celebration!
Rejoice in jubilation!

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, and rejoice

God inhabits the praise of the humble. So rejoice!

If you rejoice always, your GENTLENESS will be evident to everyone ALL THE TIME.

Rejoice because the Lord is near.

The humble heart rejoices always and therefore it cannot worry- you can’t worry and be anxious when you are rejoicing!

Depression is a real thing. It is an awful thing! 
Rejoicing is the best weapon against depression- I know this to be true!

Rejoice and worry not but when you rejoice. Just bring your prayers and petitions joyfully to God! Rejoicing in His presence give thanks! With joyful gratitude present your requests to God.

It is in this joyful spirit of humility where: 
“the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

You can’t rejoice if you are proud. Pride killeth!
Your attitude and my attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ (2:5)

The heart of humility and the humble mind dwell in the peace of God. Invincible humility is singular in what it thinks about all day long- over, and over, and over again:

“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy (of a good report)- THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS.”

Only the humble mind can think and dwell on such things and finally find peace with God. Take caution here. Havoc, anger, depression, stress and all bad emotions reign where the humble heart is absent.

Each of us must not only think about such things but also PRACTICE these things every day and all throughout the day. This is an attitude. It is a disposition.

It is not a ten minute booster.

It is not an equation.

It is not a system of any sort!

Humility is a relationship where one joyfully and thankfully submits unto obedience in Christ Jesus to God Himself. Humility fosters a relationship with the living Christ. Without Christ life is a void. Humility is a relationship where Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Invincible humility not only dwells on Christ but it practices Christ in daily living, in all that one is and does.

Invincible humility is a completely satisfied and thoroughly content life.

Circumstances do not define nor drive the humble. Circumstances are the fertile soil for fear and brokenness.

The humble heart is defined by the love of God in Christ. Hence, circumstances can be either good or bad (financially, healthwise, relationally, politically, socially or any otherwise) and the humble heart is peacefully content. More than obviously, this does not mean that one rejoices because of suffering. What it means is that one rejoices inspite of sufferings.

Inequities of life are the work of the sinful flesh, worldliness and the devil himself. Invincible humility always opposes evil in every manner. Not by becoming evil- how ludicrous it is when people become the very thing they abhor. The invincibility of humility resides in the power of God and in God only.

Here is the marvelous promise, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (4:13)

Oh, so if I want a luxury car I can get it. Only the foolishness of pride would dare to ask for such and insignificant temporal thing- a car! Huh? Or is it Duh?

But seriously, God strengthens the humble to remain peaceful and content “in any and every situation” (4:12): good times or bad, having plenty or not having enough, well fed or hungry, healthy or ill, happy seasons or sad seasons.

The Lord is the portion of the humble in all things. This is the secret of invincibility.

So, child, man or woman- whoever you may be-“God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (4:19)

The humble heart provides gifts to others in need with no expectation of reciprocation. Such humble giving is “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God.” (4:18)

Just look at the spirit of Jesus: from glory to Calvary to resurrection.

This is the glory every Christian possesses! The same spirit that was in Christ! 

THE END

Appendix I
The Book of Philippians (New International Version)

Philippians 1
1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, 
To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: 
2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 
7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 
Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel
12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. 
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. 
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me. 
27Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, 30since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. 

Philippians 2
Imitating Christ’s Humility
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 
6 Who, being in very nature God, 
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
7 but made himself nothing,  taking the very nature of a servant,  being made in human likeness. 
8And being found in appearance as a man,  he humbled himself  and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place 
and gave him the name that is above every name, 
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, 
in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father. 
Shining as Stars 
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. 
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 
25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me. 

Philippians 3
No Confidence in the Flesh
1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 
2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence. 
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 
Pressing on Toward the Goal
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 
17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 

Philippians 4
1Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! 
Exhortations 
2I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 
Thanks for Their Gifts
10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 
14Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 
20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 
Final Greetings
21Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. 22All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. 
23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Appendix II

Jesus Christ is the expiation for sin, that is, the atonement for wrongdoing. He is the appeasing sacrifice. The governing attribute of God is love. Among other things, God’s love includes a complete and perfect truth that is void of anything wrongful. Hence, God is holy.

Before the foundation of the world, Christ’s death was the “pass key” for all humans everywhere to be pardoned fully and fully be justified in God’s eyes. Christ’s death and resurrection made sinful humanity righteous in the sight of God. Christ took on the penalty for every sin (small or large) since the beginning of time to the end of human history as we know it. Christ also bore the pain of every victim and the infinite pain of God’s displeasure with sin. Jesus bore an eternal punishment.

The power of Christ in His death and resurrection is the portal to eternity with God. Humans who have never heard of Christ still have access to His power by responding to the inalienable truths written in every human heart. Humans who have heard of the “contaminated Christ” through genocide, atrocities of wars, violence, tyranny, counterfeits, et al. are also able to access His power by what their hearts herald as freedom and truth. And finally, God’s remnant, the true church, are a people scattered throughout this terrestrial orb (planet earth) and throughout time equally empowered by Christ. 

All who respond, wittingly or unwittingly, to God’s love are saved by the name of Christ spoken in the heart. This salvation is not a limited verbal word but an unending spiritual vocabulary of God’s love laced in a human life. Oh, that all humans be mute and still deafen life with the sounds of God’s love even as Jesus did.

How can we as humans make these distinctions? We can’t.

GOD IN HIS PERFECT WISDOM IS THE ONLY JUDGE OF SUCH THINGS.

Appendix III

As the Great King on whom all creatures depend, he opposes the “proud,” those who rely on their own resources (and/or the gods they have contrived) to work out their own destiny. These are the ones, who ruthlessly wield whatever power they possess to attain worldly wealth, status and security; who are a law to themselves and exploit others as they will. In the Psalter, this kind of “pride” is the root of all evil. Those who embrace it, though they may seem to prosper, will be brought down to death, their final end. The “humble,” the “poor and needy,” those who acknowledge their dependence on the Lord in all things- these are the ones in who God delights. Hence the “fear of the Lord” –i.e., humble trust in and obedience to the Lord- is the “beginning” of all wisdom (Psalm 111:10). Ultimately, those who embrace it will inherit the earth. Not even death can hinder their seeing the face of God.

Impressions Towards A Restoration Theology
As Inspired By The Book of Philippians

By Sally Armada
A Christo-Theist & An American Thinker

May 2008

Copyright 2008

Listen @ http://www.sallyarmada.mypodcast.com

Questions/Comments: 
Email: sallyarmada@gmail.com

Produced by Marie A. Willis
B.B.A., Business Management
M.S., Organizational Leadership & Administration

Dedication

To my brother-in-law Eric, whose humble heart is a star lit in a dark world.

Special Note

Jesus Christ is the expiation for sin, that is, the atonement for wrongdoing. He is the appeasing sacrifice. The governing attribute of God is love. Among other things, God’s love includes a complete and perfect truth that is void of anything wrongful. Hence, God is holy.

Before the foundation of the world, Christ’s death was the “pass key” for all humans everywhere to be pardoned fully and fully be justified in God’s eyes. Christ’s death and resurrection made sinful humanity righteous in the sight of God. Christ took on the penalty for every sin (small or large) since the beginning of time to the end of human history as we know it. Christ also bore the pain of every victim and the infinite pain of God’s displeasure with sin. Jesus bore an eternal punishment.

The power of Christ in His death and resurrection is the portal to eternity with God. Humans who have never heard of Christ still have access to His power by responding to the inalienable truths written in every human heart. Humans who have heard of the “contaminated Christ” through genocide, atrocities of wars, violence, tyranny, counterfeits, et al. are also able to access His power by what their hearts herald as freedom and truth. And finally, God’s remnant, the true church, are a people scattered throughout this terrestrial orb (planet earth) and throughout time equally empowered by Christ. 

All who respond, wittingly or unwittingly, to God’s love are saved by the name of Christ spoken in the heart. This salvation is not a limited verbal word but an unending spiritual vocabulary of God’s love laced in a human life. Oh, that all humans be mute and still deafen life with the sounds of God’s love even as Jesus did.

How can we as humans make these distinctions? We can’t.

GOD IN HIS PERFECT WISDOM IS THE ONLY JUDGE OF SUCH THINGS.

Acknowledgements

I want to thank all the people in my life that have shone with the beauty of humility, especially when I wallowed in the mud of egregious arrogance.

Family and friends including Mami, Raquel, Hipolito, Lala, Dale, Mike & Debbie Maher, Pastor Lucas, Pastor Miguel, Brien, Pastor Messman, Attorney Tom Koviak and Ebby.

These were and are my great shining stars!

Preface

Humility. Firstly, let’s dispose of ill-held views and, secondly, gain clarity. Humility is not cowardice- on the contrary, it takes great courage to be humble. Humility does not run away from a battle- rather, it embraces it with shrewd strategies. Humility is not passive nor indifferent- it is most active and keenly passionate.

Humility is what Godly love looks like. Humility is a touch of gentleness that out powers any force of violence. Humility is the fragrance of humanity at its best. Humility is the whisper that evaporates evil. Humility is the invincible taste of freedom over sin’s tyranny.

In my lifetime I was privileged to have witnessed the humility of Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Billy Graham, Rich Mullins ad Vivien Thomas- to name a few. But none can compare to God’s humility found in Christ. It is my deepest hope that all experience the humble Jesus, for if you don’t- you’ve never met Him.

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