Self-Reunification Through the Example of Christ

Philippians 2:1-11

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the incarnate humility of the Messiah set forth by Paul.

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[Message] Philippians chapter 2, verse 1 through verse 11, the apostle writes,

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation.”

That expression, “Made himself of no reputation,” is literally he emptied himself, and consequently has become the occasion for a great deal of discussion by interpreters of the Apostle Paul. And since the word in the original text is the word, kenoo and kenosis in Greek means “emptying,” it has come to be known to be known as the great kenosis passage, or the passage on the self emptying of Christ. We want to say something about it in the message. If I should refer to is as kenosis or the kenosis passage the reference of course is to this.

“But made himself of no reputation, (emptied himself) and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus (perhaps better, ‘At Jesus’ name for the name that he has in mind is the name Lord, At Jesus’ name) every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

May God bless this reading of his word.

[Prayer removed from audio.)

[Message] The Apostle Paul desired to have the Philippian church be brought into a condition of lowly humility and love one toward another, and so in order to do that he pointed them to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And of course, that is always the way in which the apostle operates. If he wishes to inculcate the various virtues and fruits manifestations of the Holy Spirit, he points his listeners and readers to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ because it is in the cross of Christ that the apostle found the solution to these problems that existed in the lives of individuals and in the lives of the churches. It is evidently that in the church at Philippi there had been some problems. In the 4th chapter in the 2nd verse the apostle says, “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.” And evidently the apostle has something of the same situation in his mind when he speaks about the Philippians being of the same mind as our Lord Jesus. He speaks in the 3rd verse, “But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” And so the Philippians like the churches of the saints everywhere had their problems with individuals. In this case one of the problems was a problem that existed between the two women.

Dr. Vernon McGee used to say, I presume he still does, that probably the reason that Euodias and Syntyche had their difficulties was because Eudoias was the soprano soloist in the church choir and Syntyche was the President of the Ladies Auxiliary and they were having a big argument over who was going to use the church parlor. Now of course that is the product of the imagination of Dr. McGee’s mind. I am not at all sure and I am sure that you’re not that this was the situation in the church at Philippi. But it was evidently some problem among others that involved the two ladies.

The apostle, it’s evident, since he writes as he does, had a lot more in mind than two ladies who may have been squabbling with one another. He was thinking about the whole church, and there was upon his mind this great desire that the church come together in a sense of lowly humility and service one toward another. And surely if we look out on the evangelical church and if we think of our own congregation of believers an exhortation to lowliness of mind and humility in loving service one toward another is always in place.

Having said this, however, I think that as we think about Philippians chapter 2 the thing that impresses us most of all is the theology that rests behind it. In fact if you were to ask the average student of Scripture what is the thing that he most remembers about Philippians chapter 2 and verses 1 through 11, he would probably say it is the theological problem that exists in the passage or it is the theological material that is found in the passage for this is the great kenosis passage. All theologians discuss it because it is one of those normative texts that tell us the relationship between the humanity and the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. And I think it is very interesting that the apostle in order to inculcate practical relationships of holiness one with another turns to theology because it is in theology that our thinking is straightened out and we come to understand things that are before us practically in their true light. It is really the apostle’s method to turn to theology to solve the practical problems of the Christian life and in this case he turns to those most unique and eternal relationships that exist within the person of the great God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. So when I think of this passage, and I think when most students of Scripture think of this passage, we think of it as the great passage which sets forth the theoanthropic person, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and something of the relationship that exists between his two natures as they relate to his cross and to his exhortation. So I want to speak to you this morning on self renunciation in the light of the self humiliation of the Lord Jesus.

The apostle begins this great section by letting us know a few things about our Lord Jesus. He states in verse 5 and verse 6, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” What does the apostle mean when he says that the Lord Jesus was “in the form of God?” I think if we were thinking of our Lord Jesus and if we saw an expression such as this, “the Lord Jesus in the form of God,” we might be inclined to say that text does not really say that the Lord Jesus is God. It says that he is only “in the form of God.” It says, perhaps, that he is wearing the clothes of God, but not really God in his inmost essence for we do not use the expression “in the form of” in the sense in which the apostle used the expression. The apostle used the expression out of the background of his own use of terminology. And in those days they spoke of things in their matter and in their form. And when they spoke of things as to their matter they were speaking about the material of things. When they spoke about things as to their form they spoke about the distinguishing characteristics of the thing. That is the thing that made it exactly what it is.

For example, if you were to take a sword and hold it before you, in its matter it would be steel or some other metal, but in its form it would have certain contour and certain shape. And in its form, its contour and shape, those would be the distinguishing things that mark it out as a sword from all other steel objects so that form was a philosophical term and referred to that which distinguishes a thing and made it exactly what it is. So when the Apostle Paul writes of the Lord Jesus that he was in the form of God, he means that he possesses all of the things that distinguish him as God, all of the distinguishing characteristics of God. It means essentially that he possessed all of the attributes of God.

Now if we think of the attributes of God as being, for example, on the one hand attributes such as omniscience and omnipresence and omnipotence and above all of his self existence and of his immensity and then on the other hand of his will, his justice, his love, or his kindness and goodness, and the other moral attributes and attributes of his will and wisdom, we would be saying in effect if we said of the Lord Jesus that he is in form of God that he possesses all of these things that mark out God as God. So when the apostle states of the Lord Jesus that he was “in the form of God,” he does not intend in any way to suggest to us that the Lord Jesus is not just as much God as the Father is God and just as much God as the Holy Spirit is God. In other words, the Lord Jesus was God.

Now, he adds in addition to saying this, that “He did not think it robbery to be equal with God.” Today’s English version, this renders this text by rendering it something like, “He did not think it robbery to try to be equal with God,” or “He did not attempt to be equal with God.” That is not the force of these words. The force of the words is that the Lord Jesus did not consider it a prize, something to be held on to, to be God. It was something that he possessed by virtue of his own self-existence. He is the self existent God who does not derive his existence from anyone else. Now these are mighty and outstanding statements that are made concerning the Lord Jesus and they are the back drop for the things that the apostle will now state in his great humiliation for we must always understand the humiliation of the Lord Jesus in the light of his preeminent station as God himself, “very God of very God,” truly God in every way.

In the light of this the apostle describes his great humiliation, and this humiliation is described for us in seven outstanding expressions. He states, first of all, “But made himself of no reputation.” He emptied himself. Now over these words there has raged considerable controversy because if the text says that the Lord Jesus emptied himself we naturally want to ask, “Of what did he empty himself?” Is it possible that he emptied himself of his deity? And so we have kenosis theories by contemporary and modern theologians in which it is stated that the Lord Jesus did give up essential attributes and thus was not truly God when he was here in the flesh. This is of the greatest importance. It may seem to us to be a theological debate and only a theological debate, but it is of the greatest importance because you see if it is possible that this text meant that the Lord Jesus did give up some of this essential attributes, assuming that he was deity, then there was a time in which our Lord Jesus was not God and we do not have a doctrine of the Trinity as the foundation of the Christian church, but a doctrine of tri-theism, three gods, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit as three gods in which one of these gods may for a time not be God at all. So we have in essence no Christian faith in its unique sense for in the unique sense the Christian faith is grounded upon the doctrine of the Trinity.

But that’s not the only thing that would be involved. If the Lord Jesus at a point in time were not truly God then, of course, he is not God at all because God is immutable. He is unchangeable. If God were changeable we could only say he changes from the better to the worse or from the worse to the better. And consequently we cannot have a changeable God. I am delighted, of course, we do not have a changeable God because the promises of God in their applicability to me depend upon the fact that he is a changeless being and when he makes statements in holy Scripture he stands behind them with all of the authority and all of the power of an omnipotent God and also with all of the immutability of a person who binds himself to his word. John 3:16 could no longer be believed if the Lord Jesus were a changeable God.

And not only that, but if he is not always God then we do not have any mediator between God and men. We do not have any salvation. If it is true, according to our kenotic theologians that the Lord Jesus for a time was not God, and if when he was hanging upon the cross and crying out, “My God. My God. Why hast Thou forsaken me?” and “It is finished,” we thinking of course that by that he had accomplished redemption for us, if he were not truly God then no redemption was accomplished at all for in order for a satisfaction to be rendered to go that is acceptable to God it must be rendered by someone who is not involved in this human predicament with us and only our Lord Jesus is such a person. And so when he hung upon the cross it is of the greatest significance that he not only be a man such as we are, but also truly “very God of very God” as the ancient theologians put it. So when we read here that he was “in the form of God, and he did not think it a prize to be equal with God,” it was something that he possessed. We are taught that that place from which the Lord Jesus, in self-renunciation, went was from the place of deity, and that deity was something that he possessed throughout all of his existence here upon the earth. He emptied himself, and if there is one thing that we can say about it, we can say this; he did not empty himself of himself. He could not do that.

What then was it that was involved in this self emptying? Well there was only one thing that can be involved in it. He emptied himself. He limited himself, so far as the voluntary use of his divine attributes were concerned. In other words, for a time he did not exercise out of his own initiative those attributes that belong to his deity. But he rather turned over the control of his life to the Father and carried out all of his activities, though he himself is just as much God as the Father is God, to the direction of the Father in heaven who in his own immensity and eternity and wisdom directed all of the work of the mediator while he was here upon the earth. So when we read that he emptied himself, we are to understand by this that the Lord Jesus relinquished the “voluntary use” of his divine attributes but not his divine attributes. They were there all along.

It is, of course, at this point that we distinguish Christianity from the cults. Jehovah’s Witnesses is a cult. The witnesses of Jehovah are not really witnesses of Jehovah. They are not witnesses to a Christian God at all. They are witnesses to a false God.

I have a good friend who is a Bible teacher in the mid-west. In one of his messages I heard of him tell of an incident in which some Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked upon his door. He went to the door. He looked at the literature that they had and recognized immediately that the literature was the literature of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He said to them, “You are members of the sect called Jehovah’s Witnesses.” He said, “You do not believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ do you?” They said, “No, we do not.” He said, “I want to tell you about a friend of mine. He’s found on the pages of holy Scripture. His name is Thomas. And one day he fell down before the Lord Jesus Christ and he cried out with the approval of Scripture, “My Lord and My God.” And he said, “I want to pray for you that you too will come to know Jesus Christ as God and become a member of the Christian church.” And then John Smart turned to the audience and in an aside said, “Brethren I get a little nervous when my Bible teaching friends begin to speak about limitations in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is of the greatest importance that we recognize that the Lord Jesus is God. Now that is the backdrop I say from which all of this follows, and the first step is that he emptied himself, relinquished the voluntary use of his divine attributes, but did not, did not, empty himself of himself. He was always the second person of the blessed Trinity.

The second thing that the apostle states about him is that he took upon him the form of a servant. Now if the word form refers to that which distinguishes an object or thing and makes it what it is in itself then here we have the exegetical understand of what it means to empty oneself. If the Lord Jesus emptied himself, and if our text of Scripture states that he took the form of a servant, and this text may well be rendered, “He emptied himself by taking the form of a servant,” we have an understanding in our common language of what it means for the Lord Jesus to empty himself. He emptied himself. He relinquished the voluntary use of his divine attributes, or to put it in our language, he took the form of a servant. That means that he became a true servant, not just an outward servant, but a true servant.

Now, of course, he’s thinking about Isaiah and the great passages of the Old Testament which speak of our Lord Jesus as the servant of Jehovah and all of that great ministry which finally culminates in the atoning work. But we must never forget that he does use the term, “the form of a servant.”

Now an ancient person reading this text would not think of the English term servant. He would think of the English term slave. For that’s what a servant meant. A servant meant a slave in those days. I think I mentioned the last time I spoke here, Gibbon estimated that in the Roman Empire at the time of the New Testament period, there were sixty million slaves and consequently the slave was a very common feature in their society. He was thought of as a piece of property, as a chattel. And so when we read here that the Lord Jesus took upon him a form of a servant we should think of a slave.

Now a slave had no right to himself. He could not think for himself, though he did. He was not supposed to think for himself. He was not to choose. He was not to act. He was not to live apart from the decisions of his master. What he did were the things that his master commanded him. Now this form of God, to form of a slave, is the measure of the self humiliation of the Lord Jesus. He who existed in the ancient days of eternity with the full glory of the God head now walks in the presence of men on the earth as a slave of Jehovah, an amazing condescension on the part of our Lord Jesus. “He took upon him the form of a servant.”

But not only that, he says he was “made in the likeness of men. The expression “to be made in the likeness of men,” of course, has to do with the outward of our Lord Jesus. He took upon him human nature. The Lord Jesus was not a human person who was deified. He was not a deified person, a God who became a man and only a man. But he was a divine person who at a point in time took to himself an additional nature. So he was just as much God after he became Son of man as he was before he became son of man. He came in the likeness of men. If you looked upon him, you would have looked upon him and you would have said, “He too is a member of this fallen weak humanity of which we are a part.” He did not have a body that flashed glory. He looked as you and I looked. We do not know what he looked like fortunately. I’m very happy that we do not know. I think if it were so, everybody in the Christian church that was male would try to look exactly like him. And that would be a horrible thing. We do not know how our Lord Jesus looked, but we do know that so far as his countenance was concerned, if you looked upon him you would have said, until he began to speak, or until you came to know him, he is one of us. He’s a member of this weak fallen humanity of which we are a part. The Scriptures make it, however, very, very plain that the Lord Jesus, while he was in the likeness of men, did not participate in our sin.

Then next he says, “And being found in fashion as a man.” And here I think in this fourth expression there is tremendous stress upon the humanity of our Lord. I wish it were possible for us in our study at this point to turn to the ministry of the Lord Jesus in the synoptic gospels and Gospel of John and point out the many ways in which the humanity of the Lord Jesus was emphasized. It is very striking that the characteristic feature of our Lord that comes through in his humanity is the feature of compassion. You may not know this, I must confess it was not too long ago that I found this out, that the one distinguishing feature of the character of the Lord Jesus that is mentioned more than any other feature is the feature of compassion. He was a man of compassion, “Moved to compassion,” the Scriptures say often of him.

He was a man of compassion. But not only that, he was a man of indignation. No one could get his angry righteously as Jesus Christ. And I think it manifests itself in a most climatic way when the Lord Jesus stood at the grave of Lazarus. We read that when he came to the grave of Lazarus that he was moved with indignation and troubled himself. There was a kind of great storm in his soul that broke forth into a shower of sympathy over the event that was happening in the homes of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. And the amazing feature of our Lord’s compassion and his indignation is that he can be compassionate and he can be indignant even though he knows that in a few hours he will raise Lazarus from the dead. Now if there is any expression of the depth of which our Lord entered into our humanity, that expression expresses it beautifully. He stood at the grave of Lazarus and he sobbed. They were wailing. He sobbed.

Now I must confess that when I read that text, “Jesus wept,” I forgive Robert Stephanus who is responsible for the versification of our English version for all of the mistakes that he has made because if there is one text that is a climatic text and a beautiful arrangement of the text in itself it is John 11:35 in which we read, “Jesus sobbed,” because it tells us about the reality of his humanity. He was born as we are born. He was fed as we are fed. He grew as we grew. He worked as we worked. And he died as we must die. Except his death was the death of atonement in the shedding of his blood. And we must hold his divinity without doubt, and we must hold his humanity apart from sin. And I think also it is striking to realize that when the Lord Jesus stood at the grave of Lazarus and sobbed, we learned that he is not ashamed of holy emotion. He’s not ashamed to weep, beautiful expression of his humanity and he wept, I say though Lazarus was safe, and he was to be raised for the glory of God. The text says that he was indignant. He was indignant because he stood in the presence of death and he was angry with death itself. He was angry with death because it is the climatic expression of the fact that we are sinners and we have fallen under its power.

Now there is another interesting thing about the Lord Jesus Christ’s humanity and that is that he was a joyous man. We do not read that the Lord Jesus ever laughed. Some men have made a great deal over this. They have thought that all genuine Christians ought to seem extremely moody, morose and that that kind of disposition is very proper for a Christian. We have references to our Lord Jesus exalting in the spirit. But I think most of us would agree that if the children came and played upon his lap, and for the saints loved him as they did, there must have been in the experience of the Lord Jesus a great deal of the expression of the life of joy and happiness. So he was found in fashion as a man and so we should think of him as a God with a tear upon his face. I think also a God with a smile upon his face, a God with children playing in his lap, a God who stands beside the bier of a women who have lost their only son and who is disturbed

Now then the apostle goes on to say, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself.” I’m not sure that we really understand what is meant by this. I confess that I read this text for many years and did not realize just exactly what was being said when we read here that he “humbled himself.” I rather thought that what Paul meant was that he humbled himself because he was God, he was in the form of God and he became a man. And that’s the limit of his humiliation. There’s more to it than that. It would, of course, be humiliation for the Lord Jesus to be God and to pass by becoming a serif. He could have become a serif. But he did not. He became a man. And he lived and moved among fallen men, evidently assuming a nature that was like in its outward appearance, weak fallen humanity. That would be humiliation.

And of course, that is what he did, but it was more than that. If you will notice this text it says that he was he was “Found in fashion as a man and he humbled himself.” He has already said he was made in the likeness of men and he humbled himself. So his humility is not to be linked with his deity at this point, but his humility is linked with his humanity. So that being a man he humbled himself from humanity. What is meant by this? Well of course our Lord could have been cradled daintily in king’s courts. He could have been the son of a President. But instead of being cradled daintily in king’s courts, he was born as the son of a carpenter, and not only the son of a carpenter, but the son of a poor carpenter, in a poor home. The only person who ever had the opportunity one might say to choose his family, his place of birth, his time of birth, is born in the home of a humble carpenter.

And not only that, but being the Son of God he submitted to thirty years approximately of obedience to his parents and to the ministry that was before him. Even in the expressions of that unusual wisdom that had come to be his through is early years by hanging upon holy Scripture, so much wisdom that he amazed the doctors of his day, he went back after the manifestation of it to obedience and submission. You see the true test of humility is obedience. It’s impossible to be humble without being obedient. Obedience is the path of humility, obedience to God, obedience to his word. So he humbled himself and became obedient unto death. That’s the sixth statement, “Obedient unto death.” That’s the final test, and the Lord Jesus passed the test.

And then finally in the seventh, the apostle says, “And the death was the death of a cross.” Now the expression in the original text is so vivid, I must paraphrase it. “He became obedient unto death, and such a death as the death of a cross,” for you see for an individual to die upon the cross was for the Romans to die as a criminal, and for the Jewish people it was to die under a curse. And so the Lord Jesus hung upon the cross, the Jewish people looked at him and they said, “Cursed is he who hangs upon a tree.” The Romans look at him and say he must be a criminal. And this is the kind of death that our Lord died. And so we have the measure of the self renunciation of the Lord Jesus as the form of God possessed of all of the essential attributes of deity. The measure of his humility is the shame of a public execution upon a Roman gibbet, such a death as the death of a cross.

Well fortunately the humiliation reaches its climax at the death on the cross. And we find in the 9th verse, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.” I love that expression because you know in the Greek text that word “highly exalted” is found only here in the New Testament. We are told if we humble ourselves God will exalt us. But he uses a word that is not nearly so intensified in meaning as this word. This word is reserved for the Lord Jesus because there has never been any humiliation such as his humiliation and there has never been any exaltation such as his exaltation. “Wherefore,” as a result of his victorious redeeming activity in the shedding of his blood, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name that at Jesus’ name every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” What is the name? Why the name is the name of Jehovah. That Jesus is Lord is the confession ultimately, not only of the believers, not only of the believers in heaven, not only of the believers on the earth, but of the believers under the earth, the whole of God’s creation shall someday confess that our Lord Jesus is Lord.

Now that term Lord is the highest thing that one can say about anyone. For you see the term Lord is a term that relates to the essential being of God. When we say that a person is Lord, we are saying that he is the great Jehovah, the self existent Jehovah, the “I am who I am.” We are saying that in this person there is the supreme manifestation of God. In the Old Testament when Jehovah wished to express the fact that he was Jehovah and that he was laying claims upon the saints or was expressing to them his promises to them, he often said, “I am he.” “I am he.”

Now, the “I am he,” is the same who is the “I am who I am.” There is no way to define this God because he himself is indefinable, indefinable by any of our human expressions. He is God. He is the God. And when the Lord Jesus is called Lord, we are saying essentially that where he is God is, and where he is God acts and God loves and God moves and God judges. We are saying all of the things about God that Scriptures say about him. Luther used to speak about these politicians who think that our Lord Jesus is simply a man of straw. He is Lord to the glory of God the Father. And so I say to you this morning that he is Lord. He is the supreme God, and while he has for a time in self renunciation taken to himself human nature and has gone to the cross and offered up in his human nature an atonement that is acceptable to the Father, we never forget that he is God and that he is at the right hand of the throne of God at the present time waiting to accomplish in his Second Advent the work of redemption that he accomplished in his first.

May I say just a few words by way of inference from this passage? It is evident from this passage that the supreme, the most divinely beautiful Christian life is the life of self renunciation. It is evident that the apostle in seeking to inculcate lowly humility in the Philippian assembly pointed them to the Lord Jesus and pointed them to him as the example of self sacrifice, self abnegation, and if that is true then the most divinely beautiful Christian life is the life of self renunciation.

Now that has amazing significance. That has a great deal of application. I do not think that there is a person in this auditorium who would not feel that there are areas of his life that need to come under the examination of the example of the Lord Jesus. I must confess as I thought about preaching upon this passage that there came over my spirit a great deal of conviction about areas of my life which are not in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ. There is another application and that of course is that there is no limit to the self renunciation for the self renunciation of the Lord Jesus was an infinite self renunciation. It was total. It was complete.

Now not a single person in this auditorium shall ever come to the place of complete surrender. Our hymns express aspirations that are never true of individuals but this is the standard that is held before us. I’m sure you feel as I do, “Well that’s a glorious example and I wish that it were possible for me to in some measure appropriate some of this. Dr. Johnson you’ve told us what we ought to do, but we’ve known what we ought to do. What I want to know is where can I obtain the power to do what deep down in my heart I want to do?”

So I point you to the 12th and 13th verses.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation, (incidentally he says work out our own salvation not the brethrens,) Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Let’s not deemphasize that. It is work. I know what you’re thinking. Dr. Johnson you’re a Calvinist. You’re supposed to talk about what God does not about what we’re supposed to do. Ah that’s a false understanding of Calvinism. Why it’s the Calvinist who above all believes in work, and he also believes in working out our salvation. He does not believe, of course, of working in our salvation. We cannot do that. That is something that God does. He gives us in pure grace salvation. But he calls upon us to work out what he has worked in. But if you think that you do that in your own power, will you look at the rest of the verse? “Work out your own salvation, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” And so we work because he works. In fact if I were called upon as my Arminian friends call upon me to work in my own strength to do the works of God, I should be hopelessly despairing. That’s why an Arminian and an Arminian theology cannot accept by mistake an error bring us to the fruition of the plans and purposes of God for individuals. But the Scriptures teach us that we work because he works. And we work and we can be successful because he works and he can be successful through us. And so I don’t despair. I believe that this is possible in the power of our great God who works, work, for he works.

It’s possible that you’re here this morning and you do not know our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s possible that the salvation has never been worked in. The Lord Jesus has died as the atoning sacrifice, offering up his blood as a ransom, as a satisfaction, and the invitation goes out to all, believe on our Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. If you’re here this morning and you have never believed in our Lord Jesus we invite you to put your trust in the atoning sacrifice and the atoning savior and pass from death into life and from darkness into his marvelous light. May God the Holy Spirit work in your heart, and may you be brought to trust in him whom to know is life everlasting. Let’s bow in prayer.

[Prayer] We are thankful to Thee Lord for the privilege of the study of the word of God. We are thankful to Thee for the example of our Lord Jesus. We are thankful that we have not only sat before us an impossible dream of an example of self renunciation to which we can in no measure attain. But we thank Thee that in holy Scripture there is the marvelous substance of a power communicated to those who have believed in the Lord Jesus, and we thank Thee that in the strength of his power Thou doest move us, even in our wills, to do that which pleases Thee. And O Father, if there are those here who have never believed in the Lord Jesus give them no rest, no peace until they rest in him. And for the saints, give us, O God, some sense of the importance of self renunciation for the benefit…