Calvary Road Baptist Church

“LIKEMINDED”

Philippians 2.19-24

Turn to Philippians 2.19-24, standing when you find the passage to read along silently while I read aloud:

19     But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

20     For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

21     For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

22     But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

23     Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.

24     But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

It was always my desire to be my pastor’s right hand man. As a new convert to Christ I followed the man around like a puppy dog and strove to wait on him hand and foot in service to the Lord. I never did become his right hand man, partly because he sent me off to Bible college instead of training me for the ministry himself. However, I always wanted to serve God by being a great help to my pastor. At the church Pam and I attended while in Bible college I, again, wanted to be close to my pastor and be something of a right hand man to him, but I was never able to. Only decades later did I realize that God was actually protecting me by withholding from me the opportunity I sought at that time. Besides that, I didn’t really know at the time what the qualifications were for being a right hand man, or for being a help to my pastor. I just knew I wanted to enhance the ministry of the spiritual leader, having had no spiritual leader in my own life growing up.

Well, I know more now. I have a better idea what being a pastor is, and a much better idea of what being a right hand man to a pastor is. The six character traits of young Timothy that we considered last week are absolutely critical for someone who wants to be used of God in the gospel ministry. As well, every parent would do well to inculcate these traits into their sons and daughters, to be right hand helpers to mom, to dad, and to spiritual leaders. It is far better to value and highly esteem wonderful character traits than it is to brag about athletic ability or intellectual achievements. That said, I’ve been in the ministry long enough to know that there was something even more basic to Timothy than the character traits that God had so marvelously blessed him with. I suppose the key word in Paul’s description of Timothy to the Philippians is found in Philippians 2.20, “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.” It is the word “like-minded.” Found only here in the New Testament, this word is vital to understanding the relationship that existed between Paul and Timothy.[1]

You see, long before Timothy would ever come to be a servant of God who was like-minded with the Apostle Paul about the gospel ministry, he would have to be like-minded with Paul about some other things. More importantly, he would have to be like-minded with God. My friend, it may be that the real reason you have no desire to be a Timothy to someone like Paul, a right hand man in the gospel ministry, the real reason you are not like-minded with regard to matters of the ministry, may be because you are not like-minded about some other things that are even more basic and prerequisite.

This evening I would like to focus on whether or not you are like-minded with God about sin.

AS TO THE CONCEPT OF SIN

Different people have different views about sin. Some people view sins in virtually the same way as they view mistakes or errors in judgment. They see sins such as drunkenness and drug use, and perhaps even murder, as indications of a sickness, as indications of a disease or some type of disorder, that needs to be treated medically or psychologically. If you are of this opinion you do not really see sins as morally reprehensible, but as tragically unfortunate, as behavior that is certainly to be avoided, but not as reflecting on the goodness or the badness of the person who commits such sins. To you, then, sin is not a moral issue.

You need to humble yourself enough to recognize the error of your ways in this regard, if you view sin in this way, because you are entirely wrong. Sin, you see, is defined by God as being morally wrong, as being morally reprehensible, as being evil, as being repugnant, as being destructive to both self and to others, as being criminal, as being filthy and disgusting.[2] Emery Bancroft rightly observed in his study of God’s Word that sin is missing the mark of the divine standard. Sin is a deviation, a lapse, a falling aside from God’s requirement. Sin is a distortion, a perversion, a bending of that which is right, making it crooked. Sin is a transgression of moral boundaries. Sin is an affront to God, literally standing in the presence of God and rebelling against Him. Sin is a betrayal of trust. Sin is an offense. Sin is a failure of duty. Sin is disobedience to and distrust of and lack of response toward God.[3]

My friend, sin is what keeps people out of heaven. Sin is what ruins families by breaking up marriages and destroying homes. It’s sin that takes daddy away from his little girl. It’s sin that removes mommy from her little boy. It’s sin that leads church members astray from being faithful and working to reach the lost. It’s sin that has wreaked havoc on our country. And it’s your sin that has separated you from God, that has blurred your vision, has defiled your soul, and has perverted your thoughts.[4]

Psalm 97.10 directs us, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil.” So, God has put it to you. You are in the valley of decision. God, who is holy, is set on one side of this issue, with sin set on the other side of this issue, and there is no middle ground. Will you be like-minded with God regarding the concept of sin, or not?

AS TO THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN

I feel so sorry for children whose parents don’t correct them by chastening when it is needed. Such children have such a difficult time comprehending the fact that there are consequences for sin. There are two kinds of consequences for sin:

First, there are immediate consequences of sin. There are a whole list of consequences for sin I could name. We could deal with spiritual death, or being lost, or being condemned in the sight of God, or being guilty. For now, let me focus your attention on the pollution of sin. By pollution I mean the contamination of sin, the filthiness of sin, the corruption of sin, the ugliness and the stench of sin. In our wretched society in which most sins are seen as acceptable alternate choices, we forget that to God sin resembles a maggot-infested carcass rotting beside the road. Psalm 14.2-3:

2      The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

3      They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Isaiah 64.6: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”

My friends, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge,” Hebrews 13.4. When you sin against God you contaminate yourself, you pollute yourself, you defile yourself. You do that when you lie, when you cheat, when you steal, when you lust, when you gossip, when you blaspheme, when you refuse to support your family, when you miss church, when you are not in subjection to your husband in everything, and when you do not provide spiritual leadership for your wife. Sin pollutes. And since God is holy, He has a powerful aversion to that which is polluted.

In addition to the immediate consequences of sins, there are also eternal consequences for sins. But for time, we could consider the place of eternal consequence for sins, or the price of eternal consequence for sins. Instead, just a few words on the perception of eternal consequences for sins. The word that describes for us what the Bible says about the sinner’s perception of his eternal consequence for sin is the word “punishment.” In Matthew 25.46, when the Lord Jesus Christ predicted the future dividing of unsaved sinners from those who trust Him for salvation, He said these words: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Many of you have heard all about Hell and the lake of fire. However, you are jaded by all the mayhem and violence on television and in movies, and the unlikely escapes that the heroes always seem to manage at the last moment. For that reason, you think you will somehow escape Hell at the last minute, that somehow you will leap from the falling whatever it is, grab a chain that’s hanging from who knows where, and swing to safety. Listen to me. That will not happen. Things like that don’t happen when you die. Everyone who dies a sinner suffers everlasting punishment. The word for punishment is translated in First John 4.18 by the word torment. Rather than telling you where you will be, I will simply declare to you what it will be like for you, consciously, constantly, eternally: Punishment. Torment. The only man who has ever spoken from Hell described his punishment with these words: “I am tormented in this flame,” Luke 16.24. Laugh, joke, smirk, chuckle about it all you want. The eternal consequence of sin will be punishment and unimaginable torment.

Finally, AS TO THE CULPABILITY OF SIN

Culpability has to do with blame. It has to do with whose fault it is. It has to do with who is held responsible for the wrongdoing. Only two passages are sufficient to show you who God holds responsible for your sin, since the Bible is uniform throughout in this regard, as it is in every other regard:

Romans 6.23a: “For the wages of sin is death.”

For your sin you die. God is not unjust in His dealings with men. Though you may not fully understand, the fact is, you and only you are responsible for your sin. And God will hold you eternally responsible for your sin. Cry aloud throughout all eternity that it’s not fair all you want, but the fact remains. God holds you responsible for your sin. You will not see it otherwise anywhere in God’s Word.

Revelation 20.12: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Big and small, rich and poor, intelligent and stupid, it matters not. You will someday stand before God, Who will judge your sins, find you guilty, and your punishment will begin and it will never end. It will never end.

My friend, only Jesus saves from sins. But until you are like-minded with God as to the concept of sin, as to the consequences of sin, and as to the culpability of sin, why would you want be saved from your sins? Only the man who knows he is drowning wants a lifeguard to pull him from the water. Only the child who knows the building is on fire and there is no possibility of escape will overcome his fear of heights and leap into the fireman’s arms. Only if your concept of sin is correct, you know it’s a horrible thing, and if you understand the consequences of sin (at least to some degree), and your own culpability (your own responsibility before God for your wrongdoing), only then will you flee to the only One Who can save you from sins.

I will conclude our service in prayer. If you would like to talk to me about being saved from your sins, please come back into the auditorium after everyone has left and I will meet with you. There is a Savior I want to introduce you to Who can save you from your sins and give you eternal life.



[1] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 481.

[2] Isaiah 64.6

[3] Emery H. Bancroft, Christian Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, revised edition 1961), pages 203-207.

[4] Isaiah 59.2



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org