The Danger of Self-Centeredness
“The goal of every Christian should be to live in a state of unbroken worship, and the God-centered person finds this a delightful goal." ~ A. W. Tozer
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 2:1-5, ESV)
" 1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind."
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places". (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
" 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:20-21, ESV)
"I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." (John 13:15, ESV)
Week 2 – The Danger of Self-Centeredness
Sunday’s message was about the selflessness of Christ. Today’s study will look at Christ’s selflessness through His role as our Mediator. But first, we must understand that our relationship with God is in need of mediation. A “mediator” is someone who settles a dispute, or reconciles; who brings about a truce or peace between parties at variance; who works with opposing sides to bring about a settlement. Look at the last verse from Sunday’s passage.
Phil. 2.8 - And being found in human form He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Discuss as a group how this verse relates to Christ’s role as a mediator?
According to the definition provided above, mediation occurs between parties who have a dispute or who are at variance. As a group read Matt. 5:20 and Is. 59:2. What do these passages tell us about the dispute/variance between God and us?
As a group, turn to Heb. 9:15. What does this passage say the purpose is for Christ mediating a new covenant?
What can we learn about the old covenant if a new covenant must be mediated in order for those who are called to be saved?
The old covenant is the Mosaic Law or the Ten Commandments. This covenant was in effect before Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; and was associated with the leadership of Moses. The new covenant is secured by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It came to fulfill the requirements of the old covenant, which we could not keep. This new covenant is associated with the leadership of Jesus. Christ mediated a new covenant because we could not fulfill the requirement of the old covenant. Christ came to fulfill or mediate it for us! Now, let’s look at how Christ mediates.
As a group, turn to Gal. 3:10-14. How does this passage further enforce the old covenant’s deficiency in leading to salvation?
V.13-14 speaks specifically to how Christ is a mediator between us and God. As a group, discuss these two verses. Compare Christ’s role in these verses to the definition of a “mediator” provided in the intro.
How did Christ settle the dispute, bring reconciliation, and provide a truce and peace between us and God?
What, in these two verses, is the settlement between God and us?
We cannot keep God’s standard of perfection as described in the commandments of the old covenant. Our sin offends God’s standard of perfection! This brings separation between God and ourselves (Is. 59:2). Meaning that we need a Mediator--someone to bring peace to the situation. We have such a mediator in Christ who, through his death on the cross, demonstrated great selflessness. Seeing that we could not fulfill the requirement of the law in the old covenant, Christ came as our Mediator to establish a new covenant. A perfect settlement would be reached where neither party was offended. Through this settlement, God’s requirement of perfection and righteousness would be upheld. This settlement also provided humanity with a way to be restored to God. The only offense this settlement brought was to the Mediator Himself! Christ was so personally involved in our mediation with God that He sacrificed His life to secure for us a new covenant through which we could be saved! His broken body and spilled blood paved the way for our redemption. Our mediator didn’t just negotiate a settlement as a third party negotiator, He became the settlement!