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, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2
I write this morning to those who call themselves Christians, those who profess Him as Lord and Savior, those who claim to love and follow him.
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the believers in Rome said, “28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. “ (Roman 8)
This is a beautiful passage on God’s plan to shape us into what was intended before sin entered into the world - his people, holy and righteous - a people who look like Jesus. This passage describes what we call “sanctification.” Ultimately sanctification is our being shaped into the image of Jesus, one who loved God perfectly and loved others perfectly. Paul describes this process as a guarantee - we will be shaped into his image (glorification). If we are truly Christian, then our life on some level should reflect this process of sanctification. We should be growing more and more into the image of Jesus.
Which brings us back to the Philippians 2 passage.
Jesus left the comfort and glory of heaven, NOT considering his own interests only, but the interest and needs of others. He did not act selfishly, but selflessly. He inconvenienced himself for those who were in great need and helpless to meet their own needs. Though he was creator, he willingly humbled himself for the good of his creation, even to the point of suffering abuse, torture and death at their hands. Jesus willingly set aside his rights for the good of someone else. He suffered so that someone else would not have to.
This is the image that should mark our lives. It is the image we should reflect.
It is like Christ to be willing to set aside my rights for the good of another. It is like Christ to give myself for someone else. It is like Christ to be willing to be inconvenienced for others. It is like Christ to have plans changed. It is like Christ to put the needs of the unborn above my own needs. It is like Christ to do whatever is necessary for those who cannot do for themselves.
It is the opposite of abortion for the vast majority of people.
As Christians, we are the beneficiaries of such a sacrificial and selfless love and we are called to love like Jesus. It is part of bearing his image, of being Christian.
So I appeal to you as Christians, no matter what the Law of our state or country says, no matter how loudly our culture says that this is about your freedom and your rights, choose to live like Jesus, for the good of others, even the unborn… abortion is the antithesis of Christlikeness.
If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, afraid and need help, know that you are not alone. There are people and organizations who will love you, counsel you and help you. Here are two organizations in Middle Georgia: Caring Solutions and Covenant Care. You can also reach out to any of our New City Church staff and elders.
For those who have already chosen and carried out an abortion, know that in Christ, because of what we read in Philippians, you can receive forgiveness! It’s why he came. It’s why he suffered and died. You and I have sinned. And we cannot forgive our own sin and we cannot do enough good to make up for it and sadly we continue to sin. Jesus came to live the life that we have not - perfect and without sin. He came to die the death that we deserve -the righteous died for the unrighteous. And on the third day he arose, defeating death and sin and Satan. And for those who trust in his work, those who believe in who he is and what he has done, there is grace - forgiveness of sin. The Bible says that our sins are cast as far as the East is from the West, never to be remembered by God! Paul said to the Romans, because of the work of Christ and our faith, there is therefore no condemnation for us. That is beautiful and amazing. Accept it. Rest in it.