07.31.15

Platforms Are for Anti-Christs (Part 2)

What follows is a transcript of Thabiti’s talk from Legacy Conference 2015. You can learn more about the movement of Legacy here. The transcript is divided up into two parts. See Part 1 here

Let’s move on to point four: The mind of Christ seen in cross-bearing (v. 8)

Verse 8 of our passage reads that Christ “became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus came into the world born to poor and obscure parents. He worked as a handyman in obscurity until about the age of 30. When our Lord began His public ministry, He didn’t print flyers, launch a personal website, retweet every good thing said about Him, or seek the favor of the rich and powerful.

In fact, he warned people that they would follow Him into the kind of poverty where they’d have no place to lay their heads. He demanded that people not tell others about His miracles. He kept the crowds befuddled and confused by hiding the truth of the kingdom in riddles and parables so they wouldn’t understand. Our Master spoke His harshest words to the worldly wise, rich, and powerful. He did everything He could not to have a crowd and a platform.

Do you know what He chose for himself? He chose death. Even death on a cross.

Do you realize that our Lord’s only platform on earth were the two beams of wood to which He was nailed and raised up? His platform was a cross, and He didn’t go to the cross until His hour had come and his earthly life and ministry were to end.

But platforms in this world are not about death and crosses. Platforms are about influence with man. Platforms are not about rejection, mocking, ridicule, and scandal. Platforms are about acceptability, accessibility, and respectability.

But the cross of Christ ain’t. How can we bear a cross and seek a platform at the same time?

Isn’t it better to just carry our cross as platform enough? A servant is not better than His Master. They crucified Him. Shouldn’t we expect persecution, mistreatment, and ridicule because we follow Him? Shouldn’t we be suspicious of platforms because He died on one?

Platforms are for anti-Christs because they feed upon the applause and approval of men. But do we please men if we preach the gospel?

And so, the mind of Christ is seen in letting go of status, self-emptying, local and humble obedience, and bearing our cross unto death.

Lastly, the mind of Christ is seen in knowing that Christ is already exalted (vv. 9-11)

Look with me at verses 9-11 again:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is the therefore there for? Paul writes the word “therefore” as a way of concluding or giving us the punch line of all the things he’s just said. In other words, because Christ’s humility brought Him beneath all, the Father raised Him above all.

Jesus humbled himself; the Father raised Him. First comes humiliation, then comes glory.

But people seeking platforms want to go from glory to glory. They want to skip humility—unless they get glory for being humble. Platform mentality says, “Give me glory, and I will give God more glory.” The platform mentality seems to think that Jesus’ glory rises and falls with our prominence and success. It’s damnable lie.

Not so with Christ.

Here’s what the platform seeker misses: verses 9-11 tell us that Jesus Christ our Lord is already exalted. The verbs “exalted” and “bestowed” are past tense. It’s already done. It’s simply waiting to be universally recognized. And, what’s more? The One who exalted Christ and bestowed on Christ the greatest name isn’t the preacher or the pastor, the poet or the rapper, the politician of the seminary professor. It’s God himself.

Christ’s glory does not stand on our platform. Christ’s glory rests in the Father’s hand. Our job is to know that He is already highly exalted and to proclaim that fact like we believe it. That’s all.

That’s the mind of Christ — that which is seen in letting go of status, self-emptying, local and humble obedience, bearing our cross unto death, and knowing that Jesus is already exalted above all.

Brothers and sisters, let’s forget the platforms. Let the world have all the platforms they like. We know they’re nothing more than gallows from which the deceived shall hang. Instead, let’s pursue the mind of Christ. Let’s do five things in emulation of Him.

  1. Let us forget about status unless it’s to be servant of all.
  2. Let us empty ourselves of reputation, unless it’s a reputation for faith in Christ and love for all the saints.
  3. Let us embrace our local lives and commit ourselves to fuller obedience to God.
  4. Let us take up our cross daily and die daily to ourselves and our godless ambitions.
  5. Let us rest our hope in this fact: Our Father in heaven has already exalted our Savior on earth. All we need to do is celebrate it!

Let us pray to that end.

Thabiti Anyabwile
Thabiti Anyabwile serves as a pastor of Anacostia River Church (Washington DC). He is the happy husband of Kristie and the adoring father of two daughters and one son. Holler at him on Twitter: @ThabitiAnyabwil

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