Humility of Christ – Philippians 2:1-11 – Part 2

Humility – God’s Path to True Greatness

Philippians 2:1-11

III.           Christ Perfectly Exemplifies Humility

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

·        For now, we’re going to skip over v5. We will come back to it after we look at verses 6-8. In those, we will see what attitude Jesus had so that we can purpose to have the same attitude.

·        This passage is the most important and often cited passage on Christology, the academic study of Christ, in the Bible, so we’ll take a few moments to examine three key words that give us better understanding of exactly what happened when God became a man!

·        The word “form” in v6 that Paul used is the Greek word “morphe” which stresses the inner essence or reality, not merely the outward appearance. It is saying that Jesus was divine.

·        This word “grasp” is from the Greek word “Harpagmos”. It refers to something highly prized to be held fast or retained. Jesus didn’t hold onto His rightful position along with His accompanying rights of deity over His creation.

·        This emptying of Himself is referred to in theological terms as His Kinosis from the Greek word “Kenoo” which not surprisingly means to make empty or to lay aside.

o Though Jesus became 100% human, He remained 100% God also. Many verses make it abundantly clear that this emptying of Himself does not mean that Jesus in any way stopped being God.

oJohn 14:9b

He who has seen Me has seen the Father;

oJohn 10:30

I and the Father are one.”

o John 8:58

58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

o Since Jesus continued being fully God, the question is: “Of what did Jesus empty Himself.” List is from John MacArthur’s Commentary

1.  His Heavenly glory

He showed this only briefly to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration

2.  His independent authority

He submitted Himself completely to the will of His Father

3.  His divine prerogatives

He  didn’t display His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit’s direction

4.  His eternal riches

While on earth, He was poor and owned very little

5.  His favorable relationship with the Father

On the cross, His fellowship with the Father was broken and He experienced the Father’s full wrath.

·        Now, let’s go back to v5 that we skipped over earlier.

·       5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

·        Yes, Paul is citing Jesus as the perfect example of humility, but his main point is that we need to humble ourselves. We are to study closely the incredibly humble attitude that Jesus demonstrated in His incarnation and then we are to emulate that attitude in our own lives. The more clearly we understand all that Jesus did for us, the more motivated we will be to humble ourselves as He did.

·        What was the end result?

IV.           Exaltation is Humility’s Reward

9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

·        V9 says “for this reason” and the reason is that Jesus humbled Himself absolutely submitting fully to the Father’s plan. Because He did this, God highly exalted Him to the very highest position. All creation must one day bow before Him in worship acknowledging His Lordship.

·        Everyone actually has two opportunities to bow the knee to Jesus and worship Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

·        The first opportunity is during our earthly life. We can acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, repent of our sins, trust Him to save us, and commit to living our lives in submission to His Lordship. Many in this auditorium have already bowed the knee to Jesus and acknowledged that Jesus is Lord of our lives.

·        The second opportunity will be at a day in the future called the Great White Throne Judgment described in …

·        Revelation 20: 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

·        It’s on this great day of judgment that every atheist, every agnostic, every Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, liberal, moderate, and conservative, every terrorist, socialist, communist, capitalist, every peasant, billionaire, ignorant, scholar, indeed every single unbeliever who has ever lived will be forced to bow down to King Jesus and confess that He is Lord of heaven and earth. Then, all these who have waited till the Great White Throne Judgment to acknowledge His Lordship will be forever banished to hell.

·        Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

·        Friends, don’t wait till this terrifying day of judgment to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of your life. Don’t put it off, I implore you to repent of your sins todaytrust Him to save you and submit to His Lordship over your life.

·        So, this is how, after the Son’s humble submission, the Father exalts. But this same principal exemplified in Jesus’ life, of humbling one’s self and later being exalted by God applies to every believer too.

·        Psalm 75:6 For not from the east, nor from the west, ?Nor from the desert comes exaltation; ?7 But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.

·        Christian, it’s not your boss, or your test scores, or you’re your parent’s influence, or the size of your bank account that ultimately determines whether you achieve true greatness or not. God alone has that authority. Obviously, if God is against you, no matter what efforts you go to, your failure is guaranteed. But, if God is actively working on your behalf, then your exaltation is absolutely assured! Getting God’s help on your side is actually quite simple, but you have to do it His way!

·        1 Peter 5:5b-6 … all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

·        God actively opposes all those who refuse to humble themselves, and God is the One Person Whom you absolutely do not want to be opposed to you. God requires you to humble yourself if you want to receive His grace. If you will humble yourself, then, He will exalt you one day!

·        Luke 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”?

This verse tells us that there are two ways to become humble.

1.      Exalt yourself and God will humble you. Friends, that is a very bad option. Don’t choose it!

2.      Humble yourself

Perhaps you’ll say Stacy, this makes sense and I’ve decided I really do want to humble myself before the Lord, but I’m not sure where to begin. What are some practical suggestions on how I can get started and clothe myself with humility like the apostle Peter said? I’m glad you asked! Following are seven excellent suggestions in a recent message I listened to online by Justin McKitterick, the pastor of our church back in Florida.

1.     Foster a lifestyle of prayer

Prayer is one of the most beautiful illustrations of a heart of humility. “Prayer is to faith what breath is to life.” I Thess. 5:17 Christ Himself took long devoted time to get away and pray. Luke 6:12, Mark 14:32, Luke 11. Hardly anything is more evidence of pride than our prayer life. This is not a matter of time so much as it is a matter of relationship. Col. 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer. Jerry Bridges “Prayer is the most tangible sign of dependency on God.”

2.     Embrace humbling experiences and circumstances.

Ps. 23:4 “Even though…” You will encounter trials. 1 Pet. 1:6 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials,7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ:8 whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory:9 receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

What are some of the experiences we should embrace?

Trial, being misunderstood, being overlooked, being inconvenienced,

How do you respond when you sin or when you fail? Do you try to fix it yourself or do you run to the glory of the Cross?

How do you respond when you are spiritually attacked? James 4:7 I Peter 5:8,9 Eph 6:11-12 2 Cor 12:7

3.     Don’t confuse humility with weak convictions

Humility         Weak Convictions

God want us to have strong convictions, but communicate them humbly.

4.     Invite correction and seek counsel

The humble heart realizes that our heart is deceitful and doesn’t have it all together. We don’t know as much as we think we know. We aren’t as godly and wise as we think we are. (Jer. 17:9) Prov. 16:2 All the ways of man are right in his own eyes… Prov. 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool. Most effective businessmen and successful athletes invite suggestions and feedback. Prov. 27:17 Iron sharpens iron. Prov. 9:8 Do not reprove a scoffer or he will hate you. Do you love reproof? Prov. 10:17 He who rejects reproof leads others astray. Wants to listen. Where there is no guidance the people fall. Prov. 26:12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Prov. 11:2 With the humble is wisdom. Prov. 24:6 In abundance of counselors there is victory. Demonstrates a teachable heart and protects you from yourself.

5.     Don’t take yourself too seriously

Take God and His Word seriously. Take life seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. It’s more fun that way and good practice for humility.

6.     Practice spiritual disciplines

Don’t be legalistic, but do be consistent!

7.     Consider Christ often

A) Preach the gospel to yourself

B) Reflect on your testimony

C) Remember that it’s a relationship rather than a religion

D) Remember why the cross was needed

E) Consciously think of grace and manifestations of grace

F) 2 Chronicles 32:24 – 26 We ARE going to be proud. When that pride is identified, how do we respond? Do we repent and humble ourselves again?

See part 1 of this sermon on humility.

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