Summary: To prove that since Christians are to imitate Christ, then Christians must practice humility.
A Mind of Humility
Text: Phil. 2.5-11
Thesis: To prove that since Christians are to imitate Christ, then Christians must practice
(1) We live in a “dog eat dog world.”
(2) Humanism is the mindset of the day.
(a) Some men even view themselves as higher than Almighty God.
(b) We may view ourselves as did the Pharisee depicted by Jesus who prayed,
“God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust,
adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of
all that I get” (Luke 18.12).
(3) This mindset is not new to the 21st-century as the Philippian brethren struggled
with this problem (Phil. 2.1-4).
I. The reason for humility:
A. Apparently, there were some problems within the church at Philippi.
1. Specifically, Euodia and Syntyche were having problems with living in
harmony (Phil. 4.2).
2. Obviously, there were other members, as well, who were having problems
living in harmony as demonstrated by the inclusion of the exhortation of
B. Paul points out that true love includes selflessness even among other people
(Phil. 2.2-3; cf. Matt. 22.37-40).
C. Jesus epitomized the mind of humility.
1. Christians are to imitate Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. 11.1).
2. Therefore, it is of necessity that they practice humility.
II. The road to humility:
A. The road begins by having the proper attitude.
1. Paul mentions that we are to have this “attitude” (Phil. 2.5).
2. Jesus had the attitude that He did not use His equality with God for His
own selfish interests (Phil. 2.6).
3. His attitude was best exemplified by Christ’s statement “not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22.42).
a. This is the same mindset that Paul desires for the Philippian brethren
b. One must put first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6.33), which includes
dying to self (Luke 9.23-25).
4. Proper actions must proceed out of a proper attitude (cf. John 14.15).
B. Then the road continues by displaying the proper actions.
1. Jesus, with the proper attitude of not holding on to His equality with God
for selfish motives, emptied Himself (Phil. 2.7).
a. Some have speculated that Christ emptied His Deity, but that seems to
b. Most likely, He emptied Himself by leaving His glory with God to
come to be in the form of a servant (cf. John 17.5).
c. Paul says it best, “For you know by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you
through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8.9).
d. Why did He do such? “Yet for you sake”
2. Next, He took upon Himself the form of a bond-servant.
a. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and
to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45).
b. Truly, “The Master of all became the servant to all” (A. T. Robertson)
3. Also, His humility meant that He was obedient.
a. He didn’t question why, rather, He obeyed because He knew that the
Father knew best.
b. His obedience would prove costly.
4. Finally, His humility and obedience remained unwavered even in the face
a. “To the point of death” shows how much he valued the greater cause
that was the reason for which He would die.
b. He died the most humiliating death for us!
c. Truly, He did not “merely look out for [His] own personal interests, but
also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2.4).
III. The reward of humility:
A. Jesus humbled Himself, and then God exalted Him.
1. This is exactly what Jesus preached.
a. “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles
himself shall be exalted” (Matt. 23.12).
b. James tells us, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and
He will exalt you” (James 4.10).
2. This is exactly what Christ lived.
B. Therefore, He was super-exalted by God Almighty.
1. He was given a name above all names.
a. This name most likely refers to “Lord,” the LXX equivalent of yahweh, which demonstrates the supreme position that God the Son holds.
b. As Luke wrote, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12).
2. He was given the supreme Sovereign authoritative position over all.
a. All men will bow before Jesus.
b. Every tongue will confess His blessed name.
(1) Some will do so now for salvation (cf. Rom. 10.9-10).
(2) Others, who now refuse (e.g., Atheists), will do so a little too late on the final day as they come, temporally, into the presence of God the Son.