Summary: In order to have humility, you must be like Christ.
How many of you remember the Gatorade ad campaign from 1992? C’mon, that was only 16 years ago! Let me give you a hint: It featured the basketball player Michael Jordan. Let me give you another hint: It had a catchy tune called “Be Like Mike”. I would like to share with you that commercial on the big screen.
Movie: Gatorade – Be Like Mike. (60 second commercial)
In 1992, I was in 8th grade and this commercial had a tremendous impact on me. I didn’t play basketball nor did I care to watch it much on television. But somehow I was drawn into wanting to become more like Mike. Not in the sense of actually practicing basketball. But I would wish that I could jump like him, dribble like him, and shoot the ball like him. I even went so far to stand in front of a mirror and practicing smiling like him. How silly is that?
But at such a young age, we want to be exactly like our favorite role model. We’ll want their shoes, their clothes, and their hair style. We’ll want to talk like them, walk them, and in every sense be like them. In 1992, everyone wanted to, “Be Like Mike”. He was the supreme model of coolness!
I think the Apostle Paul understood the value of a role model. As we’ve been working our way through Philippians 2, Paul has been encouraging the church to have humility in order to maintain unity. In our passage today, Paul is essentially saying to the Philippians, “You must look to Christ to learn humility.” In order to have humility, you must be like Christ. Jesus Christ is the supreme model of Humility.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Preface – Verse 5:
1. Uncomfortable, yet Essential.
A. Combats Natural Tendencies – Flies in the face of “Self”. I have so much room for improvement with humility. I battle with pride daily. So today I’m going to preach to myself, and you’re welcome to listen in.
B. Foundation of healthy relationships – In verse 5 it reads, “In your relationships with one another…”
C. Not Ultra-Idealistic – Dreamy eyed, “Can’t we all just get along?”
D. Paul lays it out there and says, “You need to be like Christ”.
E. What does it mean to “Be Like Christ?” Verse 6 tells us.
Unselfish – Verse 6: (2 Minutes)
2. Verse 6: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” This verse tells us 2 things about Jesus:
A. Jesus is God – Jesus was God before he came to Earth, Jesus was God while on the Earth, and Jesus was God when he left this Earth. His divinity followed him wherever he went.
B. Jesus didn’t exploit his divinity – Jesus didn’t use his Godly attributes for his own advantage. Jesus had the power to do anything he wanted on earth. He could have proclaimed himself King, angels would have swept down from heaven, and he could have built himself the world’s most powerful kingdom with just a few words.
C. The first point Paul is making for us is, “If we want humility, we must: Be Unselfish”.
D. When we wake up each morning, our first thought isn’t on other people. It’s: “I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. I don’t want to go to work. I need a shower. I need to brush my teeth.”
E. Seriously, when we wake up our first thoughts have to do with ourselves. Our morning prayers may even sound like, “God, bless me. Give me a good day today.” We usually sustain this inward-focused mentality throughout the rest of the day. If something doesn’t go our way, we’ll think to ourselves, “How dare they do that to me! Don’t they know who I am? I’m going to get even with them!”
F. No, we should be like Christ. When Christ was wronged, he didn’t exploit his authority to get even. When Christ wasn’t recognized as the King, he didn’t forcefully assert his authority. Instead, he looked out for our best interests rather than his best interests.
Servant – Verse 7:
3. But, Christ’s Humility didn’t stop with unselfishness. In verse 7 it reads, “Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” This verse tells us two things about Jesus: