Summary: We can try to unify around a cause, a vision, a goal, a presidential candidate, or even a need, but none of those forms of unity glorify God. They glorify the cause, the vision the goal or the candidate. It is only when we, like a piano, are each tuned
We are fast approaching Easter, this upcoming Friday we will be celebrating (yes, celebrating) Good Friday, the day of our Lord’s crucifixion with a service that begins at 7pm. Then Sunday morning, you can expect a rousing encounter with our Risen Savior as we declare His glories! Invite your friends and relatives to these very timely and powerful services so that they might encounter God with you and your church family.
You might recall that God is most glorified when His people are most unified. There are, however, different kinds of unity.
We can try to unify around a cause, a vision, a goal, a presidential candidate, or even a need, but none of those forms of unity glorify God. They glorify the cause, the vision the goal or the candidate.
It is only when we, like a piano, are each tuned to Jesus Christ that our hearts sing the same melody and join in unity.
It is when our eyes are fixed upon Jesus that we are most unified and God is most glorified.
It is not by coincidence, that two weeks ago we looked at the first four verses of this passage that told us how to act like family and today, a week before Easter, we are looking at the rest of this passage.
(Philippians 2:5-11) Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7 He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NLT).
This passage is at once both a marvelous declaration of the deity of Christ as well as an incredible description of His humility and obedience.
The Apostle Paul who wrote the passage we just read, was fully and completely convinced that Jesus was not only the promised Messiah, but God incarnate. In other words, He believed and wrote that Jesus was God Himself in the flesh.
This is an incredible statement but it really is the truth that each one of us must at some time in our lives come to terms with.
Jesus’ disciples watched as he healed the sick and raised the dead.
They observed first hand when he multiplied food and stood in awe as demons fled from Him.
They were awestruck by His teaching and humbled by His wisdom.
And they were speechless when they take authority over the weather.
Jesus asked His disciples, “who do you say that I am?” (Mt. 16:15)
We too must come to grips with the answer to this question.
At some point in our lives will have to ask the question, who is Jesus Christ to ME?
I wonder, how would you reply to this question?
There are some key terms in our passage that we need to examine that will help us answer this question:
The first word is: Humiliation
V5-6 (highlighted) Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God
I wonder, have you ever been humiliated?
Can you think of a time or two when you experienced humiliation? I am sure that most of us in this room can! It is part of being human.
Humiliation is when you are embarrassed, disgraced or shamed, when your prestige is stripped off of you, and when any feeling of self-respect has been stripped away for all to see.
It is being treated as ordinary when you are special.
It is having your rights or privileges are taken away, such as a respectable, well to do person being thrown in prison with a bunch of drug dealers and murderers.
Jesus, the Divine Son of God, had all the rights to be worshipped, adored, and to rule and reign over creation which itself must worship and bow before its creator.
He was well to do beyond anything you or I can imagine, being the Creator of the Universe, the Infinite, and the all Glorious God.
He set aside all of his privileges, all of his rights, and made himself literally nothing, becoming a man, entering a world full of sinners.
He who was the Creator, became like one of the created, a simple babe, a child born in poverty not privilege, and then in rags of human form, humbled himself even further, and though innocent, died a criminal’s death on a Roman cross.